Background Check: Gamely

The singular Tapit, shown at his Gainesway home, traces to
1969 Gamely winner Foggy Note
| Sarah Andrew


In this continuing series, we examine the past winners of significant filly/mare races by the lasting influence they've had on the breed. Up today is Santa Anita's GI Gamely S., the first Grade I of the year for fillies and mares on the turf out west.

Although the great Hall of Famer Gamely split her time between coasts, it was California that got to name what has become a major race after her. The daughter of Bold Ruler won some of the sport's biggest contests for fillies and mares, was a success on both surfaces, carried weight, and wasn't afraid to tackle the boys (including Dr. Fager!). Despite dying at just 11 and leaving only two foals, Gamely produced an English Group 1 winner, so perhaps it's fitting that this race, with just over 50 individual winners, has provided some exceptional broodmares.

Following are highlights of some of the most important Gamely winners by what impact they've had on the sport through their sons and daughters.

Tranquility Lake (1995, Rahy–Winters' Love, by Danzig), bred by North Central Bloodstock: This lovely mare's first four foals–all by Storm Cat–resulted in MGISW After Market, GISW Courageous Cat, and $9.7-million Keeneland September yearling (and later U.A.E. GSW) Jalil. One reportedly went to Turkey and another to China, but Courageous Cat still stands in New York.

Hollywood Wildcat (1990, Kris S.–Miss Wildcatter, by Mr. Prospector), bred by Irving and Marjorie Cowan: Her crown jewel was undoubtedly son and GI Breeders' Cup Mile winner War Chant (Danzig), but she also produced English GSW and three-country G1/GI-placed Ivan Denisovich (Ire) (Danehill). Her grandsons include Japanese G1SW Danon Smash (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) and Canadian Classic winner Danish Dynaformer (Dynaformer).

Toussaud (1989, El Gran Senor–Image of Reality, by In Reality), bred by Juddmonte Farms, Inc.: Named Broodmare of the Year in 2002, this Juddmonte great produced GI Belmont S. winner Empire Maker (Unbridled), as well as additional GISWs Honest Lady (Seattle Slew), Chester House (Mr. Prospector), and Chiselling (Woodman). She also produced GSW & GISP Decarchy (Distant View) and is granddam to GISW First Defence (Unbridled's Song), as well as to MGSW & MGISP Honorable Duty (Distorted Humor).

Wishing Well (1975, Understanding–Mountain Flower, by Montparnasse II {Arg}), bred by George A. Pope, Jr.: She is the dam of Horse of the Year and GI Kentucky Derby winner Sunday Silence (Halo), whose rich revolutionizing of the breed in Japan is quickly spilling over into the rest of the world. His runaway success as a sire and the legacy he has left borders on the obscene.

Foggy Note (1965, The Axe II–Silver Song, by Royal Note), bred by Frank D. Turner and James D. Drymon: Four of her first five foals were stakes winners and a goodly number of black-type winners, including the likes of MGISW Life At Ten (Malibu Moon), trace to her. However, it's the trio of sires–champion and MGISW Rubiano (Fappiano), MGSW & MGISP Relaunch (In Reality), and perennial leading sire and GISW Tapit (Pulpit)–tracing directly to her that have more than secured her place in history.

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