Second Chances: Quality Road Midlantic Topper 'Could Be Real Deal'


Vinco at last year's Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale | Fasig-Tipton


In this continuing series, TDN's Senior Editor Steve Sherack catches up with the connections of promising maidens to keep on your radar.

After getting checked sharply in the early stages of his belated unveiling at Fair Grounds last weekend, $1.5-million Fasig-Tipton Midlantic topper Vinco (c, 3, Quality Road–Stormy Welcome, by Storm Cat) produced a serious rally from last to finish a strong second Jan. 22 (video).

Off at a well-supported 7-2 sporting a 13-strong worktab for the patient Dallas Stewart barn dating back to late October, the West Point Thoroughbreds and Gervais Racing, LLC colorbearer was away in good order from his rail draw, but after taking a bump from a rival approaching the five-eighths marker and subsequently steadying beneath Brian Hernandez, Jr., dropped back abruptly to caboose the field of nine through an opening quarter in :22.15.

Finally re-emerging in the picture while still trailing by plenty as they straightened, Vinco began to roll in the stretch, impressively threading his way through the pack to come home in a field-best :12.65 and finish 2 3/4 lengths adrift fellow firster Ferociously (Violence). Vinco earned a 59 Beyer Speed Figure in the six-furlong affair.

“It was a situation where I'm glad he didn't get hurt,” Stewart said. “One horse hit another horse and that horse hit us, and knocked us up against the rail and we had to check out of there. It's just one of them things, but he came back running. He ran a big race just like we thought he would. I think he would've won easy if it didn't happen, but that's neither here nor there.

Looking ahead, Stewart added, “We're gonna stretch out probably for his next start. If you watch the replay, he galloped out with the winner. We'll see how he trains first and see how it goes. If everything goes good, we'll come back on [GII] Risen Star day [Feb. 19]. If he needs more time, I'll give him more time. We took a lot of time with him coming out of the sale. We think he's a really nice horse. Like I was telling [West Point's] Terry Finley, let's make a career of it. He could be the real deal.”

Vinco topped last year's Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale after breezing an eighth in a powerful :10 from the Eddie Woods consignment on behalf of breeder Jon Clay's Alpha Delta. His third dam is bluehen mare Weekend Surprise (Secretariat), who, of course, produced the breed-shaping sire and Horse of the Year A.P. Indy.

Alpha Delta purchased Vinco's dam Stormy Welcome (Storm Cat) for $600,000 at the 2015 KEENOV sale. The unraced daughter of Welcome Surprise (Seeking the Gold) was previously a $1.6 million KEESEP yearling.

The Quality Road over Storm Cat cross is also responsible for three-time graded winner and young sire Blofeld. Vinco is bred similarly to Quality Road's GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner Hootenanny; MGSW & MGISP Dr Post; and GSW & GISP Great Stuff, who were all produced by daughters of Storm Cat's Hennessy.

Previous standouts featured in 'Second Chances' include: two-time Breeders' Cup winner Golden Pal (Uncle Mo), GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby winner and Lane's End stallion Honor A. P. (Honor Code), MGISW and 'TDN Rising Star' Paradise Woods (Union Rags), GIII Las Virgenes S. heroine Moonlight d'Oro (Medaglia d'Oro), GII Los Alamitos Futurity winner and MGISP Spielberg (Union Rags), GSW Backyard Heaven (Tizway), MSW and 'TDN Rising Star' Gidu (Ire) (Frankel {GB}), GI Frizette S. third-place finisher A Mo Reay (Uncle Mo) and Discovery S. runner-up Speaker's Corner (Street Sense).

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