Smart Strike bowls over the competition to be the 2007 North American leading sire.
MAHUBAH'S CORNER, by Avalyn Hunter
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's latest star, U.S. Cavalry, showed maturity and grit when capturing the Turfway Prevue Stakes on Jan. 5. The gelded son of Officer has yet prove whether he can handle longer distances, but his pedigree suggests the potential is there.
Gwen's Song breaks the seven-figure mark Tuesday afternoon at Keeneland.
The top three finishers from the Hollywood Prevue Stakes (gr. III), led by the unbeaten Massive Drama, will meet again in the Dec. 22 CashCall Futurity (gr. I) at Hollywood Park.
Many horse industry figures were in the spirit of giving during the Kentucky Equine Education Project's stallion season auction, billed with the tag line, "No Time to Hold Your Horses." The auction was held for the first time since 2004 to benefit causes supported by the organization.
Bit of Whimsy had already accomplished her major goal of the year for trainer Barclay Tagg when the 3-year-old filly captured the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland last month. She put an exclamation point on a strong campaign with her hard-fought victory in the $174,900 Mrs. Revere (gr. IIT) on the Churchill Downs lawn Nov. 10.
Bit of Whimsy, upset winner of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) Oct. 13 at Keeneland, will carry her highest weight ever and take on a field of 13 other 3-year-old fillies, including two previously beaten competitors, in the $150,000 Mrs. Revere Stakes (gr. IIT) Nov. 10 at Churchill Downs.
Distorted Humor now shares top honors with fellow stallions A.P. Indy and Storm Cat when it comes to 2008 stud fee
Donation, the dam of Lawyer Ron, along with her weanling colt by Smarty Jones, will be offered at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky selected mixed sale Nov. 4. Donation and her foal will be consigned by Four Star Sales for Bobby Trussell.
For much of the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. I), there seemed to be no denying classy champion Dreaming of Anna, who was seeking her fourth consecutive stakes victory. But after a ground-saving trip from Javier Castellano, Bit of Whimsy made a late rally along the rail, angled three wide and caught the 2006 Juvenile Fillies Eclipse Award winner in the final 16th to win on Keeneland's Haggin turf course Oct. 13.
- By Ron Mitchell
One of the more widely used methods of comparing sales results for stallions whose progeny have been offered at a yearling sale is to look at the average prices. Many number-crunchers, however, believe the median price provides a more accurate picture of how well the stallion fared.
A bay daughter of Distorted Humor fetched $475,000 and topped the ninth day of the Keeneland September yearling sale as the middle market continued to show its strength by posting across-the-board gains.
The shift in sire power at the marathon Keeneland September yearling sale could result in a decreased stud fee for Storm Cat and a reduction in the number of mares to be bred to the most expensive sire in North America.
Offspring of Distorted Humor led the third session of the Keeneland September yearling sale Sept. 12 at the Central Kentucky auction house on a day that saw the number of horses sold decrease, while the gross, average, and median for the session increased.
A dapper-looking son of Distorted Humor was purchased by WinStar Farm, agent, for the partnership of Maverick Racing for $1 million to highlight the late afternoon session of the Keeneland September yearling sale.
Fresh on the heels of adding grade I winner Any Given Saturday to its growing list of stars, Sheikh Mohammed's Darley has purchased a number of shares in Any Given Saturday's sire, Distorted Humor.
Two days after the Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course, the top four finishers in the $1-million race were all recovering well to the satisfaction of their trainers.
Favored Hystericalady took care of the drama to the $280,000 Molly Pitcher Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) soon after the start. She controlled the pace and then drew away when asked by jockey Eddie Castro to score by 6 1/4 lengths at Monmouth Park Aug. 25.
- By Ryan Conley
David Mueller knows all about flying high, so he was pleased to see a horse he bred soar among the top prices realized in the Aug. 6 opening session of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale.
Top sires such as Unbridled's Song, A.P. Indy, Distorted Humor have well-regarded yearlings in the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling auction's opening session Monday.
Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide, winner of the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness (both gr. I) and one of the most popular horses in recent years, has been retired, trainer Barclay Tagg said Friday.
Centaur Farm's Distorted Reality did exactly what trainer Todd Pletcher hoped he would do Sunday afternoon, and the result was a half-length victory for the 2-5 choice over Buddy's Humor in the $106,000 Lexington on the firm inner turf course at Belmont Park.
Four years removed from making a run at a Triple Crown, even-money choice Funny Cide returned to the winner's circle at Finger Lakes, a track far removed from the majesty of Churchill Downs.
Freshened by trainer Todd Pletcher since an eighth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Any Given Saturday repelled his rival Nobiz Like Shobiz at the top of the stretch and rolled to a convincing victory in the $147,000 Dwyer (gr. II) for 3-year-olds Wednesday at Belmont Park.
Tempered Fate, a colt by Distorted Humor consigned by agent Sequel Bloodstock (Becky Thomas), was sold for $260,000 to Zayat Stables to top the second and final session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's 2007 June Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training and Horses of Racing Age.
