Monday, November 23, 2009

Breeding For Behavior In The Hybrid Thoroughbred

Thomas Herding Technique Founder Kerry Thomas, in his essay Breeding for Behavior in the Hybrid Thoroughbred, says that Emotional Conformation and reapplying natural selection in breeding practices is important for the improvement of the breed.

“You cannot continually remove the natural selection element from the process and expect great results without weakening the breed itself. …Emotional Conformation and Psychological Profiling of the individual horse being proposed for mating can provide the extra information needed to increase the probability of a more successful outcome. Just because you mate two incredibly talented athletes with outstanding pedigrees doesn’t mean that their progeny will be as outstanding. Because this is true, the result is over-breeding and a saturation of the industry with far too many trash-can horses, deemed unworthy of financial support because they don’t win, or are unsound and breakdown.”

For the entire essay please click here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Great Racehorses Of The Decade

In a new series of articles for the British Horseracing Authority, turf writer Andrew Scott profiles Great Racehorses of the Decade.

In week eight, Scott profiles The Best of Britain and France.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hollywood Prevue Stakes Racing Roundup

A field of eight 2-year-old juveniles has been entered in today’s $100,000 Hollywood Prevue Stakes (G3) but it looks like the 7-furlong sprint could become a three-horse race.

Winstar Farms’ American Lion is the 7-5 morning line favorite and he comes into the race with an impressive maiden win by 6 ¾ -lengths in a 7-furlong sprint at Keeneland. Trainer Eoin Harty should have American Lion ready for another big performance and jockey Julien Leparoux returns for the mount.

American Lion's second grandsire, Relaunch, sired Star Of The Crop who won the Prevue in 1991 and his third grandsire, In Reality, sired Judge Smells who won in 1985. American Lion’s damsire, Storm Cat, is the grandsire of Lion Heart who won the Prevue in 2003 and Roll Hennessy Roll who won in 2002.

Win or lose, I will be watching to see how well American Lion performs when he stretches out to a route race.

Hall Of Fame Trainer Bob Baffert won the Hollywood Prevue with Massive Drama in 2007 and he’s looking for another victory with a pair of nice colts, Indian Firewater (5-2) and Macias (3-1).

Indian Firewater has been training well recording several bullet works at Hollywood Park and the Prevue looks like the next best step in his progression. His sire, Indian Charlie, won the Santa Anita Derby and sired the 2006 Eclipse Champion Fleet Indian and 2007 Eclipse Champion Indian Blessing. Indian Firewater’s grandsire, In Excess, sired the 1996 Prevue winner In Excessive Bull. Indian Firewater’s damsire is 1997 Belmont winner Touch Gold and Miswaki, the sire of Indian Firewater’s second dam Bay Barrister, sired the 1993 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Urban Sea.

So, Indian Firewater looks like another one to keep an eye on when he stretches out to a route race.

Zayat Stables’ Macias is the only colt in the field with a stakes win to his credit. He has good speed and won the 6-furlong Jack Goodman Stakes last out in a final time of 1:08.98. If Macias can carry the speed to 7-furlongs he will be tough. Zayat Stables won the Prevue with Massive Drama in 2007 and Belgravia in 2006.

Tribal Face (15-1) looks like an intriguing long shot. After four starts, Tribal Face finally broke his maiden last out and appears to be improving. Tribal Face has only been out of the money once and he has a third-place finish in the hotly-contested I’m Smokin Stakes. His grandsire, Storm Cat, is the grandsire of Prevue winners Lion Heart and Roll Hennessy Roll. His damsire, Memo, sired the 1999 Prevue winner Grey Memo who was the 2002 California Champion Older Horse with over $1 million in career earnings.

So at 15-1 morning line odds, he may be worth a small win, place bet.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Great Racehorses Of The Decade: Ballydoyle Stable

In a new series of articles for the British Horseracing Authority, turf writer Andrew Scott profiles Great Racehorses of the Decade.

In week seven, Scott profiles Ballydoyle Stable.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Great Racehorses Of The Decade: Sea The Stars

In a new series of articles for the British Horseracing Authority, turf writer Andrew Scott profiles Great Racehorses of the Decade.

In week six, Scott profiles Sea The Stars.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Vale Of York On Track To Kentucky Derby

The fantastic upset victory by Vale Of York (IRE) in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile has given Godolphin dreams of another conquest in next year’s Derby.

No. Not the Epsom Derby, the Kentucky Derby.

“He handled the synthetic surface well,” said Godolphin Racing Manager Simon Crisford in a Racing Post news article. “We don’t know whether or not he will handle the dirt at Churchill Downs as well, but we certainly will give it a try.”

