Welcome to the first (and probably longest) race preview of the Future Stars Series. Here, we’re breaking down each horse’s racing history and pedigree, then giving some expectations for the race. Lastly, we’re listing a “Watch Level” – How strongly we feel that a given horse might become a future star (at least when compared to the rest of the horses in the race).
This week, the Future Stars Series kicks off with a 3yo NW2L Allowance in Louisiana, running on Sunday, January 13. 12 solid horses are scheduled to run 9 furlongs on the dirt in this wide open field, including one who is already Stakes Placed in his young career. Let’s take a look at the field of 12 and see what possible future stars we have.
#1 – Forty Niner Cause (Giant’s Causeway x Forty Niner x Street Cry) – Owned by ddkstables22 – 7/2(f)
Race History: It took four tries for Forty Niner Cause to break his maiden, but when he finally did it, he did it with a bang. He began his career with a 2nd, missing by ¼ length at 7f against an allowance winner that has already earned $100K in just 6 starts (and defeating today’s rival Subjecttothefates). He followed that up with another 2nd at 8f, and then ran 3rd as he tried to cut back in distance to 6.5f. A frontrunner, he was stretched back out to 8.5f in his last race, back in November 2018, and he showed that shorter isn’t always better for pacesetters, blowing out the competition by 3 and earning a career best 97 SP. The 3rd place horse from that race switched to turf next time out and took down an MSW of his own in front-running style with a 96 SP, so Forty Niner Cause looks to have had some decent competition in his past.
Pedigree: This pedigree probably doesn’t require too much discussion, as Giant’s Causeway, the leading North American sire in 2009, 2010, and 2012, was one of the most in-demand sim sires. Forty Niner Cause is one of 337 (!) horses that have already hit the track from Giant’s Causeway’s final crop. That crop is currently ranked #2 in the sim, with 12 stakes winners and 6 graded stakes winners already. Typically, Giant’s Causeway progeny in the sim prefer routes, with 63% of career earnings coming in the longer races, whereas dirt/turf preference is pretty even. From the 2018 crop, 63% of earnings thus far have come from the dirt, but that may even out as more races are run by these horses. The Giant’s Causeway x Forty Niner cross has been used 32 times over the last 4 years, with 3 of those going on to graded stakes victories, all on dirt.
Expectations: Between the pedigree and his last race, Forty Niner Cause comes into this race with high expectations and he’s got a good chance of living up to them. Expect to see him get out to the lead in this one, and then it’s only a question of whether he can stay there. But I think it’s pretty likely that he does.
Watch Level: High
#2 – Pete’s Best (English Channel x Fifth Beatle [Rahy x Nijinsky 2nd]) – Owned by dochman9 – 12/1
Race History: As a son of English Channel, Pete’s Best began his career in short sprints on the turf, but 2 poor races in a row resulted in a switch to the dirt. He popped there, finishing 2nd behind pacesetter Cents Boy (4th in his first stakes attempt last time out) and seeing a 12 point SP jump. He earned an 81 SP breaking his maiden next time out at 7.5f, but then cut back in distance to see a disappointing 5th on the slop, before rebounding to a 2nd place finish last time out at 5f with a career high 82 SP. Overall, Pete’s Best is 6:1-2-0, but this is his first time routing and he takes a big jump in distance, going from 5f to 9f in this one.
Pedigree: English Channel, the 2007 Turf Eclipse Award winner, has been a successful real life sire on both turf and dirt, ranking as the #17 US sire in 2018 with 4 G1 winners. He has not been quite as successful in the sim, ranking 127th with his now-4yo crop. Pete’s Best is one of 60 runners (to date) from the 2018 crop, which has seen only 1 stakes winner (on the turf) and has only a 5.8% win rate (overall, English Channel’s progeny is a little better, with an approximately 16% win rate). Sim progeny of English Channel tend to prefer turf routes (75% earned on turf, 73% route), and the longer the better for these children. On the dam side, Pete’s Best is the 10th child of Fifth Beatle, a 15yo mare who went 2 for 32 in her career. Those 2 races were both in dirt sprints, which is where she did her best work. Her first child, An Inconceivable, by Unbridled’s Song, was a stakes winner at 2, but only 2 other children have won at the allowance level. There is no consistent theme with Fifth Beatle’s other children, as they have all differed on preference for surface and distance (most, however, cap out at 8.5f-9f). English Channel has been bred to a Rahy mare 2 other times in the past 4 years, one of which has won 8 allowances from 27 races with a high SP of 109, on the turf.
