|NORTHERN DANCER S.|
2nd at 3NORTHERN DANCER S.
(gr. III , 8.5f , to Pyro, defeating Visionaire, Recapturetheglory, Texas Wildcatter, Unbridled Vicar ).
Pyro, who failed to threaten as one of the favorites in the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, redeemed himself in a major way with a hard-fought win in the June 14 Northern Dancer Stakes (gr. III) at the Louisville track. Under co-high weight of 122 pounds, the 3-year-old son of Pulpit gutted it out in the stretch to win by 13Ú4 lengths. His time for the 11Ú16 miles was 1:43.53.
Pyro, one of the top 2-year-olds of 2007 by virtue of two grade I runner-up efforts to champion War Pass, started his 3-year-old season on a high note. At Fair Grounds, he won the Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) by two lengths in February and the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) by three lengths in March.
But things took a turn for the worse when Pyro ran in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) over Polytrack at Keeneland and finished 10th. As the 5-1 third choice in the Kentucky Derby, he ran eighth.
Trained by Steve Asmussen, Pyro races as a homebred for Winchell Thoroughbreds, a partnership comprised of Ron Winchell and his mother, Joan. PyroÕs victory in the Northern Dancer also proved rewarding to Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai. Pyro will stand at the sheikhÕs Darley at Jonabell after his racing career.
Winchell Thoroughbreds is represented by additional 2008 homebred stakes winner Classify. Bred in partnership with Mike Smith, Classify won the Spring Fever Stakes in March and the Tellike Stakes in May.
PyroÕs first two dams were bred by the late Verne Winchell. Father of Ron and husband of Joan, Verne Winchell got the family started in racing. Grade I winners bred and/or raced by the family alone and in partnership include 1991 champion turf male Tight Spot, plus Cuvee, Fleet Renee, Sea Cadet, Summerly, and Tapit.
PyroÕs dam, Wild Vision, is kept at the WinchellÕs Corinthia near Lexington. She produced a colt by Tapit this year. Tapit stands at the Beck familyÕs Gainesway Farm near Lexington. Wild Vision is in foal to Pulpit.
Tapit also is the sire of Wild VisionÕs 2-year-old filly War Echo, who is in training with Asmussen at Keeneland. War Echo arrived a short time ago from Keith AsmussenÕs Asmussen Horse Center near Laredo, Texas, where the WinchellsÕ horses are broken and receive early training. Keith Asmussen is SteveÕs father.
Pulpit has sired 36 stakes winners, including additional 2008 added-money winners Bsharpsonata (gr. II), Rutherienne (gr. IIT), Church Service (gr. IIIT), and two others. Pulpit stands for $80,000 at the Hancock familyÕs Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky.ÑD.S.
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