Saturday, February 19, 2011

San Vicente Stakes Racing Roundup

Premier Pegasus (8-1) and Sway Away (4-1) are two young colts I wrote about in my 2011 Kentucky Derby Outlook and tomorrow they will make their 3-year-old debut in the 70th running of the $150,000 San Vicente Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park.

Undefeated in three starts, Premier Pegasus is the more accomplished of the two with a win in the Jack Goodman Stakes and the Hollywood Prevue Stakes (G3).

One never knows if these young colts will move forward from their 2-year-old season but if Premier Pegasus lives up to his breeding, he should continue to advance on the Kentucky Derby trail.

His sire is the 2000 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Fusaichi Pegasus and his damsire, Summer Squall, won the 1990 Preakness Stakes (G1).

Premier Pegasus is a descendant of the Mr. Prospector sire line and that line has produced 10 Kentucky Derby winners, 11 Preakness winners and 13 Belmont winners since 1990. That line has also produced six San Vicente winners since 1990.

Premier Pegasus’ dam, Squall Linda finished second in the Monrovia Handicap (G3) and his second dam, Glimmer Glass, won the Vogue Stakes. His fifth dam, Source Sucree is a Reines-des-Course mare and the dam of the important sire Turn-To. His tail-female line descends from Queen Bertha (Family 1-w) and that line produced the 1960 Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Celtic Ash.

It has been over six months since Sway Away last raced and he comes into the San Vicente with a second-place finish last October in the Best Pal Stakes (G2) at Del Mar. Despite the layoff, Sway Away has been training regularly since January and he has fired five bullet work outs with two of those at Santa Anita.

Sway Away is also a descendant of the Mr. Prospector sire line and if he lives up to his breeding, he should continue to improve as a 3-year-old.

His sire is the gutsy Afleet Alex who nearly went down in the stretch of the 2005 Preakness Stakes but recovered to win by 4 ¾ - lengths and went on three weeks later to win the Belmont Stakes by 7-lengths.

Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew is the damsire of Sway Away and Summer Squall is the sire of his second dam Golden Gale. In the first five generations of the tail-female line, Golden Gale is the most accomplished racer with a win in the Beaumont Stakes (G2) and the Opa Locka Stakes.

In Sway Away’s tail-female seventh generation is the outstanding broodmare Late Date who is ranked 12th on Roger Lyons of Pedigree Matters Top 40 Dam Lines of SW’s, 1995 to Present.
Sway Away’s tail-female line descends from Remembrancer Mare (Family 8-f) and that line produced the Belmont winners Rags To Riches (2007), Jazil (2006), Birdstone (2004) and Blue Larkspur (1929).

Speed is the impression that comes to mind when looking at the pedigree of The Factor who makes his 3-year-old debut as the 8-5 morning line favorite and “buzz” horse coming into the San Vicente.

This will be only the third start for The Factor who turned in a brilliant performance December 26 at Santa Anita while setting a new track record for 6-furlongs in a time of 1:06.98.

The Factor definitely has speed and it remains to be seen just how far he wants to run.

War Front, the sire of The Factor, was a champion sprinter but he has a Derby contender in on this year’s trail in the Graded Stakes winner Soldat who’s proven to be a decent middle-distance runner and last month he won a 9-furlong allowance race at Gulfstream in time of 1:49.22.

Danzig, the grandsire of The Factor, sired Danzig Connection (1986 Belmont Stakes), Pine Bluff (1992 Preakness Stakes) and Dance Smartly (1991 Canadian Triple Crown winner); and his sire line, mostly through his son Danehill, has produced numerous Classic Champion Thoroughbreds worldwide.

Miswaki, the damsire of The Factor, was mostly a sprinter but he sired Urban Sea – winner of the 1993 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

The Factor is a descendant of the Northern Dancer sire line and since 1990 that line has produced three Kentucky Derby winners, seven Preakness winners and three Belmont winners. Since 1990, the Northern Dancer sire line has produced five San Vicente winners.

In the tail-female line, The Factor is a descendant of Bonnie Doon (Family 10-c) and that line produced Sarava (2002 Belmont) and Don Enrique (1907 Preakness).

If The Factor continues to move forward, he could become a good middle-distance runner and only time will tell if he can have an impact on the classics.

A sharp bullet work out February 14 at Hollywood Park has The Factor ready to run another good race and he could be tough to beat in the San Vicente.

Those are the three colts I’m primarily interested in. The 7-furlongs should easily be in the scope of Premier Pegasus and The Factor but it may be a bit short for Sway Away who, if he lives up to his breeding, should get better as the races get longer.

Good luck!

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