It took Navy Commander four tries to break his maiden, but when he did, he sailed to a 3 1/2-length victory at Parx Racing yesterday. The Pennsylvania-bred colt by Poseidon’s Warrior broke out of the gate in tandem with even-money favorite Jack Straight in the 5 1/2-furlong race, and they remained that way until the turn, where Frankie Pennington eased Navy Commander back on the rail and gave up the lead. But the colt immediately rallied on the outside heading into the stretch and put the favorite away easily, drawing off late to pick up the $23,520 winner’s check for owner/breeder Swilcan Stables. It was eight lengths back to the third-place finisher. Navy Commander became winner No. 5 in the first crop of Poseidon’s Warrior, who leads all Florida freshman sires with progeny earnings of $575,921.
Treasure Beach move within $1,614 of the half-million-dollar mark in progeny earnings yesterday, as Seattle Treasure finished a fast-closing third in the $75,000 Juvenile Turf Stakes at Gulfstream West. The stallion by Galileo sits in 10th place among 118 sires on the North American Freshman list with earnings of $498,386.
Seattle Treasure was off sixth in the one-mile turf test and jockey Leonel Reyes went after the leaders midway down the backstretch. Turning into the stretch, Reyes swung the colt to the rail and Seattle Treasure was making a good run when he was knocked off-stride behind the battling leaders and his rider had to snatch him briefly. Seattle Treasure dug in again and was closing fastest of all but the wire came up too quickly and he finished third, 1 1/4 lengths behind. The $7,275 share of the purse lifted his earnings to $52,425 on a record of 1-0-2 in four starts.
It’s hard to keep a secret in the world of thoroughbred racing and that certainly proved to be true when Treasure Map made his career debut at Retama Park yesterday. The colt by Treasure Beach had posted just one bullet work out of five coming up to the six-furlong maiden special race, yet he was bet down to 3/5 by that mysterious group known only as “they.” Treasure Map, bred by Ed Seltzer, Beverly Anderson and Joe and Helen Barbazon, lived up to his billing, breaking sharply from the gate, surrendering the lead heading down the backstretch, then proving to be best after a long stretch duel with Overnight Stay. Treasure Map prevailed by one-half length, and it was another 4 1/2 lengths back to the third horse. He became winner No. 11 from Treasure Beach’s first crop, best of all Florida freshman sires, and he moved to within less than $20,000 from the $500,000 mark in progeny earnings, second only to stablemate Poseidon’s Warrior.
The ledger is complete. With the victory of Spicy Nelly at Gulfstream West yesterday, all five of the 2017 freshman stallions from Pleasant Acres have at least one winner, led by Treasure Beach, who is the Florida leader with 10. After finishing a sharp second in her Oct. 7 debut, Spicy Nelly, the only starter thus far from the first crop of Beau Choix, broke her maiden in her second try in a one-mile race that was taken off the turf and contested over the main track. Carlos Olivero took the filly away quickly and Spicy Nelly was head-and-head for the lead after a quarter of a mile. She took over by herself racing down the backstretch, put away favored J C’s Proud Kitten in the stretch, then powered away to score by nearly five lengths. The victory was worth $16,600 plus a breeder’s award for Just For Fun Stable.
There are 115 freshman sires posted on the Blood-Horse’s Freshman Sire list for 2017: only four have more winners than the 10 registered by Treasure Beach. In addition, the son of Galileo is sitting in ninth place with $473,911 in progeny earnings, and one of those ahead of him is Poseidon’s Warrior, in seventh.
Treasure Beach’s 10th winner is Treasure Hunter, who broke his maiden in style at Santa Anita yesterday as the 9/10 favorite, racing 5 1/2 furlongs over the main track. Tiago Pereira settled the colt into second place early and Treasure Hunter went after the leader on the turn, took over entering the stretch and drew clear without the need of much urging. The winning margin was 2 3/4 lengths and the winner’s share of the purse for the Kentucky-bred was $13,800.
Ambassador Jim made an eye-catching move on the Belmont Park grass under Joel Rosario yesterday and gave Treasure Beach his ninth winner of 2017. Patricia Generazio’s colt was off in sixth place in the $75,000 maiden special at six furlongs and Rosario moved him up to fifth entering the turn. They swung wide as they neared the top of the stretch, and through the lane, Ambassador Jim mowed down the leaders with a powerful run, making up about five lengths and drawing off to score by 1 1/2 lengths. He was clocked in 1:10.44 and earned a check of $45,000, raising his total to $82,500, most for Treasure Beach’s nine winners. He sports a record of 1-2-1 in four starts.
Treasure Beach is less than $41,000 away from reaching the half-million mark in progeny earnings, second only to stablemate Poseidon’s Warrior on the Florida freshman sire list.
It’s long been considered that a Florida freshman sire has had a successful first year if his progeny earn between $300,000 and $500,000. With 2 1/2 months remaining in the season, Poseidon’s Warrior’s earnings jumped to $516,792 after the victory of first-time starter Oh My Warrior at Gulfstream West. The colt owned and bred by Just For Fun Stable and ridden by Luis Castillo went off at 4-1 in his debut and became the fourth winner for Poseidon’s Warrior. Racing six furlongs over a sloppy track, Oh My Warrior settled in just off the early pace, then easily put away Smiling Mason after a half-mile and galloped off to score by nearly eight lengths, collecting a winner’s check of $14,400 plus the breeder’s award.
Firenze Fire broke new ground for Pleasant Acres and the Speightstown stallion Poseidon’s Warrior yesterday, scoring an 11-1 upset in the Gr. I, $500,000 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park. The prestigious event has been run since 1867 and won by such racing legends as Count Fleet, Never Bend, Buckpasser, Riva Ridge, Seattle Slew, Alydar and Spectacular Bid. Among the winners since it has been contested at one mile in 2005 are First Samurai, Scat Daddy, Uncle Mo and Shanghai Bobby.
Firenze Fire broke sharply with Irad Ortiz Jr., who then took the colt back to race near the rear of the pack. On the turn, Ortiz swung him to the outside and Firenze Fire put it in another gear, cruising past horses with ease and making a run to the wire that wound up in a half-length victory in a clocking of 1:35.91. The $300,000 winner’s check for the Mr. Amore Stables’ homebred raised his earnings to $429,100, most for any 2-year-old in the country.
With the Champagne designated as a ‘Win and You’re In’ race, Firenze Fire is automatically eligible for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile coming up at Del Mar. He also picked up 10 points on the ‘Race for the Kentucky Derby’ list and moved Poseidon’s Warrior into fifth place on the national freshman sire list.
As the fillies entered the gate for the third race at Thistledown yesterday, Treble in Paradise was sitting on the tote board at 4-1. When the starter sprung the latch, the daughter of Treasure Beach rocketed to the lead under Ricardo Feliciano and a few seconds later her odds dropped to 5/2. Treble in Paradise more than lived up to her price, leading every step of the way in the $24,500 maiden special without being threatened. She crossed the finish line three lengths in front, clocked in 1:06.66 for the 5 1/2 furlongs, and earned a check for $13,500. Scoring in her third start, Treble in Paradise became winner No. 8 for her sire, whose progeny earnings of $390,604 lead all Florida freshman sires.
Pleasant Acres stallions had four runners competing in the two $400,000 Florida Sire Stakes races at Gulfstream Park yesterday and came away with one second, one third and two fourths, their combined paychecks totaling $172,000.
Tip Sheet, the Brethren colt who lost rider Aby Medina at the break in the Dr. Fager Stakes, was a different horse in the In Reality with Emisael Jaramillo in the irons. Facing 1/9 favorite Soutache, Tip Sheet sat fourth early in the mile and one-sixteenth race, and was the only one able to test Soutache in the stretch, falling short by 1 1/2 lengths. It was 9 1/2 lengths back to the third horse. Tip Sheet earned $80,000 for second and Yeehaw, the son of Anthony’s Cross who came into the race as a maiden and was the longest price on the board, picked up $24,000 for fourth.
In the My Dear Girl Stakes, Awesome Mass was bumped at the start, made a good middle move to take the lead briefly, and wound up third, the daughter of Brethren collecting a check for $44,000. Galileo’s Affair, a Treasure Beach maiden who had finished third in her lone previous start, went off at 18-1 and rallied strongly from 10th place to finish fourth, also earning $24,000.