'Spectacular' Mucho Macho Man 2YO Commands $625,000 at FT Midlantic Sale


A speedy colt from the first crop of Mucho Macho Man was purchased by Michael Lund Petersen for $625,000 during the first session of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-olds in training sale.

Consigned as Hip 278 by Kirkwood Stables, the colt breezed the fastest quarter mile of :21 1/5 during the under tack workouts leading up to the sale. The next fastest quarter was :23 3/5. The colt had been a $55,000 buy-back at the Ocala Breeders' Sales March juvenile sale and was previously acquired for $95,000 from Select Sales at the 2017 Keeneland September yearling sale.

"He matured a little bit," Kirkwood's Kip Elser said of the difference between the OBS sale at which the colt was bought back and the result Monday. Elser said the colt had worked well both over the synthetic surface at OBS and on dirt at the Maryland State Fairgrounds where the Fasig-Tipton sale takes place. "He was good on the poly (an eighth in :10 flat) and he was spectacular on the dirt," the South Carolina-based trainer said. "He was brilliant here and he stood out and sold."

Watch Hip #278's bullet breeze

Produced from the winning Giant's Causeway mare Itsagiantcauseway, the colt is from the extended female family of Canadian Horse of the Year and sire Peaks and Valleys and multiple grade 2 winner Alternation. He was bred in Kentucky by Teneri Farm and Bernardo Alvarez Calderon.

Half of the first 10 Mucho Macho Man juveniles sold have now commanded six figure bids, including a $560,000 colt at the OBS March sale and the $260,000 Hargus, who became his sire's first winner by blitzing a Maiden Special field at Keeneland on April 26.

-edited from www.bloodhorse.com/photo by Tibor Szlavik

Adena Springs Classic Breeding Prominent in Preakness 143 Finish


It would be hard to paint a more a dramatic scene for Saturday's 143rd Preakness Stakes. A week-long mid-Atlantic deluge left historic Pimlico Racecourse wringing wet. When the skies briefly, mercifully relented an eerie fog moved in making most of the middle of the jewel of the Triple Crown invisible to the 134,487 brave and wild fans on the grounds. 

It wasn't until the 1/8th pole that the grand chestnut with the big white blaze materialized from the nebula. Justify was in front of Good Magic, their taxing pace duel unknown to most of the roaring crowd. Justify was going to win! But wait, here comes Tenfold! Here comes Bravazo!

At the wire Justify did hold off Bravazo by a 1/2 length with Tenfold another neck back in third. The finish line camera not only captured one of the more exciting finishes in Triple Crown lore, it captured another proud moment in the long and storied history of the Adena Springs breeding program.

Justify is out of a mare by the Adena Springs homebred Hall of Famer Ghostzapper. Bravazo is a son of Ghostzapper's sire, the Adena Springs homebred Hall of Famer Awesome Again. In fact, Bravazo's dam was purchased by Adena Springs specifically for the court of Awesome Again.

A Classic Story 

Awesome Again became the first Breeders' Cup Classic winner to sire a Breeders' Cup Classic winner when Ghostzapper captured the Classic (and Horse of the Year title) in 2004. He's hardly slowed down since. Awesome Again is now up to 14 Grade 1 winners and his 11th millionaire emerged just last month when another Adena Springs homebred, Something Awesome, scored in the Charles Town Classic (G2).

Bravazo fell just short of giving Awesome Again his second Preakness winner this decade after 2013 hero Oxbow, who won in the colors of Calumet Farm. Oxbow is out of a mare by the Relaunch stallion Cee's Tizzy, also the damsire of Awesome Again's Haskell Invitational (G1) winner and Belmont Stakes (G1) runner-up Paynter. This pattern made Bravazo's dam, the Cee's Tizzy daughter Tiz o' Gold, a coveted target for Awesome Again. The 7-time winner was acquired by Adena Springs, bred to Awesome Again and then sold at the 2014 Keeneland November Breeding Stock sale. Calumet Farm, no doubt influenced by their success with Oxbow, swooped in and made the purchase. 

