Pedigree notes for Saratoga: Sanford plus two maidens on undercard

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July 22nd, 2017

It’s been about a decade since the historic Sanford (G3) has produced a winner who progressed into a major three-year-old, so here’s hoping that one member of Saturday’s 103rd cast can erase the stat.

Free Drop Billy, despite his homespun-sounding name, sports the most fashionable pedigree in the race. The $200,000 Keeneland September yearling is a Union Rags half-brother to Godolphin’s classy Hawkbill, winner of last summer’s Eclipse (G1) and most recently successful in the Princess of Wales’s (G2) during Newmarket’s July Festival. Their dam, the Giant’s Causeway mare Trensa, came within a neck of taking the 2009 Robert G. Dick Memorial (G3) over 1 3/8 miles on turf. Trensa is a three-quarter sister to multiple Grade 3 turfiste Batique (by Giant’s Causeway’s sire Storm Cat). Second dam Serape, by Fappiano, captured the 1992 Ballerina (G1) at the Spa. This is the excellent family of Grade 1-winning millionaire Tiz Miz Sue and 1985 Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) star Cozzene.

Baffin is part of the strong first crop for millionaire sprinter Justin Phillip. The winner of the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1) at Saratoga, the First Samurai stallion is already the sire of two stakes performers, led by Rockville Centre victor What a Catch. Baffin has sold for progressively higher amounts through his three visits to the auction ring, ultimately bringing $170,000 at OBS this April. He’s the ninth winner from 10 runners for his dam, the Foxhound mare Beautiful Stranger, a British Columbia-bred who won the restricted Sadie Diamond Futurity at two. Her top performer so far, multiple stakes victress Reata’s Quik Punch, placed in the Sorority as a juvenile, and her other black-type offspring, Lucky Stranger, was stakes-placed at Delta Downs before finding success in Trinidad. Third dam Fancy Naskra, who captured the Sorority (G1) and finished second in the Spinaway (G1) in 1980, is a full sister to multiple Grade 1 vixen Rose’s Cantina.

Siena Farm homebred Admiral Jimmy is just the first of six winners for hot freshman Jimmy Creed, a Distorted Humor half-brother to Pussycat Doll. (And he furnished the milestone in significant fashion by equaling Gulfstream’s 4 1/2-furlong track record.) Admiral Jimmy’s half-sister, Velvet Mood, was a juvenile stakes winner courtesy of last year’s My Dear S. at Woodbine. Their dam, the Bernardini mare Zayanna, is now two-for-two with her offspring on the track. Zayanna is herself a half-sister to Grade 3 scorers Dilemma and Heavenly Ransom as well as multiple stakes winner and Grade 2-placed Capitano. Admiral Jimmy’s fourth dam is multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire Sabin.

Psychoanalyze, by leading freshman sire Overanalyze, was an RNA for just $14,000 as a Keeneland November weanling. He’s the second registered foal, and winner, produced by Freud’s Irish Miss (by Giant’s Causeway’s full brother Freud), who was stakes-placed at two. Second dam Unacceptable was a very precocious juvenile, romping in the Astoria (G3) and placing second in the Schuylerville (G2). Her two most accomplished “grandchildren,” sprint millionaire Immortal Eyes and multiple Grade 3 scorer Sterwins, peaked as older horses.

Red Oak Stable homebred Bal Harbour is by First Samurai, himself a top two-year-old in his day, and out of stakes-winning sprinter Casino Transaction. The Carson City mare, from the further family of Grade 3 victor Mighty Magee and English juvenile champion Digression, has seen all four of her racing-age foals win. Her leading earner so far is multiple stakes-placed Charleymillionaire.  

