Notes from 2014 Breeders Cup

Deconstructing the Breeders Cup

The Hawaii effect

Hawaii

Hawaii

Legendary South African champion Hawaii enjoyed plenty of success during his time at stud in Kentucky. The only South African bred stallion ever to sire an Epsom Derby winner (son Henbit won in 1980), Hawaii left behind 39 stakes winners from 535 registered foals, with 7% of his foals winning black type races.

While Hawaii was a failure as a sire of sires, his name continues to be found in numerous top class thoroughbreds today – including a number of Breeders Cup victors.

As the broodmare sire of top class sire Hennessy, Hawaii’s named can be found in dual Horse Of The Year Wise Dan (a dual winner of the Breeders Cup Mile). In 2014, Hawaii’s named can be found in the pedigrees of the Breeders Cup winners Texas Red (Juvenile), Judy The Beauty (F&M Sprint), Dayatthespa (F&M Turf) and Work All Week (Sprint).

Quite an achievement for a South African bred champion!

Three Breeders Cup winners for two brothers

City Zip

City Zip

Half brothers City Zip (Carson City) and Ghostzapper (Awesome Again) enjoyed a notable Breeders Cup meeting in 2014. The pair, who were produced by Broodmare Of The Year Baby Zip, combined to produce three Breeders’ Cup winners in the two day championship event. Ghostzapper, himself winner of the Breeders Cup Classic in 2004, sired the first two (Judy The Beauty, Better Lucky) in the Filly & Mare Sprint, while the underrated sire City Zip (sire of four US Grade 1 winners in 2014) was responsible for Dayatthespa (F&M Turf) and Work All Week (Sprint). To date, City Zip and Ghostzapper have sired 94 stakes winners, with the promise of more to come.

City Zip ranks fourth on the 2014 US General Sires list, with Ghostzapper back in 13th position.

It is hard to remember another pair of half-brothers making such an impact on a single Breeders Cup meeting.

A stormy Breeders Cup

Storm Cat

Storm Cat

Not for the first time, Storm Cat line descendants really made their mark at the 2014 Championship meeting.

His greatest son Giant’s Causeway was responsible for 62-1 Gr1 Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies heroine Take Charge Brandi, while Giant’s Causeway colt, Carpe Diem, ran second in the Gr1 Breeders Cup Juvenile. Giant’s Causeway is also responsible for the former Breeders Cup Marathon hero Man Of Iron.

Storm Cat’s great grandson Into Mischief is the sire of Goldencents, who scored a repeat win in Friday’s Gr1 Breeders Cup Dirt Mile, while Storm Cat’s brilliant son Hennessy (himself runner up in the 1995 Juvenile) is the broodmare sire of 2014 Gr1 Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf hero Hootenanny (by Quality Road). The late Storm Cat son Bernstein, a multiple Champion Sire in Argentina, was represented by his first Breeders Cup winner in 2014, when his classic winning son Karakontie landed the Mile, at the rewarding odds of 30-1.

Storm Cat, who himself sired four Breeders Cup winners and is the broodmare sire of fellow Cup heroes Speightstown (Gone West) and Folklore (Tiznow), has left a lasting mark on the Breeders Cup races, and his momentum shows no sign of slowing down judging by the results of the 2014 meeting.

Rae’s classic legacy

Judy-Rae

Blue hen Judy-Rae

Descendants of the US blue hen Judy-Rae gave their notable ancestor a rare feat when running 1-3 in Saturday’s Gr1 Breeders Cup Classic. Bayern (Offlee Wild) won the $5 million race, with ever popular California Chrome (Lucky Pulpit) finishing a respectable third, beaten just over a neck.

Remarkably, between them, Bayern and California Chrome have won all of the Breeders Cup Classic, Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Santa Anita Derby and Pennsylvania Derby in 2014.  However, they have not been the sole stars of 2014, who have descended from Judy-Rae (by Beau Pere).

The leading sires Arch and Green Desert, both responsible for Breeders Cup winners, are among the numerous high class members of this family. Green Desert has enjoyed a superb year as a sire of sires in 2014, with his male line descendants including two of Europe’s outstanding performers of the year in Kingman (Invincible Spirit) and Taghrooda (Sea The Stars) respectively.

Arch, whose son Blame won the Gr1 Breeders Cup Classic and maternal grandson Uncle Mo landed the Juvenile, enjoyed another profitable year in 2014 with his runners including Gr1 Prix Vermeille runner up Pomology, and the graded stakes winners Grand Adventure (Gr2 King Edward Hcp), Newsdad (Gr2 Pan American Hcp) and Waterway Run (Gr3 Beaugay Hcp).

Turf’s star pedigree a puzzle

Main Sequence, whose win in Saturday’s Gr1 Breeders Cup Turf gave the gelding his fourth straight Gr1 victory, does not have the obvious pedigree of a genuine mile and a half star.

He is a son of a champion sprinter (in turn a son of top sprinter), out of a mare whose sire won his premier contest over five furlongs. Hardly the pedigree one would peg to produce one of the world’s top 2400m performers.

Aldebaran

Aldebaran

Main Sequence’s sire, Aldebaran, was a superb racehorse, and North America’s Champion Sprinter of 2003. While he did finish third in the Gr1 Hollywood Derby (over 1800m), the versatile Alderbaran showed his best form over 1400-1600m – and was hardly your customary, flat out speedster. He scored the biggest win of his career in the Gr1 Met Mile, and won two other Grade 1 races in his career. An impeccably bred horse, Aldebaran proved a poor sire, with Main Sequence his sole Gr1 winner to date. He is currently at stud in Japan.

Saturday’s Turf hero is out of Ikat, a Group 3 placed daughter of Pivotal, winner of the Gr1 Nunthorpe Stakes over 1000m. Ikat, was a useful filly despite only winning one race, scored the sole success of her career over 1400m.

Second dam Burning Sunset (by stamina influence Caerleon) is the dam of 2014 Gr1 Singapore Cup runner up Smoking Sun, and this is the same family as Oaks winning fillies Light Shift (by Kingmambo) and Northern Trick (by Northern Dancer).

Main Sequence’s damsire Pivotal is becoming an increasingly successful broodmare sire, with his daughters having previously produced such top class performers as Mayson (Gr1 July Cup), Winsili (Gr1 Nassau Stakes), Lucky Kristale (Gr2 Lowther Stakes) and Gospel Choir (Gr2 Yorkshire Cup).

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