Making Waves: Home Sweet Home At Keeneland

Chez Pierre | Coady Photography


   In this series, the TDN takes a look at notable successes of European-based sires in North America. This week's column is highlighted by the victory of Chez Pierre (Fr) (Mehmas {Ire}) in the GI Maker's Mark Mile S. at Keeneland earlier this month.


Chez Pierre Right At Home In Maker's Mark

The ultra-consistent Chez Pierre (Fr) (Mehmas {Ire}) improved his record to six-for-seven with a 3 1/2-length tally in the GI Maker's Mark Mile S. at Keeneland on Apr. 14 (video), defeating hot favourite Modern Games (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}). Trained by Arnaud Delacour, the Lael Stables colourbearer was coming off a sixth-place effort in the GIII Tampa Bay S. in February.

Laura Vanska picked up the Haras de Castillon-consigned bay for €25,000 out of the Arqana August Sale in 2019. The SCEA des Prairies and Ecurie de Castillon-bred gelding made €100,000 when re-offered as a juvenile at the Arqana July Sale with NBB Racing signing the ticket. He won all three of his starts in France for Francis-Henri Graffard, before traveling to the U.S.

Chez Pierre is a half-brother to Listed Prix Saraca victress Zelda (Fr) (Zelzal {Fr}), while their dam Hortensia (Ity) (Orpen) is a half-sister to GIII Buena Vista H. heroine Uraib (Ire) (Mark Of Esteem {Ire}) and the dam of GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile scorer Vale Of York (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}). Hortensia's latest is a full-brother to Zelda born in 2021.

Mehmas's runners continue to impress across the pond, and with Chez Pierre's triumph, the Tally-Ho stallion now how four Grade/Group 1 winners worldwide, two in America and two elsewhere. Of his 21 U.S. runners, 11 (52%) have won, and four have won stakes (19%).


Dubawi Mare Gate-To-Wire In The Wiley

The GI Jenny Wiley S. at Keeneland has been a frequent stomping ground for Chad Brown and Peter Brant, and the duo's In Italian (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) gave Brown his sixth victory in the race as a trainer (video). A 'TDN Rising Star' at Belmont Park back in May of 2021, the daughter of Florentina (Aus) (Redoute's Choice {Aus]) went on to take the GI Diana S. and GI First Lady S. last year, and the Jenny Wiley was her 5-year-old unveiling. It was Brant's third Wiley tally as an owner.

Part of Fairway Thoroughbreds' breeding programme, the Hazelwood Bloodstock-offered mare made 475,000 from agent Mike Ryan acting for Peter Brant's White Birch Farm as a Tattersalls October Book 1 yearling in 2019.

In Italian's Group 3-winning dam has also produced Villa Carlotta (Aus) (Street Cry {Ire}) and Fasano (Aus) (Lonhro {Aus}), who placed in the G2 Reisling S. and in an Australian listed stakes, respectively. From the same female family as her damsire, Arrowfield sire great Redoute's Choice, In Italian is also related to G1 Railway S. hero Gathering (Aus) (Tale Of The Cat).

Darley supremo Dubawi boasts a 50% winners to runners ratio (35/70) in the U.S. Eighteen of his get have won stakes (25%) in America, and 50% of his 18 black-type winners are Grade I winners.


Love Conquers All

'TDN Rising Star' Love Reigns (Ire) (U S Navy Flag) added to her stakes haul with a half-length win in the Limestone S. at Keeneland on Apr. 14 (video). The Stonestreet Stables silksbearer, who is trained by Wesley Ward, won Saratoga's Bolton Landing S. last year.

A member of the Patrick Grogran breeding programme, the Killourney Mor Farm draftee made €160,000 as a Goffs Orby yearling on the bid of Ben McElroy for Barbara Banke's Stonestreet operation. The half-sister to GI Sword Dancer S. hero Glorious Empire (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}) is also a half to the G3 Gladness S. heroine Goldana (Ire) (Galileo Gold {Ire}). The March-foaled bay's latest half-siblings are a filly by Kodiac (GB) named Kodiac Wintergreen (Ire) who made €160,000 on the bid of Mike Akers out of the Orby Sale in September, and a yearling colt by Mehmas (Ire).

U S Navy Flag's strike rate in the U.S. stands at 100%, as Love Reigns is his only runner. The Coolmore sire also has French listed winner Ocean Vision (Ire) to his credit, and a pair of Group 1-placed horses in New Zealand.


The Best Offence Is A Good Defence

Stonestreet Stables' Breeders' Cup victress Twilight Gleaming (Ire) (National Defense {GB}) added her fourth black-type victory–and third in the U.S.–with an 1 1/2-length tally in the Giant's Causeway S. at Keeneland last Saturday (video).

Pier House Stud bred the February foal, and she would bring €75,000 from Ben McElroy on behalf of Stonestreet when sent through the ring at the Goffs Orby Sale. Named a 'TDN Rising Star' on the back of a 7 1/2-length maiden win at Belmont in May of 2021 for Wesley Ward, she would go on to run second in the G2 Queen Mary S. at Royal Ascot. The French listed winner also captured the GII Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Del Mar.

Her dam, a Dansili (GB) half-sister to Her Late Majesty The Queen's G3 Solario S. hero Reach For The Moon (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), has a 2-year-old filly by Phoenix Of Spain (Ire), and a yearling colt by Ribchester (Ire). Third dam Phantom Gold (GB) (Machiavellian) won the G2 Ribblesdale S. in 1995.

