Milady, Your Lady, Our Lady.....

Courtesy Becky Johnston

The Princess (Rachel Alexandra) got a jewel last weekend, but the Queen is not ready to give up her throne.  Zenyatta makes her much awaited seasonal debut at Hollywood Park in the mile and a sixteenth Grade 2 Milady Handicap.

Here are some interesting tidbits about the Milady and some of her past stars.

Zenyatta will carry 126 pounds in tomorrow’s renewal.  That will be one less pound than top weight carriers Bayakoa in 1990 and Taisez Vous in 1978. 

She can join Azeri, Paseana, Bayakoa, Adored and A Gleam as the only winners to repeat. All of them won their two Miladys in consecutive runnings, just like Zenyatta will attempt to do.

The Milady has produced 10 winners to go on to divisional championships and several more that hit the board won championships.  Hall of Fame members, a Horse of the Year and even a Hollywood Gold Cup winner lurks in the history.

The distance of the Milady has ranged from six furlongs to 1 1/8 mile.


The two-time winner of the Milady, A Gleam, won the 1952 edition as a three-year-old, one of only two fillies to do so.  She was part of a Calumet entry that included 1949 three-year-old champion, 1950 Handicap Female, and eventual Hall of Fame member Two Lea, who ran second.  Spanish Cream ran third both years in the seven-furlong event.

A Gleam won the first Milady in track record time of 1:21 3/5 for seven furlongs.  The next year she completed the seven eighths in 1:22 4/5


Countess Fleet, as the name implied, was a daughter of Triple Crown Winner Count Fleet.  In 1996, Countess Fleet would be the fourth dam of champion two-year-old filly Storm Song.  1955 was the beginning of a three-year stretch of six furlong renewals.  She won in 1:09 1/5 as a four-year-old.

1996 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies – Storm Song


Speedy Edie trained by Noble Threewitt took the fifth running of the Milady.  The four-year-old was bred by Clement Hirsch.  She ran the six panels in 1:10.


Coverit took this edition in her four-year-old season and defeated Pucker Up, who went on to be named champion handicap distaffer also as a four-year-old.  The time for the race was a speedy 1:09 1/5.


Honeys Gem gave William Shoemaker his first win in the race.  The four-year-old filly was the daughter of Louis B. Mayer’s Honeymoon (b.1943).  Honeymoon won such California staples as the Hollywood Oaks and the Hollywood Derby, the Santa Maria and the Cinema Handicap.  She was third in the Santa Anita Derby, second in the Hollywood Gold Cup during her three-year-old season and third the following year.   She raced into her seventh year.

Watch the three-year-old Honeymoon just miss getting the money in the 1946 Hollywood Gold Cup behind Fred Astaire’s Triplicate.


Silver Spoon marked the first Milady win for the silver-spooned Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney.  The four-year-old won the race in 1:34 4/5 over Honeys Gem. 

Silver Spoon was a great producer for the Whitney family and a member of racing’s Hall of Fame.  One of the mare’s granddaughters, Inca Legacy, was a mare that Mary Lou Whitney purchased to build back the Whitney Stable after her husband dispersed his stock in 1984.  Inca Legacy produced a Storm Cat filly for Mrs. Whitney in 1995, her name was Catinca.  She won such races as the Top Flight and First Flight, both Grade 2 events and this Grade 1 run in the 1998 Ruffian Stakes.

1998 Ruffian Handicap - Catinca

Inca Legacy also produced Gulch Legacy, the dam of this year’s runner-up in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, Stone Legacy.


Mountain Glory gave Noble Threewitt his third win in the Milady, running the mile in 1:34 3/5 in her five-year-old season.  The mare was ridden by Pete Moreno.  He was the 1961 George Wolf Memorial Jockey Award Winner.


Fortunate Isle was the four-year-old winner for this renewal in 1:35 4/5.  The filly went on to be the grand dam of the multiple graded winner of over $400,000 Mitterand.  Grade 2 Jerome Handicap winner, French Deputy was out of Mitterand. 

Here is the 1995 Jerome Handicap where the colt defeated Mr. Greeley, Suave Prospect, and Reality Road.


Fleet Treat became the second three-year-old to win this race and another California-bred.  She ran the race in 1:36.  She also won the Railbird and the Ramona during her campaign.  The filly went on to become grand dam to the popular Morning Bob who ran third in the Travers Stakes and in the Belmont Stakes behind Claiborne Farm’s Swale.


