Saturday, November 30, 2013

After the Auction: America

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. “After the Auctions” feature horses I selected in sales that have found success after the sale. 

Photo by Ciara Bowen
There has been a plethora of racehorses given patriotic names – ones that boast monikers that include “star-spangled,” “freedom,” or “patriot.” But one of my 2012 Keeneland September Yearling Sale selections holds the most simply patriotic name of them all: America.

At the Keeneland September auction, America garnered a lofty final bid of $725,000, but did not reach her reserve. She remained with her famous breeder and owner: Bobby Flay.

Placed in the stable of Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, America made her first start at the prestigious Saratoga meet, facing nine others in a mile and one-sixteenth maiden special weight on the turf. However, she offered no serious effort and finished ninth of ten. The runner-up in the race was Kitten Kaboodle, eventual winner of the Jessamine Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland.

A month later, America made the transition to dirt. Going one mile on the dirt at Belmont, America tracked the pace as she raced very wide. After gamely rallying down the homestretch, she drew clear in the final stages to win by 2 ¾ lengths.

America had shown enough promise to be entered in today’s Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct, in which she will face the talented, graded stakes-winning Stopchargingmaria and several other talented fillies.

Pedigree Analysis

America is a daughter of one of the finest stallions in recent Thoroughbred history: A.P. Indy. The son of Seattle Slew has produced nearly 30 grade one winners, including Bernardini, Flashing, Mineshaft, Little Belle, Music Note, and Rags to Riches. The sire of more than 135 stakes winner in total, A.P. Indy was the leading sire in North America on two occasions.

America’s stakes-placed dam, Lacadena, is a daughter of the brilliant European champion Fasliyev. In his young broodmare sire career, the late Fasliyev has produced the dams of the group stakes winners Awesome Planet and Topclas. Fasliyev is a son of the great Nureyev, who is the maternal grandsire of an abundance of grade/group one winners, including Big Brown, Just As Well, Maxios, and West Wind.

Through her dam, America stems from one of the most elite female lines in Thoroughbreds. Her great-granddam is the Reine De Course mare Blush with Pride, the brilliant Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) victress who produced Better Than Honour: the dam of Belmont Stakes (gr. I)) winners Jazil and Rags to Riches, as well as Breeders’ Cup Marathon winner Man of Iron and graded stakes winner Casino Drive. This makes America very similarly bred to Rags to Riches. Like America, Rags to Riches is a daughter of A.P. Indy and a direct descendant of the Blush with Pride line. The fourth dam of America is Best in Show, a Reine De Course mare and the 1982 Broodmare of the Year.

The biggest test of America’s career to date will take place this afternoon, but this is just the beginning. Should America live up to her pedigree and the potential she displayed in her maiden victory, she could become something special.

Photo by Ciara Bowen

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