BREEDERS’ CUP IMPLICATIONS IN THE CLAIBORNE BREEDERS’ FUTURITY
Courtesy of Ren Carothers (@RenCarothers)
The G1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity on Keeneland’s #FallStarsSaturday card sports a $500,000 purse, 10 points to the winner toward the Kentucky Derby, and berth into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on #FutureStarsFriday. A full field of fourteen colts will be lining up to contest the 1-1/16th miles event, which has been a stop along the way to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile victory and Eclipse champion two-year- old honors, as was the case with Classic Empire (2016), Favorite Trick (1997), Boston Harbor (1996), and Tasso (1985).
This will be furthest all but two of the contenders have gone. The balance of precociousness and class now weighs in favor of the latter. So, let’s take a closer look at the field with pedigree in mind:
#1 Signalman – He graduated in a seven furlong maiden special weight at Saratoga and will now make his first start with Lasix. His sire, General Quarters, won the Blue Grass, as well as the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic and Sam F. Davis. Signalman’s dam, Trip South, is by G1 Vosburgh winner Trippi, and is a half sister to Summer Notebook, who produced multiple stakes winner Lovable Lady. His second dam was a winner at four-years-old, but is a half sister to Tozudito, a champion runner in Puerto Rico. She’s also a half to Romantic Summer, dam of Diamond Stripes, who won the Gr2 Godolphin Mile, G2 Meadowlands Cup, and G3 Pegasus Stakes, and was third in the G1 Stephen Foster, G1 Whitney, and G1 Woodward. Romantic Summer also produced G2 Hutcheson winner Summer Note, and Summer Book, who won the Slipton Fell Handicap and was second in the G3 National Jockey Club Handicap. This female family also includes G1 Carter Handicap victor Native Royalty and 1978 Eclipse champion two-year-old filly It’s in the Air, who matured into a multiple G1 winner with scores in the Vanity (twice), Ruffian, Alabama, and Delaware Oaks.
#2 Sombeyay – He was fourth, beaten 3-1/2 lengths, in the Hopeful last out. Luis Saez, who rode this colt within three-quarters of a length of victory in the Tremont (after he stumbled at the start), returns to the saddle. If not for that mishap, Sombeyay might be a two-time stakes winner already, having won the G3 Sanford following that race. Sombeyay is a son of ultra-hot sire Into Mischief. While a G1 winner himself, scoring in the CashCall Futurity, Into Mischief’s racing career was overshadowed by his little half sister: four-time Eclipse champion Beholder, honored at two, three, five and six years of age. The first stakes win of her career was the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, and it closed with a scintillating photo- finish victory over Songbird in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Into Mischief and Beholder are also half siblings of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Mendelssohn, who recently gutted it out for third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Sombeyay’s dam, Teroda, was second in the Las Cienegas and Wishing Well Stakes, and is a daughter of multiple G2 winner Limehouse, whose wins include the Hutcheson Stakes and Brooklyn Handicap. The female family also includes third dam Goldenley, a multiple Gr1 winner in Argentina.
#3 Fluminense – He tried turf last out in the Soar Free Stakes at Woodbine, finishing third in a field of six. Blinkers go on, and Ricardo Santana, Jr., who rode Fluminense in his first two starts, returns to the irons. His sire, More Than Ready, counts the G1 King’s Bishop among his wins, and was fifth in the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Sprint. His dam, Bonne Rafaela, is by the speedy Elusive Quality, winner of the 1998 editions of the G3 Jaipur and Poker Handicaps. Bonne Rafaela was a winner in two starts at two, and is a half sister to multiple graded stakes winners in Argentina, including G1 winners Send in the Clowns and Out of Control. Out of Control also had success in the U.S., winning the G2 American Invitational and G2 Oak Tree Mile, and running second in the G1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, G1 Eddie Read, and G1 Woodford Reserve Manhattan.
#4 Unionizer – This colt is two-for-two since joining the Bill Mott barn and getting the addition of blinkers. He won the Sapling last out going a mile, and being by Belmont winner Union Rags, and out of a daughter of 1995’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Unbridled’s Song (who went on to capture the Florida Derby), he should get even better with more ground. His dam, Mind Eraser, is a half sister to stakes winner Katy Now, who won the Dispute at Belmont. “Grandma”, Katy Kat, won the Bayou Breeders’ Cup Handicap and was third in the G3 Sixty Sails. Skip on down to Unionizer’s fourth dam, Caitland, and you’ll see the most interesting name this female family boasts, as she is a half sister to Wild Again, winner of the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Classic in 1984.
