Smart Strike Colt Garners 'Rising Star' Status at Keeneland


Watch Me Whip | Keeneland/Coady

Watch Me Whip (Smart Strike), unveiled in the Keeneland finale Friday at better than 10-1 odds off an unassuming worktab at Gulfstream and most recently at Churchill Downs (5f in 1:01 1/5 {3/11} Apr. 10}), covered all the ground, but drew off in the lane to a promising first tally worth of 'TDN Rising Star' status. Away decently from a high draw, the $330,000 Keeneland September acquisition tracked from just off the pace while out wide early. He seemed to be climbing slightly into the bend, but found his best stride as the stretch approached and began to pick horses off ominously. Longshot pacesetter Stone Mountain (Discreetly Mine) provided token resistance to midstretch, having posted a :46.67 half, but Watch Me Whip was far too strong and galloped home a powerful 3 3/4-length graduate. Perfect Partner (Curlin)–a $550,000 OBSMAR pick-up–rallied from out of the clouds to just nip Stone Mountain for second. According to Trakus data, Watch Me Whip covered the most ground of any runner in the field, and 23 ft. (approx. 2 3/4 lengths) more than the runner-up.

The winner's dam was a $1.35-million acquisition by Stonestreet in foal to Unbridled's Song at the 2006 Keeneland November sale–the same year she was represented by GII Futurity S. and GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. winner Private Vow (Broken Vow), MGSW, $491,312. Dennis Albaugh and Jason Loutsch's Albaugh Family Stable and trainer Dale Romans have partnered successfully with several talented colts purchased at Keeneland, including local dual Grade I winner Brody's Cause (Giant's Causeway) and fellow 'TDN Rising Star' J Boys Echo (Mineshaft), who earned the distinction for a victory here in October. The GIII Gotham S. hero was fourth in last Saturday's GII Toyota Blue Grass S. These are the same connections as last year's GIII Iroquois S. winner and GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile runner-up Not This Time (Giant's Causeway).

10th-KEE, $69,859, Msw, 4-14, 3yo, 7f, 1:23.92, ft.
+WATCH ME WHIP, c, 3, Smart Strike
1st Dam: Smooth as Silk, by Deputy Minister
2nd Dam: Sacque (GB), by Elegant Air (GB)
3rd Dam: Embroideress, by Stanford
Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $42,000. Click for the chart, free catalogue-style pedigree or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton. O-Albaugh Family Stable; B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC (KY); T-Dale L. Romans.


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