Desert Trial won the first running of the race to be run at a mile and a sixteeth and she did it in 1:42 2/5 as a four-year-old.  She won the Ramona twice, the Del Mar Oaks and ran third in the Del Mar Derby.  But Muriel Vanderbilt Adams’ filly saved her best producing for the breeding shed.  Her filly born in 1970 by In Reality was named Desert Vixen.  Harry Mangurian, Jr. purchased her for $40,000 from Mrs. Adams’ estate.  She won the three-year-old championship with eight straight wins posting such important scores as the Monmouth Oaks, Delaware Oaks, Test Stakes, Alabama Stakes, and Gazelle Handicap.   Here she is in the Beldame as a three-year old facing future Hall of Famer and champion Susan’s Girl.

1973 Beldame – Desert Vixen

Desert Vixen also posted victories in the Matchmaker Stakes (NTR 1:40 1/5) and Beldame Stakes (NTR 1:46 1/5) as a four-year-old, both Grade 1 wins.  She was elected to Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1979.

Aside from Desert Vixen, Desert Trial also produced the important Florida stallion, Valid Appeal by In Reality.  Valid Appeal has sired important stallions like Successful Appeal and Valid Expectations.  Great racemares such as Little Sister, Nannerl, Stormy but Valid, and Garden Gal.


William Haggin Perry’s Princessnesian and Desert Law were coupled in this edition of the Milady and they took home first and second prize.  Princessnesian, like her stablemate, was a four-year-old and she followed up with a win in the Hollywood Gold Cup the same year.  She ran the Milady in 1:41 2/5

Princessnesian is also the third dam of Grade 1 winner and successful sire Harlan’s Holiday.


Mr. Perry brought Desert Law back as a five-year-old and she won the Milady in 1:40 4/5.  Laffit Pincay, Jr. rode both.


This year the Milady had her first deadheat with Opening Bid and Street Dancer hitting the wire together in 1:35 4/5.  Both of the fillies were four years old. 

Opening Bid was the Oak Leaf winner during her two-year-old season.  She won the Santa Susana as a three-year-old.  She is the fourth dam of Dream of Summer who won the A Gleam, Rancho Bernardo, Apple Blossom, and placed in several other graded stakes.  She is also the second dam of graded stakes winner Somethingmerry.

Street Dancer set a track record in the Ramona Handicap of 1:48 4/5 and then lowered her mark by 3/5’s the next year.  She also won the Honeymoon, Palomar and the Santa Ana among others.  She produced Canadian Champion filly Street Ballet.  Street Ballet produced stakes winner Ponche and graded stakes winner Fleetstreet Dancer who won the Japan Cup Dirt. 


This edition brought us a six-year-old mare that could do it all.  Typecast was named champion handicap mare at the end of 1972 after she won the Gamely, Santa Monica, Hollywood Park Turf Invitational, Sunset Handicap and the Man O’War Stakes.  She won the Milady Handicap in 1:34 1/5, Glen Hill Farn’s Convenience ran third in the race.

June of 1972 brought about a great match race between Convenience and Typecast.  Here’s the exciting footage of the race.


Six-year-old Minstrel Miss under 118 pounds faced Fred Hooper’s three-year-old champion Susan’s Girl (now 4) carrying 128 pounds.  Minstrel Miss managed to defeat the champ going the mile and a sixteenth in 1:41 4/5. 

Jack Grossman’s filly danced in a lot of dances during her California career of four years, from her second in the Del Mar Debutante to her win in the Palomar at five to her six-year-old year where she won the Milady, Las Palmas, Ramona and Santa Ana while placing in the Vanity and other races. 

Susan’s Girl went on to do enough in her four-year-old season to earn the handicap championship, but she was injured during her five-year-old campaign fracturing a leg.  Mr. Hooper took his filly home to recuperate and let her swim in a pond on his farm. which he credited with helping her to heal.  She came back at six and it seemed she hadn’t missed a beat.  She won the Apple Blossom, Delaware Handicap, Matchmaker Stakes, Beldame and repeated her win in the Spinster Stakes.  Once again, Susan’s Girl won the handicap honor.  With three championships. it was easy to see why this great filly is in Racing’s Hall of Fame.  She went on to produce the important Florida stallion Copelan.

Here is Class Kris (broodmare sire Copelan) at Hialeah.  She would go on to be the dam of Grade 1 Pacific Classic and Pimlico Special winner Student Council.


Cascapedia won the Milady as a four-year-old and topped off the season by winning the Eclipse Award for champion handicap distaffer.  She was campaigned by Bernard J. Ridder and ridden by Sandy Hawley carrying 126 pounds. 

The filly won the Honeymoon and placed in the La Habra and Senorita during her three-year-old season.  She won the Vanity, Milady, and the Hawthorne.  She was second in the Hollywood Gold Cup to Crystal Water.  She was also second in the Gamely while placing in other stakes on her way to her championship.

