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Spotlight on Tomcito

We know he’s by Street Cry, we know he’s won two Group 1 classics in Peru (despite an age disadvantage, running against Southern Hemisphere 3-year-olds, and at real distances), but what does it all mean? The real question mark is one of class (although the same could be said for much of the competition this year’s crop has faced thus far, given Pyro’s low Beyers and War Pass finishing up the track against a largely uninspiring field). So, let’s do a little digging. There’s plenty of good information at the Peruvian Jockey Club website (if you can read between the headlines about Edgar Prado, of which there are deservedly many), and in a variety of other place on the interweb. (Hint: if your Spanish is rusty, Google Translate is your friend).

Tomcito’s runner-up in the Clásico Derby Nacional, Fortanyo (now a 4-year-old, by Northern Hemisphere calculations, but still 3 for his purposes) won a G1 race impressively (the Clásico Alfredo Benavides y Alfredo Benavides Diez Canseco) in February but came up short (finishing 8th) in the Latinoamericano (in which he was favored against older horses).

The third-place finisher in the Clásico Derby Nacional was a G1-winning filly named Faraqueen, also trained by Juan Suarez. Like Tomcito, you can find plenty of footage of her on YouTube.

Rumors on the internets suggest that Peruvian tracks are very deep (something I would not mind checking out in person; I hope to get to Peru at some point in the nearish future) and that Tomcito’s two classic victories both saw him come home in the fastest final furlongs ever recorded for those races. While I can’t verify that, just watching the race certainly gives the impression that he’s flying at the end:

Likewise, Chesapeake Farm, co-breeder with Darley, is happy to brag about his successes so far and they compare him to Street Sense. In the same vein, this Peruvian sports blog (and the commenters there) seem to be more than a little impressed with the colt and I’ll let the original caption of the photo (right) do the talking (I knew my high school Spanish and previous residence in California would come in handy some day):

Tomcito fue espectacular. Se encerró, se complicó, pero igual fue contundente pasando de largo en el “Derby Nacional”

So, what’s he done since arriving Stateside? He’s been working well in his preparations for the Florida Derby and he seems more seasoned than many of his competitors (compare to the intriguing Big Brown’s two starts) – his only defeat came in a jostling 14-horse field. Should he do well in the race and punch his ticket to Kentucky (and he’ll need a good finish – it would seem foreign G1 earnings don’t count, although I would happily toss many of the horses who do have the graded earnings this year), I imagine we’ll see another spike in Street Cry’s stud fee.

But regardless of the outcome of the Florida Derby, Tomcito’s career thus far has been hugely successful for his connections — not bad for a $7500 investment. Here’s hoping he shakes things up a bit.

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