What major race offers the "Man o' War Cup" as its trophy, and what race was this trophy originally awarded for?
It took United until age 5 to finally hit the wire first in a graded race after four placings in such events last year, but he now has two such tallies to his credit. Having won the San Marcos Stakes (USA-G2) on February 1, the gelded son of Giant's Causeway added a second Grade 2 score on May 23 when the head bob went his way in a three-horse blanket finish in the Charles Whittingham Stakes.
United is the latest stakes winner from the family of Calumet Farm matriarch Real Delight. A huge dark bay mare standing close to 17 hands, the daughter of Bull Lea and Blue Delight had talent as outsized as her frame and was both the American champion 3-year-old filly and American champion handicap female of 1952. Retired to the paddocks after an injury-shortened 4-year-old season, she became the dam of three stakes winners and established major branches of her family through her Ponder filly Plum Cake (ancestress of champions Our Mims and Christmas Past and champion sires Alydar and Plum Bold) and her Heliopolis filly Heliolight, whose graded-class descendants include 1980 Preakness Stakes (USA-G1) winner Codex.
Spring Sunshine, a 1966 daughter of Nashua, was the last stakes winner produced by Real Delight. The winner of the 1968 Golden Rod Stakes, she was also a successful broodmare, producing Grade 3 winners Raise a Cup (by Raise a Native) and Lucky So n' So (by Alydar).
Spring Sunshine's daughter Mawgrit (by Hoist the Flag) produced 1991 Rare Perfume Stakes (USA-G2) winner Dazzle Me Jolie (by Carr de Nasrka) and is the second dam of 1991 Fair Grounds Oaks (USA-G3) winner Rare Pick, but the key to continuing her branch of the family turned out to be Raise a Cup's full sister Pet Eagle, whose daughter Mirror Bright (by Gleaming) produced 1990 Equipoise Mile Handicap (USA-G3) winner Bright Again (by Wild Again) and listed stakes winner Bright Asset (by Private Account). Bright Asset, in turn, is the third dam of three-time Ecuadorean Horse of the Year El Kurdo, but the daughter of Mirror Bright who succeeded in carrying on in North America is the unraced 1994 A.P. Indy mare Indy Flash, the dam of Grade 2-placed multiple listed stakes winner Galloping Gal (by Victory Gallop; dam of 20111 CashCall Futurity, USA-G1, winner Liaison, by Indian Charlie).
Unfortunately, Galloping Gal produced only three foals, but in keeping with this family line's theme of continuing on through "lesser" daughters, Indy Flash is also the dam of unraced Indy Punch (by the Two Punch horse Pulling Punches), who produced United as her fifth foal after previously giving birth to 2018 Philip H. Iselin Stakes (USA-G3) winner Harlan Punch (by Harlan's Holiday) and restricted stakes winner Tensas Punch (by War Front). Indy Punch's most recent foals are the 2018 Carpe Diem filly Friendly Skies, a 2019 filly by Uncle Mo and a 2020 War Front colt, so this point, she is getting every opportunity to be a continued ray of sunshine for a most delightful family.
Who was the youngest trainer to win the Kentucky Derby, and how many times did he win the great race?
Under ordinary circumstances, a stakes race that doesn't even qualify for listed status would not warrant much attention. In the constricted racing world caused by COVID-19, however, even minor black-type events are drawing stiffer fields of competitors than usual, and such was the case in the Roar Stakes at Gulfstream Park May 16. While the race ended up with only six horses, four were stakes winners including Grade 2 winner Green Light Go. That's a better field than many a Grade 3 race draws in normal times.
The winner turned up in lightly-raced Double Crown, who withstood Green Light Go's final charge to capture his first stakes win in his third lifetime start. The Bourbon Courage gelding is the latest stakes horse for the family of Avie, which has put together quite a solid record without ever breaking into the heights of fashion.
Avie herself was not much of a race mare, winning just one of 24 starts. Her primary attraction as a prospective broodmare was her pedigree: by the 1957 Belmont Stakes winner and good sire Gallant Man, she was out of the Tom Fool mare Evilone, making her a full sister to stakes winner Lesjo and a half sister to 1963 Alabama Stakes winner Tona and 1969 Yankee Gold Cup Handicap winner Jean-Pierre. Bred mostly to second- and third-tier stallions, Avie vindicated her bloodlines by producing 1980 American champion 2-year-old male Lord Avie (by Lord Gaylord), 1975 John B. Campbell Handicap (USA-G2) winner Jolly Johu (by Restless Native) and stakes winner Avum (by Umbrella Fella).
Lord Avie followed up on his racing success by becoming a good sire, but Avie's influence did not stop there. Avum's race record plus her family connections got her access to some of the best stallions of her day, and she made good use of her opportunities by producing 1986 Seminole Handicap (USA-G2) winner Minneapple (by Riverman), 1986 Las Flores Handicap (USA-G3) winner Baroness Direct (by Blushing Groom) and French stakes winner Lyphard's Princess (by Lyphard). Avum is also the second dam of 1991 Ohio Derby (USA-G2) winner Private Man and third dam of 2000 Donn Handicap (USA-G1) winner Stephen Got Even, 2012 Champions Mile (HK-G1) winner Xtension and Australian Group 3 winner Get Square.
Avie's other important daughter is Averell, a stakes-placed full sister to Jolly Johu. Averell produced listed stakes winners Harriman (by Lord Gaylord) and Dixie Accent (by Dixieland Band). She also produced Dame Avie, dam of four stakes winners including 1993 Norristown Handicap (USA-G3) winner Primitive Hall (by Dixieland Band); Skat Girl (by Dixieland Band), dam of multiple Grade 2 winner Ellafitz (by Tiznow) and listed stakes winner Andiamo (by Rubiano); and Full Figure (by Polish Numbers), dam of 2010 Potrero Grande Handicap (USA-G2) winner Ventana (by Toccet) and stakes winner Miss Challenge (by More Than Ready).
Dixie Accent was the only one of Averell's stakes-producing daughters not to come up with a graded stakes winner, but she did produce listed stakes winners Mumbo Jumbo and King of Dixie (both by Kingmambo) as well as the A.P. Indy gelding Muscle Car, a stakes winner over hurdles. Mumbo Jumbo, in turn, is the dam of 2018 La Prevoyante Handicap (USA-G3) winner Texting and listed stakes winner Trusty Temper (by Successful Appeal), and Dixie Accent is also the dam of listed stakes producers Munch n Grass (by Pleasant Colony) and Indy Go Go (by A. P. Indy). The last-named mare is the granddam of Double Crown through her Two Punch daughter Two Columbus, whose last reported produce is the 2018 Great Notion colt Espolon.
The likelihood that Double Crown will live up to his name by taking a couple of Triple Crown races is slim even in topsy-turvy 2020 as this family has not come up with a member capable of winning a Grade 1 race or the equivalent over more than 9 furlongs since Tona, whose sire Nashua was all the stamina influence needed. Nonetheless, this is a solid family that has managed to keep on turning out nice horses generation after generation, and there are far worse things to be said of any female line than that.
Who was the first Kentucky Derby winner to break his maiden while racing in Florida?
Earlier today, the 6-year-old Raven's Pass mare Nisreen became a stakes winner by winning the listed Prix Dahlia. Outside of the fact that it was one of the few stakes races contested within the last week (thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic), her effort would not have drawn much attention except for one rather unusual detail: She was in foal to Le Havre at the time and, further, is expected to race two or three more times before standing down in August to continue her pregnancy in more conventional fashion.
Racing in-foal mares has never been common practice among Thoroughbred breeders but is not unprecedented. No less a broodmare than Mowerina---later the dam of English Classic winners Donovan and Semolina, as well as the high-class Raeburn---raced while pregnant with her first foal, and that foal, under the name of Modwena, won nine races including the Portland Plate and Chesterfield Stakes.
