While American Gal (Concord Point) looked every bit a legitimate 4-5 shot in Saturday’s GI Starlet S. at Los Alamitos off her much-talked-about out-in-the-parking-lot third in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, up-and-comer Abel Tasman (Quality Road) had other ideas, and rallied determinedly to reel in the chalk and post a 12-1 upset. The latter was green, but showed some late interest when fifth sprinting at Del Mar Aug. 20. She donned cap and gown when stretched to a Santa Anita Mile Sept. 30, and entered this off a seven-furlong allowance tally back at Del Mar Nov. 18.
Saturday, Los Alamitos Race Course
STARLET S.-GI, $301,380, LRC, 12-10, 2yo, f, 1 1/16m, 1:42.25, ft.
1–#@&ABEL TASMAN, 120, f, 2, by Quality Road
1st Dam: Vargas Girl, by Deputy Minister
2nd Dam: Wheatly Way, by Wheatly Hall
3rd Dam: Family Way, by Cyane
($65,000 RNA Ylg ’15 KEESEP). O/B-Clearsky Farms (KY);
T-Simon Callaghan; J-Joseph Talamo. $180,000. Lifetime
Record: 4-3-0-0, $247,860. *1/2 to Sky Girl (Sky Mesa), GSW,
$172,191. Click for eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk
Nick Rating: B.
2–American Gal, 120, f, 2, Concord Point–American Story, by
Ghostzapper. O/B-Kaleem Shah, Inc. (KY); T-Bob Baffert.
$60,000.3–Mopotism, 120, f, 2, Uncle Mo–Peppy Rafaela, by Bernardini.
($135,000 Wlg ’14 KEENOV; $200,000 Ylg ’15 FTSAUG;
$300,000 2yo ’16 FTFMAR). O-Reddam Racing LLC; B-Frank T
Batten (KY); T-Doug F. O’Neill. $36,000.Margins: 1, 3 1/4, 3/4. Odds: 12.60, 0.90, 33.50.
Also Ran: Tapped, Union Strike, Sandy’s Surprise, Berned, Fact of Life, Go On Mary. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
Abel Tasman was unhurried early as she got to the rail into the first turn before making good headway down the backside to take closer order. She was scrubbed on a bit more after a half in :46.78, and American Gal revved up with a menacing move out in the clear during another no-cover journey. On her wrong lead with work to do in upper stretch, Abel Tasman was kept after by Joe Talamo, and leveled off nicely late to deal the chalk a decisive blow.
“She’s improving with every start and I knew she was going to run big today because she came home great in her last workout (four furlongs in :48 1/5 at Santa Anita Dec. 3),” Talamo said. “The added distance was in her favor and it looked on paper like there was a lot of speed to help set things up. I actually thought we would be a little bit closer, but they went pretty fast and it worked out perfect.’’
Added winning trainer Simon Callaghan, “We thought she would definitely be more forwardly placed, but Joe went to Plan B and it worked out. He saved ground and gave her a real chilly ride. I think the distance is the key for this filly. We decided to supplement ($10,000) because she was getting good at the right time and I thought she had the stamina for this race.”
The late Eamon Cleary purchased Abel Tasman’s dam for $130,000 at the 2010 Keeneland January sale in foal to Sky Mesa, and the resulting filly went on to annex the 2013 GIII Dogwood S. Abel Tasman is her final registered foal. Her stakes-winning second dam produced GISW Bevo (Prospectors Gamble) and GSW Moonlight Sonata (Carson City), the dam of graded winners Wilburn (Bernardini) and Beethoven (Sky Mesa). Clearsky Farm, which is now operated by Cleary’s sons Bernard and Eamonn, bred superstar GI Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Arrogate (Unbridled’s Song). Abel Tasman was a Dutch explorer and the first European to reach Tasmania and New Zealand.