Jun 24, 2008

Dam, …I’m Good

They say it’s not bragging if you can actually do it. And what we do very well indeed at Dan Kenny Bloodstock is purchase and manage broodmares for our clients.

You know all about Broodmare of the Year In Neon by now. Those are one-of-a-kind.
Let’s talk about a few more good ones that have come our way. What’s most interesting is how common sense played a role in our selections. It helps to have a good memory.

Three good examples occurred in April, the dams of Sterwins, Shilla, and Bonanza.
Each had Canadian connections which I recognized from my time in the Great White North.

Sterwins is a stakes-winner of some $600,000 after a win in the Gr. 3 Ben Ali at Keeneland. She is making amends for her lack of racing ability. Todd Pletcher and I bought Sweet Vale (Wild Again) for $l00,000 at Keeneland September. We also had our eye on another Wild Again filly and thought we’d bid on Sweet Vale first as we appraised the pair about equally. Early in the day we were able to buy the Sweet Vale filly. The second went for over $l m and turns out she can’t run either.

Shilla’s dam is an Apalachee filly who was trained by Pletcher for Dogwood Farm. We bought her for a Calgary rancher for $l5,000. She had been a good allowance winner, might have been stakes material until a broken cannon bone required a steeel plate to keep her paddock sound. She produced a good winner of over $l00,000 before being sold to an Ontario breeder who bred her to Marquetry and got Shilla who is a SW of about $400,000 at Woodbine. Todd said she could run, I liked the look of her and the price was right.

A few years later we sold her stakes-winning kin Mulrainy for $270,000 as a broodmare prospect.

Explore The Gold raced in Western Canada and I was able to acquire her for a modest price when her racing days were through. I resold her for a nice profit and she has produced four stakes horses, among them Bonanza who won the Wando Stakes at Woodbine

Nabatina is another good advertisement for local knowledge. I bought her for a measly $l3,500 specifically to be bred to Archers Bay. She was out of a half-sister to mighty Benburb who had recorded two monumental upsets, one over A P Indy in the Molson Million (he went on to win the Breeders Cup Classic that year) and the other over l-20 Alydeed in the Prince of Wales at Fort Erie. I had a close up look at each as a member of the NBC and CBC commentary teams..

Nabatina brought the Vice Regent/Deputy Minister nick to the fore and she produced SW Schooner Bay who has won over $300,000.

For $2l,000 I acquired a Nearctic line mare who was ideal for Archers Bay. She was from a family that had some speedy stakes-horses that would suit a horse capable of l0 furlongs like Archers Bay. She was in-foal to Lucky Lionel, a real speedster that Bobby Frankel trained. He set a track record for 6.5 furlongs at Santa Anita. The Lucky Lionel
foal went on to be a stakes-winner in Chicago of $270,000.

Hawk Cliff comes from a family that I know very well. She herself ground out more than $2l6,000 racing at Woodbine and had a pair of “boxing gloves” for ankles. She reminded me of a mare named Sophisticated Sam that I bought from Frank Stronach. She had big ankles from a long career…and her first foal for us made $500,000. Never forget that heart and courage are what we are breeding for. Hawk Cliff had a sister named Quest Master who could sprint in l:08 and change and tough enough to win l3 races and $250,000 while racing until she was nine.

Hawk Cliff had another sibling in Pegwell, a colt by Kentucky Derby winner Lil E Tee.
I had bought Pegwell at Woodbine for $l35,000 and retained a quarter interest for myself as I thought he was a leading contender for the Queen’s Plate. Pegwell won off by many lengths in his second start and was considered second choice for the Plate. Alas, he became a wobbler almost overnight and was put to sleep. Pegwell flooded my memory when Hawk Cliff came into the Keeneland ring.

I bought him for newcomer Dan Sutherland from British Columbia for $l0,000. The
Stormin Fever colt she was carrying brought $50,000 as a yearling, topping the local Canadian sale in Vancouver. In the meantime, the first foal out of the mare suddently produced a New York stakes-winner. Hawk Cliff has a beautiful colt by Northern Afleet that will be much like Afleet Alex genetically. That’s a good thing. Luck and a good memory can go a long way to success in this game.

We could ramble on but trust that these examples barely scratch the surface of our successful history. Now you know there is “method in my madness” when we represent you at the sales.