August 6 Insights: Justify Half-Brother to Commissioner Debuts

5th-DMR, $80k, Msw, 2yo, 5f, 7:04p.m. ET Hronis Racing LLC, West Point Thoroughbreds, and Woodford Racing LLC have partnered up to unveil the latest blue-blooded colt by Justify, this one named HAWKER. Shelling out a cool $675,000 for him at KEESEP, his pedigree warrants the implied expectations: out of GSP Flaming Heart (Touch Gold), it makes Hawker a half to GISP & MGSW Commissioner (A.P. Indy), GISP & GSW Laugh Track (Distorted Humor), and to the dam of MGISW Vino Rosso (Curlin). All three of the colt's closest female line...

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Shahama Dominates Monmouth Oaks

Shahama stalked pacesetting favorite Juji's Map before exploding to the lead off the turn and sailing clear to her first U.S. victory in the GIII Monmouth Oaks Sunday on the Jersey Shore. Sent off at 8-5, the bay shadowed Juji's Map, the 4-5 favorite, through fractions of :24.67 and :48.71. Nudged at into the far turn, Shahama surged to the lead after three-quarters in 1:11.88 and bound away to an easy win. "We thought Brad Cox's horse [Juju's Map] would be on the lead and we would be sitting second...

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Kimari Returns to Winning Ways in Honorable Miss

'TDN Rising Star' Kimari (Munnings) earned her first graded win of the season Wednesday when rallying to victory in Saratoga's GII Honorable Miss H. The 3-1 third choice in a four-horse field, the bay broke a hair slow from the outside post, though not as slow as second choice Frank's Rockette (Into Mischief) in the one-hole. Kimari sat off the fence in third with Frank's Rockette off her inside flank as favored Bella Sofia (Awesome Patriot) and 8-1 outsider Amadevil (Dominus) knocked heads on the front end. Amadevil cruised clear...

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The Funny Farm Comes to Fasig-Tipton

With over three decades of experience in the horse world, breeder Meg Dumaine will record a first when she brings her own consignment to the Fasig-Tipton July Sale of Selected Yearlings. Dumaine will offer three homebred yearlings under her The Funny Farm banner during the one-day auction. "I have done all phases of this industry and I have run consignments for other people, but I've never sold my own horses," Dumaine said. "It's just sort of coming full circle, from planning the mating, being there for the breeding, foaling the...

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Munnys Gold Carries Big Dreams Into Saratoga

While her connections were hoping for a good showing on debut, no one really quite foresaw the performance 'Hagyard TDN Rising Star' Munnys Gold (Munnings) put on when she ran off the screen June 17 against Monmouth Park maidens, stopping the clock in a scorching :56.60 for five furlongs. Jacob West, advisor to the filly's owners, Robert and Lawana Low, was watching the race from his phone in the midst of a round of golf and admits he initially lost her in the shuffle after the break. By the time...

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Easy Munny: Munnings Filly a 'Rising Star' on the Jersey Shore

Munnys Gold (f, 2, Munnings--Haraawa, by Medaglia d'Oro) powered away from the gate and never gave her seven rivals a chance, running away to 'TDN Rising Star' status for Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher on debut at Monmouth Park Friday. Sent off as the 8-5 second choice, the Lawana L. and Robert E. Low colorbearer shot out to the front and sped through an opening quarter in :22.41. The $300,000 FTKJUL purchase hugged the rail around the far turn and made sure it was a one-horse race from there, rolling...

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This Side Up: Past Specters, Present Ghosts

How poignant that, in this of all weeks, the two most breathtaking winners on Belmont day should both have prompted comparisons with Ghostzapper, whose GI Breeders' Cup Classic at Lone Star Park in 2004 was surely the greatest Thoroughbred performance ever on Texan soil. Because while the whole racing world came to Dallas that day, it appears that there will be no reciprocal embrace when it comes to the standards sought—not just federally, but internationally—to give American horseracing credibility in the contest for public engagement in the 21st Century. It's...

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Jack Christopher as Impressive as it Gets in Woody Stephens

ELMONT, NY - Did the best 3-year-old in the country run on the undercard? Unbeaten 'TDN Rising Star' Jack Christopher (Munnings) put on an absolute show with a jaw-dropping win against five overmatched rivals in Saturday's GI Woody Stephens S. at Belmont Park. Away in good order from his rail draw, the flashy, blaze-faced chestnut conceded the early advantage to Provocateur (Into Mischief) and was astutely guided by Jose Ortiz to the outside of that rival. Traveling kindly in second through fractions of :22.61 and :45.38, Ortiz took a peek...

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Munnings: A Life of his Own

There is one blatant flaw to the exhibition of works by Sir Alfred Munnings (1878-1959) that has just opened at the National Horseracing Museum in Newmarket—and that is its lamentable brevity, ending as soon as June 12. Barely less obvious, however, is the aptness of its place in the calendar, incorporating as it does a long holiday weekend in celebration not just of a royal jubilee, but of national culture and (across the Derby and a Lord's Test) sporting tradition. In the words of John Masefield, engraved on the epitaph...

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Jack is Back in Pat Day Mile

In the post-race interview, trainer Chad Brown compared Saturday's impressive GII Pat Day Mile winner Jack Christopher (Munnings) to Hall of Famer Ghostzapper (Awesome Again), who Brown worked with while under the tutelage of Bobby Frankel. Like Jack Christopher, Ghostzapper also missed the Triple Crown series and focused on races around one turn during his 3-year-old season before blossoming into a top handicap horse at four, including a win in the GI Breeders' Cup Classic. "This horse reminds me a lot of Ghostzapper, I was fortunate to work with that...

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A 2022 Derby-Oaks Sire Double Could Make History

Of the 1,630 stallions who covered mares in North America in 2018, a grand total of up to 34 could have starters in the respective gates of the upcoming GI Kentucky Derby and GI Kentucky Oaks (based on a maximum of 20 Derby starters and 14 Oaks starters). That's about a 2% chance. How remarkable is it, then, that this year we have not one, not two, but seven stallions with the potential to pull off a Derby-Oaks sire double, something that hasn't been done since Native Dancer sired the...

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OBS Spring Sale Storms to Record-Setting Conclusion

by Jessica Martini & Christie DeBernardis OCALA, FL - The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds, which had already surpassed its record gross during Thursday's penultimate session, powered straight through to the finish Friday, concluding with new highwater marks for average and median, as well as gross. At the end of four days of selling, 707 head had grossed $91,984,000. The previous record gross, set just last year, was $73,907,900. The average of $130,105 and median of $65,000 were well ahead of previous marks of $108,903 and $60,000,...

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