02/12/2007 1:00AM

Smart Strike offspring click on turf and dirt



It's not too often you see a runner from the barn of Todd Pletcher, represented in this instance by his assistant Anthony Sciametta Jr., sent off at 24-1. On Jan. 31, Brooklyn's Smart, a 3-year-old colt by Smart Strike, rallied from 10th in a 12-horse field to win his career debut, a maiden race at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, returning $50.40.

Brooklyn's Smart has a powerful turf pedigree, being by Smart Strike (the sire of grass star English Channel) and out of a royally bred mare by Storm Cat. His second dam is by the European superstar and stamina influence Shirley Heights, and his third dam is a half-sister to Green Dancer, a multiple Group 1 winner and champion sire.

* Four races later, Sciametta saddled another winner on the grass in Pleasant Strike, a 3-year-old colt who is also by Smart Strike. Pleasant Strike is an HT2, as he gets a double dose of grass breeding from his damsire, Pleasant Colony. His dam, Colonella, is an RF (Rasmussen Factor), as she is inbred to the influential matron Grey Flight through champion Misty Morn and her full brother, stakes winner Misty Flight. Pleasant Strike's second dam, Minstrella, was a champion 2-year-old filly in Ireland.

* Two days later, Smart Strike had his third straight grass winner when Communique, a 3-year-old filly out of the Pleasant Colony mare Martinique, won a nine-furlong maiden race by a nose. Smart Strike won 6 of 8 starts, including the Philip H. Iselin Handicap, and he is a half-brother to Dance Smartly, a champion 3-year-old filly in the U.S. and Canadian Horse of the Year. Smart Strike is out of the prolific Classy 'n Smart, a Canadian 3-year-old filly champion and 1991 Broodmare of the Year. Smart Strike's second dam, No Class, was a Canadian Broodmare of the Year who produced six major stakes winners and three champions. Her stakes-winning offspring include Sky Classic, Regal Classic, Grey Classic, Always a Classic, Classic Reign, and Classy 'n Smart.

* But Smart Strike saved his most impressive winner for dirt. On Feb. 3, Curlin, a 3-year-old colt making his career debut in a seven-furlong maiden race, sizzled early fractions of 22.79 seconds, 45.48, and 1:08.88 en route to a 12 3/4-length victory in a sizzling 1:22.25, despite running erratically in the stretch. Curlin is out of the Deputy Minister mare Sherriff's Deputy, a daughter of multiple stakes winner Barbarika.

Santa Anita

Giant's Causeway is as potent on the West Coast as he is on the East Coast. On Feb. 1, French Transition, a 3-year-old gelding by Giant's Causeway out of the Hawkster mare French Manicure, won a nine-furlong maiden race on turf by 2 3/4 lengths. His third dam, Tax Holiday, was a stakes-winning daughter of champion sprinter Ta Wee.

The following day, Neko Bay, a 4-year-old colt by Giant's Causeway out of the Rubiano mare Brulay, once again looked like a future stakes winner winning an optional claiming race at 1 1/16 miles on dirt. Brulay is a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 winner and sire Lemon Drop Kid, and this female family produced A.P. Indy and Summer Squall. While he has been impressive on dirt, Neko Bay is bred to be a star on turf.

The next day at Gulfstream, Giant's Causeway had two turf stakes winners on the same day when Giant Wrecker won the Canadian Turf Handicap at 16-1 and Naissance Royale won the Suwanee River Handicap at even money.

Giant's Causeway is the heir apparent to his sire, Storm Cat, and is already among the world's elite stallions.


Chester House was on his way to becoming one of racing's premier turf sires, but he died after just a few crops. While his offspring were superior on grass, they also won on dirt. On Feb. 2, Joaquin Memphis, a 3-year-old gelding by Chester House, won a six-furlong maiden race for New York-breds by 4 1/2 lengths. Joaquin Memphis is out of the Virginia Rapids mare Jessica Rapid, a half-sister to stakes winner Dawnelo.

* Dorm Fever, who won his maiden debut at double-digit odds, was back in the winner's circle after running fourth on Jan. 7. A 3-year-old filly by Stormin Fever, Dorm Fever comes from a very productive female family. Her dam, Dorm (Pleasant Colony), is out of stakes winner Wisla, who was a freaky-fast sprinter. Wisla won 6 of 11 starts and also placed in the Grade 1 Maskette (now Go for Wand) Stakes.

Fair Grounds

Whether it's turf or dirt, Giant's Causeway just keeps getting winners. His runners are much more effective on turf, but since he was bred to the highest class of broodmare, his offspring are capable of winning on all surfaces. On Feb. 3, Swift Temper, a 3-year-old filly by Giant's Causeway out of the Seeking the Gold mare Glasgow's Gold, won a mile-and-70-yard allowance over the 1-2 favorite, Jersey Bond. Glasgow's Gold is out of stakes winner Gorgeous, a half-sister to Key to the Moon, Seaside Attraction (dam of 2-year-old filly champion Golden Attraction), and Jood (dam of Fantastic Light). Swift Temper's third dam is Kamar, the 1990 Broodmare of the Year and Canadian 3-year-old champion filly.