Fast and Accurate makes move in Top Midlantic-bred Poll
Funny how quickly things change in horse racing.
A month ago, Irish War Cry was a Kentucky Derby favorite, Unique Bella was the best three-year-old filly in the land, and almost no one had heard of Fast and Accurate.
In the meantime, however, Irish War Cry ran up the track in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth to see his star dimmed; Unique Bella suffered an injury that will force her to miss the spring’s biggest distaff races; and Fast and Accurate was both in scoring a 24-1 upset in the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park, putting himself in the three-year-old picture.
The results of all that are evident in the second 2017 edition of the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred/The Racing Biz Top Midlantic-bred Poll, released today and current through results as of April 6.
Unique Bella, who won her only start in March, in the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel, moves to the top spot among three-year-olds. Fast and Accurate, who was in the also receiving votes category in last month’s poll, moves all the way up to second. And Irish War Cry, leader of the first poll, drops to third in this newest one.
Among older horses, Finest City, second in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Stakes during March, retained her hold on the top spot.
The big mover among sophomores was Fast and Accurate. The gray Hansen colt was bred in Pennsylvania by John R. Penn. After failing to meet his reserve as a yearling, Fast and Accurate sold, for $85,000, at the April 2016 Ocala Breeders Sales two-year-olds in training event.
The buyer: Kendall Hansen, owner of Hansen, who is Fast and Accurate’s sire. Fast and Accurate is out of the winless Green Dancer mare It’s Heidi’s Dance.
Fast and Accurate took four tries and a drop into the claiming ranks to break his maiden, which he did in a $30,000 maiden claimer in December at Turfway Park. He then won the grassy Sage of Monticello Stakes Gulfstream Park prior to his upset win in the Spiral.
The Spiral victory gives Fast and Accurate 50 Kentucky Derby points, good for an eighth-place tie and enough to guarantee himself a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate — if his owner ponies up the $200,000 required to supplement him to the series, which he has indicated he would do.
The bad news for Fast and Accurate: his only previous try on conventional dirt, at Parx Racing, resulted in a distant fifth place finish against maidens.
Two of the top five among older horses were not among the top five last month.
Virginia-bred Long On Value jumped from nowhere at all — he did not receive a single vote in last month’s poll — all the way to third. The Value Plus horse, bred by Snow Lantern Thoroughbreds, is winless in two starts this year but most recently ran a very game second, losing in a head bob in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint on the turf at Meydan on the Dubai World Cup undercard.
And Sunny Ridge, bred in New Jersey by Dennis Drazin, moved from the also receiving votes category to fourth on the poll. The Holy Bull gelding ran his record to two-for-two in 2017 when he rallied to take the Stymie Stakes at Aqueduct March 12.
The poll is conducted monthly among a panel of industry participants and media members.
Of the 10 horses on the twin lists, four were bred in Pennsylvania, and three were bred in New Jersey. Two hailed from Maryland, and there was one from Virginia. The list includes seven males and three females.
The monthly Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred is the only publication devoted to Thoroughbred breeding and racing in the Mid-Atlantic region. The Racing Biz is the independent voice for mid-Atlantic racing and breeding and includes an online publication, a mobile application, and the weekly Off to the Races radio show.
The poll is restricted to horses that have run in 2017 and were bred in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, and the Carolinas.
- (last month: 2nd) Unique Bella (PA) — by Tapit-Unrivaled Belle, by Unbridled’s Song; bred by Brushwood Stable; trained by Jerry Hollendorfer for Don Alberto Stable; in 2017 won G2 Santa Ynez, G2 Las Virgenes
- (also receiving votes) Fast and Accurate (PA) — colt by Hansen-It’s Heidi’s Dance, by Green Dancer; bred by John R. Penn; trained by Mike Maker for Kendall E. Hansen; won G3 Spiral Stakes, Sage of Monticello Stakes
- (1st) Irish War Cry (NJ) — by Curlin-Irish Sovereign, by Polish Numbers; trained by Graham Motion for owner-breeder Isabelle de Tomaso; won G2 Holy Bull
- (3rd) O Dionysus (MD) — by Bodemeister-Safe Journey, by Flatter; bred by Dark Hollow Farm; trained by Gary Capuano for Marathon Farms; won Miracle Wood S., second Frank Whiteley, Jr. S., Private Terms S.
- (5th) Crabcakes (MD) — filly by Great Notion-Aunt Elaine, by Charismatic; bred and owned by Buckingham Farm and trained by Bernie Houghton; second Wide Country S.
Also receiving votes: Bonus Points
TOP OLDER HORSES
- (last month: 1st) Finest City (PA) — 5yo mare by City Zip-Be Envied, by Lemon Drop Kid; bred by HnR Nothhaft Horseracing, LLC; trained by Ian Kruljac for Seltzer Thoroughbreds; won G2 Santa Monica, second G1 Santa Margarita
- (3rd) Mor Spirit (PA) — 4yo ridgling by Eskendereya-Im a Dixie Girl, by Dixie Union; bred by Elkstone Group LLC; trained by Bob Baffert for Michael Lund Peterson; second G2 San Antonio S., won Essex H.
- (na) Long on Value (VA) — 6yo horse by Value Plus-Long Message, by Orientate; bred by Snow Lantern Thoroughbreds; trained by Bill Mott for Wachtel Stable, et. al.; 2nd G1 Al Quoz Sprint, 3rd Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint
- (also receiving votes) Sunny Ridge (NJ) — 4yo gelding by Holy Bull-Lignum Vitae, by Songandaprayer; bred by Dennis Drazin; trained by Jason Servis for Dennis Drazin; won Jazil S., Styme S.
- (4th) Green Gratto (NJ) — 7yo horse by Here’s Zealous-Starship Smokester, by Smokester; bred by Kaz Hill Farm; trained by Gaston Grant for himself and Anthony Grant; won G3 Toboggan S.
Also receiving votes: Granny’s Kitten, Disco Chick, Partly Mocha, Realm, Next Best Thing, Page McKenney
TOP MIDLANTIC-BREDS IN ACTION THIS WEEKEND
- Irish War Cry is 7-2 on the morning line in the G2 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct.
- Green Gratto is 15-1 on the morning line in the G1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct.
Participating Voters: Ted Black (freelance writer), Michael Campbell (Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association of New Jersey), Joe Clancy (Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred), Cindy Deubler (Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred), Linda Dougherty (freelance), Debbie Easter (Virginia Thoroughbred Association), Paul Espinosa (Charles Town Races), Anne Frederick (Maryland Horse Breeders Association), Rich Glazier (Delaware Park), Cricket Goodall (Maryland Horse Breeders Association), Jim Hague (freelance), Nick Hahn (freelance), Carol Holden (West Virginia Breeders Classics), Tom LaMarra (The Blood-Horse), Jeff Nations (freelance), Kate Painter (West Virginia Thoroughbred Breeders Association), Vinnie Perrone (freelance), Frank Petramalo (Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association), Gary Quill (The Racing Biz), David Richardson (Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association), Brian Sanfratello (Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association), Sal Sinatra (Maryland Jockey Club), Chris Sobocinski (Delaware Park), Dan Tordjman (freelance), Frank Vespe (The Racing Biz), Bill Watson (freelance), Lydia Williams (freelance), Bobby Zen (freelance).
Note — Not all participating voters will vote in every poll.