Photo courtesy of David Stephenson/Siena Farms
Making the Grade, which will run up until the Belmont Stakes (G1), will focus on the winners of the big races, usually from the previous weekend, who could impact the 2013 Triple Crown. We’ll be taking a close look at impressive winners and evaluating their chances to win the 2013 Kentucky Derby (G1) based on factors such as ability, running style, connections (owner, trainer, jockey), and pedigree.
This week we take a look at Dewey Square, the third-place finisher in the $150,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) in November at Churchill Downs.
Dark Bay or Brown Colt
Sire (Father): Bernardini
Dam (Mother): Somethingaboutbetty, by Forestry
Breeder: Siena Farms (Ky.)
Owner: Siena Farms
Trainer: Dale Romans
After winning his first two starts convincingly, Dewey Square made his stakes debut in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs. He crossed the finish line third in a race won by Uncaptured, a finalist for the Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old male.
Bred and owned by Siena Farm, Dewey Square has emerged as a popular 3-year-old on the Triple Crown trail, not only because of his on-track exploits but also because his connections have gone out of their way to make him accessible to fans, including a popular regular Facebook feature “Postcards from Dewey Square.”
“We’re trying to engage fans out there and share him with the public,” said David Pope, president and co-owner of Siena Farm.
Ability: Dewey Square turned quite a few heads after winning his first two starts by a combined margin of 15 ¾ lengths, the first a runaway win at Hoosier Park and the second a dominant win stretching out to 1 1/16 miles at Churchill for trainer Dale Romans. He followed with a third-place finish in the Kentucky Jockey Club, and the Bernardini colt is training forwardly toward his planned 2013 debut in the Holy Bull Stakes (G3) on January 26 at Gulfstream Park.
“Dale has always had great things to say about the horse, so we did have high expectations and it was nice to see that come to fruition,” said Pope, co-owner of Siena Farm along with Chairman Anthony Manganaro and General Manager Ignacio “Nacho” Patino. “He’s doing really well.”
Dewey Square was entered in the prestigious Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale of selected yearlings in 2011 with Taylor Made Sales Agency offering him on behalf of Siena. He did not meet his reserve at $575,000, an asking price that reflected how highly Siena thought of him.
“He’s a beautiful physical specimen; he moves like a panther when he walks,” Pope said. “When we took him to the Saratoga sale, we set the reserve fairly high because we didn’t want to have any regrets. And with the way he’s progressed, we’re very happy with the decision.”
Dewey Square improved from an 80 Equibase Speed Figure in his Hoosier debut to a 94 in his second-career start, which was his first try going around two turns. He recorded another 94 in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes and still has some improving to do in order to catch the elite members of his generation.
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Running style: Dewey Square showed speed from the in his debut and then pressed the pace early before seizing command in his second start. Jockey Corey Lanerie took him back off the pace in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes and he finished willingly in what should serve as a good educational race. Stretching out to longer distances, Dewey Square’s early speed should be a useful asset, but like most developing Thoroughbreds, how well he learns to relax and ration his energy becomes increasingly important as the distances get longer and longer on the path to the classics. The Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes was a nice step in the learning process.
Connections: Dewey Square in in the capable hands of trainer Dale Romans, a finalist for the 2012 Eclipse Award as outstanding trainer. Romans expertly handled the 2012 campaigns of Eclipse Awards finalists Little Mike (turf male) and Shackleford (sprinter), the latter the winner of the 2011 Preakness Stakes (G1) and a finalist for that year’s Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old male.
Owner-breeder Siena Farm is the joint operation of Manganaro, Patino, and Pope. Siena Farm is a boutique breeding farm in Paris, Ky., that aims to “breed and raise superior, world-class racehorses by melding hundreds of years of traditional horsemanship with leading-edge technology.”
Pedigree: Dewey Square fits the old Thoroughbred industry adage: “Breed the best to the best and hope for the best.” Dewey Square is by 2006 Preakness Stakes (G1) winner and champion Bernardini and his dam (mother) is multiple stakes winner Somethinaboutbetty, the runner-up in the 2006 Lake George Stakes (G3) at Saratoga Race Course. His pedigree should give Dewey Square every chance to succeed on the 2013 Triple Crown trail.
Bernardini was named champion 3-year-old male in 2006 after winning the Preakness, Travers Stakes (G1) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1). A son of 1992 Horse of the year and breed-shaping sire A.P. Indy, Bernardini has gotten off to a nice start at stud with a pair of Travers winners – Stay Thirsty and Alpha – already to his credit.
Somethinaboutbetty recorded three of her four stakes wins going at least a mile on the main track and also placed in the Lake George going 1 1/16 miles on the grass. By Forestry, Somethinaboutbetty sold for $410,000 at the conclusion of her racing career at the 2007 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall selected mixed sale. She is from the family of Grade 1 winner My Trusty Cat, 1991 Delaware Handicap (G2) winner Crowned, German Oaks winner Flamingo Road, Grade 2 winner and sire Best of Luck, and multiple graded stakes winner Betty Lobelia.
BERNARDINI STANDS AT DARLEY AT JONABELL IN KENTUCKY
Photo courtesy Melissa Bauer-Herzog