05/08/2008 5:07PM

Sound sires? Japanese imports, old turf warriors


Three Japanese imports recently invaded Belmont Park, and they all have wonderful bloodlines.  Let's take a peek:

Casino Drive (Mineshaft - Better Than Honour, by Deputy Minister)
A $950,000 yearling purchase, Casino Drive is a half-brother to 2006 Belmont Stakes winner Jazil, and a three-quarter brother to 2007 Belmont winner Rags to Riches.  His dam won the Grade 2 Demoiselle as a juvenile filly.  The second dam, Blush With Pride (by Blushing Groom), won the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks and Grade 1 Santa Susana Stakes in 1982.  The third dam, Best in Show (by Traffic Judge), won the Comely Stakes at three.  Fourth dam Stolen Hour (by Mr. Busher) was thrice stakes-placed. 
Casino Drive is from the first crop of Mineshaft, the Horse of the Year in 2003 after Grade 1 wins in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Pimlico Special, Suburban Handicap, and Woodward Stakes.
Casino Drive was a favored, runaway winner in his career debut in a race restricted to first-time starters in Japan.  He led for the majority of the way in the nine furlong test, and drew off to win by 11 1/2 lengths under Yutaka Take.  He is being pointed to the Peter Pan Stakes on Saturday, and if he runs well there, he could run in the Belmont Stakes. 

Spark Candle (A.P. Indy - Serena's Song, by Rahy)
Spark Candle cost $1,500,000 as a yearling, and is a half-brother to multiple stakes-winner Serena's Tune, and Grade 2 winners Grand Reward and Harlington, and British Group 1 winner Sophisticat.  His dam, Serena's Song, was champion 3yo filly of 1995, and won 11 Grade 1 races along with $3,283,388 in earnings.  The second dam, Imagining (by Northfields) is a route-winning half-sister to Grade 3 winner Alabama Nana. 
Spark Candle's sire, A.P, Indy, won the Belmont Stakes, Breeders' Cup Classic, and the Santa Anita Derby en route to Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old honors in 1992. 
Spark Candle was the beaten favorite in his first two starts at two on turf at nine furlongs in Japan.  He won his third start by a neck at 1-10 odds in his third start going 10 furlongs on turf.  He then failed to hit the board in two starts against winners, and he bombed in his lone start on dirt in his most recent start on December 16.  He is also looking at the Peter Pan - Belmont route.

Champagne Squall (Daylami - Alluring Park, by Green Desert)
Champagne Squall cost 260,000 irish guineas as a yearling, and the son of Daylami was soon exported to Japan.  The dam was multiple stakes-placed on turf at two, is a full sister to Shinko Forest, a multiple stakes-winner in Japan, and is a half-sibling to Irish Group 3-winner Dazzling Park, and multiple Group 1 juvenile New Approach.  The second dam, Park Express (by Ahonoora), won the Group 1 Phoenix Champion Stakes in Ireland.  Daylami won six Grade/Group 1 races on turf including the Breeders' Cup Turf.   
Champagne Squall finished third as the 7-10 favorite in his only start at two going 1 1/4 miles on turf.  He's finished out of the trifecta in both starts this year (both on grass).  He will be pointed for a maiden race on the turf.


Dan, a little off-topic, but have you heard anything about Bold Hawk? He won the Hawthorne Derby, finished third in the Hollywood Derby, then was to get some time off.

Haven't heard anything specific, but he's a massive individual, and would benefit from added maturity.  He should be a force in the turf division if he's filled into his body.


Well Big Brown is 4 for 4, so when do you start calling him "GREAT"?

It's safe to say that "great" is thrown around far too liberally in the sports media.  There's no doubt that Big Brown is a very good horse, but let's see what shakes out over the next few weeks before putting the "G" label on him.


Dan....I can't for the life of me remember the name of the horse Donna Ysidra produced either the year or following year after Manila. I wish I still had access to the Jockey Club database. That was the one of the greatest perks of the job back in the mid 90's. Could you please run down all her foals in your next column? Thanks.

