Vinery shuttler Congrats opened his two year-old account with a couple of debut winners in the USA on Sunday.
Congrats (USA) has been a leading juvenile sire since capturing the North American first-season title in 2010. He also finished in the Top 10 for the second and third-season premierships.
His Sunday double started with a three length victory by Tulira’s Star at Arlington Park. She is prepared by 64 year-old Chicago native Jimmy DiVito and was handled by Emmanuel Esquivel.
TULIRA’S STAR (2f Congrats – Tulira by General Assembly) settled just off the pace and then accelerated to clock a quick 52.36s for 900 metres despite being taken in hand over the closing stages.
The newcomer will keep improving being a late April foal. A homebred for Kentucky based Curtis Green, she is a half-sister to Mountain General who won the G3 Aristides Stakes (1200m) at Churchill Downs.
FLYING FRANK (2c Congrats – Roman Bluff by Roman Ruler) was also impressive when facing the starter for the first time at Canterbury Downs. He scampered over 700 metres in 40.80s.
The chestnut duelled up front with It’saboutjazz from the off and then sprinted away to score by more than two lengths. It was the second of four wins for jockey Alex Canchari on Sunday.
Flying Frank was bred in Kentucky by Three Lyons Racing and is raced by Paul Schaffer. He is the first foal of Roman Bluff who was placed at her only start as a three year-old. She is a half-sister to May Day Rose (Rockport Harbor), a Group 3 winner at Hollywood Park and Santa Anits.
Congrats (A P Indy) began his stud career in Florida before moving to Kentucky after being crowned Champion USA Freshman Sire in 2010. His current two year-olds are the first crop bred at Vinery’s Kentucky headquarters.
In Australia earlier this year, Congrats had his first yearlings sell to $100,000 at the Gold Coast Magic Millions with David Payne, Aquanita Racing and David Hayes signing sale sheets. His top-priced Inglis Easter graduate was a colt bought by John Hawkes for $120,000.
Congrats has sired 33 stakes performers in his first three crops and his winners-to-runners strike-rate is in the stratosphere at 73%. Vinery will stand him for $22,000 (inc gst) fee this year.