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Moon Still on the Rise

Well-backed on the day, the filly Devil May Care looked a brief threat in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) before fading late. Making her first start since that effort, and back against her own sex, Devil May Care ran out a convincing winner of the Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) on Saturday. Her victory was part of an excellent weekend for here sire, Malibu Moon (TrueNicks,SRO), who also had the first and second in the Lighthouse Stakes at Monmouth, through Malibu Prayer and Luna Vega.

A Pedigree Consultants recommended mating, Devil May Care is from the third Kentucky crop sired by Malibu Moon (one at $10,000, then two at $30,000), after he moved to Spendthrift Farm following his outstanding start with the less expensive mares he covered at Country Life Farm in Maryland. At least eight of the first Kentucky crop are stakes winners, including grade I winner Life at Ten, and graded scorers Raw Silk, Luna Vega, Rodman (TrueNicks,SRO), and Sweet August Moon. There are seven more stakes winners from the second Kentucky crop, including CCA Oaks (gr. I) winner Funny Moon, and graded winner Sara Louise and Malibu Prayer. Devil May Care and graded winner Odysseus, are both from the third Kentucky crop.

Devil May Care (TrueNicks rated A++) is a half sister to last year’s Super Derby (gr. II) and UAE Derby (gr. II) winner Regal Ransom, both bred by Diamond A Farm. Malibu Moon was a mating that strongly appealed here. Her dam is three-parts-sister to Pico Teneriffe (both are by Red Ransom), a graded stakes winner who produced multiple Canadian champion Marchfield (TrueNicks,SRO) to Malibu Moon’s sire, and is a half sister to graded-winning and grade I-placed Minister Eric. The mating was also attractive in that it gave inbreeding to the Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer cross. It’s been suggested that inbreeding to Mr. Prospector is not a good direction to go with Malibu Moon, but inbreeding to the Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer cross (where the dam is, or carries, an individual from the Mr. Prospector sire line out of a mare from the Northern Dancer sire line) is found in at least six of Malibu Moon’s stakes winners, including his weekend scorers Devil May Care and Malibu Prayer, champion Declan’s Moon, and 2010 graded-winning three-year-old colt Odysseus. As far as those who have the cross with both Mr. Prospector and Northern Dancer in the first four generations, there are five stakes winners from 26 starters (19% stakes winners to starters), which needless to say is significantly in advance of his overall strike rate.

Also among the fillies over the weekend, there were a couple of graded turf contests worth noting. The progressive three-year-old filly Strike It Rich took her third straight victory when leading throughout in the Boiling Springs Stakes (gr. III) at Monmouth. Rated B+ by TrueNicks, she is a daughter of Unbridled's Song (TrueNicks,SRO), out of the graded stakes-winning Dehere (TrueNicks) mare Belle of Perintown, and is the fourth stakes winner by Unbridled’s Song out of a mare by Deputy Minister or a son. The second dam is by Mr. Prospector (who appears here 4x3), out of the grade I-winning Nijinsky II mare, Jeanne Jones. Interestingly the position of Mr. Prospector in this pedigree is exactly the same position as Unbridled’s Song’s ill-fated filly Eight Belles, and the stakes winners Honest Man and Generosity with only 37 foals of racing age being by Unbridled's Song with Mr. Prospector as the sire of their second dam.

In the older division on the West Coast turf, ex-European Turning Top (TrueNicks A+) took her first black type event, the Beverley Hills Handicap (gr. III), here fourth consecutive win. She is yet another good daughter of Pivotal (by Polar Falcon, by Nureyev) racing in North America (is it time for a son of Pivotal to make his way stateside?). This is the second winner for the sire out of a mare by Cadeaux Genereux (who eventually goes back to the Tudor Minstrel branch of Hyperion). Turning Top has Nureyev and his genetic relative, Topsider (both by Northern Dancer from the Rough Shod II family) 3x4.

The Iowa Festival of Racing at Praire Meadows produced some interesting results. The Prairie Meadows Derby (gr. III) was taken by Concord Point (TrueNicks,SRO), who broke the 8½-furlong track record to account for Thiskyhasnolimit and a comebacking Winslow Homer. Concord Point (TrueNicks A++) is from the second crop of Pulpit (TrueNicks,SRO)’s extremely exciting young son Tapit (TrueNicks,SRO), and like another of his second season graded winners, Touching Beauty, he is out of mare from Pulpit’s own Seattle Slew sire line. In this case it is the Boston Harbor mare Harve de Grace, and the second dam, Ms. Cuvee Napa, is by Relaunch, a brother to Tapit’s third dam, Moon Glitter. Concord Point’s female counterpart, the Iowa Oaks (gr. III) victress Seeking the Title, also has an interesting pedigree. The daughter of Seeking the Gold is out of Title Seeker, who is by Monarchos (TrueNicks,SRO) out of the immortal Personal Ensign. This is a similar cross to Petionville (TrueNicks,SRO) (by Seeking the Gold out of a mare by Wavering Monarch, the grandsire of Monarchos). This is another good winner to feature Maria’s Mon and a duplication of the Raise a Native/Buckpasser cross, the others including grade I winners Latent Heat and Monba, while Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Super Saver (TrueNicks,SRO) has the pair close together.

Meanwhile in Canada, Exhi (TrueNicks) (TrueNicks A), who had shipped up to Canada to drub the locals in the Marine Stakes, returned to repeat the dose in the Victoria Park Stakes, tallying by eight lengths, with the third beaten nearly 14 lengths. The Wertheimer et Frere-bred son of Maria’s Mon, out of the Polish Numbers mare Soldera, who – in addition to being a grand-daughter of Fanfreluche – was an accomplished racemare, winning two listed races in England, running third in the Windsor Forest Stakes (gr. II), and fourth in the Pretty Polly Stakes (gr. II). Maria’s Mon was selected as a mate for Soldera as he’d not only started to do well over Northern Dancer (including a stakes winner out of a mare by Danzig – he now has five stakes winners out of Danzig line mares), but more particularly because in the third generation there are two daughters of Buckpasser Uncommitted and Numbered Account – who are inbred to La Troienne.

Back at Prairie Meadows, the Cornhusker Handicap (gr. II), for older horses, went to Shadowbdancing (TrueNicks A+), by Florida veteran Montbrook out of a Deputy Minister mare. The third dam is Change Water, so this is the family of Fall Aspen, Timber Country, Fort Wood, Dubai Millennium, and Dixie Union, to name but a few.

From older horses to two-year-olds, the Debutante Stakes (gr. III) saw Just Louise, home a neck ahead of the Bwana Charlie (TrueNicks,SRO) filly, Tristanme, with Smart Strike (TrueNicks,SRO)’s daughter Salty Strike, only a nose back in third, the trio nearly eight lengths clear of the fourth. Just Louise (TrueNicks A++) is out of a mare by Mt. Livermore, and is the third stakes winner of the year by Five Star Day, out of a Blushing Groom line mare. As we’ve said before, these Carson City sons like more Blushing Groom (there are at least 15 stakes winners with the inbreeding, and four more out of Carson City mares). Just Louise also has the mare Sister Shannon 5 x 4 through her grandson Vanlandingham (broodmare sire of Five Star Day) and son Temperence Hill (sire of the granddam of Just Louise). Another juvenile black type winner was the Sky Mesa (TrueNicks,SRO) filly Final Mesa, who won the My Dear Stakes at Woodbine by 7¾ lengths over Where Did She Go, from the first crop of Silver Train (TrueNicks,SRO). Final Mesa is out of a mare by the Foolish Pleasure stallion Smart Style, but her fourth dam, The Bride, is a sister to Secretariat, who is 4x4 in Sky Mesa.

It’s taken a while, but Street Cry (IRE) (TrueNicks,SRO), has established that he is at least a good cross for Danzig line mares. His son, Here Comes Ben (TrueNicks A), became the fifth stakes winner from 43 starters for Street Cry out of mares by sons or grandsons of Danzig, annexing the seven-furlong Kelly’s Landing Stakes at Churchill Downs in a sharp 1:21.89. Here Comes Ben is out of a mare by Dayjur, giving a double of Mr. Prospector, and he is also inbred 4x4 to Halo. Another fast Street Cry, Desert Party (TrueNicks,SRO), made a winning return from a layoff to win the Donald LeVine Memorial Handicap and for us looks a horse to make his presence felt in the older sprint races at Saratoga...another Street Boss (TrueNicks,SRO) possibly?

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