With two stakes-winners and a TDN Rising Star, champion sire Giant’s Causeway was running hot at the weekend.
Talented filly Excited (3f Giant’s Causeway x Path of Thunder, by Thunder Gulch) has been racing in top form this preparation and posted a career best performance to score a stylish half length win in the Grade III Virginia Oaks on the turf at Colonial Downs.
Raced by Michael Tabor and trained by Todd Pletcher, Excited settled just behind the leaders and despite being pushed wide on the turn was able to overpower her rivals to win her first Graded trophy, her overall record now three wins and five placings from 10 starts with prizemoney of $244,796.
Excited is the first stakes-winner for her dam Path of Thunder, a stakes-winning full sister to dual Group I winner Spain that was bought as a yearling by Michael Tabor for $1.2 million.
Path of Thunder has three more offspring by Giant’s Causeway to follow Excited – a two year-old filly, a yearling filly and a colt foaled on May 2.
Giant’s Causeway made it a stakes double on the day when Mr Ryder (4h Giant’s Causeway x Saudia, by Gone West) won the $100,350 Sussex Stakes at Delaware.
Trained by Christophe Clemente for the Brushwood Stable, Mr Ryder took his record to five wins from eight starts when saluting by a neck in the 1 and 1/16th mile event on turf.
A $420,000 weanling purchase that made $800,000 at the 2008 Keeneland September Yearling Sale,
Mr Ryder is the 97th stakes-winner for Giant’s Causeway and is a half-brother to recent Grade II Newmarket Superlative Stakes winner Red Duke being from the Gone West mare Saudia.
Looking like a stakes-winner in the making was Creative Cause (2c Giant’s Causeway x Dream of Summer, by Siberian Summer), who earned TDN Rising Star status with a facile debut win at Hollywood Park for the Mike Harrington stable.
Creative Cause contested the lead and then cruised clear to win the five furlong dash by four and three-quarter lengths in a speedy :56 4/5 on the all weather track.
A $135,000 Keeneland September Yearling purchase, Creative Cause is raced by Heinz Steinmann and is from Grade I Apple Blossom Handicap winner Dream of Summer.