It may have taken the entire length of the Ellis Park stretch, but at the wire it was Top Recruit that got the victory when he edged Curly Jack by a head to capture the seven-furlong Runhappy Ellis Park Juvenile on Sunday, 14 August.
The two-year-old Midshipman colt was winning for the second time in three career starts. He most recently finished third in the Prairie Gold Juvenile Stakes at Prairie Meadows on 9 July.
Top Recruit broke alertly and was sent up to prompt the pace set by Frosted Departure (Frosted) while racing three-wide. Top Recruit put away that rival at the top of the lane, but was then joined by the favorite, Curly Jack to his outside. The pair battled through the stretch and to the wire, with Top Recruit holding on gamely to win by a head.
Bred in Kentucky by Dunwoody Farm, Top Recruit is out of the Stakes-placed mare Oh So Bella (by Afleet Alex), a full sister to G2 Breeders’ Cup Marathon winner, Afleet Again. Both were produced from the Stakes-winning mare, Lucky Again, and hail from the family of Darn That Alarm (G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes) and Strong Performance (G2 Tropical Park Derby).
Top Recruit became the second Stakes winner of the weekend for his sire Midshipman, joining fellow two-year-old, Back to Ohio, winner of the Best of Ohio Miss Ohio Stakes at Thistledown on Saturday. In addition to those two, Midshipman is also represented by Royal Ship, winner of the G2 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar; Fortino, a four-time Graded Stakes winner as a two-year-old in Chile, which includes a victory in the G1 Premio Alberto Vial Infante; Succeso, (G2 Premio Verano Arturo Cousino L.); Special Reserve (Senator Robert C. Byrd Memorial Stakes) and Shipsational, who was placed in both the G2 Tampa Bay Derby and G3 Sam F. Davis Stakes.