Watch Director of Sales Dermot Carty Discuss the Adena Springs Breeding Program on TVG

Pedigree blogger Melissa Bauer-Herzog noted the full breadth of Awesome Again's impact on the Preakness weekend stakes in her March 20 post: "At 24 years old and still an active stallion, Awesome Again (Deputy Minister) is already impressive. But add in the fact that that he plays a major role in the pedigrees of the top two Preakness finishers, the Black Eye Susan second and the Chick Lang third and it was a great weekend for the Adena Spring stallion."
Black-Eyed Susan runner-up Coach Rocks is from Oxbow's first crop and previously captured the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2); Clouded Judgement is by Oxbow's Stakes-winning full brother Awesome Patriot.

The Flipside

Justify's dam, Stage Magic, is one of 14 blacktype horses from Ghostzapper's first crop. She was bred and raced by her owner John Gunther and joined his storied broodmare band after her 3rd-place finish to Eclipse Champion Groupie Doll in the 2011 Gardenia Stakes (G3). Justify, sold by Gunther for $500,000 at the 2016 Keeneland September auction, is her third foal. 

Ghostzapper first started to emerge as a broodmare sire in 2016 when Drefong rolled through the King's Bishop S. (G1) and Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) en route to Eclipse Award honors. From just 151 starters Ghostzapper daughters are responsible for 13 blacktype winners (8.6%) and four other Graded winners, including the multiple Grade 1 heroine American Gal.

Frank Stronach will be honored with the Dinny Phipps Award on June 7. In a recent interview he summed up his long and prodigious involvement in the thoroughbred racing and breeding industry - "I do what I do because I am heavily involved with horses and love horses." 

Click here for the full interview.

Kirby's Penny is Macho Uno's Third Graded Winner of 2018


Kent Spellman's Kirby's Penny kicked clear in the final eighth of the Vagrancy Stakes (G3) , earning her first graded stakes win in the third race on Belmont's Saturday card.

Watch the Vagrancy Stakes

The 5-year-old daughter of Macho Uno took a three-wide path around the far turn, then overtook the 3-1 Chalon in the stretch to win by about 1 1/2 lengths. Ridden by John Velazquez for trainer Wesley Ward, Kirby's Penny covered 6 1/2 furlongs over Belmont's “good” main track in 1:16.42. Favored Holiday Disguise finished third.

“I think she likes Belmont,” Ward said. “She likes an off track. And, she got a great ride, as I always do with Johnny [Velazquez]. For whatever reason, horses always seem to run great for him. I'm always happy to have Johnny. I can't always get him from Todd [Pletcher], that's his main man, but anytime I can, I'm very thankful to have him.”

As expected, the quick-footed Sounds Delicious grabbed the lead from her rail position out of the starting gate, moving away from the field by about a length down the backstretch. Tracked by both Chalon and Kirby's Penny, Sounds Delicious rated out fractions of :22.20 and :45.15.

Chalon moved up to challenge the leader through the far turn, and while Sounds Delicious battled back bravely, the frontrunner eventually folded at the three-sixteenths pole. Chalon took command from that point, but Kirby's Penny, who had swung wide around the turn, wasn't done yet and was making big strides down the center of the track.

Kirby's Penny easily passed Chalon, kicking clear in the late stages to cross the wire about 1 1/2 lengths in front. Favorite Holiday Disguise closed well to finish third, while Sounds Delicious faded to fourth.

“I went to go and get good position,” said Velazquez, “and when the other one (Chalon) went and put the other horse on the lead, it was perfect because it let somebody else put the fight on the horse in front, so we went to the outside, and she did it all after that.”

