First, a quick recap of last week’s race. And that recap is…I FINALLY GOT ONE RIGHT!!! Creed of Hefin got out of the gate quickly and grabbed the lead, but he was tracked throughout the race closely by Awesomizer. As they entered the far turn, Creed of Hefin started to falter a bit and Awesomizer took over the lead. From there, it was clear sailing for Awesomizer ($10.40) who grabbed the lead and held on to win by ½ length, earning an 83 SP. Tuns O’ Kittens, who sat 4th early, capitalized on the fading Creed of Hefin and came on late, but couldn’t quite catch the winner and settled for 2nd. Creed of Hefin may not have been able to keep up with the top 2, but even after fading he was still good enough to hold on for 3rd, 2-1/4 lengths behind the winner.
This week, the Future Stars Series finally looks for its first 2020 Bluegrass Derby contender! We head to Kentucky, where 9 colts try to pick up their first allowance win in a NW2L Allowance at 7 furlongs on the dirt. The field is:
#1 – Yankee Storm King (American Pharoah x Storm Cat x Kingmambo) – Owned by stepsutt67 – 3/1 (f)
Race Record: 2:1-0-0; $33,720
Capsule: Yankee Storm King had no patience for his competition in his debut on April 1. In that 5f MSW, he sprinted for the lead, opened up, and then eased his way to a ¾ length victory, earning a 73 SP. That was enough for his owner to bump him up to the stakes level, where he tried a 6f dirt stakes and went off as the 7/2 favorite, but was unable to get the lead to set the early pace and then faded to 7th, earning a 70 SP. Yankee Storm King is a scratch-bred horse who is one of 19 sim horses to share the American Pharoah x Storm Cat bloodlines. Those 19 horses have resulted in 17 winners to date, 3 of whom are stakes winners and 1 of whom is a G2 winner. American Pharoah more generally has been on fire both in the sim and the real world. He is currently the #2 ranked first-crop sire in the US, with 3 winners (and 1 Graded Stakes winner) in 11 starts, and his 2018 sim crop currently ranks #3 overall, with 198 runners and 138 winners to date. Of those, 16 have earned stakes victories (4 graded stakes winners) so far (both the fewest of any of his sim crops thus far). While the 2018 crop may not be his best, it does include American Dane, who was 2nd in the 2019 Bluegrass Oaks-G1. His sim foals tend to prefer the dirt (66% of earnings on dirt), with a slight preference towards routing that will likely become a little more preferred as he has more sim foals (his sim AWD is a 7.78). The majority of the horses are dirt sprinters. Yankee Storm King (DI: 1.67; CD: 0.50) is looking to add to the tally of horses that share his bloodlines, but the first step to doing that is to defeat winners, and he looks like a solid bet to do that here.
Watch Level: Medium
#2 – Dalakhani Motor (Eavesdropper x Induction Motor [Dalakhani x Henrythenavigator]) – Owned by melmel2019 – 15/1
Race Record: 4:1-0-0; $34,844
Capsule: Through his first 3 races, Dalakhani Motor didn’t look all that special, never breaking a 65 SP or finishing better than 5th in an MSW, all with odds ranging from 16-34/1. But that all changed in his most recent race on June 9, where he repeated the 6.5f distance for the 3rd time. In that race, for the first time, he showed a real closing kick, coming from over 8 lengths back to win by 1-1/4 lengths at 39/1. For the effort he earned a ridiculous 80 SP, seemingly out of nowhere, so the only question for this race is whether that was a fluke or a sign of maturity. Dalakhani Motor is by Eavesdropper, and is the 6th foal out of 9yo mare Induction Motor. Eavesdropper ($6,600) was a G3-placed sprinter during his racing career, and he has been standing in Libya for several years. In the sim, Eavesdropper’s 2018 crop currently ranks #322 overall, with 26 runners and 13 winners to date. One of those 13 is a stakes winner in an 8.5f turf race. His sim foals have shown a slight preference for dirt (56% of earnings on dirt), but while the earnings suggest a route preference (60% of earnings in routes), the win percentages suggest a slight sprint favoritism, as does the 7.62 sim AWD, probably resulting from the fact that a significant percentage of stakes success has been in turf routes, even though his sim foals have almost double the number of wins in dirt sprints. Induction Motor only raced 9 times in her career, and her lone win was in a $60K local maiden claimer where she was the 1/9 favorite, so she didn’t show much of a proclivity for racing. Her foals haven’t done much either (only 2 of the 6 have an allowance win), but all of the foals have been turf runners, with a mix of routers and sprinters among them. Dalakhani Motor (DI: 1.15; CD: 0.21) looks like he might want to be one of those routers, and if he can repeat his last performance, he may be one of the top contenders in this race.
Watch Level: Low
#3 – Ice Point (Ice Box x Simple Wish [Point Given x Nureyev]) – Owned by atwistoff – 11/1
Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $20,220
Capsule: Ice Point looked pretty good in his debut on May 17. In that 5.5f MSW in South Africa, Ice Point sat towards the back early but made a mid-race move, getting close to the leaders, and then easily overtook those in front and drew off to win by 1 length, earning a 70 SP at 15/1. Ice Point is by Ice Given, and is the 7th foal out of 11yo mare Simple Wish. Ice Box ($7,500), the #99 ranked Kentucky sire in 2018, won the 2010 Florida Derby and ran 2nd in the Kentucky Derby that year. In the sim, Ice Box’s 2018 sim crop currently ranks #661 overall, with 21 winners from 40 runners. None of those horses have been successful at the stakes level, and in fact he has only had 1 stakes winner in the past 5 years. Ice Box’s sim foals are largely dirt runners (71% of earnings on dirt), but unlike his real world running style, Ice Box’s sim foals have been sprinters thus far (61% in sprints), though his real world AWD of 7.23 indicates a longer distance for his foals than his sim 6.88 AWD. Simple Wish won 5 of her 19 career races, all on the dirt with wins coming anywhere from 7-10.5f, though 3 of those 5 wins came at the claiming level. As a broodmare, Simple Wish hasn’t been that impressive, and only her first foal, Cal Given (Cal Nation) even has an allowance win (in a dirt route). The rest have only won at the maiden and/or claiming levels, with a mix of distances (mostly on the dirt though). The Ice Box x Point Given cross has been used 1 other time in the sim in the past 5 years, but it’s a promising cross as that horse, Ice Box Ridge, was a G3–winning dirt sprinter. Ice Point (DI: 2.43; CD: 0.58) looks to make it 2-for-2 today as he should be happy to get some extra distance to run.
Watch Level: High
#4 – Cuique Suum (Carpe Diem x Carson City x Northern Dancer) – Owned by jcasino – 6/1
Race Record: 2:1-0-0; $33,720
Capsule: Cuique Suum began his career in a 6.5f dirt MSW on April 23 and didn’t disappoint. There, he fell to the back of the 9 horse field early, but came flying late, grabbing the lead and taking the win by 1-1/4 lengths as the 5/1 5th choice, earning a 71 SP. From there, he headed to residency company and tried the ESR Fillmore East Stakes at 6f, but he regressed a bit, breaking last and never showing a turn of foot, earning a 65 SP. Cuique Suum is looking to bounce back here. He is a scratch-bred son of Carpe Diem, who was crossed with a Carson City mare for the breeding. Carpe Diem ($25,000) was a multiple G1-winning dirt router (8.5-9f) on the track, and is currently the #17 ranked first-crop sire in the US, with 1 winner out of his 7 runners to have reached the track. In the sim, Carpe Diem’s 2018 crop currently ranks #48 overall, with 84 winners out of 123 runners. 5 of those winners have found stakes success, though none of the 2018 crop have as of yet achieved a graded stakes victory. His sim foals have a strong dirt preference (69% of earnings on dirt), while also showing a preference for sprinting (57% of earnings in sprints, 59% of wins in sprints). His sim AWD of 7.18 also suggests a sprinting preference, but we’ll see how his real world crop looks to see if this will warrant an adjustment in the future. Cuique Suum (DI: 3.62; CD: 0.97) was bred to sprint, so we’ll see if the added distance here will help, but if his past races are any indication he should be a little happier here.
Watch Level: Medium
#5 – Data Kiss (Freud x Saint Ballado x Smart Strike) – Owned by plano10 – 9/2
Race Record: 1:1-0-0; $3,000
Capsule: Data Kiss took the “easy” route in his debut, running in a Hot MSW at 6.5f on May 22. The field included 7 horses, all from the same stables, as owner planoaxius decided to see which of his 2yos would be the most useful. That honor seems to have gone to Data Kiss, who went off as the 4/1 3rd choice and sat towards the back early, but made a strong move in the stretch and pulled away to win by 1-3/4 lengths, earning a 73 SP. Data Kiss is a scratch-bred son of Freud, out of a Saint Ballado mare. Freud ($7,500) the #39 ranked US sire (and #1 ranked NY sire) in 2018, is a full brother to top sire Giant’s Causeway. In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #130 overall, with 62 runners and 44 winners. 2 of those winners have been successful at the residency-restricted Local stakes level. Overall, his sim foals are largely sprinters (64% of earnings in sprints), with a relatively even split between turf and dirt runners (55% on dirt), and his sim AWD of 6.69 closely tracks his real world AWD of 6.71. This is the first time in the past 5 years that the Freud x Saint Ballado cross has been used in the sim. Data Kiss (DI: 1.93; CD: 0.55) will try to prove that he belongs in non-hot competition and that his debut was no fluke.
Watch Level: Medium
#6 – Going Buckwild (Stonesider x Buckpasser Cadet [Empire Maker x Dubai Millennium]) – Owned by tiomundo4 – 15/1
Race Record: 5:1-0-1; $35,158
Capsule: Going Buckwild, the veteran of the field, was claimed for $50,000 out of his debut and broke his maiden in his first race for his new owner, in a 5f $100K Starter Allowance on February 15 where he took on 2 computer horses and 1 player-owned horse and easily cruised to a 2 length victory. Since then, however, he has struggled in 3 allowance-level races at double digit odds in each one. He enters this race off of a 5th place finish, where he earned his 2nd consecutive 70 SP while trying to come from the back of the pack. Going Buckwild is the 2nd foal from 7yo Buckpasser Cadet, who was sent to the Giant’s Causeway sire Stonesider. Buckpasser Cadet was a multiple stakes-placed filly on the track, with most of her 6 wins in 27 starts (and both stakes placings) coming in long distance turf races (14-16f-T). Her first foal, 3yo Capo La Gala (Cape Blanco), retired after going winless in 9 starts. Stonesider ($2,000), the #8 ranked sire in Texas in 2018, is a son of Giant’s Causeway and was 1 for 1 in his career on the track (a 5.5f MSW). His sim crops parallel his real life crops, as the 2018 sim class only has 3 runners to date, currently ranking #1,438 as 2 of those have won. He only has 1 stakes winner since he became a sim sire, and that was in a residency-restricted local stakes race. His sim foals are largely dirt sprinters (67% of earnings on dirt, 66% in sprints), which aligns with his 6.85 real world AWD and 6.61 sim AWD. It’s unclear if a 7f dirt race is the best type of race for Going Buckwild (DI: 2.11; CD: 0.50), but he’ll try to improve off of his past races and move forward here.
Watch Level: Low
#7 – This Time Gold (Medaglia D’Oro x Northern Again [Awesome Again x Storm Bird]) – Owned by pilgrim10 – 8/1
Race Record: 4:1-1-0; $49,221
Capsule: This Time Gold began his career on the dirt, trying a 4.5f MSW on February 2 and acquitting himself pretty well, narrowly missing breaking his maiden and finishing 2nd by ¼ length. But after a very dull 2nd start on dirt, he switched to the 6f on the turf and broke through, sitting midpack early and then just getting up to win by ¼ length, earning a 68 SP. Unfortunately, his first try again winners in a NW2L on the turf was any dull effort, so he switches back to dirt here to see if this time he can earn gold. This Time Gold is the 9th foal from 16yo mare Northern Again, and is by leading sire Medaglia D’Oro. Northern Again won 5 of her 14 career starts, breaking her maiden in a dirt sprint but winning most of her races in turf routes. Most of her sim foals have been routers, but they’ve found success – 2 are stakes winners, and 2 more are stakes-placed, with a pretty even split between those who prefer the turf and those who prefer the dirt. Medaglia D’Oro ($200,000), the #12 ranked US sire in 2018, is equally adept in the sim, as his 2018 sim crop currently ranks #22 overall. That sim crop includes 100 winners out of 158 runners, 9 of which have won stakes races (2 graded stakes winners). Among those is Barbara Bites Back, winner of the 2019 Bluegrass Oaks-G1. His sim foals have a strong preference for routing (70% of earnings in routes), which is in line with his real world 7.69 AWD and 8.28 sim AWD, and they have a slight favoritism towards dirt (61% on dirt). The Medaglia D’Oro x Awesome Again cross has been used 27 times in the past 5 years, and although 23 of those have won races, only 1 is a stakes winner (a dirt sprinter). The combination has actually shown a slight preference for routing, and a slightly greater preference for dirt racing. This Time Gold (DI: 3.00, CD: 0.72) seems well suited for this distance and surface based on pedigree, but he’ll need to take a big step forward off of his past races to really compete here.
Watch Level: Low
#8 – Intoishe (Into Mischief x Oishe [Distorted Humor x Bernardini]) – Owned by given00 – 9/2
Race Record: 3:1-1-0; $47,770
Capsule: Intoishe, the sponsor of the race, was a slow starter in his debut but made a big jump in race #2. In that race, a 6.5f MSW on April 28, Intoishe sat towards the back early and moved forward late, running out of racing room just before the finish line and missing by a head, but he saw a big SP jump from 63 to 75 for the race. The winner of that race came back to run 2nd with an 80 SP in an open allowance next time out. Yankee Storm King, meanwhile, had no problem taking care of business in his 3rd race, sitting at the back early but closing to win by 1-1/4 length, with a 76 SP. Intoishe is the first foal by 5yo mare Oishe, and is by Into Mischief. Oishe was an excellent runner on the track, with 10 wins in her 22 race career. Among those wins were 2 G2 dirt miles, which is where she did her best running. Into Mischief ($150,000), the #4 ranked US sire in 2018, was a dirt sprinter in his racing career but he’s been known to throw a longer distance runner from time to time in the real world. In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #11 overall, with 100 winners from 143 runners to date (and his 2019 crop is currently ranked #1). Of those, only 5 have won a stakes, but 2 of those are Graded Stakes winners, including Sim Eclipse 2yo Dirt Colt of the Year Into Being Nice. His sim foals, much like him in real life, are dirt sprinters (77% of earnings on dirt, 60% in routes), though his sim AWD of 7.00 is a little longer than his real world AWD of 6.72. Into Mischief has been bred to a Distorted Humor mare 17 times in the past 5 years, resulting in 12 winners, one of whom is a stakes winning dirt sprinter. In fact, the overwhelming majority of those sim horses are dirt sprinters. Intoishe (DI: 3.00; CD: 0.67) might be gearing up for a campaign in longer races, but today’s 7f distance should fit him perfectly and he is a top contender here.
Watch Level: Medium
#9 – Buzz Quality (Uncle Mo x Deputy Cat [Deputy Minister x Storm Cat]) – Owned by smokeglack – 4/1
Race Record: 2:1-0-0; $20,220
Capsule: Buzz Quality struggled mightily in his debut in an ASR residency-restricted MSW at 6.5f, where he broke towards the back and stayed there. But he came back 1 month later, on May 30, and showed that he just needed to understand what it was like to race. In that 5.5f MSW, he broke midpack early but picked off horses in the stretch, making his way through the pack and ultimately winning by ¾ length, earning a 68 SP. Buzz Quality is by top sire Uncle Mo, and is the 10th foal out of stellar sim mare Deputy Cat. Uncle Mo ($125,000), the #13 ranked US sire in 2018, was a multiple G1 winner at 8-8.5f and has been a top real world sire for years. In the sim, his 2018 crop currently ranks #10 overall, with 127 winners from 185 runners to date. 7 of those have won stakes races, but only 1 thus far has earned a graded stakes victory. His sim foals strongly prefer the dirt (75% of earnings on dirt), though there is a pretty even split between sprints and routes (7.37 sim AWD), which is a little surprising given Uncle Mo’s real world preference for routers (7.38 AWD; note that US AWDs are typically lower because of the prevalence of sprints). Deputy Cat is the best producing sim mare that the Future Stars Series has profiled this year. On the track, she was a 4 time stakes winning (and 9-time stakes placed) dirt sprinter who won 16 of her 56 career races. In the breeding shed, she’s been even better, especially recently, with 5 of her 10 foals being stakes winners (and a 6th being stakes placed). Among those are 5yo Buzzing Quality (Quality Road), the 2017 Sim Eclipse Award winning Dirt Sprinter, G1-winning 4yo dirt sprinter Fade Back to Black (Tapit), and G2-winning 3yo What Ever Ya Like (Union Rags), who is currently the #2-ranked 3yo dirt route colt who was 15th in the 2019 Bluegrass Derby. Uncle Mo has been bred to a Deputy Minister mare 15 times in the past 5 years, resulting in 12 winners to date, one of whom is a G2-winning dirt sprinter, which is in line with the fact that most of the Uncle Mo x Deputy Minister sim horses are primarily dirt sprinters. Buzz Quality’s (DI: 1.00; CD: 0.00) pedigree alone would make him the favorite in this race and a potential star in the future (as a behind-the-scenes aside, his pedigree alone is what put this race into the series; just under half of the total points assigned to this race are from his pedigree alone), but his on track performance may need to take a step up to really be competitive.
Watch Level: High
In my attempt to go on a 2-race winning streak, I’m struck by the fact that there seems to be almost no pace in this race. And therefore, I’m gonna take the only horse who looks like he’s interested in being anywhere near the front half of the field. So, I’m going with Yankee Storm King to win. After that, I’ll take the sponsor Intoishe, followed by the deep closer who came out of nowhere in his last race in Dalakhani Motor. Good luck to everyone!
Other races to watch this weekend: