Especially here in the States, we don't frequently see fillies stuffing the colts in Grade 1 stakes, but Miss Temple City (by Temple City) looked pretty good doing just that in Keeneland's Maker's 46 Mile on April 16.
From the evidence of Tepin (Bernstein) and Miesque (Nureyev) in the Breeders' Cup Mile, we might think that turf miles are the best distance for fillies to turn the tables on colts, but Beholder (Henny Hughes) looked awfully strong while running away with the 10-furlong Pacific Classic last summer.
Then again, Very Subtle and Safely Kept (Horatius) upset the colts in the Breeders' Cup Sprint at six furlongs; so the reality is that very good fillies are dangerous against colts, no matter the distance.
Despite winning her first G1 on Saturday, there is no doubt that Miss Temple City is a very good filly. She was second in the G1 Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup at Keeneland last fall after venturing to Ascot last summer for the G1 Coronation Stakes.
Breeder Bob Feld said, “Miss Temple City took the trip like a pro. She didn't have any trouble shipping but ran into a super field where she gave a good account of herself. And she's gotten better and better since.”
It is a credit to the filly's mental and physical constitution that she took her Ascot adventure in stride and has come back better than ever.
And this is a pedigree that suggests the best is yet to come.
Miss Temple City is the first G1 winner for her sire, the Dynaformer stallion Temple City, who showed increasingly good form as he matured. The sire didn't race until he was 3, then earned a stakes-placing at 4, but Temple City showed much the best form of his career at 5, when he won the G3 Cougar Handicap at 12 furlongs, was second in the G1 Hollywood Turf Cup at the same distance, and also finished second in the American Handicap at nine furlongs.
So how does a turf horse with his best form at 12 furlongs make any kind of showing in the U.S.? Well, you ought to blame breeder B. Wayne Hughes, who put Temple City into his Share the Upside program at Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky. With an outstanding pedigree, Temple City attracted enough breeders and enough mares to give himself a shot as a sire, and he responded by siring five stakes winners in his first crop.
Although Startup Nation was the first of them to earn graded black type, Miss Temple City has risen to the top with her G1 victory, and Bolo won the G2 Arcadia Stakes earlier this year.
A son of Dynaformer out of the Danzig mare Curriculum, Temple City has a glittering pedigree, with his second dam being G1 winner Macoumba (Mr. Prospector), third dam being G1 winner Maximova (Green Dancer), who produced five stakes winners, and so forth. At first glance, Macoumba appears to have underproduced her own exceptional class, with a pair of stakes-placed runners and a pair of daughters who have produced stakes winners.
Then you notice that one of the mare's winners is Malibu Moon (A.P. Indy). And the penny drops.
Temple City is a good-looking son of Dynaformer (by English Derby winner Roberto), and Dynaformer earned his exalted reputation at stud in an adversarial market. Temple City has done likewise and is out of a fine female family. Clearly, Temple City deserved a shot at stud, and he has made the most of it.
A horse of deeply held opinions, Temple City is convinced that human beings are a waste of space, but he apparently likes mares. After a 2014 book of 86 (88.4 percent in foal), Temple City received 199 in 2015, following the stellar performances of his first-crop runners in 2014 that included Miss Temple City and Startup Nation. The stallion got 91.5 percent of the larger book in foal, and he is set to have another substantial book of mares this spring.
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 chief of biomechanics for DataTrack International and 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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