By Rab Hagin
Usually May-foaled 2-year-olds do not run six furlongs first-out in 1:09.55 regardless of surface, but CLAMS CASINO did that in a $55,000 turf maiden special for 12 at Aqueduct on Thursday, November 30, winning by 2¼ lengths as MISSION IMPAZIBLE juveniles finished first and third in their debuts. Clams Casino was Mission Impazible’s 11th 2-year-old winner of 2017 and seventh first-out juvenile winner of the season, his sire’s 24th winner for the year and 28th winner overall from two crops of racing age.
Accomplishments by Mission Impazible’s 2-year-olds at Aqueduct on November 30 appear to have boosted their sire to among the top-15 living North American-based juvenile sires for 2017. Within that group, Mission Impazible is the only stallion standing for less than $10,000 U.S. or Canadian ($7,750) and one of only two standing outside Kentucky. Mission Impazible is the leading New York-based juvenile sire by significant margins in both progeny earnings and number of winners.
Clams Casino, who broke from the 11th post and was the only May-foaled juvenile among his contest’s top nine finishers, races for AWC Stables, which had purchased him for $50,000 at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky’s 2016 October yearling sale. He is the second offspring produced from his dam, whose first foal – by a $35,000-fee Kentucky-based stallion – was winless as a 2016 juvenile but most recently won on September 11 at Finger Lakes with a $5,000 tag.