The end of June marks the halfway point not only on the calendar, but also of the racing season. Although it may be considered still a little early, one 2-year-old colt has already indicated he will be a force to be reckoned with as the year goes on.
With a decisive 2 ¾-length victory in the G3 Bashford Manor Stakes at Churchill Downs, Tim O'Donohue's Debt Ceiling earned his first graded stakes victory and remained undefeated. The handsome bay colt entered Saturday's race off a sharp victory in the Rollicking Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on Preakness Day.
The colt's victory in the Bashford Manor gave his sire, Discreet Cat, his fourth graded stakes winner of the year. It also moved the stallion into a tie with Scat Daddy, Tapit, and War Front on the American Graded Stakes Standings leading sire list.
A 10-year-old stallion by Forestry, Discreet Cat's oldest runners are now 4-year-olds. Graded stakes winners this year that are from that crop include the colts Discreet Dancer, winner of the G2 Gulfstream Park Handicap, and Sage Valley, who won the G3 Maryland Sprint Handicap. The 3-year-old filly, Discreet Marq, captured the G2 Sands Point Stakes at Belmont Park. Both Discreet Marq and Debt Ceiling are out of daughters of Marquetry.
Prayer for Relief's victory in the G3 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap provided his trainer, Steve Asmussen, with his fifth graded stakes winner, giving him the boost needed to crack the top five on the AGS leading trainers list. In addition to the Zayat Stables colorbearer, Asmussen has saddled Cluster of Stars (G2 Distaff H.), Ice Cream Silence (G3 Doubledogdare), Justin Phillip (G3 Count Fleet Sprint H.), and Master Rick (G3 Texas Mile, G3 Lone Star Park H.).
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