Humble Beginnings Long Forgotten

Hawaii name in Kentucky Derby & Oaks winners?

The legacy of Ethane was well and truly felt over the weekend, with her name cropping up in big race winners in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

She is the fifth dam of Saturday’s Gr1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes winner, Legal Eagle (Greys Inn).

Champion Legal Eagle

The latter, unbeaten in nine attempts over a mile, has now banked over R11 million in prize money, with the shrewdly campaigned Legal Eagle having captured eight Gr1 wins thus far.

While the Mehrali sired Ethane may not have achieved much as a racemare  – she won just once over 1000 metres –  the mare more than made up for it at stud.

From 13 foals, Ethane left behind nine winners, including the outstanding half-brothers Hawaii (Utrillo II) and William Penn (Netherwood).

Hawaii was a champion in both South Africa and the USA, and enjoyed a highly successful stud career, with his progeny including Epsom Derby winner, Henbit, and Kentucky Oaks winner, Sun And Snow, while his paternal half-brother, William Penn, was also an outstanding racehorse, whose victories include five races officially classified as Gr1 races.

William Penn, who returned to racing after a brief stint at stud, also beat his illustrious half-brother Hawaii when second in the 1968 Durban July (William Penn was conceding Hawaii 4.5kgs on that occasion).

William Penn

William Penn

In total, Ethane’s tally of winners included five official black type winners and she is the ancestress of numerous other high class racehorses. She is also third dam of Gr1 Allan Robertson Fillies Championship winner, Fair Model (Model Man), and fourth dam of Cape Derby hero, Bold Chieftain (Singh). The high class stakes winners Al’s Dancer (Al Mufti), Gulliver’s Travels (Hard Up), and brilliant sprinter, Military Song (Song Of Songs), are others descended from Ethane.

Ethane herself descended from one of the true pillars of the stud book-Illuminata. The latter produced 2000 Guineas and Epsom Derby winner, Ladas, and the influential 1000 Guineas winner, Chelandry, whose numerous high class descendants included champion Australian sire, Magpie, dual English classic winning filly, Saucy Sue, St Leger winner, Book Law, and important sire, Tudor Melody.

Her brilliant son Hawaii occurs twice in the pedigree of one of the world’s most talked about three-year-olds. The unbeaten Bob Baffert trained Justify (Scat Daddy) made it three wins from as many outings when romping to a three length win over early Kentucky Derby favourite Bolt D’Oro (Medaglia D’Oro) in Saturday’s G1 Santa Anita Derby.



He now looks a leading contender for the 2018 Kentucky Derby, the first leg of USA’s Triple Crown. Justify carries Hawaii through both his sire Scat Daddy and broodmare sire Ghostzapper. Scat Daddy is a grandson of the very successful stallion, Hennessy (produced by the Hawaii mare Island Kitty), while Ghostzapper, (one of the most brilliant and versatile racehorses produced in North America), traces back in female line to Hawaii’s very successful daughter, Sailaway. Should Justify win the 2018 Kentucky Derby, he will not be the first horse to do so carrying the name of Hawaii in his pedigree, with 1992 Kentucky Derby winner, Lil E Tee (At The Threshold). being a grandson of the above mentioned Sailaway.

Sailway’s name, and thus Hawaii’s, look to live on in major pedigrees for years to come with her descendants include the hugely successful half-brother sires, Ghostzapper (Awesome Again) and City Zip (Carson City), both of whom have a number of sire sons at stud.

Ghostzapper is also shaping up as a broodmare sire of note, with Justify the third Gr1 winner produced by his daughters.

Other standouts produced by Ghostzapper mares include US champion sprinter, and now Japan based stallion, Drefong (Gio Ponti) and Test Stakes winner, American Gal (Concord Point).

Hawaii’s grandson, Hennessy, also appears in the pedigree of Saturday’s impressive G1 Ashland Stakes winner, Monomoy Girl (Tapizar). The latter, a first G1 winner for her sire, is out of the mare Drumette, a daughter of the Hennessy sired dual Gr1 winner, Henny Hughes. Henry Hughes made his mark as the sire of multiple US champion and triple Breeders’ Cup winner, Beholder.

Crusade (Mr Greeley – La Traviata)

Hennessy’s champion son, Johannesburg, is enjoying considerable success as a broodmare sire, and is damsire of recent Gr3 Robert Lewis Stakes winner, Lombo, dual Oaks winner, Seventh Heaven, and Gr1 winner and promising KZN sire, Crusade.

Hennessy’s own dam, Island Kitty, a sister to Cape Flying Championship winner but poor sire, Springing Leopard, was a smart racemare who won four and who was third in the Gr1 Matron Stakes.

At stud, Island Kitty produced not only US Champion 2YO Sire, Hennessy, but also Pearl City (Carson City), whose six wins included the Gr1 Ballerina Handicap. Island Kitty’s son, Shy Tom (Blushing Groom), was a dual Gr3 winner in the US, finishing second in the Gr1 Man O’War Stakes. Shy Tom left his mark on the stud book when he sired Argentine Horse Of The Year, and Triple Crown hero, Refinado Tom.

Monomoy Girl, a winner of five of her six starts, now looks a leading contender for the Kentucky Oaks. Could the name of Hawaii be found in both the Kentucky Derby and Oaks winners this year?

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