Kingmambo had European race record but a lot of demand

Lane’s End’s Kingmambo, the sire of 21 Group/Grade 1 winners to date (and 76 Group and Listed stakes winners), was officially retired from stud duty Sept. 28, but his phenomenal international success as a US-based sire is a reminder in today’s market that a European-raced horse can succeed here despite proclamations to the contrary. In fact, the son of Mr. Prospector and Miesque, by Nureyev, was one of the few US-based sires who consistently drew foreign buyers here as the bloodstock industries of the US and Europe were drifting apart, us to 2-year-old speed and one-dimensional nine-furlong horses while Europe was staying the course to its traditions of turf classics based around the Guineas at a mile and the Derby at 12 furlongs. At these European distances, Kingmambo was particularly effective, here and there and everywhere else around the world. And at 20, he has become an international sire of several high-class stallions as well, with many others in the pipeline who could add to his notable legacy.

Only one of Kingmambo’s top-level winners was a dirt horse, but he was the 12-furlong Belmont Stakes winner Lemon Drop Kid, now an accomplished sire in his own right and the sire of many high-class dirt and turf horses. The 2000 Guineas winner King’s Best is another successful sire son of Kingmambo, and 2010 was his breakout season as the sire of the record-breaking Epsom Derby winner Workforce and the Japanese Derby winner Eishin Flash. Kingmambo himself sired a Japanese Derby winner in King Kamehameha (now a leading sire in Japan) and a top Japanese colt  in El Condor Pasa.

Kingmambo had everything going for him when he went to stud, including the sire, the dam, and the race record, which was classically that of a top French miler’s. At 2, the colt started seven times, won once but was thrice placed in Group races. At 3, Kingmambo came into his own and won 4 of 6 starts, with tallies in the Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains (classic French Guineas equivalent) and the Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (also won by Miesque) in France and the Group 1 St. James’s Palace Stakes in England. He also was placed the Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois and the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

Bred and raced by the Niarchos family, Kingmambo was not in the same league as Miesque as a racehorse, but he was a genuine colt with a will to win, and he passed on that inherited characteristic from his dam and the sire power of Mr. Prospector to his offspring.

Take a look at Kingmambo’s Moulin win below. He is in the Niarchos silks (blue with cross on body and stripes on sleeves) in third early, and he’s swamped late but battles back after getting headed to win the race by a head.

And this is Miesque in the 1988 Breeders’ Cup Mile; she’d won in 1987, too.

Kingmambo had European race record but a lot of demand

Kingmambo on the schneid with Mr. Prospector blood

Btw (that’s “by the way” for those of you who don’t text or tweet), I made some comments on Twitter today about Kingmambo that deserve a more formal platform (Twitter is limited to 140 characters per “message”). Would you believe that through his 2007 crop, Kingmambo has not sired an unrestricted stakes winner with Mr. Prospector in the dam’s pedigree? Perhaps in his case, the generational distance of inbreeding is paramount, because any foal by Kingmambo from a mare that had Mr. Prospector in her pedigree would be inbred at least 2xsomething to Mr. Prospector because Kingmambo is a son of Mr. Prospector. And inbreeding to Mr. Prospector 2xsomething is not as effective as 3xsomething, etc.

WTC pedigree researcher and blogger Roger Lyons brought this amazing fact to my attention today while we were discussing the nick that exists between Kingmambo and Sadler’s Wells.

According to Roger’s figures, which include Kingmambo’s 2007 foal crop, a total of 32 mares with Mr. Prospector in their pedigrees have produced no unrestricted stakes winners by Kingmambo to date. This is an interesting piece of usable information.

Kingmambo on the schneid with Mr. Prospector blood

El Condor Pasa was key that led to Derby hero Workforce

A few days ago, while still basking in the glow of Workforce’s Derby tour de force, Juddmonte’s 3-year-old filly Kilo Alpha won a conditions race at Longchamp to go 2 for 5 and showed some promise for the future, either in Europe or the US perhaps. She, like the Derby winner, is by King’s Best from a Sadler’s Wells mare, which means that Juddmonte sent at least two Sadler’s Wells mares to the Kingmambo 2000 Guineas winner in 2006—his sixth season at stud.

Here’s why: The Juddmonte mare Anasazi was sent to King’s Best in his first year at stud in 2001, and she produced the subsequent Listed stakes winner Runaway (who has since become Group 1 placed for another owner). The same mare is the dam of Kilo Alpha.

In 2002, Juddmonte sent another daughter of Sadler’s Wells to King’s Best and got the eventual Listed stakes winner To Sender (who won the stakes in the US). The breeding of Workforce, therefore, was part of a plan that had been in place since King’s Best went to stud, and one that had been successful for the international breeder.

The precedent for sending a daughter of Sadler’s Wells to King’s Best was actually set in 1994, by a Japanese breeder, Takashi Watanabe. His mating of the Sadler’s Wells mare Saddlers Gal to Kingmambo, sire of King’s Best, resulted in the 1995 US-bred foal El Condor Pasa, who raced with aplomb in Japan at 3 by winning the Group 1 Japan Cup (but was ineligible for the Japanese classics as he was bred abroad). He then proved the value of that form by winning the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud at 4 in France. The same year, he also was second in the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and the Group 1 Prix d’Ispahan, too.

