05/06/2007 11:00PM

Sky Mesa passes on his win-early ability



Sky Mesa is expected to be among this year's leading freshman sires, and he got off to a quick start when his 2-year-old colt Twenty Eight Hours got up to win a 4 1/2-furlong maiden race by a head at 3-1 on April 26. Twenty Eight Hours is out of the Clever Trick mare Game Trick, a half-sister to Sweet Briar Too, the dam of stakes winner and successful sire Langfuhr. Sky Mesa, a son of Pulpit and from the female family that produced Horse of the Year and multiple champion Buckpasser, was a top 2-year-old, winning the Hopeful Stakes and Breeders' Futurity Stakes. Sky Mesa's offspring should be equally effective on dirt and turf and should have the necessary speed to be a force at 2.

* Runner-up Deputy Dance, who just got caught at the wire, is also by a first-crop stallion. His sire, the stakes winner Posse, should get runners who inherit the speed from his sire line (Silver Deputy-Deputy Minister).

* His Holiness won a one-mile turf race on April 25. The 4-year-old Holy Bull colt has a strong HT (hidden turf) pedigree top and bottom. His Holiness is out of the Kris S. mare Krissy, a three-quarter sister to Epsom Derby winner Benny the Dip (by Silver Hawk). Despite a pedigree for the distance and surface, His Holiness paid $67.20.

* Whisper to Me, a 3-year-old filly by Thunder Gulch, rallied to win a 1 1/8-mile grass allowance by 3 1/2 lengths on April 26 at 7-1. Whisper to Me is not only by HT sire Thunder Gulch, but she gets a strong double dose of turf from her damsire, Diesis. Her dam, Word to the Wise, is a half-sister to multiple stakes winner Confessional.

* Pauillac, a $1 million sales purchase, won his career debut on April 26, and despite his high-profile connections (Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Patrick Biancone) and pedigree, he was dismissed at nearly 8-1. Pauillac is by the increasingly popular Mr. Greeley and is out of the Dixieland Band mare Dreams of Success, a half-sister to Burning Roma. His female family is replete with stakes winners, including European Horse of the Year Zilzal, Polish Precedent, Awe Inspiring, Wavering Monarch, Mining, and Goodbye Halo.


Hangingbyamoment won a 1 1/8-mile maiden race on turf on April 26, and the 3-year-old colt was born for turf. By Giant's Causeway, the 3-year-old colt is out of the Thunder Gulch mare Hangingbyamoment, and his third dam, Fiesta Libre, finished third in the 1974 Coaching Club American Oaks, Alabama Stakes, and Acorn.

* Divine Park is a developing 3-year-old colt with plenty of upside. Winner of the Withers Stakes on April 28, he is by the late Chester House, winner of the Arlington Million and several other stakes races. Chester House was on the verge of becoming a major force in the stallion ranks, as his first few crops really impressed, and his premature death was a severe blow to racing. Divine Park is out of the Ascot Knight mare High in the Park, who is out of a half-sister to Kentucky Oaks winner Sardula and Beldame Stakes and Gazelle Handicap winner (and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies runner-up) Imperial Gesture. Now a stakes winner on dirt, Divine Park would appear to have a bright future on all surfaces as Chester House is a superior grass influence.


Portafortuna won a 5 1/2-furlong optional claimer on April 29. The Forest Wildcat filly comes from a very productive female family. Her dam, Competitive, is out of the Long Island Handicap winner Dancing All Night, a full sister to Dancing Spree and the unraced Oh What a Dance, who is the dam of champion Heavenly Prize. The 4-5 favorite, Portafortuna drew off to a five-length victory over a non-descript field and is bred to win on dirt and turf.


Trainer Ron Ellis unveiled a good-looking 3-year-old filly, Glorified, to win a 6 1/2-furlong maiden race on April 28. The Honour and Glory miss is out of the Beau Genius mare Foxycaller, a half-sister to Hollywood Starlet and Beaumont Stakes winner Diplomat Lady. Also, keep tabs on the runner-up, Jen's New Chapter, who was also making her career debut. Jen's New Chapter is by champion sprinter Orientate and is from the immediate family that produced Canadian champion Izvestia, as well as Touch Gold and Lasting Aprroval. Jen's New Chapter was 22-1 and paid $19.60 to place.

* Leesider won the Snow Chief Stakes for Cal-bred 3-year-old fillies on April 29. The Bertrando filly is out of the Storm Cat mare Sweet Paradise. Her second dam, Bountiful Native, was a multiple stakes winner and California-bred champion filly in 1992.


Rock Slide beat his more illustrious full brother Horse of the Year Mineshaft to the punch as the first to sire a winner. Both are part of this year's freshman group of stallions, and while Rock Slide did not achieve the same success as Mineshaft, he was considered a talented runner in his own right. Rock Slide's first winner is Happy Hailey, a 2-year-old filly out of the M. Double M. mare Redeployed, who is a half-sister to stakes winner First Albert.