Prospect Watch: Baffert debuts McKinzie's half-sister

By Keeler Johnson/Special to HRN
October 10, 2019 09:39am
Prospect Watch: Baffert debuts McKinzie's half-sister
Photo: Benoit

The influence of Liam’s Map will be widely felt on Saturday at Santa Anita Park. Various relations of the acclaimed young stallion will be in action in a pair of high-profile maiden special weights for juvenile fillies.

Meanwhile, fans of the Road to the Kentucky Derby are advised to check out the action at Belmont Park, where leading sire Into Mischief has no less than three exciting prospects in a single race.

On this quiet Saturday leading up to the Breeders’ Cup, here are a half-dozen juveniles to add to your watch lists:

Belmont Park Race 8: Maiden Special Weight (7 furlongs)

#3 Turnagain Tide

As a son of the talented sprinter/miler Into Mischief (currently the leading sire in North America) out of a mare by Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker, Turnagain Tide’s pedigree is an ideal blend of speed and stamina perfect for handling classic distances. OXO Equine apparently agreed, spending $750,000 to acquire the impressively bred colt as a yearling. Conditioned by Chad Brown, Turnagain Tide trained steadily all summer and will have hot jockey Joel Rosario (winning at a 22% rate at Belmont) in the saddle for his debut.

#4 Ashaar

The second Into Mischief runner in this maiden field, Ashaar is out of the Coronado’s Quest mare Well Spring, already the dam of Mendip (a three-time group stakes winner in Dubai) and Dig Deep (a stakes-winning sprinter at Charles Town). Bred by Colts Neck Stables, Ashaar was purchased as a yearling for $650,000 by Shadwell Stable and has the pedigree to be a win-early type, even more so than Turnagain Tide. Ashaar has turned in some sharp workouts for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, including a bullet half-mile in :47 2/5 on August 31. A promising debut should be in the offing.

#6 Hemlock

A third son of Into Mischief entered in this field, Hemlock is a Godolphin homebred conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. Although his dam, Sweet Sonnet, was undistinguished as a racehorse (ditto all of Hemlock’s siblings), she could infuse some stamina into Hemlock’s pedigree through her own sire, the 1988 Breeders’ Cup Classic runner-up Seeking the Gold. In any case, Hemlock has already shown promise on track. In his debut at Saratoga, he finished fourth behind the next-out stakes winner Another Miracle, and at Belmont last month, Hemlock was beaten just a neck by future Champagne Stakes (G1) competitor Alpha Sixty Six. A repeat of the latter effort should place Hemlock thoroughly in the mix for victory.

Santa Anita Race 5: Maiden Special Weight (5 ½ furlongs)

#7 Map Maker

If the name “Runway Model” rings a bell, perhaps you’re recalling her triumphs in the 2004 Darley Alcibiades Stakes (G2) and Golden Rod Stakes (G2). But more likely, you’re familiar with her famous son, McKinzie, a four-time Grade 1 winner who looks like the Breeders’ Cup Classic favorite. On Saturday, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will debut McKinzie’s 2-year-old half-sister Map Maker, who has been training steadily at Los Alamitos and Santa Anita. A gray daughter of Liam’s Map, a hot young sire with Frizette Stakes (G1) winner Wicked Whisper among his progeny, Map Maker is a Summer Wind Equine homebred with the pedigree to win on debut.

Santa Anita Race 6: Maiden Special Weight (1 mile)

#4 Cherokee Maiden

Although this chestnut daughter of Distorted Humor hasn’t shown much in her first two starts, she hails from a quality family, as her dam, Folklore, won the 2005 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Cherokee Maiden sold for $410,000 as a yearling, and even if this Dan Ward-trained filly doesn’t progress into a graded stakes winner, she has the breeding to be a classy broodmare.

#5 Matera

Don Alberto Stable bid a hefty $1.4 million to acquire Matera as a yearling, based in large part off her fantastic pedigree. A daughter of three-time leading sire Tapit, Matera’s dam is Miss Macy Sue, a graded stakes-winning mare already renowned as the dam of 2015 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Liam’s Map and 2016 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) runner-up Not This Time. Matera was defeated in her first two runs sprinting at Del Mar, but her pedigree suggests she’ll improve while stretching out to a mile. Drayden Van Dyke, winning at a 27% rate at Santa Anita, has the mount.


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