Second Chances: Street Sense 3yo Colt on a ‘Mission’

In this continuing series, TDN’s Senior Racing Editor Steve Sherack catches up with the connections of promising maidens to keep on your radar.

First Mission (c, 3, Street Sense–Elude, by Medaglia d’Oro) earned a gaudy 96 Beyer Speed Figure sprinting on debut on the GII Risen Star S. undercard at Fair Grounds Feb. 18. And he didn’t even get his picture taken.

The Triple Crown-nominated Godolphin homebred fell three-quarters of a length short to his highly touted and Brad Cox-trained stablemate Bishops Bay (Uncle Mo) in a very live-looking, six-furlong maiden special weight that day.

Given a 9-2 chance on debut as part of a commonly owned entry, the blinkered First Mission chased in fifth as the heavily favored Bishops Bay sat in the garden spot in second through an opening quarter in a sharp :22.14.

Up a couple of slots into third while racing in between rivals on the far turn, First Mission revved up three wide while ridden leaving the quarter pole and loomed boldly while hanging on his left lead as the very confidently handled Bishops Bay enjoyed first run and spun them in.

First Mission reached even terms and looked to have a big shot despite drifting some in the stretch, but Bishops Bay was going just a little bit better and responded nicely once finally sat down by Florent Geroux to earn his diploma at first asking in a race that didn’t deserve a loser. It was a long way back to Bettera (Blame) in third.

“He was always a horse that we liked from when he was down in Florida last year being pre-trained,” Godolphin USA Director of Bloodstock Michael Banahan said. “He had a few little juvenile issues and (Godolphin rehab trainer) Johnny Burke rehabbed him and got him going again. When he arrived in Brad’s barn, he was pretty enthusiastic about him and always held him in high regard.”

First Mission’s GI Kentucky Derby-winning sire Street Sense is responsible for 12 Grade I winners. First Mission was produced by the winning Medaglia d’Oro mare Elude, a daughter of Argentinian champion 3-year-old filly and MG1SW Forty Marchanta (Arg) (Roar).

First Mission worked five furlongs in 1:02.80 (42/52) Mar. 11 and will stretch out to two turns for his second career start going 1 1/16 miles against 10 rivals in New Orleans on Saturday. The aforementioned Bishops Bay returns in an optional claimer going two turns at Fair Grounds Sunday.

“Running over three-quarters down at the Fair Grounds, we were very impressed with how he did that knowing that he wants to stretch out,” Banahan said.

“We’re really looking forward to seeing him in his next start. If he can perform as well as we anticipate off his debut, we’ll have a nice spring-summer with him.”

The ‘Second Chances’ honor roll is headed by two-time Breeders’ Cup winner and Ashford Stud stallion Golden Pal (Uncle Mo), GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby winner and Lane’s End stallion Honor A. P. (Honor Code), GI Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner and GI Forego S. winner Cody’s Wish (Curlin), GI Carter H. winner and Darley stallion Speaker’s Corner (Street Sense) and MGISW and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Paradise Woods (Union Rags).

Other standouts appearing in the series include: last Saturday’s GI Beholder Mile S. winner A Mo Reay (Uncle Mo); GI Preakness S. third-place finisher Creative Minister (Creative Cause); GI Runhappy Del Mar Futurity and GII San Felipe S. third-place finisher Skinner (Curlin); GSW & MGISP Spielberg (Union Rags); GSW Moonlight d’Oro (Medaglia d’Oro); GSW Backyard Heaven (Tizway); MSW & ‘TDN Rising Star’ Gidu (Ire) (Frankel {GB}); SW & GSP War At Sea (War Front); and SW & ‘TDN Rising Star’ Artorius (Arrogate).

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