1982 - Unnamed colt (by Riverman)
1983 - Manila (by Lyphard)
1984 - Stately Don (by Nureyev, won Grade 1 Hollywood Derby, Grade 1 Secretariat...both on turf)
1985 - Tarlac (by Mr. Prospector, 1-7, $19,286, won sprinting on dirt)
1986 - Barkada (by Devil's Bag, 5-13, $91,996, stakes-placed on dirt)
1987 - Kasama (by Devil's Bag, 4-16, $70,672, all wins on grass)
1988 - Barren
1989 - Sister Sass (by Lyphard, 17-2-4-3, $64,800, won on both turf and dirt)
1990 - Barren
1991 - Mr. Murphy (by Nureyev, 2-1-0-1, $18,670, won career debut going long on dirt at two)


Enjoyed the excerpt on Manila. Got me thinking back to one of my favorite turf horses, Yankee Affair. They bought him for $10k and he wound up winning over $2 million winning turf stakes races until he was eight! I am friends with the trainer and had the pleasure of going to AC with him for the 1990 Caesers Intl. Steinlen won the race. Weather was hot but the drinks were cold!  Could you please post his lifetime pp's?

He was one of my favorites as well.  Here are his lifetime past performances:

Download yankee_affair.pdf


Be back tomorrow with some weekend opinions.

