JC / Railbird

Madcap Escapade

Catching Up

Here we are, less than a month away from Del Mar and Saratoga, and interesting juveniles are starting to appear on the scene. In May, I made mention of Hornblower, the first starter for freshman sire First Samurai. He finished third in his debut at Hastings; “maybe he’ll improve next out,” I wrote. He did, winning his second start, a six-furlong maiden special, last Saturday, giving First Samurai his first winner. The sire scored his second winner on Sunday when Le Mi Geaux, making her second career start for trainer Rick Dutrow, won a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special at Churchill Downs by 7 1/4 lengths. Third in her debut, Le Mi Geaux is the second starter from a May 14 Churchill maiden special won by the Ken McPeek trainee Salty Strike (likely favorite in this Saturday’s Debutante) to come back and win her next race. Blue Orleans, second that day, returned to win at the track on June 12, going wire-to-wire in a 4 1/2-furlong maiden special. The filly, trained by Todd Pletcher, is by Bluegrass Cat, who has six winners already out of his first crop to race, and is a half-sibling to versatile graded stakes winner Pico Central.

Out at Belmont Park last weekend, photographer Easy Goer caught an unnamed 2-year-old working in company with stakes winner Munnings. The A.P. Indy colt with a distinctive blaze, bought by Coolmore for $1 million at the Keeneland September 2009 sale, is out of the brilliant sprinter Madcap Escapade and a half-sibling to G1 Debutante Stakes and Sorrento Stakes winner Mi Sueno. Once he has a name, he’ll be one for the watch list.