Background Check: Test


2015 Test winner Cavorting is the dam of current top mare Clairiere
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 the GI Longines Test S., a prestigious 3-year old filly event on the Saratoga calendar for the past century.

Ah, the Test, the glorious Test. Remember the scintillating call–already 20 years ago–by Tom Durkin during the epic stretch battle between You and Carson Hollow? This race has been so good for so long. At seven furlongs since its second edition, it has delivered pulsating stretch drives year after year and a number of top fillies–both sprinters and routers–have won it. With a few years skipped since it was inaugurated in 1922 and multiple divisions other years, history has recorded 109 individual winners of the Test. How have they fared as broodmares?

Following are the most compelling Test winners in reverse chronological order. They are not reviewed here by their own pedigrees or race records, but simply by what impact they have delivered through their sons and daughters.

Cavorting (2012, Bernardini–Promenade Girl, by Carson City): Normally, we wouldn't have such a young mare with so few foals on this list, but the sky is clearly the limit for Cavorting. Her first foal is Stonestreet's MGISW Clairiere, who put herself atop the mares in the country in the July 24 GII Shuvee S. at the Spa and is headed next to the Aug. 27 GI Personal Ensign S. Cavorting is by the nation's current leading broodmare sire and her second foal, 3-year-old La Crete, was a stakes winner before suffering a condylar fracture in February. She's got one more waiting in the wings, a 2-year-old Curlin full-brother to Clairiere named Judge Miller. She was also bred back to Curlin for 2023.

Dream Rush (2004, Wild Rush–Turbo Dream, by Unbridled): This is another still-active Stonestreet mare who has done enough to merit a mention. Her first foal was 2012 GI Frizette S. winner Dreaming of Julia, who in turn produced last year's 3-year-old filly champion and MGISW Malathaat. Dream Rush has also added three more stakes performers to her tally, including MGSW Dream Pauline.

November Snow (1989, Storm Cat–Princess Alydar, by Alydar): Although she didn't produce a stakes winner herself, her daughters and granddaughters have already produced Irish champion Anthony Van Dyck (Ire), New Zealand champion Bounding (Aus), and U.S. GISWs Morning Line and Express Train.

Gold Beauty (1979, Mr. Prospector–Stick to Beauty, by Illustrious): From her four starters, Gold Beauty hit home runs with multiple European champion Dayjur and MGISW Maplejinsky. Among her descendants are champion Sky Beauty; MGISWs Tale of Ekati, Point of Entry, and Pine Island; Breeders' Cup winner Pleasant Home; and a number of other top-notch GSWs.

Blitey (1976, Riva Ridge–Lady Pitt, by Sword Dancer): Mares don't come grander than this Phipps matriarch. Among the top runners in her dynasty are champion Heavenly Prize; MGISWs Dancing Spree, Finder's Fee, Good Reward, and Flightline; and GISWs Furlong, Fantastic Find, Oh What a Windfall, Dancing Forever, Persistently, and Instilled Regard.

More Than Ready is a product of the 1977 Test winner's son | Louise Reinagel

Northern Sea (1974, Northern Dancer–Sea Saga, by Sea-Bird {Fr}): Although the Grade I winners tracing to her include General Challenge, Notable Career, and Evening Jewel, it's her MGISP son, Southern Halo, who is cemented in many pedigrees of today. The Argentinean sire sensation's biggest contribution to American and Australian racing is his own son, the eternally youthful WinStar stallion More Than Ready.

Ivory Wand (1973, Sir Ivor–Natashka, by Dedicate): If she had done nothing else than produce the unraced dam of 2004's leading U.S. sire Elusive Quality–in turn the sire of current leading U.S. sire Quality Road–she would have been a success. However, Ivory Wand also had other notable descendants including U.S. champion Anees, Irish champion Rossini, and MGISW Grand Couturier (GB).

Numbered Account (1969, Buckpasser–Intriguing, by Swaps): Like Blitey (above), Numbered Account will forever be labeled as a Phipps blue hen. Her foals included MGISW Private Account (also sire of Phipps champion and eventual Broodmare of the Year Personal Ensign) and GISW Dance Number (dam of champion Rhythm). Numbered Account's tail-female descendants include Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver and GISWs Imagining, Girolamo, Bluegrass Cat, Frost Giant, and Got Lucky. In addition to Private Account, sires tracing to her range from Maryland sensations Not for Love and Polish Numbers to Dramedy, sire of 2020 Canadian Horse of the Year Mighty Heart.

Ta Wee (1966, Intentionally–Aspidistra, by Better Self): This stellar handicapper produced four stakes winners from her five named foals, including Great Above, most appreciated as sire of Horse of the Year Holy Bull, and Tweak, great-granddam of GSW Miss Macy Sue. The latter has produced four stakes winners from five foals to race, including runaway leading third-crop sire Not This Time and current top five fourth-crop sire Liam's Map.

