Breeding Watch: Hard at work

- -

New Grade 1 winners by Hard Spun and Include emerged last weekend while there was a heavy dose of Proud Citizen in the pedigrees of juvenile stakes winners in North America.

Just a few weeks ago we noted that Darley‘s Hard Spun is the sire of group or graded stakes winners in four countries in 2015, including Group 1 Investec Cape Derby winner Ertijaal in South Africa.

Hard Spun added a Northern Hemisphere Grade 1 feather to his halter last Saturday when Hard Aces trumped the Gold Cup at Santa Anita field. Previous winner of the Louisiana Handicap Jan. 17 at Fair Grounds, Hard Aces is the sixth Northern Hemisphere Grade 1 winner from the first four crops by Hard Spun.

Hard Aces is also among the 77 black-type winners and eight Group or Grade 1 winners produced by the daughters of Quiet American.

Hard Spun is also the sire of Hard Not To Like (dam by Tactical Cat) on his 2015 resume. That 6-year-old mare captured the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes back in May at Santa Anita Park for her second Grade 1 triumph.


The veteran Airdrie Stud stallion Include is the sire of 10 crops and he’s had his moments over the years with runners like 2007 American Oaks Invitational Stakes and Juddmonte Spinster Stakes winner Panty Raid and 2011 Prioress Stakes winner Her Smile.

In 2015, Include’s sophomore daughter Include Betty signaled her quality with a win in the Grade 3 Fantasy Stakes in early April and stepped up another few notches with a sterling come-from-behind victory in Saturday’s Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park. Her victory makes it five Northern Hemisphere Grade 1 winners for Include (he also has two in South America).

A son of Broad Brush, Include’s signature win came in the Grade 1 Pimlico Special Handicap over an odds-on Albert the Great in 2001.

Include Betty is the third stakes winners (from 88 starters) out of the daughters of the Cox’s Ridge stallion Eltish, runner-up to Timber Country in the 1994 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

This larger Broad Brush-Cox’s Ridge cross has produced good results over the years.

Broad Brush is the sire of at least six stakes winners out of mares by Cox’s Ridge, including Grade 3 winner Hesanoldsalt and Grade 1 winner Mongoose. Eltish stood the majority of his second career at Florida’s Live Oak Plantation and died in New York in October 2012.

Include’s barnmate at Airdrie, Proud Citizen, also enjoyed a strong weekend. His juvenile daughter Cosmic Evolution broke her maiden in the $100,000 Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs under Calvin Borel.

Cosmic Evolution is her sire’s 28th stakes winners in nine crops (456 starters, 6 percent stakes winners from starters). Her connections are surely dreaming she returns to the twin spires next spring to become Proud Citizen’s third winner of the Kentucky Oaks. Cosmic Evolution is also the second 2015 (and lifetime) stakes winner out of mare by Ghostzapper, whose eldest daughters are but 8 years old.

A son of Gone West, Proud Citizen’s oldest daughters are just 10 and have yielded 75 starters as of this writing. Five of those are now black-type winners with the latest being Come to Mischief, runaway winner of the My Dear Stakes Sunday at Woodbine. Making her debut as the longest chance in the field at 18-1, she rolled by 6 easy lengths.

Come to Mischief is the 12th stakes winner (from 86 starters, 14 percent) by Spendthrift Farm‘s Into Mischief, who is doing good work with the Gone West broodmare line. The son of the late Harlan’s Holiday is also the sire of 2015 Penn Oaks winner Strict Compliance out of a mare by the Gone West stallion Grand Slam.

Bent on Bourbon is the newest graded winner for Claiborne Farm’s Arch after taking the Grade 3 Iowa Derby impressively under Javier Castellano. Bent on Bourbon has been patiently handled by Eddie Kenneally and the Iowa Derby was his third straight trip to the winner’s circle after a pair of allowance scores in Kentucky.

Bent on Bourbon is the fourth stakes winner by Arch out of a mare by the former Claiborne stalwart Seeking the Gold. The multiple Grade 1 winners Blame and Pine Island are among the others.

Seeking the Gold is also the broodmare sire of Golden Lad, who earned his fourth black-type win (second graded) in Saturday night’s Grade 3 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap. The win gives his sire, Medaglia d’Oro, a seventh 2015 graded stakes winner, tied with Giant’s Causeway for second among North American stallions, one behind Tapit.

Matt O’Neil is a freelance writer and pedigree consultant based in Chicago. A former editor of Owner-Breeder International, his work has also appeared in numerous publications that include The Blood-Horse MarketWatch, The Florida Horse and Keeneland Magazine. He is currently marketing and social media coordinator for Adena Springs Farm and a partner in the fantasy horse racing game