While Janelle Morae is dancing to a Brazllian beat, she springs from a distinguished American family, that of Key Bridge. The 1980 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year, Key Bridge distinguished herself by producing 1970 co-American Horse of the Year Fort Marcy (by Amerigo) and 1973 American champion 3-year-old male Key to the Mint (by Graustark). The latter was an important sire and broodmare sire, and Key Bridge also produced 1981 United Nations Handicap (USA-G1) winner Key to Content (by Forli) and 1974 Stymie Handicap (USA-G3) winner Key to the Kingdom (by Bold Ruler).
Even more importantly for the future, Key Bridge produced several daughters that bred on well. Among them was Key to the Kingdom's full sister Key Link, who provided a precedent for South American success for her family by becoming the second dam of two-time Brazilian champion Mensageiro Alado and the third dam of 2001 Grande Prêmio Linneo de Paula Machado (BRZ-G1) winner Rizzolini.
Key Bridge's 1968 daughter Seven Locks is closely related to both Key to the Kingdom and Key Link, as her sire is Bold Ruler's son Jacinto. She was unraced and did not produce any black-type performers among her six winners, but her daughter Seven Arts (by Arts and Letters) is the dam of Grade 2 winner Lykatill Hil (by Pilgrim) and of multiple Grade 3 winner Classic Account (by Private Account).
Ahrex, Seven Locks' 1975 daughter by Dr. Fager, also became a graded stakes producer, coming up with 1988 Adirondack Stakes (USA-G2) winner Pat Copelan (by Copelan), but it was Sawmill Dollars who took Ahrex's branch of the family to Brazil. Foaled in 1980 as the result of a cover by multiple Grade 1 winner Our Native (by Exclusive Native), Sawmill Dollars proved her value in her new home by producing multiple Group 1 winner Clausen Export, a daughter of 1985 Kentucky Derby (USA-G1) winner and American Horse of the Year Spend a Buck. Clausen Export, in turn, is the dam of Brazilian Group 2 winner Que Espetaculo (by Northern Afleet).
Clausen Export was Sawmill Dollars' only stakes winner, but the mare produced two other successful broodmare daughters. Special Dark (by Banquet Table) is the dam of Group 1-placed Brazilian Group 3 winner Itaquere Dollars (by Minstrel Glory) and is the second dam of multiple Brazilian Group 1 winner Kara de Birigui and Brazilian Group 2 winner Jogo de Birigui. Sawmill Dollars' other important daughter is Clausen Export's full sister Just Lucky, who is the dam of Janelle Monae as well as 2009 Grande Prêmio A.B.C.P.C.C. (BRZ-G1) winner Uncle Tom (by First American), Brazilian Group 2 winner Grand Cru (by First American), and Brazilian Group 3 winner Portuga (by Vettori).
As a daughter of eight-time American champion broodmare sire Princequillo out of a mare from a fine family and sired by two-time American champion broodmare sire War Admiral, Key Bridge was bred to be a top-class producer and lived up to her bloodlines by founding a family successful in North America, Europe, and Brazil. Janelle Monae, thus, has every credential that could be desired in a future broodmare, and when her time comes to retire to the paddocks, it can be hoped that she will do her part in building a bridge to the future of the Thoroughbred.