Hawthorne Gold Cup H. (gr. II)

(gr. II , 10f ,)

FAIRBANKS (B h, 116 lb) $297,000
Giant's Causeway —Alaska Queen , by Time for a Change
B—Kidder, Griggs, Mamakos, KY.; O—Team Valor International; T—Todd A. Pletcher

Magna Graduate (DK B/ h, 117 lb) $99,000
Honor Grades —Peacock Alley , by Fast Play
B—Ramon Rangel, KY.; O—Elisabeth H. Alexander; T—Steven M. Asmussen

Wayzata Bay (DK B/ h, 117 lb) $54,450
Roar —Beauty Is , by Personal Flag
B—Good Genes Farm, KY.; O—World Thoroughbreds Racing, Inc.; T—Judi A. Hicklin

Margins: 2¾, neck, 4¾. Others: Brothers Nicholas 111($29,700) , Better Than Bonds 116($14,850) , Barcola 116($5,000) . Winning Jockey, Richard Migliore.

A grade III stakes winner in March of 2007, Team ValorÕs Fairbanks scored the biggest victory of his career Sept. 27 in the Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap (gr. II) in the Chicago suburb of Stickney, Ill. Despite the 18-month gap between major wins, the 5-year-old horse was sent off at 3-5 and he didnÕt disappoint, coming from just off the pace to roll to a 23Ú4-length score in the 10-furlong event over Magna Graduate.

Fairbanks has always been pitched at a high level, and the win in the Gold Cup was a breakthrough win for the son of GiantÕs Causeway. It may catapult him to racingÕs largest stage: a start in a BreedersÕ Cup race Oct. 24-25 at Santa Anita. Barry Irwin, president of Team Valor Stables, will make that decision after discussing options with trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey Richard Migliore. Migliore won last yearÕs Gold Cup aboard Student Council.

A three-time stakes winner so far with nearly $900,000 in earnings, Fairbanks had the look of something special as a youngster. Entered in the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale in August of 2004 by Gainesway, agent, Irwin went to $1.85 million to buy him. Earlier this year, FairbanksÕ half-brother named Smart Attire, a 2-year-old by Smarty Jones, was an ÒoutÓ at KeenelandÕs April sale of 2-year-olds in training. His yearling half-sister by Songandaprayer failed to meet her reserve at $150,000 during the third day of the recently concluded Keeneland September yearling sale. She was also consigned by Gainesway, agent.

Alaska Queen, the dam of the Gold Cup winner, failed to win in four starts in Northern California in the mid 1990s. After selling for $25,000 at the 1992 Keeneland September sale, and for $40,000 as a 2-year-old the following year at the Ocala BreedersÕ Sales Co.Õs select sale, she was trained by Jerry Hollendorfer for Peter Redekop.

GiantÕs Causeway, the third leading sire of 2008 by progeny earnings, is the sire of 55 stakes winners. Among his 24 added-money winners this year are 12 graded/group winners. The ÒIron HorseÓ stands at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky. His 2008 fee was $125,000.ÐE.I.H.