Six 3-year-olds will battle one mile over the Widener Turf Course in Friday's 33rd running of the $100,000-added Hill Prince (gr. IIIT), a race in which Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott and Eclipse Award winner Todd Pletcher are likely to combine for a very chalky exacta box.
Favored Spin Master, ridden by Miguel Mena, survived a sizzling three-way duel for the early lead and then pulled away under hand urging to score a 2 3/4-length victory in Saturday's $108,500 Matt Winn Stakes for 3-year-olds at Churchill Downs.
Hystericalady earned the first grade one victory of her career and began a two-race winning streak when she took the 21st running of the $340,800 Humana Distaff Stakes (gr. I) by a definitive four lengths on Saturday at Churchill Downs.
Rodney J. Winkler's Colorado homebred The Nth Degree seized the lead less than 100 yards from the wire and tenaciously held on for a neck victory in the $110,200 Shakertown (gr. III) for sprinters on the Keeneland turf Sunday.
WinStar Farm's Cowtown Cat had the benefit of the front end on the speed-favoring Hawthorne Race Course main track and the Todd Pletcher trainee took full advantage, drawing off in the final furlong for a 2 1/4-length triumph in the $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) Saturday.
Fourty Niners Son, one of the nation's leading turf horses two years ago, registered his first win in nearly 18 months Saturday when he held off Notable Guest and Prospect Park by one length in the $200,000 San Luis Rey Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita.
If trainer Todd Pletcher doesn't manage to win a spring 3-year-old Classic this year, it won't be for lack of trying. On the day he saddled Circular Quay for a convincing victory in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II), he was also taking the $200,000 Gotham (gr. III) with Cowtown Cat at Aqueduct Saturday.
WinStar Farm's Any Given Saturday went off at odds of 1-5 in his 3-year-old debut Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs. He gave his supporters little reason for concern with a 2 3/4-length triumph in the $146,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes.
The 2006 Texas-bred champions were honored Saturday night as guest speaker Jack Knowlton of Sackatoga Stable told the crowd there will always be room for the little guy in racing.
Grade I winner and Eclipse Award finalist Point Ashley brought a final bid of $1.8 million to top the opening session of the 2007 Keeneland January horses of all ages sale Jan.8.
James Conway's Dash of Humor, ridden patiently by Brian Hernandez Jr., captured the $75,000 Furl Sail Handicap for fillies and mares by a head Sunday in a tight three-way finish at Fair Grounds Race Course.
Stan Fulton's It's No Joke settled just off the pace and took charge in the stretch to win the $232,800 Emirates Airline Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) by a neck at Churchill Downs Saturday.
Favored Change Up gave jockey Garrett Gomez a sweep of Saturday's opening-day stakes for juveniles when she wore down the stubborn Mistical Plan in the stretch and scored a two-length victory in the $114,300 Pocahontas (gr. III) for fillies at Churchill Downs.
Distorted Humor, who leads all North American sires with 18 stakes winners and 24 stakes wins, will stand in 2007 for a fee of $225,000, up from $150,000.
Trainer Rebecca Maker had a tough choice but she made the right call Saturday when It's No Joke captured the $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) by one length over the 13-10 choice A.P. Arrow.
The fourth session of the massive 14-day Keeneland September yearling sale ended on a positive note Thursday with the Central Kentucky auction house realizing increases in gross, average and median. The sale company also reported across the board cumulative increases.
After breaking from the gate a bit slowly, the 2006 Keeneland September yearling sale quickly picked up speed, led by the purchasing power of Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai, to post increases in average and median price despite the gross and number of horses selling showing a slight decline.
Officer Rocket and Got the Last Laugh hooked up inside the sixteenth pole and finished dead even in the $200,000 Arlington-Washington Breeders' Cup Futurity (gr. I) for 2-year-olds at rainy Arlington Park Sunday.
The opening session of the 86th annual Fasig-Tipton Saratoga selected yearling sale was one for the ladies, as a strong market for fillies led the way Tuesday evening in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Three of the eight highest-priced yearlings that sold for $500,000 or more were fillies, including the session topper -- a $1,150,000 daughter of first-year sire Sky Mesa. A colt by Distorted Humor later sold for $1 million.
Thanks in large part to the $58,000 celebrity chef Bobby Flay spent on options to breed to two of the sport's top stallions, the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation raised in excess of $500,000 Aug. 7 at its annual gala at the Saratoga Golf and Polo Club.
Dual Classic winner Funny Cide made his first race outside of the United States a winning one, taking Saturday's $200,000 Dominion Day Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine by 1 1/2 lengths.
Danzig's Beauty, dam of major sire Distorted Humor, was euthanized June 17 because of complications from three bouts of colic since delivering an Empire Maker filly April 27.
Hystericalady, shipped south by trainer leading Northern California conditioner Jerry Hollendorfer, demolished the field in the $152,400 Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. II) Sunday at Hollywood Park.
Offspring of Tale of the Cat, Distorted Humor, and Songandaprayer were among the standouts at Timonium during the under tack shows Wednesday and Thursday for the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic preferred sale of 2-year-olds in training.
WinStar Farm, which owns Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contender Bluegrass Cat, has acquired an interest in Derby hopeful Sharp Humor, the farm announced April 27.
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