05/13/2007 11:00PM

Magical Flash a winner no matter the sire

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Churchill Downs

The broodmare Magical Flash had a tremendous week at Churchill. First, her 2-year-old colt by Forest Camp, Zakouma, sprinted to a 1 3/4-length victory in his career debut on May 2, and on Derby Day she had two more winners. Inside Passage, her 3-year-old colt by Tiznow, won a seven-furlong maiden race on dirt at 9-1. Inside Passage had shown nothing in two previous starts on grass, but woke up on dirt, paying $20.60.

Three races after Inside Passage's victory, Magical Flash's 4-year-old filly, Take the Ribbon, won the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile. In contrast to Inside Passage, who is bred more for dirt, Take the Ribbon is by the late grass influence Chester House. Like all good broodmares, however, Magical Flash produces good animals no matter to whom she is bred. Magical Flash is also the dam of Hot War, Bright Magic, Oysters, and Vote Getter. Magical Flash is a half-sister to stakes winners Magical Maiden, Shakertown, and Magical Mile.

* Zavata was a good 2-year-old, winning the Saratoga Special and Tremont Stakes and finishing third in the Hopeful Stakes. A son of a speed influence, Phone Trick, Zavata was expected to be one of this year's good freshmen sires, and on May 3, L'Aziza, a 2-year-old filly by Zavata out of the Pine Bluff mare Glimmer Ice, won a 4 1/2-furlong maiden race in her second start after finishing second on April 18 at Keeneland.

* Horse Chestnut, a grandson of Sadler's Wells, was a superstar in his native South Africa and looked so good winning his only start in this country, the Broward Stakes at Gulfstream, that he was regarded as one of the best older runners until an injury immediately sent him to stud. Because of his Northern Dancer sire line, he is primarily a turf sire, and on May 4, two of his runners performed well over that surface, despite the yielding condition of the course after heavy rain.

First, Congo King, who finished a close second to The Nth Degree in the Shakertown Stakes over the Keeneland turf on April 15, put in another good effort, finishing third in the Aegon Turf Sprint behind Gaff and Ellwood and Jake.

Two races later, Duveen, who won the Palm Beach Stakes in his last start at Gulfstream, won the Crown Royal American Turf Stakes at 4-1 over Whatsthescript. The 5-2 favorite, Marcavelly, struggled with the soft grass and finished fourth.

Belmont

Utopia, winner of the Westchester Handicap on May 2, is a 7-year-old by champion Forty Niner, who was imported from Japan to finish his racing career before getting a chance as a stallion in this country. Forty Niner became a sire of sires, as his sons Distorted Humor, End Sweep, Coronado's Quest, Roar, Jules, and Tactical Advantage did well at stud. Utopia is from a famous Calumet Farm female family that produced a multiple champion and blue hen, Two Lea, the dam of Tim Tam, On-and-On, and Pied d'Or.

Utopia is out of the Northern Taste mare Dream Vision, and his second dam, Honey Dreamer, is a full sister to Miss Tokyo, a stakes winner at 2, 3, and 4. His third dam, Honeysuckle Vine, is a half-sister to a stakes winner and good sire, Best Turn.

* Two first-time starters stole the show in a maiden race on the turf on May 3. Mandy's Prize, a 3-year-old filly by a hot second-year sire, Street Cry (sire of Street Sense, last year's 2-year-old champion colt and this year's Kentucky Derby winner), out of the Danzig mare Elhasna, defeated Cute Cognac by a half-length. Mandy's Prize's dam is out of champion sprinter Gold Beauty, making her a full sister to European champion sprinter Dayjur and also a half-sister to the multiple stakes winner Maplejinsky. Cute Cognac, who had a very troubled trip, is a lock to win her next start on turf. By a strong hidden turf sire, Hennessy, she is from the Christiana Farm female family of champion Tempted.

* Pick Six, a 3-year-old by Dynaformer out of the Grade 1-winning mare Oh What a Windfall (a full sister to champion Heavenly Prize), got off to a late start, finishing 10th in a maiden race on Feb. 24 at Gulfstream, but rebounded to win a seven-furlong maiden race on May 5 for trainer Shug McGaughey. Pick Six was bred by the Phipps Stable, who only recently began using Dynaformer for their prized mares. This should prove to be a beneficial outcross, as the Phipps broodmares do not have Roberto in their pedigree. With Dynaformer on top, it creates many options, as his offspring are equally effective on dirt, turf, and wet tracks.

* Tears I Cry made an auspicious debut on May 6, winning a one-mile maiden race on the turf. A 3-year-old filly by the late Chester House, Tears I Cry is out of the Danzig mare Mount Helena, a half-sister to Street Cry and Helsinki, the dam of European champion Shamardal. Tears I Cry's second dam, Helen Street, won the Irish Oaks and finished fourth in the Washington, D.C. International.

Finishing second to Tears I Cry was Clifton Bay, who was also making her career debut. Clifton Bay is by the versatile Gone West and is out of the Storm Cat mare Tempest Dancer, a full sister to Sardula and half-sister to Imperial Gesture.