• Breeders' Cup Pedigree Analysis

    POSTED Nov 3, 2011
    By Laurie Ross
    Iron Maidens Thoroughbreds

    On paper, all five of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile races appear to be competitive affairs. Two-year-olds can be unpredictable, especially when trying a new surface or distance. Many youngsters will be shipping to a new track for the first time and facing a loud, crowded venue. Below is an assessment of this year’s "buzz" horses, European newcomers and logical long shots.


    Last year’s favorite, Uncle Mo, dominated the East Coast and was a runaway winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. This year’s two-year-old crop appears more competitive.

    The top contender in the East is the undefeated and untested Union Rags, who will attempt to follow in Uncle Mo’s hoofprints after a similar blowout win in the Champagne Stakes. The last three times the Breeders’ Cup events were held at Churchill, colts that finished first or second in their final prep race dominated the board in the Juvenile. The only anomaly was the 2006 Champ Street Sense, who was third over the Keeneland Poly in his final prep.

    UNION RAGS (Dixie Union - Tempo, by Gone West)

    Pedigree: Union Rags gains his precocious talent from his sire. Dixie Union was undefeated in his initial three starts, which included victories in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship and Best Pal Stakes. He was second in the Del Mar Futurity, but stretched his speed to a mile with a win in the Norfolk Stakes. Sent off as a co-second choice in the 1999 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Gulfstream Park, Dixie Union failed to mount a bid, and finished a so-so fifth. Although Dixie Union stretched out to win the Haskell Invitational at 1 1/8 miles, he failed to stay the classic distance of the Travers Stakes, winding up in fourth place. Dixie Union’s offspring are strong milers and a few of his offspring have won up to 1 1/8 miles.

    Union Rags’ full brother Geefour spent much of his career in the claiming ranks as a sprinter; however, he did place third in a listed stakes. Their dam Tempo showed promise in her short career, winning twice and placing once in three starts. She’s a half-sister to multiple stakes-winning sprinter/miler Marry Me Do.

    Tempo's stakes placed half-sister Dancing Devlette produced the swift Satan's Quick Chick, who won two listed stakes and placed in the Grade 1 Lady's Secret and Beldame. So the quality is there in Union Rags’ family.

    Union Rags’ damsire Gone West won the Gotham and Withers Stakes at a mile and stretched his speed to 1 1/8 miles with a victory in the Dwyer. He was a solid sire and is ranked #14 on the National Broodmare Sire list. He is the damsire of last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Filly heroine and subsequent Champion Awesome Feather, last year's Bluegrass Stakes (G-1) winner Brilliant Speed, and the top race mares Game Face and Healthy Addiction.

    Surface: Union Rags has won over fast and sloppy tracks, so no matter how the Churchill track plays, Union Rags should handle it.

    Analysis: Union Rags has a strong middle distance pedigree filled with dirt attributes. Union Rags is the best colt in the East and has won his three starts by a combined 14 ¼ lengths. The colt did find minor trouble in his last two starts, the Saratoga Special and Champagne Stakes, but he was unfazed, drawing off to win both races impressively. The 1 1/16 miles of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile should be well within his scope.

    CREATIVE CAUSE (Giant's Causeway - Dream of Summer, by Siberian Summer)

    Pedigree: Creative Cause is by the international sire sensation Giant’s Causeway. Giant’s Causeway, a son of the legendary sire Storm Cat, has passed his talent and determination to his progeny.

    In only eight crops to race, he’s sired over 100 stakes winners and a champion. He was leading US sire in 2009 and 2010. In 2010, he was recognized as a Classic chef-de-race, which indicates that he passes his stamina to his offspring. Although many of his progeny are best over turf, Giant’s Causeway has sired seven dirt stakes winners at 1 ¼ miles or farther.

    Creative Cause’s dam Dream of Summer earned California Champion Older Mare honors in 2005. She was victorious in six stakes races, from the 6 ½-furlong Rancho Bernado Handicap (G3) to the 1 1/16-mile Apple Blossom (G1). Dream of Summer was second in two editions of the Santa Margarita Invitational at 1 1/8 miles.

