Kentucky Oaks Contender: Weep No More
Kentucky Oaks Contender: Weep No More– The Kentucky Oaks prep races are over and there is a new filly that jumped onto the leaderboard after having no previous points to her credit. Weep No More, a young filly trained by George Arnold II, took advantage of a hot pace in the Grade I Ashland on opening weekend at Keeneland Race Course to not only become a Kentucky Oaks contender but also hand Cathryn Sophia her first defeat.
Weep No More came into the Grade One Ashland as one of only two longshots, as she went to post at odds of 30-1. Understandably at higher odds the the big three, Cathryn Sophia, Rachel’s Valentina, and Carina Mia, Weep No More was not exactly a terrible racehorse who deserved such disrespect. She was coming into the race off a two easy wins at Tampa Bay: a maiden special weight and the listed Suncoast Stakes. She had an easy workout at Keeneland before the Ashland, which warranted no attention.
After the Ashland, however, Weep No More has jumped onto the radar’s of major horseplayers everywhere. She took advantage of a hot pace and closed fast to nail Rachel’s Valentina by a neck at the wire. Weep No More likely had a fitness edge on the filly, as it was only Rachel Valentina’s fourth start and first of the season after a layoff. Both fillies are headed to the Kentucky Oaks.
When it comes to pedigree, Weep No More isn’t coming up short by any means. Sired by the champion older horse, Mineshaft, Weep No More has the right sire line to continue improving with age, distance, and experience. Mineshaft didn’t truly get going until he came to the United States late in his three-year-old year, and breaking through as a top older male at age four, in 2003. 2003 was the year Mineshaft was voted Champion Older Male and Horse of the Year, with a record of 7 wins in 9 starts, and the two races he did not win, he finished 2nd. Some of his wins included the Pimlico Special, Suburban, Woodward, and Jockey Club Gold Cup, all Grade One races.
After retiring due to a minor injury, a displaced chip in his ankle, Mineshaft retired to William Farish’s farm, Lane’s End. The son of A.P. Indy, the anchor stallion of the farm, entered stud with a fee of $100,000 attached. Also, A.P. Indy ended up as Champion Sire in 2003, due to Mineshaft’s success. Since retiring, Mineshaft has sired millionaires Effinex, It’s Tricky, Sacher Mine, and Fly Down. He has also sired a very good stallion in Discreetly Mine. This year, Mineshaft has Suddenbreakingnews on the Kentucky Derby trail. Mineshaft currently stands for a fee of $25,000.
Weep No More is the second foal from her dam, and the only winner. Crosswinds only raced once, finishing off the board in a maiden event at Turfway. However, her sire was the remarkable Storm Cat.
Storm Cat was an exception young horse for trainer Jonathan Sheppard. He finished 2nd in the 1985 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in the very first year the event was held. Later, he was retired due to a tendon injury after a 4th place finish in his final start. He was retired to stud at Overbrook Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. Later in his stud career, specifically 1999 and 2000, he was the leading sire in North America. As a stallion, Strom Cat sired 35 grade/group one winners, eight champions, 108 graded/group stakes winners, 180 stakes winners worldwide, and all have earned in excess of $128 million, as of April 2013. His progeny include horses like Giant’s Causeway, Bluegrass Cat, Tabasco Cat, Hennessy, Storm Flag Flying, and Life is Sweet. He is also the broodmare sire of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, who was also the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby to have Storm Cat in his family.
Weep No More is bred impeccably and should improve come the Kentucky Oaks. She has a very good shot to be the second best filly in the field, and she will be at a price, as Songbird will be taking the betting to a whole new level. Weep No More has 100 Kentucky Oaks points and will likely be stabled at Keeneland with the rest of her trainer’s string until the week before the Oaks. If Weep No More could win the Oaks, it would be the second year in a row where the Ashland produced a Kentucky Oaks winner.
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