Saturday Insights: Loaded Maiden Kicks Off Alabama Day Card

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 1st-SAR, $100K, Msw, 2yo, 6 1/2f, post time: 1:05 p.m. ET While the GI Alabama S. takes centerstage later on in the program, the Saturday lid-lifter at Saratoga looks a key race in prospect, with any number of booming pedigrees and lofty pricetags on display. Peter Leidel signed the ticket at an even $1 million for RAYMOND (Into Mischief) at Keeneland September last fall, with the colt's breeder Stonestreet Stables staying in for a share. The Apr. 21 foal is the third foal to the...

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Beau Liam All Heart In Salty Saratoga Allowance

8th-Saratoga, $103,000, Alw, 7-17, (NW1$X), 3yo/up, 7f, 1:22.90, gd, nose. BEAU LIAM (c, 3, Liam's Map--Belle of Perintown {GSW, $265,465}, by Dehere), sent off the even-money selection in a field that would not look out of place for a graded stakes, was made to work for every yard of the seven-furlong distance, but called on his considerable class to just hold off the late lunge of the comebacking Witsel (Nyquist) Saturday at Saratoga. Hustled away from gate one by Ricardo Santana, Jr., the Stonestreet homebred sped through at the fence...

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Good Magic Yearlings Look to Have Sire's Precocity

Curlin is in the midst of an exceptional year. He's the only North American sire with three Grade I winners already in 2021 with undefeated Kentucky Oaks heroine Malathaat, Florida Derby winner Known Agenda and Santa Anita H. victor Idol. He's also responsible for the buzz horse of the week in undefeated 'TDN Rising Star' and GIII Dwyer S. winner First Captain. As expected from Curlin, a sire known for his Classic-producing abilities, all four of these current stars broke through to stardom as sophomores or older. And while two...

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Stonestreet, Agent McElroy Strike it Big With European Buys

When Napa Spirit (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) won Friday's first race at Keeneland, bloodstock agent Ben McElroy was more relieved than ecstatic. Some six months earlier, he purchased Napa Spirit at the Goffs Orby Yearling sale in Ireland with a set goal in mind. He was looking for a unique type of horse, one that could win in the U.S. and Europe, would be fast and precocious, like the grass and be a good fit for the Royal Ascot meet. Friday's win was the latest sign that he had more...

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Stonestreet, Ward Strike Again at Keeneland

1st-Keeneland, $43,340, Msw, 4-23, 2yo, 5 1/2fT, 1:04.17, gd, 1 1/2 lengths. NAPA SPIRIT (IRE) (c, 2, Invincible Spirit {Ire}--Aimhirgin Lass {Ire}, by Pivotal {GB}) validated 2-5 favoritism in the closing-day opener at Keeneland, giving Stonestreet and trainer Wesley Ward a maiden winner on the grass acquired overseas for the second consecutive afternoon. Not the fastest away, the bay raced in and among rivals early on as stablemate Magniloquent (American Pharoah) showed the way through an opening quarter in :21.78. Three wide and traveling well in hand on the turn,...

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'Ruth'-Like Performance: Ribchester 2yo Filly a Rising Star for Wesley Ward at Keeneland

Ruthin (GB) (f, 2, Ribchester {Ire}--Selinka {GB}, by Selkirk), a 350,000gns TATOCT yearling purchase, kicked off her career with a 'TDN Rising Star' performance sprinting on the Keeneland lawn for Wesley Ward Thursday. The rail-drawn, 3-5 favorite shot out to the front and sped through an opening quarter in :21.91. She let it out a notch approaching the top of the stretch, and, despite racing greenly on her left lead for most of the stretch, was geared down late en route to a flashy, six-length victory over Artos (Ire) (Kodiac...

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All in the Family with Stonestreet's Oaks Fillies

Barbara Banke has a lofty goal heading into this year's GI Kentucky Oaks. "I would love for there to be a Stonestreet trifecta," she said. "That would be my dream." It sounds like quite the feat, but a trio of sophomore fillies foaled and raised at Stonestreet Farm are shaking out to be some of the strongest contenders expected to be vying for the garland of stargazer lilies on the last Friday of April. GII Rachel Alexandra S. victress Clairiere (Curlin) and GIII Fantasy S. winner Pauline's Pearl (Tapit) both...

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Clairiere A Fitting Winner of the Rachel Alexandra

Hall of Famer Rachel Alexandra carried the famed burgundy and gold silks of Stonestreet Farm to six victories, four of which were Grade Is, including the GI Preakness S. and GI Woodward S. So, it was only fitting that another filly carrying the colors of Barbara Banke's operation, Clairiere (Curlin), won that Horse of the Year's namesake Grade II race at the Fair Grounds Saturday. The event, which produced GI Kentucky Oaks winners in 2018 and 2019, offered 50 points towards this year's run for the lillies. Clairiere rallied strongly...

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Taking Stock: Midnight Bourbon's American Lines

Throughout time, American bloodstock has been continually infused with new blood from other countries, just as a long history of immigration has made this country a melting pot of cultures. But these things come at some cost, don't they? What of the more or less original American sire and dam lines that have been subverted by the newer arrivals? Who's looking out for their interests as they get forgotten and cast aside? The Tiznow colt Midnight Bourbon, who is on the Gl Kentucky Derby trail after winning the Glll Lecomte...

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Notable US-Bred & -Sired Runners in Japan: Oct. 11, 2020

In this continuing series, we take a look ahead at US-bred and/or conceived runners entered for the upcoming weekend at the tracks on the Japan Racing Association circuit, with a focus on pedigree and/or performance in the sales ring. Here are the horses of interest for Sunday running at Kyoto and Niigata Racecourses, featuring a half-brother to a recent Eclipse Award winner and current Kentucky stallion: 2nd-NII, ¥9,680,000 ($92k), Maiden, 2yo, 1200m SATONO APOLLON (JPN) (c, 2, Into Mischief--Final Decision, by Super Saver) debuted as a 5-1 chance over this...

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Late Action As Book 2 Concludes

By Brian DiDonato & Jessica Martini LEXINGTON, KY--While Thursday's second and final Book 2 session of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale included some lulls without big-money sellers, it finished strong, with the day's top two lots coming in the final 20 or so hips. A colt by the in-demand Into Mischief (hip 1203) was the lone Book 2 offering to reach the seven-figure threshold, selling for an even $1-million to Peter Leidel, who did his bidding on the phone. The son of Grade II winner Teen Pauline (Tapit) was consigned...

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Keeneland September Sale Marches Into Book 2

by Jessica Martini & Brian DiDonato LEXINGTON, KY - The Keeneland September Yearling Sale continued to see strong action at the top, but an elevated buy-back rate at the first of two Book 2 sessions Wednesday in Lexington. A colt by Uncle Mo from the Gainesway consignment brought the day's highest bid when selling for $950,000 to bloodstock agent David Ingordo. In all, 185 yearlings sold for $40,861,000. The average was $220,870 and the median was $180,000. Through three sessions, 394 head have grossed $126,076,000 for an average of $319,990...

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