Simon Callaghan

Friday Insights: $1.25M Quality Road Unveiled at Santa Anita

2nd-SAX, $61K, Msw, 3yo, 7f, 4:31 p.m. Kaleem Shah's THALES (Quality Road) gets his start for Simon Callaghan Friday. The half to SW and MGISP Standard Deviation (Curlin), who sold for $240,000 at the Fasig-Tipton October sale, realized a $1.25 million final bid following a :20.3 quarter at the OBS Spring sale last season. The ridgling was the highest-priced colt and the second highest priced offspring by the Lane's End stallion last term. Pegram, Watson & Weitman's Essential Wager (Honor Code) also represents a sale's coup for his sire. One...

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Maxim Rate Upsets the Gamely

Maxim Rate (Exchange Rate) strode to the lead inside the final furlong and held off the late-closing duo of La Signare (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) and Bodhicitta (GB) (Showcasing {GB}) to score the first Grade I victory of her career in the GI Gamely S. at Santa Anita Monday. Dismissed at 13-1, Maxim Rate rated kindly in fourth while racing one off the rail as heavily favored Charmaine's Mia (The Factor) took the field through fractions of :22.82 and :45.94. Maxim Rate ranged up three wide at the top of the...

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It's Margarita Time

Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier and Derrick Smith's As Time Goes By (American Pharoah) has been progressing steadily since last fall and will try to collect her first black-type badge in Saturday's GII Santa Margarita S. at Santa Anita. Third in her career debut sprinting at Del Mar last August, the daughter of MGISW Take Charge Lady (Dehere) returned to finish second to stablemate Himiko (American Pharoah) after setting the pace in the early going at Santa Anita in October. A four-length winner going six panels at Los Alamitos Dec....

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Bellafina and Donna Veloce Retired

MGISW Bellafina (Quality Road--Akron Moon, by Malibu Moon) was pre-entered for the GI Breeders' Cup F/M Sprint Monday, but was scratched Tuesday and is now retired after developing a minor issue in her Oct. 24 breeze at Keeneland (five furlongs in 1:00.60), according to owner Kaleem Shah. Shah noted that 'TDN Rising Star' Donna Veloce (Uncle Mo--Coin Broker {Ire}, by Montjeu {Ire}) has been retired as well. Both mares will join Shah's broodmare band with Bellafina set to visit Uncle Mo and Donna Veloce booked to Justify. The news was...

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Vancouver Filly a Perfect Three-for-Three with Surfer Girl Win

Kaleem Shah's Madone made it a perfect three-for-three with a late-charging victory in the Surfer Girl S. at Santa Anita Sunday. Made the even-money favorite off of two wins going a mile over the Del Mar lawn, the dark bay filly settled well off a quick pace. She made rapid progress nearing the lane and pounced to the lead at midstretch before gamely holding off Tetragonal, who came from last to just miss. Purchased for $125,000 at this year's OBS March sale off a :10 1/5 breeze, Madone opened her...

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Uncle Mo Filly Gets Better of Her Elders in 'Win and You're In' Zenyatta

Alice Bamford and Michael Tabor's Harvest Moon (Uncle Mo), the only 3-year-old in the four-horse field, put away favored Fighting Mad (New Year's Day) at midstretch and then held off Hard Not To Love (Hard Spun) in the dying strides to win the GII Zenyatta S. at Santa Anita Sunday and earn an automatic berth in the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff. "I'm absolutely thrilled today, completely over the moon for Harvest Moon," said Bamford. "She's a homebred and she's just so deep in my heart and in my family's heart....

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Vancouver Filly Remains Unbeaten in Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf

Kaleem Shah's Madone found running room late and surged to  victory in the Del Mar Juvenile FilliesTurf S. Sunday evening. The favorite was unhurried early and fell well back in the field. Racing keenly behind tepid splits, she took closer order but ran up on heels in the tightly bunched field. Full of run but with nowhere to go nearing the home stretch, the dark bay filly finally found a seam to run through and surged to the wire ahead of Nimbostratus (Fr) (Wooton Bassett {GB}) and Ivy League (Medaglia...

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Ghostzapper Colt Easily Makes Amends at Del Mar

6th-Del Mar, $55,500, Msw, 8-29, 2yo, 6f, 1:11.10, ft. VITTORIO (c, 2, Ghostzapper--Roberta Turner, by Smart Strike) was away slowly from a wide stall in his Aug. 1 debut, then traveled very awkwardly, covered ground on the turn and could do no better than fifth to the impressive odds-on favorite Freedom Fighter (Violence). But the betting public did not lose faith in the colt and made him the 11-10 favorite to make the requisite improvement at second asking. Much more smoothly away from gate six with Mike Smith back at...

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Speech Tunes Up for Oaks Beneath Twin Spires

Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Madaket Stables' GI Ashland S. victress Speech (Mr Speaker)--third in the TDN Kentucky Oaks Top 10--drilled a half-mile in :47.60 (XBTV video) beneath exercise rider Osman Cedeno over the Churchill Downs main track Friday morning, her final major work ahead of the GI Longines Kentucky Oaks Sept. 4. Working by her lonesome in the 7:30-7:45 a.m. window reserved for Kentucky Derby and Oaks horses, the Mike McCarthy trainee galloped through an opening quarter-mile in :24 flat and pulled up five furlongs in 1:00.20. It was the...

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Uncle Mo Filly Stays Unbeaten on Dirt in Torrey Pines

Harvest Moon (Uncle Mo) remained perfect in three starts going long on the dirt and gave her sire yet another new graded winner with a determined success in the GIII Torrey Pines S. on the Pacific Classic undercard. The betting favorite was beaten for speed and was content to race in the one out and one back position with cover rounding the first turn as Secret Keeper (Into Mischief) led narrowly from Provocation (Into Mischief) to her outside. Mike Smith atop the latter upped the ante through the middle stages,...

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Donna Veloce Works Ahead of Ky Oaks

GSW Donna Veloce (Uncle Mo) posted a six-furlong work at Del Mar Friday afternoon in advance of an upcoming start in the GI Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs Sept. 4. Campaigned by Kaleem Shah, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, the filly completed the task in 1:11.60, the fastest of seven moves at the distance Friday. Commencing at the five-furlong pole, she completed her first quarter in :25.00 followed by a half :47.80 before hitting the wire :59.80. She galloped out seven eighths in 1:26.20. An $800,000 2-year-old...

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Up-And-Comers Look For Breakthrough in Torrey Pines

An unproven but potential-laden field of seven will do battle early on Saturday's blockbuster card at Del Mar in the GIII Torrey Pines S. going a mile over the main track. Pam and Martin Wygod's Secret Keeper (Into Mischief) looks to remain unbeaten in her two-turn bow. Unveiled going 5 1/2 furlongs May 25 at Santa Anita, the homebred reeled in an odds-on Bob Baffert firster to triumph going away before stretching out a furlong and scoring in similar fashion over Baffert's re-opposing pair of Merneith (American Pharaoh) and Provocation...

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