Well-related Stonestreet Stables product Marsalis (Curlin–Hot Dixie Chick, by Dixie Union) stepped forward off a stellar debut outing to garner the 'TDN Rising Star' distinction Saturday at Fair Grounds. Beaten a head and 5 1/4 lengths clear of third in a salty GII Risen Star S. day heat won by Todd Pletcher-trained invader Momentous (Speightstown) Feb. 19, the Steve Asmussen pupil was off at 3-5 and soon showed why.
Off at 3-10 while breaking from the fence, the $340,000 Keeneland September RNA broke well but had to work a bit early to eventually make the front narrowly. He doled out an opening quarter of :21.76, and was challenged through a :44.80 half by longshot Lagoon (Runhappy) as that one launched a sweeping move. Marsalis re-broke at the head of the lane, put his stubborn foe away by midstretch, and was wrapped up late to don cap and gown by 2 1/2 lengths. Vinco (Quality Road), last year's $1.5-million Fasig-Tipton Midlantic topper, bounced back from a non-show last out to complete the exacta. Lagoon checked in fourth.
Marsalis is the sixth foal out of his connections' speedy 'Rising Star' Hot Dixie Chick, winner of the 2009 GI Spinaway S. and already the dam of Pauline's Pearl (Tapit), MGSW, $1,038,500; and 'Rising Star' Union Jackson (Curlin), MSW & GSP, $273,874. The former took the GIII Houston Ladies Classic S. Jan. 30 and was most recently a close second in the GII Azeri S. two weeks ago; while the latter, who stands at Sequel Stallions in New York, was represented by his first black-type winner earlier this month. Hot Dixie Chick is also a half to 2017 GI Kentucky Derby hero Always Dreaming (Bodemeister) and Grade II winner Positive Spirit (Pioneerof the Nile). She produced a Constitution colt last term before being bred back to both Tapit and Quality Road.
7th-Fair Grounds, $65,000, Msw, 3-26, 3yo, 6f, 1:09.40, ft, 2 1/2 lengths.
MARSALIS, c, 3, Curlin
1st Dam: Hot Dixie Chick (GISW, $343,252), by Dixie Union
2nd Dam: Above Perfection, by In Excess (Ire)
3rd Dam: Something Perfect, by Somethingfabulous
Lifetime Record: 2-1-1-0, $50,000. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG. Free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
O-Stonestreet Stables LLC; B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen. *$340,000 RNA Ylg '20 KEESEP.