Having a champion and Classic winner for a sire does not hurt Spielberg's prospects, but neither does his female family, He is a fourth-generation of Likely Exchange, whose rather offbeat pedigree did not keep her from being either a fine race mare or an important producer.
Foaled in 1974, Likely Exchange was sired by Terrible Tiger, a five-time stakes winner by Amerigo but a horse more noted for toughness (he made 72 starts) than brilliance in spite of the fact that he set four track records at distances from 6 to 8.5 furlongs during his career. At best, he was the equivalent of a modern Grade 3 winner. He proved a surprisingly good sire from limited opportunities, siring 16 stakes winners from 110 named foals.
Terrible Tiger was inbred 4x4 to the great English stallion Hyperion, and he got the best runner he would ever sire in Likely Exchange, whose dam Likely Swap (Swaps x Most Likely, by Heliopolis) was inbred 3x3 to Hyperion. Likely Exchange proved just as durable as her sire, making 72 starts over six seasons, but stayed better and took her biggest win in the 1979 Delaware Handicap (USA-G1) over 10 furlongs.
Likely Exchange lived to produce only three named foals after her retirement from racing, but in the quality of what she produced, she proved herself a worthy descendant of the 20th-century foundation mare Affection (her fifth dam). Her first foal was the gelding Creme Fraiche (by Rich Cream), a first-rate stayer whose victories included the 1985 Belmont Stakes (USA-G1). Her second was 1989 Monmouth Oaks (USA-G1) winner Dream Deal (by Sharpen Up), and her third and last was the winning Nureyev filly Hebba. Through Hebba, Likely Exchange is the ancestress of Japanese Group winners Tagano Expresso, Tagano Tonnerre, and Headliner.
As might be expected from her superior race record, Dream Deal has been the primary conduit for Likely Exchange's family, and she got the ball rolling with her first foal, the Nureyev filly Fairy Doll. While Fairy Doll was unplaced in her only start, she produced three stakes winners by Sunday Silence after being exported to Japan. The most talented of the group was 2001 Japanese champion older female To the Victory, a four-time stakes winner who placed in two Japanese Classics for 3-year-old fillies and was runner-up in the 2001 Dubai World Cup (UAE-G1). To the Victory, in turn, produced Japanese Group stakes winners To the Glory, To the World, and Tosen Victory (all by King Kamehameha) and is the second dam of multiple Japanese Group 2 winner Lion Lion. Fairy Doll's descendants through other daughters include Japanese Group winners Denim and Ruby, Prophet, Courageux Guerrier, and Fairy Polka.
Dream Deal's second foal was three-time Grade 1 winner Clear Mandate (by Deputy Minister), who produced 2013 Hopeful Stakes (USA-G1) winner Strong Mandate (by Tiznow), multiple Grade 3 winner Newfoundland (by Storm Cat), and listed stakes winner Full Mandate (by Seattle Slew), sire of multiple Grade 1 winner Ron the Greek. Her three producing daughters have only come up with one stakes winner between them, however, and her Grade 2-winning half sister Dream Scheme (by Danzig) has likewise been a rather disappointing producer save as the third dam of 2018 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (USA-G1) winner Romantic Vision. Dream Deal's third and final stakes winner, is the listed stakes-winning gelding A Diehl (by Aldebaran).
In between Dream Scheme (her third foal) and A Diehl, Dream Deal produced eight other foals, and the most important of them thus far has been listed stakes-placed Miss Kate (by Storm Cat). The dam of three stakes winners in her own right (the best of which so far is listed stakes winner Raconteur, by A.P. Indy), Miss Kate is the dam of the Smart Strike mare Miss Squeal, who produced Spielberg as her second named foal.
With much of the best production of this family having taken place in Japan, Likely Exchange and her descendants have not quite gotten the attention accorded to North America's most elite families. Nonetheless, the daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters have found their way into some of the country's best broodmare bands on pure merit, and to judge by recent production, they will not be losing those places anytime soon.