Friday, July 31, 2009

Backtalk Should Relish Running Farther

Sent off as the 3-2 favorite in a field of nine two-year-old thoroughbreds, Backtalk remained undefeated yesterday winning the 95th running of the $150,000 Sanford Stakes (G2) at Saratoga Race Course.

Trained by Tom Amoss, Backtalk came from sixth-place at the top of the stretch to claim a hard-fought win by a neck over second-place finisher Enumerate. Louisvilleluminary finished third another neck behind Enumerate. Backtalk covered the six furlongs in 1:10.07.

Here’s the chart call:

BACKTALK was reserved for a half, worked his way forward three wide on the turn, swung six wide for clear sailing entering the stretch, made a steady run to challenge inside the furlong marker, dug in when threatened in deep stretch and prevailed after a hard drive.

Backtalk now has three wins in three starts. In his last race, the six-furlong $100,000 Bashford Manor Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs, Backtalk stumbled at the start and had to work his way through horses in the stretch to score a one-length victory with a final time of 1:11

Here’s that chart call:

BACKTALK stumbled at the start, recovered to race behind the leaders while in the two path, angled out for a clear path in midstretch and finished well to be up in time.

Backtalk (Smarty Jones-Apasionata Sonata by Affirmed) is from the second crop of Smarty Jones and he is a half-brother to Bsharpsonata – winner of the Davona Dale Stakes (G2) and Forward Gal Stakes (G2). His win in the Sanford makes him the top money-earner for Smarty Jones with $180,095 in earnings.

Backtalk is a descendent of the sire line of Mr. Prospector which has been one of the most influential sire lines of the 20th Century. The Mr. Prospector line has dominated the American Classics producing nine Kentucky Derby and Preakness winners and 11 Belmont winners in the past 15 years. Backtalk should relish running farther and it will be fun to watch him for the remainder of the two-year-old season.

Backtalk’s grandsire Elusive Quality is known mostly as a speed influence but he also passes on stamina.

Elusive Quality is the sire of the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Smarty Jones – winner of the 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness. In addition, Elusive Quality is the sire of the talented Raven’s Pass – winner of the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Classic; Maryfield – winner of the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint and Quality Road – winner of the 2009 Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby.

Backtalk’s great grandsire, Gone West, passes on speed and stamina and his line has produced numerous Classic Champions as well as Graded Stakes winners.

Gone West is the sire of Zafonic – winner of the 1993 2,000 Guineas; Da Hoss – winner of the 1996 and 1998 Breeders’ Cup Mile; Commendable – winner of the 2000 Belmont; Came Home – winner of the 2002 10-furlong Pacific Classic Stakes and Santa Anita Derby; Johar – winner of the 2003 Breeders’ Cup Turf; Speightstown – winner of the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Sprint; Marsh Side – winner of the 14-furlong Valedictory Stakes and the 12-furlong Canadian International Stakes.

Gone West is the grandsire of the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Zarkava – winner of the 2008 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Prix de Diane and French 1,000 Guineas. In addition, Gone West is the grandsire of Cajun Beat – winner of the 2003 Breeders’ Cup Sprint; Finsceal Beo – winner of the 2007 English 1,000 Guineas and Irish 1,000 Guineas.

Backtalk’s damsire is the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Affirmed – winner of the 1978 Triple Crown.

Affirmed was the sire of The Tin Man – multiple G1 winner from 8- to 12-furlongs; Flawlessly – 1992 and 1993 Champion Turf Mare and winner of the Beverly D. Stakes (G1), Matriarch Stakes (G1), Beverly Hills Handicap (G1) and Ramona Handicap (G1); Quiet Resolve - 2000 Canadian Horse Of The Year and Canadian Champion Male Turf Horse; Affirmed Success – winner of the 2000 and 2001 8-furlong poker stakes and the 2000 7-furlong General George Handicap; Affluent – winner of the 9-furlong Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup and the Hollywood Oaks; Peteski – 1993 Canadian Triple Crown Champion, Canadian Horse Of The Year and Champion 3YO Colt; Zoman – winner of the 1990 Ireland International Stakes (G2), Cigar Prix du Rond-Point (G3); 1991 Tattersalls Gold Cup (G2) and Scottish Derby (G3); 1992 12-furlong Washington D.C. International Stakes (G1) and the Prix d'Ispahan (G1).

So, as you can see, there is a lot of speed and stamina influence in the pedigree of Backtalk. However, Backtalk’s running style is nothing like his sire Smarty Jones and his damsire Affirmed who both liked to go to the early lead.

So far, Backtalk has been very impressive. Time will tell just how far he wants to run.

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