What's in a Name? Lost Ark, Park Avenue, and Autostrada

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Belmont second Nest is out of the same mare as Lost Ark | Sarah Andrew

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1st-Belmont, $90,000, Msw, 7-3, 2yo, 5 1/2f, 1:04.38, ft, 5 1/2 lengths. LOST ARK (c, 2, Violence–Marion Ravenwood {SW, $112,598}, by A.P. Indy) is a half-brother to both GI Belmont S. runner-up Nest (Curlin), GISW, $1,130,550 and GI Santa Anita H. winner Idol (Curlin), GISW, $426,964. Sales History: $275,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $49,500. O-Harrell Ventures, LLC; B-Ashview Farm & Colts Neck Stables (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher.

There is a tight connection between horse and dam in the name of Belmont 2yo winner Lost Ark. Marion Ravenwood is Indiana Jones's co-protagonist in the 1981 movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” The film signaled a late 20th-century return to great-scale action spectaculars and was incredibly successful. Marion Ravenwood, played by Karen Allen, is a unique and thought-provoking character, and not just a mere love interest and/or sidekick–“Indy, I am now your G*dam partner” is her famous line, spoken while holding a precious medallion, after a fire destroys her tavern in Nepal. Some of Marion's spirit and energy is echoed in this winning colt, who won by 5 1/2 lengths on his debut, repelling multiple challenges.

OUIJA BOARD DISTAFF S., $200,000, Lone Star, 5-30, 3yo/up, f/m, 1mT, 1:35.13, fm. PARK AVENUE, 123, f, 4, Quality Road–Remarkable, by Indian Charlie. ($450,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP). 1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN. O-Hronis Racing LLC; B-Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds, LLC (KY); T-John W. Sadler; J-Victor Espinoza. $112,512. Lifetime Record: GSP, 11-4-3-1, $316,412.

Autostrada, f, 4, Quality Road–Cry to Kat's Me, by Street Cry (Ire). Lone Star, 7-3, 1 1/8mT, 1:50.88. Lifetime Record: 11-1-2-2, $49,752. B-KatieRich Farms (KY). *$375,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP; $25,000 3yo '21 KEENOV.

Some stallions' names are like a vein, or a stock shelf, for the naming of their progeny. Take Quality Road (Elusive Quality–Kobla, by Strawberry Road): two of his recent Lone Star winners are called Park Avenue (the Manhattan opposite of Skid Row) and Autostrada (Italian for interstate highway). Making sense is beautiful and often underappreciated. Serendipitous bonus: Park Avenue beat Avenue de France (Cityscape) into second.

An Italian native, Andrea Branchini now lives in Lexington, Ky., where he works in the equine transport industry.

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