Keeneland presents American Graded Stakes Standings: Youth is Served
With the Experimental Free Handicap having been released this week, the focus here will also be on the 2-year-old class of 2012 and the information that can be gleaned from the American Graded Stakes charts.
When it comes to the trainers that had the most success with juvenile stakes winners, the usual suspects were once again at the top of the list. As he did the previous year, Todd Pletcher led the way in 2012, with six individual graded stakes winners that racked up 11 stakes wins. Shanghai Bobby ranked at both the top of the Experimental Free Handicap at 126 pounds and also was Pletcher’s most accomplished 2-year-old winner, with three graded stakes to his credit. Not far behind ‘Bobby’ were Violence (weighted at 123 pounds with two graded stakes wins) and Overanalyze (120 pounds, two graded stakes wins). On the distaff side, Kauai Katie was weighted at 120 pounds (three pounds below champion Beholder) and had two graded stakes victories; stablemate Dreaming of Julia came in at 119 pounds with one graded win.
Not far behind Todd Pletcher was Bob Baffert, who sent out five individual juvenile graded stakes winners last year. At the top of Baffert’s list of juvenile winners was the filly Executiveprivilege, who won three graded stakes and was listed one pound lower (122) than Beholder.
Mark Casse and Chad Brown each had three juvenile graded stakes winners. Interestingly, all of Brown’s 2-year-olds won their graded stakes on the turf. Missing from last year’s list was Steve Asmussen, who didn’t have a single juvenile graded stakes winner in 2012, after having had three the previous year.
Six different owners were each represented by two individual 2-year-old AGS winners in 2012: John Oxley, Mike Repole, Spendthrift Farm, Stonestreet Stables, Klaravich Stables/William Lawrence, and Watson, Pegram, and Weitman.
Among stallions, freshman sire Spring At Last led the way with three individual AGS winners – Seaneen Girl, Spring Venture, and Spring in the Air. There were three stallions with two individual winners – Pulpit, Lion Heart, and Medaglia d’Oro.
From an auction standpoint, 33 of the 41 individual AGS winners, or 80%, went through a sales ring. Of those 33 auction graduates, 14 were sold as juveniles; 17 sold as yearlings, and two as weanlings.
The most expensive 2-year-old winner was Executiveprivilege, purchased for $650,000 by The Three Amigos from Eddie Woods, agent, at the 2012 OBS April 2-year-old sale. A daughter of First Samurai, Executiveprivilege won five of seven starts, scoring victories in the G1 Del Mar Debutante and G1 Chandelier Stakes in addition to finishing second in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
The lowest priced AGS 2-year-old winner was Seaneen Girl, winner of the G2 Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill Downs. Seaneen Girl, who raced for Naveed Chowhan, was purchased for $5,000 by Robert Tiller, agent, at the 2011 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale.