Vanessa is right. Affectionately (Swaps x Searching) and Tim Tam (Tom Fool x Two Lea) are the two Hall of Fame members whose sires and dams are also members of the Hall of Fame.
There are two horses in the Library who (1) are members of the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame, (2) are sired by members of the Hall of Fame and (3) are out of members of the Hall of Fame. Name them.
Chris is correct---it's the great Sarazen. John Madden's comment regarding his origins was a little exaggerated, but his sire, High Time, was plagued with both respiratory bleeding and unsound forelegs and was notorious for stopping in his races after showing early speed, while his dam Rush Box was supposedly put to farm work. A two-time American Horse of the Year, Sarazen showed high-class form for five straight years before becoming a sulker who refused to race.
According to one well-known trainer, this American champion was sired by a "quarter horse" and foaled from a "plow mare." The horse outran his unfashionable pedigree to beat the best of his contemporaries at up to 10 furlongs and also accomplished the rare feat of defeating his elders in a stakes event as a juvenile. Name him.
Co-Horse of the Year in the United States in 1970, Fort Marcy was the first horse to reach American racing's highest honor based primarily on turf form. A three-time American champion turf runner, Fort Marcy was named for a Union fort in Virginia.
Monique Rene may or may not have been the kind of mare Leon Rasmussen had in mind when he put out his namesake hypothesis of inbreeding to "superior females." A Louisiana-bred by stakes-placed Prince of Ascot out of the undistinguished winner Party Date, by the equally undistinguished Speedy Frank, she certainly couldn't boast a fashionable pedigree. And while she outran that pedigree in remarkable fashion to become the queen of Louisiana racing in the early 1980s, she was still no glamour girl by national standards. She retired without ever having won or placed a graded stakes, and she earned black type outside the Pelican State only once.
Calling Monique Rene a "superior female" based on her production record might be something of a stretch as well. Not that she did badly: her produce included 1995 Ark-La-Tex Handicap (USA-G3) winner Prince of the Mt. (by Mt. Livermore) and his stakes-placed full brother Mt. Rene. Further, her record might have been better had she not spent half her career being put to indifferent sires. Nonetheless, she was not exactly the kind of blue hen breeders dream of having in their paddocks even though two of her daughters did become graded stakes producers: Ronique (by Raise a Native), dam of 2000 Pegasus Handicap (USA-G2) winner Kiss a Native (by Kissing Kris), and Clever Monique (by Clever Trick), dam of 1999 Frank J. de Francis Memorial Dash Stakes (USA-G1) winner and successful sire Yes It's True, by Is It True. (For good measure, Clever Monique also threw listed stakes winner Honest Deceiver, a full sister to Yes It's True.)
Here the plot---and the genetics---thicken. Having acquired Monique Rene's daughter Walk Away Rene (by the Grade 3-winning Mr. Prospector horse Gold Alert), the late John Franks proceeded to mate her to Yes It's True, setting up a 3x2 cross to Monique Rene. The resulting filly, Catch My Fancy, caught enough potential buyers' fancy that she sold for US$50,000 as a yearling and US$150,000 as a 2-year-old in training. While she didn't quite win herself out, she did win two minor stakes in California and showed good enough form at 2 and 3 that she sold for US$195,000 in February of her 4-year-old season.
The 2008 mating of Catch My Fancy to Malibu Moon followed a pattern familiar to students of the 17th Earl of Derby's stud. While providing an outcross to the Monique Rene inbreeding in Catch My Fancy, the mating set up a 3x4 cross to Mr. Prospector as well as a 5x5 cross to the great racer and sire Bold Ruler. The resulting filly, Catch the Moon, never raced and was bred as a 3-year-old to multiple Grade 1 winner Colonel John. This stacked up another layer of the same inbreeding/outcrossing pattern, for while Colonel John's pedigree is free of Monique Rene, Mr. Prospector and Bold Ruler, the foal produced by this mating---2015 Iroquois Stakes (USA-G3) winner Cocked and Loaded---is inbred 5x4 to Seattle Slew and 5x5 to Mr. Prospector's sire Raise a Native.
This pattern of inbreedings to and through quality animals that reinforce different parts of the pedigree does not guarantee a good horse as a result, but when one does emerge, it is often blessed with genetic prepotence as well as racing ability. Cocked and Loaded is, of course, years away from proving that point, and while he looks like a nice colt, he has some improvement to make if he is to be ranked among the leaders of his crop. Nonetheless, it is nice to think that he owes some of the ability he has already shown to a tough mare from Louisiana and an unconventional breeder who wasn't afraid to double up on genes he considered worth preserving.
Named for a Civil War site, this champion was the first to earn American Horse of the Year honors primarily based on turf form. Name him.
After being derailed from a brief but brilliant 2014 campaign by injury, Wise Dan has reached the end of the trail. All indications from his works have been that the heart and talent are still there, but his aging legs are no longer up to the stress. And so his quest for a comeback and for a chance at a third victory in the Breeders' Cup Mile (USA-G1) has come to an end.
Wise Dan could probably still race, given time to heal from the small tendon tear discovered this morning. But it is better this way. He will not leave the track as a sad shell of his former self or---worse---in a horse ambulance. He leaves racing with the memory of his devastating turn of foot and his gritty determination undiminished, the same qualities that made him a two-time Horse of the Year.
