Next trivia question will be posted Friday!
Pot-8-Os has it right. Canonero II was a $1,200 Keeneland yearling purchase and was sold at the 1981 Keeneland January mixed sale for $1,600. In between, he won the 1971 Kentucky Derby and Preakness, was named American champion 3-year-old male, and was purchased by Robert Kleberg, Jr., of the King Ranch for a a reported $1.5 million.
Next trivia question will be posted Friday!
A Grade III race isn't a bad place for a colt to break his maiden, and Calculator did just that in the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita. The competition wasn't stellar, but the gray son of In Summation was five-wide on the first turn and out in the four path turning for home and still came home easily. The mile was completed in a quite respectable 1:34.88, with the winner turning in a final quarter of :24.45 without apparent effort.
In Summation never had any pretenses of being anything but a sprinter, but stamina lurks in his background in the form of his second dam Fiesta Gal, a daughter of the great Alleged who won the 1987 Coaching Club American Oaks (USA-I). Sprinting stallions with some stamina in their backgrounds can often sire runners that stay better than they themselves did when given mares with some bottom to them.
In Calculator's case, this is a definite possibility. His dam Back to Basics is by Breeders' Cup Classic (USA-I) winner Alphabet Soup and is a half sister to Distorted Reality (by Distorted Humor), a stakes winner at nine furlongs. Calculator's second dam Christy Love is by Unbridled, another horse who had no trouble with 10 furlongs. Thus, it seems reasonable to conclude that Calculator at least has the potential of being able to stay 10 furlongs. Whether he will actually do so is another story, of course.
Further back, this is a very nice female line tracing back to the excellent broodmare Tamerett, whose five stakes winners include the versatile Tentam (by Intentionally), winner of the Metropolitan Handicap on the dirt and the United Nations Handicap on grass, and the 1980 Two Thousand Guineas (ENG-I) winner Known Fact (by Intentionally's best son, In Reality). In Reality is the male-line ancestor of In Summation, so Calculator represents the same cross of sire line over dam line. Tamerett also produced Secrettame (by Secretariat), dam of the fine racehorse and sire Gone West (by Mr. Prospector).
Generally speaking, the record of this family is one of miler speed which can be shorted by crosses to sprinting sires or stretched out by crosses to stayers. It's too soon to say if Calculator has inherited the right balance of stamina and speed to be able to carry top-level ability over Classic distances, but his performance in the Sham suggests that another furlong won't give him any trouble. Two more furlongs? We'll have to wait until May to get the answer to that one, but the answer could be "yes."
With the January mixed sale at Keeneland just around the corner, I thought I'd toss out a question that has something to do with auctions. Here it is:
I went through the sales ring at Keeneland twice, and you could have bought me either time for less than $2,000. In between those two trips through the bargain basement, I became a champion valued at $1.5 million. Who am I?
The Florida Thoroughbred industry has suffered a major loss with the death of Wildcat Heir. A four-time leading sire in the state and the first stallion in Florida history to exceed $4 million in progeny earnings for four consecutive years, 15-year-old Wildcat Heir had to be destroyed this morning due to severe colic. He had been the premier stallion at Journeyman Stud near Ocala for the last eight years, and at stallion shows strode into the viewing ring with the calm assurance of a king surveying his domain.
Wildcat Heir was not a great sire if you were looking for a potential Classic horse. But if you wanted speed and the kind of precocity that trains on well, he fit the bill beautifully, transmitting a fair share of the ability that made him a Grade I-winning sprinter. He set a North American record for freshman sires in 2009 with 39 juvenile winners that year. In 2014, he was represented by 138 winners. Eight were stakes winners including Grade II winner Wild Dude and Grade/Group III winners Daring Kathy and Tie Hand.
Last year the stallion got his first Grade I winner, Heir Kitty, and he may have a few more big winners in the pipeline. He has 38 named juveniles of 2015 as of today, and 66 live foals were reported to The Jockey Club in his 2014 crop. He served 93 mares last spring, and their foals will form his final legacy.
Rest in peace, big guy. You were a good one, and you'll be missed.
Foaled on April 18, 1958, Hail to Reason made his first start on January 21, 1960. He went on to become the American champion 2-year-old male of 1960.
I don't think there's any argument that El Kabeir is a pretty nice colt. He now has two graded stakes wins to his credit and has shown he doesn't have to have everything go perfectly to do his stuff. So far so good. But how far -- now there's a question. While El Kabeir's sire Scat Daddy stayed well enough to win the Florida Derby (USA-I), there's a huge difference between being able to stretch miler speed over nine furlongs and getting that extra furlong in the Run for the Roses. Having Unbridled's Song, Formal Dinner, and Green Forest as the sires of the first three dams does not spell that kind of stamina to me, and the female line does not seem particularly stamina-oriented either. He could fool me, but I wouldn't be putting any early bets on this guy in the Derby book.
The New Year is a time for endings and beginnings. Since the last question was about endings, lets turn to beginnings. Here goes:
Like all Thoroughbreds in the Northern Hemisphere, I officially turned two on New Year's Day. But since my real birthday was on April 18, I was actually almost three months short of being two years old when I started racing on January 21. I only defeated two of 13 other horses that day, but I guess it didn't hurt me since I later became a champion. Who am I?
Elaina has it. Shortly after midnight on New Year's Day of 1920, the great Roamer slipped on ice in his paddock, broke a leg, and had to be destroyed. His owner, Andrew Miller, had died of a heart attack just a few hours earlier; thus, the two died in separate years even though the times of death were only hours apart.
Everyone knows that all Northern Hemisphere Thoroughbreds turn a year older on January 1, but not everyone may remember a special runner who passed away in the early hours of New Year's Day years ago. A member of the Hall of Fame, he followed the owner who loved him across the Rainbow Bridge by only a few hours, yet they died in separate years. Name this famous horse and his owner.
I'm Avalyn Hunter, an author, pedigree researcher and longtime racing fan.