09/19/2005 11:00PM

A few catching up to First Samurai


LAS VEGAS - As September comes to an end, the 2-year-old picture is starting to gel, and there are a handful of juvenile colts who could make this year's renewal of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile memorable. Hopeful Stakes winner First Samurai (by Giant's Causeway) leads the division so far, but some recent stakes winners and even a few impressive maiden winners could show up for the Juvenile.

Sorcerer's Stone: Away since July 31, when he won the Honest Pleasure Stakes at Arlington Park, Sorcerer's Stone easily won the Arlington-Washington Breeders' Cup Futurity Stakes last Sunday in a manner that suggests he will be a serious threat in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Undefeated in three starts, Sorcerer's Stone is by Gulch, and his dam, Magical Holiday (Slew o' Gold), is a full sister to Dramatic Gold, who won the Meadowlands Cup, Molson Million, and Del Mar Breeders' Cup, and who also finished second in the Strub, San Fernando, and Swaps Stakes and was third in the 1994 Breeders' Cup Classic behind Concern and Tabasco Cat. Sorcerer's Stone is a half-brother to stakes-placed Holiday Thunder, and his fifth dam is the 1966 champion 3-year-old filly, Lady Pitt, whose most influential foal was a stakes winner, Blitey. While Gulch was a champion sprinter who was able to win over one mile, he is one of those stallions whose runners have a completely different aptitude, winning regularly at classic distances of 1 1/4 and 1 1/2 miles, on dirt and turf. Gulch's most important offspring include champions Thunder Gulch and Nayef, as well as Harayir, Eagle Cafe, The Cliff's Edge, Wallenda, and Snowdrops.

Stevie Wonderboy: From the second crop of Stephen Got Even (A.P. Indy), Stevie Wonderboy was not bred for precocious speed and was expected to be much more effective at age 3 and longer distances. After chasing the brilliant What a Song - who died last month - earlier in the summer, Stevie Wonderboy had a breakthrough performance winning the Del Mar Futurity in a romp. In addition to Stephen Got Even, Stevie Wonderboy has a pedigree full of stamina influences, including Summer Squall and Roberto. His dam is a half-sister to a Group 2 winner, Fair Judgment, and his second dam, Mystical Mood, won the Schuylerville Stakes and also placed in Frizette and Matron Stakes. Mystery Mood is a full sister to Mazzei Mood, the dam of an Australian Group 1 marathon specialist, Istidaad.

Private Vow: Second to Sorcerer's Stone in their career debuts on July 3 in a 4 1/2-furlong maiden race at Churchill Downs, Private Vow has been perfect in three starts since, culminating in last weekend's convincing victory in the Futurity Stakes at Belmont. From the promising first crop of Broken Vow (Unbridled) and a winner of five stakes, Private Vow is out of a Deputy Minister mare, Smooth as Silk, and, like Sorcerer's Stone and Stevie Wonderboy, he has tactical speed and should be even better stretching out to longer distances. His second dam, Sacque, is by Elegant Air, a son of stayer Shirley Heights. Elegant Air won the Tattersalls Gold Cup and was a champion freshman sire in Europe before his untimely death at age 9. In winning the Futurity, Private Vow now has an important race over the same track as the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Stream Cat: Unplaced in his debut at Saratoga on dirt, Stream Cat showed dramatic form reversal on grass, winning his second start, the With Anticipation Stakes. But the turnaround was hardly a surprise, because he is from the first crop of Black Minnaloushe, a 3-year-old champion in Ireland who won the Irish 2000 Guineas and St. James's Palace Stakes. As a son of Storm Cat out of a Green Dancer mare, Black Minnaloushe has offspring who were bred to be best on turf, but Stream Cat won the Kentucky Cup Juvenile last weekend over Turfway Park's new Polytrack, a surface that seems to be kind to grass runners. Whether or not he can duplicate this form over the Belmont dirt, this is a good colt, and his dam, Water Course (Irish River), is a half-sister to Flama Ardiente, the dam of Mt. Livermore and Magical Wonder.

In Summation: Undefeated in five starts, including four stakes victories, In Summation is from the first crop of stakes-winning sprinter Put It Back (Honour and Glory) out of a Dayjur mare, Fiesta Baby. His second dam, Fiesta Gal, won the 1987 Mother Goose Stakes and Coaching Club American Oaks. In Summation would be meeting superior competition than what he faced at Calder but could garner a minor award in the BC Juvenile.

Laity: Winner of the Cradle Stakes at River Downs by the length of the stretch, Laity has now won 2 of 3 starts. He is by the emerging sire Pulpit (A.P. Indy) and out of stakes winner Tour. Owned and bred by Claiborne Farm, Laity is a half-brother to a multiple stakes winner, Trip. This female family produced Flighty Forty Nine and Pink Shoes.

Dr. Pleasure: Dr. Pleasure was a runaway winner at Saratoga of his only start. He is a son of stamina influence Thunder Gulch out of champion Beautiful Pleasure. Obviously, this is a colt with unlimited potential, not only for the BC Juvenile but for next year's classics.

Flanders Fields: Another good-looking maiden winner, Flanders Fields has a pedigree as regal as any 2-year-old. By A.P. Indy, he is out of the 1994 2-year-old filly champion, Flanders. His trainer, Dallas Stewart, could have a live one for the BC Juvenile.