This one's short and sweet. Who was the first winner of a Breeders' Cup race to gain induction into the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame?
At the time of her death in 2008, 1988 Kentucky Derby (USA-I) winner Winning Colors was, frankly, a disappointment. She had been bred to a collection of Kentucky's best sires, had failed to produce a single black-type stakes winner, and her daughters were not looking like much as broodmares, having only a Japanese Group III winner and a French listed stakes winner to their credit between them.
All of that changed on August 18, when Eskimo Kisses---a big, strong chestnut whose size and power are reminiscent of her famous granddam---charged to an upset victory in the Alabama Stakes (USA-I). A daughter of Winning Colors's last foal, the 2007 Mr. Greeley daughter Silver Colors, Eskimo Kisses is not likely to unseat Monomoy Girl as the top American 3-year-old filly of 2018, but she served notice that Winning Colors' genetic potential is still alive and well.
It has been observed by a number of well-known breeders that, even if a top race mare fails to produce to her own standard, her daughters are often worth retaining as broodmares. Silver Colors is a case in point. After five years of frustration during which Winning Colors failed to produce a live foal, Gainesway was rewarded with two fillies who were retained for the farm's broodmare band: Ocean Colors, a 2006 daughter of champion sprinter Orientate, and Silver Colors, who has now provided the farm with a top young broodmare prospect. (For the record, Gainesway owns Eskimo Kisses, a daughter of To Honor and Serve, in partnership with Harold Lerner, Andrew Rosen, Nehoc Stables, and Magdalena Racing.)
Stakes-placed Ocean Colors has so far not produced anything noteworthy, but Silver Colors had previously produced the stakes-placed Candy Ride gelding Silver Ride and may be poised for more accomplishments. Her 2017 Empire Maker colt, now a half brother to a Grade 1 winner, is slated to sell at Keeneland September, and the mare produced a Union Rags filly this spring.
Winning Colors' family has also shown some activity through her Mr. Prospector daughter Shbakni. The first foal of her dam, Shbakni never won, but she is the dam of 2014 Swiss champion steeplechaser Shaabek and is the second dam of three stakes winners including Line Honey, a champion sprinter in both the Czech Republic and Slovakia. While these accomplishments are not on the same level as producing a Grade/Group I winner in a major racing nation, they are still indications that Shbakni's branch of the family could come up with something good at any time, bringing more credit to the family of a champion whose colors are still flying.
Some female families tend to throw to the aptitudes of the sires they are crossed witt. Others, however, have distinct profiles of their own, and none fits this category better than that of Pasadoble, whose family just might be the best collection of milers on the planet.
Pasadoble herself was bred more along the lines of a long-distance specialist. A daughter of Prove Out, who conquered Secretariat in the 1973 Woodward Stakes (USA-I) over 12 furlongs before scoring in the two-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup (USA-I), she is a half sister to Silver Supreme, whose victory in the 1982 Brooklyn Handicap (USA-II) was also over 12 furlongs. Nonetheless, she won a couple of listed stakes over 1600 meters (about a mile) in France before going to the paddocks.
Perhaps because of the stamina inherent in her pedigree, Pasadoble was put primarily to sires who had shown top form over a mile, and she hit the jackpot with her first foal, a daughter of Nureyev. Named Miesque, the bay filly won 10 Grade/Group I races, including two editions of the Breeders' Cup Mile (USA-I), and won a total of nine championships in England, France, and United States. She then proceeded to throw Kingmambo and East of the Moon (by Mr. Prospector and Private Account, respectively) as her first two foals, and both became French Classic winners over the equivalent of a mile in addition to other triumphs.
Miesque's branch of the family has been a gift that keeps on giving. While Kingmambo became one of Mr. Prospector's more important sons at stud, East of the Moon became a Group III producer and is now the granddam of the brilliant Alpha Centauri (by Mastercraftsman, who just earned her fourth Group I success of 2018 by soundly thumping older males in the Prix Jacques le Marois. Miesque also produced listed stakes winner Moon Is Up (by Woodman), the dam of 2011 Thekwini Stakes (SAF-I) winner Amanee (by Pivotal) and the second dam of 2014 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French Two Thousand Guineas, FR-I) and Breeders' Cup MIle winner Karakontie, now a stallion at Gainesway.
As if this were not riches enough for any broodmare, Miesque has two more daughters who failed to win stakes but have made significant contributions of their own. Monevassia, a full sister to Kingmambo, produced 2005 European champion juvenile filly Rumplestiltskin (by Danehill) and, through her, is the second dam of 2014 Yorkshire Oaks (ENG-I) winner Tapestry; she is also the second dam of 2016 Dubai Turf Sponsored by DP World (USA-I) winner Real Steel. More recently, Mieque's Storm Cat daughter Second Happiness added another Classic success to the family by producing 2018 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby, FR-I) winner Study of Man (by Deep Impact).
Had Pasadoble done no more than produce Miesque, that would be quite enough to engrave her name permanently in bloodstock annals, but she did not stop there. Her stakes-winning daughter Massaraat (a full sister to Miesque) is the second or third dam of four Group II winners including Old Persian, winner of the King Edward VII Stakes at this year's Royal Ascot meeting, and Massaraat's Riverman half sister Yogya produced 2002 French champion 2-year-old filly Six Perfections (by Celtic Swing), who trained on to win the 2003 Prix Jacques Le Marois and Breeders' Cup Mile before adding to the family's accomplishments in 2018 with International Stakes (IRE-III) winner Yucatan (by Galileo).
With four Group stakes winners so far this year, two of them of Classic stature (Alpha Centauri and Study of Man) and one all but certain to be named a champion at year's end, Pasadoble's family continues to be a force in European breeding. And if Alpha Centauri can add to the family's laurels in the Breeders' Cup Mile, she will become the fourth member of Pasadoble's family to win the race, cementing Pasadoble's position as the mistress of the mile.
This fine racehorse was the first to top the rankings in four different countries for the same division in the same year and won Grade/Group I races in each of those countries. He has been equally international as a stallion, standing in Argentina, Australia, Japan, and the United States. Who is he?
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.