By Rab Hagin
Mike Powers’ ANOTHER LEVEL went straight to the front and led throughout without urging in a two-turn 7½-furlong turf maiden special for open 2-year-old fillies at Retama Park on Friday evening, September 22, scoring by 2½ lengths to become the first winner for her Grade 1-winning sire, EMCEE. Because her jockey was overweight, the quick-striding filly was actually conceding two pounds to the runner-up, a daughter of a recently-deceased $50,000-fee Kentucky stallion who through September 22 ranked among North America’s top-dozen general, juvenile, and turf sires for 2017. Another Level accelerated her second quarter-mile split entering the backstretch and steadily drew off thereafter, increasing her margin in the final furlong without urging from her rider.
Emcee, an Unbridled’s Song stallion standing over 16 hands, did not race as a juvenile but won his only start as a 3-year-old by 4½ lengths and captured Saratoga’s Grade 1 Forego Stakes by 4½ lengths in a stakes record 1:21-flat for seven furlongs as a 4-year-old. In 2012, Emcee was one of the top seven-furlong sprinters in North America, clocking seven panels in 1:20.83 on an off track at Gulfstream Park in his second start while beating the odds-on runner-up by six lengths at equal weights. He is among three stakes winners produced from his six-figure-earning dam and also is a half-brother to the group-placed dam of a multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire who stood his second season for $25,000 in 2017.
Another Level, from Emcee’s first crop, is her unraced dam’s eighth named offspring, seventh starter, and third winner – but also first 2-year-old winner. Her dam’s pedigree is definitely distance-oriented, suggesting an interesting future for the suddenly-maturing dark bay filly.