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Forbes' Firsters


Forbes’ Firsters is a series that takes a glance at the pedigrees and sales histories of select 2-year-olds who are making their debuts in maiden special weight races at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, or Saratoga Race Course. Many of history’s best horses have commenced their careers in New York, and Forbes’ Firsters will help fans find the stars of tomorrow as they head postward for the first time.



Jon Forbes



SUMMER SANDS (dark bay/brown colt, Tiznow—Surf Song, by Storm Cat) looks to become the second winner from four foals to race out of his dam, an unraced half-sister to Champion Two-Year-Old Male and Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Midshipman and Grade 2 Cotillion heroine Fast Cookie. Surf Song’s lone winner from three previous foals to race is Beachrock, who won at the maiden special weight level at Del Mar.

Owner: Darley Stable
Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin
Jockey: Michael Luzzi


GENTLEMEN’S HONOR (dark bay/brown colt, A.P. Indy—Ready’s Gal, by More Than Ready) is out of a mare who was second in the Grade 1 Frizette on dirt as a 2-year-old and won four graded stakes on turf later in her career, including the Grade 2 Canadian as a 4-year-old. A half-brother to Ready’s Gal named Go Scotty won stakes on both dirt and turf. Ready’s Gal has produced one winner, Grade 3 Derby Trial hero Machen, from two foals to race.

Owner: Donald A. Adam
Trainer: William Mott
Jockey: Edgar Prado


BOLD DANCE (gray/roan colt, Pulpit—Quiet Dance, by Quiet American) is a half-brother to Horse of the Year and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Saint Liam, a four-time Grade 1 winner. Other half-siblings to Bold Dance include Grade 2 Molly Pitcher victress Quiet Giant and Grade 3 Bay Meadows Derby winner Congressionalhonor. Quiet Dance herself was a black-type earner, finishing second in the Grade 2 Demoiselle for juvenile fillies and winning a restricted stakes at Pimlico as a 4-year-old.

Owner: Besilu Stables
Trainer: William Mott
Jockey: Junior Alvarado
Sales history: $350,000 Keeneland September yearling


RYDILLUC (bay colt, Medaglia d’Oro—Swift and Classy, by Clever Trick), out of a restricted stakes winner at Gulfstream Park, is a half-brother to Gold Wonder, who captured a pair of minor turf sprint stakes. Rydilluc’s second dam, Sociable Duck, was second in the Grade 1 Spinaway and produced Seducer, who won a listed stakes, was Grade 3 placed, and produced Grade 3 winner Seducer’s Song; and Silvery Swan, the unraced dam of Grade 1 Haskell Invitational Handicap winner Roman Ruler and Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap victor El Corredor.

Owner: Team Stallion Racing Stable. S. Shay, L. Green, Harold Lerner LLC, et al.
Trainer: Gary Contessa
Jockey: Pablo Morales
Sales history: $55,000 Keeneland September yearling; $150,000 Fasig-Tipton 2-year-old (one furlong in 10 3/5 seconds, video)




TOKYO TIME (bay filly, Medaglia d’Oro—Flying Passge, by A.P. Indy) is a half-sister to turf filly Hungry Island, who has won the Grade 2 Woodford Reserve Lake Placid and Grade 2 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile and earned Grade 1 placings in the Longines Just a Game and First Lady. A half-brother to Tokyo Time, Soaring Empire, won the Grade 3 Hal’s Hope on the dirt. Their dam, who has three winners from as many foals to race, is a winning half-sister to Grade 2 Ladies Handicap heroine Tara Roma and Grade 2 True North Handicap victor Waldoboro.

Owner: Emory A. Hamilton
Trainer: Claude McGaughey, III
Jockey: Eddie Castro


FLOTILLA (gray/roan filly, Mizzen Mast—Helstra, by Nureyev) is a full-sister to Stern Opinion, a turf sprinter who won listed stakes and placed in Group 3 events in France at the ages of 2, 3, and 4. Dr Arbatach, a half-brother to Flotilla, won 30 races in Puerto Rico, including a pair of stakes on the dirt. Their dam is a winning half-sister to dual stakes victor Stormy Atlantic and listed stakes winner Mr. Katowice.

Owner: Juddmonte Farms
Trainer: William Mott
Jockey: Junior Alvarado


SWITCHBOARD (dark bay/brown filly, Bernardini—High Speed Access, by Kingmambo) is out of a mare who won a minor turf stakes at Calder. Switchboard’s second dam, Speed Dialer, captured the Grade 2 Arlington-Washington Lassie and also produced Storm Alert, a listed stakes winner on turf at Keeneland.

Owner: Jennifer Contessa
Trainer: Gary Contessa
Jockey: Pablo Morales
Sales history: $160,000 Keeneland September yearling


HOW CHEEKY (dark bay/brown filly, Mr. Greeley—Barbette, by High Yield) is out of a two-time turf stakes winner and is a grandson of a mare who won five minor stakes in Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Siblings to How Cheeky’s dam include Diamond on the Run, winner of the Grade 2 Davona Dale and second in the Grade 1 Frizette, and Tropical Blossom, who won a minor stakes at Golden Gate Fields and was Grade 1 placed at Hollywood Park.

Owner: Dennis Narlinger
Trainer: Michelle Nihei
Jockey: Alan Garcia
Sales history: $100,000 Keeneland September yearling


CHANNEL OF GOLD (bay filly, Bernardini—Cross Channel, by Giant’s Causeway) is the first foal to race out of her three-time winning dam, a half-sister to Exchange Rate, who took the Grade 2 Tom Fool Handicap on dirt and was third in the Grade 2 Frank E. Kilroe Mile Handicap on turf, and Sabre d’Argent, a Group 3 winner in England. Channel of Gold’s second dam, won a Grade 3 on the dirt at the Meadowlands.

