Broodmarathon: A-R-G Spells "Bargain"

Crossing a speedy sire line over a stamina-oriented female family is a winning formula in American Thoroughbred racing. One permutation of the pattern that has yielded consistently good result for 150 years is to import solid South American racemares and mate them with U.S.-bred dirt sprinters. The results, when it works, are dirt milers and classic-distance runners on all surfaces that have class, speed, and durability.

Despite a sophisticated Thoroughbred breeding and racing industry throughout the continent--in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Uruguay, Ecuador, Panama, and Colombia--many U.S. breeders shy away from bloodstock with names ending in (CHI), (ARG), (BRZ), and other South American-bred country designations.

Smart breeders will take advantage of this general ignorance. When a mare sporting a South American country code in her name walks through the sales ring in Central Kentucky, you can be fairly certain of at least one thing: someone felt she was valuable enough to spend considerable resources importing her.

For a quick reference on how well these mares fare at auction, I took a quick look at results from the 2009 Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton November sales. I searched for broodmares and broodmare prospects--no weanlings--that were either South American-bred themselves or out of mares who were born in South America. I looked at only mares that sold--no RNAs or Outs--and compared them to the average and median for the session in which they were offered. In 2009, 28 hips at Keeneland met these qualifications, and none at Fasig-Tipton. Results below show that South American mares came in below session averages on eight of 10 days they were offered:




No. Sold

(% Diff.)
(% Diff.)
1 $208,663 $160,000 5 $172,000
2 $268,401 $175,000 3 $110,000
3 $106,480 $75,000 5 $63,400
5 $42,004 $32,000 2 $61,000
6 $41,084 $28,000 3 $18,000
7 $23,230 $20,000 3 $19,667
8 $20,343 $13,000 2 $12,500
10 $9,431 $6,000 2 $3,350
12 $7,765 $3,500 1 $4,000
13 $6,134 $2,700 2 $8,350

Any edge helps when you're investing. I believe that South American-bred mares offered in North America represent, on average, an "edge" for savvy buyers. With that in mind, I've selected a handful of mares from Argentina that might be worth reviewing at Lexington's upcoming bloodstock sales: 


FT Hip #100 (catalog page, pedigree), a 14-year-old mare named MISS MARY (ARG), sells Sun., Nov. 7, 2010 at the Fasig-Tipton November mixed sale.

  • Thoroughbred female family:  7
  • Race record: 12-2-2-1 for earnings of $$40,446. Winner of Arturo R. Bullrich (Arg-II).
  • Produce record: dam of 4 foals, 3 of racing age, 2 raced, 1 winner, 0 stakes winners. 
  • Sale history:  $130,000 as a 2002 Keeneland November broodmare prospect (archived catalog page: 2002 hip 48)
  • Covering sireMineshaft
  • Comments:  A 3-year-old Medaglia d'Oro filly looks promising. Miss Mary is a daughter of Miss Peggy (ARG), an important Argentine blue hen mare. Like this mare but you can't afford Fasig-Tipton November prices? Check out Keeneland's hip 1796, Miss Mary's 2007 filly Triple Latte, by Medaglia d'Oro.


FT Hip #167 (catalog page, pedigree), a 7-year-old mare named TEAMGEIST (ARG), sells Sun., Nov. 7, 2010 at the Fasig-Tipton November mixed sale.

  • Thoroughbred female family:  20
  • Race record: 19-7-3-3 for earnings of $180,040. Winner of Sibila and Carlos P. Rodriguez stakes (both Arg-II) and four times grade/group I-placed.
  • Produce record: offered as a maiden broodmare. 
  • Sale history:  Not previously sold
  • Covering sireDistorted Humor
  • Comments:  Trainer Kenny McPeek has created a successful niche operation of importing top race fillies from South America, getting some U.S. black type on their pages, and sending them to the broodmare pastures. Teamgeist was third in last year's Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (gr. I) on dirt, in addition to her several group wins/places on turf.


Kee Hip #26 (catalog page, pedigree), an 8-year-old mare named SAFARI QUEEN (ARG), sells Mon., Nov. 8, 2010 at the Keeneland November mixed sale.

