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Keeneland Babies for October 19
Welcome to Keeneland Babies! I'll analyze every juvenile contest at the meet.
*Week Two Recap: Some winners here and there, but the inability to convert a few exactas kept us in the red.
*Meet record based on starts, wins, top pick (after scratches) in the money, and profit/loss of that day's play ($2 wager, scheduled surface only): 25-5-11 ($-47.40)
1 Mile (Turf)
Maiden Special Weight
NAJJAAR split horses on the far turn of his most recent start at Arlington, eased to the outside turning for home and was gaining late ground on next-out winner Scatter a Star (won an entry-level optional claimer at Hawthorne with a 71 Beyer). His first crop sire, Belmont Stakes hero Jazil, has yet to be represented by a winner, but the dam won on grass at seven furlongs in Ireland and has foaled a pair of turf winners overseas.
AWESOME'S ELEVEN, a $100,000 yearling buyback, faced good competition in both starts on grass at Saratoga. Two back, he tackled Fantastic Song (returned to finish third in the Grade 3 Pilgrim Stakes with a 71 Beyer) and Animal Spirits (came back to win the Grade 3 Bourbon Stakes with a 79 Beyer). In his most recent start, he faced Shkspeare Shaliyah (next-out Pilgrim winner) and Liquidity Trip (next-out maiden winner at Belmont with an 80 Beyer). Trainer Dallas Stewart is 1-41 over the past three years with first-time blinker runners.
STATE FLAG "went very well under light urging, out in 59/2," according to the "Keeneland Clocker Report" for October 10. Out of juvenile Grade 2-placed router Salute (10-1-3-2, 103K, unraced on turf), State Flag faced a good group at Saratoga on August 27 (the winner came back to run third in the Grade 3 Summer Stakes with a 72 Beyer while the third-finisher returned to take two in a row, including the Grade 3 Pilgrim). Trainer Shug McGaughey is 1-27 over the past three years with first-time blinker runners.
TRAVEL ADVISORY, on the also-eligible list, "continues good morning efforts," according to the "Keeneland Clocker Report" for October 1. He just missed in both career starts sprinting on the grass and finished ahead of next-out winner Dynamite Lonnie D at Kentucky Downs on September 12 (won maiden by 9 1/4 lengths on dirt at Mountaineer on October 3 with 53 Beyer). Travel Advisory, entered in the upcoming Keeneland November auction, would have to avoid a wide trip from a tough outside post if he gets into the body of this race.
FLORIDA HOLIDAY, by Harlan's Holiday (19-161, 12%, with first-turf runners), showed improved speed in first start around two turns and looms a pace factor in this spot. The dam was a juvenile stakes-winning sprinter (28-5-3-2, 187K, 0-8 on turf). Florida Holiday is a full brother to juvenile Grade 1 route winner Into Mischief (6-3-3-0, 597K, unraced on turf). None of his siblings have raced on grass.
RED JACK is by Exchange Rate (21-175, 12%, with first-time turf runners), out of 10-time route winner Red Mischief (38-10-3-7, 187K, 0-1 on turf), a mare that has foaled one grass winner from four turf starters. Red Jack is a full brother to Grade 1 route winner Ermine (16-5-5-0, 880K, 0-1 on turf). He faced a tough field in his career debut at Saratoga and broke from an outside post in two-turn debut at Delaware last time out. If he gets off the also-eligible list, Red Jack might have to endure a wide trip.
CHARLIE MURRAY is by First Samurai (3-48, 6%, with juvenile debut runners and 4-34, 12%, with first-time turf runners) out of the unplaced mare Shahalo (2-0-0-0, 0-1 on turf), who has foaled five winners from eight runners (0-5 with turf runners, 2-5 with 2yos).
Charlie Murray is a half-brother to Grade 2 route winner My Pal Charlie (20-3-3-2, 762K, 0-3 at two, unraced on turf), Grade 3 route winner Bwana Bull (16-4-4-1, 526K, 2-6 at two, 0-1 on turf), multiple stakes-placed Ten Halos (13-2-4-2, 92K, 2-4 at two, won debut, 0-1 on turf) and Grade 2 sprint winner Bwana Charlie (19-4-4-5, 388K, 0-5 at two, unraced on turf). According to the "Keeneland Clocker Report" for October 8, Charlie Murray gave a "good gate work, pulled away from Secret Asset the last furlong." Secret Asset is a three-year-old filly that made her debut for this barn on October 12. She finished eighth with a 42 Beyer in that polytrack route.
CERTAIN SWAGGER is by Arch (14-151, 9%, with juvenile debut runners, 26-239, 11% with first-time turf runners) and is the first starter out of route winner Comedy (8-1-1-1, 31K, 0-4 on turf). Originally sold for $45,000 as a weanling, Certain Swagger was a $60,000 buyback as a yearling before selling for $150,000 in March.
