|ALFRED G. VANDERBILT H.|
2nd at 4ALFRED G. VANDERBILT H.
(gr. II , 6f , to Abraaj, defeating Sammarco, Thor's Echo, Black Seventeen, E Z Warrior ).
What a difference a year has made for 5-year-old Abraaj, who closed strongly and defeated First Defence by 21Ú2 lengths in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II) at Saratoga July 26 to garner his first stakes victory as the 8-5 favorite.
The bay son of Carson City made his first attempt at stakes company in last yearÕs Vanderbilt, but finished eighth. He was away from the races until May 2, when he took an allowance/optional claimer by six lengths, and then finished third by a half-length in the June 7 True North Handicap (gr. II) before trying the Vanderbilt again.
ÒAbraaj needed time off from the Vanderbilt last year,Ó winning trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. ÒThe time off did him good. He put on weight; he looks great and sound.Ó
McLaughlin trains Abraaj for Sheikh HamdanÕs Shadwell Stable. Other graded stakes winners to represent Shadwell this year include grade II winner Lucky Island, who won the July 4 Tom Fool Handicap (gr. II) and the May 10 Bold Ruler Handicap (gr. III), as well as Alwajeeha, winner of the April 16 Appalachian Stakes (gr. IIIT).
Abraaj was purchased for $450,000 in the name of Shadwell Estate at the 2004 Keeneland September yearling sale from Gainesway, agent. He did not begin racing until September of his 3-year-old season.
Dr. Chuck Kidder, Dr. John Griggs, and Jason and James Mamakos bred Abraaj in Kentucky. The group has also bred such horses as grade III winners Fairbanks and Leelanau.
In addition to being a graded stakes winner, Leelanau is also AbraajÕs full brother. They are out of the winning Kris S. mare KrisÕs Intention, who is also the dam of stakes winner All Trumps. Leelanau stands in Illinois, while All Trumps was sent to Venezuela this year.
Kept at Corner Woods near Lexington, KrisÕs Intention delivered a Mr. Greeley filly May 31 and was not bred for next year.
Carson City is the sire of 98 stakes winners. Among his seven other 2008 added-money winners is Palanka City (gr. III). The son of Mr. Prospector, who stood at the Young familyÕs Overbrook Farm near Lexington, died in 2004 at age 17.ÑA.H.D.
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