Catching up with Silverbulletday and Vertigineux

Several Blood-Horse projects have kept me on the go recently, including photo shoots with mares Silverbulletday and Vertigineux and a handicapping webinar called How to Bet: A Beginner’s Guide for Thoroughbred Racing. If you are new to betting or just need a refresher check this out.
Busy times as we approach the Triple Crown. Similar to their male counterparts and the Kentucky Derby, the 3-year-old fillies are prepping for the Kentucky Oaks on May 6, 2011, at Churchill Downs.
I went to visit Kentucky Oaks winner and champion Silverbulletday, now in retirement at John Sikura’s Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm near Lexington, Ky., where she arrived in September 2000. During her career, the champion race filly had 15 wins from 23 starts, all stakes except for her maiden triumph.
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Looking radiant with a dappled coat, Silverbulletday shares a field with Teeming as she waits to foal. “She hardly gets wound up,” said Joe Ramsey, farm manager. “She’s an alpha-type but not aggressive, just very smart.”
In foal to Midnight Lute, Silverbulletday is due to foal a filly on May 12.
Her current field mate, Teeming, is in foal to Smart Strike and is due to foal a filly on April 20.
Read more on Silverbulletday in the April 23, 2011 issue of The Blood-Horse. A great Triple Crown offer for the magazine is available.
Vertigineux was named the 2011MarketWatch Broodmare of the Year. She now resides at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky. I photographed the great mare nearly three years ago at Winter Quarter Farm. She then was sold and moved to Ashford Stud, where broodmare manager Bob Davis oversees her daily care.  
“She’s an easy mare to work with,” said Davis, who noted that even as a 16-year-old she is fit and strong. Vertigineux’s 2011 foal is a Henrythenavigator filly born on April 2. The mare produced a full sister, now a yearling, in 2010.
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With her majestic look, holding her head high and posing, you can see the resemblance in her offspring. Included in the slideshow below are images of some of Vertigineux’s daughters. Among her eight foals is current 2-year-old Eblouissante, by Bernardini, who now is in training with John Shirreffs.
Enjoy the slideshow! I’ll be back soon with more photos of wonderful mares.

 View Slideshow
Click here to view the full slideshow.


Leave a Comment:

Grande Fan

Thank you. I really enjoy these features focusing in our race retired mares. They really aren't retired - they're now working harder than ever to produce our racing future. These ladies have brought some thrilling moments to racing and are now bringing us a glimpse of what the future may hold. As producers of the future generation we owe them rememberance, respect, and great thanks. These ladies are superstars and it is rewarding to catch up with them. It is also a pleasure to see them living a good life and receiving the care and treatment they so deserve.

21 Apr 2011 3:00 PM

Wow Anne, what great pictures of such beautiful creatures...thanks for sharing.

21 Apr 2011 3:22 PM

I want your job Anne :) Love seeing the great broodmares out relaxing with their foals!

21 Apr 2011 3:29 PM

silverbulletday looks to be bagging up already

21 Apr 2011 3:46 PM

Well, since I'm a lousy photographer, I can't take your job, Anne.  But I'll be your assistant:  fetch coffee, carry equipment, driver, whatever. Sigh.  

Seriously, though, thanks for the fantastic photos of those exquisite creatures.

21 Apr 2011 3:51 PM

These are wonderful Anne! I really appreciate the updates and photos on some of the great racemares and broodmares - it is so much more difficult to get information on them compared to the stallions... I hope this continues as a regular feature!

21 Apr 2011 5:07 PM

Gorgeous pictures - thanks for sharing these beautiful horses with us all.

21 Apr 2011 5:10 PM
Lisa Andres

It is amazing how Vertigineux stamps her body type on her offspring: big bodied, huge shoulders, high set necks with prominent withers. I hope her daughters continue to produce the same type of horse. I've always believed that Zenyatta's greatest legacy will be through her offspring, and I think so especially of her dam.

21 Apr 2011 5:34 PM

both  really pretty mares!!!:):):):):):):):) and there adorable foals:):):)

21 Apr 2011 5:54 PM
Karen in Indiana

Wow! Silverbulletday and Midnight Lute - I'll keep an eye out for that one.

Lisa Andres took the words out of my mouth. :-)

21 Apr 2011 6:04 PM

In an article on this  page re Giant Causeway  it was mentioned that Carson City is also a son of Storm Cat. Carson City is a son of

Mr. Prospector.Please make the correction.

