Courtly Dee was at the opposite end of the spectrum. She was what horsemen call "cheap speed": a sprinter that flashes some speed but usually folds up under a challenge. She won only four of her 33 starts, and she had no pretensions of being anything but a modest claimer on the track. Yet somehow in the alchemy of genetics, the class embodied in her sire Never Bend and her broodmare sire War Admiral came through when she became a broodmare. She produced eight stakes winners, seven of them of graded class, and also produced the dam of the important European sire and sire of sires Green Desert.
Althea, Courtly Dee's 1981 daughter by Alydar, was the fourth of her stakes winners and the best of them on the track. She won four graded stakes as a juvenile, whipping males twice in Grade II events along the way, and was voted the Eclipse Award as American champion 2-year-old filly for 1983. Her brilliance earned Courtly Dee honors as the 1983 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year, and Althea reached an even higher peak with a track record-equaling victory against males in the 1984 Arkansas Derby (USA-I).
Unfortunately, Althea had probably peaked too soon, and after finishing next to last in the Kentucky Derby (USA-I) (in which she had been favored), she started only once more before retiring to the paddocks. Her ill-fortune dogged her in her broodmare career. as she collided with another mare in a 1995 paddock accident and did not survive her injuries. Her loss was a tremendous one, for of the five foals she left behind, four became stakes winners including 1994 Japanese champion 2-year-old filly Yamanin Paradise (by Danzig).
Of Althea's other daughters, the most important is Aurora, a 1988 full sister to Yaminin Paradise who was a listed stakes winner at 4. She produced four stakes winners, headed by 1998 Super Derby (USA-I) winner Arch (by Kris S.) and 2010 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (USA-IA) winner Acoma (by Empire Maker). Arch, in his turn, proved a very good stallion for Claiborne Farm and got a worthy successor in 2010 American champion older male Blame, who is continuing the line at Claiborne.
Aurora's best producing daughter thus far is Antics (by Unbridled), who is the dam of both Covfefe and Japanese Group II winner Albiano. The two are very similarly bred, as Albiano is a son of Harlan's Holiday while Covfefe is by that stallion's best son at stud, Into Mischief. Antics slipped in 2017 before producing a 2018 filly by Nyquist and a 2019 colt by Violence, and her 2014 daughter Airs (a full sister to Albiano) produced a 2018 Union Rags colt before being reported as barren for 2019.
The great gift of Courtly Dee's family has been speed, but it has been speed that has blended successfully with stamina bequeathed by more classically-oriented sires. Covfefe has already proved herself a worthy heiress to that legacy, and it can be hoped that in due time, she will do her part in transmitting the blend of speed and stamina that has brought her to the top echelon of Thoroughbred racing.