Awesome Again Daughter Storms to Another Stakes Victory

2/18/2017

The Awesome Again daughter Winter proved best in the $75,000 Maryland Racing Media Stakes at Laurel Park on February 18, her second consecutive stakes victory

Watch the Maryland Racing Media Stakes

Winter has now won four of five starts since being transferred to trainer Cal Lynch in September. She looked good scoring her first stakes win last time out in the Nellie Morse Stakes at Laurel and may have been even better Saturday, scoring by 4 1/4 lengths.

Winter was in contention throughout the Maryland Racing Media, took the lead in upper stretch under Trevor McCarthy, and pulled away.

"It just seems the farther she goes, the better," McCarthy said.

Winter completed 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.95. She is now unbeaten in three starts this year an is 5-for-11 lifetime with earnings of $181,330. She is owned by Mathew Schera, who purchased the attractive gray from the Adena Springs consignment at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton Florida Two-Year-Old in Training sale.

"We'll probably give her a little time between this and her next race," Lynch said. "We might try the turf with her too in the spring."

-edited from www.drf.com
- photo - Jim McCue (Nellie Morse S.)



Stronach Stables 'Rising Star' Delta Prince Impresses Again

2/18/2017

Stronach Stables homebred Delta Prince backed up his ‘TDN Rising Star’ designation with a popular off-the-pace score at Gulfstream on February 18.

Third while green on debut Oct. 2 at Belmont, the striking dark bay went one better Nov. 12 at Aqueduct before jumping forward with a dominant four-length triumph when switched to the turf here Dec. 26. Off as the 6-5 chalk in this spot, the son of Street Cry settled in fourth off a contested :23.21 quarter and :47.21 half. Advancing menacingly three-wide on the far bend, Delta Prince swept up to challenge longshot frontrunner Alasaal (War Front) in deep stretch and edged by late for a neck triumph.

It was a fitting win for the half-brother to multiple Eclipse Champion Royal Delta, who was tragically died on February 10 after foaling a Galileo filly in Ireland. Delta Prince won the last race on the Saturday Gulfstream Park card that featured the Grade 2 Royal Delta Stakes. 

-edited from www.thoroughbreddailynews.com
-photo - Leslie Martin

Another 'TDN Rising Star' For Ghostzapper

2/18/2017

Proctor's Ledge, a three-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper, was ultra impressive in scoring her second straight victory at Gulfstream Park on February 18. The Thoroughbred Daily News took notice and awarded her with a 'Rising Star' medal.

Racing in the colors of her breeder Patricia L. Moseley, Proctor’s Ledge blew up the tote at 49-1 last time when donning cap and gown going nine panels on Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup International Day Jan. 28.

Off a touch slowly from the rail in the February 18 Gulfstream Park Allowance event, the 3-1 shot was content to bide her time at the back while hugging the fence through early splits of :23.88 and :48.03. Taken off the pine into the home bend, she began to inch forward under a very quiet Corey Lanerie, swung wider still into the lane and was ridden out to gallop home as she pleased, scoring by 3 1/4 lengths while getting her final quarter in :23 flat, according to Trakus.

Proctor's Ledge is a half sister to the Stakes-placed Mission Driven (by Awesome Again). Her second dam, Aliata is a full sister to the late stallion Storm Boot.

The winner adds further fuel to Ghostzapper's white-hot start to 2017. Also his resume this year are a pair of Triple Crown contenders in San Vicente S. (G2) hero Iliad and unbeaten Kentucky Derby favorite McCraken, who set the new track standard in the Sam F. Davis S. (G3) on February 11.

-edited from www.thoroughbreddailynes.com
-photo - Leslie Martin

Frank Stronach to be Honored with E.P. Taylor Award of Merit at 2017 Sovereign Awards Ceremony

2/17/2017

The Jockey Club of Canada Board of Stewards is proud to announce that Frank Stronach will be presented with the E.P. Taylor Award of Merit for his longtime involvement and commitment to Thoroughbred Racing in Canada.

A Member of The Jockey Club of Canada for over 20 years, Frank Stronach, has been involved in Thoroughbred racing for many years and subsequently established Adena Springs Farms which owns horse breeding farms in Kentucky and Canada as well as a training facility in Florida.

