|ALFRED G. VANDERBILT H.|
3rd at 4ALFRED G. VANDERBILT H.
(gr. II , 6f , to Fabulous Strike, Go Go Shoot, defeating Benny the Bull, Eaton's Gift, Fatal Bullet ).
In the 2008 Sentient Flight Group BreedersÕ Cup Sprint (gr. I), Fabulous Strike was in traffic, could not get as close to the lead as he prefers to run, and finished fifth, beaten six lengths. His races since then have been a different story.
On Aug. 9, the 6-year-old Smart Strike gelding made his sixth start since the BreedersÕ Cup and notched his fourth win in those races, taking the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II) in his first ever start at Saratoga. He ran the six furlongs in 1:08.69, beating longshot Go Go Shoot a length with Kodiak Kowboy third, to prove further he is the top male sprinter in the country at the present time.
Since the BreedersÕ Cup, Fabulous Strike has been on a roll. At the same six-furlong distance as the BreedersÕ Cup Sprint, he won the Fall Highweight Handicap under 136 pounds and took the Gravesend Handicap (gr. III). Then stretched out to seven furlongs, he ran second in both the General George Handicap (gr. II) and Carter Handicap (gr. I), beaten a head in the latter. Fabulous Strike then won the True North Handicap (gr. II) before the Vanderbilt.
Owned by Walter Downey and bred by him in Pennsylvania in the name of his Tea Party Stable, Fabulous Strike has won 14 of 23 starts, a dozen of his wins coming in stakes. His lifetime earnings are now $1,329,412. He is trained by Todd Beattie, who conditions him at Penn National.
ÒIÕve got to take my hat off to the horse,Ó Beattie said. ÒIÕm lucky to be the guy to bring him over here. We thought the No. 1 horse (Go Go Shoot) would use his speed from there. He (Go Go Shoot) ran hard; heÕs coming off two big victories at Monmouth. (My horse) likes the time between races because he spends himself when he runs.Ó
Downey, a Boston native, is a retired investment banker. He purchased the dam of Fabulous Strike, the Lost Code mare Fabulous Find, privately from Xanthus Farm while she was carrying Fabulous Strike, her first foal. The mare, who was bred in Pennsylvania by Victoria Racing Stable, died after producing just one more foal.
Fabulous Strike is one of 68 stakes winners sired by Smart Strike, who stands at LaneÕs End Farm near Versailles, Ky. Smart Strike is having another excellent year, ranking fifth on the list of leading sires by progeny earnings (through Aug. 9) and with 13 stakes winners this year. His 2009 fee was $125,000.ÑD.M.L.
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