05/10/2011 2:56PM

Mr. Commons

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Mr. Commons
Shigeki Kikkawa
Date Track Race Finish Chart Distance Time BSF Video
5/21/11 PIM Preakness 8th 1 3/16 mile 1:56.40 89 Video
4/9/11 SA Santa Anita Derby 3rd 1 1/8 mile 1:48.60 93 Video

Mr. Commons

Owner: St. George Farm Racing LLC
Trainer: John Shirreffs
Record: 4-2-0-1
Best Beyer: 93
Breeder: St. George Farm LLC
Tomlinson Distance Rating: 334

Auction: $70,000 yearling (Fasig-Tipton Summer, July 2009)
Dosage Profile: 9-2-4-7-0 (22)
Dosage Index: 1.44
CD: 0.59

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PROFILE

By Brad Free

STRENGTHS
Mr. Commons developed rapidly this winter in California and continued his improving pattern by finishing third against a watered-down field in the Santa Anita Derby. Having raced just four times, further improvement is likely.

The pressing style of Mr. Commons generally leads to a comfortable trip. He should be positioned within striking range of the pacesetters and in front of the deep closers. Having skipped the Kentucky Derby, Mr. Commons will arrive in Baltimore fresh and ready for his first start in six weeks.

He is trained by one of the best in the West. John Shirreffs’s record with longshot 3-year-olds in Grade 1’s suggests he should not be taken lightly. Giacomo ($102.60) won the 2005 Kentucky Derby; Tiago ($60.60) won the 2007 Santa Anita Derby.

WEAKNESSES
It is doubtful Mr. Commons is good enough to compete with the nation’s top main-track 3-year-olds. Neither start he made on dirt this winter indicates otherwise. His narrow win Feb. 26 in a slow-early/fast-late allowance was over an undistinguished field; the Santa Anita Derby was exposed when one-two finishers Midnight Interlude and Comma to the Top returned to finish 16th and 19th in the Kentucky Derby.

Mr. Commons is best-suited for grass. His turf pedigree - by Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Artie Schiller - and slow-early/fast-late running style suggest his future will be on something other than dirt. Mr. Commons can be a major player later this year when he switches surface, but the lightly raced colt falls short on class and speed.

BETTING VALUE
The preliminary line on Mr. Commons is 30-1. Anything lower would be an underlay; anything higher might tempt bettors on the trainer angle. But based on traditional handicapping, Mr. Commons is not good enough to win the Preakness at any price.


PEDIGREE PROFILE

By Dan Illman

Sire:
Artie Schiller was a top grass runner, winning the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Belmont Park in 2005 with a 110 Beyer Speed Figure. A winner on turf at distances ranging from six furlongs to 1 1/8 miles, Artie Schiller was winless from three races on dirt.

The lone stakes-winner from Artie Schiller’s first crop is Bear’s Chill, who scored in the Queenston Stakes going seven furlongs on polytrack at Woodbine.

Dam:
Mr. Commons is a half-brother to Jungle Fighter, a multiple stakes-winner at 1 1/16 miles on turf. Jungle Fighter was versatile winning at six furlongs on dirt and nine panels on the lawn.

The dam failed to win from two dirt starts, but was a perfect 2-2 on turf, winning a division of the Natalma Stakes going a one-turn mile on the Woodbine green. Joustabout finished a well-beaten third in the Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes sprinting on dirt at Saratoga. She is a half-sister to Wartoendallwars, a stakes-placed miler on turf. Ruskin, another of the dam’s half-siblings, won 24 route races including a 10-furlong event. Smoke'n Review, yet another of the dam’s half-siblings, was a stakes-placed sprinter (also won at a mile)

This is the female family of Kirrary, who won the 1975 Carleton F. Burke Handicap at ten furlongs.

Outlook:
Although the pedigree is tilted to turf, Mr. Commons is proven on dirt with his third-place finish in the Santa Anita Derby. He has lots of stamina in his family and should appreciate this distance.