Sunday, December 30, 2012

F Sixteen - The Racing Days

Pilot I got fresh off the racetrack, up to the day he shipped out of Belmont to the farm he was in active race training though he hadn't raced for about 2 months by the time I got him.

Unlike Melody, Pilot was quite successful on the track. In 12 starts he finished first 3 times and second 3 times with earnings totaling $118,786.

Like Melody his racing name, F Sixteen, was most likely inspired from his pedigree, he is a bay gelding sired by Unbridled Jet out of Boldly Appealing by Valid Appeal.

His dam Boldly Appealing while unraced has produced some nice foals. She is the dam of 9 foals and 7 foals to race. All but two of her foals of racing age have broken their maiden's, of those 4 are multiple winners. Pilot is her second highest earning foal behind Bythebeautifulsea who has earned upwards of $300,000 and is multiple stakes placed. Only one of her foals is currently running, Outburst, a 3yo filly by Flashy Bull who has yet to break her maiden in 10 starts but has earned $37,123 on the way, that is the kind of maiden you want! Boldly Appealing also has a yearling (will be a 2yo in two days) colt by Colonel John who I am excited to follow and is reported to be in foal to Desert Party for 2013.

Pilot first debuted June 22nd, 2005 as a three year old. He had very nice works going into the race and was bet down as the heavy favorite in a New Jersey bred maiden special weight at Monmouth Park going six furlongs. He broke slow and settled in the back of the pack in the early stages he made a move from 10th to 5th at the half mile pole, was third by 4 lengths coming into the stretch and finished strongly down the lane to finish 2nd of 11 beaten only 1 1/4 lengths. About a month later he started again for the same condition and thanks to his performance in his debut was once again the heavy favorite. The chart reads 'F Sixteen was slow into stride, never factored and bled'. This was a chronic problem for him and if I remember correctly was why he debuted so late. Luckily for him his connections decided to give him time and let him heal. When there is a bleeder comment in the racing chart you know the horse must have bled badly for it to have been visibly noticed. Pilot shipped to our farm to rest after he bled and he wouldn't race again for another year.

His next start would be the race which I saw, they entered him longer this time, a mile versus 6 furlongs, where he finished a solid fourth in June of 2006. Early in August he ran a similar race to once again finish 4th of 10. Later that month he showed improvement, finishing 2nd of 7 behind a runaway Gorgie G who went on to win by 9 3/4 lengths. September 8th he came even closer, this time beaten a head after stumbling at the start and battling on the rail which is a tough spot for horses to prevail because they tend to get intimidated with the rail on one side and a horse on the other.

September 24th he was once again the heavy favorite and it was finally his turn. He broke well and settled closer to the pace than was his custom. He advanced to contention on the final turn and drew clear at the quarter pole and ran off to win by 8 3/4 lengths under a handride by Eddie Castro. After breaking his maiden he made his next start at the Meadowlands in a state bred first level allowance. In almost the exact same fashion as his maiden breaking win he made a sweeping move around the turn and was clear coming out of the turn. This time though he was challenged down the stretch by two different horses but once again prevailed by three quarters of a length. Unfortunately after this race the New Jersey meet ended so they experimented with a race up in New York at Aqueduct, a 2 mile Allowance which is practically unheard of in the states. Despite this it attracted an 8 horse field though you could tell by the running of the race that most of the horses and the riders were not used to running this type of distance, the fractions set were a bit to fast early and all the front runners but one were eased down the stretch, Pilot was one of those front runners.

Pilot was sent back to the farm again for the winter and then was brought back for what would be his final season on the racetrack. In his 5yo debut, a 2 other than allowance on the dirt, he showed great heart when he had to angle out 5 wide coming into the stretch and then was knocked into multiple times by Four Shore who kept knocking his hind end out from under him. His rider then checked him pulled him outside the horse who was bothering him and then closed steadily to just get up for the win. They tried him next out at Belmont where he was outrun from the start. His final start ended up being a Jerseybred stake where he finished 5th of 9 in the Lincroft Handicap. On paper it did not look like that terrible of a run, he came from out of it to finish 5th but his connections saw something they did not like and decided to let him try out a different career.

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