Classic Empire Half-Brother New ‘Rising Star’ For Justify
Justify registered a new Thoroughbred Daily New Rising Star on Saturday when Heartland (2c Justify x Sambuca Classica, by Cat Thief) won by two lengths at Del Mar.
Racing over 5 ½ furlongs for his first day at the races, Heartland broke a little awkwardly and found himself with plenty to do as he raced well over five lengths behind the leader. Heartland still had a big margin to close around the turn but was closing in on the leaders with every stride as they turned into the stretch.
It wasn’t until the final sixteenth that Heartland was able to get his head in front but he was full of steam as he pulled away to win by two lengths and become the seventh Rising Star for Justify.
A $575,000 purchase by Maverick Racing and Siena Farm from Highgate Sales, breeder China Horse Club bought back into the colt before his racing career.
Heartland is one of seven winners out of the Cat Thief mare Sambuca Classic. She has also produced Ashford’s young sire and Champion 2-Year-Old Colt Classic Empire and stakes winner Anytime Magic and Uptown Twirl among her winners.
A rising superstar in the U.S. and recently named Champion Freshman Sire in Australia, Justify is the sire of eight juvenile winners in 2023 – second best among all North American sires- with three of those winning stakes and two winning graded stakes.