On paper, he has plenty of pedigree credentials, not just on his sire's side but on his dam's. He is the fourth graded stakes winner from four foals to race from Catch the Moon, who made the most of relatively modest opportunities early in her broodmare career. Her first foal is 2015 Iroquois Stakes (USA-G3) winner Cocked and Loaded, whose sire was multiple Grade 1 winner Colonel John, a useful stallion son of Tiznow but now in Korea. Her next is 2017 betfair.com Haskell Invitational Stakes (USA-G1) winner Girvin, who is arguably the best of 13 stakes winners sired by multiple Grade 1 winner Tale of Ekati---a horse who is standing the 2021 season at Darby Dan for US$5,000. After producing a dead foal in 2015, Catch the Moon then produced her third graded stakes winner in Pirate's Punch (by 2012 American champion 2-year-old male Shanghai Bobby, who was exported to Japan in 2018), who won the 2020 Salvator Mile (USA-G3) and has placed in three other Grade 3 races. Catch the Moon had no produce in 2017 and threw Midnight Bourbon (a US$525,000 Keeneland September yearling) in 2018.
Now pensioned, Tiznow is the most successful stallion by whom Catch the Moon has produced a runner, but the upgrade in her status as a broodmare has continued with her subsequent mates. The mare has a 2019 colt by Curlin that was a US$500,000 yearling last year at Keeneland September, and her 2020 foal is a colt by Quality Road. She was bred back to Curlin for 2021.
Sired by the good A.P. Indy son Malibu Moon, Catch the Moon is a half sister to listed stakes winner Dubini (by Gio Ponti) and restricted stakes winner What a Catch (by Justin Phillip) and is out of multiple stakes winner Catch My Fancy, by the Grade 1-winning sprinter and good sire Yes It's True out of Walk Away Renee (by Gold Alert), whose dam Monique Rene is also the second dam of Yes It's True.
This is certainly inbreeding to a female, but Monique Rene may or may not have been the kind of mare Leon Rasmussen had in mind when he put out his namesake hypothesis of inbreeding to "superior females." A Louisiana-bred by stakes-placed Prince of Ascot out of the undistinguished winner Party Date, by the equally undistinguished Speedy Frank, she certainly couldn't boast a fashionable pedigree. And while she outran that pedigree in remarkable fashion to become the queen of Louisiana racing in the early 1980s, she was still no glamour girl by national standards. She retired without ever having won or placed a graded stakes, and she earned black type outside the Pelican State only once.
Calling Monique Rene a "superior female" based on her production record might be something of a stretch as well, though she did not do badly, especially given the opportunities she was accorded. When she did get a chance to visit a good stallion, she generally delivered something worthwhile. Her produce included 1995 Ark-La-Tex Handicap (USA-G3) winner Prince of the Mt. (by Mt. Livermore) and his stakes-placed full brother Mt. Rene, and two of her daughters did become graded stakes producers: Clever Monique (by Clever Trick), dam of Yes It's True (by Is It True) and his listed stakes-winning full sister Honest Deceiver, and Ronique (by Raise a Native), dam of 2000 Pegasus Handicap (USA-G2) winner Kiss a Native (by Kissing Kris).
No objective review of her race or produce record can reasonably call Monique Rene a great mare, but she clearly represented the best of the genes from her ancestry. Tough, consistent, and speedy, she was also able to pass her best qualities on when given any kind of reasonable chance, and there are far worse traits to inbreed to.
Aside from the inbreeding to Monique Rene in her dam, Catch the Moon is inbred 3x4 to the great sire Mr. Prospector, the sire of Gold Alert and the broodmare sire of Malibu Moon. In putting her to Tiznow, breeder Barbara Banke of Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings made use of two solid breeding principles. One is following a proven cross, as Catch the Moon had already had success with a son of Tiznow. The other is reinforcing different parts of the pedigree in successive matings in a family line, a principle used with great success in the stud of the 17th Earl of Derby. Tiznow, although inbred 4x4 to Northern Dancer, is free of Mr. Prospector, and Catch the Moon, although inbred to Mr. Prospector, has only a single sixth-generation cross of Northern Dancer in her pedigree. Thus, the mating outcrossed away from the closest inbreeding in both the sire and the dam, but it inbred to another great influence in Seattle Slew, who appears in the third generation of both Tiznow's and Catch the Moon's pedigrees. Adding to the niceties of this pedigree, Seattle Slew and Mr. Prospector both belong to the family of multiple American champion Myrtlewood, a great foundation mare, and thus, Midnight Bourbon's pedigree is line bred to this family.
Girvin, of course, did Monique Rene's family proud in Louisiana when he made off with the 2017 Risen Star Stakes (USA-G2) and Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby (USA-G2), and it looks as though Midnight Bourbon will try to emulate his elder brother as he makes his own way down the Triple Crown trail. If he succeeds, perhaps his fans should lift a glass to the memory of Monique Rene, who appears to have added her own touch of Louisiana jazz to yet another nice runner.