    Creative Cause's damsire Siberian Summer was a top California runner who enjoyed moderate success at stud. The offspring of Siberian Summer’s daughters are young and most of their offspring are competing in the claiming ranks. Besides Creative Cause, Siberian Summer is the broodmare sire of Bahama Bound, who placed in the Winter Melody Stakes at 1 1/16 miles over the dirt. It’s hard to determine whether Siberian Summer will have stamina or speed influence on his daughter’s progeny, given the limited number of their runners.

    Surface: Creative cause is a winner over Polytrack, Cushion Track and dirt. His sire and damsire are both superior producers of off track runners, so should the Churchill dirt come up sloppy, Creative Cause has the pedigree to handle it.

    Analysis: Creative Cause has the pedigree of a two-turn horse and he shouldn't have distance or surface issues. He faced trouble in the Del Mar Futurity (G-1) when impeded by Majestic City, but stayed competitive and finished third. Creative Cause had every right to regress in the Norfolk like his two Futurity rivals Drill and Majestic City did in their following races.

    Instead, Creative Cause posted an authoritative 3 3/4-length win in the Norfolk on Santa Anita's dirt oval over rival Drill. Creative Cause has been working well at Hollywood Park and folks in Kentucky will get their first up close views of the pretty gray colt when he ships in on November 1. Creative Cause is the best colt in California. He owns an authoritative win at the Juvenile distance of 1 1/16 miles and he will go to the post in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile as one of the favorites.

    DRILL (Lawyer Ron – Cat Dancer, by Storm Cat)

    Pedigree: Drill is the best foal sired by his deceased first-crop sire. Lawyer Ron improved with time and was at the top of his game as a four-year-old, decimating his rivals in the Oaklawn (G2), Whitney (G1) and Woodward (G1) and just missing by a nose in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1).

    He set new two track records at 1 1/8 miles
    one at Saratoga in the Whitney and the other at Belmont in the Woodward. Despite finishing seventh in the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic, Lawyer Ron was voted Champion Older Horse.

    He was extremely competitive at the highest levels running 1 1/8 miles, but his worst finishes came in the largest events of his life running 1 ¼ miles in the Kentucky Derby and two off-the-board placings in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. However, Lawyer Ron did finish second by a nose to Curlin in the 1 ¼ mile Jockey Club Gold Cup. Overall, his record at 1 ¼ miles was 4-0-1-0.

    Drill’s dam Cat Dancer raced only as a three-year-old in allowance level competition. She's a young mare with only three offspring of racing age. Drill is her only foal with black type. Cat Dancer is a full sister to Monmouth Oaks heroine Magic Storm, who also placed in the Adirondack (G2) and Spinaway (G1) stakes.

    There is no other black type in the first two distaff generations of Drill’s family, but his third dam placed in the Long Look Handicap (G2) at 1 1/8 miles. Drill’s fourth dam is the blue hen Luiana, dam of Champion Three Year Old and Classic hero Little Current and his half-sister multiple Grade 1 winner Prayersn Promises.

    Drill's damsire Storm Cat was the best sire of his generation, both as a sire of sires and broodmare sire.

    Surface: Drill owns two victories over Polytrack. In his first attempt over dirt, he was an even second to Creative Cause in the Norfolk Stakes. Drill has a superior off track pedigree and should handle mud.

    Analysis: Drill has a dirt router’s pedigree. He beat Creative Cause in the Del Mar Futurity, but was banged almost off of his feet by Majestic City in the stretch of that race. Understandably, Drill had a slight regression next time out in the Norfolk. He was slightly rank early and wound up in second, beaten by over three lengths by Creative Cause. Drill is bred to go two turns and as one of the best colts in California, he should rebound in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile as a serious contender.

    CRUSADE (Mr. Greeley - La Traviata, by Johannesburg)

    Pedigree: Crusade is by the strong sprinter/miler sire Mr. Greeley. Mr. Greeley won two Grade 3 sprints and was second in the 1995 Breeders' Cup Sprint. As a stallion, he's sired 2006 European Champion Filly Finsceal Beo, Mother Goose heroine Nonsuch Bay and the sires El Corredor and Whywhywhy.

    Crusade's dam La Traviata won three of her four races as a sprinter, including the Grade 3 Victory Ride Stakes. Unfortunately, her brilliant career was cut short due to injury. Crusade is her first foal. La Traviata was the only black type foal produced by her dam. The multiple Group 3-winning sprinter Jack Sullivan was produced by this distaff family.

    Damsire Johannesburg was named dual Champion /Two Year Old in England/USA after an undefeated two year old season and winning the 2001 Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

    Surface: Crusade has raced only over turf, but both his sire and dam raced over the dirt and his damsire was a blowout winner in his only dirt appearance. Crusade has average mud attributes and may handle that surface better than fast dirt.

    Analysis: Crusade has a sprinter/miler pedigree and a mix of dirt and turf attributes in his make-up. Crusade has been running in turf sprints this year and was a longshot winner in the Group 1 Middlepark Stakes. He is used to large fields of horses, but hasn't raced around one turn, let alone two. Although his two wins have come at six furlongs, Crusade has been running up hill and should be fit. He likes to run on the lead or pressing the pace. Crusade will be asked to run farther than ever, over a new surface and around two turns. At this point, he appears to be a talented turf sprinter and may be up against it.

    TAKE CHARGE INDY (A.P. Indy - Take Charge Lady, by Dehere)

    Pedigree: Take Charge Indy is a son of is the top U.S. stamina sire and Belmont Stakes winner A.P. Indy.

    Take Charge Indy's is the fourth and most talented foal produced by his dam. Take Charge Indy’s dam Take Charge Lady is a multiple Grade 1 veteran who won the Spinster (twice), Ashland, Arlington Matron, and she placed in the Kentucky Oaks. She won or placed in 18 of 22 starts, earning over two million dollars.

    She has two stakes winning half siblings, Commendation, winner of the Bourbon County Stakes over the lawn and New York Oaks heroine Eventail. Eventail produced Fort Marcy winner Straight Story. Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint champ Chamberlain Bridge was produced by this distaff line.

    Take Charge Indy’s damsire Dehere was 1993 Champion Two Year Old Colt. He's an excellent broodmare sire. Among the many graded stakes winners produced by his daughters are Champion Sprinter Midnight Lute, the multiple Group 1 Australian winners Kidnapped and Forensics and Louisiana Derby winner Friesian Fire.

    Surface: Take Charge Indy has raced solely over Polytrack. He has a staunch dirt pedigree and should be very capable over a muddy track.

    Analysis: Take Charge Indy has a solid router’s pedigree and he should run best over dirt. He won his debut by 6 ½ lengths over the Arlington Poly, which is impressive for a debuting son of A.P. Indy. He followed up with a good second place finish in the Arlington Washington Futurity, but was an average fourth in the Dixiana Breeders' Futurity over the Keeneland Polytrack. A.P. Indy is a poor sire of Polytrack runners and Take Charge Indy should improve remarkably over the Churchill dirt, especially at two turns. He is a logical longshot contender.


    Favorites won the last two versions of the Juvenile Fillies at Churchill and the prices were fairly chalky. In 2006 and 2010, Fillies who had their last prep over Woodbine's Polytrack hit the board. Dreaming of Anna won in 2006 and Delightful Mary was third last year.

    GRACE HALL (Empire Maker - Season's Greetings, by Ezzoud)

    Pedigree: Grace Hall’s sire Empire Maker won the Belmont Stakes and infuses endurance genes into his progeny.

    Grace Hall’s dam owns the only black type in two generations of her distaff line. Season’s Greetings placed in Group 2 and Group 3 stakes in France. Skipping back a generation, Grace Hall’s third dam was the great race mare Life At The Top, heroine of the Grade 1 affairs, Mother Goose Stakes and Ladies Handicap. She also placed in other Grade 1 Stakes, including the Coaching Club American Oaks, Kentucky Oaks, Gazelle Handicap, Alabama, Spinster, and Acorn Stakes.

    Grace Hall has inbreeding to the blue hen Sex Appeal (4 x 5) through Sex Appeal’s sons, the full brothers El Grand Senor and Try My Best.

    Grace Hall's damsire Ezzoud excelled in Group 1 races at 1 ¼ miles. He's represented as a broodmare sire by seven stakes horses, including Group 3 French winner Chinandega.

    Surface: Grace Hall is a winner over fast dirt. Her sire is an above average producer of off track runners and Ezzoud has gotten winners over the slop from limited runners.

    Analysis: Grace Hall has a stamina oriented pedigree and could run equally well over dirt or turf. Although her pedigree indicates a slow maturing individual, Grace Hall was surprisingly precocious in winning her six furlong debut at Delaware in a swift 1:10 4/5. She has won all three of her starts by over ten lengths, including the Grade 1 Spinaway over Schuylerville Stakes heroine Georgie's Angel.

    Grace Hall has seemingly been untested in every start and, with her pedigree, distance will never be an issue. She may be one of the best fillies in the field.

    MY MISS AURELIA (Smart Strike - My Miss Storm Cat, by Sea of Secrets)

    Pedigree: My Miss Aurelia is by a top international sire. Smart Strike's offspring win at all distances over all surfaces. His sons Curlin and Lookin At Lucky received Horse of the Year Honors and his son English Channel was voted Champion Turf Horse.

    My Miss Aurelia’s half-brother Albergatti placed in the Northern Spur stakes at Oaklawn. Her dam won the Desert Stormer Handicap and she is a half-sister to West Virginia Derby champ Soul Warrior.

    Damsire Storm Cat is one of the best sires and damsires of his generation. His daughters have produced over 100 stakes winners, including 2005 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Folklore, 2004 Breeders' Cup Sprint Champion Speightstown, and this year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile entrant Drill.

    Surface: My Miss Aurelia is undefeated over fast dirt. Her sire and damsire are top producers of off-track runners so should the track come up muddy, she’ll still be a major contender.

    Analysis: My Miss Aurelia has the pedigree to handle two turns. She enters the Breeders' Cup as one of three undefeated fillies, the others being Grace Hall and west coast sensation Weemissfrankie. My Miss Aurelia has bested fellow entrant Miss Netta and Juvenile Fillies Turf entrant Stopshoppingmaria.

    As the owner of two graded stakes, My Miss Aurelia can be considered the best filly in the East.

    WEEMISSFRANKIE (Sunriver - Starinthemeadow, by Meadowlake)

    Pedigree: Weemissfrankie is by first crop sire Sunriver. Sunriver won the Peter Pan Stakes (G-2) and finished third in the Belmont Stakes (G-1). However, the full brother to two-time Champion mare Ashado had an indifferent race record over the dirt.

    As four-year-old, Sunriver found his calling on the lawn. The son of Saint Ballado was victorious in the Bowling Green Handicap (G-2). He was second, beaten by a bare head in the Man O’War (G-1) and in his final start, Sunriver captured his sole Grade 1 victory in the 1 ½ mile Hollywood Turf Cup, leading all the way to win by 2 ¾ lengths.

    Retired to stud after his Hollywood Turf Cup victory, Sunriver proved popular with New York breeders, getting 150 foals in his first two crops. Unfortunately, Sunriver died suddenly at the young age of six after producing his second crop. His foals won’t be especially precocious and most should be best going a mile or farther over all surfaces.

    Her damsire Meadowlake, a descendant of Princequillo, was a brilliant but fragile youngster. He was undefeated in three starts and won the Arlington Washington Futurity by nine lengths. At stud, he was a popular sire and is currently one of the top 50 leading broodmare sires.

    Among the stakes winners produced by his daughters are multiple G-1 wining sire Henny Hughes Go For Wand (G-1) heroine Seventh Street.

    Weemissfrankie’s distaff line is less than stellar. Her half-sister No Wonder (by Three Wonders) is stakes placed and their dam Starinthemeadow is unraced.

    Most of Starinthemeadow’s half-siblings are hardy runners in the claiming ranks. However, her half-sister Program Pick won two listed stakes as a juvenile. Program Pick’s daughter Stormy Pick) was victorious in the Spinaway (G-1) and Sorority Stakes at two.

    Despite Weemissfrankie’s blue collar origins, she carries inbreeding to three blue hens Although we must go back to the seventh generation to find all of the notable inbreeding, it is a significant factor in Weemissfrankie’s pedigree and lends itself to her racing class.

    Surface: Weemissfrankie is a winner over Polytrack and dirt. Her sire and damsire lines are noted for producing off-track runners.

    Analysis: Weemissfrankie carries stamina over speed in her bloodlines. She won her last race at 1 1/16 miles.

    Wemissfrankie will head to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies in her next start as California’s best hope to win the trophy. Although anything can happen in a horse race, Weemissfrankie should be competitive and give a good account of herself in the race.

    QUESTING (Hard Spun - Chercheuse, by Seeking the Gold)

    Pedigree: Questing’s first-crop sire Hard Spun, was a hard-trying son of Danzig on the racetrack. Hard Spun was one of the best runners in the superior foal crop of 2006. He gave a good account of himself against the likes of Champions Street Sense and Curlin.

    Hard Spun won the Lanes End and Kentucky Cup Classic Stakes, both at 1 1/8 miles, and finished second behind Street Sense in the Kentucky Derby and Curlin in the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic. Hard Spun was third behind those two in the Preakness.

    Hard Spun is proving just as resilient at stud. He is ranked #2 on the First Crip Sire List and is represented by 18 winners and three stakes winners. Hard Spun’s offspring are versatile over all surfaces. So far, his progeny have stuck to sprinting, but he does have a stakes winner at 1 1/16 miles over the turf. His offspring should handle up to 1 1/8 miles without too much difficulty.

    Questing is the first black type earner for her dam. Chercheuse raced in France, England and the US, winning two listed stakes sprinting over the lawn. Her half-brother Asawer is a stakes-winning turf router. French Champion Three Year Old Mukaddamah and dual Grade 1 winner and Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint entrant Switch are members of this distaff family.

    Questing’s damsire Seeking the Gold also raced against his crop’s best runners, Forty Niner and Alysheba. Seeking the Gold was victorious from the seven furlong Swale Stakes to the 1 ¼ mile Super Derby. Seeking The Gold offers stamina attributes as a damsire. He is the broodmare sire of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic Champ Blame, Mushka who was second in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Distaff, two-time Flower Bowl heroine Riskaverse and Dancing Forever, who was third in the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Turf.

    Surface: Questing is Group 2 and 3 placed over soft turf. Her pedigree indicates that she could improve her form over fast dirt. She has a superior mud pedigree, as her sire is producing 20% winners over the surface and damsire Seeking The Gold is an above average producer of off-track runners.

    Analysis: Questing has a dirt-oriented middle distance pedigree. Traditionally, Europeans have not done well in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Questing will be stretching out from a sprint, which should help her chances. She also has plenty of dirt attributes up close and she could even improve over the dirt.

    The big question is how she will handle shipping, running around turns and, of course, how she reacts to dirt while facing classy fillies. These challenges may be too much for an inexperienced horse, but she has the best shot of all the European youngsters trying dirt and two turns in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and Juvenile Fillies.

    CANDREA (Trippi - Burn Brightly, by American Chance)

    Pedigree: Candrea’s sprint specialist sire Trippi competed mainly in Grade 2 and 3 level sprints, but he did win the Grade 1 Vosburgh. He also won the 1 1/8 mile Flamingo Stakes, albeit over inferior competition. The majority of Trippi's offspring are best up to a mile over all surfaces, although a few can stretch their speed to 1 1/16 miles.

    Last year, his daughter R Heat Lightning placed second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

    Candrea is a full sister to the multiple stakes-winning sprinter Dream of Angles. Her half-brother Good To Be Seen is a stakes placed runner. Candrea's dam Burn Brightly won five of 13 starts, including a stakes race as a sprinter. She's a half-sister to a Argentinean multiple graded stakes winner Dona Polenta.

    Candrea’s damsire American Chance is a multiple Grade 2 class winner between seven furlongs and 1 1/8 miles. Most of his daughter's offspring are claiming/allowance runners, but he is the damsire of nine stakes winners.