DONOHARM is by Lemon Drop Kid (38-300, 13%, with first-turf runners) out of multiple stakes-placed Tasso Run (41-3-5-13, 147K, 2-10 at two, 2-22 on turf), a dam that has foaled two prior turf performers that did not win on the surface. Donoharm ran third in both dirt tries at Hoosier and is eligible to improve switching to turf.
CAPTAIN BEN is by Touch Gold (23-294, 8%, with first-time turf runners) and is the first starter out of turf-placed Blush On Cue (5-0-0-1, 2K, 0-2 on turf). This colt was virtually ignored at the betting windows for his career debut on dirt, a race won by Mr. Prankster (returned to finish second in the Fitz Dixon Memorial Juvenile Stakes at Presque Isle Downs with a 76 Beyer).
GOLD POLICY is by Giacomo (2-23, 9%, with first-turf runners) and is the first starter out of stakes-placed Point Me the Way (16-3-2-4, 51K, 0-6 at two, 1-6 on turf). The gray colt showed some speed last time out over muddy dirt, but has yet to gain ground from the stretch call to the wire in his short career.
SHARP DADDY exits a very live maiden race at Churchill Downs on June 9. The winner of that race returned to take the Grade 3 Bashford Manor Stakes with an 82 Beyer, the runner-up finished third in the Grade 3 Summer Stakes at Woodbine on September 17, the third-finisher won the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity earlier at this meet and the fourth-runner came back to graduate on dirt at Ellis Park at odds-on (59 Beyer). His sire, Scat Daddy, is 5-21 (24%) with first-time turf runners. The unplaced dam, a half-sister to Grade 3 turf winner Isle de France, was unraced on grass and has foaled one grass winner from four turf runners. Sharp Daddy is a half-brother to Grade 1 route winner Lilacs and Lace (9-3-2-0, 350K, 1-5 at two, 0-1 on turf) and stakes-placed Western Revenge (43-3-7-9, 131K, 1-11 on turf). Originally a $70,000 weanling RNA, Sharp Daddy sold for $35,000 as a yearling and for $80,000 in March.
DON'S BIRTHDAY must improve off her first four starts, all double-digit defeats.
MI LUNA GRANDE, a half-brother to Grade 3-placed turf performer Dos Lunas (11-2-3-0, 136K, 1-6 at two, 2-9 on turf), is out of stakes-placed router Mi Luna Nueva (8-1-3-2, 74K, 1-5 on turf). He finished behind Najjaar in a maiden heat at Arlington on September 4 and that race produced three next-out winners.
2. Awesome's Eleven
3. State Flag
Najjaar to Win at 2-1 odds or greater
1 Mile (Turf)
CUSTOMER BASE rallied from off-the-pace to win his debut over a closer-friendly polytrack at Del Mar. Only one of the six horses to return from that race came back to crack the trifecta (64 Beyer top), but she has some turf pedigree. Her sire, Lemon Drop Kid (38-300, 13%, with first-turf runners), is solid with his grass progeny and the dam was a first-turf winner (5-1-1-0, 11K, 1-2 on turf) that has foaled one grass starter that did not win on the surface. Customer Base is a half-sister to stakes-winning sprinter Hyperlink (20-5-5-3, 200K, 1-5 at two, 0-2 on turf).
MISS RUUD pressed the pace en route to a maiden win over polytrack here 11 days ago and she may work out a good ground-saving trip from the inside post in her two-turn debut. A half-sister to one turf winner, Miss Ruud just missed by a neck in her lone grass start.
DREAM PEGASUS ran off and hid in her career debut on "good" dirt at Ellis Park before being overmatched in the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Lassie on polytrack. She'll add Lasix for a barn that does very well with the move and is eligible to move forward dropping in class for the second start of the form cycle. The sire is 16-275 (6%) with first-turf runners and the dam was placed on grass (2-0-1-1, 8K, all races on turf, has foaled two turf runners that didn't win).
LITTLE NIP didn't disappoint her many backers for her debut run at Arlington, overcoming an awkward break to run them down at five furlongs. Only one of the seven runners to come back from that race returned to crack the trifecta next-out, however, and Little Nip must stretch out three furlongs for his second lifetime race.
SUNSET QUEEN could be the main speed despite breaking from the far outside post. She'll stretch out following four sprint heats and wasn't disgraced in her most recent run in the six-furlong Presque Isle Debutante. She broke poorly from the rail in that race, but rallied nicely for fifth. A half-sister to stakes-winning sprinter Scherzi (31-11-4-5, 110K, 0-2 on turf), Sunset Queen is by Sun King (0-3 with first-turf runners from his first crop of 2011).
RAZZLEBERRY necked Miss Ruud on grass at Ellis Park. Not only did that filly return to win, but the third-finisher, Ready to Unleash, came back to graduate on turf at Kentucky Downs with a 64 Beyer. Razzleberry tired in her first start against winners, but should be forwardly-placed switching back to turf.
