Pedigree of the Day / Updated at 7 p.m. ET: Captain Cade & “One Other” May Pique Interest at Churchill Downs Today

(Orb, a son of Malibu Moon, is the sire of Captain Cade / Photo Courtesy of Claiborne Farm)

We were recently contacted by a couple of regular viewers and asked if we would reinstitute our “Pedigree of the Day” feature, and pinpoint some possible “Claim Prospects” that may pique some interest in the claim box.

Never one to cave to public pressure, I am often intrigued by those that are complimentary of some of our work product though, and, in this particular case? Flattery will definitely get you everywhere.

And, as a result, here you go:

Upon further review — as they like to say in nearly every major sports activity these days — there are two colts that bear watching, a bit, who are racing today/tonight at Churchill Downs.

While I normally steer clear of the colts, and concentrate most of my pedigree analysis on the fillies and mares — due to the fact that they do offer some residual value as possible broodmare candidates — these two colts intrigue me as possible claims today.

The first is Captain Cade, a 3-year-old son of Orb, who ran a very credible second in his last start when the connections dropped him to a $20,000 price tag for the first time. He is back in today at Churchill Downs at the same level, and will likely be the heavy favorite, since he was beaten only 1/2 length the last time out, and he has top end trainer/jockey connections on hand.

There are really five things about this colt that pique my interest — the least of which are the colt’s chances of winning today. As a possible buyer, I would hope that he would not break his maiden and leave that option open for the next time out.

Here are the things that do interest me, though:

One, the dam is Authenicat, who really was a world class runner. In 26 lifetime starts, she put together a record of 7-7-4 and earned over $720,000 in purses. She was a multiple Graded Stakes Place winner, and accomplished her running both here in the States and north of the border in Canada. I could envision seeing this one working some time out at Woodbine, in the near future, where “mom” did some nice running on the all-weather surface.

Secondly, this one has never been on the turf. And, that’s a spot where I would definitely try sooner rather than latter. The mare started over the sod twice in her distinguished career — with a second and a third. Her per race earnings for those two grass starts was $18,032 per race. That’s not a bad rate, at all.

Orb, the sire, won the Kentucky Derby in 2013, which was his fifth win in a row for trainer Shug McGaughey and the Phipps Family Stables. Obviously, the son of Malibu Moon was a dynamic runner on the dirt. But some of his best runners to date have been over the grass surface.

Just consider:

There is Orbolution, who won the P.G. Johnson Stakes at Saratoga, and then was third in the G3 Miss Grillo Stakes. She ran in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Stakes last year at Del Mar.

This year, Orb has sired the winner Scrapper, who broke his maiden in a 7-furlong event over the grass at Gulfstream Park back in April. Since then, the Todd Pletcher-trainee has run second in the English Channel Stakes over the grass at Gulfstream Park and fifth in the Plate Trial Stakes at Woodbine over the all-weather surface.

Third is the fact that Orb, off to a rather quiet start to date as a sire, may have his best runner — as in ever — in the barn of Bob Baffert right now.

Most recently, the 3-year-old Explorer — another son of Orb — ran off to a 4-length victory at Santa Anita on May 18 over a fast dirt surface. The colt is now entered in the 7th race this Saturday at 1 mile in an allowance event. It will be just his second career race, but this one is already starting to turn heads and raise expectations. It will be interesting to watch and see how he responds to his first try against winners.

Fourth, this colt has never raced when equipped with blinkers for a racing event. Far be it from me to suggest such a thing to trainer Al Stall, who just so happens to be one of the best in the business and is currently sporing a record of 8-8-5 in just 27 mounts so far this meet. My training record, for the record, is far less impressive, although I am undefeated with a sparkling 0-0-0 in my career.

But, it may not hurt this one’s chances if he was equipped with a set. Experiment, just a bit. Sometimes it helps.

Finally, there is the fact that this one is still a colt. The fact of the matter is that this one is not likely to ever be considered for a career as a stallion. So, why not consider making him a gelding?

Sometimes, that “equipment change” can make a world of difference in how they approach the sport of racing, and how effective they can ultimately become.

All are reasons why Captain Cade intrigues me going into today’s races at Churchill Downs.

As far as the second colt that is running today at Churchill Downs? Can you guess who it may be?

I will leave that for as a mystery, for now. A little intrigue never did hurt anyone.

But I have alerted some others as to my potential interest, including some possible investors and clients.

We shall see later if he warrants enough interest, right?

Keep an eye out. I will reveal the identity later today. The envelope, please…

The other horse that I think is worth a possible claim tonight is Private Vigilante, in the last. For some of the same reasons.

To date, he has not been fitted with blinkers. That could help sharpen this one up a bit.

To date, he is still a colt. No real reason why he should not be gelded.

To date, he has not run on grass — although his grand dam was awfully good sprinting on the dirt for the late, great Jack Van Berg.

Still, this one was well thought of as a 2YO last year, when he broke his maiden by 3 and then suddenly found himself in a Stakes went against the likes of Dak Attack.

Has not run much since then, but he has fced some good ones in the past. Worth a shot, maybe?

 

 

 

My plan was to break and go. I broke good, I sent him, and he took me the whole way. He was traveling perfect. I just went from there and started moving and he responded very well. He went fast, and he gave me another gear at the quarter pole.”

Jose Ortiz, Rrider of the winner Diversify
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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