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Weekend Review (8/27 - 8/29)

-Afleet Alex is having himself quite a time in the breeding shed topped off with the win by Afleet Express in Saturday's Travers Stakes.   Considered a second crop sire for 2010, Afleet Alex is currently at the top of that list for the year.  He was ranked 7th in 2009 among first crop sires. Among his top runners (via the Blood Horse Stallion Register):

Alfeet Express - G1 Travers, G3 Pegasus
Afleet Again - G3 Withers
Harissa - Sunland Park Oaks, 2nd G3 Iowa Oaks
Go Ask Alex - 2nd American 1000 Guineas
Dublin - 3rd G1 Arkansas Derby, 3rd G2 Rebel
Sway Away - 2nd G2 Best Pal
Avatar Day - 2nd G3 Premiio Primi Passi (Italy)

Not surprisingly, Afleet Alex's offspring are performing well at two-turns.  I was a bit concerned with the bottom half of the pedigree with Afleet Express in the Travers but I was clearly wrong on that notion.  I won't question the AA's progeny at distance anymore!

-There were two juveniles at Saratoga that really caught my eye this weekend.  One was Uncle Mo, who blew away his maiden field to win by 14+ lengths in Saturday's fifth race.  The other is the Afleet Alex filly Alexandra  Rylee, owned by Cash is King Stables, the same owners of Afleet Alex.  The Beyer number was nothing special for Alexandra Rylee, just a 75, but from what I've seen this year, Afleet Alex's offspring have tended to need a bit more seasoning until they are ready to run and win.  This filly, however, was ready to fire from the get go and he showed excellent gate speed and essentially put away the field within the first quarter mile. 

Taking a look at Alexandra Rylee's pedigree, she is out of Sira, a Capote mare that won four races in her career: two on the main track and two on the turf, with no black types on the resume.  She's has one other foal to race, Gold Plated (Touch Gold) who was 1-for-9 in her career. Damsire Capote won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and the Norfolk Stakes.  Her granddam is Sirgun, winner of the Desert Vixen and Boca Raton Stakes as a juvenile and the Herecomesthebride and the Chris Evert Handicap in her later years. 

Alexandra Rylee has a nice mix of routing and sprinting on the bottom half of her pedigree to go along with Alfeet Alex's versatility and stamina.  She could be a nice filly to watch going forward.

Uncle Mo was a first time starter sired by Indian Charlie out of an Arch mare (Playa Maya).  Uncle Mo has got a bit of stamina on the bottom half of his pedigree - Playa Maya won routing on the main track, along with two tries on the turf.  His half-brother Forest Voices (Forest Wildcat), won five times while routing on dirt.  His dam sire, Arch, won the mile and a quarter Super Derby as a three-year-old, as well as the Fayette Stakes at a mile and 3/16ths, adding even more stamina to the profile. 

I think it's a given that Uncle Mo will step up to take on stakes company in his next start  which could possibly lead to a Breeders' Cup Juvenile appearance. 

-The Junior Champion Stakes at Monmouth yesterday produced a very nice juvenile turf winner in A Brilliant Idea.  The Beyer figure came back at just 70 but his closing final quarter of 23.96 was a solid fraction.  If his connections were to point him towards the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf he could be an interesting play; you don't see a whole lot of North American turf juveniles that show a big closing kick. 

A Brilliant Idea was sired by...Afleet Alex; a pretty decent weekend for his progeny, to say the least.

-Richard's Kid received a 95 Beyer in the Pacific Classic while Afleet Express received a 105.  At a mile and a quarter distance, the ten point difference equals approximately 7 lengths.  I've written about this before, but I think it's pretty clear that the reliability of figure comparisons between dirt and synthetic (and turf) is nebulous, at best.   

-The Ladies' Classic division got a bit more interesting this weekend with Just Jenda upending Malibu Prayer in the Molly Pitcher at Monmouth (the race that the connections of Persistently were originally pointing towards). (Apparently, the Molly Pitcher was the final race of Just Jenda's career as she'll now head to the breeding shed.)

-Is there a hotter jockey than Joel Rosario right now?  Kid is just tearing it up.  Sunday he won the Del Mar Handicap aboard Champ Pegasus after he won the Pat O'Brien and the Del Mar Mile on Saturday.  His talents aren't just limited to the synthetics in California as he nabbed the Alabama with Blind Luck at Saratoga last weekend.