Cascapedia and Crystal Water were bred together in 1980 and they produced Glacial Stream who won the Affirmed Handicap and the Malibu Stakes.  Cascapedia’s daughter In Hopes produced Big Jag who won almost $2,000,000 on the track with his biggest win the Golden Shaheen in Dubai. 

1999 San Carlos Handicap – Big Jag


Now this is the mare that stands out in this group as one that may have done more for the future than anyone.   Four-year-old Image of Reality won the race in stakes record time of 1:40 1/5 giving It’s In The Air another runner-up effort in her four-year-old season.

The filly’s sire was In Reality and she was out of the Cornish Prince mare Edee’s Image.  She won eight of 23 starts including the Milady, Santa Lucia, and La Merced Stakes.  She placed in several other stakes like the Gamely, Vanity, and the Las Flores, but her real mark didn’t come until 1989 when she gave birth to an El Gran Senor filly named Toussaud. 

Toussaud raced in England early in her career, but then came to the U.S. and won the American Handicap, Gamely Handicap, Wilshire Handicap, Autumn Days Handicap and ran second in the Matriarch.

1993 Gamely Handicap

In 1995 Toussaud produced Chester House (by Mr. Prospector).  The colt won the Arlington Million and placed in very prestigious events in British racing such as the Prince of Wales Stakes during Royal Ascot. 

Chester House died of cancer at the age of eight, but he left behind some exciting runners including Ventura the Breeders’ Cup Fillies & Mares Sprint winner in 2008, Muhannak winner of the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Marathon, and 2008  Grade 1 Met Mile winner Divine Park.

Toussaud also produced Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes winner Chiselling, Grade 1 placed Decarchy, Grade 1 Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker, and the filly Honest Lady who was a Grade 1 winner against fillies but was twice Grade 1 placed against males in the Metropolitan Mile and the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.  Toussaud’s daughter has already produced a Grade 1 winner herself in First Defence, the winner of the Grade 1 Forego.

2000 Breeders’ Cup Sprint – Honest Lady


The four-year-old Cat Girl gave Chris McCarron his second consecutive win for trainer Eddie Gregson.  Cat Girl defeated eventual handicap distaff champion six-year-old Track Robbery in this race.  Track Robbery went on to produce the Alydar filly Train Robbery who went on to be a graded stakes winner.  When she retired to be a broodmare she was paired with Storm Cat several times and in 1996 she produced Cat Thief, the 1999 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner as a three year old.

1999 Breeders’ Cup Classic

1984 & 1985

Ethel D. Jacobs’ Adored took back to back runnings of the Milady Handicap in her four and five-year-old season.  She was trained by Laz Barrera and ridden by Laffit Pincay Jr. 

In the 1984 edition she defeated eventual distaff champion Princess Rooney, receiving three pounds in a time of 1:41.  She went on that year to win the Hawthorne Handicap, Delaware Oaks, and the Santa Margarita.

In 1985 she defeated Lovlier Linda and Mitterand this time at a mile in 1:33 3/5.   Adored repeated her Hawthorne win and also won the Santa Maria.


The six-year-old winner, Dontstop Themusic, was campaigned by James Bond producer Cubby Broccoli and his wife.  She won the race in 1:48 4/5 after another change in distance.

Go to 8:43 and meet Cubby Broccoli


Seldom Seen Sue won this edition in 1:48 1/5 for the mile and an eighth.  The four-year-old mare was one of Chris McCarron’s nine winners of this race.


By Land By Sea got some rotten luck when she campaigned as a handicap horse in 1988, the same year as Personal Ensign.  The four-year-old won the Milady in 1:43 3/5 after the race distance was once again changed.  She had won the Apple Blossom, Rampart Stakes, El Encino and the Louisville Breeders’ Cup that year also.  In all, she won 10 of thirteen starts with one second.

1988 Louisville Handicap – By Land By Sea

1989 & 1990

Ron McAnally began his assault on the Milady in 1989 and his reign would last five years.  Mr. and Mrs. Whitham’s Argentine import, Bayakoa, took this race at five and six.  Her 1989 time was 1:42 and she bettered that time the next year, shaving it down to 1:41 1/5.  Bayakoa was rewarded for her record with championships both years in her division.   In 1998 she was honored with a deserving place in the Racing Hall of Fame.  The mare won 21 of 39 starts and under Ron McAnally, she won 12 Grade 1 races and three Grade 2 events.

1990 Milady Handicap – Bayakoa

Bayakoa went on to produce a Strawberry Road filly named Trinity Place.  Trinity Place produced an Affirmed filly named Affluent who ran second in the 2002 running of this race behind champion Azeri.


Ron McAnally brought a horse of another color to this running when he brought Tadahiro Hotehama’s grey four-year-old filly Brought To Mind.  She ran the race in 1:41 3/5.  She confirmed her ability when she ran a great third in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff later in the season at long odds.

