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Zipse At The Track

Ever So Lucky – Ever So Impressive

A flashy juvenile son of Indian Charlie rolls down the Churchill Downs stretch in seemingly effortless fashion. Either I have a case of deja vu, or this has happened before … Oh well, I’ll think of it sooner or later. In the meantime, let me tell you about one of the more visually impressive two-year-old debuts of the year. Purchased for $95,000 as a yearling last September, Ever So Lucky has been turning heads for much of 2011. Yesterday we were finally able to see the public unveiling of the much talked about member of the Jonathan Sheppard barn, and it proved worth the wait.

Bet down to odds of 4-5, the good looking bay colt broke a half-step slowly before pulling rider Julien Leparoux right to the lead. Laying down solid early fractions of :22.76 and :46.03 while facing brief pressure from three different runners, he began to lengthen his lead approaching the stretch. Wearing the familiar green and white silks of Augustin Stable, Ever So Lucky leveled off like a much more experienced horse and opened up a commanding four length advantage at the eighth pole. From there he was confidently ridden and under wraps as he hit the wire 3 ¼ lengths ahead of Golden Ticket, who was far ahead of the rest. Final time for the easy 6 ½ panels was a solid 1:17.42.


[How high should Ever So Lucky climb in HRN's 2012 Kentucky Derby Contender's list?]

Out of the Summer Squall mare, Bally Storm, he had been promising this kind of talent since the spring, and considering the manner in which he did it yesterday, you would have to say it was mission accomplished. Ever So Lucky was the sales topper at $600,000 of the May Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale after working an impressive eighth in :10 1/5. Since then he had done nothing but impress, first putting a string of excellent works in at Delaware Park, before coming to Kentucky and working lights-out at Keeneland. His final work before his debut came at Churchill and the :46 1/5 bullet breeze signaled his readiness for the races.

As for what’s next for the youngster, I would not expect too much too fast, as Sheppard is well known for his patience. I have always been a fan of the veteran trainer, and it would be a pleasure to see him with a legitimate 2012 Kentucky Derby type of horse. Seeing what I saw yesterday, let me be one of the first to say, I think in Ever So Lucky, he may have just that.



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Older Comments about Ever So Lucky – Ever So Impressive...

I know speed figures aren't everything, but heard the Beyer came back a little light (around 80). Though it would be cool to see Jonathan Sheppard on the triple crown trail next year, it makes me wonder what type of horses were behind him.
Consortium's race was a total set up from a pace/trip scenario. But he sure took care of business like you would expect from a good one. Can't wait to see him again.
What a week for juvenile colt maiden winners ... Ever So Lucky, Hierro, Consortium, and now Empire Way, all looked like soon to be stakes horses.
Charlie still stands for 70K and is getting quality mares and has produced a lot of winners. I think another 10F horse other than Fleet Indian would lend credence to his ability to sire a classic winner, but I don't feel it is beyond reason in spite of the In Excess sire line. War Emblem (Our Emblem- Mr. P=Raise a Native) and Smarty Jones (Elusive Quality-Gone West-Mr.P) both came from prety speedy sire lines to win the Derby.
  • GlennCraven1 · I'm with you on needing to see another 10f horse besides Fleet Indian before believing there's more than a 1 or 2 percent change that Indian Charlie can get a classic-distance horse. ... I'd say Fleet Indian was a freak, and I definitely feel the same of Smarty Jones, although particularly in Smarty's case his dam's side provided a very odd mix of exceptional speed OR exceptional stamina with little influence at the middle-distance range. So maybe that helps explain him. ... Ever So Lucky gets more extreme stamina influence from some of the mares in his pedigree than, say, Uncle Mo, who I never believed would effectively get beyond a mile and a sixteenth. But will it be enough to overcome a sire who gets progeny with an average winning distance of 6.6 furlongs and an average maximum winning distance of 7.15f. · 2654 days ago
Same broodmare sire as Summer Bird, who won at 10f twice and 12f. Lends quite a bit of stamina to his pedigree.
  • GlennCraven1 · Summer Bird's sire won the Belmont Stakes. Do we really need to look to his broodmare sire to explain why Summer Bird could get a distance? · 2654 days ago
Fleet Indian had no problem with it ... and how may recent winners of Triple Crown races were by sires who you would question at the distance?
Don't get too high on this horse. Indian Charlie's at 10 furlongs? I don't think so!

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Meet Brian Zipse

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, American Pharoah and Justify. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. His new racing partnership venture, Derby Day Racing, invites more fans to experience the thrill of racehorse ownership.

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, created the popular racing show, HorseCenter and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as hosting HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.

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