Winning Weekend for Coolmore America
Lookin at Lucky
Grade I placed three times last year, Money Multiplier (5h Lookin at Lucky x Intensify by Unbridled’s Song) was long overdue to post a big win and finally did so when taking out the $199,000 Grade II Monmouth Stakes on Sunday.
Prepared by Chad Brown, Money Multiplier was having his first run of 2017 following a sixth place finish in the Grade I Breeders Cup Turf last year.
He settled back in the field and charged home late to win the 1 and 1/8th mile contest by a length and a half.
“He ran good,” said winning trainer Chad Brown.
“It didn’t quite work out the way I thought, with him getting jammed up behind a really slow pace. Javier [Castellano] used good judgment to pull him out of there and just pass everyone.
“We’ll look to the [Aug. 26 GI] Sword Dancer [at Saratoga] next.”
A $260,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, Money Multiplier is a half-brother to Grade II winner Intense Holiday.
The 25th stakes-winner for Lookin at Lucky, he has the overall record of four wins and seven placings from 16 starts with prizemoney topping $770,000.
Improving entire El Deal (5h Munnings x Spirit of Wailea, by Out of Place) has been in hot form since joining the stable of Jorge Navarro and scored a commanding victory in the $350,000 Grade I Alfred G Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga on Saturday.
Sold privately earlier this year to Albert and Michelle Crawford and transferred to Navarro, El Deal has won all three starts since then culminating in this facile win.
He led throughout for Javier Castellano and kicked right away to win the six furlong sprint by eight lengths taking his overall record to nine wins from 16 starts with prizemoney topping $500,000.
“I respect all the horses in the race,” Navarro said.
“That’s why we were here–to see what kind of horse he is. I think I did the right thing by taking him to all those [previous] tracks and prepping him there. I called the owners and said I thought it was time to see what we have and he proved it.
“I knew how fast he is and I knew that he carries his speed really good. We’ll see what’s next for him. He likes a [break] of 45-50 days, so that’s what he’ll get. We’re getting ready for the Breeders’ Cup and big races at the end of the year, so I wanted the owners to have fun. I called them up and said I thought it was time to see what he’s about. I guess he is what he is.”
Originally a $57,000 Keeneland November Weanling purchase, El Deal is a half-brother to stakes-placed Legacy Wildcat from Spirit of Wailea, a half-sister to Grade II winner Choctaw Nation.
El Deal is the second Grade I winner for Munnings joining I’m a Chatterbox.
A TDN Rising Star when successful on debut back in April, Coal Front (3c Stay Thirsty x Miner’s Secret, by Mineshaft) confirmed the merit of that performance when taking out the $200,000 Grade II Amsterdam Stakes at Saratoga on Saturday.
The Todd Pletcher trained colt was an impressive winner at Belmont last month following on from his debut score and was well fancied to keep his unbeaten record intact in this tougher assignment.
Ridden forward to lead from an inside gate by Johnny Velasquez, Coal Front kicked away turning for home and cruised to the line to win the six and a half furlong sprint by a length and a half.
“We weren’t committed to the lead–the thing we were focused on was letting him break and kind of find his rhythm,” Todd Pletcher said.
“We knew he was fast, but we didn’t want to be in a speed duel, but we didn’t want to take away what is coming easy to him, either. We kind of left it in Johnny’s hands. Johnny said he was very relaxed, really comfortable. A really talented horse.”
A $575,000 OBS April Sale purchase, Coal Front runs for Robert La Penta and Head of Plains Partners, who purchased a share in the colt privately after his last win. He has now won three races from three starts earning $216,000.
“It’s hard to win a race, much less the first three, and he beat a pretty strong group of older horses last time, and then to step up into a graded stakes, it just seems like he’s getting better and better,” Pletcher said indicating a Grade I assignment might lie ahead for the talented son of Stay Thirsty.
