Tony Ann is a fifth-generation descendant of Itsabet, the foundation mare for Harry Isaacs’s Brookfield Farm. Like Fred Hooper down in Florida, Isaacs was something of a maverick, making use of his own homebred sires and of lines better known for soundness and toughness than for briliance and fashion. His results can hardly be faulted, as he developed a family that has had remarkable worldwide influence.
Itsabet was the first stakes winner to carry Isaacs’s colors, and she was a nice racer by anyone's standards. The daughter of two-time American champion sire Heliopolis and the Rolled Stocking mare Jayjean won four sprint stakes during her career including the 1948 Colonial Handiap and Prioress Stakes, suggesting that she was probably at least the equivalent of a modern Grade 3 winner. Following her retirement to the paddocks, she produced the stakes winners Ifabody (by Brookfield) and Isendu (by Inyureye), but her true gift to her breed was through her daughters.
The main branches of Itsabet’s family extend through Ironically (by two-time San Juan Capistrano Handicap winner Intent) and Iaround (by Round Table). The former is the ancestress of 1975 American champion 2-year-old filly Dearly Precious, 2000 European Horse of the Year and three-time American champion sire Giant’s Causeway, 1982 Oaks d’Italia (ITY-G1) winner Ilenia, and English Group 2 winner You’resothrilling, the dam of European Classic winners Marvellous, Gleneagles, and Joan of Arc as well as Irish Group 1 winner Happily. The latter is the ancestress of Grade/Group 1 winners Leroy S., Is Your Pleasure, Little Baby Bear, So Factual, and I Believe I You and is also the granddam of 1977 Irish champion 2-year-old filly Sookera, whose daughter Kerali is the second dam of American champions Leroidesanimaux, Banks Hill, and Intercontinental as well as Canadian Horse of the Year Champes Elysees.
Is Certain, Itsabet’s 1966 daughter by 1963 Wood Memorial Stakes winner No Robbery (by Swaps), is less accomplished but not inconsequential. The dam of 1976 Riggs Handicap (USA-G3) winner Surely Royal (by Young Emperor), she also produced Grade 2-placed stakes winner In True Form (by multiple stakes winner Imasmartee, by Amerigo) and the winning Cormorant mare I’m Well Bred, second dam of 1998 Jersey Derby (USA-G2) winner Who Did It and Run.
In True Form also became a multiple stakes producer, throwing multiple restricted stakes winner Top of Our Game (by Steinlen) and claiming stakes winner Truly Needy (by Yukon), in turn the dam of 2004 Native Diver Handicap (USA-G3) winner Truly a Judge (by Judge T. C.). In addition, she produced Freedom Dance (by Irish Group 3 winner Moscow Ballet, by Nijinsky II), who won nine of her 17 starts without gaining black type. Freedom Dance, in turn, produced 2008 Ancient Title Breeders’ Cup Stakes (USA-G1) winner Cost of Freedom (by Cee’s Tizzy) and the winning In Excess mare Never Ever, who produced Tony Ann as her eighth foal and most recently foaled 4-year-old Midnight’s Girl, a winning daughter of Midnight Storm.
While Caravel will go on to the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint if all goes well, further plans have not yet been announced for Tony Ann. While most breeding farms would be more than happy to welcome her to their broodmare band, it can be hoped that she will get at least another chance or two to demonstrate her class and her courage before she goes to the paddocks.