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Game of Silks: Practical Joke named Silks Stallion of the Week

Game of Silks: Practical Joke named Silks Stallion of the Week

Practical Joke stands for a $25,000 stud fee in Kentucky. Credit: Coolmore

Thoroughbred breeders who can’t afford the $250,000 stud fee of perennial leading stallion Into Mischief have an attractive alternative in Practical Joke, who stands for only $25,000 and is vying to become Into Mischief’s most successful son at stud.

Practical Joke was named the Silks Stallion of the Week after his progeny scored three major stakes wins last weekend, vaulting him into ninth place among North American stallions with $2.08 million in progeny earnings this year.

Last Saturday, Practical Move won the Grade 2, $402,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita to emerge as a leading Kentucky Derby contender. Meanwhile, on a muddy track at Aqueduct, Little Vic won the Grade 3, $150,000 Tom Fool Handicap and Shidabhuti captured the $200,000 Busher Invitational.

In the San Felipe, Practical Move stalked the pace under Ramon Vazquez, shook clear in upper stretch and finished 2 1/2 lengths ahead of race favorite Geaux Rocket Ride. The win gave Practical Move 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, boosting his total to 60, more than enough to secure a spot in the starting gate May 6 at Churchill Downs.

Practical Move had earned 10 Derby points by winning the Grade 2 Los Alamitos Futurity last December. The San Felipe marked his 3-year-old debut and improved his record to three wins from six starts for $434,200 in earnings.

In the Tom Fool, Little Vic employed a similar stalk-and-pounce style under jockey Carlos Olivero, scoring by 1 1/2 lengths over Runninsonofagun. It was the first graded stakes win for the 4-year-old colt. Little Vic, who also won the $100,000 City of Laurel Stakes at Laurel Park last November, has five wins from 13 starts for $318,730.

The Busher Invitational awarded qualifying points for the Grade 1, $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks, the nation’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies, on May 5 at Churchill Downs. With Dylan Davis aboard, Shidabhuti kicked clear with half a furlong remaining to win the Busher by two lengths over odds-on favorite Asset Purchase.

The victory gave Shidabhuti 50 Oaks points, which should be more than enough to secure a berth in the race. The filly is perfect in three starts and has earned $189,600.

Practical Joke got $7.63 million in progeny earnings last year to rank second among North American stallions who had only two crops of racing age. He also was the second-leading freshman stallion of 2021 with $2.18 million in progeny earnings. In both years, he trailed only 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner in the standings.

Practical Joke won the Grade 1 Hopeful and Grade 1 Champagne stakes as a juvenile in 2016. He added a score in the Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens Stakes the following year, retiring with $1.8 million in earnings.

In terms of class, Practical Joke’s best runner is Chocolate Gelato, who won the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes for juvenile fillies last year and has $290,350 in earnings. The 9-year-old stallion’s richest runner is Tejano Twist, who’s won two minor stakes and banked $643,604.

There are 81 juveniles sired by Practical Joke in the first Game of Silks catalog, which includes all the thoroughbreds born in 2021 that were entered in a public auction prior to publication. Many of those 2-year-olds will launch their racing careers this year, perhaps as early as April, when Keeneland traditionally holds the year’s first “baby races.”

About Game of Silks: It’s a next-generation fantasy sports game that tokenizes each racehorse into a digital collectible that can be bought and sold. In 2023, Silks owners will receive 1% of their horses’ real-world purse earnings, a figure that’s expected to rise steadily in subsequent years.

As a dynasty fantasy contest, Game of Silks allows players to retain ownership of their horses for the duration of their racing and breeding careers, potentially earning rewards for a decade or more. Owners also are free to sell at any time.

Launched last April, Silks already is among the top 10 sports-themed NFT platforms on the Ethereum blockchain.