09/10/2007 11:00PM

Two-year-olds take spotlight

EmailLAS VEGAS - The Futurity and Matron, two Grade 2 races for 2-year-olds at seven furlongs, will be run on Saturday at Belmont Park. While the division leaders, Majestic Warrior and Irish Smoke, fresh off their authoritative victories in the Hopeful and Spinaway stakes, respectively, will not run, both races will have small but strong fields - and many of the runners in them should go on to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and Juvenile Fillies events.

A brief pedigree analysis of the fields, alphabetically:


Kodiak Kowboy: This colt is certain to be the favorite off four victories in five starts, including the Saratoga Special, Bashford Manor, and Victoria Stakes. From the first crop of leading freshman sire Posse (Silver Deputy), he is out of a Coronado's Quest mare who is a half-sister to stakes winner and sire West by West. His second dam is a full sister to stakes winner Little Missouri. His pedigree is questionable for long distances, but he is well-suited to seven furlongs.

Mythical Pegasus: By Fusaichi Pegasus, he is out of multiple stakes winner Lilly Capote, a half-sister to stakes winner Bubba Dulyah.

Sargent Seattle: He is one of the impressive first-crop foals by 2-year-old champion Vindication (along with More Happy and Maimonides). His dam, Sweet Nanette, was a stakes winner at 2, 3, and 4.

Stand Pat: By speed influence Doneraile Court (Seattle Slew), he is a half-brother to March Magic, the winner of the Comely Stakes and Molly Pitcher Breeders' Cup Handicap who also finished second in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes and Shuvee Handicap.

Tale of Ekati: Winner of a maiden race and second in the Sanford Stakes, this colt wins the pedigree prize by a mile. He is by speed influence Tale of a Cat (Storm Cat); his dam, Silence Beauty, managed only to finish third in three lifetime starts, but she was born to be a valuable broodmare like all the females in her illustrious family. By 1989 Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Breeders' Cup Classic winner Sunday Silence, Silence Beauty is out of Alabama Stakes and Monmouth Oaks winner Maplejinsky and is thus a half-sister to champion Sky Beauty and the unraced Our Country Place, the dam of BC Distaff winner Pleasant Home, stakes winner Country Hideaway, and Matlacha Pass, the dam of Pine Island. Tale of Ekati's third dam, Gold Beauty, was a champion sprinter who produced European champion sprinter Dayjur.

The Leopard: As a $2.5 million purchase, his conformation apparently matches his sterling pedigree. By the ubiquitous Storm Cat, he is out of the Mr. Prospector mare Moon Safari, a full sister to Scan, who won the Remsen and Cowdin stakes at 2. His second dam, Video (Nijinsky II), is a full sister to champion Caerleon and stakes winners Merce Cunningham, Palmistry, and Vision. This is the strong female family of Regal Gleam, the 1966 co-champion 2-year-old filly, and Straight Deal, a champion older mare and blue hen producer.


Cry and Catch Me: By one of last year's best freshmen sires, Street Cry (sire of Street Sense), this filly is out of a Mari's Book mare (like stakes winner Congaree), and her second dam is a half-sister to European champion miler and champion sire Habitat and stakes-winning sire Northfields.

Dagger: She is by Tactical Cat, one of Storm Cat's underrated sons, and the most important aspect of Dagger's pedigree is that her dam, Pat Hand, has the Rasmussen Factor (inbreeding to a superior female within five generations through different individuals). Pat Hand is inbred 5x4 to Paul Mellon's 1980 Broodmare of the Year, Key Bridge, through her champion son Key to the Mint (Graustark) and unraced daughter Seven Locks (Jacinto). Key Bridge also produced Hall of Famer and 1970 co-Horse of the Year Fort Marcy, a champion grass horse and champion older male, as well as United Nations Handicap winner Key to Content and Stymie Handicap winner Key to the Kingdom.

Miss Red Delicious: She is the first winner and stakes winner for freshman sire Empire Maker, whose runners were not expected to be precocious at 2. Miss Red Delicious gets her speed from her first two damsires, Clever Trick and Holy Bull. Notably, her fourth dam, She Won't Tell, is a full sister to 1978 Triple Crown winner and Hall of Fame member Affirmed.

Proud Spell: A very impressive maiden winner, Proud Spell makes a big jump to graded stakes competition but appears to be the real deal. From the first crop of Proud Citizen, one of this year's best freshmen stallions, she is out of the Langfuhr mare Pacific Spell, and her second dam is a half-sister to multiple stakes winner Imaginary Lady, whose victories include the Santa Anita Oaks and Black-Eyed Susan. Imaginary Lady also ran second in the Kentucky Oaks and Fantasy Stakes.

Sabooh: She also makes the leap to graded stakes company after winning a maiden race in her second start, but has the wow pedigree here: She is closely related to Rags to Riches. Both fillies are by A.P. Indy, and while Rags to Riches is out of Better Than Honour, Sabooh is out of Better Than Honour's half-sister Smolensk. Both Better Than Honour and Smolensk are out of the special broodmare Blush With Pride. Peeping Fawn, the best 3-year-old filly in Europe this year, also comes from this outstanding female family.

Syriana's Song: By speed influence Indian Charlie, she is out of a Tale of the Cat mare. Her second dam is a half-sister to speed influence K. O. Punch.