Owner: Anthony Mitola, Mike Ryan & Niall Brennan
Trainer: Christophe Clement
Jockey: Rajiv Maragh
Sales history: $100,000 Keeneland September yearling


NEVER TOUCH A STAR (gray/roan filly, Henrythenavigator—Mekko Hokte, by Holy Bull) is out of a mare who won the Delta Miss at Louisiana Downs as a 2-year-old. All three foals out of Mekko Hokte to race have won, including My Jen, victorious in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom Handicap.

Owner: Windmill Manor Farm
Trainer: Eddie Kenneally
Jockey: Jose Lezcano



Jon Forbes



SOUPER FUNNY (chestnut colt, Distorted Humor—Zoftig, by Cozzene) is a half-brother to a pair of Grade 1 Acorn winners: Zaftig, who won the race in 2005, and this year’s winner Zo Impressive. Their dam, who has produced three winners from four foals to race, was also a Grade 1 winner as a 3-year-old, taking the Selene Stakes.

Owner: Live Oak Plantation
Trainer: Thomas Albertrani
Jockey: Joel Rosario


TELEGRAPH HILL (Distorted Humor—Little Belle, by A.P. Indy) is the first foal out of his dam, who won the Grade 1 Kentucky and was second in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks. Dubai Dancer, a full-sister to Little Belle, won a minor route stakes at Monmouth Park.

Owner: Darley Stable
Trainer: Thomas Albertrani
Jockey: Lanfranco Dettori


DARWIN (Big Brown—Cool Ghoul, by Silver Ghost) is a half-brother to Dagnabit, who won the listed Tremont and restricted Aspirant as a 2-year-old. Their dam won a single race, a $7,500 maiden claimer at Tampa Bay Downs, and is a half-sister to Grade 2 Remsen victor Comeonmom. Three of four foals of Cool Ghoul to race have won. Cool Ghoul and Comeonmom are out of Grade 1 Gazelle Handicap victor Single Blade. Darwin was the second most expensive of 44 yearlings by Big Brown to sell at auction in 2011 and is the most expensive of 14 juveniles by his freshman to sell at auction this year.

Owner: Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: John Velazquez
Sales history: $220,000 Keeneland September yearling; $1.3 million Fasig-Tipton Florida 2-year-old (one furlong in 10 1/5 seconds, video)



Jon Forbes



MARY BERNICE (bay filly, Bernardini—Coronation Cup, by Chief’s Crown) is out of a mare who the Grade 3 Nijani on the turf. Six half-siblings to Coronation Cup won stakes, including turf winners Hero’s Honor (Grade 1 Bowling Green Handicap), Wild Applause (Grade 2 Diana Handicap), and Glowing Honor (Grade 2 Diana Handicap). Another half-sibling, Sea Hero, took the Grade 1 Champagne, Grade 1 Kentucky Derby, and Grade 1 Travers. In addition to Mary Bernice, Coronation Cup has produced 10 foals of racing age, with three winners from four starters.

Owner: Ben P. Walden, Jr. & Larry Taylor
Trainer: Angel Penna, Jr.
Jockey: Rajiv Maragh
Sales history: $30,000 Keeneland November weanling


MYPERFECTVALENTINE (chestnut filly, Curlin—Netherland, by Roy) is out of a mare who was named Argentina’s Champion Three-Year-Old Filly after winning the Group 1 Gran Premio Seleccion (Argentine Oaks) and finishing second in the Group 1 Gran Premio Nacional (Argentine Derby) and Polla de Portrancas (Argentine 1000 Guineas). She has produced two winners from three starters, including Full Snow Moon, who placed in a listed stakes in France as a 2-year-old.

Owner: Lady Sheila Stable
Trainer: Kenneth McPeek
Jockey: Ramon Dominguez
Sales history: $125,000 Keeneland September yearling




DISSENSION (dark bay or brown filly, With Distinction—Sweetbabe, by Formal Dinner) is a half-sister to Sweet Repent, who won six stakes, including the Grade 3 Stage Door Betty Handicap. All five foals to race out of Sweetbabe, who captured four races, are winners.

Owner: Paul J. Pompa, Jr.
Trainer: Patrick Reynolds
Jockey: Joel Rosario


BRILLIANT LAKE (bay filly, A.P. Indy—Sapphire n’ Silk, by Pleasant Tap) is a full-sister to Grade 2 Kentucky Cup Classic winner Shaniko and a half-sister to three-time turf stakes heroine Silky Smooth. Their dam won a pair of graded sprints, the Grade 2 Prioress and Grade 3 La Troienne, and is a half-sister to Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap victor Golden Itiz. A half-sister to Sapphire n’ Silk, Silk n’ Sapphire, produced Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner Shared Account.

Owner: Flag Lake II Stable
Trainer: Claude McGaughey, III
Jockey: Javier Castellano
Sales history: $400,000 Keeneland September yearling



Jon Forbes



PICEANCE (dark bay/brown colt, Speightstown—Inny River, by Seattle Slew) is a half-brother to Montgomery Arch, who won the Group 2 Richmond and was third in the Group 1 Dewhurst in England as a juvenile, and Welcome Inn, who took a restricted stakes on dirt for 2-year-old fillies at Laurel Park. Another half-sibling, Inny Minnie, has placed in the Grade 3 Delta Princess and Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra so far in her career. Seven of Inny River’s nine foals to race have won, three on turf. Inny River, who was winless in four starts, is a half-sister to Lotus Pool, a two-time Grade 3 winner on turf, Golden Larch, who twice finished third in the Grade 1 Woodward, and Grade 3-placed runners Honour a Bull and Golden Glen.

Owner: Susan S. Bunning
Trainer: Dale Romans
Jockey: Julien Leparoux