Expectations: Pete’s Best is coming off a career high SP and has shown some solid ability to sit just off the pace in sprints, so I would expect him to be in the front here. Whether he can keep it going for 9f is an open question, but I think there’s some potential for a solid race here.
Watch Level: Low
#3 – Verdugo y Medio (Uncle Mo x Que Verdugo [Tiznow x Affirmed]) – Owned by verdugos – 6/1
Race History: Verdugo y Medio has run 3 previous times in his career, and has hit the board in all 3. His first attempt was at 7.5f, where he finished a respectable 3rd, but he came back in September 2018 and scored at 8.5f, winning by ½ length and seeing a sizable SP bump up to 84 SP. 2 months later, he tried his hand at the allowance level, once again finishing 3rd at 8.5f. He lost a little ground to the pacesetter in that race, but that pacesetter went on to win and came back with a 3rd place finish in a 9.5f stakes last week with a 93 SP. Verdugo y Medio earned an 87 SP in that last race, and comes into this one with a 3:1-0-2 record.
Pedigree: Uncle Mo, the Eclipse winning 2yo of 2010, has quite the impressive resume for a 4th year sire in real life, including Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist. In the sim, most of his horses prefer the dirt (74% earnings on dirt), but they are pretty evenly split between sprints and routes. The faster Uncle Mo horses in the sim tend to prefer sprints, but there are a number of solid routers as well. The routers include Miss Mo, a sim eclipse award winner. Verdugo y Medio is one of 170 runners thus far from the 3yo crop, which have won at an 18% rate (slightly below the 19% overall rate) but only includes 2 stakes winners (though 4 are graded placed). The he-mare, Que Verdugo, is a G2-winning 7yo horse who won 11 of 33 races in his career. That G2 win was in the Trial By Night Stakes at 8f, and 3 races later he was narrowly beaten in an 8.5f G2. His best races came at the 8.5-9f distance, and although he was capable on turf, most of his success was on dirt. As a he-mare, Verdugo y Medio is and will be the only child of Que Verdugo. The Uncle Mo x Tiznow cross has been used 5 other times in the last 4 years, with 2 of those 4 being allowance winners and a max SP of 119 (2 others have broken the 100 SP mark).
Expectations: Verdugo y Medio has made some nice gains over his first 3 races, and he hopes to continue the trend here. This is a colt with some promise, though he couldn’t quite keep up with a stakes-caliber horse last time out. He will likely get a better pace to run into this time, but 9f might be pushing the limits of how far he can run. We’ll see on Sunday.
Watch Level: Medium
#4 – Subjecttothefates (Street Sense x Humaliwo [Malibu Moon x Danehill]) – Owned by Sarasota – 9/1
Race History: Subjecttothefates debuted at 7f back in June 2018, running a hard-charging 5th, 2-3/4 lengths behind an allowance winner with $100K earnings in 6 starts, and 2-1/2 lengths behind today’s rival Forty Niner Cause. Screaming for more distance, owner Sarasota…pulled him back to 6.5f? That decision shows why Sarasota is a better trainer than I, as Subjecttothefates came from dead last and romped to a 2-1/4 victory in August 2018. Coming back in September at 6.5f, he was able to gain some ground at the end, but finished 4th at the allowance level, losing to stakes winner and G3-placed Mission of Peace. He comes into this 9f affair with a 3:1-0-0 record, and coming off a career high 79 SP in the allowance loss.
