Mushka fam has ties to big prices, stamina, Darley

The Bernardini filly from Mushka that topped the first day of Keeneland September at $1.2 million has long ties to big commercial prices at Kentucky auctions stretching back to the 1980s. Price is usually tied to performance, and there’s plenty of high-class classic form in this family tracing back to the 1976 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner Bold Forbes, a brother to Mushka’s fourth dam, Priceless Fame—a mare purchased by Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley for a world record price of $6 million in 1984. Some of this is not readily apparent in the reading of the catalog page.


Mushka, a first-crop daughter of Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker from Sluice, by Seeking the Gold, herself was a $1.6 million Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling purchase by Zayat Stables in 2006. Two years later, in the midst of reported financial turmoil, Zayat sold her as a G2 winner to Elizabeth Moran’s Brushwood Stable for $2.4 million as a racing/broodmare prospect at the Keeneland November sale, and the following year she became a G1 winner for her new owner. She acted on dirt, turf, and all-weather, and she was a two-turn racehorse.

Brushwood sold her first foal, a Distorted Humor colt, for $1.65 million to Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Estate Company at the Keeneland September sale of 2012. Subsequently named Heyaarat and now three, the colt recently won a maiden race at Belmont in his fourth start over 1 1/4 miles on turf, reflecting the essence of this family: stamina on all surfaces.

Take a look at the high-class stamina sires stacked upon each other through the tail-female line of descent to Priceless Fame: the $1.2 million yearling is by Belmont winner and stamina influence A.P. Indy’s son Bernardini, a Preakness winner; Mushka is by Belmont winner Empire Maker, a son of Derby winner Unbridled; Sluice, Mushka’s dam, is by Seeking the Gold, who stayed 1 1/4 miles; Sluice’s dam is Lakeway, by Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew; Lakeway’s dam Milliardaire is by Alydar, runner-up in the Triple Crown; and Milliardaire is from Priceless Fame, the sister to Bold Forbes.

Sheikh Mohammed was in the early stages of the Darley operation when he purchased Priceless Fame for $6 million in 1984, but he did so as he’d won the G1 William Hill Futurity with her Grey Dawn son Dunbeath in 1982—the same year the mare’s Alydar yearling Saratoga Six made $2.2 million at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale; subsequently, in the summer of 1984, Alydar’s yearling filly Milliardaire made $2.7 million.

Sheikh Mohammed didn’t have much luck breeding from Priceless Fame after he purchased her, getting only one winner from seven foals. Her last foal, however, was the Machiavellian mare Headline, who produced the A.P. Indy filly Jilbab—winner of the 12-furlong G1 Coaching Club American Oaks for Godolphin in 2002.

Milliardaire, who’d been purchased for $2.7 million by Mike Rutherford, got the multiple G1 winner Lakeway, a daughter of A.P. Indy’s sire, Seattle Slew. Rutherford raced Lakeway himself but sold Milliardaire’s last foal, an A.P. Indy colt named Monarchoftheglen, to Demi O’Byrne on behalf of Coolmore for $1.5 million.

Sluice, Lakeway’s daughter by Seeking the Gold, was bred and sold by Rutherford for $1.5 million to Guy and Diane Snowden at the Keeneland July sale of 1999.

The Snowdens bred and sold Mushka from Sluice for $1.6 million as well as her 2011 brother Prominence, purchased for $1.1 million by Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Stable and George Bolton at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale.



Stallion news from the day job

Yes, I’ve been slacking off in this space, but I’ve been busy elsewhere, at the day job! Here’s some posts you may or may not have seen via SM links:

No guarantee seasons to Claiborne’s ascendant War Front have been trading for $250,000 to $300,000, even though he stood the 2014 season for $150,000 live foal (though seasons were hard enough to acquire). That’s quite a hike, but it’s supported by international demand for the stallion’s services. Remember, Claiborne doesn’t believe in large books or the shuttle process so demand far exceeds supply for this son of Danzig. Click the bold-faced headline to read the post at Werk Thoroughbred Consultants. War Front’s 2015 fee promises to surge

WinStar’s Pioneerof the Nile picked the right time to pick up the steam he’d shown with his early season three-year-olds on the classics trail. Just like that, boom, he had three graded stakes winners from August 31 to a September 3 at Del Mar, including a G1 winner, and the timing was impeccable: Keeneland September starts Monday. Pioneerof the Nile gets his G1 winner

WinStar had a week to remember. First Pioneerof the Nile, then first-year sire Super Saver, both of them veterans of the Kentucky Derby. The former was runner-up to Mine That Bird but the latter won the race as a homebred for the farm. Already the sire of a G1 and G2 winner from his first crop—with SW Hashtag Bourbon going for another G3 win today—Super Saver is the hottest young sire around, and there’s every indication his three-year-olds will train on if they’re like him. Derby horses are Super for WinStar

City Zip’s Palace won the G1 Forego on August 30 at Saratoga but the Lane’s End sire’s stud career encompasses much more than speed at sprints on the main track. In fact, he’s one of the most versatile horses at stud in the country, and he can get you a 9-10F turf horse, an AW miler, or a dirt sprinter. He also happens to be the great Ghostzapper’s half-brother. But, City Zip is more than that

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!


