Tokyo City H. (gr. III)
(gr. III , 9f ,)
Giant's Causeway Alaska Queen , by Time for a Change
BKidder, Griggs, Mamakos, KY.; OTeam Valor International; TTodd A. Pletcher
(DK B/ h,
Giant's Causeway Brulay , by Rubiano
BMr. & Mrs. Jerome S. Moss, KY.; OMoss, Mr. and Mrs. Jerome S.; TJohn A. Shirreffs
Awesome Again Noble Robyn , by Skip Trial
BAdena Springs, KY.; OStronach Stables; TRobert J. Frankel
Fairbanks earned his first career stakes victory in a big way by winning the Tokyo City Handicap (gr. III) by an impressive 63¼4 lengths. The son of Giant’s Causeway covered the 11¼8-mile distance in 1:47.87. Neko Bay was second, with Racketeer one length farther back in third.
Fairbanks is conditioned by Todd Pletcher whose barn had a big weekend despite his absence. The powerful Pletcher stable racked up wins in the Florida Derby (gr. I) with Scat Daddy, Next Move Handicap (gr. III) with Indian Vale, Orchid Handicap (gr. IIIT) with Safari Queen, and the Skip Away Handicap (gr. III) with A. P. Arrow.
Pletcher was in Dubai to saddle a contingent of runners, including Friendly Island who finished second in the Gulf News Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I), on the Dubai World Cup program.
“We thought we’d be first, second, or third somewhere up the backside, obviously very close to the pace . . . it seemed to work out fine. When I saw the :47 half mile, I thought we were in pretty good shape,” said Michael McCarthy, Pletcher’s California-based assistant.
Fairbanks is owned in partnership by HRTV’s Jeff Siegel and Barry Irwin and races under the red and green banner of Team Valor Stables. Irwin purchased the colt for $1.85 million at the 2004 Fasig-Tipton New York August yearling sale from the consignment of Gainesway, agent.
Fairbanks was sent from South Florida to Santa Anita prior to the San Antonio Handicap (gr. II) where he stumbled at the start and injured a front foot. Because of the injury he missed the March 3 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), but remained in Southern California for the Tokyo City. “He wants to run all day,” said Irwin. “I don’t know what is next, but he likes Belmont Park and Saratoga. I cannot wait until we can stretch him out for a truer test of his stamina.
“We had hoped to run him in the Santa Anita Handicap over a mile and a quarter, but he injured a hoof when he stumbled and we had to regroup. We thought the mile and a quarter distance and layout were perfect for him at Santa Anita. Maybe we’ll try again next season.”
John Grigg, Chuck Kidder, and Jason Mamokos bred the bay colt in Kentucky from the Time for a Change mare Alaska Queen, who is also the dam of grade II winner and sire Keats.
Alaska Queen has a 2-year-old Sky Mesa colt, Manassa Mauler, who was purchased for $150,000 by Frankie Brothers, agent, at the 2006 Keeneland September yearling sale from Gainesway, agent. The mare also has a yearling Smarty Jones colt.
Giant’s Causeway is the sire of 27 added-money winners, including additional 2007 stakes winners Giant Wrecker (gr. IIIT), Naissance Royale (gr. IIIT), Charm the Giant, and Murjana (Aust-III). Giant’s Causeway stands at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky. His 2007 fee is private.—L.D.