By Rab Hagin
Second-crop 2-year-olds sired by MISSION IMPAZIBLE won four races and placed second in Aqueduct’s $100,000 Key Cents Stakes within a 12-day span (November 12-24), boosting their sire to among the top 17 living North American-based juvenile sires for 2017 – and one of only two standing outside Kentucky. Mission Impazible also is the only stallion ranked among the top-20 living North American-based juvenile sires of 2017 standing for a listed fee of less than $10,000 (U.S. or Canadian dollars).
Prominent among Mission Impazible’s recent 2-year-old winners is Joseph L. Maloney Racing’s unbeaten homebred, BEN Z ROLLS, who scored by open margins a week apart (November 13 and 20) at Finger Lakes even though he was not favored in either contest. Ben Z Rolls won his debut by 3¾ lengths over the odds-on (.35-to-1) runner-up and five other rivals (bred in three different states) going 5½ furlongs despite swinging four-wide from third place on the turn. A week later, he was second choice behind a stakes runner-up among six starters in a six-furlong allowance for open 2-year-olds and led gate to wire, becoming Mission Impazible’s eighth 2017 repeat winner and fourth juvenile repeat winner, joining PURE SILVER ($256,367), DREAMS ARE PAZIBLE and unbeaten DOUBLE NAUGHT SPY. The last-named, racing for Top Hat Thoroughbreds, won consecutive 5½-furlong outings 15 days apart at Laurel Park, breaking his maiden against nine rivals on October 28 and then romping by 6¼ lengths as the favorite (and youngest – foaled April 24, 2015) among six on November 12.
Mission Impazible’s 10th 2-year-old winner of 2017 – the most 2017 juvenile winners among New York sires – is Alex Kazdan’s SPECTACULAR KID, another late-foaled youngster (foaled April 25, 2015) who beat eight rivals in a 5½-furlong maiden special for open 2-year-olds at Finger Lakes on Friday, November 24. Spectacular Kid, winner or placed in three of four starts and never worse than fourth, won while top-weighted under 125 pounds – conceding three pounds to the odds-on runner-up – because his jockey, who was race-riding him for the first time, was three pounds overweight. It was the second time in his brief career that Spectacular Kid was top-weighted under more weight than assigned because of an overweight jockey. He was Mission Impazible’s 23rd winner of 2017 and 27th winner overall from two crops of racing age.
Within minutes of Spectacular Kid’s win, Twin Creeks Racing Stables LLC’s aforementioned Pure Silver, winner of Saratoga’s Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes by 9½ lengths, appeared on her way to regaining her August form when she placed a closing second among eight in Aqueduct’s six-furlong Key Cents. It was the multiple stakes winner’s third black type credential in an effort that might have been compromised by an unexpectedly-quick early pace set by what looked like an unplaced long shot (44.75-to-1) “rabbit.”