    Surface: Candrea is a winner over fast dirt and Cushion Track. Trippi is slightly below average as a mud sire and American Chance is a poor producer of off-track runners. Candrea may not like getting her hooves muddy should there be an off track.

    Analysis: Candrea has a sprinter/miler pedigree. She dueled on the lead in her first try around two turns in the 1 1/16 mile Oakleaf Stakes (G-1), but she couldn't hold of the late charge of Weemissfrankie, finishing second by only ¾ of a length to that rival. On a positive note, Candrea's Brisnet speed figures have improved with every race.

    Candrea may be stretching her distance limitations at 1 1/16 miles, but she could have the class to finish in the money in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. In the last three Breeders’ Cup races that were held at Churchill, fillies who finished second in their last prep hit the board most often in the Juvenile Fillies.

    Candrea could be one to watch, especially if she goes to the post overlooked in a very contentious race.


    FINALE (Scat Daddy - Twinkle, by Lively One)

    Pedigree: Finale is a son of leading first crop sire Scat Daddy. A son of Champion Johannesburg, precocious Scat Daddy won the Sanford and Champagne Stakes, but was fourth in the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs.

    As a three-year-old, Scat Daddy took the Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby, but was a disappointing 18th-place in the Kentucky Derby. He retired injured after the race.

    Scat Daddy is getting winners over all surfaces, but at this juncture, they appear best over the turf and Polytrack. Scat Daddy has three turf stakes winners and one stakes winner over the Polytrack, but none over the dirt.

    Finale has a modest distaff line. He is a half-brother to West Virginia Derby hero Bright One. His dam Twinkle won once in eleven attempts. Twinkle’s half-sister Tiddelytrick, who placed third in a listed sprint stakes.

    Finale’s damsire Lively One raced on the California circuit mainly in Grade 2 and 3 level races from 1 1/16 to 1 ¼ miles. His sole Grade 1 win came in the 1 ¼ mile Swaps against a lesser field. Lively One hasn’t done much as a broodmare sire. He is represented by five stakes horses, the best of whom, so far, are Finale and his half-brother West Virginia Derby hero Bright One.

    Surface: Finale is undefeated since switching from dirt to turf. His sire is developing into a strong producer of turf and Polytrack winners.

    Analysis: Finale has a middle distance pedigree. He has won his last three races, including two stakes, by a combined 18 ¾ lengths. He did it in racehorse time, too.

    Finale is following in the hoofprints of last year’s Juvenile Turf Champ, Pluck, who raced in the Continental Mile and used the Summer Stakes to springboard to a win at Churchill. Finale will be one of the likely favorites to win the Juvenile Turf and appears to one of the strongest horses coming into the race.

    MAJESTIC CITY City Zip – It’ schemestrybaby, by Meadowlake)

    Pedigree: Majestic City is one of the most accomplished colts in California. His sire City Zip has become a top producer of runners over all surfaces. His turf runners don’t have the same distance limitations as their dirt counterparts.

    It’schemestrybaby, the dam of Majestic City took four years and 23 practice races before finding a field she could best in her 24 start. During her career, she did finish second four times and third nine times. It’schemestrybaby is a half-sister to the stakes placed sprinter She’s Raging.

    Majestic City’s second dam Not So Pleasant was winless in nine tries. There’s some quality in this family as the fourth dam produced the multiple Grade/Group 1 turf router Golden Pheasant.

    Majestic City's damsire Meadowlake produced precocious youngsters. His daughters have borne stakes winners mostly up to 1 1/8 miles and their offspring include the sprinter/sire Henny Hughes, Apple Blossom heroine Seventh Street, Remsen winner Old Fashioned, and Statue of Liberty (9 furlongs on the grass) winner Tishmeister. The latter is also by City Zip.

    Surface: Majestic City has spent his racing career on Cushion and Polytrack. He has a versatile pedigree and should handle all surfaces.