National Defense, who stood at the Irish National Stud and shuttled to Widden Stud prior to his death last autumn, has two winners from as many to race in the U.S. Twilight Gleaming is his best offspring.


High Altitude, No Danger

Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Steven Rocco and William Branch runner Big Everest (GB) (The Gurkha {Ire}) has been a steady moneyspinner on the New York circuit, and the 5-year-old gelding clawed out a desperate nose victory in the Danger's Hour S. at Aqueduct on Apr. 15 for trainer Christophe Clement (video).

Bred by Newsells Park Stud, the bay was a 47,000gns Tattersalls December foal when picked up by Peter and Ross Doyle, and he RNA'd for 72,000gns at that venue as a Book 2 yearling in 2019. Blossoming at two, however, he was knocked down for €260,000 by Stephen Hillen at the Goffs Arqana 2020 Breeze-Up Sale at Doncaster, and has made all of his 11 starts in America. Saturday's victory is his second consecutive stakes win after the Artie Schiller S. in November of 2022.

His dam, who was second in the GIII Wilshire H., is a half-sister to Grade II winner True Quality (Elusive Quality). Group 1 winners Loup Sauvage (Riverman), and Loup Solitaire (Lear Fan) are under the Oaks-winning fourth dam Lupe II (GB) (Primera {GB}).

From limited representation, The Gurkha has sired four winners from six runners in the U.S. (67%), and the Danger's Hour hero is his most decorated runner in this locale.


Wootton Bassett Colt Crowned At Keeneland

Highclere Thoroughbred Racing's Royal Patronage (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) found the firm Keeneland turf to his liking with a neck score in a 1 1/16-mile allowance earlier this week (video) for Graham Motion. It was his first U.S. victory following his European campaign with Mark Johnston, where he swept the G3 Acomb S. and G2 Royal Lodge S. in succession in 2021.

Bred in France by Emma Capon Bloodstock, Royal Patronage brought 62,000gns from Highclere's John and Jake Warren out of the New England Stud draft at the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale Book 1.

From the same family as G1 Irish Derby third Shalapour (Ire) (Darshaan {GB}) and dual Derby hero Shahrastani (Nijinsky II), the 2022 G2 Dante S. runner-up is the first foal out of his winning dam. I Can't Believe (GB) (Magna Grecia {Ire}) is his juvenile half-brother, while Shaloushka (Ire) (Dalakhani {Ire}) also has an Expert Eye (GB) yearling filly.

Fourteen of Wootton Bassett's North American runners have won from 20 runners (70%). Six have won stakes (30%), and five are graded winners (25%). The Coolmore stallion's top U.S. representative is GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner Audarya (Fr).



If The Robe Fits…

As chronicled in Saturday's TDN, Peter Brant, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor's Yukata (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) made her U.S. debut a winning one when closing to take a 1 1/16-mile optional claimer by a length at Aqueduct for trainer Chad Brown and jockey Manny Franco (video).

A dual winner and stakes-placed in France for Jean-Claude Rouget, Yukata was transferred to Brown after an unplaced run in the G1 Prix de Diane. The White Birch homebred is the third foal from Blue Kimono (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}), who joined Brant's broodmare band carrying subsequent stakes winner Kuramata (Ire) (Australia {GB}) as a €675,000 acquisition out of the Goffs November Sale in 2016. Second dam Bastet (Ire) (Giant's Causeway), herself a half-sister to dual Australian Horse of the Year Might And Power (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}), foaled Classic heroine Beauty Parlour (GB) (Deep Impact {Jpn}). Beauty Parlour subsequently produced GI First Lady S. victress Blowout (GB) (Dansili {GB}). The latter pair were purchased by Brant for €1.7 million and €450,000 out of the Goffs November Breeding Stock Sale and Goffs November Foal Sale, respectively. Blue Kimono has an unraced 3-year-old full-sister to Yukata named Japanesque (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), as well as juvenile filly Courreges (Ire), and a yearling colt both by Frankel (GB).

The much-lamented Galileo needs no introduction, and Yukata is his 62nd winner (36%) in Canada and North America out of 173 runners. His stakes winners number 26 (15%), with 23 (13%) taking a graded race. Leading the charge in that jurisdiction is three-time Grade I winner Cape Blanco (Ire), one of 15 Grade I winners for the Coolmore great.


Bated Breath Colt Seizes Winning Laurel

Bassanio (GB) (Bated Breath {GB}), who races for West Point Thoroughbreds, stalked and pounced to win a Laurel one-mile grass affair by 1 1/2 lengths for Arnaud Delacour on Apr. 15. It was the 4-year-old gelding's fourth start (video) and first away from Tampa Bay Downs.

The Laundry Cottage Stud Farm-bred brought 185,000gns as a weanling at Tattersalls, and then was a 170,000gns Book 1 yearling through the same ring in October of 2020.

His yearling full-brother sold for 85,000gns to JC Bloodstock at Tattersalls in December. Bassanio's dam, Unnatural (Proud Citizen), is a half-sister to dual group winner Land Of Dreams (GB) (Cadeaux Genereux {GB}) herself the dam of four-time Group 1-winning sire Dream Ahead (Diktat {GB}). Another of Land Of Dreams's daughters produced dual Group 1 winner Fairyland (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}).

Bated Breath's progeny have accumulated 46 victories divided between 18 winners in the States. His ratio of stakes winners to America runners stands at 38% (11/29). All four of his graded winners are fillies, led by GI Matriarch S. heroine Viadera (GB).

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