Lane’s End-sired runners did their best to clarify their respective divisions with big efforts over the weekend. Two-time leading North American sire SMART STRIKE is now the leading general sire in the nation. His Air Support, owned and bred by Stuart Janney, stamped himself as perhaps the best sophomore grass male in the U.S. when he registered a career-best in the $600,000 G2 Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs. Shug McGaughey trains the now three-time graded winner, who pushed his career earnings past the $560,000 mark.
CITY ZIP’s son Majestic City, a $180,000 OBSMAR juvenile, left no doubt who the best 2-year-old in California is with a strong victory in the G3 Hollywood Juvenile Championship on Sunday. The big-striding chestnut stalked just off the leaders, then lengthened away to win by 2 1/4 lengths. Majestic City, owned by Jeffrey Bloom and trained by Peter Miller, was bred by Trackside Farm and Robert and Helen Evans. The 2-year-old CITY ZIP filly Dene Court, meanwhile, was second in the $160,000 Shady Well S. at Woodbine, while the CITY ZIP pair of Ancil and Curfew Tower finished 2-3 in the Chenery S. for 2-year-olds at Colonial. With five winners from nine juvenile starters–of which four are already black-type horses–CITY ZIP is the nation’s leading sire of 2-year-olds!
ROCK HARD TEN got his newest graded stakes winner–and his first Grade 1 winner–when Nereid dead-heated for the win in the G1 American Oaks at Hollywood Park on Saturday. A $190,000 KEESEP yearling, the filly has now won three of four starts and can be considered one of the best sophomore grass fillies in the nation. Nereid, who was produced by the BELONG TO ME mare Dowry, was bred by Mr. and Mrs. Emler Neuman. John Shirreffs trains her for Eric Kronfeld.
Also on the weekend, A. U. Miner, by MINESHAFT, solidified his status as one of the premier distance runners in the country. He won by an easy 3 1/2 lengths in the $200,000 Greenwood Cup S. over 1 1/2 miles at Parx. The 6-year-old was third in last year’s G3 Breeders’ Cup Marathon. MINESHAFT is currently 8th on the Sire List.
KINGMAMBO’s daughter Wonder of Wonders was a close-up third in the G1 Irish Oaks. SAINT LIAM’s brilliant performer Havre de Grace joined with Blind Luck to put up a race for the ages in the G2 Delaware H., falling a nose short of that foe in the $765,000 event. And LEMON DROP KID’s 3-year-old colt River Lemon ran third in a blanket finish to the Toronto Cup S.