01/01/2007 12:00AM

Zito's 2-year-olds have big day at Calder



Nick Zito, gearing up for Gulfstream, sent a large contingent of unproven 2-year-olds to Calder. On Dec. 18, Zito's babies had a good day, winning two out of three maiden races and finishing second in the other.

King Alliance, an Awesome Again colt out of the stakes-winning Valid Appeal mare Valid Carnauba, won a seven-furlong maiden race in his first start by two lengths. His second dam, Carnauba, was a champion at 2 and 3 in Italy. Carnauba, out of stakes winner Carnival Queen, was a half-sister to three other stakes winners - Hey Rube, King of Mardi Gras, and Pink Tights. King Alliance is bred to enjoy distances farther than one mile. His sire won the Breeders' Cup Classic and sired Horse of the Year Ghostzapper, and while his damsire, Valid Appeal, is a speed influence, he has many more stamina influences in his pedigree, such as Noholme II, Amerigo, and Bull Lea.

In the race following King Alliance's victory, Zito's first-time starter Sourpower finished second to High Act in another seven-furlong maiden race. Sourpower showed unusual tactical speed for a son of Belmont Stakes winner Lemon Drop Kid, and should improve a great deal with experience and more distance. Runners by Lemon Drop Kid develop into better 3-year-olds, where they usually catch up to their contemporaries at distances of nine furlongs and beyond over dirt, and, especially, grass. Sourpower is out of the Carr de Naskra mare Big Fins, who is a half-sister to Wood Memorial Stakes winner Buddha. Sourpower's fourth dam, Beaufix, is a half-sister to 1967 Horse of the Year and Hall of Fame member Damascus.

Zito's other 2-year-old winner on Dec. 18 was Striking Tomisue, who was fourth in her previous start at Churchill Downs on Nov. 8. Striking Tomisue comes from a sensational female family that produced last year's Belmont Stakes winner, Jazil. She is by Smart Strike (the sire of English Channel) and is out of the Belong to Me mare Avenging Tomisue. Her second dam, Tomisue's Indy, was a stakes-winning half-sister to champion sprinter Aldebaran and stakes winners Good Journey and Sea of Showers. Her third dam, Chimes of Freedom, was a multiple Group 1 winner in England and Ireland, and is a half-sister to stakes winner Denon and Imperfect Circle, the dam of champion Spinning World.

* Portafortuna won a six-furlong maiden race on Dec. 23, and the 3-year-old filly has the pedigree to become a very good sprinter. By speed sire Forest Wildcat, she is out of the Seeking the Gold mare Competitive, who is a granddaughter of the superior stakes winner and stakes producer Blitey. Competitive's dam, Dancing All Night, was best on turf, winning the Long Island Handicap, and she is a full sister to Breeders' Cup Srint winner Dancing Spree and the unraced Oh What a Dance, the dam of champion Heavenly Prize.


Sitar, a 3-year-old filly by Fusaichi Pegasus, won a maiden race on the turf at 1 1/16 miles, rallying from just off the pace. Sitar is out of the Plugged Nickle mare Rose Park, making her a half-sister to Metropolitan Handicap winner and sire Wild Rush, who is now at stud in Japan. Her second dam, Hardship, was third in the 1979 Frizette Stakes behind champion 2-year-old filly Smart Angle, who went on to produce Houston.

* Early last year, Sacred Light was on the Triple Crown trail after finishing second in the Santa Catalina Stakes and third in the Sham Stakes. But Sacred Light, a son of Holy Bull, was not up to defeating the best runners of his generation at 1 1/4 miles on dirt early in his 3-year-old season, and he may just now be approaching the best form of his career. Fourth in his previous start at Hollywood Park on Nov. 26, Sacred Light rallied to win an allowance at nine furlongs on grass, a surface for which he is well-suited. Holy Bull has been a superior sire of grass runners since his first crop hit the races, and Sacred Light is out of a mare by another hidden turf sire, Summer Squall (Storm Bird). Sacred Light's second dam is a half-sister to Primal Force, the dam of Awesome Again and Macho Uno. Sacred Light may develop into a solid performer on grass at age 4.