Take care,


cayman01 More than 1 year ago
some early picks for saturday: Lone Star Derby: Give me some of that LEONIDES. He'll get a great stalking trip outside of Samba Rooster and pounce coming into the stretch. Will he get the distance is the only question. Limestone Edge is intriguing but could be a poly horse. El Gato Malo has to prove it to me after last two races. I think jockey change cound be what he needed. We'll see.He'll have a good inside stalking trip. No excuses here. Box those three in the tri and you get Samba Rooster as a coupled bonus. Peter Pan: Who will be last at the break? Tomcito or Ready's Echo? Doesn't matter as they will finish 1-2.READY'S ECHO on top at a decent price.Tomcito just getting started again when the running is done.Lots of early pace here with Casino, Golden Spikes, Fast Talkin,and Mint Lane.They should go fast and fall apart in the stretch.WP on Ready's Echo. Jim Murray Handicap: BOUL D'OR is going to run away and play catch me if you can again.There is nobdy who's going to go with him which means he'll get a breather again. Champs Elysee is a good horse, but not good enough in this spot. Lone speed takes this one. Senorita: Let's see Barry abrams is 4 for 7 for the meet and 6 for 7 ITM. Bel Aire Sizzle has won 4 out of 5. Wait! We need a new jockey as ours is out of town. Hmmmmmmm, Solis? No. Espinoza? No. Talamo? Nope. How about Rosario!?!? Nah, let's go with the immortal CL Potts. GROOOOAAAAAANNNNNNNNN! 0 for forever. Sorry Barry I can't go with you here.Let's move next door to DECORATOR who DOES have her regular rider, unlike most here ,and should get a nice target in lovely Isle to chase and pounce. PSU Grad and Gorgeouse Goose should round out the trifecta.
terry f More than 1 year ago
Dan just wondering, why do the old PPs you post (e.g. Yankee Affair's) show up without intra-race calls?
Ray Manley More than 1 year ago
The Churchill dispute with the horsemen is about to get nasty. Churchill is going to cut purses 20%. I would guess that the horsemen may stage a boycott of the entry box. And some of the horsemen may ship out to Presque Isle Downs and to Delaware Park. PID has stalls available and Delaware is hungry for horses to hit the entry box. So when this thing is resolved what will happen to the horsemen who decided to boycott and/or ship out of town? My guess is that if Churchill was not willing to settle this thing before the Derby then they have drawn a line in the sand and will not settle easily. This is a bad deal for all parties. One can only hope that the Churchill hierarchy will swallow their pride and do the right thing.
Johnny Z More than 1 year ago
Alan, How ironic. I visited with Lauren Stich a couple of times last night and, made virtually the same suggestions. While not real close, I know the young man that does all the WEB work for the NBA, and NHL, told her that her that I would help her in anyway along those lines. She is seriously entertaining moving that direction. I basically told her she doesn't need DRF, BloodHorse, Thoroughbred Digest, etc to sell her product. As you well know, her talent, and unique writing is 2nd to none. IMO, and I would be the first to admit it might be alittle biased, what she brings to the table in the horse racing world is really unavailable from anyone or any other source! To all, here is a link to an editorial by Randy Moss. I feel every point made is accurate. Just my view, but please take time to read it. I have been fairly silent on Eight Belle's simply because I virtually live for Derby day, and to have it end as it did, was devastating to me. Anyway read this: http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/horse/triplecrown08/columns/story?columnist=moss_randy&id=3387061 Then I urge all to express their thought to Alex Waldrop on the blog he set up @ NTRA, if you really want your voice heard send an email to Keith Chamblin, Senior Vice President @ NTRA, keithchamblin@ntra.com While Eight Belle's death was tragic, maybe, just maybe it will trigger some long overdue improvements and changes that our beloved sport needs! Good Luck To All
Steve V. More than 1 year ago
JohnnyZ, That horse in the last @ Hol yest. was trained by (Drug... err) Doug O'neill, (not Drysdale) and ridden by one of my new friends Rafael Bejarano- No big deal just want wanted to correct it. Thanks for the support w/ B Stones. Bruce said he got sick on him last wk. for a few days- so he missed about a week of training. The True North is probably a better fit for him right now anyways. It's should be a clash between the undefeated/unblemished/unheaded (okay I'm gettin carried away) Bustin Stones vs. the current top sprinter in the nation- Benny the Bull.All we need now is Mills Lane --"Let's get it on". jlove, He's ours and will always be ours, even if he gets sold at some point down the road. He's my dad's favorite son- (says a lot for me:) The double knee surgery is a big deterrant to potential suitors for the real big bucks. So, we'll have our fun w/ him while we he is still donning the black& white. Alan, i'm flattered by the "racing elite" comment, but let's leave that tag for the Mott/Zayats of the world- (Much respect to our friends Riley & Justin). My old man is more of a "blue collar" guy as is Bruce- just trying to revive claimers, and get horses w/ modest pedigrees running far above their expected abilities. We are just happy as all hell just to run in stakes races-- Let alone- be blessed w/ a G1 winner who we bred as well. greg, The only thing I can think of-as far Kent D. on Casino Drive in the PP is probably because of his ties to Japanese racing. I believe he did a stint riding in Japan years back. But, I agree why use a jock you surely will not be able to obtain in the Belmont if that is indeed your ultimate goal.
Gorgeous Georgie More than 1 year ago
In the wake of the Eight Belles tragedy, I applaud all of the discussion regarding ways to reduce the number of racing injuries and deaths. It's plainly clear that in trying to improve the safety of the sport, the racing industry must address the dreaded three-headed monster (i.e., Improving soundness through breeding, reducing/eliminating raceday medications & increasing the safety of racing surfaces - especially in regard to inclement weather). It seems that the only realistic way of making significant changes in the breeding industry is by first making changes at the track. In other words, reduce or eliminate the drugs and create a more forgiving racing surface (synthetic or otherwise) and then the breeding industry will be forced to respond. Although I am skeptical about the likelihood of any significant changes in the near future, I have one idea that might be an effective first "baby step." Why not first eliminate all raceday medications in maiden races for horses of all ages. This might be an effective first step that could lead to more sweeping changes in the future.
Alan More than 1 year ago
SR Vegas, You could wait until you win Formblog Derby Dreaming 2009!!! Or...if you can't wait that long: http://www.faidleyscrabcakes.com/index.html When you call (410)727-4898 ask for Bill - tell him you are another horse racing enthusiast who wants to try those incredible crab cakes. They only ship the jumbo lump crab meat variety (that's the best kind) and usually 6 to a box (but you can get more or less.) Next day UPS (Big Brown) shipping. They are pricey...but are well worth it!!
Riley More than 1 year ago
Alan, Forefathers has been doing great. He's ready to roll
Alan More than 1 year ago
owenized, I'd contact these guys to try to get the Breeze Figure: http://www.biodatatrack.com/ The phone number for the service is at the bottom of the webpage. I'm not sure the turn-around-time from sale to calculated figure, however several 2yos from the OBSFEB08 and OBSMAR08 sales have run already with figs available (found in the Daily BreezeFigs Report.) BTW, when you talk to them, please find out if they have a "Cardio Score" on Big Brown (he was a KEEAPR07 sale for ONLY $100K!) His 2f BreezeFig for that sale was Group2 67 (4-over-PAR) with a SL = 25.81 (+1.45 over avg sale SL)! If we only knew at that time... johnnyz, It's still crazy that Lauren Stich is gone...and essentially forgotten here (She is DRF's version of Leon Trotsky!) I emailed her and suggested she start a blog a la Paul Moran - she could do a maiden pick of the day and/or a stakes race of the week (from a pedigree perspective similar to her former DRF work) - remind the horseplaying world what they are missing! She is so immensely talented - it's a terrible shame that she is not sharing her work!! Uncle Steve, Regarding tomorrow's SA picks, in Race 9 (The Smog Capital Handicap) your choice was not up to your usual "High Standards"...
Stephen Taylor More than 1 year ago
Well, had a great time in Lousiville last weekend but going "home" tommorrow (Arlington Park) There is simply no better place to spend a summer day. Here are my pick 4's EARLY: 2nd- 4-COLOUR ME BRAVE is 30-1 morning line and has a career high beyers of 28 BUT is by Mr Greely who's offspring ran very well on the Arlington Poly last year, and could very well be the horse who inserts some price into the early p4 and 8-BOAZ will be the favorite-2nd after layoff, and doesn't have much to beat in this race 3rd- 3-MEAL PENALTY will be odds on and deserve it for Pletcher/Douglass, so we'll use him as well as 4-GOLDEN CITIZEN E K, who wired mdn 25s at Tampa as a first starter and will get the lead in this one. Makes huge class jump but again, looking for a price, so why not early speed at a price! 4th-1-GOING TO SEATTLE is by Chief Seattle who's offspring ran well here-getting 8/1 and this is another who could handle the poly, with 4-SUM SPLENDOR, a Catalano claim who will be the favorite, but "Cat angle" aside, may deserve it. 5th-a wide open Maiden Special so I'm gonna go 7 deep here: 1,2,3,6,7,9,10 Late Pick 4- Did this one a little bit different with a couple of short price singles, hoping I can catch a bomb in one of the other races: 8th-I singled 4-BOFFO who drops from 25 to 10 claiming and had 3 decent efforts against much better last summer at Arlington 9th-I'm gonna hit the ALL button (quick note: if 14-SHE'S NO BULL draws in, may have enough early speed to clear from the far outside, and after that, who knows (love a "price" on the lead) 10th-another single: 2-SHREWD OPERATOR-90 plus beyers in all his starts last year, and has a useful prep (a 2nd in the Hawthorne Mud) 11th-2-SWEETSOUTHERNSTYLE ran fairly well on this turf course, and 3 long works signal the trainer wants to win today, not wait a race 5-WATCHINGGIRLSGOBY needed last and gets Earlie Fires at a square price. Broke Mdn in a mdnspecial on the grass at Churchill last year, which I'm guessing was a competitive field, 6-GUN SALUTE just missed last at Keeneland in race he obviously needed and draws Rene Douglas for today 10-FREEBOARD-won only grass race (the fact that it was a slow Beyers will drive the price up, and while I still consider the Beyers figures, I have to admit I don't have the confidence in them I once did) GOOD LUCK ALL!