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Three Promising Silver Train two year olds emerge early in 2013

August 8, 2013 No Comments »
Three Promising Silver Train two year olds emerge early in 2013

Ogermeister Winning MSW Belmont courtesy NYRA

At the end of August, Silver Train had 11 two-year-old runners and 5 winners. Among this group, three have shown particular promise on the track and will bear watching as we move into the heart of the second half of 2013. Each runner has a unique story and path to the starting gate.

First to emerge was a gelding named Ogermeister. Ogermeister is by Silver Train out of To the Good Times by Polish Numbers. To The Good Times, a New York bred, born in 2002 was a non winner in two career starts in foal to and ended up at a bucolic setting in Bedford N.Y. at Sunnyfield Farm.

Sunnyfield Farm, whose 230 acres has been described as a living postcard, has been owned and operated by the Nielsen family for decades producing many stakes winners, like Capades a millionaire winner of 7 stakes, who are among the best N.Y. breds of all time. Let’s hope that Ogermeister, another N.Y bred joins this esteemed group.

Bred by Mrs. Gerald Nielsen, Ogermeister was foaled March 16, 2011. Both online nick services granted The Silver Train-To the Good Times cross lukewarm C and D ratings respectively. Clearly the physicals are a good match producing a third generation of the Nielsen’s breeding program and an entrant in the Fasig Tipton New York Select Yearling Sale in August 2012. Also, prior to Ogermeister, To the Good Times had not produced a winner. Bright Tribute, the 2nd dam, has produced 6 winners including stakes winners Lord Beer and Eliot Chacer as well as six figure winners Ace’s Cappella, Blues Begone and Dance with Charity.

The colt’s third dam, stakes-placed and multiple stakes-producer Dance Hall Girl, was purchased by Gerald A. Nielsen for $200,000 at the 1982 Keeneland November sale. In addition to producer Bright Tribute, Dance Hall Girl is the dam of multiple graded winner It’s Personal by Personal Flag ($232,836). Who knows, maybe Ogermeister will run well enough to change the ratings.

Consigned by Summerfield, Ogermeister sold as a colt as Hip 373. As fate would have it, he caught the eye of and was purchased by Trainer Wesley Ward for $40,000. Wesley Ward and 2-year-old winners are almost synonymous terms so it no great surprise that Ogermeister emerged as a 2-year-old prospect after some encouraging works.

Ward entered him in the first 2-year-old race of 2013 at Belmont on May 16th, a 5-furlong dirt maiden special weight sprint. The bettors liked the connections including Joel Rosario up and the horse and bet him down to 2/5. After a few strides, it was apparent that the public got this one right as he took an uncontested lead and cruised along until asked for some effort at the 3/16 post and then finished geared down for an easy 6 lengths win and $33,000 in purse money. Though he was not pushed, Ogermeister notched respectable fractions of 22.56 and 45.81 and a 5-furlong time of 58.25. By virtue of Ogermeister’s maiden-breaking performance at the Belmont spring / summer meet, his owner becomes eligible for a $100,000 bonus from NYRA if he goes on to win a graded stakes at Saratoga Race Course, Belmont, or Aqueduct in 2013.

Ward moved Ogermeister back to his base at Keeneland. He subsequently worked him on the turf to determine, if the weather cooperated at Royal Ascot to provide a fairly firm turf course, whether Ogermeister would become part of Ward’s band of 2013 U.K. invaders. He passed muster and boarded the airplane to Britain with Sweet Emma Rose and No Nay Never arriving on Thursday before a Tuesday race on June 18th.

Ward entered Ogermeister in the opening day non-graded Windsor Castle Stakes a 5-furlong turf sprint on a straight, but up hill course at Ascot. According to Ward, “Ogermeister is another talented horse and although he’s bred for dirt, he’s shown a particular affinity for grass,” added Ward. “He won the only maiden race of the season so far for two-year-olds in New York.”

Ogermeister went to the gate with 27 fellow runners and was bet to 8:1 second favorite in the field of 28 juveniles. After chasing the leader he weakened in the last 1/32 mile and finished an undistinguished 15th. Extortionist (IRE) won the race for rookie trainer Olly Stevens at 16:1 odds. Ogermeister’s travel companion and stable mate No Nay Never a graduate of Keeneland’s November Breeding Stock and September Yearling Sales, put up a stunning performance at Royal Ascot breaking the five-furlong track record by a two-year-old in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes. No Nay Never won his career debut on closing day of Keeneland’s spring meet, and is based at Keeneland. The son of Scat Daddy recorded a time of 58.80, bettering the previous best 59.17, despite a tardy start.