Frank Stronach is the Founder and Honorary Chairman of The Stronach Group Inc. and serves as a Partner and Consultant of Stronach & Co.  He was the Founder of Magna E-Car Systems of America Inc.  Mr. Stronach founded Magna Steyr AG & CO KG in 1968.  He was the Founder of Magna International Inc.  and served as its consultant.   He served as the Chief Executive Officer of Magna Entertainment Corp until April 2009.

Mr. Stronach is the owner of The Stronach Group which specializes in horse-racing entertainment and owns and operates some of the most prominent racetracks in the United States.  Among his early successes was his partnership with Nelson Bunker Hunt in the filly Glorious Song who was voted the 1980 Sovereign Award for Canadian Horse of the Year.

Frank Stronach (Adena Springs) have earned over ten Eclipse Awards.  He earned the first of three consecutive Eclipse Awards for Outstanding Owner in 1998 and added a fourth in 2008.  Frank was handed the Eclipse award for Outstanding Breeder in 2000 and Adena Springs was honored with an unpredictable five straight Eclipse Awards for Outstanding Breeder from 2004-2008 and again in 2010 and 2012.  Frank’s operation is the first in history to be named Outstanding Breeder seven times in one decade. Adena Springs was also the Leading Breeder by earnings in North America for ten consecutive years 2003-2012.  In addition, Frank has taken home over 19 Sovereign Awards.

The Stronach Group was pleased and proud to announce that inaugural running of the $12 million Pegasus World Cup held on January 28, 2017 at Gulfstream Park – the world’s richest Thoroughbred race was the first event of its kinds in Thoroughbred racing and was designed to promote the sport of horse racing while creating a lucrative opportunity for owners of World Class Thoroughbreds.

The unique and innovative Pegasus World Cup - the vision of Frank Stronach, Founder and Honorary Chairman of the Stronach Group, attracted the world’s biggest stars while promoting and generating excitement and worldwide attention for Thoroughbred racing.

The Stronach Group  are one of the world’s leading horse track operators and suppliers of pari-mutual wagering technology, offering their customers the thrill and entertainment of live Thoroughbred racing and wagering at racetracks across America.  Their racetracks include Santa Anita Park “The Great Race Place”, Pimlico Race Course, home of the legendary Preakness, and the spectacular Gulfstream Park, one of Florida’s newest entertainment destinations.

The recipient of the E.P. Taylor Award of Merit is decided by The Jockey Club of Canada Board of Stewards and is not necessarily awarded annually.  Previously called the Man of the Year Award, The E.P. Taylor Award of Merit is earned by those who have positively impacted or contributed to the Thoroughbred Industry in Canada

The Jockey Club of Canada will host the 42nd Annual Sovereign Awards Ceremony to honor and celebrate the Canadian Champions of 2016 and Canada’s 2016 Horse of the Year in Canada on Thursday, April 13, 2017 at Palais Royale in Toronto, Ontario.

Even if you are not a finalist, you’re invited to come and have fun and celebrate with the 2016 Champions of Thoroughbred Racing in Canada.

This year’s event will be held two days prior to the start of Thoroughbred racing in Canada with Woodbine Racetrack’s 2017 Thoroughbred season beginning at 1:00 pm (EST), Saturday, April 15, 2017

Tickets to the 42nd Annual Sovereign Awards Ceremony are currently being offered at an Early Bird price of $200 each and Tables of 10 are $2000.   The prices will go up on March 15, 2017 to $250 each or Tables of 10 at a slightly discounted value of $2400.   All tickets are plus applicable taxes and must be reserved in advance by contacting The Jockey Club of Canada at 416-675-7756or email: jockeyclub@bellnet.ca.

