The lights of Churchill Downs shone bright on SMART STRIKE’s latest graded stakes winner, the up-and-coming 3-year-old filly Centre Court. On Saturday’s evening card under the Twin Spires, the G. Watts Jr and Louise I. Humphrey homebred, fresh off a maiden victory at Churchill, saw off a challenge from PLEASANT TAP’s Colonial Flag to win the G3 Regret S. by a length. The Rusty Arnold-trained Centre Court was produced by A.P. INDY’s Grade 2 winner Let, another Arnold-trained filly. Colonial Flag, meanwhile, is a three-parts sister to PLEASANTLY PERFECT’s Breeders’ Cup champion Shared Account. Completing a Lane’s End trifecta of sorts was Treasured Up, a $450,000 yearling graduate from Lane’s End’s 2010 FTSAUG draft.
On the same card, MINESHAFT’s Nates Mineshaft ran a dead-game third in the G1 Stephen Foster H., relinquishing the lead only in the final strides after making all the pace, while Royal Delta, the champion daughter of A.P. INDY’s MGSW Delta Princess, got back on track with a facile win in the G2 Fleur de Lis H.
In other stakes action over the weekend, A.P. INDY’s 4-year-old daughter Love and Pride captured her first graded stakes in the G3 Obeah H. at Delaware, raising her career earnings to over $370,000, and SMART STRIKE’s Air Support ran second in the $500,000 Colonial Turf Cup.
CITY ZIP had a pair of stakes horses. Classy Zip completed the exacta in the Fort Monmouth S. at Monmouth, while Gleam of Hope ran second in the Brooks Fields S. The latter race was won by CANDY RIDE (ARG)’s son Stachys, now a five-time stakes winner of nearly $420,000.
STEPHEN GOT EVEN’s Schoolyard Dreams, a multiple graded stakes performer, edged his bankroll past the $250,000 mark with a close-up second in the Lemon Drop Kid S. at Belmont against a graded-caliber field. And another star son of A.P. INDY, our own Horse of the Year MINESHAFT, was represented by a smart 2-year-old filly to watch on the West Coast named Moreno’s Mine, a running-on second in the 5 1/2-furlong Willard L. Proctor Memorial S. at Betfair Hollywood Park. Moreno’s Mine, a $180,000 yearling, was produced by the LANGFUHR mare Fi.
Deep in the heart of Texas, it was Lane’s End homebred Falling Star, a 2-year-old daughter of TOO MUCH BLING, who came out on top in the $100,000 TTA Sales Futurity S. at Lone Star, defeating Pardonmecomingthru, a daughter of Chatain. TOO MUCH BLING stood the 2012 season for a fee of $4,000, while Chatain was standing at Lane’s End when Pardonmecomingthru was conceived.
To top off the big weekend for Lane’s End Texas, our outstanding farm manager there, Danny Shifflett, was surprised at the TTA’s annual banquet with the T. I. “Pops” Harkins Award. The award is presented to the TTA member whose efforts and contributions to the association and the Texas Thoroughbred industry over a period of years have helped to further the goals of the TTA. John Adger presented. Congrats, Danny!