Call me the High Priest of Hyperbole if you must, but after all, someone has to be the answer to the all-important question, “Hey Zipse, who is the most impressive juvenile you’ve seen so far this year?” Let me tell you, I have seen the signs many times before to be able to recognize a budding star in the making, and this year they all point to Sign. So much so, that I can confidently say no two-year-old has impressed me more in 2012 than Sign did in her career debut on Sunday at the Spa.
Photo courtesy of NYRA & Adam Coglianese
Sent off at 10-1 in a field littered with well-bred young misses, the bay daughter of Pulpit looked the part in the post parade, and then proceeded to trump her good looks ten times over when the race actually began. Breaking just a tad awkwardly from the rail, the Al Stall trainee swiftly got into stride to grab a forwardly placed stalking position on the inside through an opening quarter-mile in 22.56 seconds. I was a bit worried that she would be a big headstrong from there, but instead she looked as comfortable as could be into the far turn.
Smoothly getting out of harm’s way on the rail, Sign swung to the outside and took complete command of the race within a few strides after straightening out for rider, Rosie Napravnik. Nearing the wire, she transformed Tom Durkin’s tone into one of reverence as she glided home an 11 ¾ length winner while covering the six panels in 1:10.37.
Sign is bred to be a runner. A homebred for Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm, she has been blessed with the wonderful bloodlines of the historic farm. Sign was produced by the stakes winning Mighty mare, Cross. As a big fan of her sire Pulpit, and the rich pedigree that is commonplace among the sons and daughters of Claiborne, there is no reason to have any qualms of this one doing just about anything pedigree wise. Also in her favor is that Stall is a master horseman who knows how to be patient and develop his stars into their full potential … see Blame.
Speaking of her trainers patient nature, expecting to see the impressive filly rushed to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies might be a case of too much too soon. The Louisiana and Kentucky based trainer has already mentioned the Grade 2 Pocahontas at Churchill Downs in October as the next possible target for for Sign. Enjoy the replay of her debut performance, and join me in looking forward to wherever we get to see her next.