Some may criticize the gelding for what he did not do. Unlike some great champions, he did not "sprint with the sprinters and stay with the stayers." He could, perhaps, have been more than he was. Nonetheless, owner Morton Fink and trainer Charles LoPresti made the decision to make a specialist of him, and who can really quibble? For three consecutive years, he was the best horse in North America at 8 to 9 furlongs on turf. For two of those years, he was so superb at what he did that he was considered the best American horse in training.
In truth, most of the horses that have earned Horse of the Year honors in the last few decades were specialists; their specialty was simply 9 to 10 furlongs on dirt. And few have dominated their slice of the racing pie the way Dan dominated his. Of Wise Dan's 23 career wins, 10 were Grade 1 races at 8 or 9 furlongs on grass. Just for a bit of spice, he threw in the 2011 Clark Handicap (USA-G1) on dirt. He also ran sub-1:32 miles twice, setting course records at Santa Anita and Woodbine, and put up a mark of 1:46.63 for 9 furlongs on Keeneland's Polytrack.
Wise Dan did not earn an official championship in 2014, but he saved the best for last anyway. After emergency colic surgery knocked him out of summer racing, the gelding returned with a nose victory in the Bernard Baruch Handicap (USA-G2). Although he conceded 8 to 13 pounds to his field, people still questioned whether he was the same horse he had been before.
Wise Dan answered those questions in the Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes (USA-G1) at Keeneland. Dead last in the early going, he had five lengths to make up at the top of the stretch. Anyone who thought he was done for didn't know Wise Dan. Down went his head, eyes flashing and nostrils flared. Out went his stride, quickening to a furious tempo. At the wire he was a length in front and pulling away.
It wasn't intended to be his swan song, but few horses have ever managed a better exit. Whether it was official or not, he went out as a champion, his knockout punch as hard and sharp as ever, his fighting spirit undiminished.
What happens next is up to Fink, LoPresti and Wise Dan. A second career may be in the offing, or a life of leisure, perhaps at the Kentucky Horse Park. But nothing can diminish what Wise Dan has accomplished or what he was: a champion in every sense of the word.
Thanks for the memories, Dan.
Bee Mac won the 1943 Spinaway Stakes and Hopeful Stakes---performances that probably would have gotten her a divisional championship in most years. Ranked 6th in a vintage year for 2-year-old fillies, Bee Mac went on to become a fine broodmare and helped launch the stud career of her sire, War Admiral.
It has to be utterly frustrating to see your horse turn in a Grade-1 winning performance, only to be run down in the final strides by a rival turning in an even more exceptional performance. This time, trainer Todd Pletcher could heave a sigh of relief. With no Honor Code in the Woodward Stakes (USA-G1), all Liam's Map had to do was produce a reasonable facsimile of his Whitney Stakes (USA-G1) run to earn his first Grade 1 win. He did, proving his race in the Whitney was no fluke and probably punching his ticket for a berth in the Breeders' Cup Classic (USA-G1).
Exactly how far this colt really wants to go is still open to question, but there is no question about his ability to get someplace fast and in a manner calculated to run the legs off of anything that tries to go with him. Crediting some of this speed to a granddam who couldn't get out of her own way in three starts may seen rather odd...until you take a look at her pedigree. Yada Yada, you see, is inbred 2x3 to two-time American champion sprinter Ta Wee, a daughter of 1959 American champion sprinter Intentionally and a half sister to 1968 American Horse of the Year Dr. Fager, also a two-time American champion sprinter. Adding to the interest of her pedigree, Yada Yada's sire Great Above is by Minnesota Mac, whose sire Rough'n Tumble also sired Dr. Fager.
The rest of the pedigree of Liam's Map has every appearance of having been carefully constructed to bring out the potential locked away in Yada Yada's genetics. When 2000 Vosburgh Stakes (USA-G1) winner Trippi was mated to Yada Yada, he brought crosses of two key elements to the table: the brilliantly fast Mr. Prospector, and the fleet miler In Reality, the best son of Intentionally and a maternal grandson of Rough'n Tumble through that stallion's best daughter, 1959 American champion 2-year-old filly My Dear Girl. The resulting filly, Miss Macy Sue, was, thus, inbred 5x4x5 to Intentionally through his best son and daughter and also carried a 6x4 cross to Rough'n Tumble.
After winning six stakes races, including the 2007 Winning Colors Stakes (USA-G3), Miss Macy Sue visited Unbridled's Song as her second mate. This mating packed in a second helping of complementary bloodlines, beginning with Unbridled's Song's sire Unbridled---a horse whose second dam, Charedi, is a daughter of In Reality and whose third dam, Magic, is a Buckpasser half sister to Dr. Fager and Ta Wee. As if that were not enough, Unbridled is by Fappiano, one of Mr. Prospector's best sire sons and a maternal grandson of Dr. Fager. Thus, Liam's Map pedigree shows crosses of 4x5 to Mr. Prospector, 5x5 to In Reality, 6x6x5x6 to Intentionally, 6x7x7x5 to Rough'n Tumble and 6x6x5x6 to Aspidistra, dam of Ta Wee, Dr. Fager and Magic. This is a pedigree heavily imprinted on both sides with the stamp of John Nerud and Tartan Farms and shows line breeding to strains proved compatible with one another many times over. Just to add one final touch to the picture, Prince Blessed, sire of Unbridled's Song's third dam, traces back in his tail-female line to Clonaslee, also the direct ancestress of In Reality.
A prettily constructed pedigree is no guarantee of racetrack success, but it has a better chance of turning out well on the track than a haphazard pairing built on sales appeal or convenience. And in this case, pretty is as pretty does.
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.