Good news out of Lexington today, as Teuflesberg is (according to Dr. Larry Bramlage) 90% of the woods, and, “by all accounts he ought to be turned out in a paddock in 90 days and ready to test breed mares.”
On the topic of breeding, stud fees for 2008 are being announced daily. While Street Sense ($75,000) may be fashionable, I would be more willing to invest my money on tough-as-nails Hard Spun ($50,000). Corinthian ($40,000) seems a bit overpriced considering how neurotic that horse is, but you can’t complain about his dam’s prodigious success with her offspring.
Could someone explain to me, though, why someone would spend $30,000 for lightly-raced Scat Daddy? First, he’s by (again lightly-raced) Johannesburg whose offspring apparently can only sprint (if that). Second, he’s out of an unraced Mr. Prospector mare Love Style who hasn’t produced another winner, and a second dam Likeable Style (also lightly-raced) who was a grade 1 winner, but produced nothing special either. I don’t see the long-term appeal. Ditto with Stormello, who will stand at Vinery for $15,000—fine, I guess if all you are looking for is a sprinter. Any guesses as to what Teuflesberg (another Johannesburg) will stand for? I’m guessing $20,000-25,000.
On the other hand, I would love to invest in English Channel for $25,000! Thirteen wins in 23 starts, including twice winning grade 1 United Nations Stakes and Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational, Breeders’ Cup Turf victor and turf courses records at 9 furlongs (Gulfstream) and 11 furlongs (Monmouth). By Mr. Prospector son Smart Strike (half-brother of Dance Smartly) out of Theatrical mare Belva who has also produced grade 2-placed Sedgefield, his second dam Committed won from age 2 to 5 in Ireland, England and France including grade 1 victory in Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp—twice. Committed also produced, by Theatrical, multiple grade 2 winner Hap, who won 10 of 20 starts, from age 3 to 6, and grade 1 winner Pharma (Santa Ana Handicap). Now there’s a family of runners who last, albeit on turf.
In all the hubbub of last weekend’s Breeders’ Cup races, did anyone notice that eight-year-old claimer extraordinaire Golden Hare won his 11th race in 14 starts this year? He won the sixth race at Delta Downs, over 5 furlongs. He’s won on dirt (fast, muddy and sloppy), turf and synthetic. Oh, and the three races he didn’t win? Second place finishes all—one by a nose, another by ½ length, and the other by 3-1/4 length (a “blowout” at Presque Isle). What’s probably even more amazing? He’s had at least 9 different jockeys along for the ride! Wow!
Delaware Park’s 2007 meet ends on Sunday, November 4, as does Bay Meadows and Oak Tree at Santa Anita. Just in case anyone is interested, Penn National will be suspending live racing on December 21, in order to complete construction of their new Hollywood Casino; race should resume February 5, 2008.