Showing Up

Showing Up

Thoroughbred racehorse infobox
horsename= Showing Up

sire= Strategic Mission
grandsire= Mr. Prospector
dam= Miss Alethia
damsire= T.V. Commercial
sex= Stallion
foaled= 2003
country= United States flagicon|USA
colour= Chestnut
breeder= Nellie M. Cox
owner= Lael Stables
trainer= Barclay Tagg
record= 10:7-1-1
earnings= $1,660,500
race= Coolmore Lexington Stakes (2006)
Colonial Turf Cup (2006)
Secretariat Stakes (2006)
Jamaica Breeders' Cup Handicap (2006)
Hollywood Derby (2006)
updated= May 11, 2007

Showing Up (foaled 2003 in Kentucky) is an American thoroughbred race horse. Foaled near Wilmore, Kentucky in 2003 at Peter Taafe's Taafe Farm, he was bred by Nellie M. Cox of Rose Retreat Farm. Showing Up spent the first year of his life on Nellie's Goochland, Virginia farm. The chestnut colt was sold as a yearling for $85,000 at the Keeneland September sale in 2004, but was later found and acquired as a two-year-old in training by the trainer Barclay Tagg for the owners of the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro for only $60,000 at Fasig-Tipton Midatlantic sale in May 2005.


Showing Up is owned by Gretchen and Roy Jackson's Lael Stables in West Grove, Pennsylvania. He was trained by Barclay Tagg (who also trained the dual classic winner Funny Cide) and was ridden by Cornelio Velasquez. Bred for the turf on both sides, Tagg believed the colt would come alive on the grass, and he certainly proved that in his first turf run in the Colonial Cup, even though his sixth place showing in the Kentucky Derby dirt was more than credible.

"He's small," says Tagg, "he's not that good-looking; he's not a robust horse by any means. He just goes out there and gets it done." Showing Up has a good long stride and high knee action, boding well for his racing future.


His sire is Strategic Mission, a son of the hugely influential stud Mr. Prospector. Racing as a homebred for Charlotte Weber's Live Oak Stud, Strategic Mission won or placed in all five of the graded stakes races he raced on turf. These included winning the 2001 gr3 Fort Marcy Handicap. Miss Alethia, Showing Up's dam, was the daughter of T.V. Commercial, himself the son of successful turf racer T.V. Lark. In 1961, T.V. Lark won the Washington, D.C. International, a prominent turf race. Showing Up is a half-brother to six-time stakes winner and Grade 3-placed Gimmeawink (Elusive Quality), also bred by Rose Retreat Farm.


Unraced as a two-year old, Showing Up started his career with three consecutive wins.

When Showing up won the mile allowance at Gulfstream Park, he set a new track record of 1:34, slicing a full second off the old record, but it was his convincing win in the Grade II Coolmore Lexington Stakes at Keeneland that punched his ticket for the 2006 Kentucky Derby. It not only provided him with enough graded stakes earnings to enter, but Tagg felt he deserved a chance. As Tagg says of that Derby, "They're only a 3-year-old once. I decided to make the switch to the grass because I thought Barbaro would win the Triple Crown. I can't imagine he'd have beaten Barbaro who went into the Preakness undefeated in six races. I thought Showing Up might have a chance to be the national champion turf horse." He added, ""He did beat 14 horses in that race. He's no slouch."

In his first race on turf, the million dollar Colonial Turf Cup Stakes at Colonial Downs in Providence Forge, Virginia, Showing Up's strong come-from-way-behind win by 3 and 1/4 lengths over a gallant Kip Deville (by Kipling, who at one point was twenty lengths in front of the winner, running a huge race and holding on for second), was a triumph. Kip Deville scorched the first quarter mile in 22.54 seconds, six furlongs in 1:08.61—faster than the fastest turf sprinters—and a mile in 1:34.55, and it seemed no one could catch him. But Showing Up grand style. He simply blew by him. Showing Up's time of 1:52.98 bested the previous mark, set eight years ago, by almost two seconds. That time for 1 3/16ths miles compares very well to any winner in the history of the Preakness, run on dirt at the same distance. The record for the Preakness Stakes, held by both Tank's Prospect and Louis Quatorze, is only 1:53 2/5 seconds.

The win was number 2,000 for jockey, Cornelio Velasquez.

The Colonial Turf Cup was the first is a series of four races called the Grand Slam of Grass whose possible winner would reap a large financial reward...a five million dollar bonus. The second, third, and fourth legs are the Virginia Derby, the Secretariat at Arlington Park and the Breeders' Cup Turf at Churchill Downs. The million dollar Grade II Virginia Derby is run three weeks after the Colonial. But as Barclay said: "In mid-summer to ask horses to run their 'A' races back-to-back in three weeks is very hard to do. I wish it was at least four weeks. He's a skinny little horse, but if he's doing well, we'll certainly come."

Eventually, Tagg decided against the complete Grand Slam for Showing Up. Instead, he ran him in the $400,000 Grade I Secretariat Stakes which the colt won easily, achieving the second-fastest Secretariat on record, and a Beyer Speed figure of 107. His win also put him over the one million dollar mark in earnings in only six starts. Go Between, the winner of the Viginia Derby (the race Showing Up skipped), faded on the far turn, finishing last.

Showing Up came in third in the September run Man O' War Stakes at Belmont Park. The youngest horse in a strong field, he was beaten by the Irish bred Cacique, third by a nose to Go Deputy. A longer race than he was used to, Showing Up pressed in strong fractions for the lead, but tired in the stretch.

Trainer Barclay Tagg skipped the Breeders' Cup Turf on Nov. 4th at Churchill Downs and entered Showing Up in the Grade II $300,000 Jamaica Handicap at Belmont. Winning the Jamaica (and earning a 110 BRIS Late Pace rating), Tagg then pointed him towards the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby on Nov. 26, both races restricted to 3-year-olds.

"The Breeders' Cup races are too tough this year, either of them," Tagg said. "He's only a 3-year-old. There are a couple of good 3-year-old races left. Hopefully, he can win them. Finishing third in a Breeders' Cup, either one, isn't going to do me a bit of good with the horse; it's not going to make him a champion, it's not going to make me rich enough to retire." He says running young horses so hard might ruin them for a longer career. (It's possble he's thinking of Funny Cide who ran inhaling fiery soot from a raging forest fire very near Santa Anita Park in his Breeders' Cup Classic in 2004. Funny has had respiratory problems off and on ever since.)

As the odds-on favorite in the Hollywood Derby, Showing Up won his second Grade I race by 2 1/4 lengths in the excellent time of 1:59 1/5, which is the fastest Derby yet at its current distance. In the turn for home, after running as far back as fifth, Showing Up powered by the leaders, leaving the entire field in his wake.

Tagg who rarely jokes, joked, "He just keeps showing up." But he'll be given a rest for the winter and return to the races in the spring.

Showing Up's earnings to date amount to $1,660,500.


On April 16th, 2008, Barclay Tagg announced that Showing Up would retire sound. In 2009, he will stand at Frank Stronach’s Adena Springs South near Williston, Florida for a fee of $7,500 as the property of Adena Springs and Lael.


* [ Showing Up's bio and stats]
* [ Showing Up's pedigree]
* [ Tagg's website]
* [ NTRA bio of Tagg]
* [ NTRA bio of Showing Up]

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