11/27/2007 12:00AM

Two juveniles with upside

EmailLAS VEGAS - The two stakes for juveniles at Aqueduct last weekend were won by 2-year-olds who should only be better next year at 3.

Court Vision, who had an eventful trip but showed class and determination in winning the Remsen Stakes, has the kind of pedigree to be a major player in next year's Triple Crown. Mushka, the explosive winner of the Demoiselle Stakes, will be a force in the important stakes for 3-year-old fillies, such as the Kentucky Oaks, Coaching Club American Oaks, and Alabama Stakes.

Court Vision is by champion sprinter Gulch, who surprisingly became a very strong source of stamina as a sire. His best offspring include the champions Thunder Gulch and Nayef, who was a classic winner in Europe, as well as Wallenda, winner of the Super Derby, and The Cliff's Edge. Court Vision is out of Weekend Storm, a full sister to Preakness Stakes winner Summer Squall and a half-sister to champion A.P. Indy, winner of the Belmont Stakes and Breeders' Cup Classic.

Stamina influences found up close in Court Vision's pedigree are Secretariat and Buckpasser.

Mushka is an example of the kind of runner that was expected from the first crop of Empire Maker. Aside from the precocious Miss Red Delicious, who showed high speed early at 2 (and is out of a mare by brilliant influence Clever Trick), his offspring will only get better with maturity and distance, with most blossoming at 3 and 4.

Mushka exemplifies the term "class in the dam." Mushka is out of the stakes-winning Seeking the Gold mare Sluice, and her second dam is multiple stakes winner Lakeway. Mushka's third dam, Milliardaire, was a full sister to Saratoga Six. Her fourth dam is Priceless Fame, a full sister to 1976 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner Bold Forbes. While her fifth dam, Comely Nell, was unraced, the next dam, Nellie L., won the Acorn Stakes and Kentucky Oaks. It's a tail-female line that has produced high quality racehorses over multiple generations.

Juveniles on display at Churchill

With its closing day consisting of 12 juvenile races, including the Kentucky Jockey Club and Golden Rod stakes, Churchill Downs's Stars of Tomorrow II card featured some promising

2-year-olds whose performances equaled their pedigrees.

Monba, a 2-year-old colt by the late Maria's Mon, won a one-mile allowance in his second start after easily winning his career debut at Keeneland. Maria's Mon was a champion at 2 and injuries curtailed his career, but he sired 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos. Monarchos was out of a Dixieland Band mare and from a classic Darby Dan female family. Monba also gets high marks for stamina.

Monba is out of a mare by the rich stamina influence Easy Goer, and his dam, Hamba, is a half-sister to stakes winners Secret Hello, Silent Account, Hadif, and By Your Leave. Monba is a colt who should prosper at longer distances.

Like Empire Maker, Horse of the Year Mineshaft is another freshman sire whose slow-developing runners are starting to strut their stuff now that they are maturing and stretching out in distance.

Highest Class, a 2-year-old filly by Mineshaft and out of the With Approval mare Classic Approval, won Churchill's first race last Saturday, a 1 1/16-mile maiden race, rallying five wide to win by a neck. She defeated Temper Temper, an Empire Maker filly who was six wide and also was closing furiously. Highest Class is a half-sister to multiple-stakes-winning turfer Gulch Approval, while Temper Temper is out of the Storm Cat mare Storm Alert, a minor stakes winner who is a daughter of Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes winner Speed Dialer.

Finishing third was Acacia, a full sister to Zanjero, winner of this year's Indiana and West Virginia derbies, and the third-place finisher in the Blue Grass Stakes, Louisiana and Pennsylvania derbies, and Risen Star Stakes.

Juveniles on Laurel grass

At Laurel, Cowboy Cal was very impressive winning the Laurel Futurity by 6 1/4 lengths over a firm turf course. By one of the world's leading grass sires, Giant's Causeway, Cowboy Cal is out of the Seeking the Gold mare Texas Tammy, a half-sister to multiple stakes winner Behrens.

In the Selima Stakes, like the Futurity raced at 1o1/16 miles on turf, Bsharpsonata defeated Grace and Power and Fareena, and all three fillies have strong turf pedigrees. Bsharpsonata is by hidden turf (HT) sire Pulpit and is out of an Affirmed mare, giving her a T2 pedigree pattern (turf from both the sire and damsire.) Grace and Power, who won the Holly Stakes over the Meadowlands turf, was second and might have distance limitations, being by sprint influence More Than Ready.

Fareena, who had won her only two starts, both over the Laurel grass, was third, beaten a total of 2 1/2 lengths. Fareena is by another HT sire, Point Given, a stallion who was a champion on dirt but had a sneaky-hot turf pedigree (by Thunder Gulch out of a Turkoman mare).

On the Remsen and Demoiselle undercard at Aqueduct, Legacy Thief, a homebred from Marylou Whitney, wired 10 2-year-old colts to win a one-mile maiden race by 5 3/4 lengths over Vacation. Legacy Thief is by Cat Thief, and his female family descends to C.V. Whitney's beloved Silver Spoon, who defeated males in the 1959 Santa Anita Derby. Vacation, who now has two runner-up finishes and two thirds in as many starts, will likely wake up on turf. By Dynaformer, he is out of stakes winner Country Hideaway and is thus a half-brother to last year's Demoiselle winner, Boca Grande. Country Hideaway is a full sister to Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Pleasant Home, as well as Matlacha Pass, the dam of Pine Island.