McGaughey debuts with $1.7 million 2-year-old
I’m going all out for this week’s edition of Prospect Watch. With Churchill Downs, Los Alamitos and Belmont at the Big A (Aqueduct) all open for action, it’s hard to keep track of all the promising 2-year-olds set to make their debut.
Let’s take a look at nine of the highest-bred and most expensive youngsters in starters:
Churchill Downs Race 5: Maiden Special Weight (one mile, 6:56 p.m. EDT)
No. 10 Tiz Twenty Twenty
Pedigree: Tiznow–Healthy Addiction, by Boston Harbor
Purchase Price: N/A
Coach: Michael McCarthy
There’s a lot to love about Tiz Twenty Twenty’s pedigree. His sire Tiznow won two editions of the Breeders’ Cup Classic and enjoyed great success as a source of endurance at stud, while his dam Healthy Addiction won the Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (G1) and has already produced My Sweet Addiction, winner of Vanity (G1).
Tiz Twenty Twenty debuts with blinders on and picks up apprentice jockey Rene Diaz, who rides with a five-pound weight allowance. Tiz Twenty Twenty is a long shot 15-1 on the morning line, but maybe he can exceed the expectations of coach Michael McCarthy, who went 6 for 33 (18%) in the saddle for the first times this year.
Belmont at the Big A Race 1: Maiden Special Weight (1,400 meters, 1:00 p.m.)
Signatory no. 4
Pedigree: Tapit–Pension, by Seeking the Gold
Purchase price: $1.7 million
Coach: Shug McGaughey
Sold for $1.7 million earlier this year, Signator is high and low for stakes success. He is the son of three-time North American stallion Tapit and Seeking the Gold mare Pension, formerly dam of Mystic Lake Derby winner Giant Payday, Futurity (G2) Annual Report winner and Adirondack heroine (G2) Thoughtfully.
Annual Report and Thoughtfully picked up their victories as a 2-year-old, and Tapit sired multiple juvenile champions, so Signator has the pedigree to win from a young age. He deserves to be watched under hot jockey Joel Rosario.
Speed Hammer #6
Pedigree: Mor Spirit–Malibu Cove, by Malibu Moon
Purchase price: $100,000
Coach: Brad Cox
Although Quick Hammer sold for just $100,000 earlier this year, its pedigree has plenty of class. Her sire Mor Spirit was a brilliant Metropolitan Handicap (G1) winner, and her dam Malibu Cove once gave birth to La Brea (G1) winner Kalypso.
Quick Hammer showed speed in the mornings at Saratoga, and coach Brad Cox has been strong with first starters this season, passing 23 for 91 (25%). Don’t be surprised if Quick Hammer pulls a strong punch in his debut.
Churchill Downs race 5: Maiden special weight (one mile, 2:45 p.m.)
Parquet No. 5
Pedigree: Justify–Singita, by Holy Bull
Purchase price: $220,000
Coach: Ron Moquett
A son of 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify (who sired 22% of early winners, according to Brisnet stats), Prosecution was produced by Singita, whose previous six runners include Lemoona, the long-running winner of Possibly perfect.
Both Justfy and Lemoona have won bets running 1 1/4 miles (and even 1 1/2 miles in Justify’s case), so Prosecution has the potential to thrive on a mile in its early days. He put up a long work tab at Churchill Downs highlighted by five furlongs in a quick 1:00.8, so don’t count the charge out of the mix.
Cyclone Mischief #6
Pedigree: Into Mischief–Areyoucominghere, by Bernardini
Purchase price: $450,000
Coach: Dale Romans
You can usually count on Dale Romans to campaign with a talented 2-year-old in the fall. In recent years, Giant Game, Sittin On Go, Dennis’ Moment, Free Drop Billy, Brody’s Cause and Not This Time have all had good juvenile seasons under Romans custody. Maybe Cyclone Mischief will follow.
Son of North American triple stallion Into Mischief, Cyclone Mischief trained with promise at Churchill Downs, even hitting a five furlong ball in 59.2 seconds on September 2. even become a competitor of Breeders’ Futurity (G1).
Churchill Downs Race 5: Maiden Special Weight (2,100 metres, 2:45 p.m.)
No. 5 Connections
Pedigree: Ghostzapper–Beyond Blame, by Blame
Purchase price: $460,000
Coach: Brad Cox
It’s easy to see why Loggins sold for $460,000 as a yearling. The bay colt is a son of the 2004 Horse of the Year and successful stallion Ghostzapper by Regret (G3) winner Beyond Blame and a daughter of champion Blame.
Ghostzapper and Blame both won the Breeders’ Cup Classic, so Loggins has the pedigree to stretch the distance. But first he’s debuting in a 6 1/2 furlong sprint, and his morning workouts (including some five furlong ball moves at Churchill Downs last month) suggest he’s pretty fast to fight for victory.
#12 Create Problems
Pedigree: Into Mischief – No Curfew, by Curlin
Purchase price: $870,000
Coach: Brendan Walsh
Create Trouble seems to have the perfect pedigree to pursue the Triple Crown. Into Mischief sired Kentucky Derby winners Authentic and Mandaloun, and classic Curlin stars include Preakness winner Exaggerator, Belmont Stakes hero Palace Malice and Kentucky Derby runner-up Good Magic.
Create Trouble sold for $870,000 at age 2 in training and no doubt brings high hopes for its debut. His works tab isn’t too flashy, but he’s been blowing steadily since mid-May and should be ready for some competitive racing on his first try in colors.
Los Alamitos Race 9: Special Weight Maiden (one mile, 7:28 p.m.)
Pedigree: Curlin–My Wandy’s Girl, by Flower Alley
Purchase price: $850,000
Coach: Bob Baffert
Bob Baffert doesn’t often debut juveniles that run a mile or more, but he will make an exception with Nielson, who sold for the whopping sum of $850,000 as a yearling.
Son of Curlin, Nielson was produced by My Wandy’s Girl, an accomplished Puerto Rican activist who won the Barbara Fritchie Handicap (G2) after moving to the United States. Prankster, so there’s speed in Nielson’s pedigree to balance Curlin’s stamina. This chestnut colt looks promising.
No. 9 Gandolfini
Pedigree: Justify-Dorothy’s Aurora, by Simon Pure
Purchase price: $470,000
Coach: Bob Baffert
In addition to Nielson, Baffert is expected to debut Gandolfini, a son of Baffert’s Triple Crown winner, Justify. Gandolfini threw some quick drives at Del Mar, including a five-stadium near-ball in 59.4 seconds last Sunday. He also has a trio of six-stadium quick workouts on his record. Justify is off to a promising start at stud, so Gandolfini has the potential to make his winning debut.