GOOD WEEKEND FOR RIGHTEOUS FRANCO
Gore breeder Pat Kubala enjoyed a good weekend in New Zealand and North America with the win of Pat’s Delight at Addington on Friday night, backed up by a Yonkers Raceway, North America, win by half-sister, Lightning Mach, on Saturday (NZ time).
Lightning Mach (6m Mach Three-Righteous Franco, by Falcon Seelster-Rapid Fire Franco) was a nose winner of the final race on Saturday, a $US30,000 fillies and mares pace for the Peter Tritton stable, and driver Jordan Stratton, in 1:53.6 (10ths) on the half-mile track.
A winner of 10 from 27 starts for Mr Kubala’s Charlton Park Enterprises when racing in NZ for the Cran Dalgety stable, Lightnning Mach was recording her third USA win for the year in 15 appearances, while she’s also had four placings.
Saturday’s win elevated her yearly earnings past the $US555,000 mark. She has a 1:51.2 (10ths) mile mark in the USA.
Lighting Mach, from the three gate, settled fourth, then third and wore down front-running Lakeisha Hall over her last quarter in 28.1s.
Besides promising three-year-old Pat’s Delight (p2, 1:56.3, 1950m, four wins from seven starts), the only others of racing age from Righteous Franco are the now retired three-race NZ winner Rapid Mach (2:00.4), and the ill-fated Rapid Flight (1:58.5 qualifier, 1609m), who placed three times in only five starts, four of them at two.
Righteous Franco won first-up at Addington in 2008 when trained by Steve McRae. She also second at her second start, then was retired after only nine starts.
She’s a fourth generation descendant of top 1970s mare Royal Belmer, who won 12 including the 1972 Kaikoura Cup and 1973 NZ Standardbred Breeders Stakes, when racing for the late Weedons trainer, Jack Smolenski.
The family has also shone in recent seasons with the deeds of top Allstars mare Piccadilly Princess (1:50.4, 1609m, 15 wins from 33 starts for $661,329), a daughter of Hyde Park Royal, a great grand-daughter of Royal Belmer.
Another mare breeding on well from the family is the unraced Sabrina Bromac (Live Or Die-Soho), another great grand-daughter of Royal Belmer, who has left nine individual winners (eight racing in Australia) of 144 races for $1.37 million.
Her best across the Tasman has been Smudge Bromac (1:53.2, 36 wins & $460,958).
Other descendants from daughters of Royal Belmer to shine have been the brilliant injury-plagued Auckland Cup placegetter Saveapatrol (retired after 11 wins from 18 starts for $145,618), Franco Renegade (1:55.5, 19 wins & $222,218), Couragousnquick (1:56.1, 17 wins & $A236,427), The Court Jester (1:54.7), Stars Of Courage (1:54.2, Aust, eight wins), Royal Decision (10 wins), Playing With Fire (1:50.6, US), Sovereign (1978 New Zealand Derby, six wins from only 26 starts), Rondel Franco (1:51.6 US, 35 wins & $684,003, dam of Saveapatrol), Motoring Anvil (1:57.9, 11 wins) and Sovereign Flight (1:53.9, Aust).
Meanwhile, former Kentuckiana Lodge stablemate Christen Me came up a nose short of winning Sunday’s $US50,000 Open Handicap at Yonkers.
Settling three back on the markers over the opening half-mile in 57.4s (10ths), driver Jordan Stratton moved Christen Me out in the open with around 700m remaining.
Now nine, the former two-time Australasian Grand Circuit champ looked the winner turning for home as he levelled up outside front-running Shane Adam (5g Western Ideal) but the leader kicked back on the line to win by the barest of margins in 1:53 even for the 1609m.
This was the seventh North American start for Christen Me for the year for the Jim King jun. stable. Going into the race he had won just of $US40,000 from two USA wins, the quickest in 1:51 even on a 1000m track, while he’s now been placed four times in North America.
Another well-performed ex-Kentuckiana Lodge pacer in Texican, now nine, also finished second on the Yonkers programme, three lengths behind fellow ex-Kiwi, Texas Terror (9g Western Terror-Alicia Maree), who won in 1:53.8 (10ths), in a $US22,500 pace.
Texas Terror was exported to Australia after running fourth at his only NZ two-year-old start at Winton in 2010 and has been a good stakes winner, both in Australia and North America, winning 25 races.
Fourth in the race was another former Kentuckiana Lodge pacer in Bungalow Bill, who has made his way to the USA after formerly racing in West Australia, but has yet to in North America from only a few starts.
By Jeff Scott