The Jockey Club of Canada was founded in 1973 by E.P. Taylor to serve as the international representative of the Canadian Thoroughbred industry. The mission of The Jockey Club of Canada is to promote and maintain a high standard for Thoroughbred racing and breeding in Canada at a level which is recognized internationally for the benefit of all those interested in the sport including the general public by operations and services such as, but not limited to: evaluating all Graded, Listed and Black-type races in Canada annually; conducting the annual Sovereign Awards for outstanding achievement in Thoroughbred racing and breeding in Canada; maintaining a field office in Canada for the Jockey Club of the United States and the Jockey Club Registry Service; and by representing Canada as a Member of the IFHA.
Triple Crown Contenders Powering Ghostzapper in 2017

2/16/2017

Ghostzapper, whose sons swept last weekend’s graded stakes for Kentucky Derby hopefuls, is off to a fantastic start to 2017.

The Adena Springs stallion ranks second on the general sire list by earnings for 2017 and leads all active sires in that category, fueled by Shaman Ghost’s runner-up effort in the $12 million Pegasus World Cup to champion Arrogate, by the late Unbridled’s Song.

Shaman Ghost earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 112 for that effort – the top number of Ghostzapper’s stud career and the second-highest of 2017, behind only Arrogate’s 119. The Pegasus is the brainchild of Frank Stronach, who stands the homebred Ghostzapper and his sire, Awesome Again, and campaigns Shaman Ghost as a homebred.

Shaman Ghost isn’t the only runner fueling Ghostzapper early this season, however, as he already has two graded-stakes-winning 3-year-olds. McCraken, among the early favorites for the spring classics, remained undefeated with a track-record-setting performance in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes on Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs. A day later, Iliad won the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita.

Both earned Beyers of 95 that rank among the top five figures for 3-year-old males this season. They will take the next steps on the Kentucky Derby trail on March 11, with McCraken likely returning for the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby and Iliad stretching out in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes.

Ghostzapper was known for brilliant speed that he could carry a distance, with his top Beyers being the 128 he posted in winning the 2004 Philip H. Iselin at Monmouth and the 124 he earned in winning the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Lone Star, the latter securing his Horse of the Year title.

While those figures set a high bar, Ghostzapper is passing class on to his own progeny. On DRF’s Beyer Sire Performance Standings, he ranked in the top 20 active sires of 2016 by individual runners to earn figures of 90 or higher. In total, 6.1 percent of his progeny reached that mark last year. Interestingly, Ghostzapper’s half-brother City Zip, standing at Lane’s End, has a nearly identical figure for that category at 6.2 percent.

Like City Zip – who has sired Eclipse Award winners routing on turf and sprinting on dirt – versatility has been a hallmark of Ghostzapper’s stallion career. Shaman Ghost and Moreno both won major route events in New York, and McCraken and Iliad will look to follow that path as the distances get longer on the Derby trail.

However, Ghostzapper is also the sire of several notable sprinters, led by champion Judy the Beauty and Eclipse Award finalist Paulassilverlining. Ghostzapper is also the sire of Grade 1 turf-stakes winner Za Approval and stakes runners such as Hunters Bay and Mr Maybe.

With Ghostzapper and City Zip both prominent among Kentucky sires, another half-brother, City Wolf, looks to join the fold this year. The graded-stakes-winning Adena Springs homebred moved to the operation’s Kentucky base this year after beginning his stud career in Florida; his first foals are juveniles this year.

-edited from www.drf.com/Nicole Russo

Ghostzapper's 3YO Iliad Home First in San Vicente S. (G2)

2/12/2017

Trainer Doug O'Neill has won the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes for the second year in a row. Last year, Nyquist used the race as a springboard to win the Kentucky Derby; this year, it was Kaleem Shah's sophomore ridgling colt Iliad. The son of Ghostzapper was making his first start for O'Neill, having begun his career in Bob Baffert's barn before a well-publicized split of the long-time owner/trainer combination. Under Flavien Prat, subbing for the “body sore” Rafael Bejarano after a spill on Saturday, Iliad covered seven furlongs over Santa Anita's fast main track in a sharp 1:21.62, drawing away to win by at least three lengths after attending the pace early.

Watch the San Vicente Stakes

Iliad is Ghostzapper's second graded stakes-winning three-year-old colt on the weekend after the unbeaten McCraken solidified his role as Kentucky Derby favorite with a track record score in the Sam F. Davis S. (G3).