El Condor Pasa’s pedigree is actually an exagerated illustration of what’s at work when Kingmambo (or his son King’s Best) is bred to a daughter of Sadler’s Wells. Click here to view it. Note that Kingmambo’s dam, the great Miesque, is by Nureyev—a three-quarter brother to Sadler’s Wells. Both Northern Dancer stallions were outstanding at stud, and combining the two in a pedigree such as El Condor Pasa’s results in duplications to Northern Dancer plus the mare Special, as well as the sire Native Dancer. However, in El Condor Pasa’s case, his third dam, Lisadell, was a sister to Special, so there’s a third line of this female family in the pedigree, too.

In Workforce’s pedigree, however, there are only two duplications to Northern Dancer and Special (through Nureyev and Sadler’s Wells), and that’s good enough because this nick with Kingmambo and his sons with the Sadler’s Wells mares or mares by sons of Sadler’s Wells has resulted in 9 Group 1 winners to date in the Northern Hemisphere:

El Condor Pasa (1995) by Kingmambo from a Sadler’s Wells mare

Divine Proportions (2002) by Kingmambo from a Sadler’s Wells mare

Virginia Waters (2002) by Kingmambo from a Sadler’s Wells mare

Creachadoir (2004) by King’s Best from a Sadler’s Wells mare

King’s Apostle (2004) by King’s Best from a Barathea mare

Henrythenavigator (2005) by Kingmambo from a Sadler’s Wells mare

Ibn Khaldun (2005) by Dubai Destination from a Sadler’s Wells mare

Thewayyouare (2005) by Kingmambo from a Sadler’s Wells mare

Workforce (2007) by King’s Best from a Sadler’s Wells mare

To date, King’s Best, who stands for Darley in France and also is the sire of the Japan Derby winner Eishin Flash, has sired 31 black type winners: 19 Group winners (6 Group 1) and 12 Listed stakes winners. Of this total, 9 are from Sadler’s Wells mares or mares by sons of Sadler’s Wells. They are:

Creachadoir (2004) from a Sadler’s Wells mare; G1 winner

King’s Apostle (2004) from a Barathea mare; G1 winner

Best Alibi (2003) from a Sadler’s Wells mare; G2 winner

Spice Route (2004) from an In the Wings mare; G2 winner

Best Name (2003) from an Old Vic mare; G3 winner

Queen’s Best (2003) from an In the Wings mare; G3 winner

Runaway (2002) from a Sadler’s Wells mare; Listed winner

To Sender (2003) from a Sadler’s Wells mare; Listed winner

It’s fairly obvious by comparing the years of birth of these horses that the success of El Condor Pasa and his fairly concentrated linebreeding led to more Sadler’s Wells mares (and Sadler’s Wells-line mares) for Kingmambo and King’s Best at around the same time.  Workforce is just the latest example of this combination. More will follow.

El Condor Pasa was key that led to Derby hero Workforce

A look at Sea the Stars’ other brother, Black Sam Bellamy

Black Sam Bellamy: Full brother to Galileo, half-brother to Sea the Stars.

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.

Garaboncias: Son of Black Sam Bellamy won the 87th Hungarian Derby this year in Budapest.

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.

Sunny Sam: Won 2008 Magyar Derby with Gary Hind up in the Overdose colors of Zoltan Mikoczy.

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.

A look at Sea the Stars’ other brother, Black Sam Bellamy

Japanese-bred Kingmambo stallion has top 2-year-old colt

King Kamehameha: A Japanese-bred son of Kingmambo, he won 7 of 8 starts at 2 and 3, including the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) over 2400 meters and the G1 NHK Mile at 1600 meters. A half-brother to The Deputy, he was retired to stud at Shadai for the 2005 season. In 2006, he was bred to 256 mares -- the most in Japan that year -- and the resulting foals in 2007 include undefeated 2-year-old colt Rose Kingdom, who won the Group 1 Asahi Hai Futurity today at Nakayama.

Click here to read about the Asahi Hai Futurity at Nakayama today, won by undefeated Rose Kingdom. The Giant’s Causeway colt Eishin Apollon was second.

Japanese-bred Kingmambo stallion has top 2-year-old colt

Jackson’s worlds collide: Gozzip Girl and Rachel Alexandra

Jess Jackson
Jess Jackson

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.

Gozzip Girl (Benoit Photo)
Gozzip Girl (Benoit Photo)

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.

Jackson’s worlds collide: Gozzip Girl and Rachel Alexandra

Darley sends King’s Best from France to Haras Vacacion

King's Best
King's Best

This just in from our man in Argentina, Diego Mitagstein: Darley will shuttle King’s Best from Haras du Logis in Normandy, France, to Damasia Lottero’s and Pablo Zabaleta’s Haras Vacacion in San Antonio de Areca, Buenos Aires, Argentina, for the 2009 Southern Hemisphere season. The horse made the same trip to the same farm for the 2007 SH season.

The 2000 Guineas winner in 2000, King’s Best is a 12-year-old son of Kingmambo from Allegretta, by Lombard. His half-sister, Arc winner Urban Sea, is the dam of this season’s 2000 Guineas winner Sea the Stars and Epsom Derby and Irish Derby winner Galileo, one of the best young stallions in Europe.

King’s Best is the sire of 25 black type winners, including 14 group winners. His three Group 1 winners are Creachadoir, Dubai Surprise, and Proclamation. He stands for 15,000 Euros in France.

Darley sends King’s Best from France to Haras Vacacion