Balabina was produced from French-bred Peace II, whose sire Klairon won the 1955 Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French Two Thousand Guineas) and Prix Jacques le Marois and was third in that year’s Two Thousand Guineas in England and the United Nations Handicap in the United States. Klairon’s international racing career was a harbinger of the future for his daughter, who was herself imported to the United States after becoming a stakes winner in England and ended up founding a successful international family.
From 12 named foals, Peace II bred five stakes winners, three in the United States and two in England. All five did their racing in Europe, and the best of the lot proved to be Kentucky-bred Quiet Fling (by Nijinsky II), who won the 1976 Coronation Cup (ENG-G3). His full brother Peacetime and his half brother Armistice Day (by Rheingold) both became Group 3 winners, and another half brother, Peaceful (by another of Piggott’s Derby winners, 1957 victor Crepello), won three stakes races in England won three black-type events at 5 and 6. Rounding out the quintet, the Stage Door Johnny filly Intermission won the historic Cambridgeshire Handicap before becoming a good broodmare in her own right; she is the dam of 1987 Prix Maurice de Gheest (FR-G2) winner Interval (by Habitat), 1995 La Prevoyante Handicap (USA-G2) winner Interval, and multiple Malaysian stakes winner Hold Your Fire (by Dancing Brave). Intermission is also is the second dam of multiple Grade/Group 2 winner Invited Guest (by Be My Guest), 1994 Colonel F. W. Koester Handicap (USA-G2) winner Bon Point (by Soviet Star), and 2004 Prix d’Hedouville (FR-G3) winner Short Pause (by Sadler’s Wells) and is the ancestress of 2002 European champion sprinter Continent, 2017 Spanish champion miler Almorox, multiple Bahrainian champion Curtain Call, and Grade/Group 1 winners Zambezi Sun, Midships, and Temida.
Peace II also produced multiple stakes producers Quiet Harbour (by Mill Reef) and De Stael (by Nijinsky II), whose four stakes winners include 1996 American champion turf female Wandesta (by Nashwan). Stakes-placed herself as a racer, Balabina did not compile so good a produce record as her full sister De Stael, but she did come up with listed stakes winners Bal Harbour (by Shirley Heights), Bequeath (by Rainbow Quest), and Binary (by Rainbow Quest). The last-named mare produced multiple Scandinavian champion Binary File (by Nureyev) and, through her daughter Binche (by Woodman), is the second dam of multiple Grade 1 winner Proviso (by Dansili), 2010 Prince of Wales’s Stakes (ENG-G1) winner Byword (by Peintre Celebre), and 2017 Prix Eugene Adam (FR-G2) winner Finche (by Frankel), and is also the third dam of French Group 3 winner Delaware. Binary is also the dam of Foreign Language (by Distant View), whose daughter Desert Berry (by Green Desert) produced Desert Crown as her fifth foal, having previously produced 2019 Premier Cup Handicap (HK-G3) winner Archie McKellar (by Archipenko).
Jockeys are not often thought of as having an influence on Thoroughbred bloodlines, but surely Piggott’s master touch in the saddle had a part to play in establishing the credentials of Desert Crown’s Derby-winning ancestors—particularly Roberto, who might well not have gotten home first over Rheingold had he not been the beneficiary of one of Piggott’s strongest rides. Having contributed in his own way to the outcome of the Derby run in his memory, may “The Long Fellow” rest in peace.