Sired by 2007 King’s Bishop Stakes (USA-G1) winner Hard Spun, who has been Danzig’s most consistent sire son in North America, Elysian Field is the third foal of the winning Smart Strike mare Elysian, a mare purchased by breeder David Anderson’s Anderson Farms for US$100,000 from the 2018 Keeneland January mixed sale. Sold on for US$35,000 at the 2021 Keeneland November sale, Elysian has since produced a 2022 Collected filly and a 2023 filly by Union Rags. She has one other winner to her credit, the 2019 Honor Code gelding Hidden Honor.
A half sister to multiple stakes-placed Forward Thinker (by Indian Charlie), Elysian is out of 2007 Glorious Song Stakes (CAN-L) winner Initiation, one of four stakes winners produced from the Mt. Livermore mare Proposal. The best of the others was Inspired (by Unbridled’s Song), a six-time stakes winner over sprint distances, and the prowess of Initiation and her siblings over shorter trips may have been one reason for the selection of Smart Strike as her mate for the breeding that produced Elysian, seeking to bring a bit more staying power to the mix. A similar approach has likewise had happy results with 2023 Preakness Stakes (USA-G1) winner National Treasure (by Quality Road), whose dam Treasure is a Medaglia d’Oro half sister to Initiation.
Proposal, who was second in the listed Dearly Precious stakes as a juvenile, is a full sister to multiple sprint Grade 3 winner Multiple Choice. She is a half sister to Lady Godiva (by Unbridled’s Song), dam of 2018 Clark Handicap (USA-G1) winner Leofric (by Candy Ride), and to Lemon Lady (by Lemon Drop Kid), dam of 2020 Belgian champion miler Barbados Bob (by Speightstown) and listed juvenile stakes winner Lemon Juice (by Johannesburg).
Produced from Lady of Choice (a Storm Bird half sister to 1998 Ashland Stakes, USA-G1, winner Well Chosen and Grade 3 winner In Contention), Proposal belongs to a female family that, further back, is responsible for 1946 American Triple Crown winner Assault and the immortal Man o’ War. This branch of Bruce Lowe family 4-c has never been prolific in its production of stakes horses, but it has produced some outstanding individuals from time to time.
Elysian Field has yet to prove herself one of those individuals, but preliminary indications are that she may attempt to take another step up in four weeks by tackling males in Canada’s premier Classic, the King’s Plate (which will be having its first renewal since the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the accession of King Charles III). No one now living knows better how to develop a top Canadian runner than Casse, whose previous two Plate winners were the fillies Lexie Lou (2014) and Wonder Gadot (2018). Both ended their three year-old seasons as Canada’s Horse of the Year, and if Elysian Field can duplicate their triumphs in the Plate, she may be well on her way to collecting similar honors at year’s end.