By Jon Forbes | 07/15/2010 03:20 PM ET
His name might be Sovereign Default, but the $95,000 his connections paid for him as a yearling is looking like a solid investment after the 2-year-old broke his maiden on debut Thursday at Belmont Park.
With the victory, Sovereign Default joins the New York Watch series, profiling up-and-comers that have recently cleared the maiden ranks at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga. Sovereign Default’s page is located at [link].
Breaking from the outside under Alan Garcia as the 5-2 second choice in a field that included several well-bred debuters, Sovereign Default pressed the pace in second while racing off early leader Scoville’s flank. After taking over at the top of the stretch, Sovereign Default kept the odds-on favorite Stay Thirsty at bay in the stretch to win by two lengths, with Punster an additional 10 ¾ lengths behind in third.
“He had shown some serious talent in the morning without being a rocket, and I think he obviously wants to go a little further,” said winning trainer Rick Violette, who trains Sovereign Default for owners Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence. “He galloped out spectacularly today. He was talented enough to win at 5 ½ furlongs, but not because he’s a really precocious 2-year-old. He just got better with every breeze, and hopefully he continues that. [Stay Thirsty] came in pretty well-heralded. He certainly trained awfully well up in Saratoga. It was far back to the third horse, and that big of a separation is usually a pretty good sign.”
The final time for 5 ½ furlongs over a main track listed as “good” was 1:03.79.
Violette had already sent out two other impressive debut winners earlier in the Spring/Summer Meet at Belmont, with Bail Out the Cat scoring by 2 ¼ lengths on June 10 and Let’s Get Fiscal airing by 5 ¼ lengths on June 17.
All three of Violette’s three debut winners fell into the same general price range, with
Bail Out the Cat bought for $150,000 at a 2-year-old sale and Let’s Get Fiscal acquired for $50,000 as a yearling.
“In some way, you can find an athlete, and you kind of go from there,” said Violette of the traits he desires in racing prospects. “We usually don’t spend a zillion dollars for the same physique with a lot of pedigree. You try to get enough pedigree to give you license to have a good horse, but we need an athlete to start with.”
Sovereign Default, by Northern Afleet, is the first foal out of the stakes-placed, 10-time winner She Is Raging, and he fits Violette’s description.
“[Sovereign Default] has a great hip and shoulder, he’s pretty correct, and he’s medium-sized without being big or too small,” said Violette. “He also has a great mind, and that’s something you don’t always know when you are buying yearlings.”
Violette said he will consider the Grade 2 Saratoga Special on August 16 or Grade 1 Three Chimneys Hopeful on September 6 for Sovereign Default’s next start, and is optimistic he’ll find more success with 2-year-olds in the upcoming months.
“It’s hard to fault [Sovereign Default’s] performance,” said Violette. “Bail Out the Cat won first time out, and I would think this is just as impressive of an effort. Hopefully I’ll have a few more bullets to fire that I think might be just as talented. Right now, things in the 2-year-old division are pretty good for us.”