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Speedyness earned his first stakes victory in the Miracle Wood for 3-year-olds on Saturday, Feb. 24 at Laurel Park, winning by one and a half lengths after getting pressed on the early lead.

The bay gelded son of Northview’s Great Notion entered the Miracle Wood having won three of his last four starts. In his two previous stakes tries, he was a well-beaten 11th in the Maryland Million Nursery, then finished third behind Circle P and Maryland-bred champion Catahoula Moon in the Maryland Juvenile. In both of those races, he was pressed on the early pace, while in his allowance wins he was allowed to skate away with largely uncontested leads. Despite questions about how he would do if challenged early on, bettors sent him off as the 4-5 favorite in the seven-horse field.

Speedyness broke well from post position five under Jaime Rodriguez and made his way to the rail, but encountered early pressure from Sweet Soddy J, who kept a head in front through the first quarter of :24.03. Speedyness remained close to his flank from his inside and took the lead just after a quarter-mile. Sweet Soddy J continued to sit second on the outside, while Point Dume rated close to the pace in the three-path. The trio raced through a half-mile in :47.68, and Point Dume took a brief lead as Speedyness was put to the test.

However, as they turned for home, Point Dume began to flatten out, and Speedyness had more to give. Under a vigorous ride from Rodriguez, Speedyness opened up a clear lead in the stretch, and held sway for the victory, completing a sweep of the 3-year-old stakes for Rodriguez. The final time for a mile on a fast main track was 1:39.95.

Speedyness’ record stands at 5-0-1 from nine starts, with earnings of $221,200. He’s the first stakes winner of the year for leading Mid-Atlantic sire Great Notion.

Speedyness was bred by his trainer Jamie Ness under the nom de course Jagger Inc., who also co-owns him with Morris E. Kernan Jr. He’s out of the Include mare Hartigan, whose pedigree traces back to multiple generations of Robert Meyerhoff-bred mares. 

Meyerhoff, with his trainer Dickie Small as agent, purchased Speedyness’s fourth dam, multiple stakes winner and four-time Grade 1-placed Dynamic Star (Silent Screen), for $200,000 at the 1988 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale while carrying her first foal, eventual two-time Maryland-bred champion Star Minister (Deputy Minister). Dynamic Star produced nine winners from 12 foals for Meyerhoff, five stakes performers, including Ohio Derby-G2 winner Stellar Brush, stakes winner and Delaware Handicap-G2 runnerup Dynamic Deputy, and Dynamic Brush, second in the Federico Tesio Stakes-G3. 

Graded winner Star Minister, a winner of seven stakes (including the Grade 2 Cotillion) and $458,650, produced four foals, including two-time stakes winner Concerned Minister (Concern) and the unraced Star Number (Polish Numbers). Star Number’s first foal, Hartigan, won four stakes, on both dirt and turf, and earned $197,300. Ness purchased Hartigan, a half-sister to the speedy multiple stakes winner Struth, at age 15 for $13,000 in foal to Exaggerator at the 2020 Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale. 

From 11 foals, Hartigan has produced nine starters, six winners, including stakes-placed Starry Moon (Malibu Moon) and Royal Number (Palace Malice). Her winning daughter Cindy S. is the dam of six-figure stakes performers Rock the Boat and Gormley’s Gabriela. Hartigan’s most recent reported foal is a 2-year-old Ness-bred filly named Sassafrassness (Unified). A mating to Collected for 2023 did not produce a foal; she was bred to Blofeld for 2024.

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