The legendary sire line
of Northern Dancer was clearly evident in the major two year old
races on both coasts this week. At Saratoga Shanghai Bobby,
Northern Dancer's descendant through his grandson Storm Cat,
celebrated a victory in the Hopeful Stakes (G-2). Two days later,
Rolling Fog, a great grandson of Deputy Minister, who himself is a
grandson of Northern Dancer, captured the Del Mar Futurity (G-1).
Given the influence that Northern Dancer has in modern Thoroughbred
bloodlines, this isn't surprising.
Additionally, both colts
have connections to Blushing Groom. Known as a leading broodmare sire,
Blushing Groom was a French Champion Juvenile and as a sire was
designated as a Brilliant/Classic Chef-de-race. His brilliance is
evident in Posse, the sire of Rolling Fog and in Orientate, the
damsire of Shanghai Bobby.
Lets take a closer look
at the pedigrees of Shanghai Bobby and Rolling Fog. Both the Hopeful
Stakes and Del Mar Futurity are “Win and You're In” Breeders' Cup
races, meaning both colts are guaranteed a spot in the starting gate
of the Breeders'
Cup Juvenile in two months.
In the Hopeful
Stakes (G-2) on September 3 at Saratoga, Shanghai Bobby went
wide the entire seven furlongs while pressing the pace in third.
Rounding the far turn, he took command and opened up on the field.
Pletcher trainee crossed the wire 3 ¾ lengths in front and
stopped the clock in 1:22.72.
Shanghai Bobby is now
undefeated in three starts, including a victory in the 5 ½ furlong
Track Barron Stakes at Belmont. The speedy colt won the Track Barron
in 1:02. 87, just a tick off of the track record of 1:02.26.
Shanghai Bobby is bred to
be a precocious runner. His sire gets win-early runners over all
surfaces. Harlan's Holiday's dirt/synthetic offspring are best up to
1 1/6 miles, but his turf progeny can handle 1 1/8 miles. Besides
Shanghai Bobby, Harlan's Holiday's other 2012 juvenile stakes winners
include American Sugar (Prairie Gold Lassie), Zeewat (Cavonnier
Juvenile) and the Irish Gr.-2 winner My Special J's. Harlan Holiday's
son Carson's Crown placed in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship
Shanghai Bobby is the
first foal produced by his dam. Steelin' didn't make her debut until
February of her three year old season and needed six starts to win
her maiden. She evolved into a versatile allowance class runner in
California, winning races up to 1 1/6 miles over dirt, turf and
Polytrack. As a four year old, Steelin' won a listed sprint stakes
at Fairplex. Steelin is the best foal produced by her dam Steel
Band (by Carson City). Steel Band is a full sister to City Band,
heroine of the Oak Leaf (G-1) and Golden Rod Stakes (G-3). Shanghai
Bobby's third dam Wedding Band (by Mighty Appealing) was a listed
stakes winner. There are a few other minor blacktype runners
sprinkled throughout this female family.
Orientate (Mt. Livermore
- Dream Team, by Cox's Ridge) is Shanghai Bobby's damsire. Although
he won up to 1 1/16 miles, Orientate earned Champion Sprinter honors
after a victory in the 2002 Breeders' Cup Sprint. He's a young
damsire and besides Shanghai Bobby, is represented by only one other
stakes winner, 2011 Mountaineer Juvenile Stakes winner Backdoor
Shanghai Bobby has the
conformation of a sprinter-miler. He isn't as compact as some
sprinters, although he has a slightly upright shoulder. The leggy
colt has a thick neck and defined muscular shoulder, balanced by
powerful hindquarters. He appears to be slightly cow-hocked and has
longer than average cannons. While racing, Shanghai Bobby's gait has
slightly high knee action, no wasted motion, average reach for his
build and no paddling of his forelegs. In the Champagne Stakes, once
clear of the field, Shanghai Bobby raced a bit greenly down the
stretch, ducking slightly towards the rail in response to the whip.
This isn't cause for concern since it is only his third start.
Shanghai Bobby will
likely be distance challenged and may find 1 1/16 miles at the top of
his range. He may point for the Champagne Stakes (G-1) at Belmont on
October 6 or train up to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
In the seven furlong Del
Mar Futurity (G-1), Rolling Fog pressed the pace set by Caballo
De Cielo for most of the race. Rounding the far turn Rolling Fog put
that foe away and held a convincing 1 ½ length lead in the stretch.
Trained by Bob
Baffert, Rolling Fog flashed under the wire in 1:22.96 and 1 ¼
lengths ahead of the race favorite Know More.
Rolling Fog became a
Grade 1 Stakes winner in only his second start. His sire Posse passes
along brilliant win-early speed to his offspring. Most of his babies
are best up to 1 1/16 miles over dirt, turf and Polytrack, although
he does have a turf winner at 1 1/8 miles and two stakes placed
runners at the same distance.
Rolling Fog's dam Fog
Dance raced just once, placing seventh in her two year old debut.
Fog Dance bore seven foals. Six have raced, five are winners and she
has a yearling Mineshaft foal. Rolling Fog is her first offspring to
earn blacktype. Rolling Fog is descended from a quality distaff
line. His dam is a half sister to the stakes winner Quiet Dance (by
Quiet American). Quiet Dance bore 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam
the graded stakes winners American Dance, Congressionalhonor, and the
stakes winners Dance Quietly and Quiet Giant. Quiet Dance is also
the granddam of Mother Goose (G-1) heroine Buster's Ready. Rolling
Fog traces back to the Champion mare and blue hen Gallorette.
(Unbridled - Trolley Song, by Caro (IRE)) the damsire of Rolling Fog
won his debut and then the Breeders' Cup Juvenile in only his third
start. As a three year old, the pretty gray colt won the Florida
Derby and Wood Memorial, but was fifth in the Kentucky Derby as the
favorite. Unbridled's Song offers a touch of stamina to the pedigree
as his daughters' offspring win at all distances. He is represented
by three winners at Classic distances (1 ¼ – 1 ½ miles).
Rolling Fog has an
average reach, smooth, efficient gait with no wasted motion or
paddling. He appears to have the conformation of a sprinter/miler
type, with a short, thick neck and strong, muscular body. Rolling
Fog should be best as a sprinter/miler up to 1 1/16 miles. Rolling
Fog may be pointed to the FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita on