Bloodlines Presented By Mill Ridge Farm: Concert Tour Flies The Homebred Banner For Wests

There is a tide in the affairs of horses, which taken at the flood, leads on to the Kentucky Derby.

With apologies to Shakespeare, there’s more than a grain of truth in that sentence. Breeders begin the quest for the classics with purchases, sometimes quite expensive ones. Then come attempts at the major races and the stages of building a breeding operation to produce young prospects for the classics. If allied with confident planning, nerve, and patience, breeders have the potential to flower a breeding program that produces classic prospects with some regularity.

Such is the case with Gary and Mary West.

In 2019, the West stable had a pair of classic prospects, one on each coast, and both made it to the Kentucky Derby. Unbeaten in four previous starts, their homebred Maximum Security (by New Year’s Day) wintered in Florida, won the Grade 1 Florida Derby, and led the field past the wire in the 2019 Kentucky Derby. Although subsequently disqualified, Maximum Security was named champion of his division for the annual Eclipse Award.

In the same classic, the Wests’ other Derby performer was the 2018 juvenile champion Game Winner (Candy Ride), based in California with trainer Bob Baffert. Although beaten in the Kentucky Derby, Game Winner had the scope and ability of a classic colt. The dark bay had been bred by Summer Wind Farm in Kentucky and sold to the Wests for $110,000 at the Keeneland September sale in 2017.

This year, the Wests again are closely connected to a pair of colts prepping for the classics. The first is one that they sold; the Into Mischief colt Life is Good, who is unbeaten in three starts, was auctioned to China Horse Club and Maverick Racing for $525,000 at the 2019 Keeneland September sale.

The colt that the Wests kept is Concert Tour (by Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense), who is likewise unbeaten in three starts, including the G2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn on March 13. Bred in Kentucky by Gary and Mary West Stables Inc., Concert Tour is out of the Tapit mare Purse Strings.

The Wests bought Purse Strings through their racing manager and bloodstock representative Ben Glass for $240,000 at the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale. At the races, Purse Strings raced a dozen times in maiden special company, winning the last of those at Churchill Downs on Nov. 29 as a 4-year-old. Glass recalled that Purse Strings “had all the talent in the world and should have broken her maiden a half-dozen times. But she was never fully sound,” he said.

Instead, “she always had little problems: a shin, a suspensory, and so forth that kept her from being early to the races and from staying in hard training so she could show her best.”

A winner of $105,960, Purse Strings had contested a series of good maiden races, finishing second a half-dozen times and third twice before graduating to the winner’s circle. Sent to the paddocks for the 2016 breeding season, Purse Strings produced Concert Tour as her second foal.

The chestnut Purse Strings was notably the best racer from her dam, the Mt. Livermore mare My Red Porsche, who is a half-sister to the stakes winner, My White Corvette (Tarr Road). The latter produced champion Stardom Bound from the first crop by Tapit (Pulpit), and that gray filly’s five Grade 1 successes prompted a mating between My Red Porsche and the great sire.

The result was Purse Strings, and even with physical issues, she clearly was a useful filly and has passed on more than that to her progressive son Concert Tour. The mare has a yearling colt by champion Lookin at Lucky and is in foal to American Freedom (Pulpit), who won the G3 Iowa Derby, was second in both the G1 Haskell and Travers, and is now a stallion at Airdrie Stud in Kentucky. Due in mid-April, Purse Strings will be bred back to Street Sense.

To produce horses of this caliber with consistency, the Wests and their advisers are responsible for balancing optimism and pragmatism, for considering both physique and pedigree. The responsibilities for all this are considerable. Pedigree adviser Sid Fernando noted that “Werk Thoroughbred Consultants advises on matings, and we’re happy to be part of the team for Gary and Mary West, Ben Glass, and their other elite support staff.”

One of the benefits of managing well the many facets of breeding racehorses is the satisfaction when the results go as planned.

A birth notice of note: Beach Walk, the dam of unbeaten Life is Good, foaled a half-brother by Candy Ride on March 15. The mare will be bred back to Into Mischief, the sire of Life is Good.

The post Bloodlines Presented By Mill Ridge Farm: Concert Tour Flies The Homebred Banner For Wests appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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