Stallionaire Enterprises’ Stallion Heiress was pure gold on debut for defending champion trainer Mike Stidham. Long well-regarded, the daughter of Exchange Rate broke from post two like a proverbial rocket and then made all under Mitchell Murrill, finishing up the 5½ furlongs on the Stall-Wilson turf course .63 seconds faster than the boys’ maiden special weight division two races prior and closing her final three-sixteenths of a mile in under 17.59 seconds en route to a flashy four-length victory. Left in the Ontario-bred’s wake was 3-5 favorite Cash In, a Brad Cox-trained daughter of Tapit and half-sister to stakes winners Good Deed, Due Date, Country Day, Cash Control and Cash Back.
“She went out there like a real professional,” Murrill said. “She was pretty calm and had been doing everything correctly like she’d been out there for years. I asked her to get off the bit once she made the lead, so she had a nice kick for me down the lane. It worked out perfectly. She’s been real special leading up to the race. I’m glad she got to get her debut win.”
Picked out by Stidham at Keeneland’s September 2015 Yearling Sale for $100,000, Stallion Heiress is out of precocious Smart Strike mare Mendocino Beano, who was third in the Grade III Ontario Colleen as a juvenile in ultimately the Catherine Day Phillips trainee’s final start.
“She’s been impressive in the morning,” Stidham said. “We liked her a lot. Then when you get in there and you’re running against something that’s bet down to 1-9, you begin to worry a little bit, but we really believed she was a talented filly and she showed it.”
Stallion Heiress is the third impressive juvenile maiden winner for the Stallionaire and Stidham squad in the last three weeks, following bang-up efforts from Rickey’s Girl and Bobby the Brain.
BUGGIN OUT TAKES THIRD MAGIC CITY
Dennis Murphy’s Ronnie Ward-trained Alabama slammer Buggin Out ($2.80, $2.10 and $2.10) won his third consecutive $51,000 Magic City Classic on Friday afternoon, flying like a northern flicker down the abbreviated first-line stretch of mile event to beat his fellow Alabama-breds by five widening lengths. Ridden by Hector Del-Cid, he completed the raced in 1:41.12.
The son of Indy defeated Ira ($3 and $2.20) into runner-up position for the second consecutive year, followed another 5¾ lengths back to Uncle Drossel ($2.60) in third.
Buggin Out won for the sixth time in 21 career starts, earning $28,050 his career earnings to $167,350.
ART IMITATES LIFE A PICTURE ON DEBUT
It is hard to believe that a debuting juvenile in a maiden special weight for defending champion owner Midwest Thoroughbreds and 11-time leading trainer Tom Amoss was allowed to go off at nearly 15-1 on Thursday afternoon, but such speaks to the depth of the current equine population at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. Breaking from the rail in a 5½-furlong turf sprint, Art Imitates Life was ridden beautifully by Robby Albarado, maneuvered to the outside turning for home and ran down a field that included well-regarded Wesley Ward trainee Finest and Joe Sharp trainee Phat Man, a progeny of phenomenal turf sprint mare Nicole’s Dream.
“It was a very encouraging start for a first-time starter,” Amoss said. “Breaking from the rail isn’t easy, but he negotiated that well and then showed a good finish. I think he has a future going farther (in distance) in the allowance ranks next, for sure.”
By Artie Schiller, the long-bodied bay colt earned an 87 Equibase Speed Figure for his nose victory over Steve Asmussen-trained Helluva Choice. He was a $47,000 purchase out of Ocala Breeders’ Sale August 2015 Yearling Sale, picked out by Midwest’s racing manager and bloodstock agent Jim Schenk. He is out of the Dixie Union mare Dixie Time Thief.
Midwest Thoroughbreds’ Tom Amoss-trained Quijote signaled his readiness with a half-mile blitz in 47.60 on Friday morning. The multiple stakes-placed son of Pomeroy runs in allowance company on Saturday, Dec. 17, after an off-the-board effort in the $75,000 Thanksgiving Handicap last month.
Valor Ladies’ Nisharora (IRE) finished up her final prep work for next weekend’s $75,000 Blushing K. D. Stakes with a half-mile move in 50 flat for trainer Tom Morley.
Zayat Stables’ sharp Churchill Downs turf debut winner Dontmesswithjoanne, a Louisiana-bred daughter of Pioneerof the Nile, worked a half-mile in 50 flat for trainer Brad Cox.
Source: Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots