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midshipman breeders cup juvenile santa anita 08

Midshipman puts in a performance in the Breeders' Cup that helps to take him to the top of the US Experimental Free Handicap

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker  


Midshipman heads
the Free Handicap

MIDSHIPMAN, winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, has been allotted a high-weight assessment of 126 on this year's American Experimental Free Handicap, which is put together by the US Jockey Club.

The Darley-owned son of Unbridled's Song, has been given an assessment a pound less than last year's high-weight which was awarded to fellow Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner, War Pass.

Midshipman is weighted two pounds higher than Vineyard Haven, a son of the Chilian-bred Lido Palace and the winner of two Grade 1 races, the Champagne Stakes and Hopeful Stakes.

The UK racing import, the US-bred Square Eddie (Smart Strike) is in third on 123.

The highest rated UK-bred colt is the Cadeaux Genereux horse Donativum, winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. He is rated 120, a pound ahead of the highest-rated Irish horse Westphalia (Danehill Dancer), whom he beat by half a length at Santa Anita.

The fillies' table is headed by Stardom Bound, the three-time Grade 1-winning daughter of Tapit. She has been allotted a weight of 124, a pound ahead of last year's top filly, Indian Blessing (Indian Charlie), and four pounds ahead of this year's second-best filly, Dream Empress (Bernstein), who was runner-up to Stardom Bound in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Leading breeder is Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings which was represented by five fillies; the leading sire is Sky Mesa courtesy of three fillies and three colts, includingSky Diva rated 117 on the fillies' handicap, while Tapit is the leading freshman sire with five representatives.  He is closely followed by Candy Ride and Lion Heart wtihfour apiece.

Joint leading broodmare sires are Storm Cat and Woodman with four horses each.

The weights are an assessment of the previous year's leading two-year-olds, with the weights complied for a hypothetical race over 11/16 on dirt.

The committee weighted a total of 104 colts and geldings and 87 fillies. Eligible were all 2-year-olds of 2008 that finished among the top four in graded or other unrestricted races with an added value of at least $75,000, run in the US.





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