Pedigree: Street Sense, the 2006 Eclipse Award winning 2yo, finished as the #16 ranked North American sire in 2018 in his return from Japan. On the track, he excelled at the classic 10f distance, including wins in the Kentucky Derby and Travers. Here in the sim, Street Sense is consistently ranked in the top 40, with his progeny preferring Dirt Routes (63% earnings on dirt, 61% routes). He had his busiest year in 2018, with 116 runners to date from the 3yo crop. Those 116 runners have won at a 17% clip, with 4 stakes winners among them (and 2 graded placed horses). Subjecttothefates is the 2nd child of G2-winning 7yo mare Humaliwo, who won 7 of 24 races in her career. Although she spent a significant chunk of time on the turf, she found her calling back on dirt, where she won 2 sprint stakes before taking down the 7f G2 Delta Tau Chi Sprint. She spent most of her career as a sprinter, never quite having the stamina to make it in the route races. Her first child, Gilmored (by More Than Ready), broke his maiden at 6f in his 5th career race back in December. Street Sense x Malibu Moon has occurred 8 other times in the past 4 years, and one of those, Cry Tough, is a stakes winner at 9.5f with a 119 SP. 4 of those 8 are also 3yos, and one, Jenny Lake, is stakes placed, picking up a 2nd place finish in her last race at 8.5f.
Expectations: Although Subjecttothefates has shown some closing power, there’s a little concern in the pedigree, as his mother could never quite get this distance, and his half-brother has run his best races in sprints. But Street Sense brings some needed stamina, and his past races show that he might relish the extra distance here. Still, I think Subjecttothefates drew an unfortunately classy field for his 4th career race, and it might take a little longer until he rises to the level of his competition here.
Watch Level: Low
#5 – FSS Arrogation (Arrogate x West Coast Humor [Distorted Humor x Seattle Slew]) – Owned by mightyforego8 – 9/1
Race History: This will be the 8th race of FSS Arrogation’s career, and he comes in with a record of 7:1-2-1. FSS Arrogation began in Pastures of Green’s Freshman Sire Series, running 2nd in his debut to eventual residency stakes winner Empirical Rule, which moved him into the Freshman Sire Series finals, where he ran 9th. A shift to the turf saw 2 top 3 finishes in MSWs, before he finally scored in an 8.5f turf MSW in his 5th try on September 21, 2018 (only 1 of 2 horses from that race to be a winner at this point). The allowance ranks wer ea little tough for him, as he followed that maiden score with 2 disappointing 83 SPs, finishing 7th and 6th. He moves back to the dirt for this one.
Pedigree: Arrogate, the 2016 3yo Eclipse Winner, holds 2 track records, 1 at 9f at Gulfstream Park, and 1 at 10f at Saratoga. As a freshman sim sire in 2018, he does not have any real life progeny, but he does have 150 now-3yos in the sim. Of those, 90% of money earned by his progeny has come on the dirt. He has 5 stakes winners from the crop, including 2 G3 winners (both out of A.P. Indy mares), both at the 8-8.5f distance. On the dam side, FSS Arrogation is the first (and so far only) child of early-breeder West Coast Humor, a now-5yo mare who earned 1 win from 6 starts on the track. That one win was on a good turf course at 9.5f in her second career start at a 3yo. She never tried sprinting, though outside of her off-track win she didn’t seem to have much stamina in the longer races. She ran 5th and 12th in her 2 starts on dirt. Arrogate was bred to a Distorted Humor mare 3 times in 2018, with a high SP of 87 earned by the only non-winner of the group (though he has only run 2 races).
Expectations: The veteran of the field, FSS Arrogation has improved his SP in each of his 7 races, and he switches back to dirt here hoping for the extra turf-dirt boost. Still, in his 3 allowance efforts (2 on turf and 1 as part of the Freshman Sire Series on dirt), he struggled to keep up with the rest of the field, starting midpack and tiring from there at 8.5f. So although his pedigree calls for stamina, he hasn’t shown much of it on the track yet.
Watch Level: Low
#6 – Medalex (Afleet Alex x Gold In Vancouver [Medaglia D’Oro x Seeking The Gold]) – Owned by ehteam1 – 10/1
Race History: Medalex’s debut did not go well. Entered in a 6.5f MSW, Medalex got out of the gate well, but tired quickly and finished a well-beaten 8th. So ehteam1 took drastic action, sent Medalex to the farm, and gelded him. But it looks like it worked. Back in action in November 2018, Medalex was entered in an 8.5f MSW, and whereas at 6.5f he tired, here he sat toward the back (though it was a very bunched pack) and closed to win by a head, earning an 88 SP, the highest jump in this race. None of his top competitors in that race have run since that race, so it’s still not clear how strong the competition was. Medalex comes into this race with a 2:1-0-0 record.
Pedigree: Afleet Alex, the 2005 Eclipse Award winning 3yo, showed that he is a stamina horse with wins in the 2005 Preakness and Belmont. The sire of 7 G1 winners in real life, he stands for $6,500 in Kentucky, though he is not ranked on any US sire lists. In the sim, his recent crops have not fared as well as his early crops may have. His 2018 yield includes 43 runners to date, but none of those 43 have reach the stakes level. He is the #248 ranked sire for 2018 in the sim. Unsurprisingly, his progeny tend to prefer dirt (71% earnings on dirt), but surprisingly (based on his own race record), he tends to throw slightly more sprinters in the sim (52% in sprints; 70%+ in the last 3 years). The 3yos are winning at a 12% clip, slightly down from the 13% average for Afleet Alex. On the dam side, Gold in Vancouver is a 12yo mare who earned 1 win in 20 career starts, with most of her races (and her best races) coming on turf. Medalex is the 7th child of this well-bred mare. 2 of the children are stakes winners, having won the Eh Team Get Your Preak On stakes at 9f in back-to-back years. Most of the children have preferred the 8f-10f dirt distances, though some have shown proclivities for longer races. Afleet Alex has been bred to a Medaglia D’Oro mare 7 other times in the past 4 years, with Sipi Falls being a G1 winner at 9f and one other stakes winner in the bunch.
Expectation: Gelding has worked for plenty of horses in the past, and there’s no reason to think that wasn’t the key to get this 3yo running the way he should. And if he runs back to his last race, he’s certainly dangerous. The worry here is that the pace might be a little hotter than it was in his last, where the pacesetter and the 12th place horse were only separated by 3-1/2 lengths early. He will probably be farther back this time. But he should have the stamina to get the distance, and the speed has been there before. This one has a real shot.
Watch Level: High
#7 – Forrester’s Dancer (American Dance x Forrester Flyer [Deputy Minister x Gulch]) – Owned by splitenzex – 6/1
Race History: Forrester’s Dancer comes into this race as the most accomplished horse in the field. Debuting in the ASR Sons of A.P. Indy MSW at 7.5f in October 2018, Forrester’s Dancer beat a field of 12 (including fillies and colts), closing from midpack to win by 3/4 length at 21/1. He followed that up with a 2nd place finish in open company in a NW2L allowance at 8.5f (second to a horse who most recently ran 7th in stakes company), before returning to the residency ranks and narrowly missing in the ASR Sons of Sires Dirt Stakes, finishing 2nd by 1/4 length at 8f. He comes into this race 3:1-2-0 off a career best 91 SP.
Pedigree: Not a horse you hear about every day, American Dance was 3 for 13 in his career, finishing 3rd in the 2008 Remsen Stakes before heading to Trinidad and Tobago and standing in Jamaica. But he’s so unknown as a sire that it’s actually possible that he died in 2017… However, the sim still has him listed as a sire, and so he has currently had 29 children hit the sim track. They have won at a 12% clip, primarily on the dirt, but by far, the most successful of them has been Forrester’s Dancer. Only 3 others have picked up an allowance win thus far. While his sire may be unknown, his dam, Forrester Flyer, is not. Forrester’s Dancer is the 12th child, and 6th son, of this 18yo mare who went 7 for 27 in her career, including multiple stakes placings at 7f-8f as a 2yo. She was fairly well balanced between dirt and turf, but most of her money came from the 8-9.5f range, which she cleared loved. She has produced 3 stakes winners to date, including the G2-winning Lemon Drop Flyer (9.5f-T), multiple stakes winner and G2-placed The Minor Details (8.5f-9f-T, 9f-D), and stakes winner War Flyer (8f).
