TwinSpires.com will follow prominent first-crop sires whose two-year-olds are hitting the track this season. This installment is the first on 2019 sprint champion Mitole.
There was arguably no finer champion male sprinter in the 2010s than Mitole, who capped the decade with a tremendous campaign in 2019 that included four Grade 1 wins from six furlongs to one mile. The entirety of Mitole’s career was just as noteworthy. After placing in his first two starts, Mitole won 10 of his final 12 outings, never finished out of the money, and bankrolled $3,104,910.
A son of Eskendereya, Mitole was produced by Indian Miss, an Indian Charlie half-sister to Grade 2 winner Live Lively. Indian Miss is also the dam of $5.67 million earner Hot Rod Charlie, who captured the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) and placed in such important races as the Kentucky Derby (G1), Belmont (G1), Dubai World Cup (G1), and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1).
Bred in Kentucky by Edward Cox Jr., Mitole was sold twice at auction. After bringing $20,000 at 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Mitole was successfully pinhooked for $140,000 the following April at OBS. The latter buyer was East Hickman Bloodstock, owned by Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt.
Placed in training with Steve Asmussen, Mitole finished third in his lone start as a juvenile at Fair Grounds and then finished second in his sophomore debut at Oaklawn. He completed an abbreviated three-year-old campaign, winning four of his next five starts by an average margin of more than eight lengths. Highlights included back-to-back stakes wins in the Bachelor at Oaklawn by nine lengths and the Chick Lang at Pimlico by 6 1/4 lengths over a sloppy track on Preakness Day.
Subsequently sidelined by a splint injury, Mitole returned to rave reviews as a four-year-old. After a season-opening allowance win, Mitole reeled off consecutive stakes victories in the Count Fleet Sprint H. (G3), Churchill Downs (G1), and Metropolitan H. (G1), the latter over multiple Grade 1 winner McKinzie and two-time Dubai World Cup hero Thunder Snow.
Although a distant third in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. (G1) in his next start, Mitole rebounded with back-to-back scores in the Forego (G1), in which he set a stakes record of 1:20.80 for seven furlongs, and the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita. Not only was Mitole a landslide winner of the Eclipse Award for champion male sprinter, but narrowly missed winning the champion older dirt male title as well, to Vino Rosso, by a margin of 129-108.
Currently standing for $15,000 live foal at Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky, Mitole has been represented by six North American winners through Aug. 15. Two fillies in particular have stood out so far.
V V’s Dream, Mitole’s first North American winner, has been his most accomplished to date. Debuting on May 19 at Churchill Downs, V V’s Dream pummeled her rivals by 6 1/4 lengths while negotiating five furlongs in :57.91. She was awarded a 93 Brisnet Speed rating.
Sent off as an odds-on favorite in the Debutante S. at Ellis Park on July 2, V V’s Dream missed by a diminishing half-length to Brightwork, who subsequently landed the Adirondack (G3) at Saratoga by five lengths to remain undefeated from three starts. V V’s Dream recorded her first work since the Debutante on Aug. 12 at Saratoga. With her positive form lines, she’s a horse to keep an eye on this fall.
Another interesting debut winner by Mitole is Mybronxbaby, who won for fun on the Aug. 1 card at Finger Lakes. Sent off as the 8-5 second choice in a field of seven, Mybronxbaby increased her margin at every call to win by 8 3/4 lengths.
Although Finger Lakes is typically not a breeding ground for future graded stakes winners, Mybronxbaby could be a filly to keep an eye on in restricted company in that state. A New York-bred who defeated open company in that maiden debut, Mybronxbaby could be given a shot in upcoming state-bred stakes at Saratoga, Finger Lakes, and Aqueduct.
Another daughter of Mitole worth noting is the Woodbine-based Stormcast, who has finished second and third in her two appearances over the Toronto track’s Tapeta surface. The third-place finish occurred in the My Dear S. over 5 1/2 furlongs.