21 Apr 2011 6:12 PM

Thank you for these beautiful photos.  They look to be happy and healthy.

21 Apr 2011 6:12 PM
Big Brown's Buddy

Love these photos! Especially Vertigineux - what a beauty she is! The ones of her running with her foal - heaven on earth. Thank you for these!!

21 Apr 2011 6:51 PM

Lovely! One can never have too many baby pictures.

Did you by any chance check in on Better Than Honour while at Hill n Dale? Is she still there? I'd love to see pictures of her Street Cry offspring.

21 Apr 2011 7:06 PM

Just to let everyone know if you aren't already aware that Silverbulletday's paddock mate Teeming is a 1/2 sister to Rags to Riches.  The photos are beautiful Anne-keep them coming!!!

21 Apr 2011 7:44 PM

WOW! Thank you for posting these beautiful photos of Zenyatta's kin. Very exciting seeing mom and siblings.

21 Apr 2011 8:16 PM

Speaking of Rags to Riches, is there any news of Rags' 3rd foal?  All I know was that she was bred last year to Galileo.  If she's had her 3rd foal, will there be more gorgeous "baby" pictures coming?

21 Apr 2011 10:01 PM

Just gorgeous. The foal is gorgeous and precious.

Would anyone happen to know where Mauralakana is at? Was looking at an older racing calender that I had and there was a photo of her in it and while I know she is retired, wondering if she has any live foals or if she's about?

Thank you for sharing the pictures! I will forever treasure the ones that I was able to take of my first trip to Kentucky last October and although I couldn't get through the web to get one Zenyatta picture, it was well worth it. This is truly the best sport around.

22 Apr 2011 12:47 AM

thanks  for the update on these beautifull horses  does anyone know where Wait A While is?

22 Apr 2011 7:54 AM

Thank you so much for these photos! Please keep them coming! The mares are disappear after they retire, and it is such a joy to keep up with them through your lens!

22 Apr 2011 10:39 AM
Karen in Texas

Thank you for these photos of such lovely mares! Motherhood becomes them!

22 Apr 2011 11:34 AM
Kyri Freeman

ZJ, I was a fan of Mauralakana too. She was a horse I always thought would get good, and then she did get good -- I love it when that happens! She had a Danehill Dancer filly in 2010 in Ireland.

Darlene, Wait a While had a Distorted Humor colt in 2010 and a Medaglia D'Oro foal this year (the others haven't had their foals yet this year, if any). And, finally, the great Rags to Riches had a Henrythenavigator colt 2010 and a Giant's Causeway filly last year in 2009 (not named yet).

Couple of promising babies to look forward to...

22 Apr 2011 12:41 PM

Thank you, thank you for the series on the broodmares!  While the stud farms trumpet the stallions and there seems to be some feeling that the mare is only a repository for a mighty stallion's offspring, the mare brings over 50% to the offspring table.  She contributes her 50% of her genetics PLUS she gives the foal a good start in life with nourishment and mothering.  There was a book some years back called "Blessed Are the Broodmares"--the second half of that title reads "for upon them depends the success of the stud".  Thank you for the pictures and articles about the broodmares.  

22 Apr 2011 1:33 PM

In the slideshow, the one of Vertigineux "giving the famous family pose with head held high" could easily be mistaken for her very famous daughter, but for the blaze.  Remarkable.

It's wonderful to see Silverbulletday looking so glossy and contented, too.  

Of course, seeing the foals are a great gift!

Thank you so much, Anne. The pictures are lovely.

23 Apr 2011 12:00 AM

These mares are in no way in retirement. They are baby makers, period.

Hope we never read of foaling complications at age 23, hope everyone is truly retired before their uterus wears out. ♥

23 Apr 2011 10:46 AM

Beautiful photos of beautiful mares!

23 Apr 2011 1:02 PM
Mike Relva


I agree with you.

24 Apr 2011 12:14 PM
Sharon Eubanks

I loved this article and photos. I would like to know how Indian Blessing is doing. Can't wait to see who's next.

24 Apr 2011 7:41 PM
Lise from Maine


Great photos of Zenyatta's mother.

Thanks for sharing them with the fans.

25 Apr 2011 9:54 AM

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