Ward continues to impress the British racing scene with his success having won at Ascot previously. On June 16, 2009, Ward became the first U.S.-based conditioner to ship a horse to England and win a stakes race at the prestigious Royal Ascot meeting. Strike the Tiger, a 2-year-old gelding co-bred and co-owned by Ward, shocked the meet by taking the Windsor Castle Stakes at odds of 33-1. The following day, Ward sent out a 2-year-old filly named Jealous Again to claim an even bigger Ascot victory. She took the Grade 2 Queen Mary Stakes by a comfortable five lengths.

Ogermeister returned to the States and resumed training at Ward’s Keeneland Base working on the synthetic track rather than turf. On August 8th Ward entered Ogermeister in the Saratoga Special Grade 2 Stakes for August 11th. According to the Daily Racing Form perhaps the biggest surprise at Thursday’s post-position draw for Sunday’s Grade 2 Saratoga Special was the addition of the New York-bred Ogermeister to the lineup. Ogermeister, a runaway winner of his career debut at Belmont, was not nominated for the Special and had to be supplemented into the race by trainer Wesley Ward at a cost of $4,000. The purse for the Special is $200,000.It is a small, but interesting field. It is a small, but interesting field. Wired Bryan by Stormy Atlantic is a two-time winner including the Grade 2 Sanford Stakes at Saratoga on July 21st. Corfu and Twang have both won in late July at Saratoga as well. Ogermeister and Lunar Warfare are the only two not located at and working over Saratoga. This looks like a pretty tough spot for Ogermeister shipping in from Keeneland after a two-month layoff to face this field. A win would be worth $220,000 to the connections including the $100,000 NYRA bonus.

Wesley Ward’s take: “I took a chance bringing him over to Ascot since he’s got an all-dirt pedigree, hoping to catch a firm turf [course], but it just didn’t work out,” Ward said. “He’s doing really well since he’s come back, and it looks like all these early-season 2-year-old stakes, as always, are contentious and very speed-oriented. So, we’re going to try to take him back a little, let the race unfold the way we believe it will, and hope he can come running at the end. That strategy worked well for us last year with Sweet Shirley Mae, who rallied to finish second in the Spinaway.”

Ogermeister has been established as the 12:1 on the morning line.

Race 10 – 5:45 PM

STAKES Saratoga Special S. (Grade II)

Purse $200,000. For Two Year Olds. No nomination fee. $2,000 to pass the entry box. The purse to be divided 60% to the winner, 20% to second, 10% to third, 5% to fourth, 3% to fifth and 2% divided equally among the remaining finishers. The owner of any two year old who has broken its maiden in a race held at the Aqueduct Spring or Belmont Spring/Summer meetings is eligible for a one time bonus of $100,000 which will count toward the horses earnings if that horse goes on to win a Graded sweepstake at any NYRA track in 2013. Closed Saturday, July 27, 2013 with 23 Original Nominations and 1 Supplement. Six And One Half Furlongs.
PP Horse Virtual
Stable A/S Med Jockey Wgt Trainer
1 Lunarwarfare (FL)

2/C L J C Leyva
118 M Yates
2 Ogermeister (NY)

2/G L J L Ortiz
118 W A Ward
3 Candy Dandy (KY)

2/C L R Napravnik
118 S M Asmussen
4 Corfu (KY)

2/C L J R Velazquez
118 T A Pletcher
5 Twang (KY)

2/C J Rosario
118 A M Stall, Jr.
6 Danza (KY)

2/C L J Castellano
122 T A Pletcher
7 Wired Bryan (NY)

2/C L S Bridgmohan
122 M Dilger

Owners: 1 – Yates, Michael ; 2 – Ward, Wesley, A. ; 3 – Zollars, Cathy and Bob ; 4 – Tabor, Michael, Magnier, John and Smith, Derrick ; 5 – Claiborne Farm and Dilschneider, Adele B. ; 6 – Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners ; 7 – Anstu Stables, Inc.

Breeders: 1 – Shadybrook Farm Inc; 2 – Mrs. Gerald Nielsen; 3 – Double K LLC; 4 – AGS Thoroughbreds Ltd.; 5 – Claiborne Farm & Adele B. Dilschneider; 6 – Liberation Farm & Brandywine Farm; 7 – Anstu Farm LLC

Henry “Hank” Nothhaft
To Be Continued

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