Maclean's Music

Maclean's Music Juvenile Filly Airs at the Spa

8th-Saratoga, $100,000, Msw, 9-5, 2yo, f, 7f, 1:23.53, gd, 10 lengths. JESTER CALLS NOJOY (f, 2, Maclean's Music--Morning Star, by Sky Mesa), second at 9-5 in her six-furlong unveiling Aug. 15, went quickly to the front, carving out initial splits of :22.99 and :46.58. In the clear leaving the quarter pole, the 3-5 choice bounded away through the lane, crossing the wire 10 lengths ahead of Malibu Kendall (Curlin) at the wire. It was a length farther back to Handbelle (Tapit). The winner's dam, Morning Star, is also responsible for...

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As Advertised: Jackie's Warrior Narrowly Outslugs Life Is Good in Allen Jerkens

This year's GI H. Allen Jerkens Memorial S. was billed as a match race between current divisional leader Jackie's Warrior and come-backing 'TDN Rising Star' Life is Good (Into Mischief). The race lived up to that and then some with Jackie's Warrior stubbornly holding off a determined and previously undefeated Life is Good for a narrow victory. The six-horse field moved as one through the opening strides, but 4-5 favorite Life is Good and 3-2 second-choice Jackie's Warrior quickly separated themselves with the former leading the latter by a length...

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Another Good-Looking Winner for Maclean's Music at the Spa

1st-Saratoga, $80,000, Msw, (R), 8-5, 2yo, f, 5 1/2fT, 1:03.60, fm, 4 1/2 lengths. MYSTIC EYES (f, 2, Maclean's Music--Cloudburst {SW}, by Storm Cat) suggested an affinity for the turf with a five-furlong spin over the Oklahoma track in 1:02 (9/28) around the dogs July 31, and the money that poured in late for her proved smart. Off at 65 cents on the dollar, the $40,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase was not the quickest away from the inside stall, but was hustled up to grab command moving down the backstretch....

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Juvenile Market Completes $200-Million Bounceback

It may still turn out that we're living under a volcano. For now, however, the first major bloodstock cycle after the trauma of 2020 represents an almost symmetrical, V-shaped recovery--right back to the $200-million breakthrough made by the American 2-year-old market in 2019. Despite restocking with a diminished pool of horses, compared with then, this sector has resembled a giant stress ball in retrieving all its former buoyancy the moment the squeeze was released. It was the juvenile consignors, of course, that were first broadsided by the pandemic last year....

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Taking Stock: Maclean's Music is the Model for Valiant Minister

Last week, I stopped by John and Leslie Malone's 2,200-acre Bridlewood Farm in Ocala before attending the OBS June sale and got a good look at an intriguing freshman sire who'd topped the June sale six years earlier at a then-record price of $680,000. By Candy Ride (Arg) from the unraced Deputy Minister mare Spooky Minister, Valiant Minister was bred by John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale and had breezed a bullet eighth in :9 4/5 for consignor Eddie Woods. He was purchased on the advice of Donato Lanni by Charles...

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Sikura's Faith Rewarded by Grade I Exacta

It is now a decade since John Sikura was walking through a Lexington steakhouse and glimpsed, on a screen over the bar, a bay colt coasting clear of his pursuers with sparks coming from his heels: :21.24, :43.48, 1:07.44. He was puzzled: it wasn't yet the weekend, and he wasn't aware of any stakes being run that day. Seven lengths in a hand ride. Then they told him that this was just a maiden race out at Santa Anita. Sikura couldn't believe his ears. He wasn't alone: a 114 Beyer...

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Drain the Clock Up in Time in Woody Stephens

Drain the Clock (c, 3, Maclean's Music--Manki, by Arch) outslugged favored Jackie's Warrior (Maclean's Music) by a neck to lead home a one-two finish for his sire in a thrilling renewal of the GI Woody Stephens S. at Belmont Park Saturday. It was 7 1/4 lengths back to Nova Rags (Union Rags) in third. With Jose Ortiz subbing for his sidelined brother Irad Ortiz, Jr., the last out GIII Bay Shore S. winner broke sharply and very briefly cleared the field of six. Jackie's Warrior, off a step slowly after...

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'Clock' Turned Back in Bay Shore

Despite a solid runner-up finish last out in the GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S., Drain the Clock (Maclean's Music)'s future appears to be around one turn, and he figures to be an overwhelming favorite in Saturday's seven-furlong GIII Bay Shore S. at Aqueduct. Romping to a six-length debut graduation as an 8-5 favorite in a Gulfstream off-the-turfer Sept. 12, the Saffie Joseph trainee repeated in a Gulfstream West allowance/optional claimer Oct. 28 before losing his rider when making his stakes bow in the Jean Lafitte S. Nov. 30 at...

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Complexity Hype Carries on to Stud Career

  "He was one of those horses that there was a buzz about before he ever stepped foot on a racetrack," Airdrie Stud's Bret Jones said of their new addition, Grade I-winning 'TDN Rising Star' Complexity (Maclean's Music--Goldfield, Yes It's True). A Stonestreet-bred half-brother to a Breeders' Cup runner-up and a $375,000 KEESEP yearling purchase by Mike Ryan, Complexity was the talk of the Saratoga backstretch in the summer of his juvenile season. Horseplayers anticipated the Chad Brown pupil's unveiling after a stretch of speedy breezes, including a five-furlong move...

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Southwest Showdown Well Worth the Wait

Following a two-week delay as Mother Nature packed a powerful winter punch, a pair of 3-year-old heavyweights are set for round two in Saturday's GIII Southwest S. at Oaklawn Park. Recently crowned champion and 'TDN Rising Star' Essential Quality (Tapit) capped a perfect, three-for-three season closing smartly into a hot pace after covering plenty of ground to capture the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Keeneland last out Nov. 6. The Godolphin homebred previously stalked and pounced with authority in Keeneland's GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity Oct. 3. Regular rider Luis Saez...

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Maclean's Music Colt Crushes Swale Competition

Drain the Clock (Maclean's Music) built on a 7 1/2-length thrashing of his rivals in the Jan. 2 Limehouse S. with yet another wide-margin victory while making his graded stakes debut in Saturday's GIII Claiborne Farm Swale S. at Gulfstream Park. The chestnut won the break and led through the opening exchanges, but was content to allow the fleet Poppy's Pride (Khozan) to slide through and take up the running passing the five-furlong pole. Clocking that one's every move beneath a very confident Edgard Zayas, Drain the Clock was allowed...

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Maclean's Music's Drain the Clock Bounces Back in Limehouse

Looking to atone for his first career defeat when he suffered an equipment malfunction in the Jean Lafitte S. at Delta Downs Nov. 30, Slam Dunk Racing's Drain the Clock (Maclean's Music) made light work of his rivals as the 9-5 chalk in Saturday's Limehouse S. at Gulfstream Park. Smoothly away beneath Edgard Zayas, the chestnut stalked a fast pace outside of front-running Warrior's Pride (Poseidon's Warrior), eased to the front approaching the stretch and kicked home smartly to defeat the blinkered Tiger by a handy margin. Runway Magic (Runhappy)...

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