Sea the Stars, a son of Cape Cross from Urban Sea, by Miswaki, has a glittering German female family that up until this year was most famous for the top racehorse and sire Galileo — arguably the best stallion in Europe now. An Epsom Derby winner like Sea the Stars, Galileo is a son of Sadler’s Wells who stands at Coolmore where he headlines a group that includes Montjeu (by Sadler’s Wells) and Danehill Dancer (Danehill). This trio was responsible for Sea the Stars’ main opposition this year: Rip Van Winkle (Galileo), Fame and Glory (Montjeu) and Mastercraftsman (Danehill Dancer).
With the success of Galileo, it’s easy enough to project similar success for Sea the Stars. Sadler’s Wells mares in particular should fit him beautifully because his dam produced multiple Group 1 winner Black Sam Bellamy and Group 3 winner All Too Beautiful by the Coolmore giant in addition to Galileo. There are also two Sadler’s Wells stakes winners under the second dam, and deeper in the pedigree under the third dam is German Derby winner Adlerflug, a son of the Sadler’s Wells horse In the Wings.
German families have been prominent this year in the European classics, and aside from Epsom Derby winner Sea the Stars, the winners of the two other major 2009 European Derbys had German family connections: Le Havre, the French Derby winner; and Fame and Glory, the Irish Derby winner. Stacelita, the French Oaks winner, and Jacqueline, the recent Indian dual Guineas winner, also descend from German families.
The German background of Black Sam Bellamy no doubt influenced Gestut Fahrhof owner Dr. Andreas Jacobs’ decision to buy him from Michael Tabor and Susan Magnier in 2003, around the time the then-4-year-old colt won the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup by 8 lengths at the Curragh over 10-plus furlongs. The year before, the colt had won the Group 1 Gran Premio del Jockey Club over 12 furlongs in Milan and was named champion 3-year-old colt in Italy. All told, he won 4 of 18 starts, placed 8 times, was a dual Group 1 winner, was Group 1-placed at 2 though winless, and earned £389,848.
A good racehorse, he entered stud at Gestut Fahrhof in 2004 but has since relocated to Shade Oak Stud in Britain (for the 2009 season) under lease from Fahrhof, to capitalize on the popularity of Galileo — and now Sea the Stars. His stud fee for 2010 is £4,500, same as in 2009 and a far cry from what his brothers will stand for next year. Yet at his level he has succeeded — more so than the official stats say — and his career is another indicator that this family makes sires; 2000 Guineas winner King’s Best, a son of Kingmambo under the second dam, is also a very good sire in France under the Darley banner.
Officially, Black Sam Bellamy is credited with three Group 3 winners and two Listed winners from three crops to race through 2009, with his oldest age 4. One of these stakes winners, Valdino, was a first-crop classic winner. Last year the colt won the Group 3 Grosser Preis von DSW21-St. Leger at Dortmund over 2800 meters. His other internationally recognized black type winners are 2008 Group 3 winner Goathemala, Group 3 winner Saphir, Daveron, and Galana. The latter three plus Valdino are 2009 black type winners.
Not Official: Black Sam Bellamy has two other classic winners, giving him three through his first two crops of 3-year-olds. The stallion is the sire of the last two Hungarian Derby winners at Kincsem Park in Budapest, but because stakes races in Hungary do not qualify for black type under rules of “International Cataloguing Standards,” he does not get credit for them.
However, the stallion has a burgeoning reputation in Eastern and Central Europe. In 2008, from his first crop of 3-year-olds, Black Sam Bellamy’s Sunny Sam won the Magyar Derby for the same connections as Overdose, the Hungarian sprinter who went on to fame in Germany, France, and Italy. This year, the stallion’s Garaboncias won the Derby.