Happy retirement to Maryland’s horse, Ben’s Cat. Ben retired at age eleven with earnings of more than $2.6 million, and won 32 of 63 starts, including 26 STAKES wins. He reminded me of Gravano, a son of Pioneering that my Dad and I bred and raised. Gravano hit the board in 47 of 103 starts. (yeah, 103 starts. And he went out a winner.) Like Ben’s Cat, he was retired to a farm with people who loved on him. Enjoy it Ben.
It’s early, but we’re seeing a few first crop stallions emerging. Violence has been popular at the two-year-old in training sales (averaged close to $140k this spring) and has a nice stakes winner for Steve Asmussen to his credit. Overanalyze has three winners already to his credit, and is represented by 113 foals in this first season. Justin Phillip likewise has three winners so far, and is from the same family as Algorithms, who’s been on a tear of late. And keep an eye on Flat Out . His two-year-olds averaged $89k and he has two nice winners, including a filly who could take the Landaluce Saturday at Santa Anita.
Speaking of young stallions, last week I mentioned that I like using young stallions before they get priced above what I (and other small breeders) can afford. Here, in no particular order, are a few that I like, and think you may be able to afford (because I think the likes of Algorithms and Maclean’s Music may be getting a price increase soon): Girolamo has the pedigree to be a top stallion (AP Indy, and check out that female family). He was a Grade 1-winning middle distance runner and has three nice black-type winners to his credit. His yearlings have averaged over $42,000 over the last three years, and for $10,000, he’s got a lot to offer. I still am big on Shackleford, and think he’s a value at $15,000. How his yearlings sell this summer will be a big part of where that $15k goes next year. He has Malagacy, a graded stakes winner for Todd Pletcher and getting another graded stakes winner this year will be key. Finally, I liked First Dude on the racetrack, and I like him as a stallion also. He has the nice filly Skye Diamonds for Bill Spawr in California, and had the sales topper ($400,000) at the June OBS two-year-old sale. He’s currently available for $10,000, which is very fair, but I wonder how long til A) his fee goes up? and/or B) he moves to Kentucky? All of that’s down the road though, for right now, if you’re in Florida, have at it.
A really nice weekend of racing coming up gets started with two-year-olds Friday night at Churchill in the grade 3 Bashford Manor. On Saturday, Belmont has the Grade 2 Mother Goose for three-year-old fillies (Pletcher has three, but Vexatious and Lockdown are nice), Gulfstream has a huge day with two Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races, Monmouth Park has the Grade 1 United Nations going long on the lawn, two graded events at Santa Anita, and then Sunday, the oldest Thoroughbred race in Canada and the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Queen’s Plate at Woodbine. Not bad at all, and my usual reminder of, if it’s been a while since you’ve actually gone to the track, you owe it to yourself. It’s my favorite way to spend a day.
19 days til Del Mar, 21 til Saratoga. We’re getting close people.
Equestricon is August 13-15 in Saratoga. What an awesome event, check out the link if you’re not familiar. Hopefully this becomes an annual event, because Saratoga in August is more than enough to visit, but a fan festival and convention there at the same time? We should be so lucky.
It’s always cool to see young trainers getting their due. Joe Sharp is a guy who’s been pretty successful, but may not be a household name yet. He will be. He ranks 23rd on the trainer’s earnings list with more than $2.3 million, and saddled Girvin in this year’s Kentucky Derby.
Thanks for reading this week, good luck at the races, enjoy the fireworks and hot dogs on the 4th, and I’ll see you next week.