01/28/2008 12:00AM

Elysium Fields appears to have classic potential



Bill Mott, Todd Pletcher, and Nick Zito are not the only trainers with a lot of 3-year-olds. Barclay Tagg had two promising winners on consecutive days. First, Jockey Ridge, a 3-year-old colt by Broken Vow and out of the Dayjur mare Taanis, won a 6 1/2-furlong maiden race by 4 3/4 lengths on Jan. 18. Jockey Ridge's stakes-placed fifth dam, Lodge, was a half-sister to influential stallions Northfields and Habitat.

On Jan. 19, Elysium Fields, a 3-year-old colt by El Prado out of the Silver Hawk mare Dreams, looked even more impressive, winning a 1 1/8-mile maiden race by eight lengths. Of Tagg's two 3-year-olds, Elysium Fields is better bred to get 1 1/4 miles and will be tested for class in his next outing. Elysium Fields descends from the female family that produced 1969 2-year-old champion colt Silent Screen and 1968 Filly Triple Crown winner Dark Mirage.

* Back for More, a 3-year-old filly making her career debut for Todd Pletcher, showed the speed of her sire line (More Than Ready-Southern Halo) to win a 6 1/2-furlong maiden race by five lengths at 3-1, but runner-up Quiet Meadow, who rallied at 45-1, may have more upside with maturity and stretching out in distance for Nick Zito. Quiet Meadow, by El Prado, is out of the Quiet American mare Quiet Down, a half-sister to the dam of 2-year-old champion Action This Day.

* Vacation, the slight 5-2 choice in the race that Elysium Fields won, finished fourth after briefly making a run at the leader entering the stretch. While many Dynaformer runners have found success on dirt, Vacation is one Dynaformer that should be strictly pointed to grass. Vacation is out of the stakes-winning Country Hideaway, a full sister to Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Pleasant Home and Matlacha Pass, the dam of Pine Island.


I Promise, a 3-year-old filly from the first crop of stakes sprinter Hook and Ladder, was one of the reasons Hook and Ladder got off to a quick start at stud last year. She won her first race off a five-month layoff, a six-furlong allowance on Jan. 16, by four lengths as the 5-2 second choice. I Promise was impressive winning a New York-bred maiden race and then finished a game second in the Grade 3 Schuylerville Stakes at Saratoga. I Promise is out of the Affirmed mare Affirm Promise, a half-sister to multiple stakes winner Sheena Native.

* Smoke Glacken has always been a reliable sire of young runners, and on Jan. 19, Hotrail, a 3-year-old ridgling out of the Tabasco Cat mare Tabianka, scored a nose victory at 5o1/2 furlongs. Tabianka descends in tail-female line (dam, dam's dam, dam's granddam, etc.) to Cosmah, an outstanding broodmare who produced champion Tosmah and stakes winners Halo, Fathers Image, and Maribeau, as well as Queen Sucree, the dam of Kentucky Derby winner Cannonade, his full brother Circle Home, and influential broodmare Kennelot.

* In the race immediately following Hotrail's victory, Silver Light, a 4-year-old colt by Silver Deputy, won a six-furlong race by 4 1/4 lengths as the even-money favorite. Silver Light is out of the Dynaformer mare Kopenhagen, and thus, is a half-brother to stakes winner Strong Contender (Maria's Mon). Strong Contender won the Dwyer Stakes and Super Derby and also was third in the Blue Grass and Peter Pan stakes and Haskell Invitational Handicap. With speed influence Silver Deputy as his sire, Silver Light is bred to be best up to 1 1/16 miles, while Strong Contender was bred to get middle to classic distances.

Fair Grounds

By Carson City, Escrow was bred to win sprinting on a sealed, sloppy surface, and the 3-year-old colt benefited from a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race being taken off the turf and moved to the main track on Jan. 19. Escrow showed the customary speed of offspring by Carson City, sitting right behind the pacesetter and taking command in the stretch to easily scamper off to a 4 1/2-length victory.

But the colt to keep an eye on - especially on grass - is Kilderry, who rallied to finish second at 9-1. By emerging sire E Dubai, Kilderry is out of the Dancing Brace mare Empress of India, a half-sister to Saratoga Six, Milliardaire (dam of Lakeway), and Headline, dam of Coaching Club American Oaks winner Jilbab. Kilderry's second dam, Priceless Fame, was a full sister to 1975 3-year-old champion colt Bold Forbes. With versatile sire E Dubai on top and European superhorse Dancing Brave on the bottom, Kilderry should be more effective on turf.

Santa Anita

Louisiana Derby and Ohio Derby winner Petionville has long been known as a speed influence. A son of Seeking the Gold, he was by stakes winner Vana Turns and is a half-brother to Kentucky Oaks and California Derby winner Pike Place Dancer. His leading runners include stakes winners Island Fashion, Runway Model, Publication, Caught in the Rain, Voodoo, and True Passion.

On Jan. 20, Two Step Salsa, a 3-year-old colt by Petionville, won a six-furlong maiden race in his career debut at 19-1. Two Step Salsa is out of the Seattle Slew mare Two to Waltz, a mare who comes from the female family that produced champion 3-year-old filly Furl Sail, Kentucky Oaks winner Make Sail, Futurity Stakes winner Captain's Gig, and multiple stakes winner Never Bow.