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Breeders Cup 2015

Belmont Stakes 2012 Bloodlines: Optimizer

by Jarrod Horak
Which horse has the best pedigree to handle twelve furlongs in the final leg of the Triple Crown on Saturday, June 9 at Belmont Park? My Belmont Stakes alphabetical list continues with Optimizer.  
Optimizer’s sire English Channel (by Smart Strike) won 13 of 23 races from 2004-07. The turf marathon specialist won such prestigious races as the G1 Secretariat, G1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, G1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, G1 United Nations, and G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf. He earned more than $5.3 million in his career and in addition to Optimizer he is the sire of stakes winners Skyring, Strait of Dover, and Star Channel. His currently stands for a $25k stud fee at Lane’s End Farm in Versailles, Kentucky.
English Channel’s sire Smart Strike (by Mr. Prospector) went 6-for-8 in 1995-96 including wins in Monmouth’s G3 Salvator Mile and G1 Iselin. He has sired many stakes winners including Curlin (2nd Belmont Stakes), Lookin At Lucky, and My Miss Aurelia.
English Channel’s dam Belva is an unraced daughter of Theatrical-IRE (by Nuryev), bred in Kentucky by the late Allen Paulson. She is responsible for multiple graded placed Sedgefield (by Smart Strike), who finished 5th in the ’07 Kentucky Derby.
Optimizer’s dam Indy Pick (by A.P. Indy) captured 2 of 6 starts in New York. Her lone stakes try resulted in an 8th place finish in the 2001 Gazelle (G1). She was bred/owned by Ogden Phipps and trained by Shug McGaughey.   
A.P. Indy (by Seattle Slew) won the G1 Hollywood Futurity in 1991 to end his juvenile season. In 1992, he captured the G2 San Rafael, G1 SA Derby, G2 Peter Pan, and G1 Belmont Stakes. He wrapped up his stellar career with a victory in the G1 BC Classic. He sired more than 135 stakes winners including Bernardini, Mineshaft, and Belmont Stakes winner Rags To Riches.
Indy Pick’s dam Fantastic Find (by Mr. Prospector) captured 6 of 14 starts in 1989-90 including the G1 Hempstead.   
Optimizer has stamina influences throughout his pedigree. He has lost eight straight conventional dirt starts in the stakes ranks and would probably appreciate a return to preferred turf footing for trainer Wayne Lukas. He is graded placed on dirt and has the breeding to handle twelve furlongs at Belmont Park on June 9.    


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