Not This Time's dam traces to 1969 Test winner Ta Wee | Jon Siegel

Moccasin (1963, Nantallah–Rough Shod II {GB}, by Shimmer): Although she didn't launch quite the dynasty of her full-sister, Thong, without whom there would be no Sadler's Wells, Galileo (Ire), Frankel (GB), or even Nureyev, Moccasin was no slouch in the breeding shed. Her seven–yes, seven–stakes winners from eight starters included English and Irish champion Apalachee and Irish champion Belted Earl. Among the next generation out of her daughters and granddaughters are GISW Hail Atlantis, dam of sire Stormy Atlantic and granddam of GISW Bandini, and Australian G1SW and ill-fated young sire sensation Northern Meteor (Aus).

Discipline (1962, Princequillo {GB}–Lady Be Good, by Better Self): A slew of nice horses trace to this Wheatley Stable/Phipps mare, including champion Finest City, MGISWs Goodbye Halo and Val's Prince, and GISWs Squander and Burning Roma.

Glamour (1953, Nasrullah {GB}–Striking, by War Admiral): The matriarch Numbered Account (above) is a granddaughter of Glamour, as is Playmate, dam of Irish champion and influential sire Woodman. Her son, Poker, is best remembered as broodmare sire of both Horse of the Year/breed-shaping sire Seattle Slew and champion Silver Charm. A number of other top horses trace to her, including GISW Lady Shirl, who has started her own legacy in the last two decades with GISW descendants Lady Speightspeare (also a Canadian champion), Shakespeare, Perfect Shirl, and Shirl's Speight.

Blue Banner (1952, War Admiral–Risque Blue, by Blue Larkspur): Her daughter, Key Bridge, was Broodmare of the Year in 1980 after producing 1970 Horse of the Year Fort Marcy, 1972 champion and stellar stallion Key to the Mint, and two other stakes winners. Among those tracing to Blue Banner is current European sire phenomenon Wootton Bassett (GB).

Vulcania (1948, Some Chance–Vagrancy, by Sir Gallahad III {Fr}): It's partially her doing that Vagrancy (below) is regarded as a top-flight broodmare. Vulcania is responsible for a number of outstanding tail-female performers, in particular through her daughter, Legato, who was a heck of a producer. Tracing to her is Broodmare of the Year Banja Luka, Horse of the Year Ferdinand, Breeders' Cup winner Artie Schiller, and MGISWs Tallahto, Prince True, and Hidden Light.

Candy Ride's sire is inbred 4×3 to the 1948 Test winner | Lane's End

Alablue (1945, Blue Larkspur–Double Time, by Sir Gallahad III {Fr}): The dam of Spinaway winner Alanesian and Bernard Baruch winner Middle Brother, as well as great-granddam of champion Revidere, Alablue has a number of top-class stakes winners and highly influential sires among her descendants. They include Boldnesian (grandsire of Seattle Slew) and Cryptoclearance (grandsire of Candy Ride {Arg}). Candy Ride's sire, Ride the Rails, is actually inbred 4×3 to Alablue.

Miss Disco (1944, Discovery–Outdone, by Pompey): The 1958 Broodmare of the Year gave us a giant of the breed: Horse of the Year and eight-time leading sire Bold Ruler.

Vagrancy (1939, Sir Gallahad III {Fr}–Valkyr, by Man o' War): She is responsible for English champion Black Tarquin and important broodmare Vulcania (above); her daughters and granddaughters produced Broodmares of the Year Banja Luka and Natashka, as well as Ivory Wand (above); and champions Ferdinand, Distant Relative (Ire), and Questing, among others, all trace to her.

Imperatrice (1938, Caruso–Cinquepace, by Brown Bud): In addition to her six stakes winners, Imperatrice is the dam of Broodmare of the Year Somethingroyal, who produced two-time Horse of the Year Secretariat and excellent sire Sir Gaylord. She is also an influence in the Quarter Horse breed through her Coaching Club American Oaks-winning daughter, Scattered, whose great-grandson, Dash for Cash, is the Northern Dancer of racing Quarter Horses.

Speed Boat (1930, Man o' War–Friar's Carse, by Friar Rock): Take a look at this mare's pedigree if you'd like to see some really interesting inbreeding, which must have worked because the female lineage she left was responsible for Horse of the Year Sword Dancer (who sired not only Damascus, but also Lady Pitt, who was a big part of the Phipps breeding empire through her daughter, Blitey {above}), Belmont/Travers winner Hail to All, champion Level Best, and a number of other high-caliber winners.

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