LEMON DROP KID was represented by two graded stakes winners over the weekend, including a new stakes winner in the form of the progressive 5-year-old Middleburg.
A half-brother to the top-class Winchester, Middleburg, a Mr. and Mrs. Bertram R. Firestone homebred, was looking for that elusive first stakes tally after close-up seconds in the GII Monmouth S. and GIII Arlington H. in his last two. Stymied at the top of the lane, Middleburg muscled his way out and got up for the well-deserved score.
“I talked to [trainer] Christophe [Clement] this morning, and he said, win or lose, to ride a patient race and sit the pocket, and that’s exactly what I did,” said winning jockey Joe Bravo. “We were confident he had the best turn of foot of any horse in the race, and when you ride for Christophe, you always ride with confidence. I was able to sit patient and just wait for a seam to open and when it did, he ran past those horses in three or four strides.”
The ultra-consistent Middleburg has been first or second in 12 of 16 starts and earned $349,360.
Middleburg’s victory came a day after LEMON DROP KID’s 3-year-old filly Don’t Leave Me won the G3 Ontario Colleen S. at Woodbine. A daughter of the Grade I-winning See How She Runs, Don’t Leave Me had previously shown her mettle with a win in Turfway’s G3 Bourbonette Oaks, and was a 3-1 chance in the Colleen.
Away toward the back of the pack, Don’t Leave Me was full of run in the lane and surged clear to win by 2 1/2 lengths.
“In the beginning, she was really sharp and I chirped on her and gave just a little tap on her shoulder, and she wanted to take off,” said winning jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva. “I said, ‘Woah babe, relax’ and she did relax. She ran awesome.”
The Pin Oak homebred has now won four of seven starts and earned $253,052.
It had already been a productive August for LEMON DROP KID. Earlier in the month, his 3-year-old daughter Season Ticket, owned by Lane’s End’s Woodford Racing, came through as the favorite in the third leg of Canada’s Triple Tiara, the $250,000 Wonder Where S.
At the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale, meanwhile, there were three LEMON DROP KID yearlings, and all three sold well. Solis/Litt Bloodstock paid $450,000 for a filly out of Singita; Zayat Stables purchased a colt out of the LANGFUHR mare Sweet Lorena for $300,000; and Grand Oaks landed a colt out of Mystic Mama for $200,000.
LEMON DROP KID has 53 catalogued yearlings at Keeneland September, including eight standouts from Lane’s End Sales. Keep an eye out for these exciting youngsters!