Duty Does The Job For Godolphin

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Line of Duty streaks home to win (far left) | Coady Photography

By Kelsey Riley

LOUISVILLE, KY–The Europeans left it until the last chance they had to record a victory on the Breeders’ Cup Future Stars Friday card, but Godolphin’s Line Of Duty (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) ensured Team Europe didn’t go home empty handed on the opening day of Churchill Downs’s two-card extravaganza, coming home a dramatic winner of the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf for Godolphin, Charlie Appleby and William Buick.

The Europeans had already been shut out in the GI Juvenile Turf Sprint and the GI Juvenile Fillies Turf, and for a few anxious moments in the Juvenile Turf it looked like it would be more of the same as Uncle Benny (Declaration of War) and Somelikeithotbrown (Big Brown) battled it out down the stretch. Suddenly, Line of Duty came swooping down the outside and hit the lead in the dying strides. Having bumped Uncle Benny in the midst of his move, however, Line of Duty-winner of the G3 Prix de Conde last out–had to endure a lengthy inquiry before being declared the official winner. He therefore enjoyed a better fate than his dam, Jacqueline Quest (Ire) (Rock Of Gibraltar {Ire}), had done under similar circumstances in the 2010 G1 1000 Guineas; she crossed the line first but was disqualified and placed second for interference.

Charlie Appleby has extended his enviable record at the Breeders’ Cup; he recorded a first winner with a first starter in this race in 2013 with Outstrip (GB) (Exceed and Excel {Aus}), and can now claim three winners from five starters after Wuheida (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) took last year’s GI Filly & Mare Turf. Interestingly, Appleby also ran Masar (Ire) (New Approach {Ire}) in this race last year. He finished just sixth that day behind Mendelssohn (Scat Daddy), but would of course go on to win this year’s G1 Investec Derby. (Click here for a pre-Breeders’ Cup feature on Charlie Appleby by Chris McGrath)

Line of Duty was a member of the first draft of Galileo yearlings purchased by Godolphin at last year’s Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, his pricetag 400,000gns. He wasn’t the only Tattersalls October graduate to win on Friday’s card; Newspaperofrecord (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}), farmed by Klaravich Stables, Chad Brown and Mike Ryan from Book 1 last year for 200,000gns, stayed unbeaten in three outings with a sparkling victory in the GI Juvenile Fillies’ Turf.

When Seth Klaraman’s Klaravich Stables crossed the Atlantic to harvest from Book 1 last year, it may have looked like an unusual move for a stable that has become synonymous with dirt success in the U.S. But one must not forget that the man at the helm at Tattersalls was Klaravich’s primary trainer Chad Brown, who was on the ground at Park Paddocks for the first time selecting the horses himself, and Klaraman was simply playing to the strengths of the man who has an undeniable stranglehold on grass racing at the highest level in the U.S.

Brown and Klaravich, who worked with agent Mike Ryan, brought home six yearlings from Book 1 last year ranging from 100,000gns to 400,000gns, and the experiment began to look like a smart move at Saratoga in August when one of the those fillies, Newspaperofrecord, romped by 6 3/4 lengths in a turf maiden and was named a ‘TDN Rising Star’. The gamble looked brilliant on Friday when she scored by the same margin at Churchill Downs to hand Klaravich his first Breeders’ Cup trophy. That effort followed a 6 1/2-length score in the GII Miss Grillo S. at Belmont in September.

“Seth’s given me an unbelievable amount of trust to really make the final call when we acquire horses or sell horses, and we have a team that helps us, led by Mike Ryan,” said Brown. “He’s our chief bloodstock adviser, and we’re really partners in deciding ultimately what gets purchased for Klaravich Stable.”

Brown, who had won his first-ever Breeders’ Cup races in this event in 2008, said he was confident he could source superior turf talent from Europe.

“We decided to go over [to Tattersalls] and try a new market because we’re always looking to change our model a little bit, and studying the races over here–yes, I’ve had success in this race before with the American-bred horses, but I also have a division of my stable where I get a lot of imported horses that we try to buy or owners just send to me from Europe.”

“Just thinking forwardly, I said to Seth, ‘would you be open to buying some yearlings [in Europe]?’ Part of his business model is not buying horses that are racing already. We try to buy our own horses unraced, a yearling or 2-year-old almost exclusively, and developing them ourselves. So if we want to have some of these European-bred horses that I feel on the average just have better blood for running on turf courses–like this today and at a high level all over the world–then we’re going to have to go in and buy some unraced ones. He said, sure, we’ll go over there and try it. Lucky enough, Mike Ryan was on my short list when I got there, and we went over it and narrowed it down to the horses that really fit for Seth.”

At 200,000gns, Newspaperofrecord represented the median of last year’s Klaravich Book 1 haul. None of the other purchases have yet started, but that didn’t dissuade the team from returning this year, where they bought 10 for between 40,000gns and 325,000gns through Mike Ryan. Those included two more by Lope de Vega as well as the progeny of proven sires like Sea The Stars (Ire), Dansili (GB) and Invincible Spirit (Ire), as well as exciting up and comers like Australia (GB), Kingman (GB) and Golden Horn (GB).

Asked if Newspaperofrecord could be classified as a superstar after her third straight visually impressive victory, Brown said, “She’s well on her way. I think that today she showed how good she really is. And for her to win as easy as she did is remarkable. So I’d say right now she’s well on her way.”

“I’m more reserved about saying superstar and such until they’re a little deeper into their career and seeing how far they can really go. Obviously, this is a horse that’s done everything we’ve asked and she’s done it really easy. I don’t think I’ve ever trained a horse that after their first three starts we never let her run. I don’t believe the horse has been let to run yet.”

 

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