The connecting link between the two fillies is Imanative, who as implied by her name was sired by Native Dancer. Based on her racing career, there was no particular reason to expect that she would become a top broodmare, for she won only one of her 18 starts. She came from a good family, though, one that had been producing one or two good horses each generation, and although her dam Flolou (by My Babu) failed to produce any black type among her foals, Imanative made up for this with a vengeance by coming up with five.
None of Imanative's stakes winners were the stuff on which legends are based, but three graded stakes winners and two graded-placed stakes winners is an enviable producing record for any mare. The best of the bunch was Fairway Phantom, a son of two-time American champion sire What a Pleasure who won the 1981 Arlington Classic Stakes (USA-G1).
Imanative's sons did not do much at stud, and it has been left to her daughters to perpetuate her genes. While her stakes-winning daughter Marian Z. (by Gallant Man) is the second dam of two modest stakes winners, it is Imanative's non-blacktype daughters who have done the most to continue her lineage.
Ataire, a full sister to Fairway Phantom, is the second dam of 1992 Bay Shore Stakes (USA-G2) winner Three Peat and the third dam of 2003 Landaluce Stakes (USA-G3) winner Wacky Patty, but her achievements were easily eclipsed by her younger half sister Inreality Star (by In Reality). A full sister to 1985 Washington Park Stakes (USA-G2) winner Par Flite, Inreality Star produced Meadow Star (by Meadowlake) as her fifth foal. Meadow Star, in turn, is the second dam of two stakes winners and is the third dam of the brilliant Arrogate, the American champion 3-year-old male of 2016. Returning to Inreality Star, she also produced 1996 Hill Prince Stakes (USA-G3) winner Optic Nerve (by Majestic Light) and is the second dam of 2004 Berkeley Breeders' Cup Handicap (USA-G3) winner Snorter.
Fairway Star, a 1975 filly by Prince John out of Imanative, signaled that she too would make significant contributions to Imanative's family by producing multiple Grade 2 winner Wall Street Dancer (by Sovereign Dancer). Unlike most of his speedy, rather precocious family, Wall Street Dancer turned out to be a staying turf runner who could handle 12 furlongs just fine, but he had only a short stud career with indifferent results before dying of colic in 1998.
Really a Star, Fairway Star's 1982 daughter by In Reality, is the second dam of Argentine Group 2 winner Eridanus, but the branch of the family of most recent interest extends through Star of Fairway, a 1984 daughter of the good bread-and-butter sire It's Freezing. She produced two stakes winners by moderate stallions: New Haven, a gelded son of Simply Majestic, and Hi Tech Honeycomb, a Grade 2-placed stakes winner by Meadow Monster. Interestingly, both of these stakes winners were the result of low-budget versions of crosses previously successful with this family, as Simply Majestic is a son of Majestic Light and Meadow Monster is a son of Meadowlake. Adding to this theme of history repeating itself, Star of Fairway's 1995 Meadowlake filly Starry Lake, while not a black-type runner herself, produced stakes winner Grand Bank (by Dixieland Band).
Hi Tech Honeycomb's race record was sufficient to get her assignations to some solid sires, and the last of those matings paid off when she produced stakes winner Hitechnoweenie to a cover by Harlan's Holiday. The best of her dam's foals as a runner, she produced Tonalist's Shape as her first foal. Since then, she has produced a 2018 filly by Outwork and a 2019 colt by Connect before being bred to Tiznow.
Given the speed she has already shown, the ability to relax during a race, and the stamina potential bequeathed by her sire, Tonalist's Shape appears to have all the tools she needs to go forward as the distances stretch out. With a spot in the Kentucky Oaks now pretty much assured, her connections also have the luxury of being able to pick her spots between now and then. She still needs to prove herself away from Gulfstream Park and over distances greater than a mile, but on native ability, she seems to be as promising as any filly that has come out thus far this spring.