The Brock Talk

Monday, January 23, 2012

Rachel Alexandra Colt Will Fight History of Mediocrity Among Peers With Horse of the Year Parents

While not making quite the buzz that Beyonce and Jay Z did with the announcement of their new daughter Blue Ivy Carter, Rachel Alexanda and Curlin have produced the newest celebrity colt in the Thoroughbred world.

According to reports, the colt was born at 2:40 pm Sunday at Stonestreet Farm near Lexington, Kentucky. The 125-pound colt has a white blaze on his face similar to his mother but will have much to live up to with his decorated parents.

Rachel Alexandra (photo right) was named Horse of the Year in 2009 after completing what many consider to be the greatest racing campaign by a 3-year-old filly in North American racing history.

A daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, Rachel Alexandra became the first filly since Nellie Morse in 1924 to win the Preakness Stakes (gr. 1) and only the fifth filly in history to win the second leg of the Triple Crown. She also became the first female to win the grade 1 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga, a feat duplicated only by 2011 Horse of the Year Havre de Grace.

Curlin was a two-time Horse of the Year in 2007-’08 with his most important victories coming in the Preakness and $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. 1) at age three, and the group 1 Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest race at $6 million, in 2008 at age four.

Both Curlin and Rachel Alexandra raced for the late Jess Jackson’s Stonestreet Stable with partners. Currently, Rachel Alexandra and the colt are owned by Jackson’s wife, Barbara Banke and partner Hal McCormack. While the colt would surely be of great value at public auction, Banke said in a released statement, “For me and my children, this colt represents Jess’ dream – to raise and race the best. Co-owner Hal McCormick and I look forward to watching him develop and are excited to see him carry the Stonestreet silks as his Mom and Dad did before him.”

Previous to Rachel Alexandra, the last female to be named Horse of the Year was Azeri (photo left) in 2002. After retirement, Azeri was bred to leading sire Storm Cat in 2005, but did not produce a foal. The next three years, Azeri was bred to former Horse of the Year title holders A.P. Indy, Giant’s Causeway (European Horse of the Year), and Ghostzapper.

The A.P. Indy breeding resulted in a colt that sold for $1.9 million as a 2-year-old in training at Keeneland in 2009. The colt, later named Take Control, won only a maiden race and $27,000 at Santa Anita in one career start.

The Giant’s Causeway breeding with Azeri was more successful on the track, producing a filly named Arienza that would win $112,188 from five starts and two wins (although she was purchased for $800,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.) Arienza was also graded stakes placed, finishing second to Joyful Victory in the 2011 Fantasy Stakes (gr. 2) at Oaklawn Park.

Ghostzapper also produced a filly with Azeri who would bring $475,000 a year later in the same Keeneland September yearling sale but has never raced. Azeri currently resides in Japan after being sold at auction herself for $2.25 million to breeder Katsumi Yoshida in the 2009 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. She also had a 2010 foal by Distorted Humor.

Lady’s Secret, the female Horse of the Year in 1986, was also never able to produce a runner any where near her caliber. She produced 13 foals before dying in 2003, with only two earning six figures and two others that won on the track. Her most successful foal was a filly by Mr. Prospector that made $516,602 and another filly by Horse of the Year and Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew. The Seattle Slew filly retired with $115,247 in career earnings. Both won all of their money while racing in Japan.

So while there are many who are excited about the arrival of the new Rachel Alexandra colt with Horse of the Year titles won by both mom and dad, history says the little fella will be fighting a trend of mediocre racing careers by those with similar credentials in their pedigrees.


katew said...

Well...we can dream can't we ?
I hope that this colt is not rushed. Second not think that he will be...they gave him plenty of time to stand on his own . Look forward to next pictures of this baby.
Now we are all waiting for a Queen's foal w Zenyatta.Glad to see that these baby watches are not just about Duchess Kate Middleton.

Unknown said...

Yes Kate we can dream. Even though I blog about the foals of HOYs curse, I'll be pulling for both RA and Queen Zenyatta babies.

Remember too that Zenyatta's foal (by Bernardini) will only have one HOY parent. Not quite as strong a curse.

katew said...

Bernadini's fame came from the Preakness win that saw the breakdown of that wonderful Barbaro...yet somehow...all is good. Berny is becoming a sire of note, Barbaro's legacy lives in laminitis research, rescue and retirement and this industry is waking up. Really like Arthur Hancock's initiative.He is like his daddy's approach in bringing in stallions from Ireland and Oz.These babies are glamorous ,and like you I am hopeful.

j smith said...

thanks for the great news of the colt.