BREEDERS' CUP JUVENILE SPRINT
, $454,500, SAX, 11-2, 2yo, 6f, 1:09 3/5, ft.
1--#HIGHTAIL, 122, c, 2, by Mineshaft 1st Dam: Stormy Renee, by Storm Cat
2nd Dam: Fleet Renee, by Seattle Slew
3rd Dam: Darien Miss, by Mr. Leader
($110,000 yrl '11 KEESEP; $345,000 2yo '12 OBSMAR). O-Bluegrass Hall LLC; B-Green Hills Farm Inc (KY); T-D Wayne Lukas; J-Rajiv Maragh. $270,000. Lifetime Record: 9-1-1-2, $309,979. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
, 122, c, 2, With Distinction
--Precise Strike, by Precise End. ($2,200 wlng '10 OBSOCT; $75,000 2yo '12 OBSAPR). O-Bruce Chandler, Double Kee LLC & Purple Shamrock Racing; B-Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds & Stephen Barberino (FL); T-Robert B Hess Jr. $90,000.
3--Sweet Shirley Mae
, 119, f, 2, Broken Vow
--Joyful Chaos, by Rahy. ($60,000 yrl '11 KEESEP). O-Ice Wine Stable; B-Lewis Schaffel (KY); T-Wesley A Ward. $49,500.
Margins: NO, 2 1/4, 1 1/4. Odds: 15.40, 0.50, 3.60.
Also Ran: Hazardous, Ceiling Kitty (GB). Scratched: South Floyd, Super Ninety Nine. Click for the brisnet.com chart, the brisnet.com PPs. Video, sponsored by Taylor Made Sales.
In a race cut down to five following the race-day defection of Super Ninety Nine (Pulpit), Hightail was sent off the longest price on the board at 15-1. Winless in eight prior lifetime starts, including a pair of sixth-places finishes in the Aug. 30 GII With Anticipation S. and GI Breeders' Futurity S. Oct. 6, Lukas nevertheless felt his charge would give a good account of himself on the big day. "I just thought that we had a great shot," said Lukas. "These races are historically very fast up front. We're a good closer and I thought we had a shot."
Seventh in the GII Sanford S. at Saratoga July 22, the Bluegrass Hall runner came home a credible third behind the highly-regarded Palice Malice (Curlin) in a six-furlong maiden over that oval Aug. 4. Adding another sixteenth for his next start, the colt found winner Central Banker (Speightstown) only a head too good sprinting on the sod Aug. 23.
Allowed to settle in a stalking fourth as Merit Man led the way through opening splits of :22.41 and :45.95, Hightail was bottled up along the inside turning for home, but rider Rajiv Maragh chose to bide his time instead of looking to the outside. Coming off the turn, the leader drifted off the rail, leaving a sliver of ground to the inside, which Hightail fully took advantage of. Heading down to the wire, the pair duked it out, but it was Hightail who got his nose down on the line. Despite a few nervous moments for the winning connections as the stewards looked at the tape, the final result was allowed to stand. "I had a great trip, saved ground and just waited behind horses," explained Maragh. "He showed a lot of courage coming through the narrow opening between the rail and [Merit Man]." Regarding the inquiry, Maragh added, "I was not worried about the foul claim because the 3 (Merit Man) initiated the contact."
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