On Sunday, July 4th, baseball and racing intersected for me again. I was on a diamond in Breezy Point, Queens, with the Brooklyn Bulldogs 14U travel team competing in the New York Travel Baseball Fourth of July Tournament, while just a little farther away in Elmont, Long Island, the 3-year-old New York-bred filly Franny Freud was entering the starting gates for the Grade 1 Prioress. Long story short, we both won. The Bulldogs came back Monday to win the championship, while Franny Freud by then was basking in the afterglow of a new Grade 1 victory.
How are the two wins related? In October of 1998, I left Daily Racing Form to raise my two sons, John, 5, and Joe, 2, at the time. One month later, I had a filly named Frankly Fran claimed for me, for $3,000 at Finger Lakes. A daughter of the well-bred Secretariat stallion D’Accord, Frankly Fran was from the stakes-placed Faraway Son mare Las Manitas, who’d already produced the stakes winner C B Account by then. Of interest to me, though, was her tail-female line, which also traced to Secretariat through Imperatrice, Frankly Fran’s 5th dam. Pedigree aficionados will know that Imperatrice also was Secretariat’s second dam, as her daughter Somethingroyal produced the Triple Crown winner.
Frankly Fran, therefore, was inbred to Imperatrice 4×5 and had a similar pattern within her pedigree to Secretariat’s as her second dam, Maimiti, was a granddaughter of Nasrullah, just as Secretariat was a grandson of that epochal sire.
Long story short, Frankly Fran had an interesting pedigree for students of pedigree, and consequently I put the mare to pedigree guru Alan Porter, who had a client in Florida with a startup operation looking for mares. Shortly afterward, Frankly Fran’s pedigree improved significantly when her 1998 Forest Wildcat half-sister Look of the Lynx, who’d sold for $310,000 at the Keeneland September sale, won a stakes in 2001.
Now, Forest Wildcat was by Storm Cat, and so is the New York-based sire Freud, who happens to also be a brother to leading sire Giant’s Causeway. In 2006, Frankly Fran was covered by Freud, and the 2007 result was Franny Freud, the recent Grade 1 winner.
It just so happens that during the last decade, from the time I purchased and sold Frankly Fran, I’ve been coaching my sons in travel baseball, and coincidently Franny Freud’s Prioress win neatly dovetails with the end of my own coaching career, which is finished in a few weeks. Those boys, by the way, are now a newly turned 17 and a soon-to-be 14, and the younger one was on the team that won the championship this weekend.