Iliad broke well along the outside, but Blabimir rushed up from the center of the five-horse field to take the early lead. Prat was able to convince Iliad to settle just off the flank of the leader, with Aquamarine between horses in third. After a first quarter in :21.89, Law Abidin Citizen rushed up the rail to scoot into second position behind Blabimir, which appeared to upset the race favorite Road to Midway, who tried to rush up on heels between horses and had to be restrained by jockey Mike Smith.

Approaching the far turn, Iliad began to rally on the outside of Blabimir just as Law Abidin Citizen did the same along the inside. Blabimir stayed in front to mark the half-mile in :44.08, but quickly dropped back after that. Iliad inherited the lead, and while briefly challenged by Law Abidin Citizen in the turn, he easily put away that rival and straightened for home with a one-length advantage. Under mild urging from Prat, Iliad drew away to win easily, crossing under the wire about three lengths in front of Law Abidin Citizen. Road to Midway posted a mild rally to finish third in front of Aquamarine.

Bred in Kentucky by Sungyeoun Lim, Iliad was a $285,000 purchase at the OBS 2-year-old in training sale, after bringing $80,000 as a yearling and $50,000 as a weanling, both at Keeeland. The colt won at second asking in December, and the San Vicente is just his third start. The win boosts his career earnings to just under $150,000 for two wins in three starts.

O'Neill suggested that the next start for Iliad would be around two turns in the San Felipe on March 11.

-edited from www.paulickreport.com

McCracken Still Unbeaten With Track Record Performance

2/11/2017

Trainer Ian Wilkes keeps saying he hasn't gotten a read yet on just how good Janis Whitham's homebred McCraken is. What's certain in the aftermath of the colt's 1 1/2-length win Feb. 11 Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) is this—the son of Ghostzapper is as formidable a force as there is in the current sophomore male ranks. 

Watch the Sam F. Davis Stakes

The build-up to McCraken's seasonal bow concluded with results to match. Under some left-handed urging from jockey Brian Hernandez Jr., the unbeaten colt unleashed a wicked turn of foot down the middle of the track and held off a mild bid from Tapwrit late to win the $250,000 Sam F. Davis in a track-record time of 1:42.45 going 1 1/16 miles at Tampa Bay Downs.

In addition to remaining unblemished in four career starts, McCraken took that all-important step forward in his transition from precocious juvenile to leading contender on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

Wilkes said this week the Sam F. Davis was a stepping stone, and should be viewed as such. Fully cranked or not, McCraken looked every bit the impressive contender as he saved ground early on while State of Honor took the field through fractions of :23.63 and :47.15. Swinging out with about a quarter mile to go, the bay colt used his trademark kick to stamp himself as the pro-tem leader in the divisional ranks.

"If he’s good enough, he’ll take us there,” Wilkes said. "I don’t know how good (he is). But there have been some nice horses that have run a mile-and-a-sixteenth here.

"We’ve got a long way to go. This is not a one-race program. I want two more races for him, then the Derby. This is just one stepping stone, and we keep building."

The Sam F. Davis marked the first start for McCraken outside of Churchill Downs, and the tricky Florida surface has been the undoing of many a notable runner in years past.

Just as he did in his career debut last Oct. 2, in the Street Sense Stakes 28 days later, and again during his 1 1/4 length score in the Nov. 26 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2), McCraken methodically bided his time before swallowing up his foes with a stride that has yet to reach its bottom.

When Hernandez moved him out after tracking along in sixth and asked from more around the final turn, it was as if the Louisiana native hit a switch and turned on a set of afterburners. Despite some slight bearing out in the lane, McCraken continued on comfortably to the wire over a fast track, suggesting there is more ability to be unearthed.

"He puts a lot of confidence in you, that’s for sure," Hernandez said. “You’ve just got to go with it and ride him with confidence. I asked him at about the half-mile pole and he hesitated a bit, but I think that was his way of telling me ‘Don’t worry. We’re going to get the job done.'"
Tapwrit got up for second over pacesetter State of Honor, with Wild Shot finishing fourth. Fact Finding, No Dozing, Six Gun Salute, Chance of Luck, and King and His Court completed the order of finish.

McCraken paid $5, $3.60 and $2.80 across the board at odds of 3-2, and now has 20 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard.
Out of the Seeking the Gold mare Ivory Empress, McCraken improved his earnings improved to $310,848.

