McCraken

Pope Gets in on the Action at KEENOV

Mandy Pope's Whisper Hill Farm was active, per usual, at the top of the market at Fasig-Tipton November Sunday evening, and Pope picked up right where she left off Monday across town at Keeneland. She went to $2.3 million to pick up 5-year-old racing or broodmare prospect Four Graces (Majesticperfection), a MGSW/GISP half-sister to MGSW young sire McCraken from a deep Whitham family. The near $500,000 earner was consigned by Denali Stud has hip 192.

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A Shortcut Into Decades of Patience

This is one of those programs, temperate and patient, that nourish the very marrow of our industry. It has never comprised more than around 10 mares, whose foals are brought into the world not just to make a fast buck but actually to go out there and run. Whitham Thoroughbreds is run by an octogenarian widow and her son: they devise matings to draw out speed into a second turn; they're not scared of using a turf stallion from time to time; and they work with horsemen who operate on...

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TDN Snippets: Week of Apr. 18 – Apr. 24

There was history being made this past week and there is history yet to be made. Break out your encyclopedias, your preferred tomes of ancient references, any long-dusty papers from years past, and enjoy the show. Who run the world? Girls. Letruska joined elite, and truly rarified air with her successful defense of her GI Apple Blossom title over another Apple Blossom winner in Ce Ce. Only three other mares have accomplished the feat of multiple wins in Oaklawn's signature event for dirt distaffers dating back to 1973, and their...

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First Starter a Winner for Freshman Sire McCraken at Keeneland

Freshman sire McCraken (Ghostzapper) got immediately off the mark with his first starter at Keeneland Thursday afternoon. Drawn widest of all in post nine, Crackalacking (f, 2, McCraken--Sacred Moon, by Malibu Moon) forced the issue from an outside third, gained command around the far turn and blew the race apart from there to graduate by five lengths at odds of 18-1. Extremely well-backed, rail-drawn firster Grand Oak (Ire) (Speightstown), off as the even-money favorite from a 6-1 morning-line quote for trainer Rusty Arnold, was a good second after a tough...

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TTA 2YO Sale Sees Increases in Average, Median

Wednesday's Texas Thoroughbred Association (TTA) 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale closed with an uptick in average and median, as well as gross. A total of 88 horses sold for $3,050,700 with an average of $34,667, up from an average of $32,671 in 2021. The median also rose to $28,000, compared to $20,000 in 2021. "We're obviously thrilled to see such strong trade in our 2-year-old market," said TTA sales director Foster Bridewell. "We can't thank the owners and consignors enough for sending us quality horses to sell and we're fortunate that...

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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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Aug. 29 Insights

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency STRONACH HOMEBRED DEBUTS IN CANADA 3rd-WO, $126.8K, Msw, 2yo, 7fT, 2:07p.m. Stronach Stables homebred RAPPER ZAPPER (Ghostzapper) makes his career bow in this event. The chestnut is a full-brother to Canadian champion, Queen's Plate victress and MGSW Holy Helena and a half to GSW & MGISP Holy Boss (Street Boss). TJCIS PPs   BROWN UNVEILS PRICEY CURLIN FILLY 5th-SAR, $100K, Msw, 2yo, f, 6f, 3:21p.m. Chad Brown saddles an expensive first timer in DISTINCTLYPOSSIBLE (Curlin), who summoned $670,000 at OBS April after breezing in :10...

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Kentucky Sires for 2021, First Yearlings: Part II

Thursday, Chris McGrath covered the first half of the Kentucky stallions with first yearlings. Click here to read about Justify, City of Light, West Coast, Mendelssohn, Good Magic, Bolt d'Oro, and Always Dreaming. The second part appears below. ACCELERATE (Lookin At Lucky--Issues, by Awesome Again) has also been trimmed to $17,500, at Lane's End, having already been our "gold" value pick of the intake at an opening $20,000. Whatever made him attractive then has scarcely diminished in the meantime, given that he was never going to appeal to those fast-buck...

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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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Majesticperfection's Four Graces Captures the Dogwood

Four Graces (Majesticperfection) is proving that she may be just as talented as her older MGSW brother McCraken (Ghostzapper), scoring her first black-type victory while making her stakes debut in the GIII Dogwood S. at Churchill Saturday. Seizing the early advantage from her inside draw, the Whitham homebred raced under pressure through an opening quarter in :22.27. Favored Edgeway (Competitive Edge) loomed boldly at the quarter pole and looked every bit a winner, but Four Graces had plenty left in the tank and turned back that foe for a sharp...

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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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