Excelsior Breeders' Cup H. (gr. III)

(gr. III , 9f ,)

MAGNA GRADUATE (DK B/ h, 118 lb) $125,460
Honor Grades —Peacock Alley , by Fast Play
B—Ramon Rangel, KY.; O—Elisabeth H. Alexander; T—Todd A. Pletcher

Naughty New Yorker (B h, 115 lb) $41,820
Quiet American —Naughty Natisha , by Known Fact
B—Dr. Joan M. Taylor, NY.; O—Fox Ridge Farm, Inc.; T—Patrick J. Kelly

Accountforthegold (B g, 114 lb) $20,910
Successful Appeal —Accountess , by Private Account
B—Sez Who Thoroughbreds, NY.; O—Winning Move Stable and Lerner, Harold; T—Gary C. Contessa

Margins: 3¾, neck, neck. Others: Evening Attire 116($10,455) , Corinthian 119($6,273) , Happy Hunting 115($4,182) . Winning Jockey, John R. Velazquez.

Magna Graduate became a millionaire two times over when he won the Excelsior Breeders’ Cup Handicap (gr. III) by 33¼4 lengths over Naughty New Yorker at Aqueduct April 7. It was his second graded stakes victory in a row after taking the March 9 Razorback Breeders’ Cup Handicap (gr. III), and his earnings now stand at $2,059,410.

Todd Pletcher trains the 5-year-old son of Honor Grades for Elisabeth Alexander. She purchased Magna Graduate privately after he made his first three starts for Burr Travis and trainer Garry Simms, who bought him for $30,000 at the 2003 Keeneland September yearling sale from Jeff Morris’ Highclere Sales, agent.

Magna Graduate has now won seven stakes races, including the Clark (gr. II), Discovery (gr. III), and Queens County (gr. III) Handicaps as well as the Pegasus (gr. III) and John Battaglia Memorial Stakes. Last year, he ran third in the Emirates Airline Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).

Nicole Zitani and Ramon Rangel bred Magna Graduate in Kentucky out of the unraced Fast Play mare Peacock Alley, who is a half-sister to the stakes-placed Real Quiet colt Whispered Promises. Their dam, the stakes-winning Alleged mare Anna’s Honor, is also group III-placed. Out of the unraced Sir Ivor mare Honor to Her, Anna’s Honor is a half-sister to Savannah’s Honor, by Storm Bird, who won the Prix du Calvados (Fr-III). Savannah’s Honor produced a Leroidesanimaux colt Jan. 28 for Beth Ann Brown-Gambone, and he has already been named Leroideschevaux.

Peacock Alley is also the dam of the stakes-winning Mr. Greeley gelding Gralley. The mare was sold in foal to Hennessy for $250,000 at the 2005 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November mixed sale to Gaines-Gentry, agent, from Highclere Sales, agent for Our Farm. Zitani and Rangel still have one of Peacock Alley’s daughters, Peacock Sally, who produced an Afleet Alex colt Feb. 24. Her first foal is a yearling Honour and Glory colt.

Now 13-years-old, Peacock Alley is kept at Olin Gentry and Thomas Gaines’ farm near Lexington. She has a juvenile filly by Holy Bull and a yearling colt by Hennessy. She is currently in foal to Vindication and breeding plans for this year are undecided.

Honor Grades is the sire of 34 stakes winners including additional 2007 added-money winner Ramazutti (gr. IIT). The son of Danzig died in 2002 while standing stud at Darby Dan Farm near Lexington. He was 14.—A.H.D.