Pedigree clues for juveniles in Bashford Manor, Debutante Stakes at Ellis Park

June 30th, 2023

Sunday’s card at Ellis Park wraps up Stephen Foster weekend with five more stakes, including two for promising juveniles. Let’s look for pedigree clues in the Debutante S. and Bashford Manor S.

Debutante – Race 3 (1:43 p.m. ET)

#3 V V’s Dream (7-5) is from the first crop of brilliant champion sprinter Mitole. Himself by the Giant’s Causeway stallion Eskendereya, Mitole is a half-brother to Grade 1 star and $3 million-earner Hot Rod Charlie. But V V’s Dream didn’t use her sire’s speed in her smashing debut at Churchill Downs. Off slowly, the Ken McPeek pupil delivered a strong stretch rally to win going away, garnering “Rising Star” status from Thoroughbred Daily News.

Indeed, V V’s Dream is likely to stretch out in time. Her dam, the Tapit mare Quay, is closely related to Grade 1-winning millionaire Cupid. Grade 3 sprint queens Heart Ashley and Ashley’s Kitty are other near maternal relatives, as is multiple Grade 2 scorer Kathleen O.

#6 Easy Red (10-1) is another advertisement for a high-profile freshman sire Omaha Beach. The blueblood son of War Front, and grandson of Broodmare of the Year Take Charge Lady, already has three winners on the ledger (as of Friday). Easy Red is also a half-sister to a juvenile stakes winner in England, Rodaini. Their dam, Blessings Count, is by Pulpit and out of Grade 2 vixen Topicount. When crossed the War Front, Pulpit mares have produced the likes of Due Diligence and Departing, so chances are that it can work with Omaha Beach too.

#2 George’s Honey (10-1) likewise has more going for her than her odds imply. By Jimmy Creed (best known as the sire of multiple Grade 1 hero Casa Creed), George’s Honey is a half-sister to Sharp Aza Tack, a precocious juvenile of 2022 who romped in the Tyro S. Those immediate connections suggest that she might have turf in her future, but she clearly relished the Churchill dirt on debut. She’s also bred on the productive cross of Distorted Humor (Jimmy Creed’s sire) over a Seattle Slew-line mare (dam by Bernardini).

#4 Brightwork (3-1) can boast of beating future Royal Ascot star Crimson Advocate in their mutual debut on Keeneland’s main track. But she comes from a terrific family too; her dam, the Malibu Moon mare Clarendon Fancy, is a full sister to the dam of millionaires Girvin and Midnight Bourbon. Brightwork is by the Uncle Mo stallion Outwork, who’s responsible for last year’s Spinaway (G1) winner and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) runner-up Leave No Trace.

In contrast, #1 Hibernacle (5-2) doesn’t have as much pedigree power. That was no obstacle in her Keeneland debut romp, and she subsequently sold for $310,000. Bred and initially trained by Wesley Ward, she’s by his stallion Hootenanny, who wasn’t a commercial prospect despite being the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) winner. Hibernacle is out of a mare by Grade 1-winning juvenile Officer, who was ultimately exported to Korea. You have to go back to her fourth dam (great-great-grandmother) to find significant black-type, in the form of Grade 2 winners Bad ‘n Big and It’s No Joke.

Texas-bred #5 City Ghost (6-1) lacks much in the way of black-type in recent generations of her female line, but she does sport a noteworthy pattern of inbreeding. She’s by Canadian champion and $3 million-earner Shaman Ghost, a son of Hall of Famer Ghostzapper. City Ghost is out of a mare by Ghostzapper’s half-brother, City Zip, a top-class performer and successful sire in his own right. Thus City Ghost doubles up on Ghostzapper and City Zip’s dam, Broodmare of the Year Baby Zip.

Bashford Manor – Race 5 (2:45 p.m. ET)

#7 Magical Mark (5-1) could be the value as a son of hot young sire Good Magic who invades from Lone Star Park. Flashing good speed in that 4 1/2-furlong dash, he doubled his margin to 10 lengths in deep stretch, and the step up to six furlongs can only aid his cause. Magical Mark’s dam is a daughter of the outstanding influence Indian Charlie and multiple Grade 2 winner Mystic Lady, from the family of Fourstars Allstar and Fourstardave.

The word has been out on freshman sire Vino Rosso, who sends out impressive Belmont Park graduate #5 The Wine Steward (3-1). Like Good Magic, Vino Rosso is also a son of Hall of Famer Curlin and clinched champion older dirt male honors in the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). So it’s a fantastic sign that his first progeny are trending sharper than you might have expected. The Wine Steward, a $340,000 OBS March juvenile, is out of a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Isotherm and fellow Grade 1-placed Giant Game and Gio Game. Also in the immediate family is Count Fleet Sprint (G3) revelation Skelly. The Wine Steward’s dam is by To Honor and Serve, the broodmare sire of Arkansas Derby (G1) victor Angel of Empire.

#1 Wilson Q (2-1) has a fine pedigree himself, as a son of the Tapit stallion Constitution and a Speightstown mare. Yet he just lasted in his five-furlong maiden at Churchill, winning by a diminishing neck over next-out Tremont S. conqueror Gold Sweep. Does that portend any vulnerability over an extra furlong? Wilson Q’s dam is a full sister to turf sprinter Bridgetown. Granted, Bridgetown stayed a one-turn mile as a juvenile in Woodbine’s Summer (G3), but he soon became a five- or 5 1/2-furlong specialist. Bridgetown’s notable half-siblings are Clement Rock, principally a miler, and sprinter Carnack’s Choice. If Constitution’s influence dominates, Wilson Q can handle more ground. The Bashford Manor can tell us if he has more of the Bridgetown genes.  

#4 Call Me Andy (9-2), by 2008 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) champion Midshipman, is a half-brother to two graded winners – Mirth, in the 1 1/4-mile Rodeo Drive (G1) on turf in 2019, and Vault, in the 2021 Ruffian (G2) around Belmont Park’s one-turn mile. They’re all produced by the prolific French Deputy mare Di’s Delight, the dam of a grand total of 10 winners. Another of her stakes performers, Heat Dome, missed by a neck in the 2016 Pennsylvania Nursery. As that resume suggests, Call Me Andy could have a variety of aptitudes.

#3 Go Otto Go (7-2) represents last year’s champion freshman sire, Bolt d’Oro. His dam, New York-bred stakes veteran Court Dancer, is a daughter of 2000 Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) winner War Chant. Descended from a full sister to Bailjumper and Honorable Miss, Go Otto Go also counts Bailjumper as an ancestor on his sire’s side. Thus he has the angle of inbreeding to their parents, Hall of Famer Damascus and notable matron Court Circuit.

#2 Unified Point (10-1), by the Candy Ride stallion Unified, has some pretty gaudy relatives further back on his dam’s side. Out of a Bernardini half-sister to Grade 2-placed stakes scorer Battle Force, he hails from the family of Hong Kong supremo Golden Sixty. His fourth dam is the influential Konafa.

#6 Lou’s Legacy (20-1), by Tapit’s son Tapiture, became the fourth stakes performer for his dam when placing a distant second in the Kentucky Juvenile. The first three excelled over Turfway Park’s all-weather – Dynamic Racer, runner-up in the 2019 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) and John Battaglia Memorial; B G Warrior, winner of the Feb. 11 Valdale S. and most recently third in the Leslie’s Lady S. at Ellis Park; and Lou’s Legacy’s full sister, multiple stakes-placed Tap Dancing Lady, most significantly a dead-heat second in last year’s Bourbonette Oaks.