The Brock Talk

Friday, August 7, 2009

Two Year Old Spotlight

Today we begin a new feature that we hope will be of benefit to our readers who like a good gambling opportunity and informational for those of you who like to approach horse racing from more of a strict fan angle.

There are few things more fun in this game than finding a young 2-year-old with potential and following them through a successful racing career. Two of my favorite instances of this happened when I spotted a huge Risen Star walking through the Louisiana Downs barn area as an unraced youngster one morning in 1987. And when I saw A.P. Indy break his maiden as a first-time starter at Hollywood Park in 1991.

So I have enlisted the help of Brad Auger, a national leader in the annual Daily Racing Form Handicapping Challenge, to share some of the potential stars of tomorrow from his extensive research.

Our first installment is Depaul, a son of Dixieland Band who makes his first start in the eighth race at Calder Saturday, a 5-1/2 furlong maiden special weight race with a purse of $32,000.

By Brad Auger
One important factor in handicapping first time starters is breeding. And Depaul has just we look for in sire Dixieland Band.

Dixieland Band, who was pentioned from his stud career at Lane's End Farm at age 28 in December, has sired 115 stakes winners, who amassed progeny earnings of more than $73.7-million. A son of Norther Dancer, (the most influential thoroughbred in North America during the late 20th century), Dixieland Band also has the ever-important high win percentage with among his sons and daughter starting for the first time.

Both Dixieland Band and Depaul's dam are bred for speed, suggesting Depaul will be race ready early in his career. In combination with breeding, his workouts also hint to early speed.

If you are wagering on this race, a win bet would be in order, especially if Depaul stays near his 6-1 morning line odds. Two-year-old races at Calder are always challenging races to win, but this colt may offer some value. In having an outside post, Depaul should stay clear of trouble and sit off the early speed. If odds on Depaul are around the 5/2 – 3-1 mark, then stay clear and wait for more value from this colt in perhaps a later race.

The 28-year-old Northern Dancer horse out of Grade 1 winner Mississippi Mud, by Delta Judge, remains in good health and is fertile but is being removed from stud because of problems with arthritis, according to a press release from the farm. He was one of the original three stallions to enter stud at Lane’s End following his retirement from racing in 1985. Dixieland Band will remain at the farm.

A multiple Grade 2 winner, Dixieland Band won eight of 24 career starts with three second- and four third-place finishes, earning $441,320 during three racing seasons. He won the 1983 Pennsylvania Derby (G2) and the ’84 Massachusetts Handicap (G2) before retiring to Lane’s End.

1 comment:

ReneC said...

I like the new feature. Hated to see Dixieland Band end his stud duty.