April 22, 2017 - Santa Anita, Race 10, Msw, USD $54,000, 6F
Leading Score, C, 3, 2014 by Midnight Lute
1st Dam: Shameful (SW & MGSP, $241,345), by Flying Chevron
2nd Dam: Lady's Legacy, by Matchlite
3rd Dam: Wavering Lady, by Wavering Monarch
Owner: Patti and Hal Earnhardt III
Breeder: Hal J Earnhardt
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Leading Score, a half-brother to two-time Eclipse winner and “TDN Rising Star” Indian Blessing (Indian Charlie), earned his own “TDN Rising Star” label with an ultra-impressive graduation at Saturday night cap at Santa Anita. Let go at 4-1 despite a best-of-53 half-mile breeze in :46 3/5 here Apr. 16, the bay hustled up to the front and was well within himself as he ticked off early fractions of :21.84 and :44.96. Showing the way into the lane with a clear advantage, the homebred sailed home a dazzling 6 1/4-length winner in 1:09.26. First timer Acker (Include) completed the exacta. Hammered down to 4-5 favoritism in his 5 1/2-panel unveiling at Los Alamitos Dec. 9, Leading Score finished a head-scratching seventh and checked in third after bobbling at the start when extended to 1 1/16 miles in the slop at Santa Anita next out Dec. 31.
Leading Score’s half-sister, fellow Earnhardt homebred and Baffert trainee Indian Blessing (Ch. 2yo & Ch. Sprinter, MGISW, $2,995,420), was a perfect three-for-three during her juvenile campaign in 2007, which culminated in a GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies victory and her first Eclipse statue. She captured three more Grade Is as a sophomore, taking the Prioress S., Test S. and La Brea S. en route to champion female sprinter honors in 2008. Indian Blessing retired to the Earnhardt’s broodmare band and has produced a pair of “TDN Rising Stars” in GI Malibu S. third Ten Blessings (Smart Strike) and Life’s Blessings (Tapit).
The winner is also a half to Roman Threat (Roman Ruler), GSW, $175, 403; Nightly News (Misremembered), SW; and Maker or Breaker (Empire Maker), $281,671. His SW and MGSP dam Shameful, who was purchased by Hal Earnhardt for just $50,000 as a KEESEP yearling and was also conditioned by Baffert, is responsible for the juvenile colt Ax Man (Misremembered)and a yearling full-brother to Leading Score. The 18-year-old mare was bred back to Baffert’s first GI Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern.