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HRN Original Blog:
Past the Grandstand

Joha: Full of Potential

Auctions present an opportunity for those involved in the Thoroughbred industry to find a future superstar, whether it be on the racing scene or in the breeding business. Bidding on a horse is one of the biggest risks one can take in the Thoroughbred world, but if one is fortunate enough to purchase a special horse, sales can also serve as one of the best launching pads for those seeking success in the business. Considering how large of a chance is taken when one bids on a horse at public auction, it must be nice to take that chance on a racing prospect that already has a grade one victory to its credit. Such a horse clearly already has experience and class, thus leaving the biggest chance to be the amount of money a buyer is willing to spend.


Prospective buyers nearly had the chance to spend a large sum of money on perhaps the most exciting horse that had been entered in the upcoming Keeneland January Horses of All-Ages Sale: Joha, who captured the 2012 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I). The Keeneland January Horses of All-Ages Sale inaugurated in 1956, and beginning in 1961, the auction has been among the elite sales that grace Keeneland’s annual calendar. Providing opportunities to bid on horses of all ages, including both racing and breeding stock, the 2013 edition of this sale has 1,893 Thoroughbreds cataloged for the auction that will take place from January 7 to January 11, spanning five sessions. Joha was set to sell in the first session as hip 381 as part of Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency’s consignment, but was declared out of the sale. But as a newly-turned three-year-old, high hopes are pinned upon the colt nonetheless and 2013 could serve as an opportunity for Joha to prove his prowess again.


A colt that began his racing career at Keeneland, Joha broke his maiden in his third start, which came at Belmont in his first turf try. He then prevailed in the six-furlong Colin Stakes over Woodbine’s all-weather surface prior to finishing a game second, beaten just a head by Balance the Books, in the With Anticipation Stakes (GII) on the grass at Saratoga.


But his best race yet certainly occurred when he returned to Keeneland, contesting in the grade one Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity. Breaking sharply from the inside post, Joha held the advantage over his twelve rivals as they raced towards the clubhouse turn, leading the field around the initial curve as he galloped comfortably, posting a steady first quarter-mile of 23.90 seconds. Joha continued to lead his opponents down the backstretch, maintaining his advantage around the final turn. Despite pressure from his competitors, Joha sustained his lead into the homestretch, continuing to gallop along the rail. Rallies from his adversaries threatened Joha’s lead, but the dark bay/brown colt dug deep, finding more in late stretch to triumph by one length.


The remainder of Joha’s juvenile campaign was far from as stellar as it was during its peak, as he finished eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. I) and ninth in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (g. II). But nonetheless, this colt is full of potential, having exhibited so throughout the summer and early fall of his two-year-old season. His international-influenced pedigree , laced with horses that found stakes success beyond the age of two, suggests that Joha can find his groove again and resurface as one of the top young horses in the nation.

 

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Older Comments about Joha: Full of Potential...

Mary, I really love reading your work, wish mine was little more ok but still you write beautifully. I agree with you on Joha. I would not just forget those loses but they in my opinion and yours I do believe does not show that he is uneffective in what he does. I agree think he is full of promise. I wish I could talk with you more often. By the way this is Zee.
He look's like a pretty versatile runner ... any idea why he was taken out of the sale?

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About Mary Cage

 


Mary Cage, a 20-year-old avid fan of horse racing, has been around horses all her life, having owned, shown, and judged them for as long as she can remember. She began writing her own horse racing blog, Past the Grandstand, in August 2011 and has since been published in America's Horse, American Racehorse and the Appaloosa Journal, as well as with the websites of The Blood-Horse and The Equine Chronicle. She has also had photos published with Paulick Report and Thoroughbred Daily News. In addition, she works as one of the social media coordinators for the Texas Thoroughbred Association.


In her personal horse experience, Mary has been around horses all her life and has won several Appaloosa National Champion and Reserve World Champion titles in the show ring. 


Mary has always aspired to have a career with horses and since her love for horse racing began, she has dreamed of pursuing a career in the Thoroughbred racing industry, possibly as a writer/photographer and marketing/communications specialist. She is currently attending the University of North Texas, where she is studying photojournalism with a minor in marketing. With this blog, she hopes to show readers horse racing through the eyes of a young fan as she writes about assorted horse racing topics.

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