    Analysis: Majestic City has a precocious sprinter/miler pedigree, but he may travel farther over the lawn. He won his first three races sprinting, and was defeated a neck in the Del Mar Futurity by Drill at seven furlongs. Majestic City bore out badly in the stretch of that race, almost knocking Drill off of his feet and impeding the course of Creative Cause. For his efforts, Majestic City was disqualified to third.

    Instead of facing his two rivals in the Norfolk Stakes, Majestic City took on contenders in the Dixiana Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland. After pulling in the first part of the race, Majestic City appeared headed for a victory in the stretch, but couldn't hold off the fast closing Dullahan, losing by 3/4 a length to that rival.

    It was a good effort for his first try around two turns.

    Understandably, Majestic City regressed slightly in the Dixiana Breeders' Futurity after playing bumper cars with Drill in their previous race. Majestic City turned recorded a very strong breeze over the Santa Anita turf in his first foray onto the lawn. He should find both the turf and the one mile distance to his liking.


    ELUSIVE KATE (Elusive Quality - Gout de Terroir, by Lemon Drop Kid)

    Pedigree: Elusive Kate’s sire Elusive Quality set a track record for seven furlongs over the Gulfstream on the dirt and a world record for a mile in 1:31.63 in the Poker Handicap (G-3) at Belmont on turf. He’s a versatile sire, getting winners over all surfaces.

    His dirt runners tend to be milers or middle distance runners, but his turf runners can get classic distances. His best progeny include 2007 Champion Sprinter Maryfield, track record setter Quality Road, Champion Three Year Old Smarty Jones, Champion French Colt Elusive City and the top Euro Raven’s Pass.

    Elusive Kate is the first foal produced by her dam. Gout de Terroir won only once in ten attempts, but she is a half-sister to Breeders’ Cup Classic and Dubai World Cup hero Pleasantly Perfect and to top steeplechaser Swagger Stick. Elusive Kate’s second dam Regal State was a French Group 1 winner.

    Elusive Kate’s damsire is 1996 Champion Older Male Lemon Drop Kid. He imparts stamina to his offspring. He’s a relatively young broodmare sire, and besides Elusive Kate, his stakes winners include Grade 3 winner Flashy Lassie, and two listed stakes winners.

    Surface: Elusive Kate has been victorious over Polytrack, soft and good turf.

    Analysis: Elusive Kate has a stamina oriented pedigree and is a French Group 1 winner at a mile. She’s won her last four races by over six lengths. Elusive Kate beat France’s top fillies by over three lengths in her last race and appears to be the top contender in the Juvenile Fillies Turf.

    STOPSHOPPINGMARIA (More Than Ready - Skybox, by Spend a Buck)

    Pedigree: Stopshoppingmaria’s sire More Than Ready was a precocious Grade 1-winning sprinter/miler, whose victories include the Belmont Futurity, Sanford and Tremont at age two and the King’s Bishop at three. More Than Ready is the sire of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf heroine More Than Real and the Juvenile Turf hero Pluck.

    Stopshoppingmaria is a half-sister to listed stakes winners Dootsie and Sand Ridge, and her half-brother Peter Paul Rubens is a stakes placed runner in England.

    Stopshoppingmaria’s stakes-placed dam Skybox is a half-sister to Ball Chairman, the dam of G1 winning turf sire Perfect Soul. Skybox is also a half-sister to the grand-dam of G1 winning 1st crop sire Flashy Bull. The second dam A Status Symbol and third dam Queen Louie are stakes winners.

    Stopshoppingmaria’s damsire is 1985 Champion Three Year Old Spend A Buck, winner of that year’s Kentucky Derby. Although Spend A Buck spent the majority of his stud career in Argentina, his US daughter’s progeny include Florida Derby winner Friend’s Lake and Arlington Matron winner Sea Siren.

    Surface: At first glance, Stopshoppingmaria has a dirt-oriented pedigree. However, her sire More Than Ready shuttles to Australia, where he’s become a top sire of graded turf winners. Additionally, Spend A Buck’s offspring were strong turf runners as well.

    Analysis: Stopshoppingmaria has a sprinter/miler pedigree, but could stretch her speed over turf. She hasn’t raced over the lawn, but Stopshoppingmaria had a decent work over the turf course getting her last quarter in :23.23. The decision to race her in the Juvenile Fillies Turf instead the longer counterpart dirt race may be due to her 5 ½ length drubbing by My Miss Aurelia in the Grade 1 Frizette.

