The Group 3 Pago Pago Stakes is for two-year-old colts and gelding run under set weight conditions over 1200 metres at Rosehill Racecourse in March.
Prizemoney for the race as of 2023 is $200,000.
Pago Pago Stakes Race Details
Race Distance: 1200m
Prize Money: $200,000
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When Is The Pago Pago Stakes: 9/3/24
What Time Is The Pago Pago Stakes: TBA
Where Is The Pago Pago Stakes: Rosehill Racecourse
How To Live Stream The Pago Pago Stakes
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More Details About the Pago Pago Stakes
Shinzo won in 2023 and picked up $110,000 for the win.
The now two-year-old colt is by the great racer and sire Snitzel out of the Group 1 winning mare Samaready and Shinzo seems to be living up to his lines.
He races for Chris Waller, so he was barrier trialing invitro, no doubt. We were surprised to see his status as spelling, but our view is that after winning the Group 1 Golden Slipper to win over $2.8 million, a rest is deserved.
The race is the male horse equivalent of the Group 3 Magic Night Stakes for fillies.
It jumps at the Rosehill meeting that features the Group 1 Coolmore Classic. At times in the past, the Pago Pago Stakes was run at the Rosehill Guineas meeting, but the Thoroughbred racing calendar is nothing if not flexible.
The winner receives a ballot exemption to the Golden Slipper, so there is only a week in between the two races as the calendar currently sits.
Shinzo took advantage, obviously and others to do the same were Stratum in 2005, Rory’s Jester in 1985 and Inspired in 1984, so the fillies coming in from the Magic Night Stakes are ahead by one, as of 2023.
The better two-year-old colts and geldings line up for the Pago Pago Stakes. The Group 3 Skyline Stakes might supply some form to guide punters, but when it comes to juveniles, many that jump in the Pago Pago Stakes have limited experience, so anything can happen.
History of the Pago Pago Stakes
Pago Pago was a 1960 colt by Matrice, a stallion that sired well, with credit for racers such as Taj Rossi, Toltrice, La Trice and Manhini. The latter was the sire of Manikato.
Pago Pago won nine races and placed in one other from his ten jumps. He won the Golden Slipper and the VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes and some other good races, but never did he win a race twice as his name might suggest. He was retired early and got a job as sire in Kentucky, with many winners to his credit, including a 1978 colt named Island Whirl that won above $1.1 million. He was sire to one named Leilani, but not the Leilani.
Pago Pago contributed many sturdy racers as well, including four that made over one hundred jumps each - Australian racing tips
The race debuted in 1978 and the name has always been some variation of Pago Pago, except for the years of 2005 through 2009, when it was run as the Darley Stakes.
The race grade began as Principal. The very next year, when the current grading system was started, it became a Listed race, rising to Group 3 in 1980 through 1986. It was elevated to Group 2 in 1987, staying there until 2017, when it was downgraded to Group 3.
The trip has always been 1200 metres and the race has never jumped anywhere other than Rosehill Gardens Racecourse in Sydney.
Venue for the Pago Pago Stakes
Rosehill Gardens Racecourse in Sydney is one of the two preeminent metro tracks in Sydney, alongside Royal Randwick.
Rosehill has held racing since 1885 and racing fans across Australia know that March is high season at Rosehill, with approximately half of the Group grade races held there going off.
The race that captures the most attention is the Golden Slipper Stakes, and the Pago Pago Stakes is a major lead-up, with the winner being exempt from balloting for this race and the fillies’ version, the Magic Night Stakes.
Rosehill also has its own big prizemoney race since 2019, the Golden Eagle.
Rosehill is a pear-shaped triangle of typical metro racecourse dimensions.
For 1200-metre races, such as the Pago Pago Stakes, the barriers are set on a short chute that leads onto the back straight, runs the tightest of Rosehill’s three turns, and then concludes on the 408-metre home straight at the finish line in front of the stands on the northwest side of the course.
Racing History of the Pago Pago Stakes
A glance at the list of winners reveals some well-known racers and some major winners of big races.
We will work through the list looking for colts and geldings that continued to win bit races after winning the Pago Pago Stakes. We will also check, in the cases of the entires, for better sires.
When the race jumped for the first time in 1978 as the lone edition as Principal grade race, the winner was a horse named Cheval De Volee.
He won six stakes races, some of those while racing in New Zealand. The Pago Pago Stakes was his best win. He was of entirely northern hemisphere lines.
He either stood in Australia, or served Australian mares predominantly and his output was not exceptional either in terms of quantity or quality.
Dawn Command, a gelded colt by a French sire, won the race in 1978 and might have won the Golden Slipper Stakes, except he ran into Manikato and had to settle for second.
To this point, most of what we were finding on the winners’ list for the Pago Pago Stakes were modest types from all perspectives.
We found a better one in the 1982 winner, Grosvenor of New Zealand.
Like many of the others, Grosvenor did not do a lot of racing. His career was 21 jumps for 6 wins and 10 placings. His earnings of just above $465,000 were good for a racer in the 80s. He had Group 1 wins in the Caulfield Guineas, VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes and the Victoria Derby, with seconds in the Cox Plate (Kingston Town) and other Group 1 races. His jump in the Golden Slipper Stakes supplied a third to Marscay, with Vaindarra second.
Grosvenor was sire to many stakes winners, quite probably due to passing along the chromosomes of his famous sire Sir Tristam. The best in terms of prize money was Ebony Grove that won above $1.4 million in Kiwi bucks.
The first to win the Pago Pago Stakes and back with the Golden Slipper win was 1984’s Inspired.
Inspired was by Vain and he had another Group 1 win in the George Main Stakes. His tie to Star Kingdom was on the side of his dam Thought through Todman.
