The Brock Talk

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Backtalk Is Sassy In Sanford

With a bit of horse racing luck I have become a Backtalk fan. Back in mid-June when we mentioned Backtalk (photo) shortly after he broke his maiden at Churchill Downs, we mentioned he had become the first winner of his class for sire Smarty Jones.

Thursday at Saratoga the 2-year-old colt trained by Tom Amoss solidified his early popularity by remaining undefeated in winning the $150,000 Sanford Stakes (gr. 2) over the Steve Asmussen trained Enumerate.

At the top of the stretch Enumerate and Louisvilleluminary locked up and looked to be battling for the win. In the meantime, Backtalk had raced from off the pace while going six-wide around the turn and wore down the two leaders for the win.

It was the second consecutive graded stakes win for Backtalk, whose damn Apasionata Sonata is the daughter of 1978 Triple Crown winner Affirmed. After stumbling at the start, Backtalk won the grade 3 Bashford Manor at Churchill Downs Jul. 3. And again he impressed his trainer with his determination.

“ I’m very excited," Amoss said in

"I think the ability to come from that far off the pace on a day like today when it looked, to me, as the day went on that speed was a good commodity (and) the wide trip he had … I think those things were very exciting. And, I would say, a will to win. The race was not decided until very late.”

Backtalk was purchased for $250,000 as a yearling and has now won $180,0985 for GoldMark Farm owner Paul Buhlman.

The largest and perhaps the most important thoroughbred auction of the year will feature a catalogue of 5,189 yearlings at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky September 14-28. The first few days of the sale are always the most exciting as last year 12 yearlings sold for $1 million or more including an A.P. Indy filly that had the gavel drop on her at the $3.1 million mark. During the first day of the 15-day sale in 2008, 154 yearlings sold for an average of more than $363,000 and the second day saw the average climb to nearly $400,000 each. The median was $300,000 each day if your playing along on Excel at home.

Of the horses cataloged, 2,662 are colts, 2,524 are fillies, and three are geldings.

Keeneland recently announced that the commission rate on horses which fail to meet their reserve (RNAs) will be reduced from 4.5% to 2.5% for the upcoming sales season, beginning with the September sale. The fee reduction is one of several new enhancements Keeneland will debut in September.

Superstars such as Zenyatta and perhaps the nation's top turf horse so far this year, Gio Ponti, American Oaks starlet Gozzip Girl, Pioneerof The Nile, Stardom Bound and the very fast but directionaly challenged Thorn Song are among the 85 graded stakes winners this year that are all graduates of the Keeneland September yearling sale.

NYRA Photo

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