“We talked about the [GI] Allen Jerkens [Aug. 26], we’ll see how he comes out of it. He’s a horse with a strong pedigree and enough talent to stretch out, when the time is right.”
The third stakes-winner for Stay Thirsty and his first Graded winner, Coal Front is a half-brother to stakes-winner Conquest Titan from Miner’s Secret, a half-sister to Grade III winner Woodlander.
Stay Thirsty also featured with a new stakes winner at Canterbury Downs where Double Bee Sting (3f Stay Thirsty x Itsadouble G Thing, by Arch) took out the $85,000 Minnesota Oaks.
A homebred for Curtis Sampson trained by Tony Rengstorf, Double Bee Sting raced clear to win the 1m 70yd contest by six lengths.
It was her third win from eight starts and sent her prizemoney tally past the $100,000 mark.
Uncle Mo added a new stakes-winner to his tally when progressive colt Mo Maverick (3c Uncle Mo x Lemon Splendor, by Lemon Drop Kid) captured the $59,400 Lamplighter Stakes at Monmouth on Saturday.
Stakes-placed twice previously, the George Weaver trained Mo Maverick was a last start fourth in the Grade II Penn Mile.
Sent out favourite on the strength of that good form, Mo Maverick surged clear to win the 1 and 1/16th mile contest on turf by a length and a half.
“He sat just off the early pace and was comfortable,” said winning rider Eddie Castro.
“I felt the horse come pressure me on the outside and I asked him to run and he took off. He’s a really good horse.”
A $200,000 Keeneland September purchase, Mo Maverick has won four races and placed three times from nine starts earning $204,700 in prizemoney.
From stakes-winner Lemon Spendor, Mo Maverick is the 31st stakes-winner worldwide for Uncle Mo.
Ashford Stud, owned by John Magnier and located in the heart of Kentucky’s famous Bluegrass, is Coolmore’s home in America. While now much larger in size, the initial tract of land that Ashford consisted of was 465 acres. That land was originally part of an important cattle farm owned by Col. Edmund H. Taylor Jr. who founded the Old Taylor Distilleries in nearby Frankfort. Known as Hereford Farm, the property was developed around 1912 and operated as a cattle farm up until the late 1970s. At that time, Dr. Bill Lockridge began to transform the farm into a state of the art stud, fit for the finest stallions in the world.
After three years of careful planning and construction, Ashford opened its doors for the 1982 breeding season. The stallion roster was headlined by Storm Bird, a horse that was the highest rated two-year-old in Europe while trained by the legendary Vincent O’Brien. Among the resident mares at Ashford in 1982 was Terlingua. Her mating to Storm Bird that year would have a lasting impact on thoroughbred breeding worldwide through the exploits of their prolific son Storm Cat.
When Ashford became part of John Magnier’s Coolmore operation in the mid-1980s, Storm Bird, along with the likes of El Gran Senor and Woodman, helped to establish Coolmore’s reputation on an international level through the late 80s and early 90s.
1996 marked the retirement of Kentucky Derby winner Thunder Gulch, who is out of a daughter of Storm Bird, to Ashford. Thunder Gulch would soon gain the distinction of being the first champion sire to stand at Ashford when he topped the general sire’s list in 2001. Not to be outdone, Ashford sires Hennessy (2001), Tale of the Cat (2003) and Giant’s Causeway (2005 & 2014), all earned champion juvenile sire honors to add to those won by Woodman in 1990 and 1994.
Just like our farm in Ireland is usually referred to as the Home of Champions, Ashford is home to some of the best young sires in America. The stallion roster is led by Giant’s Causeway, whose achievements so far include three champion sire titles; a feat only achieved by such luminaries as Bull Lea, Nasrullah, Bold Ruler and Danzig since 1941, record breaking young sire Uncle Mo and Triple Crown hero American Pharoah. With a selection of the best proven sires and young sire prospects America has to offer standing alongside this illustrious trio, it’s safe to say Ashford’s iconic stallion barns will continue to house influential breed shapers for years to come.