Joe Allen

Shug Unveils Potential 'Star' at Spa

Capture the Flag (Quality Road--War Flag, by War Front) entering with some positive workout notes and backed at 5-2 for the notoriously patient Shug McGaughey barn, turned in an auspicious debut in Saratoga's Saturday opener that seemed like just the tip of the iceberg. Last away in the field of five, the hulking bay quickly narrowed the gap and mounted a three-deep move into the turn. Going much easier than the two foes to his inside approaching the stretch, he was confidently ridden out by Luis Saez, bounding home by...

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Unbeaten Annapolis Returns in the Penn Mile

'TDN Rising Star' Annapolis (War Front) makes his belated seasonal bow Friday in the GII Penn Mile S. A perfect two-for-two, the Bass homebred rallied to an impressive debut victory going two turns at Saratoga Sept. 4 and followed suit with a win in Belmont's GII Pilgrim S. Oct. 3, earning a field-best 89 Beyer Speed Figure. Originally scheduled to go on to the Breeders' Cup, the bay was sidelined by a hind ankle chip. Shug McGaughey saddles another talented son of War Front in Fort Washington. Graduating at second...

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Expensive Empire Maker Filly Makes Most of Belated Debut

4th-Tampa Bay Downs, $25,000, Msw, 1-26, 4yo/up, f/m, 6f, 1:12.62, sy, 7 3/4 lengths. NETTE NETTE (f, 4, Empire Maker--Vaulcluse {SW}, by A.P. Indy), a $950,000 Keeneland September graduate, made the trip up from South Florida and splashed home to debut as a much-the-best winner. Away in mid-division as the even-money pick, the a half-sister to Lukes Alley (Flower Alley), Ch. Older Horse-Can, GISW-US, MGSW-Can, $795,122; and to once-beaten 'TDN Rising Star' Arrifana (Curlin), SW & GSP, $230,400, tugged Pablo Morales to the front after the completion of a quarter-mile....

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Doswell Does It in Ft. Lauderdale

Joseph Allen homebred Doswell (Giant's Causeway) hadn't seen the inside of a winner's circle since October 2020, however, marked his return with aplomb, scoring by a front-running, 1 1/2-length margin over longshot Atone (Into Mischief) in Saturday's GII Ft. Lauderdale S. at Gulfstream. Sent to the front by Junior Alvarado straight away, the 9-2 shot showed the way as the stalking duo of GSW Analyze It (Point of Entry) and English Bee (English Channel) kept him in their sights. Still in front and moving well with a half mile left...

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July 10 Insights

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency ALLEN HOMEBRED DEBUTS AT BELMONT 1st-BEL, $90K, Msw, 2yo, 6fT, 1:00p.m. Joe Allen homebred FORT TICONDEROGA makes his career bow in this spot for Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey. By fellow Allen homebred War Front, the bay is out of European SW & MGSP Ballet Pacifica (Minardi), who is also the dam of SW & GSP Secretary at War (War Front); MGSP Doswell (Giant's Causeway); and GSP Entrechat (Giant's Causeway). His second dam is MGISW Kostroma (Ire) (Caerleon), who also produced Grade I winner Ariege...

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Feb. 14 Insights

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency WELL-BRED WAR FRONT DEBUTS IN HALLANDALE 1st-GP, $50K, Msw, 3yo, f, 1 1/16mT, 12:40 p.m. Shug McGaughey saddles a blue-blooded first timer in Joe Allen homebred TRACY FLICK (War Front). Her GSP dam Stay the Night (Arch) is a daughter of MSW & MGSP Louve Royale (Ire) (Peintre Celebre). This is also the family of European Highweight Loup Sauvage (Riverrman); French Highweight Loup Solitaire (Lear Fan); MGSW Loup Breton (Ire) (Anabaa); and GSW Copper Bullet (More Than Ready). The Flying Pharoah (American Pharoah) debuts in...

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Tapit's Mrs Danvers Romps in the Comely

Mrs. Danvers went virtually gate to wire to earn her first stakes success with a dominant score while trying two turns for the first time in the Comely Friday at the Big A. Seizing the early advantage, the gray loped through a :24.30 opening quarter and was confronted by longshot Project Whiskey, who pressed the pacesetter and led between calls through a :48.69 half-mile. That rival burned out quickly and fell to the back as Mrs. Danvers continued strongly on the front end. The Joe Allen homebred opened up in...

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Empire Maker Filly Comes Out Running for Shug
Empire Maker Filly Comes Out Running for Shug

2nd-Belmont, $80,000, Msw, 10-18, 2yo, f, 6f, 1:10.84, ft, 3 1/2 lengths. CAFE SOCIETY (f, 2, Empire Maker--Full Tap, by Tapit), let go at 10-1 from a 7-2 morning line for a barn that doesn't win with many firsters and doesn't train many 2-year-old sale grads, proved best of a promising-looking group Sunday at Big Sandy. Away alertly to press favored second timer Exact (Competitive Edge) through a :22.67 opening quarter, the bay challenged for the lead through a :46.08 half. She put away that foe by midstretch, and ran...

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War Front's Civil Union Finishes Fastest in Flower Bowl

The 3-1 third choice in a field of seven, Joseph Allen's progressive Civil Union (War Front) built on her last-out success in the GII Glens Falls S. at Saratoga with a breakthrough top-level tally in Saturday's GI Flower Bowl S. at Belmont Park, securing a berth in the gate for the GI Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf in the process. Allowed to settle last but one beneath Joel Rosario, with only G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Sottsass (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr})'s half-sister, French and American Group...

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Bright Spots As Unusual Yearling Season Kicks Off at Fasig-Tipton

by Brian DiDonato, Jessica Martini & Christie DeBernardis LEXINGTON, KY--The Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearlings Showcase, a hybrid of the company's July yearling sale, Saratoga sale and New York-bred yearling sale brought about by COVID-19- induced rescheduling, kicked off the 2020 yearling sales season Wednesday with signs of life for the market. A total of 172 yearlings changed hands for gross receipts of $27,166,000--good for an average of $157,942 and median of $100,000. The RNA rate was 34.4%. "At the outset, we had no expectations for the statistics," said Fasig-Tipton president and...

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Quality Road Filly Brings Big Money at Fasig

A daughter of Quality Road ignited a fury of bidding at Newtown Paddocks Wednesday, jumping into the seven-figure range in a matter of seconds and dropping the hammer at $1.5 million, which was the highest price of the day. When the smoke cleared, it was trainer Robbie Medina left signing the ticket on Hip 232 on behalf of longtime owner and breeder Joe Allen. (Click here for our post-sale interview with Robbie Medina) "She had the best pedigree in the book, so Joe wanted her," said Medina, who worked as an assistant...

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Monday's Insights: Saratoga, Del Mar Meets End with a Bang

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 3rd-Saratoga, $72k, Msw, 2yo, f, 1 1/16mT, 12:33 p.m. Bill Mott saddles Godolphin's debuting SERENE (Tapit), an $800,000 Keeneland September Yearling purchase last year. The chestnut filly is a daughter of multiple Grade I-placed Fascinating (Smart Strike). Out of graded stakes winner Untouched Talent (Storm Cat), Fascinating is a half-sister to Grade I winner Bodemeister (Empire Maker). Also debuting is Peter Brant's Editor at Large (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}). The Chad Brown trainee was a 260,000gns purchase at last year's Tattersalls October sale. Todd...

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