Monday, February 28, 2011

Wilcox Inn...Strictly Turf ?

This Saturday marks the return to the races for the 3 year old colt, Wilcox Inn, by Harlan's Holiday. Last seen in the Breeder's Cup Juvenile Turf, he finished up a sneaky-good, rail-skimming third to Pluck and Soldat. His total lifetime earnings after that race, placed him 18th on the Derby earnings list.

After breaking his maiden first time out at Arlington, the colt was third to JP's Gusto and Santiva in the Breeder's Futurity at Keeneland. He has kept good company in his short campaign.

The race at Fair Grounds is the Grindstone, going 7 &1/2 on the turf.

Harlan's Holiday  (who stands at WinStar) was a multiple Grade 1 winner of 6+ million, all on dirt. But Wilcox Inn's bottom line ( DeAar, by Gone West ) is loaded with grass horses. De Arr is out of Alletta Marie ( Diesis), who the dam of SW's Cetawayo and Bowman Mill.

Is dirt in the cards for this colt?  Should he enter the starting gate on Saturday, as planned, then he would be 9 weeks out to Derby Day. Is that enough time to get a race on dirt, around two turns, for him?
Inquiring minds want to know.

His trainer Mike Stidham can certainly get a horse ready off a layoff. And Rosie Napravnick is named to ride on Saturday.
It would be a great year for her to have a Derby mount.
Just sayin'...


  1. i am a little slow.. I couldn't figure out how to email you.. It's Joe from the Breeder's Cup.. Don't know if you remember, shot me an email I will respond back from my main email, talk to you soon :)

  2. Willcox Inn has been working very well up to the Grindstone Stakes. Wouldn't be surprised if this race is taken off the turf since rain and thunderstorms are predicted for New Orleans.

  3. Thank you both for visiting...Joe-from-the- Breeder's Cup, I will be e-mailing you

    Anon #2...I wouldn't mind seeing him run in an "off-the turf"... BTW, he is nominated for the Spiral at Turfway on March 26th, going 1&1/8...

  4. And he worked this morning at FG, a half in 49:20....

  5. Susan,

    I've viewed horses like HARLAN'S HOLIDAY as "hidden turf" sires, a term owned by pedigree analyst Lauren Stich. He's by HARLAN, himself a son of STORM CAT from the NORTHERN DANCER/NEARCO line.

    Precocity (success at 3 as well as 2) is also a hallmark of these offspring, but IMHO, when this much turf is found on the dam side there must be resistance to waste them on dirt.

    As for Saturday's Grindstone, a sloppy track is a different story. Turfers seem to enjoy the gooier greatest memory of this is EXCELLER winning the Jockey Club Gold Cup against Triple Crown winners 'SLEW and AFFIRMED.

    The synthetic route is also appealing to me for sons/daughters of HARLAN'S HOLIDAY.

    If it were up to me, I'd tackle the Viriginia Derby/Secretariat route trying to see if he'd become a possible BC Turf candidate.

    Thought-provoking stuff!