JC / Railbird

First-Year Sire Giacomo 2-for-2

I always think of 2005 Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo as a late bloomer, remembering his string of second-, third-, fourth-place finishes in the run-up to May, overlooking that he won his second start as a 2-year-old (by 10 lengths, going 1 1/16 mile at Hollywood in October 2004). The first-year sire’s first two offspring to hit the track have proven a touch more precocious, both winning first out. Blushing Sis, out of the unraced Carson City mare Three City Sisters, debuted on April 3 at Manor Downs and won by eight lengths as the 3-2 favorite for trainer Cash Asmussen; she returned two weeks later to finish second in the Manor Downs Futurity. At Lone Star on Saturday, Lady Giacamo, 11-1, took a maiden special weight by 4 3/4 lengths after getting bumped at the start, then running wide into the stretch (replay). She’s out of Lady Gallapiat, a winner of five races from eight starts (no stakes) and dam of three other foals, two winners; her third dam is Inreality Star, dam of Meadow Star, the 1990 juvenile filly champion, and turf stakes winner Optic Nerve.

The first starter for First Samurai, winner of the 2005 Hopeful and one of the most physically stunning juveniles I’ve seen, finished third in a maiden special weight at Hastings this afternoon. This 2-year-old caught my eye not only because of his sire, but because of his name — Hornblower, which readers of Jane Smiley’s “A Year at the Races” may remember as the registered name of her homebred, Wowie, who finally won in his 11th start. The two might share more than a tag: “Weakened in the stretch” is the chart note for Hornblower ’08’s first run. Maybe he’ll improve next out. The colt is a half-sibling to graded stakes winner Spice Island, dam of Kentucky Derby runner-up Ice Box.