ENGLISH CHANNEL closed out January with a huge weekend that saw five horses, at four tracks, over three surfaces, win impressively.
The action began at Oaklawn Park on Jan. 26, when the 3yo colt Red Wings broke his maiden in a one-mile special weight on dirt. The homebred Red Wings represents the potent Bluegrass Hall/D. Wayne Lukas team, which also teamed up for two more homebred winners by ENGLISH CHANNEL on the same day.
Two races after Red Wings won, his fellow 3yo stablemate Channel Isle rallied from last to win a one-mile, $54,000 NW2L on the main track.
But the star of the afternoon was the classy Optimizer. The 4yo colt continued to be one of the most durable and gamest members of his generation in the G3 Col. E.R. Bradley H. at Fair Grounds on the grass. Following on the heels of a 14-race sophomore campaign that included a win in the G3 Kent S., Optimizer led every step in the Bradley to win by 3 1/2 lengths, while adding a second graded tally to his resumé.
The momentum continued on Sunday, Jan. 27. At Gulfstream, ENGLISH CHANNEL’s 4yo filly Seanchai, a $110,000 KEESEP graduate, set very strong fractions in a 1 3/8-mile allowance race on the turf and kicked on to win by 3 1/2 lengths. Todd Pletcher trains Seanchai for Gary L. Chervenell.
Next came the 4yo filly Canchera, a Bluegrass Hall-bred, Linda Marshall-owned filly who dominated a one-mile, Turfway maiden by 9 1/4 lengths on Polytrack. Putting the finishing touches on the weekend was Smart Cat, a Lane’s End sales grad, who made his first start in Sweden a winning one.
A month into the new year, ENGLISH CHANNEL is the #3 third-crop sire in the nation by earnings, #2 sire by stakes horses (3) and the #1 sires by graded winners and graded horses!