Sunday, June 16, 2013

After the Auction: Somewhat

As an avid fan of sales with possible aspirations to become an adviser/bloodstock agent, auctions are one of my favorite topics to write about on Past the Grandstand. This is the eleventh edition in a blog series called “After the Auction” that will feature horses I selected in sales that have found success after the sale. *Note: If an “After the Auction” features a two-year-old, it will also be listed as a “Juvenile Spotlight.”

The Keeneland September Yearling Sale provides thousands of yearlings to sort through, numerous catalogs to study, and two weeks to find at least one potential superstar from the group. The sale has recurrently proven to be a quality source for finding a successful horse, having offered two of the past five Kentucky Derby winners, four of the past five Preakness Stakes winners, and three of the past five Belmont Stakes winners.

On June 14, a two-year-old colt named Somewhat debuted at Musselburgh Racecourse in the United Kingdom, winning the race in a rather authoritative manner. Nine months earlier, Somewhat had been offered at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale and although he drove the hammer to $190,000, the colt did not reach his reserve and therefore remained with his breeders, B. P. Walden, Jr., P. W. Madden, and G. McDonald.

The colt was sent to Europe and prepared for his racing career, which began in a seven-furlong maiden at Musselburgh over good to firm going. Sent off as the favorite in a field of six, Somewhat displayed greenness in the early stages of the race prior to taking the lead. Although he continued to run greenly, Somewhat responded well when asked for a rally by jockey Joe Fanning. Beginning to draw clear in the final furlong, the bay two-year-old held clear to prove himself as the best in the field, winning by seven lengths.

Boasting a rather international pedigree, Somewhat is a result of the mating between the American-bred stallion Dynaformer and the Irish-bred mare Sometime. His ancestry is largely influenced by Thoroughbreds bred in Ireland, Great Britain, and Italy, although traces of Argentine, Canadian, and French horses also exist within his lineage.

Somewhat’s sire, Dynaformer, was United States-based horse, but became an international stallion, having produced winners of some of the world’s greatest races, including Kentucky Derby (GI) victor Barbaro, Melbourne Cup (GI) winner Americain, and St. Leger Stakes (GI) conqueror Lucarno. Dynaformer was a son of the influential stallion Roberto and the tremendous broodmare Andover Way, who was a grade one winner on the track before later producing not only Dynaformer, but also the stakes winners Triple Elvis and White Bridle, as well as Black Speck – the dam of the group stakes-winning Lines of Battle.

Sometime – the dam of Somewhat – is an impeccably bred mare who is also the dam of the group stakes-winning Art Deco and the graded stakes-placed Friendly Banter. A daughter of the outstanding sire Royal Academy, who sired 171 stakes winners, Sometime provides her offspring with the same maternal grandsire as the group one winners Dabirsim, Finsceal Beo, Frozen Power, and Rule of Law.

But Royal Academy is not the only notable parent of Somewhat; her dam, Alidiva, is a Reine De Course mare and group stakes winner. In 1997, Alidiva was honored as Irish and Italian Broodmare of the Year when three of her offspring took home group one victories that season, becoming the only mare to accomplish that feat. Among her group one winners were the Italian and German champion Taipan and Sometime’s full sister, highweight Sleepytime.

Through his dam, Somewhat is a direct descendant of an astounding seven Reine De Course mares, beginning with the multiple stakes-winning Maid of Masham, who was born in 1845. The next Reine De Course mare in this colt’s pedigree is The Apple, the foundation mare of a strong female family that produced the likes of the champions Bold Forbes, Forego, Mar-Kell, Nellie Flag, and Nellie Morse. Continuing down Somewhat’s tail female line, you will find Affection, a French-bred mare that was imported to the United States in the early 1900s, where she produced the black-type winners Escutcheon, Flat Iron, and Sanford.

The aforementioned Escutcheon is among the abundance of Reine De Course mares that line Somewhat’s female family. Winner of the Alabama Stakes, Escutcheon had an incredible produce record, having sixteen foals – fifteen of which made it to the track and fourteen of which found the winner’s circle. Among those was Bourtai, yet another one of the blue hens that dwell in Somewhat’s tail female line. Bourtai produced six black-type runners, including two Broodmare of the Years and the champion Bayou. Among those stakes-winning Broodmare of the Years is Somewhat’s fifth dam, Delta, a mare who captured six stakes events and set a track record at Churchill Downs before becoming a champion broodmare.

This blue-blooded two-year-old is hopefully just the beginning of much success for my yearling sale selections of 2012. If his spectacular bloodlines are any indication, perhaps Somewhat will find even greater success in his future.

WON: Denford Stud Washington Singer Stakes
2nd: Superlative Stakes (GII)

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