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Big Apple Babies

Big Apple Babies 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 Big Apple Babies will help fans find the stars of tomorrow as they head postward for the first time.



Jon Forbes



EXPLORING (2yo bay colt, Sky Mesa—Ing Ing, by Bering) is out of a mare who won a Group 3 in France. Ing Ing is a half-sister to French group stakes winners Tot Ou Tard and Execute, with the latter having captured the Group 1 Prix Ganay. Two of Ing Ing’s five foals of racing age have made it to the starting gate, and they have combined to win one race in 27 starts.

Owner: John C. Oxley
Trainer: Mark Casse
Jockey: Shaun Bridgmohan
Sales history: $135,000 OBS April 2-year-old (one furlong in 10 seconds, video)


WELL LAWYERED (2yo bay colt, Lawyer Ron—Cat Dancer, by Storm Cat) is a full-brother to Drill, victorious in last year’s Grade 1 Del Mar Derby on Polytrack and in this year’s Grade 2 San Vicente on dirt. Drill broke his maiden by a neck in his second start. Cat Dancer, who won a maiden special weight at Monmouth Park at 3, sold for $1.4 million in foal to Strong Contender in the 2011 Fasig-Tipton November sale. She is a full-sister to Magic Storm, who was third in the Grade 2 Adirondack and Grade 1 Spinaway as a juvenile before going on to win the Grade 2 Monmouth Oaks as a sophomore. Well Lawyered was the most expensive of 23 weanlings by Lawyer Ron to sell at auction in 2010, then was the most expensive of 28 yearlings by his sire in 2011.

Owner: Black Rock Stables
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Javier Castellano
Sales history: $60,000 Keeneland November weanling; $210,000 Keeneland September yearling


HOT WEST (2yo dark bay/brown colt, Elusive Quality—Xtra Heat, by Dixieland Heat) is out of the brilliant and popular sprinter who won 25 stakes, including the Grade 1 Prioress and 10 other graded events, between the ages of 2 and 5. Xtra Heat was also third against males in the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen. As a broodmare, she has produced four winners from six foals to race, including stakes-winning/graded stakes-placed sprinters Southwestern Heat and Elusive Heat.

Owner: Richard C. Pell
Trainer: Nicholas Zito
Jockey: Jose Lezcano
Sales history: $260,000 Keeneland September yearling


THAT’S GIN (2yo gray/roan colt, by Bernstein—Pocus Hocus, by Quiet American) is out of a mare who won the Grade 3 Turnback the Alarm Handicap and was second in the Grade 1 Ruffian Handicap. Pocus Hocus, a daughter of two-time Grade 3-winning turfer Cadabra Abra, has one winner from two foals to race.

Owner: John A. Nerud, John Comfort, & Albert Weis
Trainer: Michael Hushion
Jockey: Edgar Prado
Sales history: $40,000 Keeneland September yearling