This column highlights the performances of maidens who have made no more than five starts and who either sold for more than $500,000 at public auction, have siblings that are grade/group winners, or have dams that are grade/group winners. BloodHorse research shows maiden winners in particular who meet these criteria are more likely to go on to be graded stakes winners.
Stonestreet Stables paid $500,000 for Velvet Sister this spring at The Gulfstream Sale, Fasig-Tipton’s select sale of 2-year-old’s in training, and in her debut June 10, the Bernardini filly showed signs of promise. The filly trained by Steve Asmussen romped to a 9 3/4-length score in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden test for 2-year-old fillies at Belmont Park.
Ridden by Joel Rosario, Velvet Sister broke sharply and led through fractions of :22.72, :46.50, and 59.51 before drawing away from two rivals under a hand ride to finish in 1:06.47 on a fast track.
Bred by Michelle Nevin and Godolphin in New York, Velvet Sister is out of the Sharp Humor mare Backslash, who also produced stakes winner My Boy Tate . Velvet Sister was bought by Quarter Pole Enterprises as a yearling for $165,000 and was consigned to The Gulfstream Sale by Eddie Woods.
Sweet Pea Stable’s Land Remembered also made a successful debut Thursday at Arlington International Racecourse. The 2-year-old Cairo Prince colt trained by Larry Rivelli won a 4 1/2-furlong maiden test by 4 3/4 lengths.
Jockey E. T. Baird rushed Land Remembered to the lead and the pair set fractions of :23.12 and :47.02 through four furlongs. They then finished in :53.44 on the fast track.
Bred by Brereton Jones, Land Remembered is the first foal out of the grade 3-winning Stevie Wonderboy mare Covey Trace .
Land Remembered breaks his maiden at Arlington International Racecourse
Several late-blooming sophomores of note found the winner’s circle this week.
Clearview Stable’s Irish Unity won his June 12 debut at Lone Star Park by 4 1/4 lengths. The Pioneerof the Nile gelding, another trained by Asmussen, is a half brother to grade 1 winner and sire New Year’s Day , grade 2 winner and sire Mohaymen , and grade 3 winners Kingly and Enforceable .
Irish Unity drew off in the stretch of the 6 1/2-furlong maiden special weight race under Stewart Elliott after leading most of the way. The pair finished in a final time of 1:17.48 on a fast track.
Bred by Clearsky Farms, Irish Unity is out of the grade 2-winning Dixie Union mare Justwhistledixie .
Also racing Saturday, Charles Fipke homebred Speightstown Shirl won her fourth start, taking a one-mile turf event for fillies and mares 3 and up at Woodbine after finishing second in her first three starts.
Guided to victory by Rafael Hernandez, Speightstown Shirl raced just behind the pace in fourth, gave chase through the stretch, and then gained a short lead to win by three-quarters of a length. The final time was 1:34.27 on firm turf.