With seemingly room to improve his form as well, even the understated Wilkes couldn't help but concede the spotlight is rightfully going to be on his barn in the weeks ahead.

"Let’s pay all credit to the horse,” Wilkes said. “He’s taking us there. Let’s pay attention to him.”

-edited from www.bloodhorse.com

Ghostzapper Emerging as Important Broodmare Sire

2/7/2017

Ghostzapper was one of the most consistently brilliant horses to compete in North America over the past quarter century and he's developed equally impressive stallion resume with 9 Grade 1 winners and a sterling 11% blacktype winners to starters ratio. So it's no surprise that the Hall of Fame son of Awesome Again is already beginning to emerge as a potent broodmare sire.

2016 Eclipse Champion sprinter Drefong is Exhibit A. Out of the Ghostzapper dam Eltimaas, the son of Gio Ponti secured his championship with sensational wins the King's Bishop S. (G1) against fellow sophomores and the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) over older rivals.

Drefong isn't the only star produced by the daughters of Ghostzapper. Guest Suite (by Quality Road) put himself squarely in the 2017 Triple Crown picture with a rousing victory in the January 21 LeComte Stakes (G3). The three-year-old colt is out of the Ghostzapper lass Guest House, a granddaughter of the legendary producer Weekend Surprise.

Guest Suite is the third group/graded winner out of a mare by Ghostzapper with Levante Lion, a group winner in Japan, the other.

Through February 7, 2017 Ghostzapper is the damsire of nine blacktype winners from just 88 starters, a sparkling 10% strike rate. Among the other blacktype winners is American Gal (by the Tapit son Concord Point), who placed in both the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and Starlet Stakes (G1) last fall.

January Heat From Macho Uno

2/1/2017

Macho Uno January Leading Sire

Macho Uno is one of the hottest sires in North America through the first month of 2017.

The Adena Springs Kentucky stallion is the sire of a trio of blacktype winners in January along with a number of promising Maiden and Allowance winners. No North American sire has more January blackytype winners and only Bernardini ($100,000 stud fee) has as many.

Tommy Macho is his sire’s current headliner, winning the Grade 3 Hal’s Hope Stakes at Gulfstream Park on January 14 by 5 ¾ lengths. The five-year-old was emerging as one of the East Coast’s top milers last spring before being sidelined. In the third start of his current form cycle he is again on that trajectory, earning a 105 Beyer Speed Figure in the Hal’s Hope. That number is highest of his career and third-highest of any horse in North America through the early stages of 2017. Tommy Macho is now a three-time graded stakes winner of over $500,000 and he has the chance to develop into one of Macho Uno’s very best runners alongside the likes of Breeders’ Cup Classic hero Mucho Macho Man and the Grade 1-winning millionaires Private Zone and Macho Again. 

Just seven days after Tommy Macho rolled to his impressive victory, Hy Riverside prevailed by a gusty nose in the $200,000 Sunshine Millions Classic. The five-year-old colt was purchased by Mar Racing Stable for $190,000 at the 2014 OBS April Sale and he is Macho Uno’s 31st lifetime blacktype stakes winner.

Macho Uno is also the sire of the American-bred V. I. P. Zone, who captured his second career blacktype race in Panama on New Year’s Day.

Macho Uno’s pipeline continued to fill in January with the promising three-year-old Maiden Special winners Treble and Starship Tribbles.

Treble was professional two-length victress of her debut on January 16 at Oaklawn Park. Starship Tribbles got his picture taken two days later after a 6 ¼-length domination of a one-mile Maiden Special at Gulfstream Park.

Bobby Abu Dhabi and Small Bear are two other Macho Uno sophomores to watch. The former annexed an Allowance/Optional Claiming contest at Parx on January 17 for his second straight victory. His win streak has earned him a spot in the starting gate for the $250,000 Withers Stakes (G3) on February 4.

Triple Crown-nominated Bobby Abu Dhabi is working steadily for his 2017 debut. He was an impressive first-out winner at Del Mar in November before a fourth-place run in the Grade 1 Los Al Futurity.

 

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