While the rest of us were enjoying the last bit of summer, runners by Lane’s End sires were working hard all over the country.

Over Labor Day weekend, SMART STRIKE’s dynamic son Dominus, hero of last season’s G2 Dwyer S., handled the switch to the lawn with an impressive wire-to-wire win in the G2 Bernard Baruch H. at Saratoga. The 4yo stopped the clock in a razor-sharp 1:40 1/5 for the 1 1/16 miles. Owned by George Bolton, Stonestreet Stables and Spendthrift Farm, Dominus is trained by Todd Pletcher and has now won four of his eight starts.

It would be the first of two graded winners on the Saratoga lawn for SMART STRIKE over Labor Day weekend. Interestingly, the second hails from the same family. It was Dominus’s close relative Hit it Rich who lived up to her 4-5 favoritism with her own wire-to-wire score in the G3 Glens Falls S. The gray Stuart Janney homebred clipped off honest :24 1/5 and :48 flat fractions, got to the 1 1/4 miles in 2:00 and sped home the final eighth in :12.1 to complete a 2:12 1/5 clocking for the 1 3/8 miles. It was her third graded win, following victories in last year’s G3 Long Island H. and this spring’s G3 Orchid S. at Gulfstream. Trained by Shug McGaughey, Hit it Rich has now won 7 of 16 starts and earned $513,310. Hit it Rich was produced by Cuando Puede (Lord At War {Arg}), a graded stakes-winning full-sister to Dominus’s MSW-winning dam Cuando. Both mares are sisters to the first-class MG1SW Honey Ryder.

SMART STRIKE’s graded success continued right on through opening weekend of Belmont’s Fall Championship meet. His consistent 4yo son Air Support–another Stuart Janney homebred–ran down Bombaguia to capture the G2 Bowling Green S. by a head.

SMART STRIKE also saw his son Final Count, a Lane’s End sales grad, take down his first stakes win in the Cliff Guilliams H. at Ellis Park.

CITY ZIP also had a big Labor Day weekend. His 3yo daughter Dayatthespa made an eye-catching return to the races in the $100,000 Riskaverse S. at Saratoga. Now unbeaten in her four 2012 starts, she won the G3 Herecomesthebride S. and Sweetest Chant S. at Gulfstream earlier in the year and was making her first start since beating LEMON DROP KID’s Somali Lemonade in the G3 Appalachian S. at Keeneland in April. Dayathespa is owned by Jerry and Ronald Frankel, Steve Laymon and Lane’s End alum Pete Bradley’s Bradley Thoroughbreds.

In other graded action, CITY ZIP’s 2yo filly Mechaya ran third in the G1 Del Mar Debutante, his millionaire son Get Serious ran third in the G3 Cliff Hanger S., and his Grade 2-winning daughter City to City finished second in the G2 Yellow Ribbon H.

On closing day at Del Mar, CITY ZIP’s GSW & MG1SP daughter Renee’s Got Zap made a successful return to the races in the six-furlong C.E.R.F. S. The G2 Santa Ynez S. heroine flashed her early speed through a half in :44 2/5 and outclassed her rivals by 3 1/4 lengths on the line.

In addition to the aforementioned Mechaya, three other 2yo fillies by CITY ZIP caught the eye. His daughter Gal About Town won off by 3 1/4 lengths in her unveiling in a Monmouth MSW, while Evangeline’s Hope, previously third beaten 3/4 lengths in the $150,000 My Dear S., ran second in Woodbine’s $200,000 Muskoka S. Speedinthruthecity, meanwhile, previously second in both the Landaluce S. and G3 Sorrento S., finished third, beaten a head a nose, in the $100,000 one-mile Oak Tree Juvenile Fillies Turf S. at Del Mar.

The Oak Tree Juvenile Fillies S. actually sported a Lane’s End 1-2-3 finish. The winner of the race was AFTER MARKET’s daughter Renee’s Queen, who was breaking her maiden in auspicious fashion for Gem Racing Stable and trainer Eric Guillot, while Wertheimer Et Frere homebred Shrilanka, by PLEASANTLY PERFECT, finished second. Renee’s Queen is AFTER MARKET’s sixth 2012 stakes winner. That puts him in a tie in second with ENGLISH CHANNEL among second-crop sires, and ahead of Scat Daddy (4), Street Sense (4), etc.

Speaking of ENGLISH CHANNEL, his son Skyring added some more black-type to his own resume. The winner of Pimlico’s $100,000 James W. Murphy S. and the third in the G3 American Derby at Arlington was denied only a nose when second to Unbridled Command in the G3 Saranac S. at Saratoga, that after bounding away to set very fast :22 2/5, :46 1/5 and 1:10 2/5 fractions on the front end. The final time for the 1 1/8-mile race was a brisk 1:46 2/5, believed to be a stakes record for that distance in the 111-year-old event.

ENGLISH CHANNEL had his own impressive winner on Del Mar’s closing day with the 3yo filly Changethechannel broke her maiden in a one-mile, $71,000 MSW on the main track.

The late champion WAR PASS, who sired his two Northern Hemisphere crops at Lane’s End, was honored with his first black-type winner when the Charles Fipke homebred Java’s War captured the $150,000 Sunday Silence S. at Louisiana Downs.

Last but not least, Stonestreet Stable homebred Dreaming of Julia, a daughter of A.P. INDY, reminded us what championship promise the fall holds when she stamped herself as the early favorite for the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies with a dominating 16 1/4-length win in the one-mile Meadow Star S. at Belmont Park Sept. 9. Next up for the unbeaten filly is the G1 Frizette S. Oct. 6.

Congrats to the connections of all these talented horses!

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