    In her maiden win, Stopshoppingmaria stopped the clock in 1:09 4/5 for six furlongs earning a huge 105 Brisnet speed figure, so we know she’s fast. The move to the lawn may be Stopshoppingmaria’s best chance to carry her speed and hit the board.

    STEPHANIE'S KITTEN (Kitten's Joy - Unfold the Rose, by Catienus)

    Pedigree: Stephanie’s Kitten is by 2004 Eclipse Champion Turf Male Kitten’s Joy. Not surprisingly, his offspring are best over turf and synthetics, up to 1 1/8 miles.

    Stephanie’s Kitten is the first foal produced by her unraced dam. Her second dam Bail Out Becky was a good multiple stakes race mare and her major accomplishment was a win in the Del Mar Oaks (G1).

    Stephanie’s Kitten’s damsire Catienus, a son of Storm Cat, placed in graded handicaps at 1 ¼ miles. He’s a fairly young broodmare sire, and as such, has only two stakes winners.

    Surface: Stephanie’s Kitten is a winner over yielding turf and Polytrack.
    Analysis: Stephanie’s Kitten has the pedigree to do well as a turf miler and could prefer longer distances. She won her maiden going a mile over the turf, but hung in the stretch of the Natalma Stakes to finish third, beaten by a widening 3 ½ lengths by Tu Endie Wei.

    Stephanie’s Kitten gained revenge on that rival by over seven lengths in the Alcibiades as a longshot winner. Stephanie’s Kitten will once again be a long shot in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, but she has been working well and her Brisnet speed figures have improved in every race. In the long run, she may prove more effective over Polytrack, but if she continues to improve, in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, Stephanie’s Kitten has a decent chance to hit the board at a good price.

    SOMALI LEMONADE (Lemon Drop Kid - Chic Corine, by Nureyev)

    Pedigree: Somali Lemonade’s sire is 1996 Champion Older Male Lemon Drop Kid. He imparts stamina to his offspring. As a son of the top international stallion Kingmambo, Lemon Drop Kid’s offspring are versatile over all surfaces.

    Somali Lemonade is a half-sister to two stakes placed runners, one, Rasta Farian was third in the Selima (turf) as a juvenile. Their dam is a half-sister to the dams of grade 1 winner Serra Lake and multiple Stakes winners Cappuchino and Soaring Empire. Stakes winners Coal Play and Al Khali are also part of this immediate family. The second dam is Ashland Stakes heroine Chic Shrine and third dam Too Chic was also a G1 winner.

    Somali Lemonade’s damsire Nureyev was one of the best sires and broodmare sires of his generation. He’s a Classic Chef-de-race, meaning that he imparted stamina to his offspring.

    Surface: Somali Lemonade is a winner over yielding and good turf.
    Analysis: Somali Lemonade is one of the more lightly raced fillies in this Breeders’ Cup contest. She’s won both of her starts by a combined 3 ½ lengths. Her latest victory in the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G-3) earned her a spot in the Juvenile Fillies turf.

    Her Brisnet speed figures have improved in both starts and she is obviously a talented youngster with a top pedigree, but she is up against a large field of more experienced fillies. At short odds she may not be worth the play.

    Laurie Ross is the founder and owner of Iron Maiden Thoroughbreds consultation service, website, and blog. She has been around horses for most of her life, working in racing stables as a hot walker and exercise rider in her teenage years, and later as a volunteer with rescued and retired racehorses. Laurie became interested in pedigree research when the sons and daughters of her favorite horses started their racing careers.

    For more than a decade, Laurie has committed her passion for horses to the intensive study of pedigree and breeding theory. In 2008, Laurie wrote "2009 Guide to Freshmen Sires," an e-book covering each sire's conformation, breeding, past performances, surface preferences and precocity, with an analysis of expectations for their progeny. The Guide has been acclaimed internationally, and has developed into a yearly tool for breeders, owners and handicappers.

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