Trainer Bob Baffert was loaded for the Southwest Stakes. Loaded
with stakes winners, that is. His charge
Castaway became a graded stakes winner a month after winning his debut at Santa
Anita. Marooned in the far outside post,
Castaway broke outward slightly, but quickly passed horses to sit off the flank
of pacesetter Majestic Stride. Rounding
the far turn, Castaway found another gear and opened up through the stretch, sailing
home 3 ¾ lengths in front of the late running longshot Jake Mo. Castaway completed the Southwest mile in
1:38.09. The cleverly named son of
Priceless Storm is the latest buzz horse to emerge from the Baffert barn. Does he have the ability to become a classic
contender or is Castaway just another throw-out?
Sense - Priceless Storm, by Storm Cat) is a son of this year’s leading second
crop sire. Street Sense made history on
the racetrack. After winning his maiden over Arlington’s Polytrack in his
second start, Street Sense finished third in the Arlington-Washington Futurity
and Lanes’ End Breeders’ Futurity. Switching to the Churchill dirt for the 2006
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, the son of Street Cry unleashed his superior talent on
an unsuspecting field of what would eventually become an average group of two
year olds. Guided by Churchill’s perennial leading rider Calvin Borel, Street
Sense lagged near the back of the pack in the opening stages of the Juvenile.
Under the characteristic rail-hugging guidence of Borel, Street Sense cut the
corner around the last turn and poured it on, winning the Grade 1 race by a
record-setting ten lengths. Street Sense
received the Eclipse Award as Champion Two Year Old.
Street Sense’s trainer Carl Nafzger bucked tradition and gave the
early Kentucky Derby favorite only two prep races for the Triple Crown series.
No modern horse had won the Derby with so few starts as a three year old. In his three year old debut, Street Sense won
the Tampa Bay Derby over Any Given Saturday by a nose, getting the 1 1/16 miles
in 1:43.11, a new track record. Switching
to Polytrack for the Blue Grass Stakes, Street Sense suffered a nose defeat
over a surface he disliked. Heading to Churchill Downs, the scene of his
greatest triumph, Street Sense was sent off as the favorite of the 2007
Kentucky Derby. Once again, he received Borel’s confident rail-skimming ride
and won the roses over two very good colts, Hard Spun and Curlin. Street Sense entered the record books as the
only Breeders’ Cup Juvenile hero to win the Kentucky Derby.
Unfortunately, the Two Year Old Champ’s Triple Crown bid was
foiled, as he was handed a nose defeat in the Preakness Stakes by the eventual
Three Year Old Champ, Curlin. Skipping
the Belmont Stakes, Street Sense aimed for the Jim Dandy and Travers’ Stakes,
earning victories in both races. The Travers would turn out to be the last
victory by the brilliant colt. He was
beaten 1 ¼ lengths by Hard Spun in the Kentucky Cup Classic over Polytrack,
then recorded a shocking defeat in the Breeders’ Cup Classic over Monmouth’s
sloppy track. Street Sense checked in
fourth, beaten over ten lengths by Curlin.
Sold to Darley Stud in 2007, Street Sense was immediately retied
sound at the end of his three year old season, depriving his fans and racing of
what could have been a top older horse in a top, competitive crop of
Street Sense’s first crop are three year olds. They aren’t super
precocious, but his early runners started winning sprint races in August. The
stallion’s progeny are successful over all surfaces, but appear best over dirt
and turf. So far, none have raced beyond
1 1/8 miles, but based upon their sire’s breeding and record on the track,
Street Sense’s offspring should handle Classic distances.
Castaway’s dam Priceless Storm was a late-developing three year
old, needing seven starts to get her elusive maiden win. That victory was the
only time Priceless Storm visited the winners’ circle. An allowance class runner, the bay daughter
of Storm Cat retired with an 11-1-2-1 record.
Castaway is her first foal to earn blacktype.
Castaway descends from the influential female family of LaTroinne. Priceless Storm is a half-sister to Master
Command, a multiple graded stakes winner at 1 1/8 miles. Priceless Storm is also a half-sister to the
multiple Grade 3 heroine Aurora Lights and that one’s full sister, the stakes
placed X Star.
Castaway’s second dam Lady Lochinvar doesn’t own any blacktype,
but she is a full sister to La Gueriere, a Grade 1 turf heroine. La Gueriere is the dam of Personal Ensign
(G-1) winner Icon Project and she is the grand-dam of sprint specialist
Munnings. Lady Lochinvar’s full brother is the graded stakes winner and sire
Lost Soldier. Lady Lochinvar’s half-siblings
include the track record setters Al Mamoon and Long War. Others top horses from this immediate family
include multiple Grade 1 turf horse Honor In War, and Super Derby hero Apart.
The legendary Storm Cat is Castaway’s damsire. He is the
leading U.S. broodmare sire in terms of earnings and second by number of
winners. Storm Cat is a chameleon of sorts.
Bred to mares with distance oriented pedigrees, he produced two turn runners,
and those mares with predominantly sprint influences would produce
sprinter/miler types. This was the key to his remarkable success in the
Storm Cat is excelling as a broodmare sire as well. Like their
Cat’s daughters are versatile producers. Their offspring win over every surface
and at every distance. Often the sire of
their foals is the determining factor for distances and surfaces the foals will
Castaway receives stamina attributes from his second
damsire, Big ‘Cap hero Lord At War, and third damsire, the great Secretariat.
Street Sense has sired ten foals from daughters of Storm
Cat. Four have raced and three are winners. Castaway is the first blacktype
winner. Street Sense’s sire Street Cry
has ten starters and six winners out of Storm Cat mares. None have earned
Castaway, a $435 Keeneland September Yearling purchase,
appears to be of average height, but he is a lightly built colt. He’s well-balanced
with a deep, slanting shoulder, short back and well-formed hip. The bay colt
has a smooth stride with excellent leg extension but he has slightly high knee
action. Castaway has led or pressed the
pace in both of his starts. He’s clearly talented, but if Castaway uses that tactic
in the Kentucky Derby, the colt will likely succumb to the pace. His pedigree
suggests that 1 ¼ miles is within his scope, but many maiden to stakes winning colts fail
to weather the storms of the Kentucky Derby. It's too soon to toss out Castaway, but let's see him
handle Grade 1 competition before reserving a stall for him in Kentucky.
By HRN Pedigree Analyst Laurie Ross.