06/19/2006 11:00PM

Showing Up has turf potential

Email
Horsephotos
Showing Up (left), winning the Grade 2 Lexington at Keeneland in April, has raced only on dirt, but he is bred for turf on both sides of his pedigree.

LAS VEGAS - If you put up $1 million, they will come.

With the Triple Crown over, attention remains on 3-year-olds this weekend but switches surfaces from dirt to turf in the 1 3/16-mile Colonial Turf Cup Saturday at Colonial Downs.

The $1 million Colonial Turf Cup is the first leg of what Colonial Downs is calling the Grand Slam of Grass, which includes the $1 million Virginia Derby (also at Colonial Downs) on July 15, the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park, and the $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf at Churchill Downs. Series sponsor Jacobs Investments has guaranteed a payout of $5 million, including purse money, to the horse that wins all four races.

The Colonial Turf Cup drew 17 runners, but only 14 can start. Heading the field is Showing Up, who was an admirable sixth in the Kentucky Derby. Showing Up was undefeated in three starts before his Derby attempt, and while his inexperience caught up to him in Louisville, he nevertheless was in the hunt for most of the race and showed a lot of talent.

Showing Up is from the first crop of Strategic Mission (by Mr. Prospector), the least known of three half-siblings, all of whom were major stakes winners. Strategic Mission won or placed in five stakes, all on grass. He won 7 races from 24 starts, and his lone stakes victory came at age 6 in the Fort Marcy Handicap. Out of the blue-hen mare Sultry Sun (Buckfinder), Strategic Mission is a half-brother to Sultry Song (Cox's Ridge) and Solar Splendor (Majestic Light). Sultry Song's many stakes wins included the Woodward Stakes, Whitney Handicap, and Hollywood Gold Cup. He has also been a successful stallion, and his son Singletary won the 2004 Breeders' Cup Mile. Solar Splendor was a grass freak, and his important stakes victories include the Man o' War Stakes (twice), Turf Classic Invitational, Saratoga Budweiser Breeders' Cup, Hill Prince, and Lexington Stakes.

Showing Up has a T2 pedigree (getting turf from both sire and damsire). In addition to Strategic Mission's influence, Showing Up is out of a mare by T.V. Commercial, a stakes-winning son of renowned turf influence T.V. Lark, winner of the Washington, D.C. International and the 1961 champion turf horse. T.V. Commercial was among the best juveniles of 1967, winning the Arlington-Washington Futurity. He finished fourth in the 1968 Kentucky Derby but was placed third after the disqualification of the winner, Dancer's Image.

Showing Up is a half-brother to stakes-winning sprinter Gimmeawink (Elusive Quality), and his third dam, Dixieland Jazz, is a half-sister to the dam of multiple stakes winner Admiral's Voyage. His fifth dam, Creole Maid, won the Schuylerville and Adirondack stakes at 2 and the Coaching Club American Oaks at 3.

Making just his fifth lifetime start, and first since the Kentucky Derby, Showing Up meets colts who have the edge in racing experience and, most important, turf experience - but high class sometimes overcomes the lack of seasoning.

Stream Cat, from the first crop of Black Minnaloushe (Storm Cat), a 3-year-old champion in Ireland who was prolific at one mile, won the Kentucky Cup Juvenile Stakes over Turfway Park's Polytrack surface and was third in the Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland. But like most runners by Black Minnaloushe, his preferred surface is turf, and Stream Cat is a multiple stakes winner on that surface. In addition, Stream Cat is out of a mare by Irish River, long one of racing's superior turf sires, and his dam is a half-sister to Flama Ardiente, the dam of Mt. Livermore and Magical Wonder.

Go Between won the Palm Beach Stakes on turf and is from the first crop of Point Given, a young stallion I designated as a hidden turf sire because his sire line (Thunder Gulch-Gulch-Mr. Prospector) has been successful with turf winners. Go Between's dam, by the Nijinsky II sire Caerleon, was a stakes winner in England. Go Between is bred not only to love grass, but also to be very effective at the Turf Cup distance and beyond.

Outperformance is from the first crop of Aptitude (also the sire of classic-placed Steppenwolfer) and just won the Hill Prince Stakes on turf. He is a half-brother to sprinter-miler Richter Scale, and his dam is a half-sister to Ubetshedid, the dam of Kentucky Derby runner-up Best Pal. This is a colt screaming for longer distances on grass.

Lewis Michael, who ran his eyeballs out in a game second to Sunriver in the Peter Pan Stakes on dirt, is bred to be a monster on turf. By one of the world's top grass influences, Rahy (Blushing Groom), Lewis Michael is out of a half-sister to turf champion Kitten Joy.

International Cat, by hidden turf sire Cat Thief (another son of Storm Cat), is from a legendary C.V. Whitney female family. His dam, Broad Legacy, is a half-sister to multiple stakes winner Catinca, and his fourth dam, Silver Spoon, was the 1959 co-3-year-old champion filly who beat males in the Santa Anita Derby.

Roman Dynasty is by Theatrical, a grass champion and turf sire extraordinaire, and is a full brother to the talented but ill-fated Candace in Paris. His second dam is by Jade Hunter and third dam by Nijinsky II.

Rock Lobster, who won the Woodlawn Stakes on turf, is by Mt. Livermore (Blushing Groom) and out of a mare by the successful stallion Fairy King (a full brother to Sadler's Wells). Rock Lobster's dam, Tadwiga, is a full sister to Bartok, a stallion based in California. With Mt. Livermore on top and Fairy King, Shirley Heights, and Green Dancer on the bottom, Rock Lobster is all grass.

Yate's Black Cat is another son of Black Minnaloushe who is improving with every grass start. His Elmendorf Farm female family is high class. His fourth dam is a full sister to Maytide, the dam of Super May, Barbara Sue, and Ide.

Chin High won the Transylvania Stakes on turf and is by Smart Strike, the sire of last year's Colonial Turf cup winner, English Channel.