American Lion Hints at Classic Potential
Monday, October 26, 2009
The first weekend of the Keeneland fall meet carried plenty of meaning for the Nov. 6-7 Breeders' Cup, at least in producing potential starters.

The second weekend? Not so much - although what otherwise might have been a forgettable maiden race could have produced a contender for the 2010 classics.

American Lion, owned by WinStar Farm and trained by Eoin Harty, looked sensational in capturing the last race Sunday, drawing off to win the seven-furlong race by nearly seven lengths in 1:22.22 over Polytrack and earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 93. Of course, it's quite a leap from an October maiden win to becoming a major player on the road to the Triple Crown, but all such journeys begin with a first step.

"He's one of our two best 2-year-olds," WinStar's racing manager, Elliott Walden, said Monday. "To this point, it's him and Super Saver," fourth in the Champagne Stakes for trainer Todd Pletcher. "We were extremely pleased with the way he ran."

Walden said WinStar, the central Kentucky powerhouse owned by Bill Casner and Kenny Troutt, has had "at least 12 2-year-olds" win or run second in maiden races this year. American Lion is by the hot sire Tiznow and is the first foal out of a young Storm Cat mare named Storm Tide, whose dam, City Band, was a Grade 1 winner.

American Lion finished second in his only prior start, a Sept. 13 maiden race at Arlington Park, when trained by Richard Budge. Historically, Budge has handled the less-talented WinStar runners when listed as program trainer for the occasional race, but Walden said fans "shouldn't read anything into that at all. Richard is a private trainer for us on the farm, and all the horses come through him at some point."

In the case of American Lion, "we just decided not to send him to Del Mar for his first start and had Richard take him up to Chicago to run him the one time, knowing the horse would join up with Eoin when he came here for the fall meet."

Walden said American Lion was being flown Monday to join Harty's main strings of horses in southern California, where the colt will be pointed to the Grade 1, $750,000 CashCall Futurity on Dec. 19 at Hollywood Park, with possibly a prep race in between.
$175,000 colt the latest Fed Biz star at Keeneland sale title=
Fed Biz

$175,000 colt the latest Fed Biz star at Keeneland sale

Fed Biz, a top-five First-Crop yearling average sire, was represented by one of the leading colts during Tuesday's session of the Keeneland Yearling sale...

[read more]

$300,000 colt tops exceptional Saturday at Keeneland for Fed Biz title=
Fed Biz

$300,000 colt tops exceptional Saturday at Keeneland for Fed Biz

Fed Biz had his top-priced yearling at auction this year on Saturday at Keeneland when a colt by the WinStar stallion went for $300,000...

[read more]

$525,000 Pioneerof the Nile colt tops Keeneland Saturday session title=
Pioneerof the Nile

$525,000 Pioneerof the Nile colt tops Keeneland Saturday session

Leading sire Pioneerof the Nile had the session topper Saturday at the Keeneland September Yearling sale when a colt by the WinStar stallion brought a winning bid of $525,000...

[read more]

Undefeated Artie Schiller filly wins first stakes start title=
Artie Schiller

Undefeated Artie Schiller filly wins first stakes start

Amy's Challenge won a spirited stretch-long battle with Mr. Jagermeister to win Saturday's $80,000 Shakopee Juvenile S. to give the 2-year-old daughter of Artie Schiller her first stakes win...

[read more]

Uni (GB) takes Sands Point S. (G2) for first graded stakes win title=
More Than Ready

Uni (GB) takes Sands Point S. (G2) for first graded stakes win

Uni's victory in Saturday's $400,000 Sands Point S. (G2) made the 3-year-old filly the 80th lifetime graded stakes winner for WinStar Farm's More Than Ready...

[read more]

Pioneerof the Nile's spectacular Thursday at Keeneland title=
Pioneerof the Nile

Pioneerof the Nile's spectacular Thursday at Keeneland

Pioneerof the Nile had one of his best days of his illustrious stallion career Thursday at the Keeneland September Yearling sale when three separate juveniles surpassed the $700,000 mark...

[read more]

$750,000 filly new top at Keeneland for Distorted Humor title=
Distorted Humor

$750,000 filly new top at Keeneland for Distorted Humor

Distorted Humor, the number one broodmare sire of 2017, had his top yearling of the first four sessions of the Keeneland September Yearling sale on Thursday...

[read more]

First Fed Biz Keeneland yearling hammers for $150,000 title=
Fed Biz

First Fed Biz Keeneland yearling hammers for $150,000

Fed Biz's first yearling through the ring at the Keeneland September Yearling sale sold for 15 times his stud fee...

[read more]

Big numbers at Keeneland continue for Bodemeister title=
Bodemeister

Big numbers at Keeneland continue for Bodemeister

A $400,000 filly topped Bodemeister's returns Thursday at the Keeneland September Yearling sale...

[read more]

Pioneerof the Nile has top filly Wednesday at Keeneland title=
Pioneerof the Nile

Pioneerof the Nile has top filly Wednesday at Keeneland

Pioneerof the Nile had the top-selling filly during the third day of the Keeneland September Yearling sale when Ruis Racing went to $825,000 to secure hip No. 672...

[read more]