03/03/2008 1:00AM

Officer finding success with first-time starters


Bay Meadows

Officer was a precocious juvenile and his four stakes victories at 2 came in the Champagne, Del Mar Futurity, Best Pal, and Graduation stakes. He got off to fast start with his first crop, who also showed speed from the get-go. He has proven to be a solid sire of first-out winners and on Feb. 18, Officer Allie, a 3-year-old filly by Officer out of the Boone's Mill mare Spanish Mill, scored a wire-to-wire victory in a six-furlong maiden race, paying $11.60. Boone's Mill, a son of Carson City, is also a speed influence, thus Officer Allie has a SP2 pedigree (speed from her sire and damsire).


Bang Bang Bang wired a field of eight 3-year-old colts in a six-furlong maiden race on Feb. 23 for Kiaran McLaughlin as the heavy 1-2 favorite. Bang Bang Bang is by Preakness winner Red Bullet and is out of the Known Fact mare Love and Marry, a half-sister to stakes winner Diadella. His third dam was a half-sister to the turf sire Roman Diplomat, and his stakes-winning fourth dam, Goddess Roman, was third in the Railbird and Honeymoon stakes.

* The following day, McLaughlin won the Busher Stakes with Little Belle, a 3-year-old filly who is closely related to Horse of the Year Mineshaft. Little Belle is by A.P. Indy out of the Mr. Prospector mare Dubai Belle, and her second dam, Flagbird, is a half-sister to Prospectors Delite, the dam of Mineshaft (also by A.P. Indy). Dubai Belle was group-placed in France and Flagbird was a champion older female in England and Italy.

Fair Grounds

Acacia, a 3-year-old full sister to stakes winner Zanjero, won a one mile and 70-yard maiden race on Feb. 22 for Steve Asmussen, who also trains Zanjero. By Cherokee Run (the sire of undefeated champion 2-year-old War Pass), Acacia is out of the unraced A.P. Indy mare Checkered Flag, a half-sister to stakes winner Storm Creek.

Finishing a closing second to Acacia, beaten a half-length, was the favorite, Honest Pursuit, who is by Storm Cat out of multiple stakes winner Honest Lady (by Seattle Slew). Honest Pursuit is a half-sister to First Defence, winner of the Long Branch Stakes and third in the King's Bishop Stakes in 2007.


The versatility of Cherokee Run is one of the reasons he has become such a successful sire. A champion sprinter who was good enough to finish a close second in the 1993 Preakness to Prairie Bayou, Cherokee Run was a leading freshman sire because of the speed he imparts to his runners, and his offspring win on all surfaces. On Feb. 20, Run Sully Run, a 3-year-old colt by Cherokee Run, won a 1 1/16-mile allowance on turf. Run Sully Run is out of the stakes-placed Woodman mare Woodman's Dancer, and his second dam is Hollywood Oaks winner Pattern Step.

* My Princess Jess won a 1 1/16-mile maiden race on turf on Feb. 23 and is one example why Stormy Atlantic is a superior turf sire. While Stormy Atlantic's offspring have speed on dirt and synthetic surfaces, they usually move up on turf, a common thread among grandsons of Storm Cat and being from the tail-male line of Northern Dancer. In addition, My Princess Jess is out of the Pleasant Colony mare Jewell of Jewels, a half-sister to champion Jewel Princess. Pleasant Colony, a highly successful sire known for imparting stamina into a pedigree, was also a hidden turf (HT) sire, being by His Majesty (Ribot), a strong source of grass.

* Shug McGaughey, who usually uses the Gulfstream meet as a successful prep for his runners who peak at Belmont in the spring, has been on a roll this season. On Feb. 23, Dancing Forever finished a fast-closing second, beaten a neck in the Gulfstream Park Turf at 37-1, and on the following day, he had two winners and a third. Cosmic, a 3-year-old half-brother to stakes winners Good Reward and Pure Prize, won a nine-furlong maiden race by 2 1/4 lengths over Nick Zito's Truth Rules. Cosmic is by El Prado and is out of champion Heavenly Prize. McGaughey stated that the late-maturing Cosmic is not on the Derby trail, but he could be a colt to watch down the road.

Also winning for McGaughey on Feb. 24 was Parading, a 5-year-old horse by Pulpit out of On Parade, who is a full sister to champion Storm Flag Flying. On Parade is out of Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner My Flag, who also finished third in the Belmont Stakes. Parading's third dam is the undefeated champion Personal Ensign.

Finishing third in a one-mile allowance the same day was Forest Trail, a 3-year-old filly by Forest Wildcat out of stakes-placed Manoa (Seeing the Gold). Forest Trail won her previous start at Gulfstream on Jan. 23.

Santa Anita

Medjool, who won a 1 1/16-mile maiden race on Feb. 18, has a Kentucky Derby pedigree. By 2001 Derby winner Monarchos, the 3-year-old colt is out of the Tale of the Cat mare Perfect Story, a half-sister to champion 3-year-old and Horse of the Year Point Given. While he just won a maiden race and doesn't have enough graded stakes earnings to make the Derby field, he looked very sharp in victory and the best is yet to come for a colt who is just beginning to blossom.

* Processor's Turf, who won a 6 1/2-furlong maiden race on Feb. 23, is a 3-year-old colt from the first crop of Sky Mesa. His dam, Procession, is by Private Terms and is out of Duty Dance, winner of the Diana Handicap who also finished second to males in the Man o' War Stakes.