by Ann Ferland ©
The filly named You has proved herself the top young miss of her crop on the East Coast with her decisive win in the Frizette Stakes over her major rival Cashier's Dream. She seemed to have no trouble with the mile and a sixteenth distance in the Frizette, but that was around one turn. How will she fare when the races start going two turns and when the distances stretch out for an Oaks or an Alabama?
To try answer that question, one important place to look is at the pedigree. You is from the third crop of the sire You and I and is the first of his offspring to win a major stakes race. You and I was a precocious colt, unbeaten winner of his only two races, including the Cowdin S (G2), at two. Triple Crown dreams danced in his connections' heads but a placing in the Hutcheson Stakes (G2) was all he had to show for a winter in Florida. Back at shorter distances, he showed he would be a force to be reckoned with by winning the Riva Ridge Stakes (G3) on Belmont day and setting a track record for seven furlongs at Belmont Park of 1:20 1/5.
With maturity came You and I's best season and his best performances over longer distances. After a game third in the Carter Handicap (G1), he scorched the track in 1:34 .63 to win the Met Mile (G1) over Lite the Fuse and Our Emblem. After closely pressing the pace in the nine-furlong Brooklyn Handicap (G2), You and I took over to win by a length. A trip out west to contest the Bel Air Handicap (G2) at 1 1/16 miles proved less fruitful as he was caught up in a speed duel and tired to finished fifth. A two-month rest followed, setting him up for a fall campaign as a sprinter.
His first start back was a good one as he conceded the Vosburgh Stakes (G1) to champion sprinter Not Surprising by only a nose. You and I went into the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1), held that year at Belmont, his favorite track, as the second choice but just didn't show up; he didn't break well or show his customary early speed, was caught wide on the turn and finished a well-beaten tenth. This author would consider You and I a sprinter/miler rather than a straight sprinter. Around one turn, he could manage to last nine furlongs but two turns seemed to find him out as lacking in stamina.
You and I was the result of a "fish-and-fowl" mating, where one parent is of one persuasion in terms of distance ability, while the other parent is of a distinctly different persuasion. Kris S.'s pedigree (Roberto over Princequillo) screams stamina and his offspring have a definite preference for more than a mile. You and I's dam, the Peruvian La Chaposa, was a five-furlong specialist whose produce have all been sprinters, aside from You and I. This time, the mating produced a swan, a speedy miler.
La Chaposa was a very fast and very classy filly at home in Peru, where she won two Group 1 sprints at 1,000m (about 5f.); in all, she won 13 of her 18 starts. It was undoubtedly this talent that attracted the attention of those who purchased her for the U.S. bloodstock market. From her first seven foals, six raced and all of them were winners, including two stakes winners and two hard-knocking sorts who each earned more than $80,000, testimony to her inherent quality.
You and I's stakes-winning little sister was the tough sprinting filly Chaposa Springs, a bay daughter of Baldski. While adept at six furlongs, she specialized at seven furlongs, winning such races as the Test Stakes (G1) and Ballerina Stakes (G1) at Saratoga. Attempts at distances at a mile or more resulted in placings at best, despite Baldski's distance-loving ancestors (Nijinsky II and Bald Eagle), so we must conclude that Chaposa Springs was more of a mama's girl.
Ups, sire of La Chaposa, was a Group 1-type winner in his native Peru, taking the international mile race associated with the running of Peru's 'Arc' equivalent. His racing career included 14 wins in 27 starts. He sired his share of good racehorses, including the top colt Tattoo (Cl Comercio-G1, Polla de Potrillos, etc.) and the Oaks winner Atolondrada as well as La Chaposa. His parents were both Argentine-bred, the clasico-winning Deming (British Empire-Triumph, by Ptolemy) and Malestrella (Masked Light-Muscade, by Foxhunter). Interestingly, Deming's dam was out of Lykalily, whose dam was a half-sister to Malva, dam of Blenheim II and King Salmon. And his damsire was a horse called Ptolemy, a Whichone son who finished third in the 1937 Santa Anita Derby and stemmed from the Matinee branch of the Maggie B. B. family, so there is some old American blood in this exotic import.
