Kirkwood Grad Coal Front Remains Perfect in Amsterdam G2 at Saratoga

Courtesy of the TDN

 $200,000 GII Amsterdam S. (6 1/2f) Coal Front, c, 3 by Stay Thirsty

Coal Front | Sarah Andrew

“TDN Rising Star” Coal Front kept his perfect record in tact and became the first graded stakes winner for his second-crop sire (by Bernardini) with this stylish front-running score in his stakes debut.

Sent to the front by Johnny Velazquez from his inside draw, the $575,000 OBSAPR buy held a narrow advantage through opening fractions of :22.37 and :45.90. The dark bay kicked for home in control, opened up a three-length lead in the stretch, and was never seriously threatened by Excitations, who rallied nicely from last of six to complete the exacta.

“We weren’t committed to the lead–the thing we were focused on was letting him break and kind of find his rhythm,” winning trainer 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.”

Romping by 6 1/2 lengths on debut at Keeneland Apr. 20, Coal Front followed suit with a facile score in a first-level allowance at Belmont June 8. Sol Kumin’s Head of Plains Partners privately purchased a piece of the colt from Robert LaPenta following his last victory.

“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.

As for what’s next, Pletcher added, “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.”

Pedigree Notes:

Coal Front’s unraced dam Miner’s Secret, a half-sister to MGSW Woodlander (Forestry), is responsible for a yearling colt by Noble Mission (GB) and foaled a Pioneerof the Nile filly Feb. 28. She was bred back to Triple Crown hero American Pharoah.

Miner’s Secret went through the ring twice, bringing $250,000 from Reynolds Bell Jr., agent, at the 2006 KEESEP Yearling Sale and $52,000 from Coal Front’s breeder Michael Connelly in foal to War Pass at the 2009 KEENOV sale.

I’M BETTY G takes Pearl Necklace S at Laurel

I’M BETTY G broke her maiden last out at Indiana Grand.   Moving straight from that win into stakes company in the Pearl Necklace at Laurel, the Maryland bred filly  scored again.  She overcame a stumble breaking from the gate and went straight to the lead and stayed there to wire the field. She was a $150,000 sales graduate for Kirkwood sold to current owner Three Diamonds Farm. She is trained by Michael J. Maker.

GSW TOM’S READY takes the Leemat S at Presque Isle Downs

The well traveled TOM’S READY (More than Ready) made his appearance in the Leemat S at Presque Isle count, fighting a fierce stretch drive for the win.  At retirement,  he will stand at Spendthrift Farm following an agreement with owner GMB Racing to acquire the breeding rights to the son of More Than Ready. He has earned over $800,000.

Tom’s Ready was purchased & prepared for his racing career at Kirkwood.


Courtesy of the Blood Horse

Apprentice jockey Evin Roman  guided West Point Thoroughbreds’ Street Surrender to a frontrunning victory in the 1 1/16-mile test.

It was the first stakes win for the Street Boss filly and for Roman, and also put the apprentice one win away from leader Flavien Prat (35) in the jockey standings with five race days to go in the meet. The stakes victory capped a four-win day for the rider.

“He’s very, very talented,” said Roman’s agent, Tony Matos. “I’ve had some great apprentices. I won Eclipse Awards with Frankie Lovato Jr. and with Christian Santiago Reyes. I had Corey Nakatani and he was a very talented apprentice. Evin ranks with all of them. … I’ve been blessed and I was very fortunate to get this kid from Puerto Rico.”

In the Southern Truce, Street Surrender hit the front in the five-horse field and set fractions of :23.55, :46.84, and 1:11.08 through six furlongs, as Nickname—the 2015 Frizette Stakes (G1) winner—stalked in second. Nicknamed moved alongside the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained frontrunner in the final turn, but was no match in the stretch.

“This filly has been settling down and doing really well lately, so we thought we might have a chance today,” Hollendorfer said of the chestnut who placed in two stakes before the Southern Truce. “I think it’s great Evin was able to win his first stakes race. He did very good—did a good job. No problems today.”

Bred in Kentucky by Sally Thomas and New Dawn Stable, out of the Crafty Prospector mare Sweet Sierra, Street Surrender was a $280,000 purchase by West Point out of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales spring sale of 2-year-olds in training. She now has a 6-3-1 record from 15 starts and $198,425 in earnings.

Two year old PURE PRAISE sold by Kirkwood wins 2nd time out

Kirkwood prepared and sold, PURE PRAISE ( Congrats) zipped out of the gate at Churchill  and led through an opening quarter in :22 and change. She was challenged at the top of the stretch, but kept fighting on the inside to score by a length in her second start. She was a $42,000 FT October yearling purchase and brought  $110,000 as a 2 year old at OBSMAR. She has given her owner Bernard G. Schaeffer s a quick return on his purchase.

DEFIANT HONOR wins for Phillips Racing at Belmont

Kirkwood Stables and Phillips Racing are having an exciting June. MANITOULIN won at Belmont in allowance company earlier in the month and today DEFIANT HONOR (Speightstown), a half-sister to Taqarub (Aldebaran), GSW, $256,962; and a full-sister to the late Recepta, GSW & MGISP, $696,700, pressed the pace and then cleared to score quite easily at Belmont – her second win in 4 starts. She broke her maiden last fall in NY, then shipped to California where she ran second in the Jimmy Durante Stakes – Gr. 3 and added graded black-type to her pedigree. With this facile win first race back at 3, she announced that she was very ready to get n her sophomore campaign underway. Trained by James Toner, she has already earned over $111,000.

Courtesy of the TDN
Defiant Honor is out of a winning daughter of Grade III victress Wings of Grace (Key to the Mint), the dam of Darby Dan’s outstanding 1999 champion grass mare Soaring Softly (Kris S.) and GISW Plenty of Grace (Roberto). Further down the page is Wings of Grace’s half-sister Battle Creek Girl (His Majesty), the dam of 15 winners from 18 to make the races, including Sovereign Award winner Wavering Girl (Wavering Monarch); GSWs Tricky Creek (Clever Trick), Parade Ground (Kingmabo), Parade Leader (Kingmambo) and Speed Dialer (Phone Trick); and SW & MGSP Everhope (Danzig). Honor Bestowed is the dam of Defiant Honor’s 2-year-old full-sister Honored Promise, a yearling colt by Curlin and a Speightstown colt foaled Mar. 30.


SHINKANSEN takes allowance by 11 1/2 lengths

SHINKANSEN (Pure Prize) rated inside and then exploded to an 11 1/2 length win – ridden out going a mile and seventy at Penn Nations. She is trained by Linda L. Albert and owned by Mens Grille Racing. SHINKANSEN was bred by Russell B. Harris, Craig R. Harris & Jeffrey A. Harris and was sold by Kirkwood for $70,000 at Fasig Tipton Timonium in 2015.

AMAZE ME GRACE wins her second in a romp

Four year old Indiana Bred filly AMAZE ME GRACE  (Stormy Atlantic) won her second race with ease wiring the field at Indiana Grand going 1 1/16 on the turf. She won by almost 7 lengths. AMAZE ME GRACE is owned by Edward A. Seltzer, Beverly Anderson & Jamie Corbett. She was bred by  Edward A. Seltzer and is trained by Anthony J. Granitz.