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Brisnet Pedigree stats for maidens on Thursday and Friday.

In maiden races, often with little form to rely on, pedigrees can play an important part in making handicapping decisions. The Brisnet Ultimate Past Performances and the American Produce Records (APR) on CD Rom have the most comprehensive pedigree statistics available.

Churchill, Thursday Race 7. Of the 12 juvenile colts entered in this five furlong maiden, eight will be making their debuts including #2 Thiskyhasnolimit, a son of Sky Mesa whose SPI of 2.43 is the highest of any of the stallions represented in this race. Deputy Minister, the sire of the dam of Thiskyhasnolimit, also owns a high SPI of 3.75 and, while the dam's lone runner has yet to win, further research using the APR CD reveals that this colt is out of a half-sister to the Preakness S. (G1), Travers S. (G1) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) winner Bernardini and his granddam is Cara Rafaela who was third in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and won the Hollywood Starlet S. (G1). Also shown in both the Ultimate PPs and the APR is that Thiskyhasnolimit was, at $120,000, the fifth highest priced of any of Sky Mesa's yearlings to sell last year. With a bullet workout at Keeneland and Steve Asmussen's debuting win rate of 18 percent, Thiskyhasnolimit would be no surprise to win first time out.

Other first time starters in this race with strong pedigrees include #7 Backtalk, a son of Derby winner Smarty Jones whose dam, Apasionata Sonata, herself a stakes winner, owns a very high DPI of 11.63. This is through her being responsible for Bsharpsonata, winner of the Forward Gal S. (G2) and who won the Selima S. as a juvenile. Selling for $525,000, #8 Dublin was the third most expensive offspring of  the freshman sire Afleet Alex to sell as a yearling last year. He is out of Classy Mirage who won 13 races including the Ballerina S. (G1) and is the dam of five winners including the grade two placed Mikes Classic.

Churchill Friday, Race 3. Steve Asmussen will saddle another debuting colt in this five furlong event for a claiming price of $20,000. #5, Knocknonheavensgate is by the first season sire Grand Reward out of a winning mare whose 5.07 DPI was earned through being the dam of the useful Heart Of A King, a winner of allowances at Keeneland and Presque Isle Downs and third in Woodbine's Woodstock S. at Woodbine this year.

The highest of any sires' SPIs in race 3 is the 2.41 of In Excess (Ire), the sire of #1 Ice Baby Ice. Well bet in his debut when he lost all chance of victory at the start, Ice Baby Ice should inherit speed and precocity from his sire whose offspring win at 17 pecent in their debuts and have an average winning distance of 6.2 furlongs. A wet track maybe to the advantage of Ice Baby Ice as runners by In Excess win at a rate of 21 percent on off tracks.

Arlington Friday, Race 10. Possibly a standout, pedigree-wise, in this $10,000 maiden claimer for Illinois bred runners is #11 A.W.Shucks. By Thunder Gulch, whose SPI of 2.11 is far above any others in the race, A. W. Shucks is out of Twin Set (Ger), a stakes winner in France and second in the Monrovia H. (G3) in California. A.W.Shucks ran well at this level last month in his first start for nearly ten months and his sire's and damsire's average winning distances of 7.8 and 8.0 furlongs suggest that the extra half furlong here will be to his advantage.

Tim Holland 6-10-09.