The graded stakes events for two year olds have begun in earnest. The Bashford Manor, Hollywood Juvenile Championship, and Sanford Stakes were held in July. The winners will move on to the next step, gradually adding distance over the coming months in preparation for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, or alternatively, the Nashua and Remsen. Let’s take a closer look at the juvenile colts who were victorious this month. Not to slight the fillies, profiles for them will be posted next week.
On July 2, EXFACTOR (Exchange Rate - Bright Magic, by Prized) sat in last place, then circled the field and passed his rivals like they were standing still, scoring a decisive 2 ¾ length win in the Bashford Manor (G-3), defeating Power World and Friscan (video).
Exfactor’s sire Exchange Rate is a son of one of the top sires in the world, Danzig. Exchange Rate won the Risen Star at 1 1/16 miles at three and the seven furlong Tom Fool (G-2) as a four year old. As a sire, he is known more for producing stakes winning fillies than colts (Ermine, Swap Fliparoo) and they win over all surfaces up to 1 1/8 miles. Exchange Rate has produced two runners, both winners, from Prized broodmares.
Exfactor’s dam Bright Magic won her maiden in her second attempt and followed up with a victory in the seven furlong Fleet Treat Stakes at Del Mar. She also won a 1 1/16 mile stakes at Fairplex over the dirt. In all, Bright Magic won four of twelve starts and placed in three additional stakes. As a broodmare she bore six foals, but Exfactor is the only one who has earned blacktype. Bright Magic’s full sister is stakes placed. A half sister, Take The Ribbon, won the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G3). Exfactor’s second dam Magical Flash is a half sister to the multiple Grade 1 heroine Magical Maiden, who in turn is the dam of Del Mar Oaks (G1) winner Miss Houdini, who is the dam of Arkansas Derby (G2) hero Papa Clem.
Exfactor receives stamina from his damsire the multiple Grade 1 hero Prized, who won the Breeder’s Cup Turf and San Luis Rey Stakes (G1). He also took the Swaps Stakes over his rival Sunday Silence. Prized’s daughters have produced such long-winded winners as the Australian Derby hero Nom Du Jeu and Secretariat Stakse winner Paddy O’Prado. Hollywood Starlet (G1) heroine Romance Is Diane also claims Prized as her damsire.
A special note about the light discolorations on Exfactor’s gray coat. He receives it compliments from a distant ancestor, The Tetrarch (Ire). Dubbed the “Spotted Wonder” due to his odd, spotted gray coat, The Tetrarch was undefeated in seven starts as a juvenile in 1913 and was voted England’s best two year old of the 20th Century. Unfortunately, he was injured while in training for his three year old debut. At stud, The Tetrarch produced only 130 foals, mostly due to his indifferent attitude towards the mares. Despite the small number of foals, he was a fantastic sire and can be found lurking in many top pedigrees worldwide. Many of his offspring received his spots. A hundred years later, Tetrach spots are still showing up on his descendants. In Exfactor’s case, he has inbreeding to The Tetrach only twice, once each through his sire and dam (cross-bred) in the ninth generation. (9S x 9D).
The pretty gray Exfactor has a stalking running style with moderate reach and quick action. He should have no difficulty as the race distances lengthen and should do well at 1 1/16 and 1 1/8 miles.
On July 17, MAJESTIC CITY (City Zip – It’ schemestrybaby, by Meadowlake) earned his second stakes victory in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship. He sat of the pace of Night Tide and Brigand, then once he got into gear, powered past those rivals with long, powerful strides (video).
Majestic City’s sire City Zip was best known for fighting with his nemesis Yonaguska through four graded sprints, including the Flash, Sanford, Hopeful, and Hutcheson Stakes. They split decisions, with City Zip taking the shorter six furlong contests. City Zip has become a top sire of runners over all surfaces. However, his dirt and synthetic competitors are distance challenged over a mile. He has no stakes winenrs past 1 1/6 miles over dirt. He’s produced one stakes winner over Polytrack at 1 1/18 miles, Lanes End hero With A City. On the other hand, City Zip’s turf offspring have won up to 1 3/16 miles and have placed at 1 ¼ miles.
It’schemestrybaby, the dam of Majestic City took four years and 23 practice races before finding a field she could best in her 24 start. During her career, she did finish second four times and third nine times. Her first foal, a Strong Contender gelding named Samuel, is 0 for 2. It’schemestrybaby is a half sister to the stakes placed sprinter She’s Raging. Majestic City’s second dam Not So Pleasant (by Pleasant Tap) was winless in nine tries. There’s some quality in this family as the fourth dam produced the multiple Grade/Group 1 turf router Golden Pheasant.
