There have been countless great broodmares in the history of thoroughbred racing. Many mares have left behind numerous stakes winners, while others leave a more lasting legacy through their female line descendants.
One broodmare whose influence, both in South Africa and internationally, continues to grow every year is the North American tap root mare Kildeer, whose numerous top class descendants include two recent Kentucky Derby winners as well as a plethora of top class local performers. Among the top local performers who trace back to Kildeer in this country are new stallions Soft Falling Rain (National Assembly) and Jackson (Dynasty), classy sprinter Jade Bay (Jallad), as well as the very promising young sire Sail From Seattle (Gone West), while talented US stakes winner Stage Colony (Pleasant Colony), who used to stand in South Africa, is another to trace back to this influential tap root.
Stage Colony, while a poor sire overall, did leave behind Gold Cup winner Colonial Girl, and also ranks as the broodmare sire of this season’s high-class 3yo filly, Banbury (Horse Chestnut). A full brother to US champion and Breeders Cup winner Pleasant Stage, Stage Colony traces back to Kildeer through her daughter, Broom Flower (by Broomstick). This family has enjoyed huge success in North America in recent years, with its numerous top horses including US champion, I’ll Have Another (by exciting new South African sire Flower Alley), the winner of the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.
Other top performers descended from Broom Flower include the dual Breeders Cup winner and US champion, Beholder (Henny Hughes), leading young North American sire, Into Mischief (a Harlan’s Holiday half brother to Beholder), Grade 1 winners Class Play (Stage Door Johnny) and Pillastar (Riverman), and champion Argentinean sire, Incurable Optimist (Cure The Blues). The latter’s offspring include Argentine Horse Of The Year, Life Of Victory.
Broom Flower’s non winning granddaughter, Tedgal, is the ancestress of the outstanding broodmare Mining My Own (Smart Strike). Inbred to Kildeer herself, Mining My Own is the dam of 50-1 upset Kentucky Derby winner of 2009 Mine That Bird (Birdstone), as well as the ill-fated, $1.735 million earner Dullahan (Even The Score). To date, Mining My Own’s runners have already amassed over $4 million in stakes.
Another of Kildeer’s daughters to have a profound influence on the modern thoroughbred is Adriana, a daughter of Hamburg (Champion Sire in the USA in 1905). Her numerous high class descendants includes one of North America’s most influential stallions of modern times, Smart Strike (Mr Prospector). Smart Strike, a dual Champion Sire in the US, has been represented by over 100 stakes winners and his runners have amassed in excess of $116 million – and counting. The sire of promising stallions Curlin, English Channel and Lookin At Lucky, Smart Strike’s influence continues to grow in North America, and he has been represented by eight group/graded stakes winners in 2014 alone. His full brother, Strike Smartly, the broodmare sire of last season’s Grade 1 winning 2yo Guiness (Seventh Rock), enjoyed success during a tragically brief stud career in South Africa, with his top runners including the multiple Grade 1 winners Slumdogmillionaire and Smart Banker. Sail From Seattle, a three parts brother to Smart Strike and Strike Smartly, is another horse from this female line to have made his mark in this country – his first crop including Gr1 Grand Parade Cape Guineas hero Elusive Gold, as well as Gr2 Emerald Cup winner and millionaire, Tommy Gun.
Smart Strike and Strike Smartly are grandsons of the wonderful mare, No Class (also ancestress of SA runners Jackson, Jade Bay and Heartland). No Class, the dam of five Grade 1 winners/champions, traces back in female line directly to Adriana.
So too does Soft Falling Rain (National Assembly), South Africa’s Champion 2YO Colt of 2012 who stands his first season at stud in 2015. The former Gr1 SA Nursery winner traces back in female line to important US mare, Tonga (Polynesian), herself a high class juvenile who won the now Gr1 Del Mar Debutante and a direct descendant of Adriana. This branch of this potent family has accounted for numerous stakes races, with major races won by horses in this female line including the Kentucky Oaks, Prince Of Wales Stakes (Canada), Starlet Stakes, Brooklyn Handicap, Breeders Cup Marathon, New Zealand 2000 Guineas, and UAE 2000 Guineas.
Kildeer was foaled in North America in 1888. She was a daughter of the top class Australian racer Darebin, whose victories included the Sydney Cup and Victoria Derby, both races being now classified as Gr1. Darebin went on to enjoy considerable success at stud in North America and also succeeded as a broodmare sire, with his daughters producing the likes of Africander, Commando and Scottish Chieftain, all of whom won the classic Belmont Stakes. Commando enjoyed remarkable success at stud in a brief innings – from just 27 foals he left behind 10 stakes winners; a nearly unbelievable 38% of his foals were black type winners. They included unbeaten champion Colin, and the leading sires Celt and Peter Pan.
Kildeer was a tough and durable racemare who set a new track record, for 1600m, as a 4yo. She won or was placed in 10 recognised feature races, with her placed efforts including a creditable third in the Delaware Handicap, one of North America’s oldest and most prestigious races for fillies and mares.
Her descendants have enjoyed huge success over the past 100 years or so, and this powerful female line looks stronger than ever in the 21st century.