Jess Jackson paid millions before the Preakness to buy Rachel Alexandra, the best 3-year-old dirt filly in the country. He sold Gozzip Girl, now the best 3-year-old turf filly in the country, for peanuts as a yearling (at least in comparison to what he paid for Rachel!). Somewhere down the line the two fillies might meet — maybe the Alabama at Saratoga? — and that will make for an interesting story line beyond the obvious.
Jackson got into the game big time a few years back with the aid of bloodstock agent Emmanuel de Seroux (Narvick International). He spent lavishly on bloodstock with Narvick before things quickly soured, and Jackson sued de Seroux in 2005 for ripping him off — all of this well publicized. After splitting with Narvick, Jackson enjoyed his biggest racing successes with Curlin, in 2007 and 2008. In 2007, de Seroux also paid Jackson $3.5 million to settle the suit out of court. Now, in 2009, Jackson’s back in the spotlight with Rachel Alexandra — and with Gozzip Girl, whom he bred and sold for $60,000.
This past weekend Gozzip Girl won the Grade 1 American Oaks Invitational Stakes over 10 furlongs on turf at Hollywood Park, and I read somewhere that her connections are next considering the Alabama on dirt at Saratoga. To date, Gozzip Girl has a record of 8-5-1-0 and earnings of $782,194. Rachel Alexandra, winner of the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, Preakness, and Mother Goose, has record of 12-9-2-0, with earnings of $1,798,354, and perhaps also may have the Alabama on her schedule. If they meet, it will represent a collision of the past with the present for Jackson.
Rachel Alexandra and Curlin — Jackson says they will be future mates — represent post-Narvick success, but Gozzip Girl is a product of a mare de Seroux purchased for Jackson in 2004, one year before Jackson would sue de Seroux.
In 2004 at the Keeneland November sale, Narvick purchased the Kingmambo mare Temperence Gift, in foal to Hennessy, for $200,000. The resulting foal, born in 2005, was sold as short yearling for $90,000 at the Keeneland January sale in 2006 (the same foal was resold at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale in August for $300,000).
In 2005, after foaling the Hennessy, Jackson bred Temperence Gift to Dynaformer, for a variety of reasons. One of them was the Dynaformer filly Ocean Silk, who also was produced from a Kingmambo mare and was a Listed winner and Group 1-placed in 2003. Another reason for Dynaformer, a son of Roberto, was the success this family had had with Kris S., also a son of Roberto. Temperence Gift’s second dam had produced Grade 1 winner Brocco by Kris S., and her dam had bred the Listed winner and Graded-placed Mistress S. and another stakes-placed runner by the same stallion.
The result of this mating — Dynaformer/Temperence Gift — was Gozzip Girl, which means that three generations of this family have produced black type winners by Roberto-line stallions. Coincidentally, on the same day that Gozzip Girl won the American Oaks, the German-bred Wiener Walzer, a son of Dynaformer from another Kingmambo mare, won the Group 1 German Derby (see post below). Turns out it was a terrifically inspired mating!
Gozzip Girl, as I noted, made only $60,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale in 2007, selling on September 15. On September 24, nine days later, de Seroux settled for $3.5 million with Jackson, about a week before the court date.
By around this time, Jackson was on a high with Curlin, and as far as he was concerned everything associated with Narvick was probably tainted — perhaps the reason he sold Gozzip Girl as a yearling. The year before, he’d attempted to sell her dam, Temperence Gift, in foal to More Than Ready, but he’d RNA’d her for $87,000 at Keeneland November. At the same sale in 2007, however, he finally cut her loose for $52,000, in foal to War Chant (the lucky buyer was Liberation Farm and Brandywine Farm).
Temperence Gift, today, is worth far more than $52,000; actually, she’s worth more than the $200,000 Narvick paid for her in 2004!
And Gozzip Girl may be the only filly around to give Rachel Alexandra a run for the money — all $8 million or so that Jackson paid for her.