Holy Helena first made headlines as a 3-year-old when, after breaking her maiden at second asking, she stepped up to win the Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser. She followed up her conquest of Canada's best fillies by doing the same to the colts in the Queen's Plate. While she did not win another stakes event during the year, she had done enough to earn a Sovereign Award as Canada's champion 3-year-old filly of 2017. She was a multiple graded stakes winner at 4 and 5 and, fittingly enough, scored her last victory in the Dance Smartly Stakes (CAN-IIT) at Woodbine. She retires with eight wins and five placings from 20 starts.
Ghostzapper has already earned fame as a broodmare sire via his grandson Justify, winner of the American Triple Crown in 2018, and Holy Helena has the pedigree credentials to add to his reputation. She descends from Missy Baba via her Grade III-placed Buckpasser daughter Sooni, whose full sister Toll Booth was the 1991 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year. Sooni did not match her sister's performance in the breeding shed, but her broodmare career was not without merit as she produced Grade II winner Black Cash (by Deposit Ticket) and stakes winner My Marchesa (by Stately Don), as well as two stakes-placed winners.
My Marchesa, in turn, kept Sooni's branch of the family alive as a source of good horses. She produced three stakes winners including Grade II winner Rookie Sensation (by Unbridled's Song) and multiple Grade III winner Mark One (by Alphabet Soup), as well as Grade II-placed Golden Corona (by Gulch). Her Holy Bull daughter Holy Grace has been the best of her broodmare daughters to date, producing Holy Helena and Grade II winner Holy Boss (by Street Boss), but My Marchesa is also the dam of Grade III producer Archduchess (by Pleasant Tap). Holy Grace produced a full brother to Holy Helena this spring and has several other daughters who are early in their broodmare careers and getting good opportunities.
While a foal by a top commercial sire out of Holy Helena would probably be worth a considerable amount if healthy and well-conformed, a likelier path may be for her to be bred in the hopes of securing a top-class colt from a sire line that Adena Springs does not currently have on its roster. That could point to a top proven sire such as Tapit or Empire Maker, but it could also point to a highly promising young stallion like American Pharoah. With a match "made in heaven" and a bit of luck, Holy Helena just might end up outbreeding herself, and that would be a runner worth seeing.