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Magic Tap, Call Me Andy Shine in Churchill Maiden Wins

Maiden Watch: May 29-June 4

Magic Tap breaks his maiden impressively at Churchill Downs

Magic Tap breaks his maiden impressively at Churchill Downs

Coady Photography

This column highlights the performances of maidens who have made no more than five starts and who either sold for more than $500,000 at public auction, have siblings that are graded/group winners, or have dams that are graded/group winners. BloodHorse research shows maiden winners who meet these criteria are more likely to go on to be graded stakes winners.

Churchill Downs

In a week in which Maiden Watch had no less than five full or half siblings to grade 1 winners, two colts in particular left memorable impressions under the famed Twin Spires of Churchill Downs.

First up was the 2-year-old debut scorer Call Me Andy from the red-hot barn of Brendan Walsh. Since landing his first Kentucky Oaks (G1) victory with Pretty Mischievous a month ago, the Walsh barn has been enjoying a fruitful spring in the bluegrass, with the stable currently striking at a 46% win-place-show average. A $260,000 Keeneland September Sale purchase, Call Me Andy produced a three-quarter-length score June 1 in a workmanlike effort. Bumped at the break, the colt recovered nicely under jockey Tyler Gaffalione, stalked a :22.68 opening quarter, then surged by his rivals at the top of the lane. Kept to task, he held off the late closing Top of the Street to hit the wire in 1:04.95 for the 5 1/2 furlongs on a fast main track.

Call Me Andy - Maiden Win, Churchill Downs, June 1, 2023
Photo: Coady Photography
Call Me Andy wins his debut at Churchill Downs

Ocean Reef Racing syndicate initially signed the ticket on the son of Midshipman  before partnering up with Andrew Farm, Mountmellick Farm, Whit Mountain Stables, and Stonecrest Farm on the colt.

Although a champion juvenile himself in 2008 for Godolphin, Midshipman has generally failed to reproduce his precocity as a sire. His best U.S. runners include Royal Ship, a group 1 winner in Brazil who captured two graded stakes races in California once coming to trainer Richard Mandella's barn as a 4-year-old, and the grade 2-winning sprinter Special Reserve.

Call Me Andy's two accomplished older half siblings, Mirth (Colonel John) and Vault (Jump Start), didn't break their maidens until after several tries, and both found their best strides in their 4- and 5-year-old seasons. Mirth, a two-turn turf specialist, was a gate-to-wire winner of the 2019 Rodeo Drive Stakes (G1T) before finishing sixth in that year's Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1T). She later fetched $1.05 million to Katsumi Yoshida at the 2020 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Mixed Sale while in foal to Constitution . Vault earned her graded stripes as a 5-year-old with a 1 3/4-length tally in the 2021 Ruffian Handicap (G2) at Belmont Park.

A day later, on what became the last Friday of the Churchill spring/summer meet at Louisville oval due to a rash of equine fatalities throughout the last month, Magic Tap came forth amid the gloom with a truly spectacular maiden performance for Winchell Thoroughbreds. Sixth first time out when sprinting six furlongs at Oaklawn Park, Magic Tap failed to display the same speed that carried his half sister American Gal to grade 1 victories in the seven-furlong Test Stakes (G1) and Humana Distaff (G1). However, when stretched out to 1 1/16 miles, the ivory Tapit  colt grabbed the lead from the start, controlling the pace en route to a six-length romp over the main track.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, the 3-year-old stopped the clock in a sharp 1:42.63, a time that merits stakes-level competition in his next outing.

Magic Tap was acquired by Winchell Thoroughbreds for $450,000 at the 2021 Keeneland September Sale. Don Alberto had bred the colt after purchasing his dam, the grade 2-placed Ghostzapper  mare American Story, for a handsome $2.2 million at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Mixed Sale.

A son of a stallion that needs no introduction in Tapit, Magic Tap hails from a female family inundated with black-type performers such as 2013 Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) hero Reynaldothewizard and dual grade 1 winning mare Seventh Street.

BloodHorse Maiden Watch
Notable maiden winners for week of May 29-June 4
Date Track Race Horse Sire Dam Starts Notes
5/29 MTH 3 La Pachanga War Front Tokyo Time 5 Half sibling to G1SW Olympiad
5/29 SA 1 Act Three Kitten’s Joy Devine Actress 2 Full sibling to G1SW Oscar Performance and G3SW Oscar Nominated
6/1 CD 1 Call Me Andy* Midshipman Di’s Delight 1 Half sibling to G1SW Mirth and G2SW Vault
6/2 CD 5 Magic Tap Tapit American Story 2 Half sibling to G1SW American Gal
6/2 SA 1 California Bay California Chrome Tamarack Bay 2 Half sibling to G1SW Tamarando and G3SW Ward ’n Jerry
6/3 BEL 2 Highland Grace American Pharoah Caroline Thomas 5 Dam is a G2SW
6/3 MTH 2 Omaha Girl* Omaha Beach Anchorage 1 Half sibling to G3SW Abaan
6/3 PIM 7 Wudi Uncle Mo Ultralight Beam 4 $725K 2YO
6/4 MTH 1 Irish Rill English Channel Irish Sovereign 4 Half sibling to G2SW Irish War Cry and full sibling to G3SW Irish Strait
6/4 SA 4 Halosnheaven Curlin Indian Blessing 3 Dam is a G1SW

*denotes 2-year-old