This Irish-bred was a most remarkable stallion. Among his many accomplishments, he managed to sire two Classic winners who bore the same name. Can you name the horse, the two runners involved and the Classic races they won? The luck o' the Irish to you!
Although this horse was judged to be the best American 3-year-old of his year, he won only one stakes race that year and to this day is better remembered for his part in a race he lost than for the important race he won. Name him.
One of the axioms of Thoroughbred breeding is that you cannot rely on the same bloodlines forever. Sooner or later, the most vigorous male lines and female families begin petering out, and failure to recognize the fact can bring a once-powerful breeding program crashing down. Thus, the wise breeder seeks to bring in new blood on a regular basis, even while maintaining a core built on past successes.
Of course, it helps when you have the kind of money the Phipps family does to spend on the best available to augment their already-strong broodmare band. The $675,000 laid out for their newest star, Fly So High, at the 2016 Keeneland September yearling sale was not exactly chump change. Two recent developments make the big daughter of Malibu Moon look a bargain at the price, however. First, her already-glittering family took another step up when Gun Runner---a grandson of Quiet Dance, also the dam of 2005 American Horse of the Year Saint Liam and a full sister to Fly So High's dam Quiet Flight---was crowned the 2017 American Horse of the Year. Second, Fly So High, now the winner of three straight, turned in what is arguably the most impressive performance so far this year among possible Kentucky Oaks (USA-I) contenders in winning the Davona Dale Stakes (USA-II) on March 3. While the final time of 1:38.69 was not fast, Gulfstream is often not a particularly glib track in the late winter, and the big filly overcame a very wide trip to get the job done by three widening lengths.
The filly's connections got a scare when Fly So High was vanned off after the race, and undoubtedly are heaving sighs of relief now that the vet reports have come back clean. Whether Fly So High makes the Oaks or not is still up in the air, of course; Shug McGaughey has the luxury of training for a program well known for not pushing a horse to make any particular race, and his new star will get all the time she needs to grow into her big frame and signal that she is ready for another strong effort. And even if she never starts again, the bloodlines and record she will bring to the breeding shed are more than enough for her connections to consider her purchase price as money well spent.
When Big Brown won the Kentucky Derby (USA-I) from post 20, he accomplished a feat that had not been done in quite a long time. Name the horse who was the last to win from that post prior to Big Brown.
This fine race mare produced five stakes-winning colts for four different owners, but her lasting importance to her breed was through her daughters, even though none of her daughters exhibited any significant racing talent. Who was she?
It may not have been a check ride, but this famous Thoroughbred is one of the few to have flown with the U.S. Air Force. He flew on the race course as well, winning six consecutive Group I races age ages 3 and 4. Who was he?
This foundation mare ended her life in a butcher shop, but before her ignominious passing, she produced daughters that gave rise to notable families in America and Europe. She also became the namesake for an important American race. Who is she?
Winter book bets on a season's better juveniles as they prepare to turn 3 and begin the road to the Kentucky Derby are nothing new, but this Classic winner was so highly regarded by his connections as a foal that some among them were making future book bets on him for the Derby before he had even started a race. Name him.
This filly was a poor mover at her slow paces due to an injury caused by a severe kick when she was a foal. Although she actually dragged the affected foot when walking, she overcame both her injury and the indignity of being dropped into a US$8,000 maiden claimer in her first start to become a champion. Name her.
Although Brokers Tip is unusual in scoring his only career win in a Classic race (in his case, the Kentucky Derby), he is not unique in having done so. This week's subject is a mare who likewise scored her only career victory in a Classic event before producing two champions, one of them a champion sire as well as a champion runner. Who was she?
I'm Avalyn Hunter, an author, pedigree researcher and longtime racing fan.