Bred in Kentucky by the Nuckols Brothers, Gleaming Stone was stakes-placed twice at 3 while racing in Canada and the American Midwest. She then joined the Sam-Son broodmare band, where she opened her producing career in unpromising fashion with three unmemorable foals by Grey Dawn II. Her one distinction during this period was in managing to produce live twins in 1982, but neither ever managed to win a race.
After the twin birth, Gleaming Stone had no foal in 1983 but was mated to Halo that spring. The result was a substantial improvement on her previous produce. Named Devilish Gleam (which perhaps says something for his temperament), the 1984 Halo colt won only twice from 23 starts but managed to score one of his wins in the 1986 Cup and Saucer Stakes. That was good enough to earn him a rating of 118 pounds on the Canadian Free Handicap for juvenile males. 8 pounds below his champion stablemate Blue Finn but tied for sixth in the division.
Devilish Gleam's full sister Radiant Ring was likewise born after her dam had failed to produce a live foal the preceding year (1987), and she was the last of Gleaming Stone's produce. She was also much the best. The winner of nine stakes races including the 1992 Matchmaker Stakes (USA-G2), she earned US$775,478 for Sam-Son while racing primarily on turf. She then proceeded to produce seven foals for Sam-Son, five of them fillies, before selling for US$1.1 million at the 2003 Keeneland November mixed sale with stakes winner Diamond Fever (by Seeking the Gold) in utero.
Radiant Ring's high price tag owed much to her two previous foals by Seeking the Gold. The lesser, the 2000 filly Seeking the Ring, raced only as a 3-year-old and won two stakes restricted to Canadian-breds; she was also second in the Labatt Woodbine Oaks. Retained as a broodmare by Sam-Son, she produced multiple Grade 3 winner Southern Ring (by Speightstown), who sold to Determined Stud for US$875,000 at the 2021 Keeneland January sale, in foal to Into Mischief.
Catch the Ring, Radiant Ring's 1997 filly by Seeking the Gold, was her best runner, winning the 2000 Canadian Oaks on her way to honors as that year's Canadian champion 3-year-old filly. She trained on at 4 to win the Maple Leaf Stakes (CAN-G3) and retired with seven wins and 10 placings from 25 starts. She then proceeded to throw 2006 Canadian champion 2-year-old filly Catch the Thrill (by A.P. Indy) as her first foal, providing Sam-Son with another homebred Sovereign Award winner. Catch the Thrill, in turn, is the dam of Curlin's Catch (by Curlin), who won the listed Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs in 2021 before selling for US$500,000 as a horse of racing age at the Keeneland November sale.
Catch the Ring did not produce any more stakes winners, and her unraced A.P. Indy daughter Catch the Flag likewise produced the stakes winner Checkered Past as her first foal and nothing else that has achieved any distinction. Checkered Past, nonetheless, may be enough to secure Catch the Flag's place in breeding annals. Her name is rather tongue-in-cheek as her pedigree is Sam-Son through and through, bringing in the family of No Class through her sire Smart Strike. A grandson of Sam-Son's foundation mare, Smart Strike (by Mr. Prospector) was a Grade 1 winner for Sam-Son on the track and a two-time American champion sire in the breeding shed. And if Checkered Past has not reached such exalted heights, she is not off to a bad start either. A two-time winner of the listed Trillium Stakes at Woodbine, she produced Messier as her third foal to a cover by Empire Maker. Barren in 2020, Checkered Past produced a 2021 filly by Candy Ride for Dr. Hartmut H. Malluche and Silesia Farm (which bought Checkered Past for US$290,000 at the 2021 Keeneland January sale) and was then bred to Authentic.
Messier will not bring any further glory to Sam-Son as a racing operation, as the historic farm dispersed the bulk of its stock in 2020-2021 and so is in the process of passing from the Canadian racing scene to which it contributed so much. As a result, Messier races for SF/Starlight/Madaket, which purchased him for US$470,000 from the 2020 Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearlings Showcase. Where they will race him this spring and summer remains to be seen, because Messier is in the barn of Bob Baffert and so is ineligible for points toward a starting berth in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (USA-G1) due to Baffert's ongoing suspension by Churchill Downs. It would be something of an irony if the suspension pushes the Ontario-foaled colt into contending for the Canadian Triple Crown rather than the American Triple Crown, but perhaps not unfitting given Messier's deep roots in a heritage created by one of Canada's most legendary farms.