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The Long and Short of It

The weekend brought some top-class action in races worlds apart in aptitude, and continents away in location. The big race of the weekend was the Irish Derby (Ire-I) which saw a rematch between the Epsom Derby (Eng-I) first and second, Ruler of The World and Libertarian. Ruler of The World got the better of that one by about two lengths, but it was something of an irrelevancy, as Ruler of The World finished fifth and Libertarian eighth, neither raising a hope of winning at any point.

In the meantime at the sharp end, Trading Leather, who had finished second to Libertarian in the 10 1/2-furlong Dante Stakes (Eng-II), but then cut back to run third to Magician in the Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I), stayed on to score decisively by 1 3/4 lengths from Galileo Rock. It was an all Sadler's Wells first three as Trading Leather is by Teofilo (TrueNicks) (by Galileo), Galileo Rock is by Galileo, and the third, Festive Cheer, is by another Sadler's Wells son, Montjeu.

The race saw Teofilo further improve his standing as leading European third crop sire. The champion European 2-year-old, Teofilo was prevented by injury from running at 3. He now has 16 stakes winners in his first two crops, including in addition to Trading Leather, group I 2-year-old winners Parish Hall and Loch Garman. Trading Leather's dam, Night Visit (by Sinndar), is a three-quarters sister to the Sindaar filly Pictavia, a group winner in England and stakes winner in the U.S., who also took third in the Epsom Oaks (Eng-I). The granddam, Moonlight Sail (by Irish River) is a sister to champion U.S. turf filly Hatoof, also winner of the Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) and Champion Stakes (Eng-I), and to grade I winner Irish Prize. The third, Cadeaux d'Amie, is a half sister to the very good filly Mrs. Penny, winner of the French Oaks (Fr-I) and Prix Vermeille (Fr-I).

Trading Leather is TrueNicks rated A++ and he is one of six stakes winners by Teofilo out of Danzig line mares, which represents a cross of the sire back over his own broodmare sire line, and which the very next day would supply Teofilo's Prix Jean Prat (Fr-I) scorer Havana Gold. This is noteworthy as a pointer for Frankel, who like Teofilo is out of Danehill mare. The combination of Sadler's Wells, grandsire of Teofilo, with Sinndar is interesting as Sadler's Wells is a Northern Dancer/Bold Reason cross, and Sinndar is a Northern Dancer/Never Bend (half brother to Bold Reason) cross. Trading Leather's dam is out of a mare by a son of Riverman, who is also Northern Dancer/Never Bend. The reverse cross, Sinndar/Sadler's Wells, has produced five stakes winners, including group I winners Shareta and Youmzain.

In the U.S., Irish-bred Obviously, third to Wise Dan and Animal Kingdom (TrueNicks) in last year's Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), dominated the Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park from start to finish. Notably, this was the sixth straight mile race where he's cracked 1:33, and he's twice clicked through seven furlongs in 1:20 and change in those starts. Obviously is by Choisir (TrueNicks), an Australian-bred sprinting son of Danehill Dancer who was a group I winner in his own country, and who took the King's Stand Stakes (Eng-II) and Golden Jubilee Stakes (Eng-I) at the same Royal Ascot meet. Choisir has had 53 stakes winners, including the brilliant sprinter/miler Starspangledbanner, and other group/grade I winners Sacred Choice, Olympic Glory, Choice Bro, and Historian.

Obviously is out of the unraced Montjeu mare Leala. The second dam, Silver Bubble (by Silver Hawk), is a sister to the top-class colt Hawkster, a three-time grade I winner; to Silver Kite, winner of the Prix Yacowlef; and to Silver Lane, who won the Prix de la Grotte (Fr-III) and was also several times group-placed, including when third in the group I Irish Oaks. Silver Lane went on to become an excellent producer, her offspring including the Japanese sprint star Black Hawk, Japanese stakes winners Kauai Lane and Pink Cameo, and Shakespeare, a listed winner in Ireland.

Obviously is the first stakes winner from 61 starters sired by Choisir out of Sadler's Wells line mares. This is considerably at odds with the record of his sire, Danehill Dancer, who has 16 stakes winners on the cross, nine group or graded. Perhaps it's an aptitude thing, with Choisir being more of a pure sprinter than Danehill Dancer, and not meshing so well with the Sadler's Wells influence which is generally a stamina one.

Also at Hollywood Park, and at the sharp end of the distance scale, the seven-furlong Triple Bend Handicap (gr. I) went to Centralinteligence, who recorded his first stakes win, and made a little history as the first grade I winner for his sire, champion 3-year-old colt Smarty Jones (TrueNicks,SRO). Centralinteligence is also the first stakes winner for his dam, Shootforthestars, an unraced daughter of Seattle Slew, although the mare has bred three other stakes-placed horses. The second dam, Lotta Dancing (by Alydar), won the Affectionately Handicap (gr. III) and was grade I-placed, and is also dam of Storm Cat's Super Derby (gr. II) winner Fantasticat. The third dam, Danzig's daughter Lotka, earned a grade I win in the Acorn Stakes and was a sister to the top-class Stephan's Odyssey. Out of a half sister to Kentucky Derby (gr. I) victor Cannonade, Lotka was 4x4 to Almahmoud, her fourth dam, so bred a little like another notable Danzig product, Danehill.

Centralinteligence is TrueNicks A++ on the basis of the Smarty Jones cross with Seattle Slew mares, which has produced three stakes winners from only 13 starters. There are two more stakes winners out of mares by sons of Seattle Slew, which gives five stakes winners from 27 starters, four graded, by Smarty Jones out of mares by Seattle Slew and sons. Two other stakes winners for the sire have Seattle Slew elsewhere in the pedigree. In this regard, it might be relevant that Smarty Jones' broodmare sire, Smile, is out of a mare by Boldnesian, the grandsire of Seattle Slew. For what it's worth, he also has five stakes winners when bred over his own male line, that of Mr. Prospector (from the same family as Seattle Slew).

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