2YO Maiden Special Weight ‘Picks, Plays and Pontification’
Brought to you by Game of Silks
Keeneland, Race 2 – Thursday, April 13, 2023
By 2YO EdgeMan
KEE2-041323 – 4 1/2f on the Dirt. ‘Only’ 14 entered for this one, including 12 colts, one gelding and one filly (two get pushed to the AE list). Asmussen and Maker join the fray to battle two saddled by ‘The Maestro’. First-Crop Sire – Flameaway (Darby Dan Farm) will showcase his first ever competitor – #2 Baytown Parfait. We’ll analyze five of these runners for you below…
#1 – Hob Alwatan (8/5) – The first of two entries in this one for Wesley Ward is the debut runner by Yoshida (First-Crop Sire for WinStar Farm) who signed the ticket for $120K at last fall’s FT KY October Yearling Sale – second highest of 54 yearlings sold by his sire last year. This guy is out of a Quality Road mare (the mating got a poor True Nick rating of ‘D’) who was 9/17 on the track banking $118K. As per usual with WW, this 2YO has been working fast, having been out officially on seven morning efforts. Three of the seven have ended in bullets, with the most recent, fastest work having come on 3/26 here from KEE’s gate – 35.6 for 3f (1/19). Guess who’s the listed rider? – yep, that was easy, Joel Rosario.
#4 – Saddle Up (4/1) – This Texas-bred by Munnings is a Douglas Scharbauer homebred. His dam is a black type winner by Indygo Mountain, who earned $272K in her racing days, going 8/17. The mating produced a strong True Nick ‘A’ rating. He only has one sibling – a full brother who was pretty successful on the track earning $123K (3 for 23). Trainer Steve Asmussen has only officially worked this colt out twice, both at 3f over KEE’s dirt. Florent Geroux will get the leg up on this one.
#6 – Green Chile (15/1) – Only a $7,000 yearling buy at KEE last year in September (46/46), this filly is bred by Don Alberto Corporation. True Nicks gives this Ghostzapper / Perseverante mating an ‘A+’ (a grade that I never even came close to in school). Mom did all her racing in Chile and was best in seven of her 17 starts, including wins in two G2 events. John A. Hancock is the trainer and he boasts three 2YO MSW wins at KEE in April dating back to 2018, second only to Mr. Ward. This gal has been training forwardly, having put in morning work five times total, with one bullet on 2/25/23 at TP breezing 3f from the gate in 35.6 (1/21) and his last two were 4f efforts at KEE. Luan Machado will handle the reins.
#7 – Sonofaship (6/1) – Don’t look now, but Mike Maker returns after winning with the only 2YO MSW race that he saddled at KEE’s Spring Meet last year (he’s started a total of three since 2018, with his only win being in 2022). You may have guessed it from the name, but this colt is by Midshipman out of an Elusive Quality mare (True Nicks didn’t love the mating tho, giving it a ‘D’ rating). He has a ½ brother that went 3/15 earning $172K (including a runner up finish in a G2), while winning as a FTS 2YO at GP, posting a roasting fast 102 EBSF (although it was in December of his 2YO season). Today’s runner sold down at the 2022 Texas Thoroughbred Association Yearling Sale for $80K, which is in the top quarter of his sire’s yearlings that sold last year (9/42). Tyler Gaffalione has been named as the rider.
#9 – Mangione (8/1) – This gelding is ‘The Maestro’s’ second entry in this one and, like so many it seems, WW bred, owns and trains him. His dam was nothing special on the racetrack and didn’t have to travel far for this mating to Ward’s own stallion – Hootenanny. This fella has a ½ sis that WW raced who earned black type, was 3 for 10 and banked $173K. ‘Shockingly’, she won at first asking at BEL in May of her 2YO year, flashing a terrific 90 EBSF. Gerardo Corrales gets the nod to ride.
Pick – #7 – Sonofaship – You have to respect Maker’s two-year-olds when they run at KEE in the spring. We like this one’s family, especially the ½ brother mentioned above. Also, it’s a great sign that this guy is getting the services of Gaffalione, as we have to believe that he likely had the opportunity to have the mount on Asmussen’s horse but chose this dude.
This one is gonna be a blast! Best of luck to all of the Game of Silks owners that have one entered in this dash and also to all my faithful Edgies.
Past the Wire’s Annual Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby seminar: