Giant's Causeway

Gainesway Strikes for Danceforthecause

Grade I producer Danceforthecause (Giant's Causeway) was the second mare of the day to reach $925,000 when selling to Gainesway Farm as Hip 587 from the Sam-Son Farm broodmare dispersal. MGSW Regal Glory (Animal Kingdom) (Hip 403) brought the same price at the start of the session as part of the dispersal of the Estate of Paul Pompa, Jr. The unraced Danceforthecause's first foal was GI Northern Dancer Turf S. winner Say the Word (More Than Ready) and her next foal was GII Canadian S. victor Rideforthecause (Candy Ride {Arg})....

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Big Books and Breaking Records

The setting of new sire records in the modern era tends more than not to be a direct consequence of ever-greater book sizes. But they must still be acknowledged as legitimate breeding benchmarks as they will inevitably feature some outstanding performances. Just look at Mehmas (Ire)'s tally of first-crop 2-year-old winners this term. Currently on 56 winners, he is already 17 clear of Iffraaj's old record and in normal circumstances we might be entitled to expect his record to stand for many years. It may well do, but his strike...

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Taking Stock: Fifth-Year Stallions and Brody's Cause

Much has been made lately in Kentucky on farms reducing stud fees in response to the blighted economy, but there's a group of stallions whose fees would have mostly dropped as a matter of course even in booming times. These are second- through fifth-year stallions; frequently, fees for horses entering their fifth season at stud as their first-crop runners turn three show particularly pronounced drops from their initial fees. A small commercial breeder contacted me the other day to discuss the reduced 2021 stud fee for a stallion whose first...

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Mr. Big News Breezes for Preakness

GI Kentucky Derby third-place finisher Mr. Big News (Giant's Causeway) put in his final work for next weekend's GI Preakness S. Saturday with a half-mile move in :50.40 (59/68) at Churchill Downs. With regular exercise rider Tony Camacho in the saddle, the bay went in splits of :13.20 and :25.40 with a five-furlong gallop out of 1:03.20, according to Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols. "He left the pole really strong, which is how he was working before the Derby," trainer Bret Calhoun said. "We only wanted an easy work and...

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Taking Stock: Not This Time Leads Freshman Sires

The year 2020 will have an asterisk next to it in racing history, but there will nevertheless be a leading first-crop sire at year's end, and Taylor Made's Not This Time (Giant's Causeway) might be the stallion atop it. As we head into September, Not This Time leads all N. American-based first-crop sires by number of winners, with nine, and he's a close third behind Ashford's Air Force Blue (War Front) and WinStar's Speightster (Speightstown) on the progeny earnings list. The major 2-year-old graded events the next few months leading...

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Giant's Causeway's Vexatious Gets Better of 'Bisou' in Personal Ensign

Champion Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute) was bet like she could not lose Saturday's GI Personal Ensign S. at 1-5, but apparently no one told 9-1 shot Vexatious (Giant's Causeway). The Calumet runner refused to yield to the Eclipse winner in the final furlong of the Saratoga stretch to secure a spot in the starting gate for the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff. Stakes winner Motion Emotion (Take Charge Indy) went straight to the front with Vexatious stalking in a close-up second and Midnight Bisou just off of them in third through...

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Notable US-Bred Runners in Japan: June 27 & 28, 2020

In this continuing series, Alan Carasso takes a look ahead at US-bred and/or conceived runners entered for the upcoming weekend at the tracks on the Japan Racing Association circuit, with a focus on pedigree and/or performance in the sales ring. Here are the horses of interest for this weekend running at Tokyo and Hanshin Racecourses. Group 1 racing will recess in Japan, but not before this weekend's running of the Takarazuka Kinen, featuring Lucky Lilac (Jpn) (Orfevre {Jpn}), a daughter of 2011 GI Ashland S. winner Lilacs and Lace (Flower...

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Not This Time Gets First Winner With Hancock Filly's Tenacious Score at Churchill

1st-Churchill Downs, $76,680, Msw, 5-21, 2yo, f, 4 1/2f, :51.26, ft. HOPEFUL PRINCESS (f, 2, Not This Time--More Than Magic, by More Than Ready) ran to a worktab littered with bullet breezes and won a dogfight in the stretch to become the first winner for her freshman sire (by Giant's Causeway) in the Thursday opener at Churchill. Tipping her hand in the morning early and often, including a best-of-47 bullet half-mile from the gate in :48 flat Apr. 10 at Keeneland, the dark bay was knocked down to 29-10 from...

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Notable US-Breds in Japan: May 9 & 10, 2020

In this continuing series, we take a look ahead at US-bred and/or conceived runners entered for the upcoming weekend at the tracks on the Japan Racing Association circuit, with a focus on pedigree and/or performance in the sales ring. Here are the horses of interest for this weekend running at Kyoto Racecourse, where Unsaid Vow (Giant's Causeway) steps into group company for Saturday's G2 Kyoto Shimbun Hai: Saturday, May 9, 2020 11th-KYO, Kyoto Shimbun Hai-G2, ¥103,500,000 ($973k), 3yo, 2200mT UNSAID VOW (c, 3, Giant's Causeway--Country Cafe, by Lion Heart) dips...

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Classic Winner, Sire Shamardal Dies

Dual French Classic winner and leading sire Shamardal (Giant's Causeway--Helsinki {GB}, by Machiavellian) has been euthanised at the age of 18 after dealing with "a range of health issues." Announcing the news on Thursday, Joe Osborne, managing director of Godolphin Ireland, paid tribute to Kildangan Stud's flagship stallion. "Shamardal embodied mental and physical toughness—as a racehorse and as a stallion," he said. "As the racing world has seen over the past 15 years, he passed those qualities on to his progeny. "He contended with a range of health issues over...

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This Side Up: Big Pedigrees Support Oaklawn's Headline Sophomores

Poor old Mr. Big News (Giant's Causeway). He very quickly turned into yesterday's news, didn't he? The dust had barely settled on his breakout success, in the Oaklawn S. Saturday, when his trainer supplanted him with a rather less welcome headline of his own. True, Bret Calhoun's Class B violation--reported in Wednesday's TDN--was a relatively modest affair. Though cannabidiol is the second most active ingredient in marijuana, it is evidently considered fairly innocuous. In view of his overall record, and mitigating circumstances, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission stayed two-thirds of...

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Giant's Causeway Colt Makes Headlines in Hot Springs

Mr. Big News (Giant's Causeway) certainly lived up to his name Saturday, upsetting the Oaklawn S. at a whopping 46-1. The bay raced well back off the pace early with just two rivals behind him as Gold Street (Street Boss) zipped through a :22.07 first quarter and a :45.47 half-mile. Given plenty of encouragement by pilot Gabriel Saez on the backstretch, the $95,000 FTKOCT buy made steady progress down the three-path to be within striking distance approaching the bend. Five wide on the far turn, Mr. Big News took control...

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