Three Hour Nap, revisited

Thoroughbred racing in Illinois gets back underway in less than two weeks.  With that on the horizon, and two-year-old races at Arlington only a few months away, it seemed a good time to revisit one of my pieces from last year, about Three Hour Nap.

Since my maiden-focused look at Three Hour Nap was published in September of last year, three more Three Hour Nap babies have joined the ranks of winners.  For three more of his babies to have won between September and January is nothing to sneeze at: he has only 25 registered foals of racing age1, including four who are two-year-olds of 2016.

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Chicago Railbird: Illinois-Breds to Watch!

With 2016 getting underway, it is time to take a look at a few Illinois-breds to watch this year.

I look at four: two sophomores, and two older horses.  The older horses have each taken some forays into stakes company, but have enough upside to suggest we haven’t seen the best of them yet.  The three-year-olds remain lightly raced and under the radar…but could be poised for a big year.

Head on over to ShapperDaCapper, read the latest Chicago Railbird, and get to know four Illinois-breds to add to your virtual stable right now!

Illinois sires: Greytap

Every so often, someone googles Blinkers Off with interesting enough search terms that a post ensues.  Within the last week, someone found this corner of the Internet with the search terms Greytap horse pedigree.

I have mentioned Greytap a few times here at Blinkers Off, but only in the context of handicapping a race in which he was actually running.  I have never discussed his record or his  pedigree here in any detail.  Still, it is a good time to do so — after all, breeding season is around the corner.

Nine-year-old Greytap (Tapit – Trickily, by Trempolino) is the only son of Tapit standing stud in Illinois.  He stands stud at Jake Bryant’s J B Stables in Burnt Prairie.  Close followers of Illinois Thoroughbred breeding may notice a pattern here.  After all, he is not the only relatively obscure son of a big-money sire to stand at Bryant’s farm.

Road Ruler (Unbridled’s Song – Stephanie’s Road, by Strawberry Road) stands there, too.  Injuries kept Road Ruler from being a star on the racetrack, but he has become a fixture on the Illinois sire list.  Road Ruler commands a $2,000 stud fee — big money, among stallions in the state.  In 2013 and 2014, Road Ruler sat second in earnings among all sires standing (or who last stood) in Illinois, behind the late Cherokee Rap.  In 2015, led by solid sprinter Armando’s Star, Road Ruler took over the top spot.

Greytap stands aside Road Ruler for the same $2,000 stud fee — a high-end price for Illinois.  Can lightning strike again with Greytap?

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Illinois sires: Forest Attack

Based on the 2015 Illinois Department of Agriculture foal report, there were 173 Illinois Conceived and Foaled Thoroughbreds last year, and another 177 Illinois Foaled Thoroughbreds, meaning there were 350 foals born last year who were, in some capacity, bred in the state.

By number of foals sired, Forest Attack (Forestry – Joy Valley, by Ghadeer) was the runaway leader with 26 Illinois-breds, all both conceived and foaled in the state.

Kentucky-bred Forest Attack was campaigned by Illinois connection Scarlet Stable.  Scarlet claimed him out of the barn of Todd Pletcher in his second start, his maiden win, and campaigned him for the rest of his career.  He raced mainly in Kentucky and mainly in allowance company for trainer Mike Maker, but did win the Dust Commander Stakes at Turfway, a mile over the poly.  That stakes win came in 2010, at age six.

Forest Attack did his best work by far over polytrack.  All seven of his wins came over poly, with six at Turfway and one at Keeneland.  Most of them came at sprint distances at Turfway, though he had that one-mile stakes win as well as a 1 1/16 mile allowance win at Keeneland.

Even in a circuit like Illinois, one that still has polytrack, Forest Attack seems an unlikely candidate for so much breeding support.  After all, he has not produced a single winner to date.  His total progeny earnings total a whole $400 — just 40% of his live-foal stud fee.

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