HAVANA (Dunkirk - Missy Turtle,
by Kyle's Our Man)
RACE RECORD AND PEDIGREE:
Havana brought $500K from Coolmore after flashing a
furlong in :09 ¾, the co-fastest time of the 2013 Barretts Two Year
Olds in Training March auction. Havana's precocity is a no-brainer.
Sire won his debut? Check. Dam won her debut? Check. Damsire won his
debut? Check. Siblings do well in their first start? Yep. Havana
will enter the Breeders' Cup Juvenile starting gate with only two
starts under his girth. He has a 2-2-0-0 ($348,000) record.
Havana's sire Dunkirk was a $3.7
million 2007 Keeneland September Yearling. By Unbridled's Song out
of Kentucky Oaks heroine Secret Status, Dunkirk didn't race until
January of his three year old season. He was an underachiever, with
only five lifetime starts and no stakes wins on his resume. The
expensive colt was a runner-up in the Florida Derby then finished
eleventh after a rough trip in the Kentucky Derby. In his final race,
Dunkirk made the pace for a mile in the Belmont Stakes. He fought
courageously, losing the race, but holding off Mine That Bird for
second place by a neck. Dunkirk suffered a fractured leg after the
Belmont and was retired. As a stallion, the pretty gray has leapt to
the head of the class in part to Havana's victory. Dunkirk has sired
a G-3 winner, two listed stakes winners and two stakes placed
Havana's distaff line is filled with
listed stakes quality sprinters. Three of his five half siblings
raced/won, and one, Among the Willows (by Brahms) is stakes placed.
Havana's dam is a half sister to two
stakes winning sprinters, Chief J Strongbow (by Chief Honcho) and Egg
Head (by Honor Grades). Havana's second dam Redding Ridge (by Screen
King) was a multiple stakes winning sprinter. Havana's damsire won
three of 13 races in his career, including the Nashua Stakes and the
Gotham. Other than Havana, Kyle's Our Man is the broodmare sire of
only one other stakes winner.
is brilliantly fast and so far has carried his speed a mile. Can he
handle 1 1/6 miles? His pedigree says yes. His speed demon running
style so far? Not so much. Honor Code was closing like a freight
train on Havana in the Champagne and if Castellano hadn't taken a
detour to snatch a hot dog out of a railbird's hand, they would have
won the race. Not to knock Havana, he did dig in at the end. His
final time of 1:35.81 is comparable to that of Shanghai Bobby and
Union Rags, who, incidentally, won their editions of the Champagne by
Things rarely go as planned in the
Breeders' Cup races. Horses endure horrid trips, stumble, bump,
check, get boxed in, go wide, you name it. The $1 million dollar
question is, can Havana rate if necessary? Can he win in a prolonged
battle? Of course, we won't know until he does, and the Juvenile Turf
is a steep learning curve. Keep him as a factor in your handicapping,
just in case.
WE MISS ARTIE (Artie Schiller -
Athena's Gift, by Fusaichi Pegasus)
RACE RECORD AND PEDIGREE:
We Miss Artie was a $90K 2012 Keeneland
September Yearling purchased by prominent owners Ken and Sarah
Ramsey. The son of a Breeders' Cup Mile hero, the young colt has won
sprinting over turf and around two turns on polytrack. He placed
sprinting on dirt. In the With Anticipation Stakes (G-3), We Miss
Artie ran out of steam and faded to sixth after going three wide on
the turns. He rebounded in the Breeders' Futurity, proving that
neither rain nor polytrack would deter him from victory. He has a
4-2-1-0 ($307,000) race record.
The word “versatile” sums up We
Miss Artie's pedigree. His third crop sire Artie Schiller, a son of
El Prado out of the Santa Anita, Del Mar and Hollywood Oaks heroine
Hidden Light, has roughly 50 from 200 winners over dirt. They are
turf and Polytrack lovers, especially at Keeneland. Artie Schiller's
daughter My Conquestadory won the Alcibiadies the day before We Miss
Artie's Breeder's Futurity victory.
We Miss Artie has a half sister by
world champ Johannesburg. She raced four times and was successful in
her last race, a maiden claiming at Woodbine in June, 2013. Their
dam Athena's Gift never won a stakes. She's a half sister to the
graded stakes placed Rushin' to Alter (by Pulpit), who could run on
anything, turf, dirt, mud, sprints, routes, you name it. We Miss
Artie's second dam Russian Bride was a stakes winner who could also
run over every surface.
Most of us know We Miss Artie's
damsire, 2000 Kentucky Derby Champ Fusaichi Pegasus. He's a young
broodmare sire with only ten stakes winners. We Miss Artie is his
first Grade 1 stakes winner in the U.S. In keeping with the
versatility theme, the offspring of Fusaichi Pegasus and that of his
daughters win over all surfaces.
We Miss Artie is Mr. Versatility. I
just know that he's going to turn into one of those horses who can do
anything. 1 1/16 miles is right up his alley and as he matures, he
could go longer. We Miss Artie can press the pace or sit farther
back, so there's no need to nurse his speed nor is he dependent on a
fast pace to make his run.
Although he's placed over dirt and with
the right crowed on the right day, he could win. However We Miss
Artie might be better over turf and polytrack.
Winners of the Breeders' Futurity don't
fare so well in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Last year's winner Joha,
headed to the Juvenile Turf and placed eighth. We have to go back
four years to Noble's Promise to find a Breeders' Futurity winner who
hit the board in the Juvenile.
I'd be more inclined to bet We Miss
Artie in the Juvenile Turf rather than the Juvenile.