  • Thoroughbred female family:  13-c
  • Race record: 19-9-4-0 for earnings of $632,239. Winner of Jorge de Atucha and Estrellas Juvenile Fillies stakes (both Arg-I) and Long Island Handicap (gr. IIT) and La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. II).
  • Produce record: dam of 2 foals, 0 of racing age, 0 raced, 0 winners, 0 stakes winners. 
  • Sale history:  Not previously sold
  • Covering sireElusive Quality
  • Comments:  Arindel Farm and Todd Pletcher teamed up here for a solid import--Safari Queen was champion juvenile filly in Argentina in 2006. Safari Queen's Book 1 placement indicates she's a top prospect for American buyers in 2010. What's not to like? Group I and grade II wins on dirt, Group I and grade II wins on turf. Good juvenile form. The ability to win at a mile, but to excel at 12 furlongs (remember that American speed-over-Argentine stamina idea?) And from a well-bred branch of the Frizette/Myrtlewood female line that is known as one of America's most important Thoroughbred families.


Kee Hip #449 (catalog page, pedigree), a 5-year-old mare named MISS MATCH (ARG), sells Tues., Nov. 9, 2010 at the Keeneland November mixed sale.

  • Thoroughbred female family:  7
  • Race record: 18-4-2-6 for earnings of $$347,614. Winner of Seleccion-Argentine Oaks (Arg-I) and placed in three additional Argentine stakes and two U.S. stakes races.
  • Produce record: Offered as a racing or broodmare prospect
  • Sale history:  Not previously sold
  • Covering sire: N/A
  • Comments:  The humorously-named Miss Match is an Argentine group I winner from one of that nation's most prominent female families. Granddam Miss Peggy (ARG) was a group winner in her native country and produced three group-winning full siblings to Miss Simpatia (ARG) (dam of Miss Match)--including Miss Mary (the first mare profiled above). Miss Match broke her maiden at a mile and won the Argentine classic at 10 furlongs.


Kee Hip #673 (catalog page, pedigree), a 10-year-old mare named BRUNILDA (ARG), sells Wed., Nov. 10, 2010 at the Keeneland November mixed sale.

  • Thoroughbred female family:  4-m
  • Race record: 31-9-4-5 for earnings of $389,883. Winner of the Eatontown Handicap (gr. III).
  • Produce record: dam of 2 foals, 0 of racing age, 0 raced, 0 winners, 0 stakes winners. 
  • Sale history:  $295,000 as a 2007 Keeneland January racing or broodmare prospect (archived catalog page: 2007 hip 285)
  • Covering sireStrong Contender
  • Comments:  Another Argentine mare that displayed talent on dual surfaces, Brunilda actually scored her most impressive victory on dirt--a positive for the U.S. market.


Kee Hip #1869 (catalog page, pedigree), a 12-year-old mare named CANDY APPLE (ARG), sells Sat., Nov. 13, 2010 at the Keeneland November mixed sale.

  • Thoroughbred female family:  13-c
  • Race record: 11-4-2-2 for earnings of $19,444.
  • Produce record: dam of 5 foals,  3 of racing age,  1 raced, 1 winner, 0 stakes winners. 
  • Sale history:  Not previously sold
  • Covering sireMr. Greeley
  • Comments:  Here's another family 13-c mare--but from a distinctly different line than Safari Queen (discussed above). Candy Apple's family kicked around Europe much longer than the Myrtlewood branch did, and came to the Americas via France, with Cithara (ARG) starting an Argentine legacy. Candy Girl (ARG), dam of Candy Apple, is better known for another progeny import: Candy Ride (ARG), the 2003 Argentine champion miler who scored on dirt in the Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar and now stands at Lane's End Farm. Don't let Candy Apple's early progeny give you any doubts: she's going to produce durable and speedy runners.



  • 07 November 2010: I went to see Teamgeist (ARG) (Fasig-Tipton hip #167).

  • 07 November 2010: I went to see Miss Mary (ARG) (Fasig-Tipton hip #100).

  • 07 November 2010: Miss Mary (ARG) (Fasig-Tipton hip #100) was a $70,000 RNA.

  • 07 November 2010: Share a Moment (ARG) (Fasig-Tipton hip #148) was a $100,000 RNA.

  • 07 November 2010: Teamgeist (ARG) (Fasig-Tipton hip #167) was a $275,000 RNA.

  • 08 November 2010: I went to see Safari Queen (ARG) (Keeneland hip #26).

  • 08 November 2010: I went to see Miss Match (ARG) (Keeneland hip #449).