Firenze Fire is the first (and so far only) winner for freshman sire Poseidon’s Warrior, whose biggest career highlight came here in the 2012 Vanderbilt. The Florida-bred is likewise the first foal for his dam, the Langfuhr mare My Every Wish. Second dam Mille Lacs hasn’t done anything noteworthy herself, but she is a full sister to Broodmare of the Year Oatsee, whose progeny include 2011 Preakness (G1) hero and successful young stallion Shackleford (sire of Friday’s Schuylerville conqueror Dream It Is) and 2007 Alabama (G1) winner Lady Joanne.

Direct Dial – not by Dialed In! – is a Texas-bred son of Too Much Bling. A full brother to a pair of restricted stakes winners, he was the $105,000 sales topper at last year’s Texas Summer Yearling and Mixed Sale. Thus his pedigree isn’t typically what you’d see for a Sanford morning-line favorite. But his dam, the unraced Mineshaft mare Fast Find, has clearly suited Too Much Bling as a mate. She’s foaled four winners from five runners sired by him, including Scooter’s Choice, the 2014 Bara Lass victress, and Shaded, who was awarded last year’s Texas Thoroughbred Futurity (the boys’ division) via disqualification. Both have placed in additional stakes on the Lone Star circuit.

Nauti Buoy is by Mizzen Mast and accordingly made a successful career debut on the Laurel turf, although that high-class Juddmonte stallion can pass on his own surface versatility. Kerri Szegi’s Florida homebred is out of the winning Elmer’s Gypsy Rose, a daughter of Mr. Prospector blueblood Barkerville. There’s little black-type through the first three dams, but fourth dam Perl provided plenty, most notably in Grade 1-winning millionaire Primal. Because Perl is by Graustark, and Mizzen Mast is himself out of a Graustark mare, Nauti Buoy is inbred 3x5 to the great son of *Ribot.


The Spa hosts two potentially informative maidens for two-year-olds earlier on the program.

The 3RD race, at 1 1/16 miles on the Mellon turf, features several well-bred newcomers. Here are the most noteworthy bloodlines on show.

Untamed Domain hopes to continue the good run of first-crop juveniles by 2011 Kentucky Derby (G1) champion Animal Kingdom. The $90,000 Keeneland September yearling is out of Grade 2-placed stakes scorer Ciao, who is a fine example of the Rasmussen Factor of inbreeding to a superior female. Ciao’s sire, Lear Fan, and broodmare sire, Nureyev, both have blue hen *Rough Shod II in their immediate pedigrees.

This same pedigree construct looms large in the Ramsey entry of Royal Holiday and Linburgh’s Kitten. Both have Hall of Famer John Velazquez named to ride, and at this writing it’s unclear which homebred will be scratched.

Royal Holiday sports multiple crosses of *Rough Shod II. The Blame gelding is the first foal produced by Holiday for Kitten, the 2011 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) winner. (About to go deep into the pedigree weeds here, so skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want the details.) The daughter of Kitten’s Joy is inbred 3x3 to Lear Fan, who is a descendant of *Rough Shod II via her son (and Lear Fan’s broodmare sire) Lt. Stevens. The marriage to Blame reinforces this strain. Blame traces in his female line to Thong, a full sister to Lt. Stevens. Moreover, Thong is the ancestress of Sadler’s Wells, grandsire of Kitten’s Joy. To sum it up: Kitten’s Joy duplicated full siblings Thong and Lt. Stevens, daughter Holiday for Kitten added another layer, and now her son quadruples down on it.

Linburgh’s Kitten, of course a Kitten’s Joy colt, is likewise piling on the *Rough Shod II blood. His dam, the unraced Pulpit mare Harper Grace, also descends from her (through Thong’s Horse of the Year sister Moccasin). This is the branch of the family responsible for Bandini and Stormy Atlantic. Harper Grace is herself inbred to Seattle Slew, providing yet another potent pedigree angle.

Another, from the first crop of the War Front stallion Soldat, is out of a half-sister to 2012 Derby and Preakness (G1) champion I’ll Have Another. The Harvey Clarke homebred is the first foal from Gloria S, an unraced daughter of Tapit. The cross of War Front over Tapit yields inbreeding to influential broodmare Ruby Slippers, dam of Rubiano (War Front’s broodmare sire) and granddam of Tapit.