Ups' own female line has a better record in Europe than in South America; his third dam was a Boussac-bred by Asterus out of Myrica and a half-sister to Mitidja II, ancestress of Nebbiolo (2000 Guineas), Novara (Deutsche Stutenpreis) and Blues Traveller (American Handicap).
The female family of La Chaposa could be described as the poor relations of the fabulously rich line of Dogaresa. Her dam, Belinda, by Nyangal (another with Boussac breeding), produced several other good fillies, one a stakes winner and two others stakes-placed in Peru and those daughters have also produced stakes-type runners, but none are Group 1 class. Belinda was bred in Argentina, out of a genuine 100% producer - six foals, six winners - named Goelette, sired by the British Triple Crown winner Bahram.
Goelette had a full sister named Brigantine who became the second dam of Argentine Group 1 winner Brilliantly. The sisters were out of Umyak, one of several half-sisters to a horse some of you may have heard of called Kayak II. A son of the tremendously influential Argentine stallion Congreve, Kayak II is most famous for his narrow defeat by stablemate Seabiscuit in the 1940 Santa Anita Handicap, but he had won the same race the year before while deputizing for the injured 'Biscuit', as well as scoring in the Hollywood Gold Cup, Bowie Handicap, American Handicap, etc. and placing in the Pimlico Special. All in all, Kayak II won 14 of his 26 U.S. starts and finished in the money a further nine times.
Mosquita, the dam of Umyak and Kayak II, was closely related to the important broodmare Dogaresa, for they shared the same sire and the same second dam. Dogaresa (the name given to the wife of Venice's Doge) founded the distinguished "Italian family" in Argentina, so named because her offspring and their offspring who remained in the original stud were given names associated with places and things Italian. Most notable of these was the Quadruple Crown winner Forli, a sire of note in North America, but included other top racers like Tagliamento, Farnesio, Forlitano, and Gioconda. The St. Leger winner Crow and South African Oaks winner Logetta also stem from this family as does the currently racing Argentine import Lazy Lode. So if You has ambitions pointing her toward the Alabama Stakes or C.C.A. Oaks, she had better find some stamina on her mom's side of the family.
In keeping with trans-national backgrounds of important racers this year, You's dam Our Dani was bred in Washington State. She made 20 starts over her three years of racing, accumulating a respectable but uninspiring racing record, winning twice with six other in-the-money finishes, earning but a few dollars short of $12,000. You is her first foal.
Our Dani's sire was the hard-trying Mr. Prospector colt Homebuilder, who earned over $1.1 million the hard way; his record shows 60 starts with 11 wins, 11 seconds and 17 thirds. Although he always gave it his best, Homebuilder was a cut below the top echelon. Despite numerous placings in listed, G3, and G2 races from two to five, he didn't win a graded race until he was four and didn't place in a G1 (the Oaklawn Handicap) until he was five. As a sire, he hasn't made much of a splash, either; his statistics say he has nine stakes winners among his get but we can't think of any of particular note. Homebuilder's dam was a stakes-winning daughter of Vaguely Noble and a half-sister to three major stakes winners - Quadratic, Smarten and Smart Angle - all of them from a Fred Hooper-bred mare.
Back across the Continent we find the home of You's second dam, Lovely Briar. She came into the world in a hallowed place, Windfields Farm in Oshawa, Ontario, the point of origin of a galaxy of stars in the Thoroughbred world, starting with Northern Dancer. Sold at the Canadian Yearling Sales, she placed the next year in the Yearling Sales Stakes. After three years of racing and 20 starts she had three wins and four placings to her credit. As a broodmare, she has been exemplary - 10 foals, nine runners, nine winners, two of them stakes-placed, and all but one by stallions you never heard of.
