Bloodlines: Breeders’ Cup Future Stars Friday Was Draped In Godolphin Blue

Future Stars Friday at the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland produced a banner day for Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley America at Jonabell Farm.

The stallion division took the bows with freshman sire Nyquist (by Uncle Mo) as the sire of Vequist, who was the winner in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, and the broodmare side of the operation scored with the victory of the homebred Essential Quality (Tapit) in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

Both 2-year-olds are likely selections at the Eclipse Awards as leaders of their divisions on the racetrack.

Vequist propelled her sire, champion juvenile colt and Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist, to the top of the freshman sire list, where he is virtually certain to stay with almost double the earnings of second-place Not This Time (Giant’s Causeway). The third-place freshman sire is Laoban (Uncle Mo), who was recently purchased and moved from New York to WinStar Farm in Kentucky, where he will stand alongside the fourth-place freshman Outwork (Uncle Mo).

So, three of the top four freshmen are sons of Uncle Mo, and of the six freshmen sires who have sired a graded stakes winner, two are by Uncle Mo (Nyquist and Laoban), and two are by Giant’s Causeway (Not This Time and Brody’s Cause). The other two freshmen sires of graded winners are Hit It a Bomb (War Front) and Texas Red (Afleet Alex).

The most common denominator among the elite half-dozen? All but Laoban were top-class performers at two, four winning a Grade 1 and Not This Time finishing a close second in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile to divisional champion Classic Empire.

Prior to the winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, Vequist had won the G1 Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga and finished second in the G1 Frizette Stakes to Dayoutoftheoffice (Into Mischief), who was second at Keeneland on Friday. Vequist’s record show two victories from four starts, more than $1.2 million in earnings.

Later on Friday at Keeneland, the homebred Essential Quality remained unbeaten in three starts with a smooth effort in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile over Hot Rod Charlie.

Unlike Vequist, who was the fourth choice at 6.6-to-1, Essential Quality was second choice only to the previously unbeaten Jackie’s Warrior (Maclean’s Music), who was the odds-on favorite at .9-to-1 and finished fourth.

The Juvenile was the second Grade 1 victory for Essential Quality, who had previously won the Breeders’ Futurity, and a 4 1/4 length margin over Jackie’s Warrior probably will push the son of Tapit over the top for the Eclipse. If so, Essential Quality would be the second champion juvenile colt for his sire, who has been three times the leading sire in North America.

The first champion 2-year-old colt by Tapit was Hansen, a handsome and well-balanced gray who went to stud at Ashford, then was sold off to Korea before his first foals had arrived. In 2019, Hansen was the leading sire of juveniles in Korea and second on the overall list to perennial leader Menifee. In 2020, Hansen is currently the leading sire overall in Korea.

Additionally, if Essential Quality gets the Eclipse as champion colt, he would be the first Eclipse Award winner as top 2-year-old colt bred by Darley. Midshipman, a son of Unbridled’s Song and already a G1 winner, was acquired by Darley as part of a massive package deal with the Stonerside operation of Robert and Janice McNair. The colt subsequently won the 2008 Juvenile, the Eclipse Award, and stands at Darley today.

Darley also stands Frosted, a freshman sire son of Tapit, and stood the now-deceased Elusive Quality (Gone West), who is the broodmare sire of Essential Quality through his stakes-placed daughter Delightful Quality.

Seven times second or third in stakes, Delightful Quality earned $253,900, and Essential Quality is the mare’s fourth foal. Her second foal, the unraced Indelible (Tiznow), had sold for $130,000 as a broodmare at the 2019 Keeneland November sale. On Nov. 8, two days after her half-brother won the Juvenile at Keeneland, Indelible resold for $1.6 million, in foal to Nyquist, at the Fasig-Tipton November sale. The young mare brought the 11th highest price of the auction, and the buyer was Nobutaka Tada.

Delightful Quality has a yearling filly by Uncle Mo and was barren this year. She was bred back to Nyquist in 2020 but lost the pregnancy.

Darley bred Delightful Quality and has bred all her foals to date. This mare is a half-sister to champion juvenile filly Folklore (Tiznow), and both are out of the Storm Cat mare Contrive. A blocky and substantial mare greatly in need of scope, Contrive produced a near-carbon copy of herself who became the leading 2-year-old filly of 2005 with a pair of Grade 1 victories, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Shortly thereafter, Darley acquired Contrive for $3 million at the 2005 Fasig-Tipton November sale in foal to BC Classic winner Pleasantly Perfect (Pleasant Colony). Contrive produced nine foals for Darley, and six were fillies, including Divided Attention (A.P. Indy), who won the listed Ladies Handicap and was second in the G3 Tempted Stakes at two.

With the success of Essential Quality, Darley has another top horse from this famous family that extends back to the great broodmare La Troienne. The French-bred La Troienne crowned the family’s roll of juvenile honor with her best son Bimelech, the champion 2-year-old of 1939 and a champion and multiple classic winner the following year.

The post Bloodlines: Breeders’ Cup Future Stars Friday Was Draped In Godolphin Blue appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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