First-crop sires: Wit continues to impress for Practical Joke
Three-time Grade 1 winner Practical Joke is one of the young sires with first-crop two-year-olds that the TwinSpires team is following in 2021. Our first installment took a closer look at Practical Joke.
Wit delivered a brilliant performance in the July 17 Sanford S. (G3) at Saratoga, overcoming a slow start to win going away by eight lengths. The unbeaten colt looks like a star-in-the-making for freshman sire Practical Joke.
Early-season juvenile form often can be fleeting, as the competition proceeds to catch up to precocious youngsters, but talented two-year-olds sometimes remain ahead of the curve. Triple Crown hero American Pharoah and Kentucky Derby victor Nyquist are recent examples, recording smashing graded wins at Del Mar as juveniles in the last decade.
Wit, who still has some maturity issues to work through, appears well-situated at this point. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the well-built dark bay won at first asking by a six-length margin at Belmont Park in early June despite missing the break. He came back to register an outstanding 96 Brisnet Speed rating in the Sanford, scoring with seemingly plenty in reserve.
Out of an unraced Medaglia d’Oro mare, Wit is a half-brother to Barkley, a versatile son of Munnings who captured stakes races at sprints and routes.
Wit will bring his powerful closing kick to Hopeful S. (G1) on Sept. 6.
Girl With a Dream
Only July 24, Brad Cox unveiled a daughter of Practical Joke with promise at Ellis Park. Girl With a Dream rolled to a 6 3/4-length frontrunning decision over 10 rivals, winning geared down at five furlongs with Florent Geroux.
The eye-catching score garnered a superb 86 Speed rating.
An $115,000 yearling purchase, Girl With a Dream hails from the immediate female family of multiple Grade 2 turf winner Mr. Commons.
The Aug. 15 Ellis Park Debutante may be too quick of a turnaround for the chestnut, and it will be interesting to see where Girl With a Dream tries stakes competition next time.
Stand Up Comic
Stand Up Comic became the second two-time winner for Practical Joke when capturing an entry-level allowance at Delaware Park on July 21. A first-out winner at Parx a month earlier, the Butch Reid-trained chestnut filly will now target a stakes assignment.
Both wins have come in wire-to-wire manner. After having things her own way the first time, Stand Up Comic faced pressure from the start of her allowance test and held gamely to prevail by a neck.
About the series
Freshman Orientation is a series highlighting five different sires with a first crop of 2-year-old Thoroughbreds. Could the juveniles show up at the Breeders' Cup or even the 2022 Kentucky Derby? Follow along and find out!