First, a quick recap of last week’s race. It was a relatively solid pace that led to a bit of a duel up front, between Yankee Justine and Dry Eyes. They were neck and neck for the first half of the race, with Yankee Justine slightly ahead, but Yankee Justine started to wear out slightly and Dry Eyes took the lead at the top of the stretch. But instead, the solid pace was enough to allow for a closing kick, and that charge came from Ship The Kash ($16.20), who came flying from 9th early to challenge Dry Eyes. Ship The Kash grabbed the lead and crossed the finish line first, winning by 1 length with a 79 SP. Dry Eyes held on for 2nd, and it was another 1-1/2 lengths back to Yankee Justine, who was well clear of 4th.
For the throngs of Future Stars Series fans who said “that last 2yo race was great! I just want to see more of it!” Well…you’re in luck! Because we’re staying in Kentucky this week, as we, for the 2nd week in a row, check out a 6.5f dirt NW2L Allowance for 2yo fillies. This race has drawn a field of 9. The field is:
#1 – Crafty Beauty (Take Charge Indy x Pioneers Tale [Tale of Ekati x Pioneerof the Nile]) – Owned by holdingnyc – 15/1
Race Record: 2:1-0-0; $9,876
Race History: Crafty Beauty said “no thanks” to the maiden level and instead debuted in an allowance at 5f on the dirt on January 30 in Minnesota. Taking on 12 rivals, Crafty Beauty went off at 17/1 and wasn’t the fastest out of the gate, as she ended up 6th early (though only ½ length back). But it turns out she was the most mature of the group, and slowly moved up until she finally got to the front, getting up to win by a neck and earning a 67 SP. She came back 1 month later in a NW2L at 6f and sat 3rd early but tired and finished 5th, earning a 66 SP. Crafty Beauty will try to get crafty and find her way back to the front today.
Pedigree: Take Charge Indy, the G1-winning son of Hall of Famer Take Charge Lady, currently stands in South Korea and was the #218 ranked Korean sire in 2018. In the sim, Take Charge Indy’s 2018 crop currently ranks #57 overall with 69 winners from 104 starters, winning at an 18% rate. Among those are 2 G1 winners, one at 9f on the dirt and one at 7f on the dirt. In addition, his 2019 crop already includes 1 stakes winner, Purple Heart Lane, who took a 5.5f dirt stakes back on April 21. Take Charge Indy’s sim foals largely prefer the dirt (73% of earnings on dirt), but are evenly split between sprints and routes (51% in routes), though he has more sprinting winners than routing winners. Crafty Beauty is the first foal from 5yo mare Pioneers Tale. Pioneers Tale won 3 of her 17 career races, but did most of her damage early. After rattling off 2 straight wins at 5f on dirt to start her career, she tried stakes company and ran 3rd in a 5.5f dirt stakes. Unfortunately, that was the highlight of her career. She found sprinting to be her best distance, specifically around 7f, and seemed to be showing promise on turf in the claiming ranks before retiring. Crafty Beauty is one of 2 sim foals from the past 5 years that are by Take Charge Indy out of a Tale of Ekati mare, but the other has not shown anything on the track in 7 career starts. The Cairo Prince x Forestry cross is unexpectedly popular, with 6 sim horses sharing that lineage over the past 5 years. Of those, 4 have found the winner’s circle, all in dirt sprints, but each (including Prince of Sealand) has only 1 victory (a 4 for 66 record in dirt sprints lifetime). Crafty Beauty’s dosage index of 3.00 and CD of 0.64 suggest she might like slightly longer than today’s distance, but not too much longer.
Expectations: Crafty Beauty came up big as a longshot in her debut race, but didn’t seem to progress much in her second. She got 3 months off after that run though, so we’ll see if she’s got something extra on the track as she likely tries to stalk the pace. Being one of the more experienced horses in the field, she’s got a chance, but she’ll likely need to step up a bit to get the job done here.
Watch Level: Low
#2 – Blue Candy Maker (Candy Ride (ARG) x Tis Taz Cat [Bluegrass Cat x Empire Maker]) – Owned by rickybobbylod – 8/1
Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $33,720
Race History: Blue Candy Maker made her debut back on April 14, when she took on a field of 10 in a 6.5f dirt MSW here in Kentucky. Off at 8/1, she stalked the pace early, sitting 2 lengths back in 3rd, but came charging late and got first run over a couple of her competitors, managing to grab the lead and then hold on to win by a head, earning a 69 SP. A decent number of that field has come back to run 70+ SPs, with the 5th and 7th place finishers breaking their maidens next time out. Blue Candy Maker will look to keep the ball rolling here.
Pedigree: Candy Ride, who stands in Kentucky for $80,000, was the #2 ranked US sire of 2018, largely on the back of 2018 Pegasus World Cup winner Gun Runner. In the sim, Candy Ride is a solid sire, as his 2018 crop currently ranks #35 overall. That 3yo crop includes 134 runners to date, from which 78 have won races at a 17% rate. 5 of those winners have pulled off the feat at the stakes level, mostly in dirt routes, and two are G2 winners, including Black Middle Flower Stk-G2 winner OG Candy Front, though two (including 1 G2) stakes winners have done so in 7-7.5f dirt sprints. Candy Ride’s sim progeny typically prefer the dirt (66% of earnings on dirt) and have shown a slight preference for routes (58% routes), which lines up with his real life average winning distance of 7.07f (about average for a US sire). Blue Candy Maker is the sole foal from 5yo he-mare TIs Taz Cat. Tiz Tas Cat won 5 of his 22 career races, including 4 at the allowance level, and managed a 3rd place in a 5 horse stakes at 5.5f on the dirt as a 3yo. Most of his races did occur in sprints, but he actually found the turf more to his liking, doing his best running at 6-7f on the turf. Candy Ride has been bred to a Bluegrass Cat mare 3 times in the past 5 years, but neither of those other horses have broken their maidens as of yet, both showing minimal dirt talent. Blue Candy Maker’s 1.67 dosage index and 0.42 CD are screaming out for more distance than today’s race, so watch out for her once 2yos can start running longer distances later in the year.
Expectations: Blue Candy Maker put together a solid debut effort as she caught a pretty quick pace but had no issues withstanding the heat, either on the front end or coming late. The pedigree indicates that she shouldn’t have any problem with the distance, though there is a question if she’ll prefer the turf. Still, look for her to take a step forward here.
Watch Level: Medium
#3 – Miss Warrior (Warrior’s Reward x Attip [Tapit x Tale of the Cat]) – Owned by kashman – 11/1
Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $33,720
Race History: Miss Warrior, a PA-bred filly, opened her racing career at 4.5f on the dirt in Kentucky on April 21. There, she barely got away from the gate, breaking 7th in the field of 8, dropping 3-1/2 lengths back early. But she came flying late, and just barely got up to take the win by a head, earning a 65 SP in the process. She’ll stretch out significantly here as she tries to put together the same type of run.
Pedigree: Warrior’s Reward, a multiple graded stakes winner from 7-8.5f on the dirt, currently stands in Pennsylvania for $4,500, but has produced well beyond his modest expectations and was the #38 ranked US sire in 2018 (#1 in Pennsylvania). His 2018 sim crop isn’t quite as promising, currently ranking #444 overall with 16 winners from 31 runners, winning at a 17% rate. None of those horses have been successful beyond the allowance level as of yet. Warrior’s Reward’s sim foals prefer the dirt, with 68% of earnings on the main track, and show a slight preference to sprinting with 57% of earnings in sprints. The pure numbers, however, show a stronger sprinting preference, with the data possibly skewed by the fact that his 2 graded stakes winners in the past 5 years both did so in dirt routes, and that sprinting preference fits in with his real world 6.87 AWD. Miss Warrior is the 9th foal from 13yo mare Attip. Attip struggled in her career, winning just 2 of her 28 career races, both in turf sprints. However, she spent most of her career on the dirt, struggling in the claiming ranks. But it was the breeding shed where she finally struck gold…or bronze, with her 2nd foal. That foal, Kash on Tap, won 9 of her 42 races, all on dirt, including The Victorious Ride-G3 at 6f, and placed in 5 other graded stakes, including running 2nd in the 2013 Bluegrass Oaks-G1 as the 3rd betting choice. Unfortunately, none of the other foals have achieved that level of success, and only one of the 6 foals since then have even won more than 2 career races (only 2 are still active). Tapit mares have been sent to Warrior’s Reward 12 times in the past 5 years, and the combo has produced 1 stakes winner out of 10 total winners. The stakes win (and 6 other stakes placing) all came in turf routes, but most of the foals have actually preferred dirt, with a pretty even split of sprinters and routers. Miss Warrior’s dosage index of 3.50 and CD of 0.78 put today’s distance at the top of her list.
Expectations: Miss Warrior seems to have closing speed, and should be happy with the added distance and the up front speed in today’s race. This race sets up very well for her, but her first race was a little slower than some of the top contenders in this race. She may need to take a big step forward to pull out today’s race, but that speed wasn’t all that surprising, given that it was at 4.5f, and she’s certainly got a chance to impress today.
Watch Level: High
#4 – Twisting Road (Twirling Candy x Tizz The Boss [Tizway x Quality Road]) – Owned by oldmoonfarms39 – 13/1
Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $33,720
Race History: Twisting Road began her career on April 20 in a Hoosier Residency-restricted MSW at 6f on the dirt in Kentucky. In a field of 13 first time starters, Twisting Road broke 4th early, sitting ever so slightly off the pace, but had no patience for the pacesetters and decided to take over herself in the far turn. From there, it was a sprint to the finish and she narrowly held off a rival, winning by a head with a 66 SP. She’ll take on non-residency competition here in Race #2.
Pedigree: Twirling Candy, a G1-winning dirt sprinter and G2-winning router (both on turf and dirt), currently stands for $25,000 in Kentucky and was the #46 ranked US sire in 2018. In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #253 overall, with 31 winners from 57 runners winning at a 15% rate. One of those colts just picked up the first stakes win of the crop, at 5.5f on the dirt. Much like that colt, Twirling Candy’s sim progeny tend to focus on dirt sprints, with 64% of earnings on dirt and 61% in sprints, in line with his real world 6.69 AWD. Twisting Road is the 2nd foal from 5yo mare Tizz The Boss. Tizz The Boss only ran 11 times in her career, but ended up in the winner’s circle 4 times. Only one of those was in an allowance, with the other 2 coming at the claiming ranks. She saw a massive improvement when dropping to that level, putting in her best races in 7-7.5f dirt claimers, though she never stretched out beyond that on the dirt (nor did she ever try turf sprinting). Twisting Road’s only sibling to date is an allowance winner in 9 career races thus far, taking a 5f turf sprint NW2L, but hasn’t tried anything over 6f. There is one other sim foal to share the Twirling Candy x Tizway bloodlines over the past 5 years, from the same owner, and she is a winner of 1 in 6 starts, with her best race thus far coming in her maiden score at 8f. Twisting Road’s 3.00 DI and 0.75 CD put today’s race right up his alley.
Expectations: It’s always a bit of a tough move coming out of a residency-restricted race and taking on the wider sim, but Twisting Road will try it here and there’s no reason to think she can’t pull it off. She dug in gamely to withstand a late charge in her last race, so she’ll need to progress to make sure she can get the extra half furlong here. But this is another filly with some potential, so watch for her to sit just off the pace early and try to hang on late.
Watch Level: Medium
#5 – Shanghai Lovins (Shanghai Bobby x God Love Her [Street Sense x Pulpit]) – Owned by debargain – 9/1
Race Record: 2:1-0-0; $34,694
Race History: Shanghai Lovins made her debut in Kentucky on March 17 in a 6f MSW. There, she dueled for the lead early, quickly put away her competition, and drew off to defeat the field of 11 by 1-3/4 lengths with a 68 SP. That race looked particularly solid, as the 2nd and 4th place finishers each came back to break their maiden next time out, the 2nd place finisher with an 80 SP. Unfortunately, Shanghai Lovins stumbled a bit in her 2nd race, a NW2L allowance at 6f back on May 2. There, she broke 7th early and never really got involved, losing ground on the leaders and finishing 5th with a 67 SP. She’ll look to revert back to her debut form today.
Pedigree: Shanghai Bobby, the Eclipse Award Champion 2yo in 2012, currently stands in Japan and was the #286 ranked Japanese sire in 2018. In the sim, his 3yo crop currently ranks #380 overall, with 22 winners from 39 runners winning at a 14.5% rate. His sim runners are mainly dirt sprinters, with 74% of earnings on dirt and 66% in sprints. His 1 G1-winning sim foal, a now-retired 7yo, achieved that success when he was a 2yo, and while Shanghai Bobby’s ranking might not be that high, 34 of his 40 foals in the past 5 years that have won at least 1 dirt sprint as a 2yo have done so at the allowance level. Shanghai Lovins is the 2nd foal from 6yo mare God Love Her, a multiple stakes placed mare who loved going long. She won 4 of her 23 career races, her best of which, include her 2nd and 3rd place stakes finishes, came in the 10-12f dirt range. Her first foal, She Loves Deeply (Deep Impact (JPN)), has 1 win through 5 career starts, but hasn’t quite shown the same interest in long distance running as her mother. The Shanghai Bobby x Street Sense connection has produced 2 winners out of 4 runners over the past 5 years. The best of those has 8 wins in 35 starts, earning most of those wins in dirt routes. Shanghai Lovins’ dosage index of 4.33 and CD of 0.75 indicate a preference for sprinting, a good sign for this race.
Expectations: Shanghai Lovins set lofty expectations after her strong debut where she blitzed the field. But a different horse showed up in race number 2, as she didn’t have the gate speed or the finish of her debut. So the question is…which is the real Shanghai Lovins? We’ve all seen horses put up strong debuts and never run back to that effort again, and we’ve also seen horses debut strong, throw a clunker, and come right back on top. We’ll have to see today to get a sense of the future.
Watch Level: Medium
#6 – Lethal Cry (Curlin x Lethal Electra [Tapit x Street Cry]) – Owned by 22away – 3/1
Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $33,720
Race History: This regally bred filly made her debut in Kentucky on April 4 in a 6.5f MSW in a field of 12. Lethal Cry broke very slow and looked almost uninterested early on, dropping as many as 5.5 lengths back. But she came flying late, gobbling up ground and eventually storming past the leaders, drawing off to win by 1-1/4 as the 2/1 favorite and earning a 71 SP. She’ll try to make it 2 for 2 at Kentucky today.
Pedigree: Curlin, the 2-time US Horse of the Year and #6 ranked US sire of 2018, currently stands for $175,000 in Kentucky. In the sim, his 3yos currently rank #28 overall, with 103 winners from 164 runners, victorious at a 16% rate. That crop includes 6 stakes winners, one of whom, Curlin’s Storm Cat, took home the 7f Dell Computer Futurity-G1 back in September 2018. Somewhat surprisingly, most of the stakes wins for those horses have come in dirt sprints, though one scored on the turf and two achieved success in dirt routes. Those last 2 line up with Curlin more generally in the sim, as he tends to through dirt routers (67% earnings on dirt, 67% in routes), which tracks with his real world 7.55f average winning distance. Lethal Cry is the first foal from 4yo (early bred) mare Lethal Electra. The well-scratch bred mare didn’t end up doing much of anything on the track, so she was retired after only 7 races. She broke her maiden at 5f on the dirt in her 2nd career race, a sizeable improvement over her first effort at 6.5f, but never finished better than 5th at the allowance level. With that said, she only ever ran in dirt sprints, so it’s tough to know what her preferred surface or distance would have been. Curlin has been bred to a Tapit mare 25 times over the past 5 years, with 21 winners among the group. Only 1 of those has achieved stakes victory, coming in a dirt route (as most of the Curlin x Tapit horses do), though that filly was also 2nd in the 2017 California Oaks-G1 and managed to make the field of the 2017 Bluegrass Oaks, where she finished 15th. Lethal Cry’s dosage index of 3.80 and CD of 0.79 put today’s race squarely in her wheelhouse.
Expectations: Lethal Cry has quite the pedigree to live up to. Unfortunately her mother was never able to do it, but Lethal Cry already looks to have some more talent than her dam. Her strong closing kick in her debut was a nice run that you don’t often see for young 2yos at these short distances, and it suggests that Lethal Cry might even prefer longer than this 6.5f distance. Unfortunately, that’s as far as 2yos can go right now, but Lethal Cry looks like she might have a solid career ahead of her.
