Couple of Mares at Keeneland Day 3

The fireworks of Keeneland's two-day Book One yesterday and today, interrupted by Fasig-Tipton's prestigious Selected sale held last evening, have been muted rather predictably by drops in gross, averages, and medians. I watched a few of my favorite mares walk through the ring to final bids of no more than double my annual salary (which is to say, a whole lot less than they would have sold for in recent years). And that was just the beginning.

Thursday ("day 3") starts Book Two at Keeneland, and I have my sites set on two fine mares. They'll go well beyond my range -- I won't look seriously at a mare until at least Book Four -- but I thought I'd share with you two of the hips that will have my full attention:

Hip 717 is the 7-year-old grey or roan mare Bergamot (catalog page).

Bergamot is a daughter of the intriguingly-bred Summer Squall. Recently euthanized, Summer Squall had the distinction of being by Storm Cat's sire and out of A.P. Indy's dam. Pretty nice combination. The champion colt of 1990 became a consistently popular Lane's End fixture and has added a new role to his playlist in 2009: he entered the list of top 100 broodmare sires (currently #58).

You'll recognize Bergamot's dam, Sharon Brown, better as the producer of another popular stallion:  Holy Bull (savior of the Himyar/Plaudit sire line).

Bergamot sells in foal to Ghostzapper, with the match resulting in a 5x4 direct sire line inbreeding to Northern Dancer (common enough) and another 5x4 cross to Sharon Brown's grandsire The Axe II (seen much less frequently). Because Bergamot was a late foal for her dam, she's still quite young with many producing years ahead of her.  If her most successful half-sister is any guide -- Brandy Rose has produced three stakes winners -- Bergamot is going to do well with strains of Secretariat and Tom Fool, and of course some of the good Tartan bloodlines that produced Holy Bull would be an excellent choice as well. (Yet again, I pine for Judge T.C.)

The other Day 3 mare that really caught my eye was hip 753, the 2003 mare Coronado's Dancer (catalog page).

Now, I'm a simple guy when it comes to my pedigree likes, and Coronado's Dancer stands out because she satisfies several of my most basic bloodstock fascinations. Her sire line descends from one great mare after another: Coronado's Quest is from the line of Shenanigans (dam of Ruffian and Icecapade and Buckfinder); Forty Niner is of historic Claiborne breeding and continues the line of Continue (granddam of Swale); Mr. Prospector is from the great sire-producing family of Frizette and Myrtlewood.

And while Coronado's Dancer's own 7-e family is perhaps less celebrated in the U.S., her dam is a full sister to Sandpit (BRZ), the spectacular winner of nine group/grade I races whose tragic early demise likely cost the world a savior for the Sassafras (FR)/Baynoun (IRE) branch of the Hurry On (GB) sire line.  As a fan of rare sire lines in general and of Sandpit specifically, this mare's close relationship has me excited to watch her as she's presented and then brought through the ring.

Coronado's Dancer sells in foal to Lion Heart. I'd look at future matings to return crosses of Claiborne families in her stallion choices.

So, looking just at Book Two (days 3 and 4), which hips do you like? What makes them stand out?  Who would you send them to for future matings?


Leave a Comment:


Ah, Coronado's Dancer! She's a lovely mare and that pedigree note on Shenanigans is precisely why she was bred to Sarava; to double up on her Broodmare of the Year genes, as he descends from her as well. The foal is in capable hands and I wish you the best in obtaining her!

11 Nov 2009 5:00 PM

Of course, for future matings Offlee Wild will fit the linebreeding to Shenanigans with this mare as well through Wild Again, if you chose to continue the pattern started with Sarava. And though a bit offset in his front end, Offlee Wild is certainly having a fantastic year.

11 Nov 2009 5:02 PM
David Cowl

I am a Canadian so I am always interested in following broodmares and prospects with a Canadian connection. I would interested in your comments on the following Book 2 candidates:

#588 Saskawea

#1106 Authenicat

#1121 Blonde Executive

#714 Smart Strike out of a mare by Nijinsky II

#806 Sky Classic out of a mare by Geiger Counter

#1035 Smart Strike out of a mare by No Louder


  • Scot's reply:  You've chosen some nice young (mostly) stakes mares from a wide array of families. I'll try to watch for them going through the ring.
11 Nov 2009 5:15 PM

Family 7-e isn't an especially revered line in this country, but I did want to mention one of its better-known members in the U.S. is G1-winning sprinter, Fabulous Strike.

12 Nov 2009 3:04 PM

Hello, I enjoy your pedigree info. very much. I especially took note when you mentioned Shenanigans. Of, course, due to my love of Ruffian.  Can you tell me/us what horse(s) are out there that are the closest to Ruffian's breeding? I know it's been years, but obviously the lines go on, as you mentioned! Oh, if we could have only cloned Ruffian, but with a sound sire. Thank you again for your information!

  • Scot's reply:  Well, unfortunately, Ruffian had only one half-sister (the Bold Ruler mare Laughter) to carry on the Shenanigans family line.  Fortunately, Laughter was not only a fine producer -- she gave us grade I winner and sire Private Terms along with two other graded winners and two listed winners -- but she was fairly prolific.  Laughter had eight named daughters, and the line is still proliferating.  Gilty Look (hip #1631) goes through the ring this Saturday, for example.
12 Nov 2009 4:31 PM

Update:  Bergamot sold for $47,000.  Coronado's Dancer went for $17,000.

12 Nov 2009 4:58 PM

I have a comment on hip 577 River Flower.

I followed her on the track and she was entered for a Tag At Arlington,I was not solvent enough to get her.

She was a game filly.And went o to do very well racing.

I feel at the price she brought today was a steal.

She is a bit crooked and come to find out she is a cribber.

But her yearling sold well in Sept and was a nice Individual.

Could I get your opinion on her?

Again,I was not solvant enough to get her today.But I feel really strong about her.

  • Scot's reply: I'm afraid I didn't watch her go through the ring so I can't comment on her physicality. I do like a lot about her catalog page. 32 starts and 25 times in the money are great numbers ... the Halo sire line and strong family are pluses ... as is the fact that the mare could perform on both dirt and turf.  Sales price $27,000 IFT Ghostzapper looks like a bargain considering she sold for $100,000 one year ago IFT his sire Awesome Again.
12 Nov 2009 9:17 PM
Pedigree Shelly

         Check out hip # 751 Common Channel By Empire Maker Out of group placed winner Heeremandi by Royal Academy . I especially like her female family ! She decends from the great mare Almahmoud ,grand-dam of the immortal Northern Dancer! Her third dam Cosmah is the dam of the stamina sire Halo ! There are so many others too numerous to mention in her female family ! I also like the fact she's in foal to Sky Mesa ,A similar cross that produced the good young stallion ,Tapit !

  • Scot's reply:  You chose a nice mare, Shelly.  Sale price $80,000.
13 Nov 2009 8:04 PM

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