TWO VA-BREDS ON EXPERIMENTAL

Down from 2006 when the Commonwealth posted four two-year-olds on the Jockey Club’s Experimental Free Handicap, the 2007 list includes two representatives from the Old Dominion.

Edward P. Evans’ homebred Grand Minstrel, by Grand Slam, out of Colonial Minstrel by Pleasant Colony is rated at 104 lbs.

Grand Minstrel made his debut at Saratoga, finishing second third in a maiden special. He came back two weeks later and improved to second beaten a neck by Mythical Pegasus.

He then broke his maiden by two lengths at Belmont before finishing third in an allowance race at Aqueduct. In December, also at the Big A, Grand Minstrel won the $75,000 Capote S. L. by five widening lengths.

Grand Minstrel is trained by James Jenkins, and now ended the year with $101,350 in earnings.

Virginia-bred T.J.’s Posse, who was bred by Larry Johnson is ranked at 100 lbs. on the Experimental. By Posse, out of T.J.’s Turn by Meadowlake, T.J.’s Posse sold for $10,000 at the 2006 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearling Sale in Maryland. From there, he did a fair amount of traveling.

He broke his maiden in his debut, a $30,000 maiden claiming race, for owners Viner Stables and fox Hill Farm and trainer Steve Asmussen, at Churchill Downs. He then shipped to Colonial Downs where he won the inaugural $60,000 Jamestown Stakes for Virginia-breds.

From Virginia, he headed off to Chicago, where he was fourth in the Arlington Washington Futurity Gr. 3, before heading back down to Kentucky for a sixth place finish in Kentucky Cup Juvenile Gr. 3.

Looking to collect a few more Frequent Traveler Points, T.J.’s Posse then headed west to New Mexico where he was second beaten a neck in the $60,000 Governors Stakes. While crossing the country, T.J.’s Posse earned $73,888.