Bred in Kentucky by Hidden Springs Farm, Kirby's Penny was a $70,000 Keeneland September Yearling sale purchase. She RNA'd at $75,000 at the OBS March sale of 2-year-olds in training, then commanded a final bid of $50,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic juvenile sale. A consistent performer through her 2017 season, Kirby's Penny has compiled an overall record of seven wins from 12 starts, with earnings of over $330,000.

She's the third Graded winner of 2018 for Macho Uno following Bobby Abu Dhabi, who earned his first Stakes victory in the April 21 Kona Gold Stakes (G2) and Tommy Macho who took the Fred W. Hooper Stakes (G3) to further advance his bankroll toward the $1 million mark.

- edited from www.paulickreport.com/NYRA, Chelsea Durand photo

A Huge Derby Weekend for Ghostzapper


Kentucky Derby weekend is annually one of the biggest on the North American racing calendar and Ghostzapper was prominent in the pedigrees of several important winners this year.

Stronach Stable's homebred Ghostzapper filly Holy Helena was one of his two graded winners on the weekend, winning the Sheepshead Bay Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park. The win was the third in a row and sixth from nine career starts for Holy Helena, who beat colts in the 2017 Queen's Plate en route to a Sovereign Award as Canada's Champion 3YO Filly. She kicked off her 2018 campaign with a powerful victory in her turf debut at Gulfstream Park followed by a win in that track's The Very One Stakes (G3) on March 3. She's now earned $1,009,333 and is Ghostzapper's 8th millionaire.

Watch the Sheepshead Bay Stakes

Trained by Jimmy Jerkens and bred by Adena Springs in Ontario, Holy Helena was produced from the Holy Bull mare, Holy Grace. 

“It's always very tricky when all the horses have the same style,” Jerkens said of the slow-paced event. “I couldn't tell who was going to be on the lead or anything. I guess the pace was slow and they were very fresh up ahead of her and she had to sprint down the lane to win it. She bobbled a little bit too right in mid-stretch there. She was running so fast, it was kind of like the ground kind of gave out under her."

Earlier in the day at Churchill Downs another Ghostzapper distaff turf star, Proctor's Ledge, rose to the occasion in the Churchill Turf Distaff Mile Stakes (G2) in front of a large throng assembled for the 144th Kentucky Derby.
"I had a perfect trip," said Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez. "We broke pretty well and got into the position I wanted to be in. I didn't want to be too far back. She settled well, and after that I bided my time to get a nice run down the lane. When the time came, I pulled her out and she responded right away."

Proctor's Ledge boosted her earnings to $579,090, with a 5-2-1 record from 12 starts. The 4-year-old was bred in Kentucky by her owner Patricia Mosely out of the stakes-placed Arch mare Archstone. She landed her third graded stakes score in the Turf Distaff Mile. In 2017 the handsome bay won the Lake George Stakes (G3) and Lake Placid Stakes (G2) consecutively at Saratoga Race Course and will eye the Diana Stakes (G1) there as a major target this summer.

"There's a mile race on Belmont Day (and) there's a mile and a quarter race on Belmont Day," trainer Brendan Walsh said of future starts. "The Diana at Saratoga, you would think, would be her main target, seeing that she has such an affinity for Saratoga. We'll be careful with her because I think she'll get better and better as she goes along. I think her best races are still in front of her."

The main event on May 5 was, of course, the 144th Kentucky Derby and the unbeaten winner Justify was produced by the Ghostzapper daughter Stage Magic. 

"He just put himself up there with the greats," exclaimed Justify's trainer Bob Baffert, who knows a thing or two about all-timers, having had 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and champion Arrogate, racing's all-time richest racehorse, emerge from his barn. "We knew he was capable. He showed me that—we were talking about it—but I didn't want to say it. I knew I had something really special, but he had to prove it today."

Bred in Kentucky by John Gunther, Justify is by the late Scat Daddy and is the third foal out of Stage Magic. Her first foal, the Street Sense son The Lieutenant has placed in pair of Stakes on the Southern California circuit including the April 28 Californian Stakes (G2). Stage Magic is one of 17 blacktype horses from Ghostzapper's first crop foaled in 2007.

