Bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm, Southlawn is the 48th stakes winner and 25th graded stakes winner for the late Pioneerof the Nile, who etched his name into the Thoroughbred history as the sire of 2015 American Triple Crown winner and American Horse of the Year American Pharoah. A son of 2003 Belmont Stakes (USA-G1) winner Empire Maker (by 1990 Kentucky Derby, USA-G1, and Breeders’ Cup Classic, USA-G1, winner Unbridled) out of the Lord At War mare Star of Goshen, Pioneerof the Nile ran second in the 2009 Kentucky Derby after winning the 2008 CashCall Futurity (USA-G1) and the 2009 Santa Anita Derby (USA-G1) and consistently sired horses capable of excelling in the 9-10 furlong range.
Southlawn is the second winner from as many foals of racing age from Mo d’Amour, who has since produced an unnamed 2021 colt by Quality Road and a 2023 colt by Constitution. A daughter of 2010 American champion 2-year-old male Uncle Mo, Mo d’Amour won the listed Busher Stakes as a 3-year-old in 2016 and placed in five other stakes races, including two graded events. Southlawn is one of 11 stakes winners thus far for Uncle Mo as a broodmare sire.
Mo d’Amour was produced from Neverthesame, an unraced daughter of multiple Grade 1 winner and two-time Chilean champion sire Scat Daddy. The last-named stallion is the source of another American Triple Crown connection as he sired 2018 hero Justify. The next dam in Southlawn’s tail-female line is multiple Group 2-placed listed stakes winner Salut d’Amour (by multiple juvenile Group 1 winner Danehill Dancer), a half sister to 2007 Classic Trial Stakes (ENG-G3) winner Regime (by Golan). If not stellar in its performance, this is a family with a respectable record and could upgrade quickly as Mo d’Amour, Neverthesame and another of Neverthesame’s daughters, Itsinthestars (by Astrology) remain in production and are seeing quality sires.
A US$290,000 Keeneland September purchase for Robert Masterson, Southlawn is almost certain to be headed to the Kentucky Oaks. Based on her bloodlines and her most recent performances, that is a reasonable decision in what seems a wide-open year for 3-year-old fillies.