Breeding Watch: Sweet victory

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The progeny of a pair of Relaunch grandsons dominated the stakes action last weekend in Southern California, while the Southwest region saw the first juvenile stakes winner of the year.

When Beholder scratched from Saturday’s Grade 1 Vanity Stakes at Santa Anita Park, the race was widely conceded to Warren’s Veneda. They just forgot to tell Mike Smith and My Sweet Addiction. The pair shrugged off multiple challenges to gain the coveted victory under the gaze of the San Gabriel Mountains.

My Sweet Addiction became the 32nd graded winner and 13th Grade 1 winner (including Mr. Hot Stuff over the jumps) for WinStar Farm‘s Tiznow. She is out of the multiple graded stakes-winning Boston Harbor mare Healthy Addiction, second in the 2006 Vanity.

The Martin Jones-trained My Sweet Addiction is inbred to Seattle Slew at 4×4 and is among 131 stakes winners and seven Grade 1 winners that carry a double of the 1977 Triple Crown winner. Two of the other Grade 1 winners have appeared within the last year, 2014 Hopeful Stakes hero Competitive Edge last month’s Wood Memorial Stakes winner Frosted.

A return of Seattle Slew has been beneficial for Tiznow overall as My Sweet Addiction is his 13th stakes winner showing this pattern and his third Grade 1 winner after Well Armed (winner of the 2009 Dubai World Cup) and Morning Line (winner of the 2011 Carter Handicap).

Grade 1 winner Tiz Flirtatious, the best runner by Tiznow’s full brother, Tizbud, is also inbred to Seattle Slew.

It didn’t take long for Tiznow to get his 33rd graded winner. In fact, within 24 hours of the Vanity, Kentuckian rolled to a 6 1/4-length score in the Grade 3 Lazaro Barrera Stakes at Santa Anita.

Mike Smith was also aboard for the ride and that’s not the only similarity Kentuckian shares with My Sweet Addiction. While Kentuckian is out of a mare by Unbridled’s Song, both he and the Vanity winner show Gone West as the sire of their second dams. Tiznow has sired seven starters now that show Gone West as the second broodmare sire, including the additional stakes winner Cash for Clunkers (first dam by Dixieland Band).

Tiznow is the last major In Reality-line sire left in Kentucky and the survival of his sire-line in North America will most likely come down to his sons.

Colonel John, winner of the Grade 1 Travers Stakes and Santa Anita Derby in 2008 and WinStar barnmate of his sire, is very much on the bubble with only three stakes winners in his first two crops (138 starters).

Spendthrift Farm cut bait with Tiz Wonderful last fall despite a Grade 1 winner in his third crop (Condo Commando). He now stands in South Korea.

Up next for Tiznow is Darby Dan Farm‘s graded stakes-winning juvenile son American Lion and Spendthrift’s dual Grade 1 winner Tizway, both with 2015 juveniles. Behind them are the Grade 1 winners Gemologist (first crop races in 2016), Morning Line (2017) and Strong Mandate (2018).

Brazilian Triple Crown winner Bali a Bali might have his say in the breeding shed, too. Racing in the colors of Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farm – just like Kentuckian – the 5-year-old horse duly impressed in his American debut Sunday afternoon at Santa Anita. He too is by grandson of Relaunch, being by Put It Back, a former resident at Bridlewood Farm in Florida.

Put It Back was on his way to becoming a formidable sprinter, reeling off five straight sprint wins in 2001 for the late H. Allen Jerkens and Hobeau Farm. His last win, and race, was a gutsy win in the Grade 2 Riva Ridge Stakes on Belmont Stakes Day.

Among Put It Back’s successes in the Northern Hemisphere is In Summation, winner of the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Handicap in 2007. He now stands at J. Michael O’Farrell’s Ocala Stud in Ocala and is the sire of this year’s Grade 3 Sham Stakes winner Calculator, a member of his second crop.

The North American juvenile season is slowly gaining steam and we can report on impressive first winners for juvenile champion Uncle Mo and Arkansas Derby winner Archarcharch at last month’s Keeneland meeting.

The first black-type event for juveniles, the ATBA Spring Sales Stakes, was contested May 5 at Turf Paradise and it went to Ez Deluxe, a son of the first-crop stallion Ez Dreamer.

Ez Dreamer raced all over the Midwest and West for his owner and breeder Triple AAA Ranch, racking up eight stakes wins and over $500,000 in earnings. The son of In Excess (the grandsire of Uncle Mo) now stands at Triple AAA and Ez Deluxe is among his first crop of 13 foals.

The first North American juvenile stakes winner is out of a mare by Fantastic Fellow, a grandson of Roberto. This larger In Excess/Roberto cross has yielded at least six other stakes winners, including Grade 1 winners by In Excess and his best son to date, Indian Charlie. Uncle Mo (dam by Arch) is that Indian Charlie Grade 1 winner.

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