Reed Palmer Photography/Churchill Downs

Uncaptured Even Better On Dirt

Iroquois performance suggested he is near the top of his division.

Late October racing was somewhat overshadowed by the impending Breeders’ Cup, but at least one horse that was not be in action at Santa Anita Park turned in a performance that suggested he is near the top of his division.

Two-year-old colt Uncaptured  made an early debut in mid-May, getting home first by a nose in a 4 1/2-furlong maiden. The $290,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase made his next appearance June 30 in the 5 1/2-furlong Clarendon Stakes and romped by 5 1/2 lengths. Uncaptured’s third consecutive win came with a length tally in the Vandal Stakes, and a 3 1/4-length tally in the seven-furlong Swynford Stakes saw him complete a hat-trick of Woodbine stakes victories.

Stretching out to 8 1/2 furlongs for the Grey Stakes (Can-III), Uncaptured started at odds of 2-5 but wound up fifth to River Seven—who had been behind Uncaptured in the Clarendon and Vandal Stakes— after being checked in the straight. Uncaptured’s rider, Patrick Husbands, claimed foal against the winner, but the result was allowed to stand.

Uncaptured journeyed to Churchill Downs Oct. 28 to make his first start South of the Border in the Iroquois Stakes (gr. III), also his first attempt on a convential dirt track. Judging by the result—a decisive 5 1/2-length victory over Malibu Moon ’s half brother Positively and the Futurity Stakes (gr. II) captor Overanalyze —Uncaptured is even better on dirt than on Woodbine’s all-weather track. He may well attempt to cement his position near the top of the division in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) Nov. 24 at Churchill Downs.

Uncaptured is a son of the Tale of the Cat  horse Lion Heart, a top 2-year-old who did not contest the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I). In fact, although he did not get the Eclipse Award – which went to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile scorer Action This Day—Lion Heart was almost certainly the best of his crop at 2 when he went undefeated in three starts, including the Hollywood Futurity (gr. I). At 3, Lion Heart trained on to win two graded races, including the Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I), and also ran second to Smarty Jones  in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).

Retired to stand alongside his sire at Ashford Stud, Lion Heart was represented by 12 first-crop stakes winners, among them 2010 Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) victor Dangerous Midge and graded winners Soul Warrior, Azul Leon, Silent Valor, Heart Ashley, and Pretty Prolific. Arkansas Derby (gr. I) winner Line of David came along in Lion Heart’s second crop, and in his third crop he sired the undefeated Kantharos , who looked to be the best of the 2010 early-season juveniles following wins in the Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III) and Saratoga Special (gr. II) prior to a career-ending injury.

The combined efforts of Dangerous Midge, Line of David, and Kantharos helped propel Lion Heart to a position of leading third-season sire of 2010, immediately above Speightstown  and Tapit . Unfortunately, by that time Lion Heart had been sold to Turkey for the 2010 breeding season, underlining the old cliché that a stallion need only die or be exported to become an instant success. Uncaptured is a result of Lion Heart’s fifth season at stud, his last in the U.S. That crop already includes two other stakes winners, including Know More, who took the Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) on his debut before going on to run second in the Del Mar Futurity and FrontRunner Stakes (both gr. I).

Uncaptured is out of Captivating, a daughter of Arch, who is emerging as a significant young broodmare sire, his daughters having already produced I'll Have Another , Uncle Mo , multiple grade I winner Contested, and group II winner Homebound. Captivating has produced two other foals of racing age, the only other starter being the Tomahawk filly Dancing Raven, a multiple stakes winner in Canada. Captivating is a half sister to Silver Deputy’s stakes-winning son  Gold Star Deputy and to Eastern Ruckus, dam of the stakes-winning and graded-placed Ladyecho. Uncaptured’s granddam Andrea Ruckus was a stakes-placed daughter of Canadian stalwart Bold Ruckus, which made her a close relative to the best previous runner from the immediate family, the Belmont Breeders’ Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) winner Gentleman Beau, who was by Bold Ruckus’s son, Beau Genius, out of Andrea Ruckus’s half sister Do’s Gent.

A look further back in the pedigree reveals that Uncaptured traces on both sides of his pedigree to the stock of the greatest of all Canadian breeders, E. P. Taylor. Lion Heart’s great-grandsire Storm Bird was bred by Taylor, as were that horse’s sire and grandsire, Northern Dancer and Nearctic. In tail-female line, Uncaptured goes back to the French-bred Orchestra, who was a three-time stakes winner at 3 in Canada in 1959. It is Orchestra’s daughter Victory Chant—also the dam of Canadian champion older horse Giboulee—who is the fifth dam of Uncaptured. Coincidentally, other 2012 star Camp Victory, successful in the Triple Bend Handicap (gr. I), is a result of a similar formula, as he is by Forest Camp, a grandson of Taylor’s Northern Dancer horse Vice Regent, out of a granddaughter of Victory Chant.

Uncaptured is TrueNicks-rated A on the basis of the Storm Cat/Arch cross—and Lion Heart’s sire Tale of the Cat has done well when crossed over mares descending from Arch’s grandsire Roberto in general. We also should not ignore the influence of Bold Ruckus, the sire of Uncaptured’s second dam. He’s frequently combined well with Storm Cat, and is also grandsire of the dam of Lion Heart graded scorer, Heart Ashley. Bold Ruckus is by Boldnesian, best known as grandsire of Seattle Slew, and the cross of Lion Heart over mares by Seattle Slew and his sons has produced Dangerous Midge, Line of David, Know More, and Pretty Prolific.