Enough with the foal report-related doom and gloom, at least for the moment. The foal report abounds with hope, as well, in the form of specific foals who I can’t wait to see on the track in two or three years.
I’m still narrowing down the list of 2016’s neatest Illinois-bred foals to just five. But — what about the foals I tabbed from 2014’s list? They’re now of racing age, and beginning to hit the track.
None of the five have won yet, though two have run. Between the two, the one who has shown more so far has been the Fort Prado x Roaming Free colt. Now named No Boundaries, he debuted at Keeneland in a maiden special weight on closing day:
No Boundaries, with Florent Geroux up, parades through the walking ring at Keeneland on October 29.
His debut, going a mile and a sixteenth on the grass, showed promise. He stalked just off longshot Union Rate in the early stages, took over, and just failed to hold off late-running favourite Giant Payday.
The strong second at Keeneland was enough to make him the favourite when he returned in a maiden special weight turf mile a month later at Churchill. Unfortunately, that race did not go as well. Near the back of the pack early, he never really fired, and finished midpack: seventh in a group of twelve.
Still, his debut showed enough to keep hope that No Boundaries will be a classy racehorse.
The only other foal in 2014’s list to have started so far is the Musketier x Optimistic Bullet filly, now named Casey’s Lear. She has run once, in a $15,000-$12,500 maiden claimer at a mile and a sixteenth on the Churchill dirt. Unfortunately, she showed little. Poorly out of the gate, she dropped well off the pace quickly. She trailed so far behind that after those first few awkward strides, she was never again visible on the replay.
Hopefully some time and age will help Casey’s Lear along. However, her debut at such a low level combined with her disappointing performance suggest that unless she surpasses any realistic expectations, Musketier’s Big Horse will not be that sole Illinois-bred from his first crop.
The other three on the list have not yet raced, though all have been named.
Alas, the name of the Hat Trick x Beret filly was not the hat-ception I had hoped for, but her name did continue the theme of millinery: Cloche. Hopefully, once the weather gets warmer, Cloche will turn up on the grass. Another who would make a lot of sense on the grass will be the Fort Prado x Leading Astray filly, now named Pikes Peak or Bust.
The Midnight Lute x Jabber filly, the second-to-last foal out of star Illinois broodmare Jabber, has been named Frontenac. Based on breeding, a dirt sprint just might end up being her forte when she makes it to the track.