Arlington Classic S. (gr. III)

(gr. IIIT , 8.5f ,)

PLEASANT STRIKE (DK B/ h, 119 lb) $86,400
Smart Strike —Colonella , by Pleasant Colony
B—Edward P. Evans, VA.; O—Edward P. Evans; T—Todd A. Pletcher

Lovango (B h, 119 lb) $28,800
Capote —Humming Sound , by Hansel
B—Latitude 27, LLC, KY.; O—Barry Butzow; T—McLean Robertson

Quasicobra (DK B/ g, 119 lb) $15,840
Wild Rush —Mutton Maniac , by Wolf Power (SAF)
B—Ramon Rangel, KY.; O—Giacopelli, Richard J. and Fab Oak Stable; T—Patrick L. Biancone

Margins: 3¾, ½, head. Others: Starbase 119($8,640) , Vaunt (GB) 119($4,320) , Pirate Saint 119($1,500) , Beta Capo 121($1,500) , Tom Archdeacon 119($1,500) , Riverside Rascal 119($1,500) . Winning Jockey, Rene R. Douglas.

Pleasant Strike garnered his first stakes victory when he defeated Lovango by 33¼4 lengths in the Arlington Classic Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park June 23.

Assistant trainer Mike Dilger saddled Pleasant Strike for Todd Pletcher, who trains the homebred colt for Edward P. Evans. In winning, the 3-year-old son of Smart Strike took the first leg of Arlington Park’s “Mid-America Triple.” The remaining legs are the July 21 American Derby (gr. IIT) and the Aug. 11 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT).

Evans, who owns Spring Hill Farm near Casanova, Va., and has ranked as one of North America’s leading breeders for years, also campaigns homebred 2007 graded stakes winners Christmas Kid, Liquor Cabinet, and Giant Wrecker.

Pleasant Strike hails from a very successful family for Evans. His dam is the winning Pleasant Colony mare Colonella, who is out of Irish champion Minstrella (by The Minstrel). Evans bred Minstrella in Virginia out of the stakes-placed Misty Flight mare Flight Dancer. Colonella’s full sister Colonial Minstrel was a grade II winner and is the dam of stakes winner Storm Minstrel (by Storm Cat), while another full sister, Minicolony, is the dam of stakes winner Suzy Smart, who is also by Smart Strike. Minstrella also produced grade III winner Minidar (by Alydar) and stakes winner Unrestrained (by Unbridled).

Further back in Pleasant Strike’s family, one finds the horse that Evans is perhaps best known for breeding: Saint Liam. The son of Saint Ballado, named 2005 Horse of the Year, is out of the Quiet American mare Quiet Dance, who in turn is out of Misty Dancer, another daughter of Flight Dancer. Evans sold Flight Dancer before Misty Dancer was born, but bought back into that branch of the family when he paid $75,000 for Quiet Dance at the 1994 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale.

Pleasant Strike is the first foal out of Colonella. The 8-year-old mare has an unraced juvenile Lemon Drop Kid gelding named Colonial Kid and produced a full brother to Pleasant Strike Feb. 19. Both she and Colonial Minstrel are in foal to Smart Strike, while Minstrella, who delivered a Grand Slam colt May 11, will not be bred for 2008.

Smart Strike is the sire of 48 stakes winners, including additional 2007 added-money winners Curlin (gr. I), Fabulous Strike (gr. III), Super Freaky (gr. IIIT), Strike Softly (Can-IIT), Tungsten Strike (Eng-III), Twilight Meteor, Don’t Strike Out, High Strike Zone, and Strike a Deal. The 15-year-old son of Mr. Prospector stands at Will Farish’s Lane’s End Farm near Versailles, Ky., for a fee of $75,000.—A.H.D