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Mastery: Class and Potential

His potential has not been kept a secret, as Everett Dobson’s Cheyenne Stables’ Mastery went off at 3-10 in his maiden effort Oct. 22 at Santa Anita Park, 3-10 in Del Mar’s Bob Hope Stakes (gr. III) Nov. 19, and 1-5 in the 1 1/16-mile Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity (gr. I) Dec. 10.

Mastery continued to live up to expectations with an easy 7 1/4-length win in Saturday’s feature race, bringing his record to three for three and his earnings to over $270,000.

The dark bay or brown son of Candy Ride is the ninth winner of the Futurity for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. His first came with Real Quiet in 1997. Three of his winners — Real Quiet, Point Given, and Lookin At Lucky — have won classic races in their 3-year-old seasons.

Bred by Arthur Hancock’s Stone Farm, Mastery was consigned to last year’s Keeneland September yearling sale by Stone Farm and was purchased by Gatewood Bell’s Cromwell Bloodstock for $425,000 during the sixth session. Of the 37 Candy Ride yearlings sold during the September sale, Mastery was the second-highest priced, topped only by a colt out of Magical Theater that went for $430,000.

Bell’s agency was involved with 20 purchases at the sale and Mastery was its top price.

“You have to trust in what you’re doing,” Bell said. “If you are jumping on what everybody else is doing, you are probably not making the right decisions, so you have to have your own convictions and be able to stick to them.”

Hancock picked up Mastery’s dam, Steady Course, in foal to Yes It’s True, for $20,000 out of the 2009 Keeneland November sale from the Overbrook Farm dispersal. Eaton Sales consigned the 8-year-old mare. It was quite a purchase.

Steady Course, by A.P. Indy’s son Old Trieste, is a three-quarter sister to Young’s grade II winner and sire Jump Start (by A.P. Indy.). Hopespringsforever, the second dam of Steady Course, is a full sister to the group I-winning Miswaki, the sire of 101 stakes winners, including 1993 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Urban Sea, the dam of Galileo and Sea The Stars, two of Europe’s most influential sires.

Steady Course, bred to Candy Ride’s son Twirling Candy for 2017, came up barren.

Candy Ride is the sire of Mastery and 16 other stakes winners in 2016, including grade I winner Gun Runner. Seventeen-year-old Candy Ride, fourth on this year’s sire list by progeny earnings, stands at Lane’s End near Versailles, Ky. His 2017 fee is set at $60,000.