BOOM USA filly Applauding will bypass next Saturday’s Martha Washington Stakes and saved instead for the $200,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes (1 1/16m or abt 1700m) at Fair Grounds in Louisiana on February 25.

The daughter of Vinery Stud sire Congrats is unbeaten in her two starts to date including an unforgettable debut win at Keeneland in Kentucky where she smashed the six furlong (about 1200m) Polytrack record (Keeneland’s Main track since 2006).

Applauding started 1/10 on next time out winning by 6 1/2 lengths at Fair Grounds, the venue becoming an important consideration for trainer Al Stall in mapping her program and critical in his decision to side step the Martha Washington.
“We just want to keep her home,” Stall told Daily Racing Form. “She’s won here already, trained here regularly.”


Applauding appears destined to join Congrats’ growing number of stakeswinners – 7 at last count including the Grade 1 winner Turbulent Descent and Wickedly Perfect, both from his first crop and catalysts for his Leading First Sire Sire award in 2010.

In all, Congrats has so far sired 19 stakeshorses among a grand total of 83 winners (from 128 runners – 64.8 percent W/R) and earnings of over $5 million.


The son of A.P Indy served a full book of distinguished mares in his introductory season at Vinery and is in line for another quality book in 2011/12 says the stud’s Adam White.

“Congrats was the reigning Champion First Season Sire in the USA so he was a proven sire virtually the day he arrived here. That was very much in his favour, he is an outstanding type of horse with a great pedigree but it’s not always easy to market a first season sire that people may not be all that familiar with,” White said.

“But here was a horse that had sired 4 Grade One performers, 2 of them Grade One winners, in his first crop and 25 odd individual winners and had demonstrated that he could upgrade his mares. It removed a lot of the guess work with the stallion. A lot of breeders appreciated that and sent him good mares.

“His 2YO’s have trained on, new first crop winners have emerged and his 2YO’s from his second crop are doing the job.

“Every champion first season sire gets a huge spike of better mares in the ensuing seasons – it can make a stallion – look at what happened with More Than Ready.

“He was Champion First Season Sire here and has never looked back.”