The Pago Pago – Golden Slipper double was repeated in 1985 by Rory’s Jester.
He made 17 jumps for 7 wins and 13 placings, although he never won another Group 1 race beyond the Golden Slipper. He did run second in several races that would eventually ascend to Group 1 grade.
He did carry the blood of his grandsire Baguette and he was an outstanding sire. Many won millions in Hong Kong. His million dollar stakes earner in Australia was the gelding North Boy, a 1998 gelding that won above $1.3 million. There was a multitude of racers that earned mid-to-upper six-figure stakes money.
Christmas Tree, the 1987 winner beat Rancho Ruler and Sky Chase to win the race. He was by Biscay, with Star Kingdom for grandsire. He was average as a sire and his top four stakes winners won above $100,000 each.
The 1988 winner was Zeditave.
Zeditave won over $1.2 million from 17 jumps for 14 wins, never once placing. He won Group 1 races in Victoria. He had Group 1 wins as a two-year-old, with three Group 1 wins as a three-year-old.
His win in the 1989 William Reid Stakes was over Vo Rogue and his win in the 1989 Futurity Stakes saw him beating Redelva into third.
His top earner in Australia was a 1994 gelding named Sports that won above $1.4 million. Nine others won $500,000 and well above.
We have been finding many lightly raced winners of the Pago Pago Stakes that went on to be exceptional sires and in the interest of space constraints, we are jumping forward to the 1999 winner.
It was the gelding Shogun Lodge.
He won over $4.6 million from his 58 jumps for 13 wins and 20 placings. One of those wins was over Sunline in the 1999 George Main Stakes, although she returned the favour by beating him in the 2002 Doncaster Mile. He might have won more, but aside from Sunline, he jumped in races that had Lonhro, Assertive Lad and other top gallopers from that era.
The 2005 winner of the Pago Pago Stakes with the double in the Golden Slipper was Stratum.
Stratum was by Redoute’s Choice, so his good racing was predictable. He made 18 jumps for 2 wins and five placings for above $2.2 million.
His win in the Golden Slipper was over Fashions Afield and he won by a length, beating Media into third. He might have won more, but he was often in the field against Takeover Target and Snitzel, horses not easily beaten.
At stud, he was sire to no fewer than six that won above $1 million. Those were Crystal Lilly ($2.6 million), Streama ($2.6 million), Stratum Star ($2.4 million), Takedown ($1.5 million), Egyptian Symbol ($1.4 million) and Land Of Plenty (over $1 million). Seven more of his offspring won between $500,000 and $1 million.
We again hit the fast-forward button, knowing we are skipping some good racers and sires, going all the way to 2012 to look at that winner All Too Hard.
Like many of his preceding Pago Pago Stakes winners, All Too Hard proved himself briefly on the turf before heading to the lucrative business of servicing mares. He raced just 12 times for 7 wins and 3 placings. His other major wins from 2012 were the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes and the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas.
In 2013, he was the victor in three Group 1 races – the C.F. Orr Stakes, Futurity Stakes and All Aged Stakes.
His winnings amounted to more than $2.2 million, with wins over notable gallopers, such as Rain Affair, Fiorente, Glass Harmonium and Pierro.
Ocean Park got the better of All Too Hard in the 2012 Cox Plate by a head and a neck.
He started standing stud not long after his final win in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes at Randwick. His best was the 2016 gelding Alligator Blood that won over $7 million. His 2017 filly Forbidden Love won more than $2.3 million.
Sidestep was the winner in 2013.
A 2010 colt by Exceed And Excel, he won above $1.3 million from 16 jumps for 3 wins and 4 placings.
His attempt in the 2013 Golden Slipper saw him outclassed by Overreach when he spotted her a two kilogram advantage, but he beat the good racer Dothraki handily in winning the Pago Pago Stakes.
Sidestep served as sire for Kiamichi, winner of more than $2.3 million.
The 2018 winner was Written By.
A 2015 colt by Written Tycoon, Written By won above $1.8 million from 11 jumps for 6 wins and 1 placing. He won the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield ahead of the win in the Pago Pago Stakes.
His attempt in the Golden Slipper supplied a fourth.
Early in his stud career, he has supplied 15 named foals, with 2020 colt out of Sunlit showing early promise.
Cosmic force won the Pago Pago Stakes in 2019, seemingly running on his own to win by more than seven lengths. His jump in the Golden Slipper found him in eighth place.
The 2021 winner was Shaquero.
He is a 2018 colt with a northern hemisphere sire named Shalla. His dam is the Oz mare Fimatino that was by Not A Single Doubt with Redoute’s Choice as grand dam sire.
Currently spelling, Shaquero races for Chris Waller.
He had a big two-year-old win when he won the 2021 Magic Millions 2YO Classic by over a length from Alpine Edge. His win in the Pago Pago Stakes was much narrower and his jump in the Golden Slipper found him a disappointing 11th. He has not placed since winning the race.
The 2022 winner, Rise Of The Masses, has a maiden and the Pago Pago Stakes as his two wins from eight jumps. He races under the preparation of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, but the pair has been unable to get much out of him.
Rise Of The Masses has a BM 78 race at Warwick Farm for his last jump as of April 2023, so it is hard to say what lies ahead for him.
Good horses have won the Pago Pago Stakes. Most come from impressive lines and made fewer than 20 jumps before taking early retirement to be paid for what most of us will gladly do for free or are willing to pay just a bit for the privilege.
Pago Pago Stakes Past Winners
|2014||Time For War|
|2012||All Too Hard|
|2004||Genius And Evil|
|1978||Cheval De Volee|