Collectively the daughters of Ghostzapper have gotten off to a tremendous start as producers. From their first 150 starters they've produced 104 winners (69%) and 13 Stakes winners (12.5%). Among their other Stakes winners are Eclipse Champion Sprinter Drefong and American Gal, who also put her talents on display on the Kentucky Derby undercard. 

Winner of last summer's Test Stakes (G1), she added another Grade 1 to her resume in the Humana Distaff (G1). Bred by her owner Kaleem Shah, American Gal (by the Tapit son Concord Point) has now won five of her eight starts and earned over $900,000.

Ghostzapper was also represented by impressive debut winner and 'TDN Rising Star' Bugle Notes on the May 4 Kentucky Oaks card and McCraken, who scored in his 2018 debut on Derby Day. McCraken has captured a trio of Graded Stakes and was a nose short of winning last year's Haskell Invitational (G1). It's likely trainer Ian Wilkes used the Derby Day allowance as a stepping stone to the June 16 Stephen Foster Handicap (G1).

-edited from www.paulickreport.com & www.bloodhorse.com

$825,000 Ghostzapper Yearling Makes Good as 'Rising Star'


St Elias and West Point Thoroughbreds Bugle Notes, a son Ghostzapper, had to do it tough following a tardy dispatch, but just kept on coming and edged clear late to score by 2 1/4 lengths to become a ‘TDN Rising Star’ during the early portion of the Oaks undercard Friday at Churchill Downs.

Watch Bugle Notes Maiden Victory

As an $825,000 Keeneland September purchase, the bay colt was the most expensive of 38 of his sire’s yearlings to sell in 2016 and he was duly sent off the 9-10 chalk to get his career off on a winning note. One of the last away from the gates, Bugle Notes jumped into the bridle, but had no choice but to race four and five deep on the track in the run to the turn. Able to sustain his momentum despite the considerable ground loss on the bend, he swept up to lead while drifting in a bit on second-time starter Bueno Bueno Bueno at the furlong grounds, but stuck to his task to take it by about two lengths.

A half-brother to Graded winner Annual Report and Stakes winner Giant Payday, Bugle Notes hails from a prolific Phipps female line. He is out of a daughter of Grade 1 winner Furlough, the dam of Graded winner Happy Hunting and Stakes winner Pardon. The third dam includes Furlough’s Grade 1-winning half-sister Finder’s Fee and Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) hero Dancing Spree. Bugle Notes’s 2-year-old half-brother by Hard Spun brought $400,000 from John Oxley at the recently concluded OBS April sale after a :21 1/5 breeze. 

Bugle Notes kicked off a huge weekend for Ghostzapper, who was the sire of a pair of graded winners and the damsire of two Grade 1 victors including unbeaten Kentucky Derby champ Justify.

- edited from www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/Coady photo

Silent Name's Summer Sunday Best in Fury Stakes


Even-money favorite Summer Sunday persevered in the final furlong to capture the featured $125,000 Fury Stakes for Canadian-foaled three-year-old fillies on Sunday afternoon at Woodbine Racetrack.

Watch the Fury Stakes

Teaming up with jockey Rafael Hernandez, Summer Sunday, by Silent Name, broke well from post five and clocked an opening quarter-mile in :23.37 before coming under pressure from Queen’s Fate, who gained a short lead at the half in :45.82. Glamanation, an Adena Springs-bred stakes winner by Point of Entry, then rallied three-wide into contention entering the final turn of the seven-furlong sprint, but Summer Sunday forged on despite veering towards the grandstand side to score in 1:24.17. Glamanation ducked inside through the stretch and raced down the middle of the track to finish second, one and three-quarter lengths behind the winner, with the rail-skimming Avie’s Mineshaft a neck back in third.