#5 Dream Maker – This boy just logged a bullet drill of :47 for 4f on September 29th. It was the fastest work of 113 at the distance, but morning glories can sometimes be shrinking violets in the afternoon, as seemed the case in the Hopeful, in which he appeared to be climbing the kickback. Hopefully, he learned from the experience, as this is an even bigger field to navigate. He’s by a sire who needs no introduction when he commands a $300,000 stud fee, but it is worth remembering that Tapit was also a successful racehorse himself, taking the 2004 G1 Wood Memorial and, as a juvenile, the G3 Laurel Futurity. Dream Maker is a full brother to G1 Del Mar Oaks winner Dream Dancing, also trained by Mark Casse. His unraced dam, To Dream About, is by 2001’s Kentucky Derby winner, Monarchos, and she also produced Dream Maker’s half siblings, G2 placed Awesome Sky (3rd G2 Kentucky Jockey Club) and Sky Dreamer (2nd La Lorgnette, 3rd Alywow). To Dream About is a half sister to G1 placed Dr. Pleasure (3rd Travers) and is out of 1999’s champion older mare, Beautiful Pleasure, who won the Breeders’ Cup Distaff that same year. The black type doesn’t stop there, as Beautiful Pleasure is also a full sister to multiple G1 winner Mecke (Arlington Million, Early Times Turf Classic, Super Derby).
#6 Everfast – He drew the twelve hole in the Iroquois and ended up fifth, beaten 6-1/4 lengths, but certainly has a pedigree which supports the case for improvement. He is by G1 winner Take Charge Indy, a son of Breeders’ Cup Classic winner A.P. Indy. Take Charge Indy was fifth in the 2011 G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, won the G1 Florida Derby, G2 Alysheba, and picked up a couple of G1 placings, running second in the Clark Handicap and third in the Donn. Everfast is out of the Awesome Again mare, Awesome Surprise, who is a full sister to 2004’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champ, Wilko. Wilko may have only gotten his picture taken three times, but the G1 gameness was no fluke, as he was runner up in the 2006 Dubai World Cup, and got the show dough in the 2006 Santa Anita Handicap, 2005 Santa Anita Derby, and 2004 Hollywood Futurity. Awesome Surprise is also a half sister to Dr. Cheryl P., who produced multiple SW/G3 placed Bodhisattva.
#7 Knicks Go – He gets Lasix after tiring and getting beat six lengths in the Arlington-Washington Futurity. He obviously likes Keeneland’s dirt, having worked bullets over it multiple times. He definitely has speed, but can he carry it? His sire, Paynter, won the 2012 Haskell Invitational and was runner-up in the 1-1/2 miles Belmont. Knicks Go is out of Kosmo’s Buddy, whose wins include the Maryland Million Turf Sprint and Crank It Up Stakes. She’s a daughter of Outflanker. He didn’t have an illustrious racing career, winless in ten starts, but is by Danzig and out of Lassie’s Lady, a half sister to Weekend Surprise, who produced Hall of Famer A.P. Indy and multiple G1 winner Summer Squall. Knicks Go’s second dam, Vaulted, was second in the All Brandy Stakes, Alma North Handicap, and Maryland Million Distaff. His third dam also sports black type, having won the Mantua Stakes, and is a half sister to 1990’s G1 Matriarch Stakes winner Countus In.
#8 Tobacco Road – Corey Lanerie, who is two-for-two aboard Tobacco Road, gets back on after the colt finished fourth in the Iroquois. He is a son of four-time G1 winner and track record setter Quality Road, and is a half brother to Isabella Sings. She maintained graded-stakes winning form from three to five years old, the G2 Mrs. Revere among those wins, and it is worth noting she was second in the 2014 G2 Natalma at two. Tobacco Road is also a half brother to multiple stakes winner, G3 placed Alaura Michele. His dam, Isobel Baillie, is a stakes placed daughter of 1991’s Horse of the Year in Germany, Lomitas. Jumping to his third dam, Ring of Music, you’ll find she is a half sister to 1996’s Eclipse champion grass horse, Singspiel, who was second in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf that same year. He went on to collect a prestigious collection of victories, including the 1996 Japan Cup and, in 1997, the Dubai World Cup, Coronation Cup, and Juddmonte International. This, of course, means Ring of Music is also a half sister to G2 winner, Group 1 placed Rahy, and that Tobacco’s Road’s fourth dam is Glorious Song, who was the 1980 Sovereign Award Horse of the Year and also earned the Eclipse Award for champion older mare.
