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Bolger faith in Vindication progeny pays dividends; FINDING THE KEY Much-hyped sire hitting the target in Europe.

IT seems the only person to have found the key to Vindication's progeny is Jim Bolger.

Last season, Bolger trained Vocalised to win twice at Group 3 level and Tintreach to win at Gowran Park, and his affinity for the stallion's stock was in evidence again at the weekend when Free Judgement took the Group 3 Tetrarch Stakes at the Curragh just a day after Reiteration posted an impressive win in the Gowran Park Classic Trial.

A striking son of Seattle Slew, who was prevented from adding to his Breeders' Cup Juvenile success by injury, Vindication was one of the most hyped stallions of his generation, retiring to Hill 'n' Dale Farm in Kentucky in 2004 at a fee of $50,000. When he attracted 140 mares during his first season, that figure rose to $60,000.

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Out of his first crop of 120 two-year-olds emerged including the Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes winner More Happy and the Grade 1-placed Maimonides. But neither were sound enough either to reach the track or run up to that level again, and by the time of Vindication's death in 2008 his reputation was in freefall.

Free Judgement and Vocalised are just two of five stakes winners from Vindication's first three crops, which number 341 foals. And unsurprisingly, both are from high-class families: Vocalised is a grandson of US champion Serena's Song and Free Judgement is a grandson of Canadian champion Fantasy Lake. Reiteration is a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Cotton Blossom.

Sons of Seattle Slew are not renowned for producing turf runners, and Vindication and his Grade 3-winning dam, Strawberry Reason, did their racing on dirt. But Strawberry Reason was a daughter of the brilliant Australian runner Strawberry Road, who won the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud in France, and a half-sister to a high-class turf filly in Silver Comet, which may offer some explanation as to why Vindication has been more successful to date in Europe.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:May 6, 2010
Words:324
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