Saturday, October 27, 2012

Newcomers Series: Get Stormy

Note: This is the second installment of a new All Equine All The Time series looking at the pedigrees of new horses entering stud for 2013.
One of the most durable horses hitting the market in 2013 is the Stormy Atlantic son Get Stormy. Get Stormy's retirement was announced in mid-September with the announcement that he was going to Crestwood made on Oct. 26. He will be standing for $5,000 during his first year.
Get Stormy (Melissa Bauer-Herzog)

Get Stormy raced 31 times over five seasons with 11 wins and nine other on-the-board finishes for $1,606,812. The fan favorite won three Grade 1 races and four other graded stakes during his career.

The 2006 horse brings Storm Cat into his pedigree with sire Stormy Atlantic. Stormy Atlantic also brings Seattle Slew to his son’s pedigree through his Grade 1-winning dam Hail Atlantis.

Stormy Atlantic was ranked No. 14 on the Thoroughbred Times sire list at the time of Thoroughbred Time's closing in September.  The 1994 stallion put in nearly half as many starts as his son, racing 15 times for six wins. He won six of those starts but only won two stakes races, with none of those graded.  

Stormy Atlantic wasn’t his dam’s only successful foal with siblings grabbing attention both on the track and in the shed. He is a half-brother to stakes winner Mr. Katowice and producer Divine Dixie. Divine Dixie is the dam of Grade 1 winner Bandini and Discourse. Also among his siblings are the dams of Atlantdo (IRE) and Arbatach.

Get Stormy’s female side however, is a bit suspect with not much black-type to be found on his page.

Get Stormy's dam Foolish Gal didn't do much on the track with no on-the-board finishes in four starts. The mare currently only has two horses to race from four of racing age. However, both have made quite a few starts.

Foolish Gal (Kiri's Clown) is the dam of Get Stormy (31 starts) and Foolish Tiger (19 starts). Her 3-year-old, a filly by Honour and Glory, has not yet debuted. The mare did not have a 2010 foal but has a yearling full brother to Get Stormy named It's Stormy. Her 2012 foal is a filly named Foolish Cause by Giant's Causeway.

Like her daughter, Foolish Girl's dam Galaxy North (Far North), never made it to the track. But her record did not stand with her foals as 15 of her foals made it on to the Equibase database. In a somewhat rare occurrence, all of them made it to the races with quite a few starts between them. Galaxy North did not throw any stakes winners but her foals made a combined 320 starts with all but two breaking their maidens and most winning more than one race.

Get Stormy's third dam only made two starts but her contribution to Get Stormy may be the most important of his first three dams when it comes to commercial appeal. Hayley Nicole (Apalachee) puts the first black type on the stallion's page through her daughter Hayle’s Surprise.

Hayley Nicole is the dam of stakes placed producer Hayle's Surprise, the dam of Lady Mojo. Lady Mojo made 66 starts, winning seven of those and finishing on-the-board 28 more times. Her most notable one-race success on the track came in her second start when she finished second in the 1992 Lady Sponsors’ Breeders’ Cup Stakes at Ak-sar-ben. She retired with $90,597 in earnings after racing for six seasons. Her least amount of starts in a year came in 1995 when she only ran seven times.

While Hayley Nicole brings in the first non-subject black type on Get Stormy’s page, her dam brings in the most interesting blacktype.

Amerigo's Fancy (Amerigo), Get Stormy's fourth dam, made 65 starts with 14 wins to her name including three stakes victories. Like many in her line, she raced for five seasons, making double digit starts in all but one of those. During her 2-year-old season, she only made three starts but then went on to race more than 10 times every other season, with her biggest season being 20 starts in 1967.

Amergio's Fancy was also successful in the shed as well after her retirement in 1968. She threw stakes winners in Solar Current and Trillionaire. But her biggest impact on the stakes world was as a producer of producers. Amerigo's Fancy's daughters Amata, Ameridouble, Tipitina, and Trillionaire all carried on their dam's stakes producing legacy. 

