The extended Fourth of July weekend was a tour de force for the stallions based in Bourbon County north of Lexington. In the Suburban Handicap on Saturday, the winner Flat Out (by Flatter) and second-place finisher Last Gunfighter (First Samurai) were both sired by Claiborne Farm stallions. Third in that race was Fast Falcon, a son of Awesome Again who stands at nearby Adena Springs Farm.
In the Hollywood Gold Cup later on Saturday in California, the winner was the grand gelding Game on Dude, another son of Breeders' Cup Classic winner Awesome Again. The stallion stands at Adena Springs alongside his famous son Ghostzapper, the 2004 Horse of the Year and champion older horse.
The latter had the best weekend of any stallion, not only in Kentucky, but also in the whole country. Ghostzapper was represented by three graded stakes winners, and these were Grade 1 winner Starship Truffles (Princess Rooney Stakes), along with the Grade 2 winners Schiaparelli (Royal Heroine Stakes) and Moreno (Dwyer).
The fourth G1 winner for her sire, Starship Truffles ran to victory in the Princess Rooney by 3 ¾ lengths over Judy the Beauty, another 4-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper. Now a winner in stakes company three times, Starship Truffles won the Musical Romance Stakes earlier this season and earned her first black type last year with a victory in the restricted Claiming Crown Glass Slipper Stakes.
Out of the stakes-winning Not for Love mare Bobby Use, Starship Truffles is her dam's third foal. Of the dam's four other foals of racing age, only two have started and only the 3-year-old Lovely Daughter (Big Brown) has won.
Bred in Kentucky by Sanford and Irwin Goldfarb, Starship Truffles races for Chasing Tail Stables.
The gray 5-year-old Schiaparelli is a homebred for Ran Jan Racing Inc. and is a Kentucky-bred. Out of a full sister to Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint winner California Flag, Schiaparelli is the first foal of her dam Cambiocorsa, who was twice a winner at the G3 level, earning $522,055 from nine wins in 18 starts.
Cambiocorsa, by Avenue of Flags, also has a stakes-placed 4-year-old filly named Vionnet (Street Sense), a winning 3-year-old filly named Moulin de Mougin (Curlin), an unraced 2-year-old filly named Alexis Tangier (Tiznow), and a yearling colt by Arch.
Schiaparelli, like Starship Truffles and G1-placed Judy the Beauty, are all out of stakes-winning mares. This is not only the highest percentage way of producing stakes winners but also seems to work especially well with Ghostzapper.
A very fast horse himself, Ghostzapper is notable for his physical development. He is a good-sized horse in height but not unusually so. For mass and power, however, Ghostzapper doesn't have to suffer in second place to anyone. He is a brawny tank of a horse who has become even more massive since his retirement to stud.
He is clearly adding something to these good-class mares that is beneficial to their offspring, and each of them also had speed, which is always a positive quality in breeding good horses.
In contrast to the mating approach mentioned above, the winner of Saturday's G2 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont is out of an unraced mare, and the 3-year-old gelding Moreno came home a winner by seven lengths in 1:41.07 for the eight and a half furlongs. Out of the A.P. Indy mare Danceinthesunlight, Moreno was bred in Kentucky by Southern Equine and is raced by the breeder.
The Dwyer winner is the second foal and second winner of his dam, who was bred by Sam-Son Farm from champion Dancethruthedawn, by Mr. Prospector. Dancethruthedawn won the Queen's Plate, Woodbine Oaks, and also the G1 Go for Wand Stakes at Saratoga. She is a daughter of champion Dance Smartly (Danzig), and the next dam, Classy ‘n Smart, produced G1 winner and leading sire Smart Strike (Mr. Prospector).
Southern Equine purchased Danceinthesunlight for $675,000 at the 2008 Keeneland November auction when in foal for the first time. Danceinthesunlight did not race but produced her first foal at 4, the Forest Wildcat filly Sunlight Cat, a winner of $46,943. Following Moreno, Danceinthesunlight had a dead foal in 2011, and she has a yearling colt by Street Sense.
A winner in nine of his 11 starts, Ghostzapper was not a remarkably precocious horse, showing improvement as he was brought along to his best under the handling of Bobby Frankel and reaching a peak at 4 when he was Horse of the Year.
Not surprisingly then, most of Ghostzapper's offspring have shown improvement with age, and reinforcing his robust physique with additional speed from the mare is likely to add some finesse and potential for high class.
With his female family, Moreno not only adds speed but also considerable finesse and the highest class from this powerhouse bottom line.
Frank Mitchell is author of Racehorse Breeding Theories, as well as the book Great Breeders and Their Methods: The Hancocks. In addition to writing the column “Sires and Dams” in Daily Racing Form for nearly 15 years, he has contributed articles to Thoroughbred Daily News, Thoroughbred Times, Thoroughbred Record, International Thoroughbred, and other major publications. In addition, Frank is a private consultant to breeders on pedigrees, matings, and conformation. He is a hands-on caretaker of his own broodmares and foals in central Kentucky. Check out Frank's lively Bloodstock in the Bluegrass blog.
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