One-time Independent Stallions shuttler U S Ranger opened his southern hemisphere account in Adelaide on Saturday.
Get The Nod (2g U S Ranger — Silent Cash by Secret Savings) raced on the pace first-up in the Holdfast Insurance Hcp (1000m) at Morphettville and scored by three-quarters of a length from Frank Heavens (Big Brown). The Lloyd Kennewell trained youngster was an $18,000 buy at the 2013 Inglis Classic yearling sale.
“I was very impressed,” Kennewell said. “He’s a promising young horse of the future!”
Independent Stallions owner Mike Becker stood U S Ranger (USA) at short notice when Artie Schiller was a late withdrawal from the southern shuttle in 2010. Both stallions were based at WinStar Farm in Kentucky.
U S Ranger was one of the last sons of legendary sire Danzig to retire to stud and there were 34 foals from that sole Victorian crop. He was unbeaten at two in the French provinces and resumed as a three year-old to win the G3 Prix Djebel at Maisons-Laffitte before finishing second in the G3 Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot.
A free-wheeling front-runner, he developed into a high-class sprinter at four with Group 1 placings in the July Cup at Newmarket and Prix de la Foret at Longchamp. His dam My Annette (Roberto) is a three-quarter sister to Dynaformer.
The Australian opener came a week after U S Ranger’s three year-old colt Solitary Ranger won the LR John Battaglia Memorial (1700m) at Turfway Park in Kentucky. He had posted an initial black-type victory in last year’s G3 Arlington-Washington Futurity.
Trainer Wayne Catalano said Solitary Ranger will possibily run in the G3 Spiral Stakes back at Turfway Park on March 22. It’s a designated points race for the Kentucky Derby.