SONGS AND SONNETS just missed to Rainbow Blossom in her debut at Arlington, but came right back to prevail in a tight photo three weeks later. The third-finisher from that race returned to score on grass at Hawthorne on October 14 with a 61 Beyer. Blessed with a quality pedigree (by Unbridled's Song out of multiple Grade 3 winner Bedanken (19-11-1-3, 539K, seven wins on turf), Songs and Sonnets is the proverbial "could be any kind" horse.
LA STUPENDA took advantage of hot early fractions when a late-running winner of her two-turn debut at Ellis Park on August 13. In good form, La Stupenda finished a solid second in her initial start against winners. According to the "Keeneland Clocker Report" for October 12, La Stupenda worked "head up" with Phychadellic, an unraced juvenile filly.
LITTLE SADIE was overmatched when attempting to rally over a speed-favoring track in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies. Previously, she finished behind La Stupenda at Ellis Park.
MONONO steps up after a maiden win on dirt at Hoosier. The sire is 8-93 (9%) with first-turf runners. The sprint-winning dam was 0-1 on grass and has foaled two prior grass runners that did not win on the surface.
RAINBOW BLOSSOM parlayed a good trip into a maiden victory over three next-out winners at Arlington on September 2. She can be excused her defeat on polytrack in her most recent start and should do well getting back to her best surface. Rainbow Blossom was "was well under rider control," according to the "Keeneland Clocker Report" for October 7.
1. Customer Base
2. Miss Ruud
3. Dream Pegasus
Customer Base - Miss Ruud Exacta
Customer Base - Dream Pegasus Exacta
6 1/2 Furlongs (Polytrack)
Maiden Claiming ($32,000)
WEAGLE goes out for Gregory Foley, a trainer that is 2-3 (67%, $14.46 ROI) over the past five years with juvenile debut runners in synthetic maiden claimers (he sent out Getaway Guy to win here last fall at 15-1 odds). The sire is 4-26 (15%) with juvenile debut runners and Weagle is the first starter out of the dam (stakes-winner on turf, 42-7-5-5, 296K, 0-7 at two, 0-10 sprinting).
UNDER OATH finished behind Red Vixen, according to the "Keeneland Clocker Report" for October 6. Red Vixen is an unraced juvenile filly. A $5,000 weanling buyback, Under Oath, like many WinStar-owned runners, was entered in the upcoming Keeneland sale. The sire is 17-91 (19%) with juvenile debut runners and the dam (multiple stakes-winning sprinter, 30-7-6-5, 296K, 0-1 at two, 7-23 sprinting) has foaled two winners from four runners (0-1 with 2yos, 2-4 with sprinters). Under Oath is a half-sister to multiple stakes-placed sprinter Brilliant Sunshine (19-3-4-5, 183K, 0-1 at two, 3-16 sprinting).
NINJA CAT, a $55,000 yearling buyback, couldn't catch favored, gate-to-wire winner Gemologist over a speed-favoring Turfway polytrack on September 24. None of the four horses to return from that race were able to crack the trifecta next-out (best Beyer of 56).
LOUIE THE LIP "is on the improve, better than Van Mar from the gate," according to the "Keeneland Clocker Report for October 4. The sire is 1-40 (2%) with juvenile debut runners and the sprint-winning dam (1-1-0-0, 4K) has foaled one runner that did not win.
DISTINCT HONOR finished ahead of next-out winner Durango Tango (won $25,000 maiden claimer at Hoosier on Tuesday) when second to a favored debut winner in his coming-out party at Arlington on September 9.
ANTIQUE WEDDING didn't have an easy trip when second to favored Glowing Tale in his career debut at Turfway Park. A $7,000 buyback as a yearling, Antique Wedding was also bought back, this time for $32,000, in May.
WIN FOR MORGAN removes the blinkers in his first start off the claim, but may need to show his customary early speed breaking from the inside post position. The runner-up from his most recent start returned to finish ninth in a $30,000 maiden claimer at Keeneland with a 12 Beyer.
THOMAS HILL, a $26,000 yearling buyback, is by Scat Daddy (7-43, 16%, with juvenile debut runners) and is the first starter out of an unraced mare. This barn must always be respected, but Thomas Hill doesn't show a published workout in the last three weeks.
VAN MAR, the juvenile outworked by Louie the Lip on October 4, doesn't have a published drill in 15 days. The sire is 6-116 (5%) with juvenile debut runners and Van Mar is the first starter from the unplaced dam (3-0-0-0, 0-1 sprinting).
WOOD QUAY is by turf champ English Channel (4-28, 14%, with juvenile debut runners) out of a dam that won her first two career starts at two in France (both on grass, 16-2-2-1, 29K, has foaled one runner that did not win).
BRECHIN and MR PROSPEX are both by Bandini (7-60, 12%, with juvenile debut runners). The former is out of stakes-placed sprinter Commanding Lady (13-2-2-2, 75K, 0-1 at two, 1-8 sprinting, foaled one winner from one runner) while Mr Prospex is the first starter from a sprint winner (15-3-3-1, 54K).
2. Under Oath
3. Ninja Cat
Weagle to Win and Place at 4-1 odds or greater