Generally, the fall is when the freshman sire race becomes
intriguing. Often it’s a question of whether the fast-starting speed
horses will get run down by the offspring of some of the later-maturing
types as juvenile race distances lengthen.
This year has been something of an anomaly, however, as the sires
viewed as the fastest and most precocious of the group never opened up
the early lead one might have anticipated. In fact it’s been two sons
of A.P. Indy, and a grandson, that have put up the most eye-catching performances to date. First is the Florida-based Congrats,
who did win at Saratoga at 2, but who scored his first stakes victory
at 4 and had to wait until the age of 5 to gain his first graded
triumph, a feat he achieved in the San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II).
Congrats already has 17 individual juvenile winners, including Wickedly Perfect, successful in the Darley Alcibiades Stakes (gr. II) and Sorrento Stakes (gr. III), and Puerto Rican graded scorer Check My Cheeks. He’s also already represented by eight stakes horses, including Jordy Y,
third to Wickedly Perfect in the Alcibiades and runner-up in the
Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes (gr. III), and the Champagne Stakes
(gr. I) third I'm Steppin It Up.