Watch Level: High
#7 – Traffic Ride (Cross Traffic x Ghost Ride LV [Ghostzapper x Candy Ride) – Owned by klh8 – 4/1
Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $33,720
Race History: Traffic Ride put together a very strong debut run back on April 21. Opening up at today’s 6.5f distance here in Kentucky, Traffic Ride went with the pace early, sitting just ½ a length back, and then proved she was much the best by asserting herself in the far turn. She pulled away, defeating the 13 horse field by 1-1/2 lengths and earning a very strong 77 SP. She’ll try to repeat that run here.
Pedigree: Cross Traffic, a G1 winner at 9f, was the #1 ranked freshman US sire of 2018 and currently stands in Kentucky for $25,000. Cross Traffic’s 2018 sim crop (the 3yo crop) currently ranks #535 overall, with 10 winners from 27 runners winning at a 12% rate, as it has not yet caught up to his real world progeny. His sim foals are primarily dirt sprinters (72% of earnings on dirt, 82% in sprints), with over 75% of his sim winners over the past 5 years having been successful in dirt sprints, and that is in line with his 6.62 real world AWD. Traffic Ride is the 3rd foal from 6yo mare Ghost Ride LV, a winner of 3 of her 15 career races. Ghost Ride LV spent most of her career around the 8f distance, picking up 2 allowance wins in addition to her maiden victory. She made 2 failed stakes efforts at the 11-11.5f distance (which was too far for her), but may have retired before she was completely done on the track. Her two previous foals have followed in her footsteps, both also preferring dirt routes in the 8-8.5f range and both having found success at the allowance level (neither have tried stakes company). Cross Traffic has been bred to a Ghostzapper mare one other time in the sim, but that horse has not shown much ability to date (in fact, Traffic Ride’s debut was a better race than any of that horse’s 14 prior runs). Traffic Ride’s dosage of 4.60 and CD of 0.79 indicate a sprinting preference for this filly.
Expectations: Traffic Ride put up one of the best races in the field in her debut, and it puts her towards the top of the heap here. Mixing in her sire’s sprinting preferences, and you’ve got a solid combination for this race. She’ll likely sit close to the pace again, and hope to stay there at the end. Traffic Ride is definitely one to keep your eye on.
Watch Level: High
#8 - Road of Heroes (Quality Road x Age of Heroes [Medaglia D’Oro x A.P. Indy]) – Owned by given10 – 2/1 (f)
Race Record: 2:1-1-0; $47,770
Race History: With the numbers, it was only a matter of time before a given horse came up in this series, and we get our first today with Road To Heroes (though as the sponsor of this race, it was pretty much a…given… that we’d get one of his horses). This filly debuted on April 5 at 6.5f on the dirt in Kentucky and ran a ridiculous race, getting locked in a front-running duel with Apathetic Guru. That rival managed to win the race by ¼ length, but Road To Heroes finished 3 lengths in front of 3rd, earning a 78 SP that was the 4th highest non-winning SP for a 2yo to that point. Apathetic Guru came back to win the Vermont-sponsored Happy Mothers Day-G2 and is currently the #2-ranked dirt 2yo filly, and the 5th and 6th place finished from that race each came back to break their maiden next time out. Road To Heroes also proved her debut was no fluke, as she came back at 6.5f in Kentucky on May 5 and blitzed the field, going wire-to-wire to win by 1 length and earning a field-high 80 SP. She’ll look to do the same today.
Pedigree: Quality Road, a multiple G1-winning horse, currently stands for $150,000 in Kentucky and was the #7 ranked US sire in 2018 (#1 in G1 Wins). His 2018 sim crop is struggling compared to his other classes, currently ranking #107 with 64 winners from 94 runners (winning at a 15% rate), though his 2yo crop currently ranks #7 overall with 22 winners from 77 runners. Only one of the 94 3yos is currently a stakes winner, and that horse, Quality Killer, is a G3 winner at 8f on the turf, though he is also stakes placed at 9.5f on the dirt. Quality Road’s progeny strongly prefer dirt (68% earnings on dirt), with a pretty even split in earnings between sprints and routes (though the speed figures and number of winners favor sprints). His real world AWD of 7.40 suggests a preference for short routes, which lines up with his best sim progeny (he has 4 graded stakes winners in dirt routes over than last 5 years, vs. only 2 in dirt sprints). Road To Heroes is the 2nd foal from 10yo mare Age of Heroes. Age of Heroes won 1/3 of her 33 career races. 1 of those 11 wins was in stakes company, taking an 8.5f dirt stakes, and she was stakes-placed at 8-8.5f on both turf and dirt. Her first foal, 6yo War of Heroes (War Front), won 3 of her 12 career races, spending most of her time in dirt routes. Quality Road has been bred to a Medaglia D’Oro mare 17 times in the past 5 years, with 2 of those runners being stakes placed (all in dirt routes). Although a lot of the horses have shown both turf and dirt abilities, most do end up as dirt routers. Road To Heroes’ DI of 2.38 and CD of 0.59 suggest that she’ll like stretching out even more than she likes the current distance.
