Doña Green is a fourth-generation descendant of 1987 American Broodmare of the Year Banja Luka, whose title came primarily from the exploits of her son Ferdinand. A son of Nijinsky II, Ferdinand won the 1986 Kentucky Derby (USA-G1) under a masterful ride by Bill Shoemaker. He lost divisional honors that year to Snow Chief, but in 1987 he sealed titles as American champion older male and Horse of the Year in one of the most exciting Breeders’ Cup Classic (USA-G1) editions of all time, defeating 1987 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes (USA-G1) winner Alysheba by a nose. Unfortunately, he proved a poor stallion in both the United States and Japan and ended his days in a slaughterhouse in the latter country.
Banja Luka produced five other stakes winners, but all of them were of modest stature, and her daughters as a group were not exceptional producers. The best of them was Castel Cheline (by Avatar), the dam of multiple Australian Group 1 winner Zacheline (by Zabeel). Castel Cheline’s female line has not bred on, but another daughter of Banja Luka, Donna Inez, has established a branch of the family that may have some promise for the future.
A daughter of Herbager, Donna Inez won the 1978 California Jockey Club Handicap at Bay Meadows and the 1978 Torrey Pines Handicap at Del Mar and was third in the 1978 Del Mar Oaks (USA-G3). She produced 13 named foals, of which seven were winners, but none were stakes winners. She has fared better as a dam of broodmares, with two of her daughters producing graded or Group stakes winners. The elder, Imprudent Love (by Foolish Pleasure), produced 2001 Native Diver Handicap (USA-G3) winner Momentum (by Nureyev) and Puerto Rican listed stakes winner El Delegado (by Lac Ouimet). The younger, Nemea (by The Minstrel), produced Lovers Knot (by Groom Dancer), winner of the 1999 Amcor Falmouth Stakes (ENG-G2) and the 1999 De La Rose Handicap (USA-G3), and is the third dam of 2019 Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes (USA-G1) winner Concrete Rose (by Twirling Candy).
Donna Demisse (by Lac Ouimet), the last of Donna Inez’s daughters, never raced prior to export to Argentina but won one of her eight starts in her new country, a 1200-meter allowance race at San Isidro. A broodmare at Haras Carampangue until 2009, when she became the property of Horacio Manuel Stoll and Roberto Javier Stoll, she produced eight winners, the most accomplished of which was Grade 3-placed Donna Orpen (by Orpen). Donna Dina, the dam of Doña Green, is a full sister to Donna Orpen and is also the dam of 2018 Premio Luis Maria Doyhenard (ARG-G3) winner Dargreen (by Greenspring). Donna Dina died in 2020, but aside from Doña Green, she has another daughter, the 2016 Horse Greeley mare Dondina, who has won two of her 10 starts and may help perpetuate the line.
As Kentucky Broodmares of the Year go, Banja Luka was not precisely a one-runner selection, but had it not been for Ferdinand, she would not be particularly memorable. Unlike some other Broodmares of the Year with a reputation resting on one outstanding runner, however, she has managed to found a persisting female line that continues to turn up a sprinkling of good runners from generation to generation. There are worse legacies to have.