Majestic City’s damsire Meadowlake doesn’t offer as much stamina as Exfactor’s damsire. Meadowlake was a brilliant youngster who went undefeated in his three race career. Besides his maiden and an allowance race, Meadowlake demolished rivals by over eight lengths in the Arlington-Washington Futurity, which at the time, was a Grade 1 affair. At stud, Meadowlake produced precocious youngsters and he spent his career at the historic Darby Dan Farm. Meadowlake ranks in the top 50 as a broodmare sire this year. His daughters have borne stakes winners mostly up to 1 1/8 miles and their offspring include the sprinter/sire Henny Hughes, Apple Blossom heroine Seventh Street, Remsen winner Old Fashioned, and Statue of Liberty (9F T) winner Tishmeister. The latter is also by City Zip.
Majestic City’s second damsire, Champion Older Horse Pleasant Tap, won at 1 ¼ miles, but as a broodmare sire, his daughters have produced only three winners at classic distances. The majority of their offspring win between six and nine furlongs, so like Meadowlake, Pleasant Tap doesn’t offer a strong stamina influence.
Majestic City is a beautiful Chestnut with a flowing, long-striding gait. He prefers to be on or pressing the lead, but in his last race he sat comfortably in third until asked to pick it up. Majestic City has a strong acceleration and can overtake rivals quickly. He has the conformation of a two turn horse and should handle the juvenile distances up to 1 1/8 miles.
OVERDRIVEN (Tale of the Cat - Air France, by French Deputy) found trouble early in his debut, but overcame his rivals by 3 ½ lengths. He proved himself against winners in the Sanford Stakes (G2), posting a four length win over stakes placed Power World (video). Overdriven races for the same Repole/Pletcher team as Uncle Mo.
Overdriven is a half-brother to multiple Grade 2 hero Smooth Air (by Smooth Jazz). Smooth Air was also a win early youngster, taking the Jack Price Juvenile and placing in the Dr. Fager Stakes in Florida. At three, Smooth Air won the Hutcheson and was second to Big Brown in the Florida Derby. It earned him a trip to the Kentucky Derby where he placed eleventh. Smooth Air won the 1 1/8 mile Ohio Derby over a soft field, but overall was best as a miler, winning the Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) and placing in the Met Mile (G1) and Salvator Mile (G2). He was off the board in the longer Breeders’ Cup Classic and Whitney Handicap.
Overdriven’s sire Tale of the Cat gets winners over all surfaces. Like City Zip, his turf and synthetic performers can run farther distances than his dirt offspring. However, he is represented by only four dirt stakes winners at 1 1/8 miles, Haskell Invitational hero Lion Heart – who was second in the Kentucky Derby, Wood Memorial winner Tale of Ekati, San Antonio ‘Cap (G3) victor Spellbinder and Arlington Oaks heroine Catboat.
Air France, Overdriven’s dam, took her time winning her maiden, getting it done on the ninth try. She won two dirt sprint contests in an eleven race career. She’s produced six foals and interestingly, both of her sons are stakes caliber. Air France has four daughters, three raced. One has been in the money 18 of 22 tries during her career in the claiming ranks. The other two daughters are winless, but have only started twice each. Overdriven’s second dam Twin Propeller won twice as a stakes sprinter. Overdriven can claim Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf heroine Shared Account as part of his distaff family.
French Deputy, Overdriven’s damsire, was victorious in four straight races including a four length score in the one mile Jerome Handicap (G1) over Mr. Greeley. After his dominating victory in the Jerome, French Deputy placed second in an allowance and ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, with an overall career record of 6-4-1-0. In the breeding shed, French Deputy sired only seven stakes winners before shipping to Japan, where he’s enjoying a career at stud. His US winners include the Champion Older Male Left Bank, Grade 1 sprinters House Party and Mayo On The Side. He did get one stakes winner over dirt at 1 1/8 miles. As a broodmare sire, French Deputy’s daughters have produced stakes winners up to 1 1/8 miles, mainly in Japan, but his US runners include the aforementioned Smooth Air, Grade 2 winner Delightful Kiss and listed runner Johnnie Bye Night.
Overdriven’s second damsire Known Fact was named Champion Three Year Old in England after four decisive victories, including wins in the 2000 Guineas and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. His daughters get stakes winners mostly up to 1 1/8 miles, but two offspring, the veteran New York favorite Naughty New Yorker and Nikki, a Brazilian listed winner, have won at 1 ¼ miles or farther.
Like Exfactor and Majestic City, Overdriven is a brilliant precocious youngster. He should handle 1 1/6 miles without difficulty, but the farther he goes, the more vulnerable he may become against top company.