News Releases

Thursday, January 24, 2008Contact: Bob Curran Jr. (212) 521-5326
War Pass High Weight on Experimental Free Handicap

War Pass, undefeated winner of the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, received the high weight assignment of 127 pounds on the 2007 Experimental Free Handicap, released today by The Jockey Club and available at http://www.jockeyclub.com.

The filly division is headed by undefeated Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Indian Blessing at 123 pounds.

The Experimental Free Handicap, published annually by The Jockey Club since 1935, is a weight-based assessment of the previous year’s leading 2-year-olds, with the weights compiled for a hypothetical race at 1 1/16 miles on dirt. This year’s weighting committee of racing secretaries was composed of Ben Huffman of Churchill Downs, P.J. Campo of the New York Racing Association and Thomas S. Robbins of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

The committee weighted a total of 105 males and 99 fillies. Eligible for weighting were all 2-year-olds of 2007 that finished among the top four in graded or other unrestricted races with an added value of at least $75,000, run in the continental United States.

Robert V. LaPenta’s War Pass (Cherokee Run – Vue, by Mr. Prospector) won all four of his starts last year for earnings of $1,397,400. In addition to his 4 ¾-length victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, he also won the Champagne Stakes. He was bred in Kentucky by Cherry Valley Farm LLC.

The 127 pounds assigned to War Pass is equivalent to the assignment on last year’s high weight, Street Sense, and is 1 pound above the standard impost for top Experimental colts. Street Sense became the 11th Experimental Free Handicap high weight to win the Kentucky Derby.

War Pass is weighted 7 pounds higher than the triumvirate of Dixie Chatter, Into Mischief and Pyro. The 7-pound spread in weights equals the record established in 1952 when Native Dancer, at 130 pounds, was weighted 7 pounds more than runner-ups Laffango and Tahitian King.

Herman Sarkowsky’s Dixie Chatter (Dixie Union – Mini Chat, by Deputy Minister) was victorious in half of his four starts last year, including the Norfolk Stakes. He earned $191,400.

B. Wayne Hughes’ Into Mischief (Harlan’s Holiday – Leslie’s Lady, by Tricky Creek) won the CashCall Futurity and placed second in the Hollywood Prevue Stakes. He finished the year with two wins from three starts and earnings of $448,800.

Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC’s Pyro (Pulpit – Wild Vision, by Wild Again) garnered only a maiden win from four starts in 2007 but was a closing second in both the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the Champagne Stakes. He finished the year with earnings of $516,718.

In the filly division, the 123 pounds assigned to Indian Blessing (Indian Charlie – Shameful, by Flying Chevron) is the standard impost for top Experimental fillies and is equivalent to the assignment on last year’s high weight, Dreaming of Anna.

Bred in Kentucky by her owners, Patti and Hal J. Earnhardt III, Indian Blessing went undefeated in three starts at 2. In addition to her 3 ½-length victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, Indian Blessing also won the Frizette Stakes for earnings of $1,357,200.

Indian Blessing is weighted 2 pounds higher than Stonerside Stable’s Country Star (Empire Maker – Rings a Chime, by Metfield). Country Star broke her maiden in the Darley Alcibiades and concluded her 2-year-old season with a victory in the Hollywood Starlet. She won two of her three starts at 2 and earned $575,900.

At 119 pounds is Brereton C. Jones’ Proud Spell (Proud Citizen – Pacific Spell, by Langfuhr), winner of the Matron Stakes and runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Proud Spell won three of her four starts in 2007 and earned $608,770.

Among sires of Experimental horses, Tale of the Cat tops the list of colts and geldings with five representatives while Yonaguska heads the fillies’ list with four representatives. Combining the two lists, Fusaichi Pegasus, Kafwain, Tale of the Cat and Van Nistelrooy are the leading sires with five representatives each. Of the 204 juveniles weighted, 130 were bred in Kentucky, 30 in Florida and 12 in New York.

The Jockey Club, founded in 1894 and dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds. The Jockey Club fulfills that longstanding commitment by serving the industry through its family of companies and by providing support and leadership on a wide range of important industry initiatives.



<