Expectations: Forrester’s Dancer looks like this race is perfect for him. His siblings all loved this distance, his mother loved this distance, and he’s been steadily improving in each of his 3 career races. 9 furlongs might be his limit, but I still expect him to get it. The only question is whether he’ll successfully make the jump from 2yo to 3yo. But this is a very promising colt and a very promising race.
Watch Level: High
#8 – Spirit Orb (Orb x Free Spirits Joy [Awesome Again x A.P. Indy]) – Owned by phillipj4 – 11/1
Race History: Spirit Orb kicked off his career in a 7f MSW in July 2018, breaking dead last and closing to finish a decent 4th (5 of the other 10 from that race have gone on to win). Opting for more ground, he was next sent out in an 8f MSW in August 2018, and got up just in time to win the Head photo, earning an 83 SP in the process. That was enough for phillipj4 to opt for an 8.5f stakes race where Spirit Orb went off at 8/1, but he threw a clunker, regressing down to a 73 SP and finishing 11th, 16 lengths behind the winner. He’s been resting at the farm for 3 months and looks to come back strong here in 2019.
Pedigree: Orb, the 2013 Kentucky Derby winner, was the #11 first crop sire in 2017 and the #12 second crop sire in 2018 in the US. His best runs came at the 9f-10f distance. In the sim, he has ranked in the bottom half of the top 100 in most years. Orb’s 2018 crop appears to be the weakest so far, as the 96 runners to date are winning at only a 12% clip (Orb’s average is around 17%), with only 35 winners in total, a significant decrease from 82 of 104 from the 2017 crop. Part of that problem may be that Orb tends to throw dirt routers (79% earnings from dirt, 62% from routes), meaning that the horses only get better as they age. Only 2 of his 2018 class have stakes wins on their resume. Spirit Orb’s dam, Free Spirits Joy, is a stakes winning, and multiple G1-placed, 13yo mare who picked up 23 wins in 45 races in her career. She could run all day, with her stakes wins and graded placings coming at 16f. She had a huge turn-of-foot, and has passed that to several of her children. Free Spirits Joy’s first child, Val’s Fortune, and her second child, Tiger on the Loose, are both stakes winners (and the latter is graded placed) at 14f-16f. Spirit Orb is the 6th child of Free Spirits Joy, and 4 of the previous 5 inherited their mother’s stamina. The Orb x Awesome Again cross has been used 6 times in the past 4 years, with 3 stakes winners among them, including Orb Trail, another from Orb’s 2018 crop; however, the stakes wins for all 3 are in dirt sprints.
Expectations: Spirit Orb’s past races may not be quite up to the same caliber as some of the competition here, but if one this is for sure, this horse can run all day and is likely craving more ground. He gets it here, and stepping down from stakes caliber should help. He will get some pace for his closing style, and that should help as well. If he returns to his form 2 back, he has a strong shot in this one. The question is whether the stakes race did some damage; hopefully the 3 months off will help get him back on track.
Watch Level: Medium
#9 – Space Cadet TB (Space Shot x Sea Tale [Tale of the Cat x Future Storm]) – Owned by testlocal2015 – 18/1
Race History: Space Cadet is one of the lightest raced horses in this field, and the one with the least quality experience overall. His debut came in a Local $100K Maiden Claimer at 8.5f in September 2018. There, he sat just off the pace and then pounced, taking the race by 2 lengths at 11/1 and earning an 80 SP. Space Cadet TB stayed at the local level in his second race, again at 8.5f but on a good dirt track, where he flipped positions with the 2nd place horse from the MCL, Trippin Falls. Trippin Falls would go on to finish 12th in a G3 in his next race. Space Cadet TB earned an 85 SP for his 2nd place finish, a ¼ length defeat, and comes into this open-company allowance NW2L looking better than initially expected.
Pedigree: Space Shot, a son of Seattle Slew, was a winner of 1 race in 11 tries from 2004-2005, with that win coming in a 6f MSW at Fair Grounds as a 3yo. He stands in Louisiana for a $500 stud fee, and was ranked the #296 sire in the Southwest in 2018, with 3 winners from 4 runners. In the sim, Space Shot averages around 15-20 runners per year, with 14 runners to date from his 2018 crop. Of those, 5 are winners, and the crop is winning approximately 11% of its races (overall, Space Shot horses win at approximately 13%). Space Shot has not shown a preference for dirt or turf per earnings, but does tend to thrown sprinters more than routers (61% earnings in sprints). In total, Space Shot has sired 5 stakes winners in the sim, but only 1 in the last 5 years. Space Cadet TB is the 7th child of Sea Tale, a winner of 4 from 27 races lifetime. Those wins all came in dirt sprints in the 6f-7f range. Two of Sea Tale’s children, My Pale Tale TB and Catsfish TB, are stakes placed, though both are by My Pal Charlie (and Catsfish TB’s stakes placing is a residency stakes). The other children have mostly raced in sprints, though none have done much on the track, especially outside of local races.
Expectations: It does not surprise me that Space Cadet TB is the longshot in this race, at 18/1. Coming out of local races, and the maiden claiming ranks, by an unknown sire, is not usually the recipe for success in the sim. And the fact that the dam was a sprinter, the sire throws sprinters, and Space Cadet TB’s half-siblings are sprinters, doesn’t bode well for him getting the distance. But I’m not quite ready to discount him just yet. The horse that beat him last race improved off his winning speed figure, and Space Cadet TB gets a fast dirt track in this race. That, plus the added half furlong, should cause Space Cadet TB to move forward off of his previous race. He may not win, but I can see him finishing a little better than might be expected.
Watch Level: Medium
#10 – Macalelon (Connect x Bondoc Peninsula [Australia x Orfevre (JPN)]) – Owned by theduke104 – 10/1
Race History: Macalelon debuted in a 5.5f MSW in November 2018, and put up a decent, though not spectacular, debut race. He ran 4th, beaten 3-1/2 lengths by a horse that came back to win an allowance next time out. He picked up a little steam at the end of the race, and Theduke104 decided to stretch him out for his second race. Running at 8.5f in December 2018, Macalelon easily broke his maiden, pulling away to win by 1-1/4 and earning an 88 SP. The 2nd place horse from the maiden score has not yet raced again, but 3rd and 4th both broke their maidens next time out, indicating that this was a solid field that Macalelon beat. He adds an extra half furlong here, coming in with a 2:1-0-0 record.
Pedigree: Connect was a G1 winning horse who excelled at mile races, winning the Cigar Mile in 2016 and the Westchester Handicap in 2017. He was a freshman sire in 2018, so there is no real life progeny to look at. In the sim, Connect has had 73 runners from his 2018 crop take to the track, and they are winning at a 16.5% clip. Of those 73, 3 are stakes winners and 1, Connectorbone, has a G2 win at 6.5f under her belt. 85% of progeny earnings have come from the dirt. The dam, Bondoc Peninsula, was an early-bred 5yo mare that won 4 of 21 races, and Macalelon is her first child. All 4 wins came on the dirt, though she spent a similar amount of time on the turf. She was successful anywhere from 6.5f to 10f. Macalelon is the only sim horse with the Connect x Australia cross thus far.
Expectations: Macalelon took a big jump from his 76 SP debut to his 88 SP maiden breaking run as he sat just off the pacesetter and then pounced in the far turn. If he can do something like that here, he’s got a real shot. This is a horse that looks to be on the upswing, and I think he’ll put together a solid performance in this one.
Watch Level: High
#11 – Ottno (Gun Runner x Deputy Minister x Seattle Slew) – Owned by asrstar3 – 12/1
Race History: Ottno debuted at 7f, where he struggled to keep up and finished 6th, before bouncing back and breaking his maiden second time out at 6.5f in July 2018. The 2nd place horse in his maiden score went on to back-to-back 4th place finishes in stakes company, including last week at 9.5f, so there is some quality in Ottno’s backtrack. However, things went downhill at the allowance level, where he ran no better than a dull 3rd in 4 tries leading into this race. He comes into this race with a record of 6:1-0-1. His last effort, at 6f on the turf, was a career best 78 SP, and he hopes that he can keep that improvement going as he jumps back to the dirt for this one.
Pedigree: Gun Runner, the 2017 American Horse of the Year, was a dominant horse on the track, going 19:12-3-2 in his career. The majority of his wins came in the 9f-10f range on the dirt. As a freshman sire, however, we have no real world data about his progeny, so we’re left with only sim data, where he has had 129 runners hit the track so far from his first crop. They are scoring at a 15% rate, but thus far, he has only produced one residency stakes winner (2 others are graded stakes placed). 82% of the money his progeny have earned has been on the dirt, and his stats are good enough to be ranked the #25 sim sire of 2018 thus far. As a scratch bred, there is no dam data, but Gun Runner was bred to a Deputy Minister dam 3 times in 2018. One of the other 2, The Bourbon Double, has 3 wins from 5 races, includes a residency stakes race, with a max SP of 92 at 8.5f.
Expectations: Ottno’s speed figures thus far have been a cut below some of the others in this field, but there might be a little promise here. Gun Runner came on as a 3yo, and a look back at the 3 dirt allowances losses show losses to multiple allowance winners and 1 G3 winner. Still, he’s been struggling a bit at getting the extra ground, and some of the others in this race seem to be in a slightly better class.
Watch Level: Low
#12 – The Goonies (Liam’s Map x Haunting Indy [Ghostzapper x A.P. Indy]) – Owned by sprinter2 – 11/1
Race History: Sprinter2 is the sponsor of the race, so you know that this is a race that The Goonies is expected to like. And why not? The Goonies began his 3 race career at 6.5f on the dirt, where he finished 3rd, beaten 6 lengths (the top 2 from that race have not won a race beyond their maiden victories). His second effort stretched him out to 8f, where he finished 4th by 4-1/2. His big breakout was in his most recent race, at 8.5f here in Louisiana back in November 2018. There, he drew an off-track and flourished, unleashing a closing kick to pull off a neck victory and earning an 86 SP, a jump of 14 points over his previous best. 3 others from that race (including the 2nd place finisher) have come back to run 2nd or 3rd next time out with SPs in the 85-87 range, but no others have as of yet broken their maiden.
Pedigree: Liam’s Map was an excellent dirt miler and winner of the Breeders Cup Dirt Mile. His real life children have not yet reached the track, though his yearlings averaged $158,000 at auction in 2018. In the sim, Liam’s Map’s children win at approximately an 18% clip, but are primarily dirt sprinters (81% money earned on dirt, 64% sprint). His 3yo crop includes 5 stakes winners (but no graded stakes winners as of yet), and he has 1 G1 winner in the Sim. The Goonies’ is the 5th child, and 3rd son, of Haunting Indy, who found her niche at the 8-8.5f dirt level, and picked up 9 wins (all at the MSW/allowance level) in 33 races. The four previous children are all allowance winners, with her first 2 children excelling at the 8-9f range and the more recent 2 children preferring shorter, 7f races (all 4 prefer dirt). Liam’s Map has been bred to a Ghostzapper mare 4 other times in the past 5 years, but none have, as of yet, picked up an allowance win and the maximum speed figure thus far has been a 91, in the 8-9f dirt range.
Expectations: Sprinter2 is the sponsor of the race, so you know that this is a race that The Goonies is expected to like. And why not? He keeps getting better as the distances increase. But the competition in this one is tough, and the sun is expected to be shining in Louisiana. So lean towards others.
Watch Level: Low
So that’s the field for this NW2L Allowance. If I had to pick a top 3, I’d go with (1) #7 – Forrester’s Dancer, (2) #1 – Forty Niner Cause, and (3) #6 – Medalex, with my longshot as #9 – Space Cadet TB. But let’s be honest; this series is less about who will win this particular allowance, and more about who will go on to be a G1 winner. And for that, we’ll just have to wait and find out.
Here are some of the other “highly rated” races for the weekend of 1/12; you can check out the runners and decide for yourself who you think is the Next Big Thing:
1) New York – Alw NW2L @ 7f-T (1/13; will be split into 2 races)