Overall, Get Stormy doesn't have the strongest pedigree of the stallions hitting the shed in 2013. However, nearly every generation on his page has one or more horses that have more than 20 starts on their record. The durability of his line mixed with his success on the turf makes him an interesting stallion to watch in coming years.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Newcomers Series: Creative Cause

Note: This is the first installment of a new All Equine All The Time series looking at the pedigrees of new horses entering stud for 2013.
On Monday, Creative Cause was officially retired to stud at Airdrie Stud for the 2013 season. The 3-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway retired with a record of four wins, two seconds, and three thirds from 10 races for $1,039,000 in earnings.

Creative Cause ran third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. (Photo: Melissa Bauer-Herzog)
His biggest victory came in the G1 Norfolk Stakes with two Grade 2 victories also on his record. The colt also finished second in the G1 Del Mar Futurity and this year's G1 Santa Anita Derby. He was one of the final contenders for last year’s Two-Year-Old Male Eclipse, finishing behind Hansen and Union Rags, the two horses he finished behind in the G1 Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

In his final start, the G1 Preakness Stakes, the colt finished third behind I’ll Have Another and Bodemeister. 

One reason Airdrie Stud picked the colt was due to his family both top and bottom. With stakes winners on both sides of the family tree, the colt looks have his bloodlines going for him when he hits the shed.

As mentioned before, Creative Cause is by Giant’s Causeway, who was covered in a blog earlier this year. You can read about Giant’s Causeway by clicking on this link.

Creative Cause is out of the mare Dream of Summer by Siberian Summer. The California-based runner retired with a 50% win rate, winning 10 of her 20 starts with four seconds and three thirds for $1,191,150 in earnings.

Like her son, Dream of Summer is a multiple graded stakes winner. However, her biggest win came outside the state in the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I). In that race, Dream of Summer beat Star Parade (ARG) by a neck. The field also featured Island Fashion and Ashado. Her other victories include the A Gleam Invitational Handicap (gr. II) and the Gardenia Handicap (gr. III).

Dream of Summer also finished second in the 2005 and 2006 editions of the Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I). Dream of Summer retired after her second place finish in the 2006 Santa Margarita and was bred to Forestry that year.

Of her three foals to race, Dream of Summer has a 100% win rate. Creative Cause is her most successful foal thus far. However, her 2-year-old daughter by Distorted Humor has put in seven works at Fair Hill over the last 60 days. Dream Of Summer also has a yearling filly by Tiznow and a March 28 weanling filly by Eskendereya.

Dream of Summer is out of the unraced Skywalker mare Mary’s Dream. The 1990 mare produced 5 winners from seven runners with one stakes placed gelding and the graded stakes winner Dream of Summer. Mary’s Dream also has another winning producer in Latin Mary Can. Latin Mary Can has two foals to race according to Equibase with her gelding Southofthequator winning once and finishing second once in eight starts.

Mary’s Dream is the only mare in four generations on Creative Cause’s damside not to race. His third dam Proper Mary (by Properantes) was a multiple stakes winner with $176,037 in earnings. The mare won three California stakes races in a row in 1986 and retired in 1989 after 28 starts with five wins, six seconds, and three thirds.

Mary's Dream went on to produce two foals, Mary’s Dream and Properly Married (by Something Fabulous). Properly Married made it to the race track for three starts in 1994 and won one of those to retire with $12,546 in earnings. She was the dam of four winners out of five foals to make it to the track.

Proper Mary was out of the stakes winner My Mary, a half-sister to multiple stakes winning mare Four Hearts.  My Mary won the 1977 Bustles And Bows Stakes at Pomona in addition to two other wins. The mare finished her racing career in 1979 with three wins, one second, and three thirds in 29 starts for $56,820 in earnings.

However, her strength came as a producer.

My Mary’s biggest success on the track was Somethingmerry, a multiple graded stakes winner. Somethingmerry’s biggest win came in the G2 Palomar Handicap at Del Mar in 1991. The mare won one other graded stakes and was a Grade 1 placed horse with a third in the G1 Santa Maria Handicap. Somethingmerry went on to produce seven winners from 10 foals on Equibase.

