Vinery shuttlers are poised to round off the year with more black-type as the USA swings to its winter meets in California and Louisiana.
More Than Ready’s G3 American Derby winner Infinite Magic will fly to the west coast on Tuesday for the G1 Hollywood Derby next Sunday, December 1. He drilled 1400m in 1.29.20s in a final hit-out for trainer Rick Mettee in Maryland.
INFINITE MAGIC (3c More Than Ready – Truly Enchanting by Danehill Dancer) was bred in Kentucky and commenced his career with wins at Wolverhampton and Lingfield before Team Valor president Barry Irwin came in with an offer to take him back the United States.
The current meeting will bring the curtain down on racing at Hollywood Park. The track was opened in 1938 by Warner Brothers chairman Harry Warner. Sitting on 260 acres of prime real estate in Los Angeles, it will be demolished and replaced by housing units, park land and an casino / entertainment complex.
In New Orleans this Saturday, November 30, Big Brown colt Brown Almighty will race first-up in the LR Woodchopper Stakes (1600m) at Fair Grounds.
BROWN ALMIGHTY (3c Big Brown – Gone Goodbye by Gone For Real) began his career with a debut win at Arlington this time last year before opening his black-type account in LR Sunny’s Halo Stakes at Louisiana Downs.
The Mike Stidham trained colt has been off the scene since the Arlington Classic in May but looked ready for action when working 1000m in a bullet 60.01s last Friday
Stidham also prepares Big Brown colt Ground Transport for West Point Thoroughbreds. He scored back-to-back victories at Fair Grounds last season but was disappointing earlier this year. “We’ve been experimenting with him,” Stidham said. “We’ve had to get back to basics.”
Big Brown sired a running double with his juveniles late last week. His filly Alpaca Fina cruised home by next to seven lengths in an Aqueduct maiden on Thursday.
Alpaca Fina (2f Big Brown – Ms Brookski by Montbrook) is trained by David Jacobson for Drawing Away Stables. Her dam was a multiple stakes winner in Florida and foaled earlier winners Congrats Ski and Big Brown Brookski.
I Love Cher doubled up for Big Brown during the opening meeting of the Fair Grounds summer season on Friday. She chased the pace to win by two lengths over 1100m.
I Love Cher (2f Big Brown – Chersky by Sky Classic) is from a winning sister to G1 Shadwell Turf Mile winner Nothing To Lose who died earlier this year after covering six books at Willowbend Stud.
Both fillies were bred in partnership by the Big Brown Syndicate with Canadian based Cristine Hayden (Alpaca Fina) and Louisiana couple Danny & Donna Brown (I Love Cher).
Congrats filly Toasting is being set for the G3 Comely Stakes at Aqueduct next Saturday. She is a last start winner of the LR Dream Rush Stakes (1400m) at Belmont but will be stretching out to 1800m.
TOASTING (3f Congrats – Ponderway by Prized) is another West Point flag-bearer and trainer Tom Albertrani admits everything fell into place in the Dream Rush. “It worked out very well,” he said. “She broke a little slowly and closed really well off a fast pace.”
Congrats foals were popular at the Keeneland November Sale last week selling up to $200,000. His top-priced weanling is a filly from Icy Tea (Storm Cat). The dam is a three-quarter sister to Habibti who won the G1 Del Mar Debutante and G1 Hollywood Starlet Stakes.
Congrats (A P Indy) has 28 yearlings from his first southern crop scheduled to sell at the Gold Coast Magic Millions in January.
– Karl Patterson