Frank Mitchell

Bloodlines: Pedigree And Other Shades Of Pavel

Fans of gray horses have long had the sharp, iron-gray Pavel (by Creative Cause) at the top of their lists among good-looking horses with talent. A winner of the Grade 3 Smarty Jones Stakes at Parx as a 3-year-old, Pavel had next finished third in the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont. Since then, […]

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Bloodlines: Tracing The Origins Of Justify’s Triple Crown Stamina

Fifty years ago, Stage Door Johnny (by Prince John) saved us from having an asterisk-laden Triple Crown. In the Kentucky Derby five weeks earlier, Peter Fuller’s highly talented gray colt Dancer’s Image (Native Dancer) had defeated Calumet’s Forward Pass (On-and-On), then had been disqualified due to the presence of a metabolite of bute in the […]

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Bloodlines: Unlikely Story Of How Unique Bella Nearly Slipped Through The Cracks

Sometimes, breeding top-class horses looks so easy. Just take three-time leading sire Tapit (by Pulpit) and breed him to a mare who won the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, and there you have it, champion Unique Bella, who won the Eclipse Award as the best sprint filly of 2017. Doesn’t that look simple? Unique Bella makes it […]

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Bloodlines: Accelerate Adds Notch For Lookin at Lucky, Smart Strike’s Unexpected Journey

Accelerate (by Lookin at Lucky) won the Gold Cup Handicap to pair with his Santa Anita Handicap, both Grade 1, and those victories make him look like the best older horse on the West Coast at 10 furlongs, at least unless West Coast (Flatter) comes out of hibernation and asserts some of his best form. […]

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Bloodlines: Tracing Justify’s Lineage To An English Triple Crown Winner

Now a dual classic winner with victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, the saga of unbeaten Justify (by Scat Daddy) is bookended by major mares both today and at the beginning of the 20th century. Justify’s dam, like the colt himself, was bred in Kentucky by John Gunther’s Glennwood Farm near Versailles. Gunther’s daughter Tanya […]

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Bloodlines: Peter Pan Winner Blended Citizen Does His Racing Family ‘Proud’

Victory in the Grade 3 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park was the second graded stakes success for Blended Citizen (by Proud Citizen), who now falls under suspicion as a candidate for the Belmont Stakes on June 9. The Peter Pan is a logical prep for the longest classic in the States, and the race has […]

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Bloodlines: Justify’s Derby Win Checks Another Box For Storm Cat

With his game victory under trying conditions in the May 6 Kentucky Derby, Justify brushed a couple of tedious talking points into the dustbin of history. The most obvious is the wretched “curse of Apollo,” as the unbeaten colt became first Kentucky Derby winner in more than a century not to race as a 2-year-old. […]

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Bloodlines: Filly Power On Display In Kentucky Oaks

When the crowd of colts enters the starting gate at Churchill Downs, any one of six or possibly even eight of the contestants could win without generating a genuine upset. The apparent breadth of quality in this group of 3-year-old colts is something in itself to cheer for. On the preceding day, however, there are […]

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Bloodlines: The Staying Power is Right Here

To whatever reason you assign the absence of distance racing in American racing, do not blame the horses. Grumble about racing secretaries, fuss over the monocular view of super-trainers, or diss the Derby fixation of owners, but do not suspect the Thoroughbred of being ill-made for the job of racing over any distance at all. […]

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Bloodlines: Magnum Moon Heads To Derby An Undefeated Millionaire

Victory in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby brought the winner, Magnum Moon, to the top of the tree among Kentucky Derby prospects by classic points with 150. The handsome bay is bred to be a classic colt, with the 1992 Kentucky Derby early favorite A.P. Indy being his male-line grandsire. In addition to winning the […]

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