The Great Maybe Headlines A 'Rising Star' Summer for Her Breeder

The Great Maybe canters in a Rising Star at Saratoga Sarah Andrew


When The Great Maybe (Upstart) left the blocks at Saratoga and strolled in eight lengths ahead of a lively-met field of fillies, she carried not only the silks of Lael Stables–whose name invokes great nostalgia and respect in the halls of the Thoroughbred community–but also the dreams of a small breeding operation an hour north of Lexington, run by Monica Egger. Now, that farm in Piner, Kentucky, has a 'TDN Rising Star' to add to their list of accomplishments.

“I have really enjoyed my short foray into Thoroughbreds and have had the opportunity to work with some great people who have been willing to share their knowledge and experience,” Egger responded in an email.

Having owned horses for over 35 years, but branching into Thoroughbreds very recently in 2015, Egger and her husband's broodmare band tallies at four with Pure Legacy (Simon Pure) leading the charge as the dam of The Great Maybe. The grey earned her $154,016 the hard way; five of her 11 wins came at the old Turfway Park and two against claiming company at Churchill Downs after five years of racing. Joining the barn of conditioner Susan Anderson in March of 2016, Pure Legacy ran another year before she started showing signs of being ready to call it a career. Egger, on the advice of Anderson, purchased the mare for $1,000 from the trainer's then client Dr. Dan Kessler and retired her.

Egger sent her newest addition to Commissioner as a maiden mare and the placed Righteous Roy was the result, who didn't reach his reserve at FTKOCT; a $14,000 RNA who went on to campaign in her colors. The mare went unbred the following year, and the focus was shifted to trying something new.

On a visit to Airdrie Stud, Egger saw Upstart (by Flatter), who was entering the oft-dreaded third year of his stud career at the time, and was immediately taken by his physical.

As a racehorse, the stallion was precocious enough to break his maiden and win the Funny Cide S. at Saratoga as a 2-year-old. Finishing second to Daredevil in the GI Champagne S. and third behind Texas Red and Carpe Diem in the GI Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Upstart showed his mettle in Florida when he won the GII Holy Bull S. before a pair of runner-up performances in the GII Fountain of Youth and GI Florida Derby. He collected three more Grade I black-type placings before retiring $1,732,780 wealthier than he began.

Finding him to be a great match on paper and in structure for her mare, the decision was made, contract signed, and The Great Maybe hit the ground Feb. 26, 2020.

Described as a kind, uncomplicated mother to her foals, Pure Legacy produced a colt by Midshipman last year and has a 'very fancy weanling colt' by Promises Fulfilled this season. All have been described as carrying a good head on their shoulders and very eager to learn.

Seeing the attention Upstart was enjoying this past spring with GISW & MGISP Zandon, fellow 'TDN Rising Star' Green Up, MGSW Kathleen O., and with recent SP Up the Moon in Puerto Rico, Egger sent the mare back to him and she is carrying a full-sibling to The Great Maybe for 2023.

While Upstart's merits speak for themselves, Pure Legacy's humble racing career doesn't tell the entire story for The Great Maybe's female family. A half-sister to Korean champion 3-year-old filly Areumdaundonghaeng (A. P. Indy); stakes-placed producer Perfect Measure (Wildcat Heir); stakes-placed Jilleah (Roar of the Tiger); and stakes-placed Mr Bubba (B L's Appeak), Pure Legacy hails from genetics which love getting their picture taken.

If one tallied all the trips to the winner's circle for the second dam's nine successful runners, the siblings boast 48 pictures between them. It is much the same in the third and fourth generations, where 12-time winner, GSW & MGSP, and course-record setter Set A Record (Upper Case) makes an appearance. And if the market chooses not to appreciate a hard-knocking, blue-collar pedigree, then the breeder says it's no skin off her knee.

“I plan to sell all my babies [in addition to Pure Legacy's offspring], but am not opposed to racing if I can't get good value,” said Egger. “I have a Global Campaign weanling colt out of a Stay Thirsty mare that will be targeted for the yearling sales next year.”

As for the future 'Rising Star', she went through the same yearling auction as her older brother but brought $55,000 at FTKOCT last year from De Meric Sales. Resurfacing at OBS March, she floated through her :10 flat breeze and attracted the attention of Lael Stables, who went to a cool $425,000 to take her home with them. The rest we all played witness to.

“I feel blessed to have been represented by such a nice filly  with our small operation and am so grateful to Lael Stables and De Meric Thoroughbreds for giving her the best chance for success on the racetrack…This industry has a lot of ups and downs and can be quite challenging, but to get a nice filly like The Great Maybe is a big thrill for a small breeder like me.”

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