“She just broke right on top and there was no way I was going to take her back,” said Hernandez, who rode his second stakes winner of the meet. “She was doing her job and you can see how she stuck it out, how wide she goes, still winning. If she goes straight, we should have won easy. She made me work hard.”

Not only did Summer Sunday overcome steering issues to notch the third stakes win of her career, but she managed to do so carrying a field-high 124 pounds.

“It was a little nerve-wrecking for a minute, but she came through finally and that was great,” said William Scott, who co-owns the Silent Name-Dancing Allstar filly with his wife Anne. “I was a little nervous about the weight – 124 pounds is a lot of weight this time of year in my estimate – but she handled it with ease.”

Summer Sunday remains undefeated over Woodbine’s all-weather track with three prior victories including the Nandi and Muskoka Stakes last season. Bred in Ontario by Trinity West Stables, the filly is four-for-five with her only loss in the Grade 3 Beaumont on Keeneland’s dirt course three weeks ago.

“She had trained okay over the dirt. We had no other real options. We really felt we had her away for the winter for a reason to get one start in her anyway,” said trainer Stuart Simon of Summer Sunday’s debut. “So we thought we’d give it a try, but it just wasn’t her preferred surface and it was a very tough bunch too. When you face those kinds of horses, you’ve got to have everything to your liking.”

All six fillies are eligible to the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser (1-1/8 miles), set for June 9. Silent Name is also the sire of Silent Sting, winner of the Queenston Stakes on April 22. The Stronach Stables star is among the early favorites for the $1 million Queen's Plate.

- edited from www.woodbine.com, photo by Michael Burns

Big Love - Mucho Amor First Winner for Mucho Macho Man


Freshman sire Mucho Macho Man was represented by his first runner and winner, Mucho Amor, who grabbed the lead early and never looked back to win a  maiden special weight at Keeneland. 

Watch Mucho Amor's Maiden Victory

The 2-year-old filly, trained by Wesley Ward for Ten Broeck Farm, was sent off as the second choice at 2-1 in the field of 11 juvenile fillies going 4 1/2 furlongs. 

Blame the Frog jumped out of the gate for the lead, but was quickly taken over by Mucho Amor, who set fractions of :22.66 and :45.78 through a half-mile. With Blame the Frog pressing as the only challenger in the stretch, Mucho Amor finished the distance a neck in front in :52 flat over a fast track.

Bred by Ed Few in Kentucky, Mucho Amor is out of the Rock Hard Ten mare Raucous Lady. Consigned by Hidden Brook to the 2017 Keeneland September yearling sale, Mucho Amor sold to Hal Hatch, agent, for $135,000. She was then sent to the Ocala Breeders' Sales March sale of 2-year-olds in training, where she was consigned by Halcyon Hammock Farm and sold to Ben McElroy for $260,000.

The commercial market has been high on the Mucho Mucho Mans all spring with four of his first six juveniles sold at auction bringing six figures. Along with Mucho Amor, two-year-olds have sold for $575,000, $150,000 and $105,000.

Mucho Macho Man is by Eclipse Champion 2YO Macho Uno and was multiple Graded Stakes-placed during his own juvenile campaign. Over four subsequent racing seasons he was nine of his 25 starts and earned $5,625,410. His major accomplishments included a third-place finish in the Kentucky Derby(G1) at 3, a second-place finish in the 2012 Breeders' Cup Classic (G1), and scores in the 2013 Awesome Again Stakes (G1) and Breeders' Cup Classic as a 5-year-old.

Mucho Macho Man stands for a 2018 fee of $10,000.

- edited from www.bloodhorse.com/Coady photo

More Six-Figure Juveniles for Mucho Macho Man at OBS April


A pair of first crop juveniles by Breeders' Cup Classic champion Mucho Macho Man commanded six-figure bids at the OBS April Spring Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training.

