09/10/2014 2:07PM

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.