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Derby Watch: Paynter’s Kin

It’s hard not to love Paynter after his dramatic yet brief three-year-old campaign that concluded with an emphatic G1 win in the Haskell Invitational. It’s even harder to not associate good feels with the bay colt after a winning battle with multiple ailments that left him at death’s door for a stretch of time. With the son of Awesome Again slowly returning to full health, there is few greater joys than seeing his younger relations do well for themselves on the Derby trail.

Experiencing mild success this year with Optimizer, Hamazing Destiny, Hightail, and a few others, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has had some on-and-off success training, but looks to have a solid performer in Paynter’s 3/4 brother Oxbow. A bay son of Awesome Again out of the Cee’s Tizzy mare Tizamazing (who is also a full sister to dual-Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Tiznow and Paynter’s dam Tizso), he broke well from the far outside to win his 7-furlong maiden special weight over the weekend at Churchill Downs.

Favored in the betting, Oxbow did not have a favorable beginning in racing, being pulled up and vanned off the Saratoga main in his dead-last debut against speed demon Jocosity. No harm done, however, when all things are considered: Paynter never made a start as a two-year-old, never mind 4 races with a win and a third. Oxbow is obviously doing something right after being suddenly favored in the Churchill race after racing third to Gulfport in his prior start at nearly 17-1, and his works suggest he’ll be even quicker as a three-year-old.

Also making 4 starts is Paynter’s cousin (by Speightstown out of Tizsweet, another full to Paynter’s dam) is Tizexx, a two-year-old gray/roan trainee of Bobby Barnett who also ran this past Saturday. She raced three-wide on the Churchill main to tire in the stretch of the 7-furlong maiden race to finish 5th holding her own. She has flashed ample speed in her workouts— she went :47 2/5 in her last 4-panel hum— so this is another one I think will require some time.

Paynter’s full brother racing this year named Fire Flight, will definitely be needing additional time, and I’m not even sure he was ready for his debut going by his short list of published works. Helmed by Keith Asmussen, he was towards the back of a Retama maiden early and dragged his heels upon feeling the stick, losing by some 10 lengths back in 9th.

If lightning can’t strike twice in the same family, I guess we can always wait on Paynter’s highly-anticipated return.

Take Charge Indy fans will probably be looking for this one to make progress: Will Take Charge (Unbridled’s Song x Take Charge Lady) as a yearling at Keeneland September. His Saratoga debut landed him a 5th with Joel Rosario up and D. Wayne Lukas as trainer.

Take Charge Indy fans will probably be looking for this one to make progress: Will Take Charge (Unbridled’s Song x Take Charge Lady) as a yearling at Keeneland September. His Saratoga debut landed him a 5th with Joel Rosario up and D. Wayne Lukas as trainer.

Full brother to Apart (Flatter x Detach, by Unbridled)

Full brother to Apart (Flatter x Detach, by Unbridled)

A full brother to Eight Belles races today in Gulfstream’s 7th (that is, if high winds don’t keep picking up). Look for the bay Unbridled’s Way, trained by Kieran McLaughlin.

A full brother to Eight Belles races today in Gulfstream’s 7th (that is, if high winds don’t keep picking up). Look for the bay Unbridled’s Way, trained by Kieran McLaughlin.

Look for Quality Road's little brother to be racing under the same red and white silks as Havre de Grace in the future. Here he is in the ring at Keeneland… very handsome!

Look for Quality Road's little brother to be racing under the same red and white silks as Havre de Grace in the future. Here he is in the ring at Keeneland… very handsome!

The Ballad of the Little Brothers

Part of the excitement of watching really fantastic racehorses is sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for their siblings to take the spotlight next. It doesn’t happen as often as we like, but regardless, it’s fun to hear how the little brothers and sisters of the newsmakers are doing.

  • Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom's half brother Thursby (by Mr. Greeley) had his first career start earlier than expected over the weekend in a 7-furlong maiden special weight on grass at Belmont. Ridden by Johnny Velazquez, Thursby did not recover well after a slow start and finished last of 12.
  • Barbaro's newest little brother Margano is slated to make his first career start this Saturday at Belmont Park in race #10 with Jose Lezcano riding. Margano is showing more precociousness than his other brothers Nicanor and Lentenor starting at 2 much more like Barbaro. 
  • Preakness winner Shackleford seems to also have a quickly-progressing half brother in Stephanoatsee (by A.P. Indy), who is slated to run his first race at Laurel Park on September 16 in race #1 (today!).
Barbaro's little brother Margano as a yearling. In case you didn’t hear already, the Jacksons have recently and unexpectedly “fired” original trainer Michael Matz and have moved their horses— Margano included— to alternate trainers. They gave no reason (and really, looking at Matz’s record, had no clear reason) for the switch other than “needing a change.”
Margano has begun galloping in Saratoga under Barclay Tagg, trainer of Funny Cide and Jersey Town, so watch for him there!

Barbaro's little brother Margano as a yearling. In case you didn’t hear already, the Jacksons have recently and unexpectedly “fired” original trainer Michael Matz and have moved their horses— Margano included— to alternate trainers. They gave no reason (and really, looking at Matz’s record, had no clear reason) for the switch other than “needing a change.”

Margano has begun galloping in Saratoga under Barclay Tagg, trainer of Funny Cide and Jersey Town, so watch for him there!

Shackleford's little brother's name has been confirmed to be Stephanoatsee (A.P. Indy x Oatsee, by Unbridled). He’s stabled and working under Animal Kingdom's trainer Graham Motion. Remember that name! (And in case you missed it, Animal Kingdom’s two-year-old brother by Mr. Greeley is Thursby, also working under Mr. Motion)

Shackleford's little brother's name has been confirmed to be Stephanoatsee (A.P. Indy x Oatsee, by Unbridled). He’s stabled and working under Animal Kingdom's trainer Graham Motion. Remember that name! (And in case you missed it, Animal Kingdom’s two-year-old brother by Mr. Greeley is Thursby, also working under Mr. Motion)

Saratoga’s summer yearling sale will be wrapping up tonight with some of the breeding industry’s most tempting bloodstock offered to the highest bid. Included among them is Hip #114, Havre de Grace's half brother by Bernardini. 

Saratoga’s summer yearling sale will be wrapping up tonight with some of the breeding industry’s most tempting bloodstock offered to the highest bid. Included among them is Hip #114, Havre de Grace's half brother by Bernardini

He looks just like his brother. Thursby (Mr. Greeley x Dalicia [GER], by Acatenango [GER]), Animal Kingdom's two-year-old half-brother, had his first official workout recently, going 3 furlongs in 39 1/5.

He looks just like his brother. Thursby (Mr. Greeley x Dalicia [GER], by Acatenango [GER]), Animal Kingdom's two-year-old half-brother, had his first official workout recently, going 3 furlongs in 39 1/5.

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