04/21/2008 12:00AM

Hennessy runners show plenty of speed

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Aqueduct

The late Hennessy was a top-class 2-year-old and his runners have inherited his high speed on all surfaces. His best runner thus far is multiple champion Johannesburg, and he gets a ton of runners from five furlongs to 1 1/16 miles. On April 9, January Gent, a 3-year-old gelding by Hennessy, showed this speed to draw off to a 6 3/4-length victory in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race. January Gent gets additional speed from damsire, Carson City, and his female family was cultivated by Paul Mellon. His third dam, Royal Crescent, won the Athenia Handicap and was a full sister to Ile de Bourbon, a champion at 3 and also as an older horse in England. Royal Crescent is also a half-sister to Rose Bowl, champion older female in England. With Hennessy on top and Majestic Light and Nijinsky II on the bottom, January Gent should really be played with confidence if he shows up on turf.

Gulfstream

Pretty Elusive won her career debut April 10 when she captured a 7 1/2-furlong maiden race on the grass. By Elusive Quality, a speed influence who set a world record for one mile on the turf in the 1998 Poker Handicap (1:31.60). Pretty Elusive is out of the Cozzene mare Real Cozzy, who won the Fair Grounds Oaks and was second in the Kentucky Oaks. Her second dam, Mining My Business, is a half-sister to 1998 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Real Quiet, and her fourth dam, Meadow Blue, was a full sister to 1969 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Majestic Prince and 1971 English 2-year-old champion Crowned Prince.

Keeneland

Hennessy had another winner April 9 when Dicey Riley, a 2-year-old colt out of the In Excess mare My Kai, displayed the speed known by his sire to win a 4 1/2-furlong baby sprint for Wesley Ward, who has long been renowned for having his babies ready to win early.

Keep an eye on runner-up Laver, a Grand Slam colt who also was making his first start for Todd Pletcher. Out of the Holy Bull mare Sacred Sue, he has a SPx2 pedigree (speed from her his sire and damsire) and his third dam is a full sister to 1978 Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year Affirmed.

* Pletcher won a baby race April 10 when Garden District, a 2-year-old filly by Dixie Union, drew off to a three-length victory in a 4 1/2-furlong sprint. Garden District is out of the multiple-stakes-placed Unbridled's Song mare Brisquette.

Oaklawn

Sebastian County, who was third in the Arlington-Washington Futurity last year, just lasted to win the Northern Spur Stakes April 12 by a head. A 3-year-old full brother to Cactus Ridge, a young sire who was undefeated in four lifetime starts, all at age 2, he is yet another example of a runner by Hennessy who has distance limitations. Finishing a fast-closing second was Poni Colada, who is from the first crop of Breeders' Cup Classic winner Volponi. While Sebastian County was at his limit winning this one-mile stakes, Poni Colada was just getting warmed up and will prosper at distances over one mile. He is out of a mare by Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner Pleasant Colony, a renowned stamina influence.

* Gayego was very game winning the Arkansas Derby at 1 1/8 miles, especially considering his sire is Gilded Time, a champion at 2 who is strictly a speed influence. After a long career as a stallion, Gilded Time has never sired a winner at 1 1/4 miles, let alone a graded stakes race at that distance. Even though he hung on to win the Arkansas Derby, Gayego is a complete toss against a much stronger field going another furlong at Louisville.

Santa Anita

Green Lyons, a 4-year-old filly who was making her U.S. debut for Neil Drysdale, won a 1 1/8-mile turf allowance April 10. Green Lyons is by top European turf sprinter Green Desert (Danzig) and is out of a mare by Breeders' Cup Mile winner Spinning World. Green Lyons' fourth dam, Resume, is a full sister to Revidere, the 1976 champion 3-year-old filly. Revidere was the second champion filly by Reviewer, following the immortal Ruffian.

Tampa Bay

Loving Warrior won a six-furlong maiden race April 12 and the 3-year-old colt is by the unraced Gone West stallion Authenticate (who is out of stakes winner Lakeway). Loving Warrior is out of the Known Fact mare Known Lady and is an example of the RF (Rasmussen Factor) as he is inbred 4x3 to the outstanding broodmare Tamerett. Tamerett was a breeders's dream, producing European champion Known Fact, the ultra high-class Grade 1 stakes winner and sire Tentam, plus stakes winners Tamtent and Secrettame (the dam of Gone West). Another daughter, Taminette, produced Tappiano and A. P Jet.