08/06/2007 12:00AM

Pulpit-sired runners find success on turf



On July 28, Katerbug became the latest stakes winner for Pulpit, and the victory was appropriately on turf. Pulpit, who won the Fountain of Youth and Blue Grass stakes at 3, has become a significant sire of grass runners, and Katerbug gets additional turf breeding from her damsire, Storm Cat. Katerbug is out of Miss Kate, a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 stakes winner Clear Mandate and Grade 2 winner Dream Scheme. Katerbug's second dam is Monmouth Oaks winner Dream Deal, who also was second in the Gazelle and Revidere stakes and third in the Alabama Stakes.

On July 27 at Saratoga, Pulpit had another turf winner when Rutherienne, a 3-year-old filly out of the Rahy mare Ruthian, just got up in the final strides to win the Lake George Stakes at 1 1/16 miles furlongs.

* Holy Bull established himself many years ago, during his freshman stallion season, as a hidden turf (HT) sire, but because he is still generally viewed as a Horse of the Year who was so brilliant on dirt, his runners continue to provide great value on grass. On July 29, She's No Bull, a 2-year-old filly from Holy Bull's 10th crop, made her career debut and scored a wire-to-wire victory in a one-mile maiden race, paying $24.20.


One thing has been proven time and time again: You can never underestimate runners by Distorted Humor on dirt and especially turf. Last Gran Standing, a 4-year-old gelding by Distorted Humor, rallied to win an optional claiming allowance at about five furlongs, paying $24.40 on July 27.

Distorted Humor also is the sire of Buddy's Humor and Distorted Reality, two 3-year-olds who have shown an affinity for grass. At Monmouth Park on the Haskell Invitational undercard on Aug. 5, Buddy's Humor easily won the Jersey Derby on turf in an impressive effort over an outclassed field. Buddy's Humor had previously finished a game second to Distorted Reality by a half-length in the Lexington Stakes. Distorted Reality had previously finished second to Marcavelly in the Hill Prince Stakes.

Del Mar

Izarra, a 2-year-old filly by Distorted Humor, easily won her career debut, a six-furlong maiden race on July 29. Izarra is out of the Broad Brush mare Arlucea, a daughter of champion Bayakoa. Because trainer Ron McAnally is not generally regarded as a trainer of first-time-out winning juveniles, Izarra returned $35.80.


Opening day at Saratoga saw two runners by Mr. Greeley win on the turf. Egypt Lane, a 4-year-old filly by Mr. Greeley out of the Majestic Light mare Front Row Seat, won a 5 1/2-furlong allowance at 6-1. Four races later, Pauillaac, a 3-year-old colt by Mr. Greeley out of the Dixieland Band mare Dreams of Success, won a six-furlong optional claiming allowance at 7-1. As a son of HT sire Gone West, Mr. Greeley also was bred to be as versatile as his sire, and his offspring are successful on all surfaces.

* With a decisive victory in the Sanford Stakes, Ready's Image jumped to the head of the 2-year-old class, but as it often happens, he may not necessarily be the leader by the end of the year when the distances increase. Finishing second after being bumped at the start, Tale of Ekati will only improve in his next stakes outing, as will The Roundhouse, who rallied strongly after a rough trip to finish third. The Roundhouse, a half-brother to last year's Hopeful Stakes winner Circular Quay, has his sibling's running style and will appreciate stretching out in distance.

* While it may seem to some people that Nick Zito has suddenly become a viable trainer of 2-year-olds, the fact is he has always unveiled winning juveniles, especially at Saratoga. Way back in 1995, Diligence won his maiden debut at Saratoga by open lengths, and every year his well-bred babies continue to prosper. Of course, because of Zito's success, he now has even more highly prized horses, many of whom have win-early pedigrees.

On July 28, War Pass, a 2-year-old first-time starter by superior 2-year-old sire Cherokee Run (who was the leading freshman sire of his generation), won a six-furlong maiden race by 2 3/4 lengths, paying $15.80. This is the kind of precocious juvenile that Zito - and especially trainer Bill Mott - are getting nowadays. In addition, War Pass gets more speed from his damsire, Mr. Prospector.

* An example of Mott's new-found success as a trainer of juveniles is J Z Warrior, who won a six-furlong maiden race on July 29 by 10 lengths. J Z Warrior was third in her debut on June 29 at Belmont, and she was bred to win early. From the first crop of Harlan's Holiday, she is out of the Carson City mare Carson Jen and is a half-sister to E Z Warrior, who was a precocious stakes-winning juvenile last year for Bob Baffert.

* Hook and Ladder is off to a great start at stud. Among this year's leading freshman sires, Hook and Ladder's offspring have inherited his sizzling speed, so it was a surprise when the usually savvy New York horseplayers let one of his debuting 2-year-olds - Speak Proudly - go off at 14-1 in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race for statebreds on July 29. Just like his other runners, Speak Proudly shot right to the lead and never looked back, winning by a hard-fought neck, paying $30.60.