  • 08 November 2010: Safari Queen (ARG) (Keeneland hip #26) sold for $425,000 to influential international breeders Wertheimer et Frere.
  • 09 November 2010: Miss Match (ARG) (Keeneland hip #449) sold for $500,000.
  • 10 November 2010: I went to see Brunilda (ARG) (Keeneland hip #673).

  • 10 November 2010: Brunilda (ARG) (Keeneland hip #673) sold for $65,000.


Leave a Comment:


Hi Scot,

What's missing from this analysis is how these S. American mares (and stallions) have fared as bloodstock over here. My perspective suggests that they have done relatively poorly, but times may be a changin'. I suspect that it is this prior poor history which has caused the $ values you have noted.

  • Scot's reply:  Sceptre, I knew you'd call me out!  I avoided citing specific examples of standout runners because they'd be meaningless without some hard data to back up the numbers. Our research capacity is on overload right now with Breeders' Cup and Stallion Regiser projects, but I promise I'll follow up with a data study.
05 Nov 2010 3:36 PM

I'm assuming Teamgeist is 6 and not 16. I'd have a problem with a 16 year old maiden broodmare prospect. lol

  • Scot's reply: We're both wrong.  She's 7.  (Good catch, though--I apparently did my mental math on her dam's year of birth.) Teamgeist was bred in 2009 for the first time--to A.P. Indy--and was barren. The Distorted Humor foal she's carrying will be her first.
06 Nov 2010 1:30 AM

Totally off topic, but need to vent. Here, perhaps, there is a receptive ear.--

LIFE AT TEN episode-conclusively demonstrated that Racing is incapable of policing itself/reasonably protecting the horse. Top (? intelligent/respected) Trainer, Top (experienced) Jockey, Veterinarians all around (this is the Breeders/Cup), yet they all permitted her to break out of the gate. Stupidity, callousness, greed and disorganization abound. If here, then what hope is there for all those that race in less scrutinized venues? For me, the final proof of the need for strong outside intervention at the very least, and if that fails, a banning of the "sport" entirely.

  • Scot's reply: I was horrified when I realized Life At Ten was being loaded in the gate. Chief vet Larry Bramlage's commentary moments before seemed to indicate that the on-site vets wouldn't make any special review unless jockey John Velazquez requested it. Post-race, both jockey and trainer (Todd Pletcher) were firm that the filly should not have run. Racing was saved a potential industry-changing catastrophe when Velazquez pulled up Life At Ten; had she run and been injured (even incidentally) that's the only story that would've come out of the 2010 Breeders' Cup.
06 Nov 2010 1:36 AM
Pedigree Ann

Dorine, an excellent racemare in Argentina, was imported after she had been at stud for a few years. Her 4 US foals were all winners, including SW Our Hero and SP Climbing High. Her winning daughter by Hoist the Flag foaled Personal Ensign, Personal Flag, and 3 more winners.

Top Argentine sprinter, Gold Sun, foaled six winners, including one SW and a SP; her placed daughter Solar Slew then foaled Cigar.

Group 1 winner Potrinner, a sister to a mess of G1 runners, produced 3 SWs - one in the US, Melhor Ainda, one in Japan, and one over hurdles.

Going back a few years, *Papila produced champion Crimson Satan and is female line ancestress of Tiznow. (Oh, and his sire was out of a daughter of Chilean import *Tizna.)

Imported Argentine mares have been contributing to the North American gene pool for quite a number of years.

06 Nov 2010 7:28 PM

Has Holy Ground had any South American foals reach the tracks there yet? I've always liked his pedigree and hoped he'd surprise a few with good runners.

  • Scot's reply; I believe only one South American-bred foal--a 2009 colt--has been registered at this point.
07 Nov 2010 2:14 AM
Pedigree Shelly

        I think Candy Apple is the most notable one of the lot ! She is from a excellent producing family too ! As you go back through her pedigree it gets better ! She comes from a solid English background .Candy Apple, decends from the English Oaks winner Mendicant foaled in 1858 . Her sire Touchstone was a major foundation sire . Tracing this mare farther back you get to the Eclipse mare Scota out of the Herod mare Harmony . Pretty Interesting .

08 Nov 2010 9:46 PM
The Five-Cross Files

Here's a quick, easy way to fold the catalog page so that you can find the pages you want quickly and easily. No origami required, I promise.

10 Nov 2010 6:13 PM

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