In the North American 3-year-old division there is American Pharoah and everyone else. Two of the other ones were on display at Belmont Park over the 4th of July holiday weekend and both happen to be sons of Speightstown.
Force the Pass used a well-timed inside move at the quarter pole by Joel Rosario to take command of the Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational. The duo rolled home from there, capturing the richest U.S. grass stakes for sophomore colts by 3 3/4 lengths. The Richard Santulli homebred is Speightstown's second stakes winner out of a mare by Dynaformer (from 13 starters, 15 percent stakes winners from starters).
Speightstown, a 17-year-old son of Gone West who stands at WinStar Farm, now has 12 worldwide Grade 1 winners on his ledger and four of them won at the highest level on the turf.
About 40 minutes earlier on the main track at Belmont, Speighster kept his perfect record intact with a heady score over 2014 Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red, who came up short after a wide trip.
Speightster is out the Danzig mare Dance Swiftly, a 20-year-old full sister to Hall of Famer Dance Smartly.
Speightster will be kept to one turn and trainer Bill Mott said the Grade 1 King's Bishop Aug. 29 at Saratoga Race Course was a logical target while Texas Red can be expected to move forward in his next scheduled start in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes Aug. 1 at the Spa.
Of course the best 3-year-old seen on Belmont's blockbuster Stars and Stripes card just might have been Lady Eli, who put on another exhibition in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational. She's by Airdrie Stud's Chester House son Divine Park, winner of the 2008 Metropolitan Handicap, out of a mare by Saint Ballado.
Chester House is a half-brother to American Pharoah's grandsire Empire Maker, so arguably the two best sophomores in the land bear the mark of two stallions produced by great Juddmonte Farm mare Toussaud.
Speaking of brothers, the prolific half-brothers Ghostzapper and City Zip were at it again over the weekend, each siring a pair of stakes winners.
Ghostzapper's Shaman Ghost scored in Sunday's $1 million Queen's Plate Stakes, giving owner and breeder Frank Stronach a third victory in the Canadian classic. Winner of the Grade 3 Marine Stakes May 16, the colt is out of the Gilded Time mare Getback Time. Ghostzapper stands at Stronach's Adena Springs operation in Kentucky.
Shaman Ghost is expected to tackle the second jewel in the Canadian classics series, the July 28 Prince of Wales Stakes, perhaps getting a step closer to becoming North America's second Triple Crown winner of 2015.
Saturday at the 'Pea Patch' in Western Kentucky, Haunted Heroine made short work of a short field in the off-the-green Ellis Park Turf Stakes. The 4-year-old filly is out of a mare by 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos and is the 48th career stakes winner for Ghostzapper from 344 starters (14 percent).
Down in South Florida, City Zip's Grand Bili held off the favored Speightstown son Barbados in the Grade 3 Carry Back Stakes during the Summit of Speed card at Gulfstream Park. The sophomore colt is out of a mare by Langfuhr and is City Zip's fourth stakes winner from 19 starters out of granddaughters of Danzig.
City Zip's juvenile crop is off and running, too, with a trio of winners that include last Saturday's Juan Gonzalez Memorial Stakes winner Stays in Vegas.
The 2-year-old filly is the Lane's End stallion's 57th stakes winner from 696 starters (8 percent) and the fifth stakes winner out of mare by Pin Oak Stud's Unbridled stallion Broken Vow.
Journeyman Stud stallions Hear No Evil (by City Zip's sire Carson City) and Awesome of Course (by Ghostzapper's sire Awesome Again) are both the sires of only about 70 starters but both are siring stakes winners at 10 percent clip after their newest successes on the Summit of Speed card.
A few hours before the Grateful Dead played Cassidy for the last time Sunday, the Cassidy Stakes (named for the 1998 Azalea Stakes winner) was won by the unbeaten Hear No Evil daughter Ballet Diva. The Jacks or Better Farm homebred is out of a mare by Nureyev and was the easiest kind of winner as the odds-on choice.
Fred Brei's Jacks or Better Farm also bred this year's Grade 3 Azalea Stakes winner Dogwood Trail. The sophomore filly is the seventh stakes winner and third graded winner by Awesome of Course.
Dogwood Trail is out of the Tactical Advantage mare Ladyinareddress, a half-sister to none other than Hear No Evil and already the dam of three-time Florida stakes winner Redbud Rosebud, a full sister to Dogwood Trail.
Ballet Diva is a member of yet another small crop for Hear No Evil, just 14 foals, he has just 100 lifetime foals in seven crops.
Awesome of Course, on the other hand, has a chance to really shine in 2015 with a 63-strong juvenile contingent. That figure represents 44 percent of all the foals he's sired in his first nine crops.
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 MyFantasyStable.com.