Tegbir Brar of Dashmesh Stud is an accomplished breeder and the son of the late Sonny Brar.

Originally posted on RACING & BREEDING IN INDIA:

When I started writing this blog, the intention was to put down on record my thoughts on a sport that is also my business and a way of life for me. The response has been overwhelming so far and one hopes that I am able to convince some of the powers that be in Indian racing of the many ills that plague our sport. At the same time most of the time I come across as what we boarding school kids call a,”Sheddy.” Well I am far from that and In this blog I intend to mention a few things that our sport can say are world class.

Lets start with the Indian Stud Book; here was an institution that was very poorly run until Major Srinivas Nargolkar walked up to the plate as the registrar. Major as we fondly call him brought about a radical change in an institution…

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uncle mo is the keystone of a serious plan from coolmore stud in america


Frank Mitchell once again with sharp commentary

Originally posted on bloodstock in the bluegrass:

Over the past few years, Coolmore put together an interesting group of young stallions at its American facility in Kentucky, Ashford Stud, that included four consecutive champion juvenile colts: Lookin at Lucky, Uncle Mo, Hansen, and Shanghai Bobby.

The payoff on this apparently calculated gamble to collect the most precocious American stock is about to get its first test in the wider world. The first-crop racers by Lookin at Lucky (by Smart Strike) are now at tracks across the country, as well as a choice sampling overseas, and the first yearlings by Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie) are up for sale.

From a first crop of 100 foals in the States, Lookin at Lucky has had 18 starters and nine winners. Among the most recent was a colt named Good Luck Gus who jumped tracks in his maiden special at Saratoga last week, yet nonetheless drew off to win by five…

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multiple champion gio ponti is beginning his career at stud with a strong set of yearlings


This post is from the excellent Frank Mitchell

Originally posted on bloodstock in the bluegrass:

A champion three times during a rich and exciting career, Gio Ponti showed qualities as a racehorse that are not commonly seen today. Gio Ponti raced from age 2 through 6, winning stakes each season, and he won 11 of them in total, accounting for 11 more stakes placings in 29 lifetime starts. The good-looking bay showed soundness, consistency, and high ability to win seven Grade 1 races and earn more than $6.1 million.

A grandson of perennial power sire Storm Cat, Gio Ponti is by Storm Cat’s son Tale of the Cat, who was a tremendously fast sprinter-miler, but there is considerable influence in both Gio Ponti’s physical makeup, as well as in his racing aptitude, that comes from his dam and from her sire, the illustrious racehorse and stallion Alydar (by Raise a Native).

A first-class racehorse, Alydar was arguably an even better sire, getting classic winners here…

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new stakes winners are promising stars in the sky for the next crop of young racers


From Frank Mitchell

Originally posted on bloodstock in the bluegrass:

With the 2014 Triple Crown in the record books, the participants are largely resting and planning to resume the fray in the heat of the summer for prizes like the Grade 1 Haskell and Travers Stakes. And now it is time to cast an eye upon the next generation of racers, those young prospects who are showing their trainers speed and early maturity.

There were good stakes in three countries over the past week that featured the younger set, with trainer Wesley Ward’s big lick at Royal Ascot coming with the 2-year-old Hootenanny, who blazed away from his competition in the Windsor Castle Stakes to win by 3 ½ lengths from 23 competitors, racing the five furlongs in :59.05.

The lanky-looking colt proved plentifully progressive and rewarded his owners, John Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith, with the first stakes of the Royal Ascot meeting.

Hootenanny is the first stakes…

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pedigree follows performance, just as form follows function


From Frank Mitchell

Originally posted on bloodstock in the bluegrass:

Despite the general perception that “pedigree” is a fixed thing, it truly is not. Racing, particularly high class shown in top races, makes pedigree; not the other way around.

Pedigree researcher and writer Joe Estes developed his life’s work into exploring and shining light through the interwoven fabric of pedigrees and performance. As he saw it, first, there is the racecourse test. If a horse passes that test with some merit, it has a place as a breeding animal. The most recent example of this revelation through performance is last month’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner California Chrome.

Had someone suggested a year ago they would pay $6 million for California Chrome and all his relations, such a comment would have been greeted with convulsions of mirth, then offers of trailer-loads of horses. Those horses had no extraordinary value until California Chrome proved his value on the racetrack.


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On Racing + Breeding + Youth Baseball


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