Female lines also tend to rise and fall, yet some have branches that have maintained excellence for five, six, or seven generations, if not longer. La Troienne is the obvious example in American breeding, with her descendants still playing key roles in the Phipps family's breeding program.
In Argentina, the family of Bambuca has not endured quite as long, but it has nonetheless remained a force in Argentine breeding for some seventy years. Its most recent Group 1 winner emerged in 2019, when Wild Stream won the Gran Premio de Honor, and it got another major winner on September 13 of this year when Miss Eder earned Group 2 brackets in the Premio Chile at Palermo.
Bambuca was certainly a worthy fountainhead for long-term excellence. A beautifully made daughter of 1930 Eclipse Stakes winner and notable Argentine sire Rustom Pasha, she was produced from Bimba, a daugher of the great Argentine sire Congreve and the high-class mare Juventas, the equivalent of a multiple Group 1 winner by modern standards. Juventas, in turn, was the best runner sired by 1917 Argentine Quadruple Crown winner Botafogo and was out of Jalouse, a multiple stakes winner in Uruguay.
While Bambuca did not score in an Argentine Classic, she won the Gran Premio Enrique Acebal (now a Group 1 race) and other good stakes and was considered near the best if not the best Argentine filly of her crop. In turn, she produced Gamin (by Tatán), a multiple stakes winner in the United States before becoming a stallion in Argentina, and Good Star (by Masked Light), a high-class sprinter whose victories included the Premio Maipú, Premio Paraguay, and Premio Venezuela.
Good Star did her part and then some to maintain the family. She is the dam of two mares who won the equivalent of modern Group 1 races in Venturanza (by Seductor), winner of the 1964 Gran Premio Enrique Acebal and Gran Premio Eliseo Ramírez, and La Feona (by Luxemburgo), winner of the 1967 Gran Premio Saturnino J. Unzue. She also produced Daystar II (by Seductor), a stakes winner in both Argentina and the United States. In addition, Good Star is the second dam of 1981 Argentine Horse of the Year I’m Glad, 1990 Argentine Mare of the Year La Esperanza, 1984 Argentine Mare of the Year So Glad, two-time Spanish champion El Bimbo, 1994 Gran Premio Carrera de las Estrellas Sprint (ARG-G1) winner La Baraca, and 1994 Gran Premio Carrera de las Estrellas Juvenile Sprint (ARG-G1) winner Leyden. Finally, Good Star is the third dam of 1986 Grande Prêmio Marciano de Aguiar Moreira (BRZ-G1) winner Quip Mask, 1986 Grande Prêmio Diana (Brazilian Oaks, BRZ-G1) winner Slew in Mask, 1993 Super Derby (USA-G1) winner Wallenda, and 2001 Gran Premio Eliseo Ramírez (ARG-G1) winner La Belga.
Bambuca's daughter Miss Venecia (by Luxemburgo) lacked Good Star's racing credentials, but her branch of the family is responsible for its most recent stars. An excellent broodmare, Miss Venecia produced 1985 Gran Premio General San Martín (ARG-G1) winner Mister Marco (by Go Forth), 1985 Premio Abril (ARG-G2) winner Miss Bimba (by Our Talisman), and Argentine stakes winners Mair (by Mantecon) and Mi Estandarte (by Decorum). Miss Bimba, in turn, produced Argentine Group 3 winner Miss Peggy, and through Miss Peggy, Miss Venecia is the third dam of 2000 Argentine Mare of the Year Miss Linda, 2003 Argentine champion miler Mr. Nancho, and Argentine Group 2 winner Miss Mary.
In addition to her stakes winners, Miss Venecia produced Miss Juventas (by Babas Fables, a Le Fabuleux half brother to 1980 American champion sire Raja Baba and five other stakes winners). Neither a good race mare nor a good producer of runners, she appeared to mark a branch of her family that would soon die out. That verdict may be reversed after the events of the last three years, for her daughter Mill Stream (by Fitzcarraldo) is the dam of Wild Stream, and another daughter, the 2004 Southern Halo mare Miss Juventus, is the second dam of Miss Eder, who is by the top Argentine sire Equal Stripes.
Miss Juventas's recent descendants illustrate at least one of the reasons why it is easier to revive a weakening branch of a notable female line than it is a sire line on the decline: the competition for mates, which is far more favorable to females than males. Generally speaking, even if they were not good runners themselves, the daughters and granddaughters of a good matron will continue getting better mating opportunities than average because of stallion managers' need to draw as many mares as possible with at least something in the way of decent credentials to their horses' courts; a stallion getting less than 40 or 50 mares a year has little chance to make a name for himself in the modern numbers game. Stallions, on the other hand, must almost always be successful racehorses to get access to good mares, and a stallion with a pedigree that has become unfashionable will be at a disadvantage in the competition for mates with horses from a more fashionable line that are his peers in racing performance.
In the case of Miss Eder, stallions' competition for mares allowed a dam two generations removed from a good producer and three generations removed from a good runner to get a booking to a champion sire, resulting in a good race mare who is now in position to continue her female line. Wild Stream's close female relatives will also get better opportunities thanks to his prowess, and with any luck, the family of Bambuca will continue to make important contributions to the Thoroughbred in Argentina for generations to come.