by Anne Peters ©
He's big, he's gorgeous, and his babies make him a commercial success in the sales ring and on the race track. There's really quite a lot to like about Meadowlake, so it always surprises us when a client shows a lack of enthusiasm about him. He's by Hold Your Peace out of Suspicious Native by Raise a Native. While he doesn't represent the most fashionable of pedigrees (no Northern Dancer or Mr. Prospector here), what you will find here is good old American bloodlines, full of precocious speed and reliability when it comes to success on the track and at stud. You'll also find good "hooks" into many of the best pedigrees around, which makes him desirable as a sire and broodmare sire.
Meadowlake was simply a monster on the track. Even as a juvenile in 1985, he was being hailed as the next Secretariat, based on his unique combination of looks and performance. Breaking his maiden at two by 22 lengths, he won the Arlington-Washington Futurity (G1) by almost nine lengths, and at three won an allowance at Belmont by three and three-quarter lengths. Three starts, three wins, and no one got close enough to pressure him home. Awesome. Unfortunately, he never raced again and so could not fulfill the promise.
Meadowlake retired to stud at Warnerton Farm in Florida in 1987 and after a few seasons, was moved to Kentucky to stand at Darby Dan Farm, a Thoroughbred factory in the classic tradition looking to inject more brilliance into a broodmare band infused with the stoutness of Graustark, His Majesty, Roberto, and Little Current. The main impetus for this came from Meadowlake's first crop. She was named Meadow Star, the champion juvenile filly of her year and an outstanding performer at three as well, winning the Comely, Acorn, and Mother Goose Stakes, besides placing in the C.C.A. Oaks.
The next crop included the blazing sprint filly Meafara (G3), and at that moment, Meadowlake was slapped with the badge of a "filly sire". Actually this has proven a valid accusation, since 26 of his 42 stakes winners (62%) are fillies. On the other hand, three of his top four earners are colts, so take your chances. It took the 1991 crop to turn things around for Meadowlake, including, as it did, the good colts Meadow Flight (G2) and Meadow Monster (G2). Their success resulted in the mating of the grand matron Au Printemps (the dam of Success Express and Charlie Barley) to the vindicated Meadowlake, and the result was Greenwood Lake, winner of the 1999 Champagne Stakes (G1) and a classic hopeful until an injury forced his premature retirement.
The closest inbreeding in Greenwood Lake's pedigree is 4mx6f crosses of Native Dancer through Raise a Native and Natalma, dam of Northern Dancer. Here is part of Meadowlake's value. His dam, Suspicious Native, is a daughter of Raise a Native, which means two things. He provides a sex-balancing son of Native Dancer for Northern Dancer line mares, and he provides a sex-balancing daughter for Raise a Native sons.
This definitely keeps his options open for success, and he's done well with both. Seven of his stakes winners are from Northern Dancer line mares, and five others have Northern Dancer somewhere else in their dam's pedigree. Four of his stakes winners are out of Raise a Native line mares, and two others have Raise a Native somewhere else in their pedigree. But neither of these represent his most potent bloodline affinity.
Meadowlake's best runner is, without a doubt, Meadow Star, her dam by In Reality, next dam by Native Dancer. There's that sex-balancing Native Dancer thing again. Meadow Star is 4mx3f to Native Dancer, but what is equally as important is her dam's sire, In Reality, who appears as the dam's sire of three other Meadowlake stakes winners, Ninth Inning (G2), Medford, and Streamer. In Reality was himself inbred 3mx3f to War Relic. So Meadowlake has a nick with War Relic, or is the nick with his sire, Hold Your Peace?
Hold Your Peace was by Speak John (by Prince John) out of Blue Moon by Eight Thirty, next dam by Blue Larkspur. Eight Thirty was by Pilate, a son of Friar Rock (Rock Sand - Fairy Gold) and Eight Thirty was out of Seaplane by Man O'War (by Fairy Gold's other son Fair Play and out of Mahubah by Rock Sand). This means that Eight Thirty was inbred 3x5 to Rock Sand AND Fairy Gold.
If this sounds familiar, it's probably because you've looked at the pedigree of War Relic, who was sired by Man O'War and out of the champion juvenile filly Friar's Carse by Friar Rock. War Relic was even more closely inbred than Eight Thirty, being 3x3 to both Fairy Gold and Rock Sand.
As it usually does in pedigree study, one thing leads back to another. War Relic sired Intent (dam by Bubbling Over), who sired Intentionally (dam by Discovery, and so inbred to Fairy Gold's son Fair Play). Intentionally, when bred to My Dear Girl, got the good runner and sire In Reality. My Dear Girl was by Rough'n Tumble and her dam was Iltis by War Relic, meaning that In Reality was himself 3x3 to the inbred War Relic.
Therefore, it's not surprising to find that any horse with a close cross of Eight Thirty should be very compatible with any horse with a cross of In Reality, what with all that similar Rock Sand/Fairy Gold stuff going on.
In Meadowlake's case, Hold Your Peace's dam, Blue Moon (by Eight Thirty), had even more ties to set her son up as a perfect cross to In Reality. Blue Moon's dam, Blue Grail, was by Blue Larkspur, by Black Servant (by Black Toney) out of Blossom Time by North Star III. In Reality's grandsire Intent was out of a mare by Bubbling Over (by North Star III) and In Reality's second dam, Iltis, was out of We Hail by Balladier. Balladier was bred on the same cross as Blue Larkspur, being by Black Toney out of a mare by North Star III.
So crossing Hold Your Peace on In Reality, results in remarkable duplications of Fairy Gold, Rock Sand, Black Toney and North Star III. Blue Larkspur himself appears three times (6x4x5) in Meadowlake, so he's worth remembering as having some special genetic value here.
Interestingly, in an article featured in Owner-Breeder International (Vol 13 No. 3 in May 2000) written by Byron Rogers about Success Express, a son of Hold Your Peace based in Australia, he came to some remarkably similar conclusions. Success Express has been making merry Down Under, especially when crossed with mares carrying the Australian sire Bletchingly. Bletchingly's dam, Coogee, was by Relic, a horse sired by War Relic out of Bridal Colors by Black Toney - Vaila. If this pedigree sounds familiar, it's because Bridal Colors was a close relative to Blue Larkspur, by a son of Black Toney out of a daughter of Vaila.
Which brings up the pedigree of Meadowlake's brilliant sprint filly Meafara, and two other stakes winners by Meadowlake, the siblings Afare and Eddie B Runs, who are both out of a half-sister to Meafara named Afare (by Runaway Groom). The dam of Meafara and Afare is Afara's Profit by Handsome Profit out of Afara by Silver Shark. Handsome Profit's dam was an imported mare by Buisson Ardent, a champion sprinter in Europe while Afara (a half-sister to the second dam of Blushing Groom) was by Silver Shark, another European speed horse by the same Buisson Ardent. Afara's Profit was therefore 3fx3m to Buisson Ardent, whose sire was Relic, by War Relic.
Of particular interest is the fact that Buisson Ardent's second dam, Rocklyn, was by Easton out of Rock Forrard by Rock Flint. Easton was by Dark Legend, whose third dam was none other than Fairy Gold. Rock Flint was sired by none other than Rock Sand. This better start sounding familiar. So now we have two of Meadowlake's most successful crosses, In Reality (3x3 War Relic) and the mare Afara's Profit (3x3 to a son of Relic), accounting for seven stakes winners and two of his finest runners, and all involving high concentrations of War Relic.
This doesn't even address the fact that four of his stakes winners are inbred to Prince John, Meadowlake's own male-line ancestor. Unfortunately, none of these are among his graded stakes winners, so it doesn't look like a pattern to follow with any religious zeal. One of these, however, the nice runner Silent Lake, is out of a mare whose own dam was by Silent Screen. Silent Screen was bred on the same pattern as Hold Your Peace (sired by a son of Prince John, dam by Eight Thirty), being by Prince John and out Prayer Bell, a mare whose dam was by Eight Thirty, with a further cross of Better Self, whose pedigree hides Baba Kenny, bred on the same Black Servant/North Star II cross as Blue Larkspur, found in Hold Your Peace.
What is behind this Prince John/Eight Thirty nick anyhow? Prince John was by Princequillo - Not Afraid by Count Fleet - Banish Fear by Blue Larkspur. Banish Fear's dam was Herodiade, by Over There out of the imported mare Herodias, by The Tetrarch. Herodias also produced Pilate, which makes an "Aha!" sort of moment here, since Pilate became the sire of Eight Thirty. So Prince John and Pilate are from the same female line back to Herodias.
But it doesn't end there. Herodiade's sire, Over There was an obscure imported son of Spearmint and Summer Girl (by Sundridge). He also had a full sister named Bathing Girl, an unraced mare who was imported by Samuel Riddle to be bred to his champion Man O'War. Bathing Girl produced the stakes winning colt Triton (by Man O'War's stablemate Golden Broom), and two other useful daughters in Annette K. (by Harry of Hereford, which she was carrying in utero upon her importation), and Seaplane (by Man O'War). Annette K. became known as the dam of War Glory and granddam of War Admiral, two of Man O'War's better runners and sires. Seaplane became the dam of Dinner Time (by High Time), who when bred to Pilate, produced Eight Thirty.
So Prince John carries a cross of Over There, while Eight Thirty carries a cross of Over There's full sister, Bathing Girl; and Herodiade in Prince John's female line is closely related to Eight Thirty's sire Pilate. War Admiral dovetails into that scenario as well, being related to Eight Thirty's granddam Seaplane, both with Man O'War, Bathing Girl, and a close cross of Domino to boot.
By coincidence or otherwise, Silent Screen also has a cross of War Admiral via his dam's sire Better Self, out of Bee Mac (by War Admiral). Yes, in fact Bee Mac is the one out of the close relative to Blue Larkspur, which means that Bee Mac has a lot of the same ingredients as Prince John's granddam Banish Fear. My head hurts.
And we haven't even got to the fact that Meadowlake is from the same female line as Hail to Reason, a half-brother to Meadowlake's granddam Be Suspicious. Meadowlake has sired two stakes winners, Flag of the Play and T. J.'s Turn, with Hail to Reason in their pedigrees, thus inbreeding to Nothirdchance. [Which makes us really wonder what Meadowlake could do with mares by Halo, whose dam's sire, Cosmic Bomb, is from the same family as Prince John.]
Meadowlake sires a high class runner with a surprising level of consistency. He also sires a big, strapping yearling that the market is willing to pay good money for, on the average. Why not breed one on the established nicks we've outlined above, sell it for a good profit, and watch it win big on the track, upgrading your mare in the process?
August 5, 2001. Copyright by Anne Peters 2001.