Creative Cause schools at the 2011 Breeders' Cup (Photo: Melissa Bauer-Herzog)
Overall, My Mary produced eight winners of 11 to run including multiple stakes winner My Sonny Boy, rounding out Creative Cause's immediate pedigree with each generation producing winners.

Creative Cause will stand for $15,000 next season as perhaps the only 3-year-old with a double digit number of starts in less than 10 months of racing.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Opinion: Lasix and the Breeders' Cup

Hansen wins the 2011 Breeders' Cup Juvenile

In an era where the Lasix battle of “to use or not to use” is a daily occurrence, it isn’t surprising that trainers continue to give it to their 2-year-olds even though it is banned for 2-year-olds at one of the biggest racing events of the year. However, it is surprising that the trainers are choosing to go into the races with no idea what to expect.

Last week, the Daily Racing Form talked to trainer Todd Pletcher about Breeders’ Cup plans for his group of 2-year-olds with the Lasix ban in effect.

While Pletcher did have an interesting quote about his 2-year-olds and the Lasix situation, the last part of his quote drew more attention than his first.

“If we had a problematic bleeder, it might mean that you wouldn’t go,” Pletcher told the Daily Racing Form. “Right now, the 2-year-olds that we’re dealing with, none of them I would classify as problematic bleeders. I think we will continue to manage them the way that we normally do and then on race day we hope they run well without Lasix.”

The question could be asked why the horses are on Lasix if they don’t need it. But that argument has been talked to death and is something that isn’t going to change anytime soon. To this reader, the more interesting part of the quote is the end, “I think we will continue to manage them the way that we normally do and then on race day we hope they run well without Lasix.”

Interestingly, Pletcher (and many others prepping for the 2-year-old Breeders' Cup races) won't run his horse without Lasix until Breeders’ Cup day.

This fact was even more evident when Breeders' Cup bound Kauai Katie won her race on Sunday with Lasix. Sure, running with Lasix is normal but farther into the DRF article, Pletcher talks about how important the Breeders’ Cup is.

“What are your choices? If you have Shanghai Bobby or Archwarrior or somebody that wins the Champagne, by deciding not to go to California you’re giving up the opportunity to run in a $2 million race, you’re giving up the opportunity to be champion 2-year-old to run in the Remsen for $200,000? It’s the way it’s set up, it’s not great, but it is what it is. Play or don’t play,” Pletcher said.

In light of that quote, one has to wonder why trainers don’t pull their prospective Breeders’ Cup juveniles off the Lasix for at least one prep race to see how the 2-year-old does without the medication.  In a way, leaving 2-year-olds on Lasix makes sense from the angle that many feel that running without the medication is a disadvantage. But at the same time, wouldn’t it be better to learn if your horse will have a chance to be competitive in the race before you enter and ship?

Wasting a prep race instead of the target race makes more sense in both the money spent and the money earned. For example, Overdrive’s Futurity Stakes win won the horse $120,000. Last year, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Hansen won over $1 million. In fact the top three horses won more than $120,000 with the fourth place horse equaling that amount.

On that note alone, one would think that it would be worth it to pull the horse off of the Lasix for one prep race just to see what happens. Who knows, the horse could run even better without the Lasix.

Don’t get me wrong, I realize that more goes into racing and using Lasix than just pulling a horse off medication and calling it good. But I also realize from a monetary standpoint that it would be better to lose a $120,000 paycheck than pay the entry fees for the Breeders' Cup and knock your horse out of the race (and possibly others) because you didn’t know they needed Lasix.

Maybe there’s some magical idea that I am missing when it comes to Lasix, which is a possibility. But no matter what side of the argument one is on when it comes to Lasix, the idea of not knowing what a horse will do when you pull it off the drug and enter it into the biggest race of its 2-year-old season has to be a scary thought.

This is exactly why, in this writer’s opinion, that the connections of all potential starters should attempt the change earlier so they know if they need to find a different route with the horse. Not only is it a better move for the horse, it is also a better move for the pocketbook of all involved.

[Disclaimer: While Pletcher is featured prominently in this post, it is only due to his quotes in the article and his horses being good examples of my ramblings.]