The Irish National Stud's flag bearer Invincible Spirit (by Green Desert) completed an international big-race double today when, just hours after his son Magna Grecia won the Group 1 Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in England, Digital Age landed the Grade 2 American Turf Stakes at Churchill Downs.
He beat the Grade 3 scorer A Thread Of Blue (gave 2lbs) by three-parts of a length with favourite Social Paranoia a head back in third. That pair are members of the Kiaran McLaughlin and Todd Pletcher teams respectively, whereas fourth-placed Seismic Wave is with Bill Mott. The going was described as firm.
The Chad Brown-trained three-year-old has won all three of his starts to date, including a mile listed contest at Tampa Bay Downs in early March, and although he still has a lot of progress to make to be up to that standard, it would be no surprise to see him line up for the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita in November.
The Irish-born colt was bred by Merry Fox Stud Ltd, he is a 325,000gns graduate of Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, and he comes from a famous family. His fifth dam is the outstanding racehorse and influential broodmare Time Charter (by Saritamer).
Digital Age is the first foal of Willow View (by Lemon Drop Kid), an unraced half-sister to the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes and Group 3 Albany Stakes winner Cursory Glance (by Distorted Humor). It is a little surprising that filly is her dam's only successful runner from her first six foals of racing age.
That mare, Time Control (by Sadler's Wells), is a winning full-sister to the Group 2 Prix de Mallaret and Listed Cheshire Oaks winner Time On and they are out of Time Away (by Darshaan) who won the Group 3 Musidora Stakes at York in 2001 before going on to take third place in both the Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks) and Group 1 Nassau Stakes.
Time Away is the best of seven winners among 11 offspring produced from Not Before Time (by Polish Precedent). Those siblings include the Group 1 Prix de Diane runner-up Time Ahead (by Spectrum) and also Original Spin (by Machiavellian), the dual winning dam of the talented Japanese horse Incantation (by Sinister Minister).
That grandson of Old Trieste (by A.P. Indy) won 11 times in a lengthy career, including Grade 3 contests at Nakayama, Niigata and Kyoto, he was runner-up in the Grade 1 February Stakes at Tokyo, was best at eight and nine furlongs, and took up stallion duties at East Stud earlier this year.
As a daughter of Oaks, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Coronation Cup, and Champion Stakes heroine Time Charter, the unraced Not Before Time is a half-sister to five blacktype horses and related to many more.
Her half-brother Zinaad (by Shirley Heights), for example, won the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes and later sired the Group 1 1000 Guineas, Group 1 Oaks and Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes heroine Kazzia. That achievement could take on additional significance should Digital Age earn a berth at stud, especially given that the early Invincible Spirit stallions feature Lawman, I Am Invincible, and Kingman.
Not Before Time's half-sister Time Allowed (by Sadler's Wells) also won the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes, stakes-placed By Charter (by Shirley Heights) became a broodmare of note, and so did Time Saved (by Green Desert), one of the siblings who failed to earn any blacktype.
By Charter is the dam of the Group 2 Lonsdale Stakes winner and Group 1 Irish St Leger third First Charter (by Polish Precedent), Group 2 Prix Hocquart winner and Group 1 Deutsches Derby third Anton Chekhov (by Montjeu), and listed scorer and Group 1 Derby Italiano runner-up Private Charter (by Singspiel). She is also the grandam of Group 2 Lowther Stakes heroine Best Terms (by Exceed And Excel) and third dam of Italian Group 3 scorer Faciascura (by Oratorio).
Time Saved, on the other hand, is responsible for the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes winner Plea Bargain (by Machiavellian), Group 3 Winter Hill Stakes winner Lay Time (by Galileo), and juvenile listed scorer Jira (by Medicean).
A pedigree like this makes Digital Age a particularly interesting member of the current three-year-old crop racing in North America. He is clearly effective at today's trip of eight and a half furlongs and it would not be a surprise to see him handle 10 furlongs well.
Sires & Winners