Shancelot is the latest star for the family of Monique Rene, a mare who was the queen of Louisiana racing in the early 1980s. A 15-time stakes winner on the Louisiana circuit, Monique Rene outran a plebeian pedigree (Prince of Ascot x Party Date, by Speedy Frank) with enviable consistency, eventually retiring with 29 wins and eight placings from 45 starts and a bankroll of US$456,250.
Given her own humble origins and the fact that she spent nearly half her broodmare career being put to indifferent sires, Monique Rene did well as a broodmare, producing five winners including Grade III winner Prince of the Mt. (by Mt. Livermore) and stakes-placed Mt. Rene (also by Mt. Livermore). More importantly, Monique Rene produced four daughters that bred on in some degree.
The first, Ronique (by Raise a Native) bred just one horse of any significance, but he was a pretty good one. Kiss a Native, a 1997 son of Kissin Kris, ended up winning four graded stakes races including the 2000 Pegasus Handicap (USA-II) and earning US$1,109,022.
As a gelding, Kiss a Native had no chance to contribute to future generations, but the same was not true for Yes It's True, a son of 1988 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (USA-I) winner Is It True out of Monique Rene's Clever Trick daughter Clever Monique. The winner of the 1999 Frank J. DeFrancis Memorial Dash Stakes (USA-I) and seven other graded sprints, Yes It's True became a successful sire following his retirement from racing. His top runners include 2015 American champion female sprinter La Verdad and 2014 Ketel One King's Bishop Stakes (USA-I) winner The Big Beast, now a promising young sire at Ocala Stud in Florida. Clever Monique also produced Honest Deceiver, a listed stakes-winning full sister to Yes It's True.
Walk Away Rene, a 1993 daughter of Gold Alert, was the best of Monique Rene's daughters on the track, winning three of her 14 starts. She produced multiple stakes winner Catch My Fancy (by Yes It's True) and is the second dam of three stakes winners. She is also the third dam of 2017 betfair.com Haskell Invitational Stakes (USA-I) winner Girvin and Grade III winner Cocked and Loaded, whose breeding is discussed in greater detail in my 9/13/2015 post "Loaded in Louisiana."
Monique Rene's youngest daughter is Kissin Renee (by Kissin Kris), who has a broodmare record comparable to Clever Monique's. The dam of restricted stakes winner True Kiss (by Is It True) as her first foal, she hit the jackpot later on with Silver Max. A 2009 son of Badge of Silver, Silver Max won the 2013 Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes (USA-IT) and six other graded races. He stands at Adena Springs North in Canada and is a freshman sire of 2019. As for True Kiss, she is doing her part to pass on the family heritage, having produced Shancelot and two stakes-placed runners. Her most recent foals are a 2018 colt by 2015 American champion male sprinter Runhappy and a 2019 filly by multiple Grade I winner Carpe Diem.
As a group, the descendants of Monique Rene have not been particularly fashionable of pedigree, but they have been tough and willing, and they have also shown the value of repeating crosses that have been successful whether they are fashionable or not. That is a lesson worth remembering as the stallion market continues to constrict toward having many foals sired by a few fashionable horses and relatively few by a shrinking pool of less-favored horses. It is also worth remembering that, as Monique Rene demonstrated, the test of the racetrack is still the most valuable method of selecting breeding stock capable of passing desirable qualities to the next generation.