2nd at 4VOSBURGH S.
(gr. I , 6f , to Fabulous Strike, defeating Discreet Cat, Mach Ride, E Z Warrior, Park Avenue Ball, First Defence, Will He Shine ).
A well-rested, well-prepared Fabulous Strike offered an impressive performance in the $416,000 Vosburgh Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 30 at Belmont Park, winning by 53¼4 lengths. Having been given an automatic birth in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Monmouth Park based on the “Win and You’re In” victory in the Vosburgh, Fabulous Strike will likely be the favorite Oct. 27 during the World Thoroughbred Championships.
Owned by Walter Downey and bred in Pennsylvania by Downey’s Tea Party Stable, Fabulous Strike prepped for the Vosburgh with a series of five-furlong workouts over the Tapeta synthetic racing surface at the new Presque Isle Downs near Erie, Pa. Trainer Todd Beattie’s main base of operations is at Penn National Race Course in south central Pennsylvania.
Prior to his near wire-to-wire win at Belmont Park, Fabulous Strike faded to finish fifth in the Smile Sprint Handicap (gr. II) during Calder Race Course’s “Summit of Speed” July 7 in South Florida.
“I really thought I was going to see this in Miami (at Calder), but he had heat exhauston,” Beattie said following the Vosburgh. “We’ll take him back to Penn National. I have my own barn there, and we’ll train him up to the Breeders’ Cup.”
The gelded Fabulous Strike was the 9-2 third choice in the Vosburgh. Discreet Cat, the 9-10 favorite, ran an even third, and 5-2 second choice First Defence finished seventh of eight.
The Vosburgh has not exactly been a strong steppingstone for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Only one horse has won both races in the same season: Artax in 1999. Ghostzapper won the Vosburgh in 2003 and then came back to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) the next year. Taste of Paradise won the Vosburgh but then was beaten a head by Silver Train in the Sprint in 2005, which was also run at Belmont Park.
Fabulous Strike is the first foal out of the late Pennsylvania-bred winning mare Fabulous Find who died after giving birth to her second foal. The dark bay or brown colt was sold privately by Downey.
Smart Strike, the leading sire in North America by progeny earnings, is the sire of Fabulous Strike and 14 other added-money winners this year, including English Channel, winner of the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT), and Curlin, winner of the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) on the same afternoon at Belmont Park. Smart Strike, who has 51 lifetime stakes winners, stands at William S. Farish’s Lane’s End Farm near Versailles, Ky. His 2007 stud fee was $75,000.—E.I.H.
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