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Monday, July 27, 2009

Filly Time! (Again)

After celebrating Milwaukee Brew recently, note that his daughter Millennia—a half-sister to champion Canadian sprinter Fatal Bullet—won at first asking at Del Mar on Sunday. Even as a first-time starter, I can’t believe she went off at 22-1, as she’s posted strong workouts and with that breeding...

Purchased off her Calder stakes win by Jess Jackson, Medaglia d’Oro filly Dashing Debby is now under the tutelage of Steve Asmussen, who is aiming her for the August 19 G2 Adirondack at Saratoga.

While I greatly value the Daily Racing Form as a source of information, it bugs me when critical (to me) information is buried within larger stories, making it far too easy to miss. Thus, I recently discovered—two weeks after the fact—that future Hall of Famer Xtra Heat’s 3-year-old daughter Elusive Heat was transferred from Kiaran McLaughlin to Angel Penna Jr., apparently after McLaughlin “had a falling out with owner Martin Schwartz.” Juicy!

According to the DRF article, Penna is aiming Elusive Heat for the G1 Test on August 8. She worked on Sunday at Belmont—5f, 1.00:62 (2/24). On Saturday, her 2-year-old gray half-sister Don’t U Baby Me (Unbridled’s Song) recorded her second workout for Todd Pletcher, going 3f in 38:69 (14/19) at Belmont. For fans of Xtra Heat, she’s now on Facebook—become a fan here.

A French 2-year-old filly to watch—Hennessy daughter Special Duty, who on Sunday won the G2 Prix Robert Papin as a maiden, and against open company (“taking on the boys” for those needing clarification—I hate that cliché too, but newer fans and those clueless to the practice of mixed gender racing need to be reminded just what “open company” means, unfortunately, and how prevalent it is worldwide—and not just an amusing sideshow).

Her dam Quest to Peak is a full-sister to multi-G1 winner Sightseek (Ruffian, Humana Distaff and Go for Wand, as well as Beldame and Ogden Phipps—both twice), and a direct damline descendant of the great champion Chris Evert. [Full disclosure: Special Duty’s legendary trainer Criquette Head-Maarek once trained G1 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches victress Baiser Vole, 1985 French 2-year-old champion—and daughter of Foolish Pleasure, thus my particular interest.]

Here’s video of the race—in French—Special Duty is the chestnut with the blaze, jockey with pink helmet.

Pouring over the Saratoga opening card, so will post some thoughts on it tomorrow.


Anne S said...

Hi Valerie,

Check out Racing and Sports forum on Monday 3rd August for The Shu's fantastic Spring Super Stable Competition. I love this comp even though there is no money involved, but it is great fun and requires cunning strategy.

sid fernando said...


It's interesting to note that over the last 10 runnings of the Papin, ONLY 2 colts have won it -- Lui Rei in 2008 and Zipping in 2001; the filly winners include the top-class Natagora in 2007 and Divine Proportions in 2004, both of them future classic winners.

Also, Special Duty was 2nd first time out in the Listed Prix Yacowlef (stakes race for first-time starters, colts and fillies) to the Orpen filly Sorciere, so she's one to watch for, too.