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Stakes Successes Vault First Dude Into Sire Lead
Published: Sunday, August 11, 2019

It's official. First Dude reached one important milestone yesterday - taking over the top spot on Florida's general sire list. He might possibly reach another one today - surpassing the $15 million mark in career progeny earnings.

Ready to Runaway captured the $100,000 Minnesota Oaks at Canterbury Park with its $60,000 winner's share, and Durven finished a fast-closing second in the $100,000 Nellie Mae Cox Stakes at Colonial Downs and collected $20,000. As a result, First Dude vaulted into the sire lead with 2019 progeny earnings of $2,171,430, while his lifetime total increased to $14,988,648. With six runners competing at three tracks today, $15 million could be in the cards by this evening, although several of them are going to be long prices.

Minnesota-bred Ready to Runaway, sent off as the 1/2 favorite, tracked the leaders about three lengths off a quick :22.39 first quarter with Jareth Loveberry sitting chilly down the backstretch. He sent the 3-year-old filly after the 57-1 pacesetter on the turn and she did the rest, pulling away late to score by four lengths in 1:38.37 for the mile over a sloppy track.

Ready to Runaway has quickly become a major bargain for owner John Mentz and trainer McLean Robertson, who claimed her for $25,000 out of her fourth race on June 22, a race she won by 7 1/4 lengths, paying $2.40. She has since won the Frances A. Genter Stakes and the Oaks, cashing in for $90,000, and she's riding a three-race winning streak. Ready to Runaway's complete ledger reads: 4-2-0 in six starts with earnings of $127,550. 

Durven almost made it two winning stakes for First Dude, but she just ran out of room late and fell one-half length short in the one-mile turf race at Colonial. The 5-year-old mare, bred in Virginia by owner Big Lick Farm, made a big late run under Jorge Ruiz and was in front just past the wire. She's 3-1-5 in 16 starts with earnings of $62,075.   



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