It appears the word was out on John Oxley's homebred Hard Spun filly Beautiful Memories on May 28 as she ran to the money to win easily by 10 lengths at Churchill Downs. Trained by Mark Casse and ridden by Jose Ortiz, Beautiful Memories took the lead shortly after the start and never looked back, taking the five furlong event wire-to-wire. And it didn't take the team at the TDN to elevate the juvenile to "Rising Star" status, becoming the first two-year-old of 2020 to do so.
Beautiful Memories G3-placed mother, Sky Dreamer, is a half to G1 winner Dream Dancing and is also the dam of G2 winner and $767,000-earner Kimbear. Her third dam is Champion and G1 Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Beautiful Pleasure.
Only Curlin could match Hard Spun's five Graded Stakes-winning three-year-olds in 2019. They included G1 Ashland winner Out For a Spin, $1M Saratoga Derby hero A Thread of Blue, G1 La Brea winner Hard Not To Love (also winner of the 2020 G2 Santa Monica Stakes), and G1 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile winner Spun to Run, whose 110 Beyer was the second-highest for a three-year-old at a mile or more in 2019.
Not to be outdone by his barn mate, Street Sense was also represented by a star in the making as son Cazadero romped home 24 hours later (also at Churchill) to claim his title of "TDN Rising Star". He may have been sent off at odds of 5-1 but he ran like he knew what he was doing. He, too, took the lead shortly after the break and eventually strolled home by a widening eight and three-quarter lengths. Cazadero posted an 81 Beyer Speed Rating, second fastest for a juvenile in 2020. The Stonestreet homebred is trained by Steve Asmussen and was ridden by Ricardo Santana.
Cazadero's first dam is G3 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes winner Wild Gams, she a full sister to Black type winner Diamond Wildcat. Wild Gams is also the dam of Black type winner Mt. Brave and G3-placed Almost Famous.
Cazadero's debut win brings to mind the first-out score by another one of Street Sense's sons, that being 2020 Kentucky Derby contender Maxfield. In September of last year, Maxfield was victorious at first asking over the Louisville, Kentucky oval as well, and then returned in his next start to win the G1 Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland. Most recently, Maxfield stormed from off the pace to win the G3 Matt Winn Stakes in his first and only start this year.
Street Sense's other high level performers in 2019 included G1 Whitney Handicap winner McKinzie, a four-time career winner at the highest level who also ran second in the G1 Breeders' Cup Classic. No stallion standing for less than $175,000 could top Street Sense's 18 dirt Stakes horses last year.