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Fierceness Full Brother Blazes Track Record in Debut

Mentee led the call at every pole to win at first asking for Repole Stable.

Mentee breaks his maiden at Aqueduct Racetrack

Mentee breaks his maiden at Aqueduct Racetrack

Coglianese Photos/Susie Raisher

Mentee's speed was as good as advertised, if not better, in his June 15 debut. A homebred for Repole Stable, the full brother to 2023 champion 2-year-old male Fierceness led the charge at every call and blazed the five furlongs in record time in the seventh race at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Blasting from the far outside post under John Velazquez, Mentee cleared the field a furlong from the start and scorched through demanding early fractions of :22.37 and :44.80. Holding a clear advantage down the lane, the testing pace began to take its toll on the City of Light  colt, and despite wavering late, he held on by a short nose over the fast-closing Vekoma  colt Colloquial.

Mentee, hammered down to 1-2 odds as part of a coupled entry with fellow Todd Pletcher-trained stablemate Nudge, stopped the clock in :56.97 over a fast main track. The previous record of :57 was set by Bazaar in 1963.

"We knew he'd be fast," said Velazquez. "He was green in the stretch and I probably should gotten after him more in the lane to make sure he kept his mind on business. He reminded me of his brother."

Velazquez partnered with Fierceness in both of his grade 1 victories, including in this year's Florida Derby (G1).

"Five furlongs, track record. He had the outside post. He ran the longest distance from there," said Mike Repole in a phone call to BloodHorse from Italy. "You have to put all of that in perspective. He's built a little different than Fierceness. He's bigger and maybe a little more compact. Maybe he's more of a seven-eighths, miler. Let's see what happens when he grows up, but we know he's fast.

"There's a lot of talent there, it's exciting to see."

"The broodmare Nonna Bella is pretty special too. She's named after my grandmother and I'm in Italy right now. It's a great equine family."

A second-generation Repole homebred, Mentee is produced from the Stay Thirsty  mare Nonna Bella. The mare, out of the grade 1-placed Nonna Mia, currently has a yearling filly by Caravaggio and a weanling Uncle Mo  colt. Repole reported that Nonna Mia would be bred to Curlin .

Mentee followed in the hoofprints of his 3-year-old older sibling in scoring first time out. Last summer, Fierceness graduated by 11 1/4 lengths in his Saratoga Race Course unveiling en route to a campaign that saw him dominate the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) and take home the Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old male.

Repole indicated that the July 13 $175,000 Sanford Stakes (G3) at Saratoga would be under consideration for Mentee.