Pocket Aces Racing is extremely excited to announce the newest addition to our stable, a 2YO colt by exciting young stallion, Mission Impazible, out of Golden Miss, by Golden Missile. He is an extremely handsome and athletic colt and posted a very impressive pre-sale breeze. More importantly, he went through our intensive inspection process before we decided he was worth adding to our roster.
We felt like it was crucial to have a New York trainer identified before we undertook this project mainly because all two year old in-training horses are brought along at a much more accelerated pace than their crop mates not going through the two year old sales. Due to this accelerated pace, it is extremely helpful to have a trainer focusing on soundness issues while we identify athletic body types and conformation much as we would at a yearling sale. The trainer we have selected is New York based Michael Dilger. Michael spent seven years as an assistant to Todd Pletcher and was entrusted with his own string of horses to oversee which included some of the best horses in-training in the U.S. In 2013 Michael formed his own public stable and since that time his charges have earned nearly $3,500,000 on the track while maintaining a 20% win percentage and 43% WPS percentage over the three year period. In 2016 alone he has won 10 races from 43 starts for an impressive 23% win percentage. In his short career he has already guided Wired Bryan to victory in the Sanford S.-G2 as well as conditioning a pair of Grade 3 winners in Street Babe and Eh Cumpari.
Michael arrived in Ocala on Sunday, April 10th and spent the next five days watching all 90 New York breds work at the breeze show. Of the 90 New York breds that worked, Michael was able to identify 43 that met his criteria which not only included their final time but their action, gallop out time, ease with which they worked, stride efficiency, etc. Michael then gave us his short list of 43 workers and we spent the next four days evaluating those individuals physically and then re-examining them a second or third time if necessary. Of those horses, there were 15 that passed our initial inspection. We always like to do at least a second pass (and usually three or four) of the horses we have short listed so we are comparing them only to each other. The danger being, that we might like a horse because the 15 we saw before were poor specimens and we’ve labeled the horse as good just because it is better than the bad ones we saw earlier. Of the original 15 on the first pass, the list was narrowed down to 11 horses on subsequent looks. Michael then inspected those 11 horses for soundness issues and 2 were eliminated which brought us a total of 9 horses. Four of the nine horses were eliminated because we knew, due to the fact they had worked so fast or were very expensive yearling purchases, we had no chance of affording them. Ultimately that’s the way it worked out; none of them were in our price range. So, by Monday afternoon, we had 5 horses left on our list. The problem was, while we liked them all. We just liked the 3 selling in book-two more than the 2 selling in book-one. The decision was made at that point to only vet out the 3 horses we liked in book-two and not waste the money vetting the book-one horses. It was a gamble that could have left us without a horse but we did not want to compromise. If we couldn’t get the best horse possible we would just go on to the Maryland two-year old sale. At that point I called Dr. Nathan Mitts to vet the 3 book-two horses – hips 873, 879 and 1089. Dr. Mitts called me back later to inform me that 873 did not pass his vet inspection but 879 and 1089 did. And there you have it – 90 horses down to 2. In 3 days at the auction he is the only horse we bid on and we were over the moon that we got him. We even got a special surprise shortly after purchasing him when we found out that the very first starter by his sire, Mission Impazible, won the 1st at Aqueduct just an hour earlier! We’ll take that as a good omen.
Obviously we have included a lot of detail here but we felt it is important to let everyone know why we think this colt is so special. So special, in fact, that we were willing to far exceed our initial budget to acquire him. The fact is though there were very few horses, in open company or among the New York breds, that worked as fast as he did (10.1) and looked so good moving on the track. Even fewer worked so well and then exited the breeze as sound as it went in – as his vet report indicates. Those factors (not to mention that he is eligible for the enormous New York bred purses) put him in elite company and when you find those horses you’ve got to step up and do what it takes to get them.
We we now have a tremendous opportunity to run in the very lucrative New York program. The program consists of two components: the New York bonus program and the New York restricted program.
Bonuses are available to all New York bred horses that win open races at a $30,000 claiming level or higher (maiden special, allowances, $50,000 claiming races). We qualify at the 20% level since Mission Impazible is a New York based sire. For example, a 2YO with a sire by New York based Frost Giant wins an open race with a $50,000 purse. In addition to the normal award of 60% ($30,000) the horse also receives a bonus of $6,000 from the program. More than $2,000,000 in bonuses was awarded in 2015.
The restricted program consists of races open only to horses foaled in New York. In 2015, there were 45 stakes and more than 800 overnight races. The overnight races range from open allowances all the way down to bottom level claiming racings. While the purse structures vary from track to track, they are fairly exceptional across the board.
Aqueduct (current levels)
Maiden Special – $55,000
Allowance – $57,000 – $60,000
Maiden Claiming $25,000 – $31,000
Belmont (current levels)
Maiden Special – $60,000
Allowance – $63,000 – $70,000
Maiden Claiming $40,000 – $41,000
Saratoaga (2015 levels)
Maiden Special – $73,000
Allowance – $77,000 – $85,000
Maiden Claiming $40,000 – $45,000
If you are interested in joining this partnership and having such a tremendous colt to run in the New York Bred and New York Sired programs, please contact us as soon as possible or call Marc at 859-312-6272 or Jared at 606-922-9325.
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