#9 Moonster – He debuted in a five furlong sprint at Ellis Park and got up for fifth, 3-3/4 lengths off the winner. Moonster improved stretching out to a mile, winning by 2-1/2 lengths at Churchill Downs, and the pedigree supports an affinity for more ground. Our oldest living Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, A.P. Indy, influences this colt’s pedigree through sire Malibu Moon, and he’s out of Mema, a daughter of the aforementioned Unbridled’s Song. While she was unplaced, her half sister, Seattle Smooth, won over a million dollars over the course of her career, and her stakes scores include the G1 Ogden Phipps Handicap.
#10 Mr. Ankeny – Tobacco Road got the better of him two back, but Mr. Ankeny made quite the Beyer leap in his last start, notching an 81 BSF. The race produced two next out winners, including third place finisher Mr. Money, who won a maiden special weight at Churchill Downs by 3-3/4 lengths. Mr. Ankeny, like Everfast and Moonster, is trained by Dale Romans. Jockey Robby Albarado has ridden all three colts and lands here. This son of Into Mischief brought $350,000 as a yearling. His dam, Intelyhente, is by Smart Strike, winner of the 1996 editions of the G1 Philip H. Iselin and G3 Salvator Mile Handicaps, and is a full sister to Bel Air Beauty, who won the Darley Alcibiades in 2006, and produced Sovereign champion sprinter Stacked Deck. Mr. Ankeny’s second dam, Awe That, was second in the Nany’s Appeal Stakes, and among her stakes winning half siblings is Florida Oaks winner Anklet. Going further down the pedigree, his third dam, Bangled, was an unraced half sister to G1 winning millionaire Grecian Flight.
#11 Borracho – He’s coming off a win at Churchill Downs against maiden special weight company. Only one horse out of that race has run since, fifth place finisher Thundershook, who was third in another race at the same level at Churchill. This son of Uncle Mo cost $100,000 as a weanling at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. His dam is a daughter of Congrats, winner of the 2005 G2 San Pasqual, and runner-up in the G1 Santa Anita Handicap. While she was unplaced, her mom, Selva, won the Sorority and Mardi Gras Stakes, and was second in the G2 Beaumont. This female family tails to Monade, Borracho’s sixth dam, who won the Epsom Oaks and Prix Vermeille of 1962 and was also second in that year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
#12 Derby Date – He had an awful start in the Hopeful, so you could be forgiven for tossing the effort. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas has won this race more than any other, winning it last with Consolidator in 2004. Should Derby Date get the job done, it would be the Hall of Famer’s seventh victory in this spot, and the horse’s first career win. Derby Date is a son of multiple G1 winner Will Take Charge (Clark Handicap, Travers Stakes), also a Lukas trainee, who was part of the thrilling 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic finish, in which he lost by a nose to Mucho Macho Man, and finished a head in front of Declaration of War. Derby Date’s dam, Smart and Fancy, won fourteen of twenty-eight starts, is an eleven-time stakes winner, and G2 placed, with a third in the Barbara Fritchie. Her sire is stakes placed Not for Love, a full brother to 1989’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile victor and Eclipse champion two-year-old colt, Rhythm. Not for Love is also the broodmare sire of two-time Horse of the Year (2014, 2016) California Chrome.
#13 Mind Control – If not for running second in his debut to Call Paul, who went on to win the Saratoga Special, Mind Control would be a perfect three-for-three. He graduated at Monmouth by three lengths before holding off favored Mucho in the G1 Hopeful. Mind Control’s sire, Stay Thirsty, was second in the 2010 Hopeful and matured into a multiple G1 winner, with scores in the Travers and Cigar Mile. Mind Control’s dam is stakes winning sprinter Feel That Fire, who won the Blue Sparkler and was third in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint. Her full sister, Ima Jersey Girl, fittingly, won the Jersey Girl Stakes. Some of the bigger names in the extended female family tree are G1 winners Silver Voice (Manhattan), Nine Keys (Apple Blossom), and French Colonial (Man o’War).
#14 Standard Deviation – We haven’t seen this boy run since he won an off-turf event going 7 furlongs at Saratoga. While grass may have initially been the plan, his 2-3/4 length victory earned him a shot on dirt again, and he has plenty of pedigree to back it up. This son of Hall of Fame and Breeders’ Cup Classic Champion Curlin is out of the A.P. Indy mare False Impression, and is a half brother to stakes placed Dr Schultz. His second dam, Classic Elegance, won the G2 Schuylerville and G3 Debutante, and is a half sister to the unraced mare El Fasto, who produced 2012’s Kentucky Oaks winner, Believe You Can.
That’s your field for the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity! With Breeders’ Cup and Kentucky Derby implications, this race is a can’t-miss event. Thankfully, you can just tune in to NBC‘s coverage, which includes the Shadwell Turf Mile, starting at 4:30pm ET/ 1:30pm PT.
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