Expectations: Road To Heroes has run 2 races better than any other horse in this field, and the only horse that has ever beaten her is the #2 ranked 2yo dirt filly. In other words, Road To Heroes is your favorite for a reason. She looks like she’ll try to grab the lead from the get-go here, and from there it’s just a question of whether one of the other horses can keep up. Road To Heroes looks like the real deal, both here and for the future.
Watch Level: High
#9 – Prince of Sealand (Cairo Prince x Bushy [Forestry x Speightstown]) – Owned by affirmed76 – 14/1
Race Record: 2:1-1-0; $24,130
Race History: Prince of Sealand opened her career at 17/1 in a 5.5f dirt MSW in Kentucky on February 9. In that race, she outsprinted her 11 rivals for the lead and that got locked in a battle on the lead, digging in gamely but not quite holding on, finishing 2nd by ¼ length with a 64 SP. The winner from that one has a win and a 2nd in 2 allowance tries since that race, as well as a 4th place stakes effort (and most recently was 9th in a stakes). Prince of Sealand came back 2 months later in another 5.5f MSW, this time in Minnesota, and had no problems dispatching the 4 horse field, easing to a 1-1/4 length victory and earning a 61 SP. She stretches out an extra furlong here as she looks to take the next step forward.
Pedigree: Cairo Prince, a multiple graded stakes winning miler, currently stands in Kentucky for $25,000 and was the #3 ranked freshman US sire in 2018. In the sim, Cairo Prince’s 2018 crop currently ranks a career high #49 overall. The crop contains 106 runners, of which 70 have won, and the reason for the high ranking is his 6 stakes winners and 2 graded stakes winners, including G1-winning Revitalization, who won the Los Vinegrette Stakes-G1 at 8f on dirt and was 14th in the Bluegrass Oaks. His sim foals are largely dirt sprinters (75% of earnings on dirt, 65% in sprints), in line with his real world 6.83 AWD. Prince of Sealand is the 6th foal from 11yo mare Bushy, winner of 4 races in her 42 race career. Most of Bushy’s career came In turf sprints, though she was never all that successful. Her only allowance victory came at 7f on the turf in a $8700 NW1x allowance. She spent most of her time trying super-sprints to no avail. Her first five foals all seem to have followed in her turf footsteps, making it a bit of a surprise that Prince of Sealand began on the dirt. Bushy’s most successful foal is 5yo Caballo Prestado (Perfect Soul), who is stakes placed at 6.5f on the turf, but that 5yo only has 2 wins in 34 starts. Tu Amor (North Light) is a promising looking 3yo, with 3 wins in 8 career starts, all in turf sprints as well. Prince of Sealand’s DI of 7.00 and CD of 1.00 suggest that she wants to do nothing but run fast and short.
Expectations: Prince of Sealand has some early gate speed, which should help her be well placed towards the front of the pack in this 6.5f race. From a dam’s side that focuses on short sprints, one has to wonder if 6.5f is too far for this filly, but the distances of her siblings and dam may have been more about the owner’s selection than the horse’s preferences, so there might not be an issue. The only other concern here is that the speed figures are well below the top numbers in this field. But Prince of Sealand had such an easy time last race, there’s definitely a chance for a sizeable bump today.
Watch Level: Medium
That’s the field for this NW2L allowance. On paper, Road To Heroes is the best horse, and I’m not sure it’s all that close, so I’m a little surprised that she’s 2/1. But just because she’s the best on paper doesn’t mean she’ll be the best on the track. Still, I’ll go with: (1) Road To Heroes; (2) Lethal Cry; (3) Blue Candy Maker
Other Races to Watch this Weekend: