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First Among Equals

Last weekend saw the Carreras de las Estrella – an Argentine Breeders’ Cup – contested at Palermo racecourse. Among many highlights was a double by second year sire Equal Stripes in the two juvenile events. In the one mile (or actually 1600m metric equivalent) Estrellas Juvenile, Paulinho (TrueNicks A++) remained undefeated with a six lengths margin of victory over the Mutakddim (TrueNicks,SRO) colt Don Petardo. In the one mile Estrellas Juvenile Fillies, Coordenada (TrueNicks A++) was up late to deny Liz For Sale (by the Caro line horse, Not for Sale). The third in both races was sired by the hot young Danehill stallion, Catcher in the Rye.

By the French 2,000 Guineas (gr. I)-placed Candy Stripes (by Blushing Groom), Equal Stripes is out of a mare by Equalize (by Northern Jove, out of a Dr. Fager mare), second in the Estrellas Juvenile, and trained on to win a pair of grade II’s as a 3-year-old. He’s made a solid start, and has a grade I winner and a grade II winner from his first crop of 3-year-olds. Both Paulinho and Coordenada are out of mares by the Cryptoclearance stallion Ride the Rails, meaning they are bred on a reverse cross to Candy Ride (ARG) (TrueNicks,SRO) (Ride the Rails/Candy Ride mare), who not only displayed brilliant form in Argentina and California, but who is now, of course, a hot young sire. In addition to the Blushing Groom/Fappiano affinity, which we’ve mentioned several times before, Equal Stripes with Ride the Rails also gives line breeding to Fappiano’s broodmare sire, Dr. Fager.

We mentioned Danehill’s close relative, Orpen (by Lure, by Danzig, third dam Natalma), last week as sire of an Italian group winning two-year-old. Never a stallion with a high commercial profile, Orpen has still conspired to be a very effective sire with crops sired in Europe, Australia, and Argentina. He’s sired at least 50 stakes winners, 29 group or graded, and eight group or grade I. This includes Lingote de Oro, who defeated veteran and former Horse of the Year Life of Victory (by Incurable Optimist, a son of Cure the Blues) by ½ length for the Estrellas Classic. TrueNicks rated A++, the three time grade I winner is out of the U.S. bred Laika, an Old Trieste half sister to stakes-winning and grade I-placed Abby Girl. The granddam is a sister to the multiple graded winning turf horse Explosive Darling. The pedigree brings together those old partners in crime, Halo and Grey Dawn II, with the Halo through Devil’s Bag, giving duplicates of a cluster involving Herbager, Mahmoud, and Blue Larkspur.

Storm Cat’s son, Pure Prize (TrueNicks,SRO), has outperformed initially limited opportunity in the U.S., but has also been a star in Argentina, and his best runner there, Ollagua (TrueNicks B+) completed a double in the Estrellas Distaff (gr. I), getting home ½ length ahead of Malpensa (by Orpen out of a Southern Halo mare, and so inbred to Halo). Pure Prize is out of Heavenly Prize (by Seeking the Gold), a granddaughter of Mr. Prospector, and he’s done well back over the Mr. Prospector line with Ollagua being an example (her dam is by West By West, by Gone West). Another Storm Cat who started inexpensively in the U.S., and broke out here, while also doing (very) well in Argentina is Bernstein (TrueNicks,SRO). He had the one-two in the Estrellas Sprint, with Que Vida Buena, having 2½ lengths to spare over La Liz. TrueNicks rated A, Que Vida Buena is one of four stakes winners (two by Bernstein, two by Pure Prize) by sons of Storm Cat out of mares by Lode (by Mr. Prospector out of Fanfreluche). Que Vida Buena’s second dam is by Kingmambo (TrueNicks,SRO), so she has Mr. Prospector 2 x 3. The third dam, Margot, is by Nijinsky II, out of Solariat, by Secretariat, out of Solar (half sister to El Gran Senor and Try My Best). Note that Margot is bred on very similar lines to Storm Cat, giving Storm Cat/Margot 2 x 3.

In the Estrellas Mile (gr. I), the veteran El Garufa (TrueNicks A+) said goodbye to racing – he was in his last start before retiring to stud – with a ½ length tally over Shanghai Express (by Vision and Verse, another Storm Cat horse). El Garufa is a son of the very successful Forty Niner stallion Luhuk, out of a mare by Rainbow Corner (by Rainbow Quest), with a second dam by Southern Halo.

There was also a trio of grade I’s at Cidade Jardim in Brazil. The Grande Premio ABCPCC, over ten furlongs was won by Too Friendly, by former New York resident Signal Tap (by Fappiano out of a sister to Storm Bird), out of mare by Tokatee (by Seattle Slew, from a Northern Dancer mare, so Northern Dancer appears as broodmare sire of the sire, and of the broodmare sire). There were also a couple of two-year-old races. The Grande Premio J Adhemar de Almeida Prado (gr. I) saw Uareoutlaw win by ¾ length over Armas e Flores (by Gilded Time). Uareoutlaw is by one-time Triple Crown hopeful Christine’s Outlaw, from a mare by Ramirito (by Clackson, by I Say, from a purely South American-branch of the Nearco line). Believe it or not, Uareoutlaw is TrueNicks rated A++ on the basis of the Wild Again/Clackson nick, which gives the classic winning brothers Dante and Sayajirao. In the fillies race, the Grande Premio Margarida Polak Lara, Pura Classe impressed while winning by nearly five lengths. She is rated B+ by TrueNicks, and is by Grand Slam (TrueNicks,SRO) out of a mare by Careafolie (by Caerleon). The second dam, Devinette, is by Secretariat out of Respond (three-parts-sister to the dam of Fanfreluche), and is also dam of the Selene Stakes winner Hey Hazel, and second or third dam of several good runners, including Patriot Lover, Riley Tucker, and West Side Bernie.

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