Racing a mare after she has already become a mother is much rarer, but at least one matron not only managed the feat but was a better racer during the second part of her split career than the first. Adding to her uniqueness, she was highly successful in both phases of her broodmare career, producing a Kentucky Broodmare of the Year during her first stint in the paddocks and a Kentucky Derby winner after her permanent retirement from racing.
A daughter of 1937 Triple Crown winner War Admiral and the juvenile stakes winner Betty Derr (by Sir Gallahad III out of the juvenile stakes winner Uncle's Lassie), Iron Maiden was an adequate but far from exceptional racer at 2 and 3. During those seasons, she won four of 19 starts and placed in another six. Given the precocity of her dam and granddam, there was no particular reason to expect that Iron Maiden would improve further, and so off to the paddocks she went for a 1945 assignation with Beau Pere.
The following spring, the mating resulted in Iron Reward, who would prove a useless race mare but produced 1956 American Horse of the Year Swaps and two other stakes winners for Rex Ellsworth, as well as 1962 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year Track Medal. Iron Reward's accomplishments made her the Kentucky Broodmare of the Year in 1955, the year that Swaps won the Kentucky Derby.
In the meantime, owner "Tiny" Naylor sold Iron Maiden to Ellwood. B. Johnston sometime in 1946, and Johnston put the young broodmare back into training. Why he did so is now a mystery, but it turned out to be a sound decision as Iron Maiden came back tougher and better than before. She made 22 starts as a 6-year-old of 1947, and her six wins that year included a defeat of males in the Del Mar Handicap on September 20. The following year, Iron Maiden made another 20 starts, and while she won only twice, she added two more stakes placings to her tally before retiring with a final record of 12 starts and 20 placings from 61 starts.
During Iron Maiden's last busy season, Johnston took her off the track long enough to breed her to his stallion Old English (the namesake for his Old English Rancho), a mating that produced the colt Iron Monocle in 1949. Iron Monocle could not win or place even once in 10 tries, though this probably had less to do with Iron Maiden's racing during her pregnancy than with the fact that Old English was a pretty poor sire. By the time Iron Maiden was ready to be bred again, however, Johnston had sold her to Calumet Farm. That gave her access to Calumet's five-time American champion sire Bull Lea, and she ended up producing four foals in five years by him, interrupted by a tryst with Sun Again. The Sun Again foal proved useless, but the three colts by Bull Lea were all winners, and each was better than the last. The first, All Power, was his dam's first winner and captured four of 18 starts; the second was three-time juvenile stakes winner Trentonian; and the third was Iron Liege, who scored an upset win over eventual National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame members Bold Ruler, Gallant Man and Round Table in the 1957 Kentucky Derby.
Iron Maiden's last Bull Lea foal was a filly named Miss Grundy, who never raced but became a stakes producer, and two other daughters by other sires became the first or second dams of stakes winners. In 1964, the aging mare closed out her production record with the On-and-On colt Azcay, who won a division of the 1968 Boardwalk Handicap. Iron Maiden died in 1964 and was buried in the Calumet Farm horse cemetery.
Neither Iron Liege nor Iron Maiden's other two stakes-winning sons were of much use as sires, and Iron Maiden's long-term influence on pedigrees has been through the descendants of Iron Reward. Still, that is more than many an equally well-bred mare has accomplished by following a more conventional career path and is worth remembering as a unique addition to American racing and breeding history.
The famous all-scarlet silks of the Morris family were most frequently seen on the New York circuit in the late 19th and early 20th century but made an appearance in the Churchill Downs winner's circle when Manuel carried them to a Kentucky Derby victory in 1899 for brothers Alfred Hennen Morris and Dave Hennen Morris. Who was the next stakes winner to win under those silks at Churchill Downs, and what was the race?
Is Charlatan for real? Maybe so, maybe no for 10 furlongs in America's toughest test for 3-year-olds, but he was real enough for the Derby that did run on the first Saturday in May---not the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (USA-G1), but a division of the Arkansas Derby (USA-G1). Perhaps lucky to avoid drawing into the tougher division dominated by his stablemate Nadal, he was nonetheless a convincing and impressive winner against the competition he did have, and that is all one can ask.
