Congrats has warmed up for the world’s biggest yearling sale with another stakes winning weekend in the USA.
The Vinery shuttler will have 60 yearlings parading at the Keeneland September yearlings sale starting on Monday and they received a timely update when Congrats filly Toasting won the LR Sky Beauty Stakes (1600m) at Belmont on Sunday.
Toasting (4f Congrats – Ponderway by Prized) settled last in the $100,000 feature for fillies and mares before bursting to the lead in the straight to score by over a length. “I was able to sit off the speed which is the way she likes to run,” jockey Javier Castellano said. “When I asked her, she responded. I like the way she did it today.”
The chestnut filly opened her stakes account in the LR Dream Rush Stakes (1400m) at Belmont last October. She was also Group 1 placed as a juvenile in the 2012 Frizette Stakes.
Trainer Tom Albertrani is considering a return to higher grades in the near future. “We’ve been experimenting with her and she can go longer than a mile,” he said. “Hopefully, we can knock one out in a Graded race.”
Toasting was a $175,000 buy at the 2011 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky yearling sale and has banked over $534,000 for West Point Thoroughbreds. She is a half-sister to Florida stakes winner Riversrunrylee (Outflanker).
The Belmont result put the finishing touches on a black-type weekend for Congrats.
His 2yo filly Pangburn was runner-up in the G2 Pocahontas Stakes (1700m) at Churchill Downs on Saturday and trainer Kenny McPeek is looking forward to bringing her back as a three year-old.
“She has acted all class from the beginning,” McPeek said. “She’s always done everything right and she wants to go all day long so let’s keep our fingers crossed between now and next year.”
Pangburn was one of three stakes performers by Congrats on Saturday.
King Henry was also runner-up in the LR Dave’s Friend Stakes (1200m) at Laurel as was Long Blooming Rose in the LR Jersey Girl Hcp (1700m) at Monmouth Park.
And Conbradulations added his name to the current crop of two year-old winners by Congrats on Sunday. The Bret Calhoun trained youngster won by three lengths on debut at Remington Park.
He was a $77,000 buy at last year’s Keeneland September yearling sale and is the first foal from Stand n Be Counted (Pulpit)
Keeneland has catalogued 4,181 yearlings for its September Sale and the first Congrats to go under the hammer on Monday is Lot 8, a chestnut filly from G2 Hollywood Oaks runner-up Lady Lumberjack (Forestry).
Another Congrats sure to star during the super-selective first session is Lot 52, a half-sister to stakes winner Lucky Pulpit (Pulpit). He won the LR Smile Stakes at Arlington and has been an immediate success at stud siring this year’s Kentucky Derby & Preakness Stakes winner California Chrome.