Won at 3PEGASUS S.
(gr. III , 9f , defeating Crown Point, Network, Andromeda's Hero, Tani Maru, Naughty New Yorker, Golden Man, Doctor Voodoo ).
At the recent Keeneland September yearling sale, there were 23 offspring of Brahms sold. The top price was $95,000 for a yearling by the Vinery stallion, who stands for $10,000.
The $95,000 colt had to be the best looking of the group, but it didn’t hurt that he is a half-brother to Magna Graduate, a solid stakes performer who the night of Sept. 30 won the Pegasus Handicap (gr. III) on the opening card for the Meadowlands meet.
The yearling colt was bred in Kentucky by Nicole Zitani and Ramon Rangel and sold by Jeff Morris’ Highclere Sales as agent. These are the same connections that bred and sold Magna Graduate.
The Brahms colt was purchased by Casual Run Farm.
Magna Graduate was purchased at the 2003 Keeneland fall sale by trainer Gary Simms for $30,000. He trained the colt for Burr Travis for three starts. After finishing second in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile (gr. III) last fall, Magna Graduate was purchased by Elisabeth Alexander and turned over to Patrick Byrne.
Magna Graduate, by Honor Grades, won the John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park in March for his first stakes victory. He hadn’t won another stakes until the Pegasus, but he had been very consistent, finishing second, third, or fourth in five consecutive graded stakes.
Following a fourth-place finish in the Walmac Lone Star Derby (gr. III) in May, Alexander changed trainers, sending Magna Graduate to Todd Pletcher. For Pletcher, he ran second in both the Ohio Derby (gr. II) and West Virginia Derby (gr. III) prior to winning the Pegasus.
The 2-1 favorite in the Pegasus, Magna Graduate won by 11/4 lengths under Pletcher’s regular rider, John Velazquez.
Magna Graduate is the fourth foal and second stakes winner produced from the Fast Play mare Peacock Alley. She is also the dam of stakes winner Gralley, by Mr. Greeley.
Unraced Peacock Alley was bred in Kentucky by Joanna W. Beresford. All of the mare’s foals have been bred by Zitani and Rangel.
The second dam of Magna Graduate is the Alleged mare Anna’s Honor, a stakes winner in France.
Magna Graduate is inbred 4x4 to one of the best broodmare sires ever, Buckpasser. He is the sire of Honor Grade’s second dam, Lassie Dear, and also the broodmare sire of Fast Play, who is out of the mare Con Game. Of course, besides producing Honor Grades, Lassie Dear’s daughter Weekend Surprise is the dam of A.P. Indy. And Con Game, besides producing Fast Play, is the dam of his half-brother, Seeking the Gold.
Magna Graduate is one of 32 stakes winners sired by Honor Grades, who stood at Darby Dan Farm near Lexington until his death in March 2002.—D.M.L.
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