November 27 Insights: Pletcher Unveils Well-Bred Quality Road Colt

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 12th-CD, $120k, Msw, 3yo/up, 7 1/2f, 6:24p.m. ET Repole Stable, St. Elias Stable, and Woodford Racing LLC partner-up on this $500,000 KEESEP procurement in PATOU ROAD (Quality Road), who will be getting a late start to the races for his powerhouse connections. In the barn of Pletcher, who has had a notably great year with the ownership group, the colt is out of Patou (Ghostzapper), herself a half-sister to GSW Moulin de Mougin (Curlin)--the dam of GSP Spicer (Quality Road); GISP Vionnet (Street Sense)--dam of...

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Goodnight Olive Anything But The 'Pits' In Filly and Mare Sprint

Breeders' Cup Saturday was off to a good start for chalk players, as First Row Partners and Team Hanley's Goodnight Olive (Ghostzapper) gave those that backed her into 9-5 favoritism a few anxious moments when in tight quarters for a few strides, but she launched a well-timed bid three wide into the Keeneland stretch and drew clear as much the best in the GI Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. Away to an almost too-sharp beginning from her middle gate, the $170,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling purchase raced in the...

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Hill 'n' Dale's Curlin Leads '23 Roster with Increase to 225K

Hill 'n' Dale Farms announced its 2023 stallion roster and fees, with Horse of the Year and leading sire Curlin (Smart Strike) heading the group at $225,000. The operation's leading stallion stood for $175,000 in 2022. Ghostzapper (Awesome Again) remains unchanged at $75,000. Rounding out the farm's roster are Army Mule - $12,500; Charlatan - $50,000; Kantharos - $20,000, Lost Treasure - $3,500; Maclean's Music - $50,000; Midnight Lute - $12,500; Mucho Macho Man - $7,500; Violence - $40,000; and World of Trouble - $5,000. Champion Juvenile Good Magic (Curlin)...

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Striking Gold Never a Formality

In this business, simply "doing the math" would stop us right in our tracks. Luckily, we have algebra on our side. A daunting equation can always be rescued by that helpfully vague variable, 'x', the unquantifiable ardor of wealthy people: their competitive instinct, their sportsmanship, or simply their outsized egos. At the top of the market, after all, the dollars they spend are not the same as the dollars used by the rest of us to buy coffee or gas. It's not like "real" money at all. But that doesn't...

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Ghostzapper's Loggins Sprints To Rising Stardom At Churchill Downs

Loggins (c, 2, Ghostzapper--Beyond Blame, by Blame) had a trio of bullet workouts on display for trainer Brad Cox and ran to the money as the 4-5 favorite with an impressive 'TDN Rising Star' performance on debut Saturday at Churchill Downs. Away in good order from a middle gate in a field of 11, the bay raced in between rivals in a tightly bunched group. Third and traveling smartly on the far turn, he launched a three-wide bid approaching the five-sixteenths, took control under his own power at the top of...

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Flightline Given Fastest Ever Thoro-Graph Number

Thoro-Graph, which has been computing speed figures for 35 years, gave Flightline (Tapit) a negative 8 1/2 for his win in the GI TVG Pacific Classic, the fastest number it has ever assigned to a horse. The previous record was a negative 8, the figure Frosted (Tapit) ran when winning the 2016 GI Metropolitan H. Flightline was given a 126 Beyer figure. That is the second fastest Beyer number ever, trailing only the 128 that team gave to Ghostzapper (Awesome Again) when he won the GIII Philip H. Iselin H....

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Taking Stock: Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale at Xalapa

What a time to be alive for John Sikura, master of Hill 'n' Dale! The farm's stallions have been putting on quite a show lately while Sikura quietly goes about the task--well, it's a labor of love, really--of restoring, modernizing, and expanding Xalapa, the historically significant Bourbon County property near Paris that he acquired a few years ago. Xalapa now houses Hill 'n' Dale's roster of 12 stallions and all of the farm's mares, yearlings, and foals on close to 1,500 acres. On Sunday at Saratoga, the farm's Ghostzapper was...

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Ghostzapper's Goodnight Olive Upsets the Ballerina

In a field which included three Grade I winners, it was first-time stakes starter Goodnight Olive (Ghostzapper) who came away with the victory--and an automatic berth in the GI Breeders' Cup F/M Sprint--in the GI Ballerina S. at Saratoga Sunday. Sent off at 5-1, the dark bay filly was hustled out of the gate before settling into third as Travel Column (Frosted) assumed command through a quarter in :22.09. Goodnight Olive rushed up to press the pacestter after a half in :44.50 and powered past that rival at midstretch before...

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Artorius Has Arrogate-Sized Shadow to Outrun in Travers

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY--During a pre-season interview in early July, trainer Chad Brown offered another colt--at that point, with a low profile--to a discussion of his deep bench of GI Travers prospects: Zandon (Upstart), Early Voting (Gun Runner) and Jack Christopher (Munnings). "I have a late -bloomer, a horse named Artorius (Arrogate), that I really like," Brown said.  "He's going to run in the Curlin Stakes. Much like the dad, he's late bloomer. I'm not saying he's a threat to win the Travers, but I'm going to tell you: he's lightly...

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Ghostzapper's Moira Crushes Colts in Queen's Plate

ETOBICOKE, ON--Heading into the 163rd Queen's Plate, most of the pre-race talk swirled around X-Men Racing, Madaket Stables and SF Racing's Moira (Ghostzapper), and her pre-Woodbine Oaks antics that led to her ultimately running, and romping, without hind shoes. Keeping her shoes--if not entirely her composure--firmly intact prior to Sunday's Classic fixture at Woodbine, the filly appeared to sprout wings in the stretch, cruising to an eye-catching seven-length victory over the Mark Casse-trained pair of Hall of Dreams (Lemon Drop Kid) and Sir For Sure (Sligo Bay {Ire}). "There are...

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Ghostzapper Filly Gallops in Woodbine Oaks

Moira looped the field impressively en route to a dominant score in Sunday's Woodbine Oaks, providing trainer Kevin Attard with a second-straight win in this event and adding to a long list of accomplishments for her ownership group. And she did it all without her hind shoes, having acted up in the paddock and been unable to be adequately re-shod in time. An impressive debut graduate from out of the clouds in the C$250,000 Princess Elizabeth S. here last October, the bay settled for second as the favorite in the...

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Taking Stock: Justify Moving Early

Coolmore America's Triple Crown winner Justify, a son of Scat Daddy, never raced at two, and he famously became the first unraced 2-year-old since Apollo in 1882 to win the Gl Kentucky Derby. Midway through July, however, Justify is already represented by a Group 2 winner in Europe and a Grade III winner in North America from his first crop of 2-year-olds, and through Monday he sat second by less than $30,000 on the first-crop sire list by progeny earnings behind Spendthrift's Bolt d'Oro (Medaglia d'Oro), a rival he defeated...

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