Infield Is In ($90,000 Keeneland September yearling) hasn’t shown much on the racecourse, but he is a three-quarter brother to multiple Grade 1-winning juvenile Executiveprivilege, who famously edged Beholder in the 2012 Del Mar Debutante (G1). Both are by First Samurai. Infield Is In is out of Executiveprivilege’s half-sister, the stakes-placed Profit, also a half-sister to $4.2 million-earner Hoppertunity.

The two priciest yearlings in this field are Honorable Treasure, a $210,000 To Honor and Serve colt sold at Keeneland September, and Johnny Action, a son of Street Sense and Grade 2-placed stakes victress P.S.U. grad, who went for $200,000 at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga.

The 5TH race, a 5 1/2-furlong dash on the main track, serves up more pedigrees to watch.

Winchell Thoroughbreds homebred Tap Daddy, as his name implies, is by Scat Daddy out of a Tapit mare. He is the second foal from his dam, the winning Easily, whose first is multiple stakes-placed Total Tap. They hail from the prolific family of Grade 3 winner and multiple Grade 1-placed Til Forbid, whose descendants include Sara Louise.

Sporting Chance commanded $575,000 as a Keeneland September yearling, as a son of Tiznow and multiple Grade 1-placed stakes heroine Wynning Ride (by Candy Ride). The D. Wayne Lukas trainee was a solid second on debut to well-regarded Dak Attack, and improvement can be forecast second time out.

It’s anyone’s guess how much Oxley homebred Get the Facts would have gone for at public auction, being by Tapit and the first foal from Canadian champion juvenile filly Delightful Mary. She was herself acquired for $500,000, from the Hobeau Farm dispersal at OBS April, by trainer Mark Casse. The Limehouse mare is a half-sister to Grade 2-winning millionaire Delightful Kiss.

Machismo, a $500,000 Keeneland September purchase, is by More Than Ready out of the Smart Strike mare Winsome Ways. All three of her runners are winners, led by stakes-placed Poseidon’s Way. While the mare is herself a half-sister to stakes scorers Don Dulce and Sweet Relish (also Grade 3-placed), the depth of black-type comes a little further down the page. The colt’s third dam is multiple Grade 1 queen and graded stakes producer Ms. Eloise, and under the fourth dam, one finds past Pletcher star Octave.

Bourbon Currency, a $260,000 OBS April juvenile by Speightstown, is the first registered foal from Grade 1-placed stakes winner Cash for Clunkers. The mare is inbred to Relaunch, while Bourbon Currency brandishes 2x4 inbreeding to Gone West.

Mr. Discretionary, a $75,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling, is a Discreet Cat half-brother to multiple stakes-placed Interchange. They were produced by the winning Devil His Due mare Princess Lynn, from the further family of 1996 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) victor Alphabet Soup.

Ezmosh, as an Oklahoma-bred, usually wouldn’t be on a Spa shortlist. But the $40,000 Keeneland November weanling has a sneakily good genetic make-up. The Zayat runner counts as his third dam November Snow, who turned the Test (G1)/Alabama double in 1992. Her daughter by A.P. Indy, Indian Line, produced Grade 1-winning millionaire Morning Line to the cover of Tiznow. Ezmosh provides an echo of that breeding, being by Tiznow’s son Tizway, and with his second dam, Grade 2-placed November Slew, being by A.P. Indy’s sire Seattle Slew.

Givemeaminit, on the other hand, is readily identifiable as a Louisiana-bred since he’s by the Pelican State’s all-time richest Thoroughbred, Star Guitar. He’s out of the Grade 3-placed Turkoman mare Powerful Nation, dam of seven winners including multiple New York-bred stakes-placed Star Celebrity and multiple Canadian stakes-placed Real Dingo.

Free Drop Billy photo courtesy Churchill Downs/Coady Photography