As the Natalma is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly Turf (USA-G1) at Santa Anita, She Feels Pretty appears to be headed for the same venue at which her sire Karakontie scored his biggest success. A son of Storm Cat’s fine sire son Bernstein from the family of two-time Breeders’ Cup Mile (USA-G1) winner Miesque, Karakontie upheld his great-granddam’s honor at 30-1 odds in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Mile, staged that year at Santa Anita. The first Japanese-bred to win a Breeders’ Cup race, he had previously been both a top 2-year-old and a Classic winner in France, having won the 2013 Jean-Luc Legadere-Grand Criterium (FR-G1) and the 2013 Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French Two Thousand Guineas, FR-G1).
At stud at Gainesway Farm, Karakontie got his first Grade/Group 1 winner last year when Spendarella won the Del Mar Oaks (USA-G1). Thus far, he has sired 110 winners and 11 stakes winners from 277 named foals of racing age, and he seems to do best with mares returning Miesque, members of her immediate family, or Nureyev (Miesque’s sire) in their pedigrees. She Feels Pretty is the first stakes winner from his 2021 crop, and while her distaff-side pedigree is free of Miesque and Nureyev, she doubles up two other important strains from the distaff side of Karakontie’s pedigree. The filly is 4x4 to to-time American champion sire Halo (sire of Karakontie’s broodmare sire, Sunday Silence and paternal grandsire of She Feels Pretty’s broodmare sire, More Than Ready) and 4x4 to Woodman, broodmare sire of both Karakontie’s dam Sun Is Up and More Than Ready). In addition, she carries a 5x5 cross to 1958 American Horse of the Year and champion sire Round Table, as well as 5x5x5 duplications of the ubiquitous Northern Dancer.
She Feels Pretty is the second foal produced from More Than Ready’s daughter Summer Sweet, whose first foal, the 2020 Super Saver filly Lakeside Music, won her only start. (The mare’s other foals are a 2022 colt by Good Magic and a 2023 filly by American Pharoah.). A winner herself on turf, Summer Sweet is a half sister to turf stakes winners Adirondack Summer (by Thunder Gulch) and Summer Breezing (by Langfuhr). Another half sibling, the 2011 Arch mare Summer Solo, ran third in the 2014 Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes (USA-G1) and is the dam of 2023 Selene Stakes (CAN-G3) winner Solo Album (by Curlin) and Grade 2-placed listed stakes winner Maedean (by Tapit), who bucked the family trend by picking up her stakes score in the 2019 Tempted Stakes (USA-L) as a juvenile on dirt. Summer Sweet’s dam Summer Solstice (by French champion 3-year-old male and successful sire Caerleon, a son of Nijinsky II) continues the turfy theme; winner of the listed Prix de Thiberville as a 3-year-old in France, she is a half sister to multiple French Group 1 winner Act One (by In the Wings).
Although She Feels Pretty has run only twice (winning both times), the Natalma drew a 13-horse field and should have provided a good seasoning experience for the filly, who ducked in just after coming off the final turn before straightening away for her run. The main question mark from the race may be Godolphin hopeful Dazzling Star, who ran a good race to finish third after getting off to a poor start; it is possible that a clear getaway for her might have changed the result, or at least made it closer. Regardless, this was a nice win for a promising filly, and it will be interesting to see how she follows up at Santa Anita on November 3.