Welcome to 2YO Baby Talk 

June 24, 2024

Churchill Downs, Race 4 – Wednesday, June 26, 2024

By The 2YO EdgeMan

Welcome to my newly reinvented and renamed piece – ‘2YO Baby Talk’ – where I will strive to give you even more data and insight on Two-Year-Old MSW races in a slightly more condensed format. Don’t fret though, we will continue to share our single pick at the end of the article in our ‘Final Analysis’, but we’ll also add a little more commentary than we had previously. As always, we encourage you to make your own selection based on the laser-focused information that we bring you for these wonderful juvenile races. 

Please note that all trainer statistics that I share are based on data of only 2YO MSW races over the prior five years (2019 through 2023). Additionally, I will use the following abbreviations to denote which meet or tracks are being taken into consideration for these trainer stats: CM = win rate at today’s meet (most common) – example ‘Churchill Spring Meet’, CT = win rate at all meets at the current track, and AT = strike rate at all tracks (in races with a purse of $50,000+), unless otherwise noted. When the number of starts are relatively small, we’ll occasionally also list the trainer’s actual record. Many times we will additionally include the conditioner’s ROI for the meet/track that we are using.

Similarly, my sire statistics are based on the previous 12 years of data (2012 through 2023) in 2YO MSW races with a purse of $30,000 or higher. Some abbreviations that I’ll use for these sire stats include ALL = all runners, FTS = only First-Time starters, NTFS = Non First-Time starters, T = only turf races, and D = only dirt races. For First-Crop stallions, we’ll list the the number of winners that they’ve produced vs. the number of starters that they’ve had, at the time of our writing.

As before, we’ll focus on the horses that interest us the most in each race. We hope that you like the new format (and name) of our article and would enjoy hearing your comments. Here we go…

CD4:062624 – 4.5f on the Dirt. Fillies. 14 entered – 12 to run. The number of FTSers = 10, One start = 1, and Two Starts = 1.

Trainer Steve Asmussen and company in the Kentucky Downs winner’s circle with the Tanya Tucker Guitar Trophy. (Coady Photography)

#2 – Reliable Source (3/1 ML Fav) – Newby sire, Volatile, is 1/7 with his initial crop and this filly is trained by Steve Asmussen (CM = 22.6%; ROI = $1.50). His unraced dam is by Broken Vow and she has had seven other foals to race with three runners earning north of $100K – one of those won his first start at CD in a June MCL event. Today’s FTS gal was a $250K RNA as a yearling and she’s had six works for a total of 20 furlongs, including a bullet on 6/12/24 at KEE when she went 4f in 47.2 from the gate (1/31). 

#3 – Anakarina (5/1) – This filly is from the Freshman sire with most winners – Vekoma (8 for 14). Conditioner Dallas Stewart (CM = 66.7% – 4/6; ROI = $21.50); he is 0/4 at this 2024 CD Spring Meet. This filly’s Tapit mare did win in her third start at Fairplex in September of her two-year-old season. She also has thrown two other foals of racing age – one of those cracked the $100K earnings mark. Today’s runner is a homebred and she’s made one previous start ending fifth, nine lengths shy of the winner at CD on 5/17/24. She’s logged three 4f works since that race. Tyler takes over the riding duties.

Finnick the Fierce with trainer Rey Hernandez up. (Coady Photo)

#4 – Fleet Street (4/1) – Sired by Street Boss (13.9% for both ALL & NFST), this filly has had two starts. Most recently, on 5/24/24 here at CD she led for most of the 5f race but finished second, 2 ¼ behind the victory. She’s had two works since her last run. Her dam, by Summer Front, won less than $100K and this is her first foal. Today’s contestant is a homebred and will be saddled by Rey Hernandez (CM = 0/5). Luis Saez will be in the saddle for the second time.

#8 – And One More Time (9/2) – Excellent Second-Crop sire, Omaha Beach (ALL = 19/104, 18.3%; FTS = 13/54, 24.1%) is responsible for this filly. Her winless mom (by Blame) has thrown four others; three that have won $200+, one of those won first time out at Woodbine in Oct as a 2YO, one won in her second race at GP, also in Oct, and one was victorious at WO in her third start, again in Oct, who then went on to finish second, while still a baby in G1 company. $750K was the winning bid for today’s gal as a yearling (2/99) and she is prepped by Mark Casse (CM = 10.8%, ROI = $0.63; 2/20 here at CD in 2024). Six works and 23 furlongs is what shows on the worktab for this gal, including her last on 6/14/24 at CD when she blazed a half mile in 46.6 seconds (2/88). Jose will grab the reins.

#9 – Buriana (20/1) – D. Wayne (CM = 2/15, 13.3%, ROI = $1.07; 0/2 at CD in 2024) will sling the saddle on this Justify (ALL = 20.2%, FTS = 21/94, 22.3%) filly. Her mama, sired by Sky Mesa, bankrolled over $300K on the rack and she’s thrown two other foals, but neither has had much success. $625K was the hammer price (6/70) when she was a yearling. Five works and 18 furlongs are the prep for this gal’s racing debut. 

John Ortiz hugs Brightwork after her win in the Adirondack. (Susie Raisher)

#10 – Chatter (8/1) – This field’s second Vekoma (8/14) filly is trained by John Alexander Ortiz (CT = 0/22, all in the fall). Her dam (by Congrats) has not been good in the breeding shed (three foals, no wins), but won over $300K on the track, including a victory in her second start as a 2YO at Calder in September, and then a stakes win, also at Calder later that same year. Today’s runner sold for $125K as a yearling and is a FTS. Like the filly to her inside, she’s drilled on five occasions for a total of 18 furlongs. 

#12 – Lucy McGee (12/1) – Practical Joke (16.5% for both ALL and FTS) is the stallion behind this filly who will be dancing in the afternoon for the first time in her career. Mom (by Tizway) banked over $1/4 million on the track, but this is her first foal. She’s never been sold at public auction and has been prepared for her first start today by Michelle Lovell (CM = 1/1; CT = 1/27, 3.7%) with seven works, totaling 30 furlongs (including her last three at 5/8 of a mile). 

Final Analysis – Asmussen trains #2 and he always has to be respected as he’s The King of the CD Spring Meet, plus her penultimate work was eyecatching, hence her ML favortism is well deserved. Omaha Beach (#8) and Justify (#9) are the stand-out sires and they are trained by big-name trainers (M. Casse and The Coach, respectively), however, both conditioners have poor records with the babies here at CD in the spring. I love the base that Lovell has put into #12, but I hate the outside stall that she’ll have to break from and Michelle has only started one juvenile at this level under the Twin Spires in the spring (although that one did win). Vekoma (#3 and #10) has been on fire, but everyone knows that fact and those two likely will both be overplayed. Although it was a difficult choice, my pick is #8 And One More Time. In addition to her great sire, her last work was super impressive and I am drawn to her ½ siblings.  

Please check back in at www.PastTheWire.com soon for my piece on yet another great baby event on Thursday here at Churchill in this last week of the meet. Stay safe, cool, and be well, my Trendsettin Edgies! I’d really appreciate your comments on this new piece – please let me know what you like about it, but also more importantly, what we could do to make it even better.

Contributing Authors

The 2YO Edge Man, Past The Wire

The 2YO EdgeMan

The 2YO EdgeMan started following horse racing when his family moved to Louisville, KY when he was 9 years old.  The story goes that he...

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@Jonathanstettin Very well written article. The sport will be missed by many...The time is now

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