Not surprisingly, Lovely Briar was sired by a son of Windfields' own Nearctic, not Northern Dancer in this case, but Briartic. Less visible than many other sons of Nearctic, Briartic raced only in Canada at ages two and three, when he was a stakes winner but not at the top of the tree. At four, he won four stakes and placed in the Longacres Mile; at five, he won the Lakes and Flowers Handicap at Hollywood Park under top weight. Briartic stood at Windfields for several years before being purchased by Washington State interests; he left behind two Queen's Plate winners, Son of Briartic and Steady Growth, Canadian Oaks winner Hope for a Breeze, Grade 2 winner Impetuous Gal (dam of Banker's Lady) and the Can-G1 winning dam of top sprinter Langfuhr, among others.
The third dam of You was named Lover's Walk, and she was another of those producers whose foals consistently make to the track and win races; 11 of her 13 offspring made it to the starting gate and 10 of them were winners. Two of them earned stakes brackets and one more, besides Lovely Briar, a filly named Regent's Walk, placed in stakes races, all of them in Canada. Regent's Walk has since distinguished herself by producing Hollywood Gold Cup winner and successful sire Marquetry, French group winner Spain Lane, and the dam of noted sprinter Five Star Day.
The sire of Lover's Walk, Never Bend, needs no introduction from us; brilliant racehorse, major international sire, sire of sires - he has done it all. Lover's Walk may not have been one of his champions but she was a respectable runner with two wins in 12 starts.
The fourth dam of You, Honey Lake, had an unusual production record. Lover's Walk, a winner, was her first foal; the next two were unraced fillies; her next few were sent overseas - one to Ireland, one to Italy, one to France, one to England - and for whatever reason, never ran; one colt died unnamed. Finally, her ninth foal was sent to Panama to become a Group 2 stakes winner and her tenth won two stakes races at Suffolk in Massachusetts. Many would have given up on a broodmare with such a dismal record of foals getting to the races but those who kept faith with Honey Lake were finally rewarded with two black-type winners.
And why would one persist with Honey Lake for long in the face of such futility? Her own racing record might well have been part of it; she won the only race she ran in the U.S. and was also a winner in Ireland, where she placed second in the Athasi Stakes, then a major trial for the Irish Oaks. But even weightier was probably her pedigree; Honey Lake was a half-sister to the dam of Irish Derby and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Meadow Court. Her sire was the top sire Spy Song and her dam was the remarkable Argentine-bred mare Miss Grillo. As a youngster in Argentina, Miss Grillo was the best of her generation, winning the Premio Seleccion (Oaks) and the Gran Premio Nacional (Derby), in which she beat the boys.
Taking on the boys proved to be a constant factor in her career after she arrived in North America at the tail-end of her three-year-old year; she also proved to be a marvelous stayer with wins in the San Juan Capistrano Handicap (1 ¾ miles), Pimlico Cup (2 ½ miles), Exterminator Handicap (2 miles 70 yds), New York Handicap (2 ¼ miles), and the Governor Bowie Handicap (1 5/8 miles), all of them over males. And to prove that she was more than just a long-winded plodder, she also won the Diana Handicap at Saratoga twice, the Black Helen Handicap (both then at 9f. on the main track), and the New Castle Handicap (1 1/16 miles) at Delaware.
Miss Grillo's production record was disappointment, to say the least. She was bred to top stallions but from 11 foals, she had only six, mostly minor, winners; for an iron mare who made 43 starts in the U.S. alone, she did not seem to pass on much soundness - only two foals made more than 10 starts each. Honey Lake was the best of her offspring in terms of class. Perhaps her mates were too much in the classic mold and lacked the speed to counteract Miss Grillo's love for distances. Honey Lake was the result of another of those "fish-and-fowl" matings, for her sire was the noted speed influence Spy Song and Miss Grillo may have needed that shot of sheer speed to produce foals suitable for North American racing.
So, will this female family stiffen You's genetic mix to carry her beyond miler range? Homebuilder was best between a mile and nine furlongs, having the staying influence Vaguely Noble for a damsire. Briartic sired Plate winners at 10 furlongs and was out of a mare by Round Table. Never Bend sired Mill Reef - 'nuf said. She has the stout-hearted Nashua 5x5 in her pedigree, the only inbreeding visible to that distance. And then there is the heritage of Miss Grillo. The possibility is certainly there. You will just have to tell us, as she grows older.
October 21, 2001. Copyright by Ann Ferland 2001.