Highestmaintenance (12/20): Upon debut, this Todd Pletcher-trained, Mike Repole-owned filly was sent off as the favorite in a six-furlong maiden special weight at Gulfstream Park. After setting a brisk pace without much pressure from her rivals, the dark bay/brown filly drew off to a 6 ¾-length victory. Sired by Macho Uno and out of a stakes-winning mare, Highestmaintenance’s third dam, Wayward Pirate, is the granddam of the graded stakes-winning millionaire Continental Red.
Departing (12/22): A homebred for Claiborne Farm & Adele Dilschneider, Departing made his debut at the Fair Grounds, settling several lengths off a brisk pace amongst a field that included only one juvenile that had raced before. The bay colt drew clear in the final stages of the race, crossing under the wire 2 ¼ lengths in front. A result of the mating between War Front and a Pulpit mare, Departing is likely to perform best at middle distances. As a direct descendant of the great mare Myrtlewood, graded stakes success seems to be a probable future for Departing.
Gustavia (12/23): This Chad Brown trainee took four tries to break her maiden, but once she did, Gustavia displayed serious potential, scoring at Aqueduct by nearly 2 lengths in a good final time of 1:48.70 for nine furlongs over turf. Bred on the same Pulpit/Storm Bird sire line cross that has produced the likes of the grade one winners Careless Jewel, Hansen, Ice Box, Mi Sueno, and Sky Mesa, Gustavia is a half-sister to the stakes-winning Hard Mystery.
Mylute (12/26): Beginning his career with a pair of in-the-money finishes, including a runner-up performance in the Prairie Gold Juvenile Stakes, Mylute broke his maiden at Arlington Park. The colt then contested in three stakes, finishing fifth in the Arlington-Washington Futurity (GIII), second in the Jean Lafitte Stakes, and third in the Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes (GIII). The Tom Amoss trainee seemed to find his best stride in his final start of 2012, dominating an allowance optional claiming field at the Fair Grounds that included impressive maiden winner General Election by 10 ¾ lengths.
Private Ensign (12/26): Following a second-place finish behind Oblahlah in her debut, Private Ensign coasted to a 3 ½-length victory in her second career start, going a mile and one-sixteenth over the dirt at Gulfstream Park. It is no surprise that the stretch-out in distance improved her performance, as this royally-bred filly is sired by the great A.P. Indy and out of a daughter of South African Triple Crown winner Horse Chestnut. This filly’s bloodlines are incredibly impressive, as her third dam is the great Personal Ensign, an undefeated champion on the track and a highly influential broodmare – a Reine de Course mare in fact – on the farm.
Distinctiv Passion (12/28): Third behind Capo Bastone in his debut, Distinctiv Passion finished fourth in his second start just two weeks later. He returned to the races three months later, breaking his maiden at Hollywood Park. With ease, Distinctiv Passion took a stakes-quality allowance race at Santa Anita, defeating a field that included graded stakes winner Know More, the graded stakes-placed Super Ninety Nine, and the stakes-placed Mico Margarita. Sired by With Distinction and out of a granddaughter of Gone West, Distinctiv Passion is a full brother to the black-type-winning Italo.
Appealing Tale (12/29): Following two satisfactory performances at Hollywood Park, Appealing Tale excelled in his first dirt try, capturing a one-mile maiden special weight at Santa Anita by 6 ¼ lengths, defeating the highly-touted Mentor Cane in the process. The colt is bred on the successful Tale of the Cat/Unbridled’s Song cross, which has produced the group/graded stakes winners A Shin Top and Alpha Kitten.
Golden Soul (12/30): Defeated by a scant head in his debut, Golden Soul soared to an easy 7 ¼-length triumph in his second start, romping in a maiden special weight at the Fair Grounds. A result of the mating between Canadian champion Perfect Soul and a Mr. Prospector mare, Golden Soul is a half-brother to the graded stakes-winning Quintons Gold Rush.
Omega Star (12/31): After finishing second behind Clawback in his debut at Aqueduct, Omega Star was transferred to John Shirreffs’ barn in Southern California. On the final possible day he could win as a juvenile, Omega Star broke his maiden in a California-bred maiden special weight, coming from off the pace to coast to an easy 3-length triumph. Sired by Candy Ride and out of a Fusaichi Pegasus mare, Omega Star’s granddam is the Irish-bred Alpride, a multiple grade one-winning highweight.