Saturday June 16 was the start of the juvenile stakes races
at major tracks. Hollywood Park traditionally a showcase for young talent,
kicked off the first tentative steps on next year’s Triple Crown trail. I know, we just finished this year’s, but
it’s a long, long road and some like to get a head start.
Amarish was sent to post as the favorite of the Willard
L. Proctor Memorial and he didn’t disappoint. The Jeff Bonde
trainee was rank in the beginning stages of the race as his jockey Edwin
Maldonado tried to rate him off of the flank of pace setter Run To
Ground. Clearly, Amarish didn’t enjoy
this tactic, as he pulled strongly until given his head at the top of the stretch. Once let loose, the bay gelding wasn’t
challenged by the field and coasted home a 4 ½ length winner over Moreno’s Mine. Typical of a very inexperienced horse,
Amarish drifted slightly from the left handed whip. His final time for the 5 ½ furlong contest was
a swift 1:04.55.
AMARISH (Scat Daddy -
Issues, by Awesome
Again) is now undefeated in two starts.
A May foal, Amarish zipped a furlong in :10.00 at the OBS March Two Year
Old In Training Sale. He was purchased for $200,000 by Jerry Durant. Amarish won
his maiden impressively by over seven lengths against Moreno’s Mine, getting 4
½ furlongs in a sharp :50.98.
By the sensational young sire Scat Daddy, Amarish has the
pedigree to improve with distance. His sire won his maiden, Sanford Stakes
(G-2) and Champagne Stakes, but was a distant fourth behind the spectacular
Street Sense in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
At three, Scat Daddy made his presence known on the Derby trail with
victories in the Fountain of Youth (G-2) and Florida Derby (G-1). However, Scat Daddy could do no better than
18 in the Kentucky Derby. He sustained a tendon injury during his rough Derby
trip and retired with a 9-5-1-1 ($1,334,300) racing record.
Scat Daddy is the leading second crop sire and dominated the
first crop sire list last year. The son
of World Champ Johannesburg is producing tough runners who like to win. Scat
Daddy had his first two Classic representatives this year. His son Sunland Park
Derby champ Daddy Nose Best finished an even tenth while European import Daddy
Long Legs didn’t handle the dirt and was last.
We don't know how far the Scat Daddy babies will run, but his progeny
have been victorious up to 1 1/8 miles over dirt, 1 3/16 miles over synthetic
and 1 1/4 miles over turf.
Amarish has a classy female family. His dam Issues didn’t
make it to the races until she was three, but it was worth the wait. Starting
out in the maiden claiming ranks, Issues won her debut and a claiming race
before tackling stakes horses. Issues placed third in a listed stakes at Calder
and spent the rest of her career in the allowance/optional claimer ranks. She
won up to a mile over dirt and placed going longer. Issues retied with a nice
8-4-1-2 ($68,525) record. Amarish is her first foal to race. His older sister hasn’t made it to the
track. Issues is a half sister to a
stakes placed runner and Amarish’s second dam Darlin Echo (by Eastern Echo)
placed in the Cinderella Stakes. Darlin Echo is a half sister to Jockey Club
Gold Cup (G-1) hero Wagon Limit. Amarish’s
fifth dam is 1979 Broodmare of the Year Smartaire, dam of Champion Juvenile
Filly Smart Angle, and the G-2 stakes winners Quadratic and Smarten, sire of
the top sire Smart Strike.
Canadian bred Awesome Again, the damsire of Amarish, was a top competitor on
the racetrack. A late maturing type, he earned victories in the Queen’s Plate
and Whitney Handicap. As a four year
old, despite a perfect season cumulating in a victory over Champions Silver
Charm and Skip Away in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Awesome Again was denied an
a broodmare sire, Awesome Again has consistently been one of the top 100
broodmare sires in the country. He’s a
fairly young broodmare sire and his daughters have yet to produce a stakes
winner at classic distances. Since Awesome Again is represented by six winners
at classic distances, including Champions Ghostzapper and Ginger Punch, there
is no reason to think that his stamina won’t transfer to his daughters’
second damsire Eastern Echo adds win early speed to the pedigree. Eastern Echo,
a son of the great Damascus, is best known as the sire of the top California
stallion Swiss Yodeler and another son, Buddy Gil, was a long-shot winner of
the Santa Anita Derby (G-1). Eastern Echo was a middling sire and broodmare
sire, but one of his daughters did produce a colt by Amarish’s sire, Scat
Daddy. That colt, Swag Daddy, won two New York State-bred races at a mile.
of the Willard L. Proctor Memorial are generally flash in the pan
sprinters who don’t progress much past their two year old season. Only three
colts in the last 17 years have continued on to become graded stakes winners; Swiss
Yodler, Champion Sprinter Squirtle Squirt, and 2011 Triple Crown hopeful J P’s
Gusto. That being said, Amarish has the
pedigree to stretch out to at least a mile to 1 1 /16 miles. He could possibly
handle 1 1/8 miles in the right company, depending on how his running style
evolves. Currently, he’s winning on just raw talent and should improve once he
figures it all out. Amarish is a colt to
keep an eye on for the upcoming Del Mar Meet.
By Laurie Ross, Horse Racing Nation Pedigree Expert