10/08/2007 11:00PM

Giant's Causeway runners score on turf


Cowboy Cal wired seven 2-year-old colts to win a one-mile maiden race on the turf Sept. 26. By superior turf influence Giant's Causeway, he is out of the Seeking the Gold mare Texas Tammy, a half-sister to Behrens. Finishing second,

4 1/4 lengths back, was Titan of Industry, another son of Giant's Causeway.

* Freshman sire Hook and Ladder, keeps getting brilliant winners. A stakes-winning sprinter by Dixieland Band, Hook and Ladder's offspring have shown high speed and have established Hook and Ladder as a reliable first-out stallion. On Sept. 28, Noble Fire, making his career debut for Linda Rice, wired seven other fillies to win a five-furlong maiden race by 6 3/4 lengths.

* It seems these days that Nick Zito is as potent a first-out trainer as Todd Pletcher. On Sept. 28, his entry of Anak Nakal and Da' Tara ran one-two at 17-1 in a seven-furlong maiden race. Anak Nakal is by Victory Gallop out of the Quiet American mare Misk, a half-sister to stakes winner Pearl Bracelet. Da' Tara is by Tiznow out of the Pirate's Bounty mare Torchera.

Finishing a fast-closing third, a nose behind Da' Tara, was Vacation, who should benefit from more distance. By Dynaformer and out of stakes winner Country Hideaway, Vacation is a half-brother to stakes winner Boca Grande and is bred for dirt and turf.

* Van Nistelrooy is fast becoming the next superstar son of Storm Cat at stud. The freshman sire is getting winner after winner, on dirt and turf, here and in Europe. On Sept. 29, Elusive Lady, a 2-year-old filly by Van Nistelrooy out of the Unbridled's Song mare, Song of Royalty, stalked the leader and rallied to win a 6 1/2-furlong maiden race at 7-1 for John Kimmel.

At Presque Isle Downs on Sept. 27, Van Nistelrooy had another winner when Vancy Pants, a 2-year-old filly out of the General Assembly mare Almost Mystical, won a one-mile maiden race. Vancy Pants's fourth dam is Mysterious, a half-sister to champion J.O. Tobin. Mysterious won the Epsom Oaks, 1000 Guineas, and Yorkshire Oaks.

* On Sept. 29, Etched added his name to the many impressive performances by juveniles this year. Etched took over the lead at the half and drew off to win by 6 3/4 lengths. By Forestry (sire of Discreet Cat), Etched is out of Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Unbridled Elaine.

Bay Meadows

Many Rivers won a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race by a neck over stablemate Kentucky Twostep on Sept. 29. Many Rivers, a 2-year-old colt, is closely related to multiple stakes winner Harlan's Holiday (Harlan), one of this year's promising freshman sires. Both are out of Christmas in Aiken and Harlan's Holiday's sire is by Storm Cat, the sire of Many Rivers.

Many Rivers's third dam, Princessnesian, was a top-class stakes winner in the 1960s and her half-brother, Boldnesian, won the Santa Anita Derby and is the sire of Bold Reasoning, famous as the sire of Seattle Slew.

Kentucky Twostep looked good in defeat and won't be a maiden for long. By Menifee (Harlan), he is out of the Alleged mare C'mon Let's Dance, and his third dam is Terlingua. Kentucky Twostep has the RF (Rasmussen Factor) as he is inbred 4x3 to the influential Terlingua, dam of Storm Cat.


Another maiden turf race, another winner for Giant's Causeway. On Sept. 24, trainer Michael Matz saddled Lake Placid to win a one-mile maiden race on grass. Lake Placid is out of the Smart Strike mare Saranac Lake, a Group 3 winner who is from the same female family that produced Theatrical, Paradise Creek, Landaluce, and Startac.

Oak Tree at Santa Anita

Mineshaft was 2003 Horse of the Year and he is one of the high-profile freshman stallions this year, along with Empire Maker, Vindication, Sky Mesa, and Aldebaran. Mineshaft (and Empire Maker) were not expected to sire precocious babies, and their offspring were generally bred to be better as they matured at 3 and stretched out in distance. On Sept. 27, La Mina, a 2-year-old filly by Mineshaft out of the Red Ransom mare El Laoob, rallied to win a one-mile maiden race on the grass at 9-1. Her dam, El Laoob, is out of the Group 1-placed mare Ajfan, and her third dam, Misinskie, is a half-sister to Clever Trick.

* Gone Grand won a five-furlong maiden race on Sept. 30. The 2-year-old colt by Grand Slam is out of the Miswaki mare Greyciousness, a half-sister to Chief Seattle, who was second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and Champagne Stakes.

* Mr. Greeley is the sire of Foxy Danseur, who won a six-furlong maiden race on Sept. 30 as the 5-2 second choice. Foxy Danseur is out of the Wild Again mare Ravish Me, a daughter of Humana Distaff Handicap winner In Conference. Foxy Danseur's third dam is Personal Business, who won the Grade 1 John A. Morris Handicap, and her fifth dam is The Bride, a full sister to Secretariat.