While Manuca was bred in Brazil, a look at her pedigree in back of her parents reveals a strongly North American background, with such familiar names as Sunday Silence, Northern Taste, Mr. Prospector, and Personal Ensign all found close up. American roots are also found in the filly’s tail-female line, which traces back to Fascinating Trick.
Like many members of the great La Troienne family, Fascinating Trick is a product of the Phipps family’s breeding program, which received a huge shot in the arm when Ogden Phipps acquired La Troienne’s daughter Baby League from the estate of Colonel E. R. Bradley. For Phipps, Baby League produced the War Admiral filly Striking, a full sister to 1945 American Horse of the Year Busher and to 1948 Arlington Futurity winner Mr. Busher. Striking also had ability, enough to win the 1949 Schuylerville Stakes, and produced five stakes winners, among them Glamour (by Nasrullah). Glamour, in turn, produced four stakes winners and a stakes-placed filly by Swaps, Intriguing, who became the dam of 1971 American champion 2-year-old filly and notable broodmare Numbered Account as well as multiple Grade 2 winner Cunning Trick and stakes winner How Curious, all by Buckpasser.
A full sister to Numbered Account, Fascinating Trick never made it to the racetrack, so whatever talent she possessed remained unrevealed. She never produced a stakes winner, and her reputation as a broodmare rests primarily on two daughters. One, Northern Naiad (by Nureyev), produced 1996 Premio Lydia Tesio (ITY-G2) winne Grey Way (by Caro), in turn the dam of two-time Premio Presidente della Republica (ITY-G1) winner Distant Way (by Distant View), 2020 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (FR-G1) winner Way to Paris (by Champs Elysees), and 2011 Premio Ambrosiano (ITY-G3) winner Cima de Pluie (by Singspiel).
Fascinating Trick’s other important daughter is Canadian-bred Political Intrigue (by Deputy Minister), who went to Brazil after being picked up by South American bloodstock firm Albatroz Bloodstock for US$23,000 at the 1992 Keeneland January mixed sale and ended up in the broodmare band of Haras Santa Ana do Rio Grande. Bred to five-time Brazilian champion sire Roi Normand (a son of Exclusive Native who won the 1988 Sunset Handicap, USA-G1, prior to export), she produced three-time Grade/Group 1 winner Redattore, the Brazilian champion sire of 2008/2009.
Redattore was still just a yearling when the mating between Political Intrigue and Roi Normand was repeated, and the result was Brave Lady. Group 3-placed in Brazil as a 3-year-old, Brave Lady produced 2008 Grande Prêmio Estado do Rio de Janeiro (BRZ-G1) winner Joe Bravo to a cover by Vettori. Sent to Drosselmeyer in 2012, Brave Lady added another Group winner to her resume in Devil Cat, winner of the 2017 Grande Prêmio João José e José Carlos de Figueiredo BRZ-G3).
Besides her Group-winning sons, Brave Lady is responsible for three Group-producing daughters. The first, Joe Bravo’s full sister Innocent Lady, is the dam of 2014 Grande Prêmio Ipiranga (BRZ-G1) winner Outplay (by First American). The second, Group 1-placed Lovely Lady (by Our Emblem), is the dam of 2021 Grande Prêmio Presidente Antonio Teixeira de Assumpção Netto (BRZ-G3) winner Royal Lady (by Jeune-Turc). Lovely Lady’s full sister My Fair Lady ran second in the 2009 Gran Premio Eliseo Ramirez (ARG-G1), and she has been the most prolific of Brave Lady’s daughters as a source of stakes horses. In addition to Manuca, she is the dam of Group 1-placed multiple Brazilian Group 3 winner La Louviere (by Agnes Gold) and of Fay (by Drosselmeyer), who won the listed Premio Etoile in Argentina as a 5-year-old. Both Manuca and La Louviere are still in training, and it will be interesting to see if either can add another Group 1 win to the already-glittering collection of top-level victories belonging to La Troienne’s descendants before attempting to write another chapter of their family story in the paddocks of South America.