1991 Milady Handicap – Brought To Mind (Trevor gives my favorite line in this call)

1992 & 1993

McAnally again ventured to South America for his next Argentine wonder.  This time, it was for Sid and Jenny Craig.  Their filly was Paseana and she won the Milady in both her five and six year old seasons.  Her first run was 1:41 2/5 and the second victory was a tick slower at 1:41 3/5.   Paseana began her racing career in America in 1991, her four-year-old season.  She won ten Grade 1 races and placed second in another nine.  She won four Grade 2 races.  She repeated victories in the Apple Blossom (2), Santa Margarita (2), and the Milady (2).

Paseana was only able to produce one foal, a filly named Paseana’s Girl who in turn has produced three Candy Ride offspring. 

Paseana was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 2001.

1993 Milady Handicap – Paseana


Chris McCarron was looking for a fourth straight win after his 1994 win on Andestine when he got back aboard a familiar friend in Paseana, but they came up second on this day.  They gave seven pounds to the four-year-old winner, Pirate’s Revenge, who was coupled with Private Persuasion for Mr. & Mrs. Martin Wygod.  The winner won in 1:41 2/5.

Pirate’s Revenge is a half sister to another Wygod mare, Sweet Life (by Kris S.) who is the dam of two-year-old champion Sweet Catomine and Grade 1 winner and 2009 entry for the Milady, Life is Sweet.

2009 Santa Margarita – Life is Sweet


Chris McCarron got back in the winner’s circle this time with a different Wygod filly, the five-year-old Twice The Vice.  She defeated eventual handicap champion and Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Jewel Princess at even weights. 

Twice The Vice made 23 starts and won 12 times, placing six times with one third.  She won five Grade 1 races and placed in two more.  She was scheduled to run in the Breeders’ Cup but an injury kept her from competing. 

Twice The Vice ran the race in a swift 1:40 4/5.

1996 Santa Margarita – Twice The Vice


Janis Whitham and Ron McAnally got back on top in the Milady with a win by the four-year-old Listening, a daughter of Night Shift.  She won the race in 1:41 1/5 and back in third place was the Wygod’s Exotic Wood, who finished in the money 15 of her 17 lifetime starts with 11 wins.


Trainer Ron Ellis gave Chris McCarron a leg up for his eighth win in the Milady aboard I Ain’t Bluffing.  The four-year-old won the race in 1:42 flat. 

I Ain’t Bluffing’s half-sister Sweet As Honey by Strike The Gold produced the Grade 1 Pacific Classic and Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Borrego (by El Prado).


Gary Tanaka’s winner, Gourmet Girl, won this race as a four-year-old in a time of 1:40 4/5.  In 2001, she was awarded the Handicap Championship Honors after winning three of six starts.  She won the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap, Grade 1 Apple Blossom and the Listed Sacramento Handicap while being placed in the Grade 2 Clement Hirsch.  A series of events like the injury to Exogenous and a longshot winner in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff sent the award to Gourmet Girl. 


Aaron and Marie Jones owned the five-year-old Brazilian mare Riboletta, who won that year’s Milady.  Chris McCarron piloted his last of nine winners aboard this mare.  Riboletta was named champion handicap mare in 2000 after winning these Grade 1 races; The Beldame, Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap, Vanity Handicap, Ruffian Handicap, and Milady.  She also picked up two Grade 2 races in the Clement L. Hirsch and the Hawthorne Handicap.


Azeri competed in the Milady in both her four and five year old seasons winning both times.  As a four-year-old she ran the mile and a sixteenth in 1:42 and the second year she trimmed it to 1:41 4/5. 

Azeri would be the Distaff Handicapping Champion in 2002, 2003 and 2004, but she would also be the Horse of the Year in 2002.  She won eight of her nine starts that year with only one second behind Summer Colony in the La Canada.  She won five grade 1 races in that season including the Breeder’s Cup Distaff.

2002 Breeders’ Cup Distaff – Azeri


Four-year-old Andujar won in 1:41:59 defeating the prior year’s winner Star Parade in the largest winning margin in the history of the race, seven lengths.


Before there was Zenyatta for California fans, there was Nashoba’s Key.  Trainer Carla Gaines’ Silver Hawk filly didn’t race until she was four, but then proceeded to wheel off seven straight wins, eight of 10 total, before an accident ended her career and her life.

Nashoba’s Key won this race during her four-year-old season in 1:42.16.

[brightcove videoid="14463868001"]

Carla Gaines and Nashoba’s Key


One word…..Zenyatta.  The winner of the 2008 Milady in 1:41.17, Saturday she looks to repeat.  Can she do it?

Zenyatta Tribute

If you want to see a comedic side, try She’s a Freak Zenyatta Tribute.

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