09/10/2014 1:07PM

Jerardi: Atreides among rarefied company

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Kenny Martin/Coglianese Photos
Atreides has earned triple-digit Beyer figures in each of his first three races.

After Atreides dominated the Monarchos Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Aug. 30 and the Beyer figure was posted, trainer Marty Wolfson wondered how many horses had gotten triple-digit Beyers in the first three starts of their careers.

So far, we have only been able to find two – Atreides and Lite the Fuse.

Lite the Fuse made his debut against winners on Aug. 3, 1994. The son of Buckaroo did not stop at three consecutive triple-digit Beyers. He started his career with an incredible 15 straight triple-digit figures, hitting 116 twice. He slumped all the way to a 96 and then finished his career for trainer Dickie Dutrow with five more triple-digit numbers, including a career-best 117.

Julie Krone was the regular rider for the horse whose career ended in October 1996 after going 9 for 21, with four seconds, six thirds, $1,036,882 in earnings, and a special place in Beyer figure history.

Lite the Fuse got a 103 Beyer going 6 furlongs in his debut and just kept running fast to every finish line. By the way, that 117 came in the 1996 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel, then run in July and against a field so strong that Lite the Fuse won by a nose.

So, Atreides has a ways to catch up to Lite the Fuse’s Beyer streak. But what a start.

The 3-year-old debuted in a July 12 maiden race at Gulfstream Park, winning by 5 1/4 lengths going 6 furlongs and getting a 105 Beyer. He followed that on Aug. 10 with a three-length win at 6 1/2 furlongs, earning a 102 Beyer. Those were very impressive wins, but Atreides is not the first fast sprinter to run big Beyers early in a career.

Then came the Monarchos. Watch the tape. The colt rated smoothly, took over with total ease, and won by 17 1/2 lengths. If Edgard Zayas ever asked Atreides to run, I missed it. It was powerful. It was smooth. It was at a mile. And it was a 105 Beyer.

If ever a horse was meant to be really good and run really fast, it was Atriedes, owned by Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Stable.

His sire is Medaglia d’Oro, the colt Mark Reid purchased for Ed Gann in 2002 after the horse’s first two starts. All Medaglia d’Oro did for trainer Bobby Frankel was win the San Felipe, run second in the Wood Memorial and Belmont Stakes, win the Jim Dandy and Travers before running second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Fix Six Day at Arlington Park.

In 2003, Medaglia d’Oro won the Strub, Oaklawn Handicap, and Whitney before running second in Pacific Classic and BC Classic. In 2004, the horse won the Donn Handicap and finished second in the Dubai World Cup, reeling off consecutive Beyers at one point of 120, 113, 106, 119, 111, 114, 118, 117, and 117, finishing his career with $5,754,720 in earnings on his way to becoming a stallion who stands for $100,000, and one of the best in America.

Dream Rush is Atreides’s dam. Racing for Terry Finley’s West Point, she had a great run from September 2006 until August 2007. She won six times and was second twice in eight starts, winning the Test and Prioress while running second in the Acorn, the only time she raced as far as a mile. In 2007, she had consecutive Beyers of 100, 103, 100, 100, and 102.

So there is much triple-digit Beyer history in Atreides’s family. Well, exactly how good is this colt? I don’t think anybody really knows. The competition obviously has been overwhelmed, but not overwhelming. To this point, it has been just about Atreides, already occupying a special place in Beyer figure lore, perhaps on his way to putting up even bigger numbers and winning the kinds of races his sire won as a 4-year-old. Time will tell, but the times tell us Atreides is fast, really fast.