Coronation Futurity Racing Roundup

Hotep is a 2-year-old thoroughbred that I have had on my watch list for some time and today, along with six other juveniles, he will make his stakes debut in the $250,000 Coronation Futurity at Woodbine.

Hotep is a full brother to this year’s Canadian Queen’s Plate winner Eye Of The Leopard and I’m eager to see how well he performs in the Coronation. So far, with a win in his maiden debut last month, Hotep is farther along that his older brother who did not race as a 2-year-old and just started racing this past April.

Both Eye of The Leopard and Hotep are trained by Mark Frostad who won the Coronation in 1999 with Dixieland Diamond.

I like it that Hotep’s maiden win came in a 1-mile, 70-yard route race and his pedigree suggests that he will relish going even farther.

Hotep comes into 9-furlong Coronation as the 5-1 morning-line-third-choice. His major competition will most likely come from the 6-5 morning line favorite Hollinger who won the 8.5-furlong Cup And Saucer Stakes on the turf last month at Woodbine.

Undefeated in three starts, Hollinger is trained by Roger Attfield who won the Coronation three times with Ablo in 2004, Talkin Man in 1994 and Norcliffe in 1975.

Stormy Lord (6-1) finished second to Hollinger in the Cup And Saucer Stakes and I look for him to be in the mix at the finish. His sire Stormy Atlantic sired Leonnatus Anteas who won the Coronation in 2006 and went on to become the Canadian Champion Two Year Old Colt.

Another horse that probably should be used in the exotics is Vicar Street (8-1) who narrowly lost to Hotep by a neck in his last outing. His damsire, At The Threshold, sired the 1992 Kentucky Derby winner Lil E. Tee and his second damsire, Norcliffe, won the 1975 edition of the Coronation.

Ghost Fleet is the 4-1 second-choice but he failed as the favorite in his last race when stretching out to a route in the Grey Stakes (G3) and I'm not too keen on him in this race.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Racing Roundup

Jockey Julien Leparoux had a great day Friday with a first-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, a first-place in the Filly and Mare Sprint and a third-place in the Filly and Mare Turf. Hopefully, Leparoux will be primed for another great day Saturday and that should bode well for Aspire who is my longshot pick to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

I think that Leparoux is a good fit with Aspire. He rode him in his first two starts and regains the mount for the Juvenile.

In three starts, Aspire (20-1) has never been out of the money and although he has yet to win a Graded Stakes race he has been racing in good company. He has a second-place finish in the Hopeful (G1) and a third-place finish in the Champagne Stakes (G1).

Aspire had a nice work out over the track surface earlier this week and his Brisnet Speed Figures have steadily improved with each race. His 97 in the Champagne is his best yet and he could be ready for a big move forward.

Hall of Fame Trainer Bob Baffert is hoping to claim his third Juvenile victory with Lookin At Lucky who is the prohibitive 8-5 morning line favorite. Undefeated in four starts, Lookin At Lucky has a stakes win in the Best Pal (G2), the Del Mar Futurity (G1) and the Norfolk Stakes (G1).

D’ Funnybone is the 5-2 second choice. D’Funnybone has yet to run in a route race and he comes into the Juvenile with impressive performances in the Saratoga Special (G2) and Futurity Stakes (G2). D’Funnybone has two triple-digit Brisnet Speed Figures and if he can carry that speed to a route race, he most likely will be the winner.

Another horse that I believe needs to be included in the exotics is Noble’s Promise (8-1). He was the impressive winner of the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland last month and he has the speed to be competitive in the Juvenile.

In addition to the win, place, wager on Aspire, I’ll use him with Lookin At Lucky, D’Funnybone and Noble’s Promise in the exotic wagers.

In the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, I like Codoy (15-1) for my longshot pick. He’s never been out of the money in five starts and in his last outing he was gaining on Interactif in the Bourbon Stakes (G3) at Keeneland. His 93 Brisnet Speed Figure last out was his best yet and he could be ready for another move forward.

Bridgetown (8-1) went gate-to-wire in the Summer Stakes (G3) last out and I would not be surprised to see him do that in the Juvenile Turf. Bridgetown comes in the the racer with a 2-1-0 record in threee starts. With Speightstown as his sire and Tabasco Cat as his damsire, he has the speed and stamina to be a very competitive middle-distance runner.

Interactif (4-1) now has a win in the With Anticipation Stakes (G3) and Bourbon Stakes (G3) on both firm and yielding ground. He’s recorded his best speed figures since switching to the turf and I expect him to be in the money in the Juvenile Turf.

Of the European invaders, I like Viscount Nelson (6-1). He’s never been out of the money in four starts and he comes into the race with a narrow defeat in the Champagne Stakes (G3) at Doncaster. I expect that jockey Johnny Murtagh will have Viscount Nelson in the mix at the finish.