07/15/2013 2:30PM

DRF Breeding Weekend Wrap: Marketing Mix leads weekend full of top turf performers

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Benoit & Associates
Marketing Mix capped a big weekend for her sire Medaglia d'Oro with her win in the Grade 3 Sunset Handicap against males.

In a weekend dominated by turf graded stakes events, perhaps the most impressive performance came late Sunday, when Marketing Mix rolled to victory in the Grade 3 Sunset Handicap – her first race against males – during the closing-day card of Hollywood Park’s meet.

The 5-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro – who enjoyed a solid weekend in turf stakes - bested Grade 3 winner Dhaamer by a length for her eighth stakes win. She covered 1 1/2 miles in 2:26.78 and earned a 98 Beyer Speed Figure, the best of all stakes winners over the weekend.

Bred in Ontario by Sean Fitzhenry, Marketing Mix is out of the Kris S. mare Instant Thought and is from the family of Grade/Group 1 winners Skimming, Contredance, Wince, Quiff, and Pryka and Grade/Group 2 winners Skimble and Eltish. For her career, she has won 10 races from 18 starts and earned $1,869,518. She has two Grade 1 scores to date – in the Rodeo Drive last fall and in the Gamely in May – and will likely point to the Grade 1 Beverly D. in August at Arlington for her next start. She finished a close second in that race last year.

On Saturday, Emollient rebounded from a sixth-place effort in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan to take the Grade 1 American Oaks at Hollywood by a half-length over Emotional Kitten. The 3-year-old Empire Maker filly, winner of the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes on Keeneland’s Polytrack, excelled in her first turf try, covering 1 1/4 miles in 2:02.38 for a Beyer of 86. Her overall record now stands at four wins from eight starts and earnings of $656.900.

The Juddmonte Farms homebred is out of the Touch Gold mare Soothing Touch. Her second dam is the Group 2-placed stakes-winning A.P. Indy mare Glia. It is the family of several French group stakes winners – including Group 1 winner and top sire Machiavellian, champion Bago, and Group 1 winners Coup de Genie, Denebola, Maxios, and Exit to Nowhere – as well as Grade 3 winner Snake Mountain.

Boisterous was a solid pick to earn his first Grade 1 win in Saturday’s 1 3/8-mile Man o’ War at Belmont, and the 6-year-old son of WinStar Farm stallion Distorted Humor did just that, taking command in early stretch under John Velazquez and kicking clear to a 2 1/4-length win. He finished in 2:14.11 and earned a 97 Beyer. The Phipps Stable homebred and Shug McGaughey trainee has now won four of his last six starts dating back to last fall and 11 of 25 overall for earnings of $1,297,910.

Boisterous is out of stakes winner Emanating, by Cox’s Ridge, and is a half-brother to Grade 3-placed winner Peyton. Emanating is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Gold Fever. Boisterous’ pedigree and the stud career of Distorted Humor will be examined in more detail by John Sparkman in the July 21 issue of DRF Breeding.

The Grade 2 Virginia Derby Saturday evening at Colonial Downs went to War Dancer in a thrilling finish, as the 3-year-old colt outdueled game opponents Charming Kitten and Jack Milton to best the former by a head in a three-horse photo. War Dancer picked up his first stakes win in a final time of 2:03.57 for 1 1/4 miles on good turf. All three horses scored 95 Beyer figures.

War Dancer, who is out of the Grade 2-placed winning Alydeed mare Deed I Do, extends the productive international career of rising Claiborne Farm stallion War Front. War Front is currently ranked seventh on the North American general sire list and this year is represented by such quality runners as Illinois Derby winner Departing, Group 1 winner Declaration of War, Group 2 winners Lines of Battle and War Command, and the aforementioned Jack Milton, a Grade 3 winner this spring at Keeneland.

Weekend notes: Arlington Park held its Million Preview Day card on Saturday in advance of next month’s International Festival of Racing headlined by the Arlington Million. The card’s stakes winners were led by Dark Cove, who picked up his third consecutive graded stakes win in the Grade 3 Stars ‘n’ Stripes at 1 1/2 miles (95 Beyer). He ran the distance in a course-record 2:27.39. The Ken and Sarah Ramsey-owned son of Medaglia d’Oro continues to flash career-best form and has now bankrolled $488,154 to date from nine wins. He is out of the Kris S. mare Crystal Cove and is from the family of Grade 3 winners River’s Squall, Better Now, and Heavenly Landing.

Also at Arlington, veteran campaigner Rahystrada won the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap and signaled that he is ready to contest his fourth consecutive Arlington Million after finishing fourth in 2010, fifth in 2011, and in a dead heat for third last year. The 9-year-old Rahy gelding, who bested longshot Temeraine by half-length in the 1 1/4-mile race (93 Beyer), has won 14 of 44 starts, including six stakes, in eight seasons of racing. He is out of the unraced Deputy Minister mare Ministrada and is a half-brother to Grade 3 winner Lone Star Sky.

Elsewhere, on dirt at Delaware Park, Tim Ritchey and Beverly Frazier’s Dancing Afleet captured her third consecutive win and first stakes win in the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks. The 3-year-old Pennsylvania-bred filly covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.59, earning an 84 Beyer.

Dancing Afleet is by 2005 champion 3-year-old male and dual classic winner Afleet Alex, who stands at Gainesway Farm in Lexington, Ky., and her dam is the winning Citidancer mare Mrs. Vanderbilt, who has also produced stakes winner Tujoes, by Oratory. Afleet Alex will be profiled as DRF Breeding’s Hot Sire in the July 21 issue.