tim blake More than 1 year ago
I wouldn't be surprised if Pulpit was on the list of horses to start with three triple-digit Beyers. I think he got a 107 for his debut. I don't remember the next two but I know he won both races.
ctgreyhound More than 1 year ago
"How good is this colt?" Same question is consistently asked of Shared Belief.
seattle More than 1 year ago
Easy Goer ran the best Beyer Speed Figure (116 Beyer) performance (in the 1988 Champagne Stakes) of any 2-year-old since Beyer racing figures were first published. He also ran a 116, 113 & 110 as a two year old. Easy Goer also ran a 122 Beyer Speed Figure, the best in any Triple Crown race since these ratings were first published in 1987. Easy Goer also consistently ran in the 120 speed figure range on a regular basis in his races.
tim blake More than 1 year ago
but the article talks about horses 'starting' their careers with triple digit Beyers. Easy goer ran 2nd in his 1st race. I don't really see the relevance when the only statistic the article focuses on is that he has started with three consecutive triple digit Beyer victories.
gowanusbaseball More than 1 year ago
Formal Gold didn't start off with 3 triple digit Beyers? Would love to see the list after the incomplete research you started is actually done.
tim blake More than 1 year ago
i think he probably did. I know he got a 112 for his first race and then won his next few just as easily.
scott More than 1 year ago
cool article... makes you think about those who had great starts to their careers. Was surprised not to see Uncle Mo as having 3 straight 100's to start. I saw he recieved 102-94-108. What was interesting was only being given a 94 for his Champagne romp. Looking back at the history of the Champagne only 2 horses ran the mile quicker than Mo's 1:34.51 ....... Devils Bag stakes record 1:34.20 and Seattle Slews 1:34.40. That 94 seems like considering only 4 horses had ever shaded 1:35 in the Champagne.
scott More than 1 year ago
*seems low
Helene Beides More than 1 year ago
If they had Beyer numbers in his day, I am sure Raise A Native would have posted over 100 in all of his first 3 starts.
Geral John Pinault More than 1 year ago
Dream rush was just that - a smooth rush of a filly that won with ease, so this mating is most interesting. Atreides needs to face GR II company now, and if he wins then they can consider a BC race... - RAMMER
Joel Firsching More than 1 year ago
the 100 beyer should also include crafty c.t. the 99 beyer club would have curlin, formal gold, la traviata and swept overboard. lost in the fog is the only lasix user at the age of two out of the eight listed horses. there might be more.
Gregory More than 1 year ago
Predict this horse will be best horse for the next 2 years. Had Curlin pegged after his first start. You look for stride comfort and this horse has it, just like Curlin. Will surprise everyone by staying sound for at least the next 2 years. Amazing that Stonestreet has another legendary racehorse in its stable. They might be changing their stable name to House Atreides after this horse gets finished with his career.
Geral John Pinault More than 1 year ago
I had Curlin in his maiden win at The Gulf. Who rode him that day? Rafael Bejarano! It was 7 furlongs and Curlin just kept opening up on the field to win in 1:22 by 12! I was amazed and happy with I believe a $22 payoff. To be honest it was a lucky pick as I liked his breeding. But I made some good scores with Curlin over the next couple of years... - RAMMER
tim blake More than 1 year ago
To be honest, it was a lucky pick? I really think if you were trying to be honest, you wouldn't have even made the post. Hard to believe that you would remember all those specifics of that 'amazing' race but not even be in the ballpark with the payoff. I think there must have been a lot of lucky people that day that liked his breeding because he was the 2-1 favorite. Of course Gregory brags in his post about pegging Curlin 'after his first start.' Even I, who claim no expertise whatsoever, was able to piece together that Curlin might be better than average when won that race by 12 lengths while drifting greenly all over the track down the stretch. Another clue I was able to pick up on was when some serious horse owners rushed in and bought 80% of Curlin for something like $3.5 million less than 24 hours after that race. Probably one of those good scores you mention was when he won the Arkansas Derby a couple of months later in a shocker at 4/5. The new owners probably helped his career a lot by switching to Asmussen as trainer who then immediately made a wise jockey change to Albarado.
tim blake More than 1 year ago
laying it on a little thick maybe. you should probably aim for sounding somewhat realistic if you want to stir things up.
Ernie Munick More than 1 year ago
Lost in the Fog...10 straight from the gate (triple-digit Beyers): http://www1.drf.com/row/pps/lostinthefog.pdf Love your work!
Corky Pretzels More than 1 year ago
Outstanding. Well done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my all-time favorites!
Brian More than 1 year ago
You can see the downward trend in his speed figures, in retrospect he was already sick. So how hard must he have run in the Aristides to run that fast with cancer through his body. Great animal.
Jack More than 1 year ago
I remember LITF's Turf Paradise romp in 1:13 and change for 6.5 panels. He did it effortlessly. Then, a couple of years later he contracted cancer and was dead. I cried for about 30 seconds and said a prayer for all the horses who enrich our lives.