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Dixie Union's offspring suddenly whistling
The stallion Dixie Union had a trio of winners within three days at Santa Anita: One Dixie, 4, won a 6 1/2-furlong maiden race for trainer Rafael Becerra; Miss Scarlett, a 4-year-old filly out of the In Excess mare Exquisite Woman, won a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race for trainer Richard Mandella; and Political Maneuver, a 4-year-old gelding out of the Star de Naskra mare Prairie Pioneer, won for trainer Doug O'Neill.
Dixie Union was trained by Mandella, started only 1`2 times, and won 5 stakes: The Norfolk, Best Pal, and Hollywood Juvenile Champion at 2, and the Haskell Invitational Handicap and Malibu Stakes at 3.
H A maiden race on the turf for 3-year-olds on March 3 may have implications later in the season. The winner, Albertus Maximus, is by hidden turf sire Albert the Great (by Go for Gin), the sire of Nobiz Like Shobiz, and is out of the Forty Niner mare Chasethewildwind. Albertus Maximus is a half-brother to multiple turf winner Chasethegold, and his second dam is stakes winner Race the Wild Wind.
Finishing second was Pavarotti, who was also second in his career debut on Feb. 4. Despite having many 3-year-old prospects, trainer Todd Pletcher has said that he is extremely high on Pavarotti. In addition to being a half-brother to stakes-winning sprinter Snow Ridge, now a young stallion, Pavarotti is a double RF (Rasmussen Factor), as he is inbred to two very influential broodmares, Glamour and Miss Disco. Inbreeding to Glamour has resulted in several stakes winners, including Heritage of Gold and Anguilla, while Miss Disco is the dam of the legendary Bold Ruler.
Lion Hearted, not to be confused with Lion Heart, was a stakes-placed sprinter by Storm Cat out of multiple stakes winner Cadillacing. He was second to Yes It's True in the Riva Ridge Stakes and second to Successful Appeal in the Amsterdam Stakes. Being stakes-placed and by Storm Cat and out of a full sister to champion Easy Goer, Lion Hearted has all the tools to be a good sire, and he stands at stud at the Northview Stallion Station in Chesapeake City, Maryland.
Northview Stallion Station has an affinity for former Phipps-bred runners and also stands the successful Not for Love - a full brother to 2-year-old champion and Travers Stakes winner Rhythm - and Polish Miner, who is by Danzig out of a full sister to Seeking the Gold.
On Feb. 28, Bazooka Bob, a 4-year-old gelding by Lion Hearted, won a 5 1/2-furlong allowance for New York-breds, paying $51.50.
On March 11 at Gulfstream Park, Maddy's Heart, a 3-year-old filly out of the Private Terms mare Maddy's Terms, scored a four-length victory at 18-1 against some well regarded fillies. Maddy's Heart is a full sister to Jimmy Winkfield Stakes winner Maddy's Lion.
H Include's first crop performed well last year as 2-year-olds, but they were always expected to be even better as they matured at 3 and older. On March 3, Reptilian Smarts, a 3-year-old colt by Include out of the Shadeed mare Forever Young rallied to a two-length victory at 7-1. His third dam is champion Straight Deal, one of the best racemares in the late 1960's.
On March 3 at Gulfstream, first-time starter Betterincludeme closed strongly to finish second to stablemate Takes My Song at 55-1. Betterincludeme is yet another example of what to expect from Include's 3-year-olds.
Trainer Bobby Frankel had high hopes for First Word, but the extremely well-bred gelding had minor problems that kept him from reaching his potential. Now 5, First Word won his 2007 debut, a six-furlong optional claiming allowance, at 7-1. By the late Chester House and out of stakes winner Harpia - a full sister to the late international superstar Danehill - First Word is actually better bred for turf but has shown ability on dirt. His fourth dam Natalma produced Northern Dancer.
* Get Rich Quick won a maiden race on the turf at about 1 1/16 miles on March 2. Get Rich Quick is a 3-year-old by Seeking the Gold out of the Strawberry Road mare Danka, and he gets his gray color from Danka, who also produced the gray stakes winner Bedanken.
* Friar, a half-brother to Pulpit by Arch, won an allowance on the grass at about 1 1/16 miles on March 4 at 8-1. Arch is an example of the hidden turf sire. He had success on dirt, winning the Super Derby, but he also has a superior pedigree for turf (by Kris S.). Arch has indeed turned into an exceptional sire of turf runners, and Friar is the latest example.
Although he finished fourth behind Friar, Best Years belongs on on your horses to watch list. By Pulpit (yet another strong hidden turf sire), his third dam is Special Account, a full sister to Playmate, who is the dam of Woodman as well as to champion racemare and broodmare Numbered Account.
Elite Status, fourth in his previous start on Jan. 13, rallied to win a $50,000 maiden claiming race at one mile on Marcho1. Elite Status is a 3-year-old filly from the first crop of last year's top freshman sire, Johannesburg. Johannesburg's top runners are Fountain of Youth Stakes and Champagne Stakes winner Scat Daddy, and Southwest Stakes winner Teuflesberg.
* Add Takes My Song to the ever-growing list of talented 3-year-olds trained by Pletcher. On March 3, Takes My Song, a first-time starter by speed influence Unbridled's Song, showed speed to win a seven-furlong maiden race over some fancy pedigrees at 3-1. Takes My Song takes a backseat to none in pedigree. In addition to his popular and successful sire, he is out of the Gone West mare Takesmybreathaway, a half-sister to the good sire Mutakddim. Takes My Song's third dam is the stakes winner - and one-time Belmont Park track record holder at 1 1/16 miles - Dance Number, a half-sister to Private Account and Polish Numbers.
Finishing third was Mr. Sidney (7-2), a first-time starter by Storm Cat out of major stakes winner Tomisue's Delight, a full sister to Mineshaft, and a half-length back in fourth was Dockmaster, who was also making his career debut. Dockmaster is by the good young stallion Mizzen Mast and is out of a half-sister to Aptitude. His second dam is a half-sister to champion Slew o' Gold and Belmont Stakes winner Coastal.