Ian Wilkes

Half to McCracken Impresses in Ellis Unveiling

6th-Ellis, $50,220, Msw, 8-29, 3yo/up, 7f, 1:21.96, ft, 8 lengths. MILLIKEN (c, 3, Into Mischief--Ivory Empress {GSP, $189,402}, by Seeking the Gold), a half to 'TDN Rising Stars' McCraken (Ghostzapper), MGSW & GISP, $869,728; and Four Graces (Majesticperfection), MGSW, $261,246, got off to a belated but auspicious start to his own career here at 5-2 odds. Showing good tactical speed to draft behind the top flight while savig ground, the bay was guided through a wide-open rail around the bend and all of a sudden had the lead after a...

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On Aftercare: For Portal, Connections Who Care Came Through

Evergreen Stables was a claiming partnership of individuals, friends, family and connections--not all of whom knew each other--with trainer Jordan Blair. On May 23, 2019, Blair claimed Portal (Arch), a late foal of 2014, at Churchill Downs for $40,000. "Portal was a super cool horse and he was being trained by a good friend Ian Wilkes," said Blair. "We had been watching him and he was running well. Plus, he is a beautiful, striking almost black horse and had a neat personality." Portal won the next two times out in...

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Into Mischief Filly Looms Large in Eight Belles

OXO Equine's Mundaye Call (Into Mischief) may not be ready to face the big girls in Friday's GI Kentucky Oaks, but the progressive bay will look to punch her ticket for a date with the top fillies of her class in the near future as a looming short-priced proposition on the undercard in the GII Eight Belles S. Bought for the hefty sum of $950,000 as a Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling, Mundaye Call was just nipped when second by a head debuting for Don Chatlos at 4-5 last summer at Saratoga....

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Four Graces Sets Track Record in Beaumont Romp

Hammered into heavy favoritism with a recency edge over the come-backing 'TDN Rising Star' Wicked Whisper (Liam's Map), Whitham Thoroughbreds's Four Graces proved the easy winner of Friday's GIII Beaumont S., stopping the clock in a stakes and track-record clocking of 1:24.90 for the extended seven-furlong distance. Ridden for speed by Julien Leparoux over a track that had been playing kindly to front-end types, the homebred half-sister to McCraken (Ghostzapper) set a pressured pace from last year's GI Frizette S. winner Wicked Whisper, as they whistled through an opening half-mile...

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'Speech'-Less Beaumont Leaves Filly Quintet

Early Thursday, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners tweeted that Speech (Mr Speaker), second to GII Toyota Blue Grass favorite Swiss Skydiver (Daredevil) in the GII Santa Anita Oaks June 6, would be withdrawn from Friday's GIII Beaumont S. in favor of Saturday's GI Ashland S., leaving a competitive field of five 3-year-old fillies for the seven-furlong affair. 'TDN Rising Star' Wicked Whisper (Liam's Map) kicks off her sophomore campaign Friday afternoon and should vie for favoritism. Impressive in breaking her maiden by 6 1/4 lengths over future SW & GSP Highland Glory...

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Fabricate Becomes Second Winner for Speightster

FABRICATE (f, 2, Speightster--Counterfactual, by Scat Daddy) entered this debut off a best-of-20 half-mile in :48 2/5 in the mud here June 22 and was bet down to 5-2 from a 5-1 morning-line quote. Keeping tabs from third through a :21.89 first quarter, the dark bay split rivals as the half went in :45.16 and forged clear in mid-stretch. Stablemate Bahama Mischief (Into Mischief) tried to make a race of it in the end, but was too late, finishing a half-length back in second. Fabricate is the second winner for...

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Apr. 22 Insights: Expensive Honor Code Colt Debuts for Shug at Tampa

7th-TAM, $20K, Msw, 3yo, 7f, 3:30 p.m. ET Lynne and Edward Hudson's pricey sophomore colt CREED (Honor Code) adds spice to the Wednesday card at Tampa Bay Downs as he makes his career debut for Shug McGaughey in this elongated sprint. A son of GSP Aspiring (Seeking the Gold), the bay hammered for $650,000 at Keeneland September and boasts a strong female family. Second dam Lassie's Legacy (Deputy Minister) is out of MGSW/GISP Weekend Surprise (Secretariat), making her a half-sister to the legendary A.P. Indy (Seattle Slew) and MGISW Summer...

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McCraken Half Sis Sharp in Gulfstream Unveiling

6th-Gulfstream, $43,000, Msw, 3-1, 3yo, f, 7f, 1:23.61, ft. FOUR GRACES (f, 3, Majesticperfection--Ivory Empress {GSP, $189,402}, by Seeking the Gold), a half to 'TDN Rising Star' and young sire McCraken (Ghostzapper), MGSW & GISP, $869,728, was let go at 7-1 for this first go for a trainer who is typically patient but can win with a talented firster on occasion--including McCraken and his and Four Graces's now 4-year-old half-sister With Dignity (Declaration of War), who was also named a 'Rising Star'. Away well and ridden for speed from her...

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Mar. 1 Insight

WILKES UNVEILS HALF TO MCCRAKEN 6th-GP, $50K, Msw, 3yo, f, 7f, 2:34p.m. Ian Wilkes unveils a Whitham homebred from a family he is quite familiar with in FOUR GRACES (Majesticperfection), a half-sister to their MGSW McCraken (Ghostzapper). That new Airdrie resident won a trio of graded events and missed by a nostril in the GI Haskell Invitational S. Their GSP dam Ivory Empress (Seeking the Gold), a half-sister to GISW Mea Domina (Dance Brightly), is also the dam of MGSP Bondurant (War Front). TJCIS PPs

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Feb. 27 Insights: Pricey Curlin Half to Hawkbill Debuts at Gulfstream

4th-GP, $50K, Msw, 4yo/up, 6 1/2f, 2:31 p.m. ET Albaugh Family Stables, which will start likely GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S. favorite Dennis' Moment (Tiznow) this Saturday at Gulfstream, also has action Thursday in Hallandale Beach, as they debut the expensive and well-related COASTAL DEFENSE (Curlin) in the day's fourth event. Owned in partnership with Helen K. Groves Revocable Trust, the chestnut hammered for $800,000 at Keeneland September in 2017 and is a half-brother to MG1SW Hawkbill (Kitten's Joy), as well as the Albaughs' GISW Free Drop Billy (Union...

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First Foals for MGSW McCracken

Airdrie Stud's MGSW McCraken (Ghostzapper) is represented by his first foals, including a filly out of maiden mare, Scatback (Scat Daddy), from the family of graded stakes winners Z Humor and Chip. Bred in partnership by Everything's Cricket Racing and Stonegate Stables, she was born at William and Carolyn Johnson's Stonegate Farm in Fort Edward, New York.  McCraken stands at Airdrie Stud for a fee of $10,000 stands and nurses. "This is a very pretty filly," said Stonegate's Bill Johnson. "She is well balanced, looks fast, and is a great...

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Unbeaten Tonalist Filly Looks Tough in Forward Gal

Slam Dunk Racing, Legacy Ranch and Doug Branham's undefeated Tonalist's Shape (Tonalist), a dominant winner of the local Hut Hut S. on opening day of Gulfstream's Championship Meet, returns Saturday as a likely prohibitive favorite in her graded stakes debut, the seven-furlong GIII Forward Gal S. Rallying from well off the pace to score a 19-1 upset on debut here Sept. 28 for Sabana Racing Stable and trainer Juan Avila, the chestnut was privately purchased and transferred to the red-hot Saffie Joseph, Jr. barn, for which she notched another impressive...

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