By Rab Hagin
Joseph L. Maloney Racing’s homebred BEN Z ROLLS scored his third victory in four starts in his stakes debut in Finger Lakes’ black type Ontario County Stakes for 3-year-olds going six furlongs on Monday, June 25, as the MISSION IMPAZIBLE colt charged from last to first in the final quarter-mile. Making his second start off a six-month layoff, the intriguing chestnut was completely overlooked by the wagering public and trailed all his rivals by multiple lengths until looping three-to-four wide through the turn. Ben Z Rolls is the 27th winner in 2018 from two crops to race sired by Mission Impazible, whose progeny earnings for the year already have topped $1,112,000. Mission Impazible’s cumulative progeny earnings from those two crops are now approaching $3.6-million.
Ben Z Rolls had won first-out against six rivals as a 2-year-old last November, scoring a stalking victory by 3¾ lengths over the odds-on runner-up while going 5½ furlongs at Finger Lakes. He was back a week later at Finger Lakes in a six-furlong allowance for open 2-year-olds, going gate-to-wire to tally by a length and a half as the second choice among six, which included a recent stakes runner-up. A six-month winter layoff followed, and Ben Z Rolls returned to competition as a 3-year-old on May 22 in a 5½-furlong Finger Lakes allowance for open 3-year-olds and up on a sloppy track, running well late in a fourth-place effort that had the earmarks of a workout. Largely dismissed in the Ontario County, Ben Z Rolls rolled by his rivals in the stretch like they were beneath his league, and he was ready to go longer.
Other 3-year-old sons of Mission Impazible finishing strongly in recent stakes were COLLECTIVE EFFORT and SPECTACULAR KID, who placed second and third, respectively, among ten in Belmont’s $100,000 New York Stallion Spectacular Bid for 3-year-olds going seven furlongs on turf on Sunday, June 24. Collective Effort, who races for Loudmouth Racing, LLC and Dark Horse Racing Stable, lunged at the start and hit the gate, breaking next-to-last and immediately conceding four lengths to his rivals. He was only up to seventh-place with a quarter-mile to go but then overtook five rivals to place second, boosting his earnings to $154,163. Collective Effort was multiple stakes-placed on dirt as a 2-year-old before winning a $62,000 Belmont maiden special at 1 1/16 miles on turf by 3¼ lengths in a stakes-caliber 1:40.40 on Memorial Day weekend.
Spectacular Kid, Alex Kazdan’s versatile runner, was sixth with a quarter-mile to go in the Spectacular Bid and passed four rivals in the stretch to place third. Like Collective Effort, he also is multiple stakes-placed (at Aqueduct) on dirt and most recently had won a five-furlong Finger Lakes allowance for open 3-year-olds and up on a wet track in May. In Spectacular Kid’s turf debut three weeks prior to the Spectacular Bid in a $65,000 Belmont allowance at seven furlongs, he had placed third among eight (on firm turf) while running more than a full second slower than his subsequent Spectacular Bid clocking.
Mission Impazible’s first crop (foals of 2014) had placed him among the top-dozen North American-based first-crop sires of 2016 based on Northern Hemisphere progeny earnings, but his second-crop runners have won almost as many races and earned about the same amount of money as his first-crop runners. Offspring from Mission Impazible’s third crop are 2-year-olds of 2018.