Written by Alan Porter | Apr 16, 2013 |
The death of Dixie Union in July 2010 was a serious loss for commercial breeders. As a mid-priced horse (he stood for $35,000 in his final season) who was an extremely consistent stakes sire, and who also consistently got a physically attractive horse, he was almost a "must use," particularly for the market breeder.
At the time, the only thing preventing Dixie Union (and the same thing that prevented his sire Dixieland Band) from breaking out to a higher level was a lack of winners at the very highest level. His first six crops had supplied 34 stakes winners, but his only grade I scorers were Dixie Chatter (TrueNicks,SRO) and Hot Dixie Chick, both who earned those victories as juveniles.
Typically, once Dixie Union had passed he was almost immediately represented by his best runner to date. In Union Rags (TrueNicks,SRO) he sired a horse who might well have been the most talented of his crop at 2 and 3, and although he didn't end up with an Eclipse Award in either season, he did capture the Saratoga Special Stakes (gr. II), Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II), Champagne Stakes (gr. I), and Belmont Stakes (gr. I). One year later, Dixie Union has another classic contender in Overanalyze. A colt who has the rather unusual record of having won every other one of his seven starts—all but one in graded stakes—Overanalyze took a maiden special weight, the Futurity Stakes (gr. II) and Remsen Stakes (gr. II) at 2, but kicked off his 3-year-old campaign with a very flat effort that saw him wind up fifth in the Gotham Stakes (gr. III). With his Kentucky Derby (gr. I) bid in the balance, Overanalyze returned to winning ways, coming from off the pace to take the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I, VIDEO) by 4 1/4 lengths.
While Dixie Union was always commercially popular, one can't say the same for Overanalyze's dam, the unraced Unaccounted For (TrueNicks) mare Unacloud. She has made four trips through the sales ring, selling three times—for $14,000 as a weanling, $17,500 as a yearling, and finally when acquired by Overanalyze's breeder, Diamond A Farms, for $400,000 at the 2006 Fasig-Tipton November sale (having been a $17,000 RNA when first offered as a broodmare mare five years earlier). This appreciation in value is explained by the fact that Unacloud's third foal, the Meadowlake filly Meadow Breeze, had captured that year's Matron Stakes (gr. I). Unacloud's two offspring foaled between Meadow Breeze and Unacloud's sale—a Kafwain filly who was unplaced on her only start, and the one-time winner Good Measure (a gelding by Maria's Mon)—did little to enhance her value, nor did the foal that she was carrying when she changed hands, the unraced Teton Forest filly Cloudy Forest.
Unacloud's first foal for Diamond A was the filly Under Wraps, a sister to Overanalyze, who scored her only victory in a maiden claiming race over six furlongs at Golden Gate. Under Wraps was a foal of 2008, and between she and her graded-winning sibling, Unacloud produced the Forestry (TrueNicks,SRO) gelding Mighty Monsoon, a two-time winner who has also placed in four stakes events, including a third in the Best Pal (gr. II). Unacloud is also the dam of a yearling filly by Elusive Quality (TrueNicks,SRO), and after being barren to Mineshaft (TrueNicks,SRO) was bred to Tiznow (TrueNicks,SRO) for 2013.
Unacloud is by the Private Account stallion Unaccounted For, winner of the Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) and Whitney Handicap (gr. I), and subsequently a leading sire in Turkey. Unacloud is a half sister to Matron Stakes (gr. I) third Illusoria (dam of the stakes-winning and graded-placed Peak Maria's Way). The granddam, Cloud's Ambre, a daughter of Two Punch, is a half sister to Irish Cloud and Stormy Cloud, both stakes winners in Maryland-bred competition. Cloud's Ambre is out of Arctic Cloud (by Yukon, a Northern Dancer half brother to Mr. Prospector) and was prolific stakes winner in the Mid-Atlantic, taking six black-type events at Pimlico, Monmouth Park, Garden State, and Penn National, and also earning graded black-type with thirds in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) and Anne Arundel Handicap (gr. III).
The family, which hadn't yielded a top performer in direct female line for several generations, goes back to Muzzie II, an English-bred daughter of Pharos imported by Joseph Widener in the 1930s. The best runner she produced for Widener was Shot Put, a very close relative to Overanalyze's third dam, and who went on to become a top handicap horse after being sold by Widener to Mrs. Marie Evans for $2,000 as a 3-year-old. Shot Put certainly wasn't challenged in the stamina department as he not only equaled the track record for one mile 70 yards at Tropical Park, but also set a new track record for 2 1/4 miles at Belmont Park, and a new American record for 2 3/4 miles while winning the Lucien Lyne Handicap at Washington Park.
Rated A+ by TrueNicks, Overanalyze is a product of the Dixieland Band/Private Account cross that also produced Italian Oaks (Ity-I) victress Menhoubah, who was one of three stakes winners from nine starters on the direct cross of Dixieland Band with mares by Private Account, and the broad cross of Dixieland Band and sons over mares by Private Account and his sons has returned six stakes winners from 52 starters. The success of the Dixieland Band line over Private Account (and his sire Damascus in general) was one of the reasons for the selection of Dixie Union as a mate for Unacloud, and another was that the mating gave a double of Mr. Prospector—a duplication that had worked well for Dixie Union—along with his half brother Yukon.
Generally, and Union Rags' Belmont Stakes victory not withstanding, there might be a question with regard to the offspring of Dixie Union over the Derby trip (we asked the same question last year), but given his gritty juvenile victory over nine furlongs, and his strong finish in the Arkansas Derby at the same trip, at appears unlikely that Overanalyze with fail from lack of stamina at Churchill Downs.
By sad coincidence, the other grade I Derby prep over the weekend, the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I, VIDEO), was also captured by the offspring of a prematurely deceased Lane's End sire. In this case it was Java's War, who like another leading classic prospect, Revolutionary, is from the first crop of champion 2-year-old War Pass.
Java's War is unusual for a horse at this stage of his career in that he already has stakes form on all three surfaces, having won the Sunday Silence Stakes on turf, finished third in the Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) on the all-weather at 2, and prefaced his all-weather weekend grade I with a strong-finishing second to Derby favorite Verrazano in the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) on dirt in his 3-year-old debut.
A quick look at Java's War's pedigree explains his surface versatility. His dam, by the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) victor Rainbow Quest, is a sister to champion turf mare Fiji. The granddam, Island Jamboree, was a four-time stakes winner who also took second in the Gamely Handicap (gr. IT). Java War's third dam, Careless Virgin, is a half sister to Cacoethes, who won the Turf Classic Handicap (gr. IT) and King Edward VII Stakes (Eng-II), and who also gave the mighty Nashwan a scare in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes (Eng-I); to the grade I-winning Fabulous Notion; and to the dam of another "surface versatile" horse in Subordination, whose victories included the Hollywood Derby (gr. IT), Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) and Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II).
Somewhat unusually, Java's War is a Blushing Groom/Blushing Groom cross, but he is still rated TrueNicks A++, Cherokee Run (sire of War Pass) and his sons having sired three stakes winners and a stakes-placed horse from only 23 starters out of Blushing Groom line mares.