Rachel Alexandra's newborn foal by Curlin is a prime
example of breeding the best to the best. The colt's dam was the 2009 Horse of
the Year and his sire was the 2007 and 2008 Horse of the Year.
Male Horses of the Year are much more common than
female winners of the honor -- at least until the last three years -- so the
opportunities to pair them up in the breeding shed are limited. When they do
get together, the results can be quite good in some cases and have no
significant impact in others, based on modern era records.
The 1944 Horse of the Year, Twilight Tear (by Bull
Lea), produced two offspring by 1941 and 1942 Horse of the Year Whirlaway (by
Blenheim II) and one by 1943 Horse of the Year Count Fleet (by Reigh Count).
Both stallions were Triple Crown winners.
Coiner (by Whirlaway) captured the Speers Handicap
in 1952, the Polo Park Handicap in 1955, and the Harvest Handicap in 1957.
Foremost (by Whirlaway) won two of his 32 career races. Diamond Tear (by Count
Fleet) didn't race.
Twilight Tear's most accomplished foals were A Gleam
(by Whirlaway's sire Blenheim II) and Bardstown (by Alibhai). A Gleam finished
first eight times in added-money events, including the Hollywood Oaks, and
earned $251,395. Bardstown earned $628,752 while winning the Widener Handicap
twice (in 1959 and 1957) and finishing first 11 other times in stakes.
Moccasin (by Nantallah), the Horse of the Year in 1965 along with Roman Brother in the polls,
produced three foals by 1958 Horse of the Year Round Table and two by 1967
Horse of the Year Damascus. All three of her Round Table offspring -- Apalachee,
Brahms, and Indian -- were added-money winners.
Apalachee was a champion in England and Ireland. He
won the Observer Gold Cup (Eng-I) and the Gladness Stakes in Ireland in 1973.
He finished third in the Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) in 1974. Brahms captured
the 1976 Railway Stakes (Ire-III) and Indian scored in the 1975 Eden Park
Handicap at River Downs.
When paired with Damascus, Moccasin produced Belted
Earl, a champion sprinter and champion older horse in Ireland in 1982. He won
the Desmond Stakes (Ire-III) in 1981 and the Greenlands Stakes (Ire-III) in
1982. Moccasin's other Damascus offspring, Sandal, didn't race.
When bred to 1966 Argentine Horse of the Year and
Triple Crown winner Forli (by Aristophanes), Moccasin produced Scuff, who won
the Kilijaro Stakes at Hollywood Park along with divisions of the Ocean City
Stakes and Bally-Park Place Stakes at Atlantic City in 1983.
Moccasin also produced added-money winners by Tom
Rolfe and Coastal.
All Along, 1983's Horse of the Year, was also a
champion in France. When bred to Europe's 1971 Horse of the Year Mill Reef (by
Never Bend), the daughter of Targowice produced Along All, who triumphed in the
1989 Prix Greffulhe (Fr-II) and 1988 Prix des Chenes (Fr-III). Along All also
finished second in the Grand Criterium (Fr-I). All Along also produce a stakes
winner by Miswaki.
Lady's Secret (by Secretariat), the 1986 Horse of
the Year, produced three foals by 1977 Horse of the Year and Triple Crown winner
Seattle Slew (by Bold Reasoning) and two by 1998 Horse of the Year Skip Away
(by Skip Trial). Agnes Liner (by Seattle Slew) won one of her five career
races. Vigor (by Seattle Slew) finished third once in three career races. And
Sleepinginseattle (by Seattle Slew) didn't race.
Secret Stranger (by Skip Away) won one of his 12
career races. Bear Witness (by Skip Away) ran 16 times without winning,
placing, or showing.
Lady's Secret failed to produce a stakes winner by
any of the stallions that covered her. They included Alydar, Danzig, and Mr.
Prospector. There were five winners among her 12 named foals.
Azeri (by Jade Hunter), the 2002 Horse of the Year,
has been bred once each to 1992 Horse of the Year A.P. Indy (by Seattle Slew),
2000 European Horse of the Year Giant's Causeway (by Storm Cat), and 2004 Horse
of the Year Ghostzapper (by Awesome Again. Take Control (by A.P. Indy) won one
of his two career races. Arienza (by Giant's Causeway) won two of her five
races in 2011 and finished second in the Fantasy Stakes (gr. II). Wine Princess
(by Ghostzapper) is a 3-year-old and hasn't raced yet.
Take Control topped the Keeneland sale of 2-year-olds in training in April 2009,
bringing $1.9 million.
Busher, the 1945 Horse of the Year, wasn't bred to
any Horses of the Year. Her five reported foals included Jet Action (by Jet
Pilot), who wason the 1955 Washington Park Handicap, 1954 Withers Stakes, and
four other added-money events.
Tom Hall contributed to this story.