Charlatan descends from the strongest of the surviving old American families that cannot be traced back with certainty to one of the Bruce Lowe taproot mares. This is American Family 4, whose known descendants all trace back to Fanny Maria, a mare foaled close to 1815. Sired by Andrew Jackson's stallion Pacolet, Fanny Maria's distaff lineage ends in a question mark after one comes to her granddam, an unnamed daughter of Medley, but there is no questioning the quality of what the old mare sent forward. Among other notables, the A4 family includes five Kentucky Derby winners, the most recent of which is 2014 hero California Chrome.
Charlatan's link to California Chrome is rather distant, as their shared ancestress, the Beau Pere mare Judy-Rae, is seven generations back both their distaff lines. While Chrome descends from the Princequillo mare Princess Matoaka, Charlatan traces back to Princess Matoaka's half sister Judy Rullah (by Nasrullah), whose last foal was a 1970 Raise a Native filly named Juke Joint.
Second in the Sorority Stakes at 2 and the winner of Churchill Downs' Regret Stakes at 3, Juke Joint produced one stakes winner in Dancing School (by Dance Spell), but her overall broodmare record can be judged by the fact that she changed hands for only US$4,000 at the 1989 Keeneland November mixed sale---this when covered by Lord At War---and for just US$5,000 at the same sale a year later, this when believed in foal to Rich Cream. Those prices were justified by the results, as she slipped her Lord At War foal and the Rich Cream foal (named Whistle Stop Cafe) proved virtually worthless. In between Dancing School and Whistle Stop Cafe, however, Juke Joint had secured her lineage by producing the Quack filly Out of Joint.
Out of Joint failed to win in eight tries, but her mating to 1979 Prix Quincey (FR-G3) Lypheor in 1986 produced a much better runner. This was Appealing Missy, who was a listed stakes winner in France and won the 1991 California Jockey Club Handicap (USA-G3) and 1992 Buena Vista Handicap (USA-G3) in the United States. Appealing Missy, in turn, produced Grade 2-placed listed stakes winner Statement (by Seattle Slew) and stakes-placed Appealing Kris (by Kris S.), dam of 2006 Top Flight Handicap (USA-G2) winner Rahys' Appeal (by Rahy).
Court of Appeal, Appealing Missy's 2003 filly by Deputy Minister, never raced but also managed to come up with a good runner. This was Authenticity (by Quiet American), a late bloomer who won the 2013 La Troienne Stakes (USA-G2) and Shuvee Handicap (USA-G3) as a 6-year-old and placed in four Grade 1 races that year. Charlatan is the second foal of Authenticity, whose first foal is the minor stakes winner Hanalei Moon (by Malibu Moon).
Juke Joint's family has never been prolific in turning out really good horses, but it has never gone fallow long enough to let its good genes die out; Charlatan is ample testimony to that. The question now is whether the son of American champion sprinter Speightstown is simply a brilliant miler who has been able to take advantage of circumstances and the fact that he has had things his own way thus far or if he, like another lightly raced Bob Baffert trainee named Justify, carries within him the potential to be even more. Regardless, with both sire and dam taking time to reach their best form, he is likely to improve so long as he can avoid injury, and that is a prospect to have his connections jumping for joy.
This National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame jockey, a top rider of the mid-20th century, made a bad mistake when he attempted to claim foul in a hotly contested stakes race in which most observers thought his mount had repeatedly initiated contact with its rival. Not only did the film camera confirm the eyewitnesses' impression, but it caught the claimant swinging an elbow into his fellow rider's ribs just as their mounts crossed the finish line. The result of the film review was a disallowed foul claim, an indefinite suspension for the rough rider (later commuted to 30 days) and a $200 fine for the frivolous foul claim. Who was the rider guilty of this bit of chutzpah, and what race was he riding in?
I'm Avalyn Hunter, an author, pedigree researcher and longtime racing fan with a particular interest in Thoroughbred mares and their contributions to the history of the breed.