On day two of the sale, Hip #572 was purchased by Say Jay Racing through agent Brooke Hubbard. The filly, out of the stakes-winning Bright Launch daughter Launch a Double, looked good in her breeze on April 18 stopping the timer in :10.1. She was consigned by Off the Hook, LLC.

During the prior session Hip #85, a Mucho Macho Man colt out of the Langfuhr dam Becker County Miss, went for $105,000 to Alrashid USA Group. Consigned by SGV Thoroughbreds, the colt is a successful pinhook for Win Some Racing who purchased him at last year's OBS January sale for $35,000.

Along with a $575,000 colt and $260,000 filly at OBS March, four of the first five Mucho Macho Man two-year-olds sold have commanded six figures. The $260,000 filly, now named Mucho Amor, has gone on to become the first starter and winner for her sire with a wire-to-wire debut victory at Keeneland on April 26.

Frank Stronach To Be Honored With Dinny Phipps Award


The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation announced April 24 that Frank Stronach, founder and honorary chairman of The Stronach Group and a leading Thoroughbred owner and breeder, will be presented with the Dinny Phipps Award at the Belmont Stakes Charity Celebration Thursday, June 7, at the Bryant Park Grill in New York City.

Earle Mack, an active participant in Thoroughbred racing and breeding for more than five decades, created the award in 2017 to honor an individual or individuals who have demonstrated dedication to equine health. The Phipps family received the inaugural Dinny Phipps Award at last year's charity celebration. All proceeds from the event benefit the ongoing research of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation to improve equine health for all breeds.

"Frank Stronach has been committed to improving all aspects of the horse racing industry since entering the sport more than 50 years ago," said Mack. "I am thrilled to bestow the Dinny Phipps Award to an individual who prioritizes the wellbeing of the equine in all areas from breeding to racing to racetrack management."

"From his support of Grayson's work to his efforts to ensure the highest standards of health and soundness for his horses and all horses that compete at his racetracks, Frank Stronach epitomizes the essence of the Dinny Phipps Award, and he is extremely deserving of this accolade," said Dell Hancock, chairman of Grayson.

The evening will feature a cocktail reception and delicious food on the rooftop of the restaurant, which overlooks the famed Bryant Park. Tickets for the event are available at $250 each, and there are also various sponsorship opportunities available.

The Stronach Group owns and operates several racetracks, including Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park, and Pimlico Race Course, home of the Preakness Stakes (G1). Santa Anita has hosted the Breeders' Cup a record nine times, and Gulfstream has hosted the first two editions of Stronach's innovative Pegasus World Cup, the world's richest horse race.

Stronach has won 12 Eclipse Awards as an owner and breeder. He has won the Sovereign Award for Outstanding Owner in Canada a co-record nine times.
In pursuit of his goal to care for horses at all stages of their lives, Stronach created the Adena Springs Retirement program and has organized aftercare and retirement programs at his racetracks. He also has pledged support to the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2017, which would create a uniform, nationwide, conflict-free drug testing enforcement program for horse racing.

"It is with great gratitude that I wish to thank the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation for being chosen as the second recipient of the Dinny Phipps Award," said Stronach. "This award not only honors the legacy of a great man in the Thoroughbred industry but represents upholding the integrity of our sport and improving equine health—values and principles that are most important to me."

Additional information about the Belmont Stakes Charity Celebration can be obtained by contacting Nancy Kelly at nkelly@jockeyclub.com.
Phipps, a prominent Thoroughbred owner and breeder, served as the chairman of The Jockey Club from February 1983 until he retired in August 2015. He received numerous honors and awards through the years for his dedication and commitment to the Thoroughbred industry. He died on April 6, 2016.

Mack has owned Thoroughbreds since 1963 and has actively supported equine retirement initiatives. A member of The Jockey Club since 2012, he has also served as a board member at various times for the New York Racing Association, the New York State Thoroughbred Racing Capital Investment Fund, and the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund Corp. He was chairman of the New York State Racing Commission in the mid-1980s.
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