Classic contests dominated by Pharoah

published: 27 Jul 2015 in Pedigree analysis

THE American Triple Crown fell to American Pharoah in 2015 and he became the first horse since Affirmed, 37 years ago, to achieve this feat. While he claimed the spotlight in the US, the European classics for three year-olds were certainly not a one horse race, although the dual Guineas winner Gleneagles certainly caught the eye.

English and Irish 2000 Guineas

BOTH of these races fell to Gleneagles, who is another classic credit for his sire Galileo (Sadler’s Wells). Although Galileo gained his classic laurels in the Derby-Gr.1 and Irish Derby-Gr.1 and is renowned as a source of classic stamina, he’s actually sired eight individual Guineas winners in England, Ireland and France, among them the superlative Frankel.

  Gleneagles is a brother to Marvellous who took the Irish 1000 Guineas-Gr.1 at only her third start, but subsequently failed to stay when unplaced in the Oaks-Gr.1, when favourite, and the Irish Oaks-Gr.1 at her only two subsequent starts. Their dam, the Storm Cat mare You’resothrilling, is a sprint Group winner and is a sister to Giant’s Causeway, which makes Gleneagles just about the ultimate in current sire prospects. The second dam Mariah’s Storm, a daughter of Rahy, was 
a six-time Graded stakes winner and Gr.1 placed while racing in the US and is out of Immense, a Graded winning Roberto mare who is half-sister to Champion US Two Year-Old Filly Dearly Precious.

  Gleneagles is the fifth stakes winner and the third Gr.1 winner from the 31 starters sired by Galileo out of mares by Storm Cat (16% stakes winners to starters, against 12% for Galileo with all other mares). He’s inbred 3x4 to Northern Dancer, but is free of Danehill, the strain for which Galileo has shown such a strong affinity. Gleneagles subsequently scored an easy win in the St James’s Palace Stakes-Gr.1 at Royal Ascot, taking his record to seven wins, four Gr.1, in nine starts.

  The English 1000 Guineas-Gr.1 went to Legatissimo, a member of the 15th northern hemisphere crop of Danehill’s Champion Irish Two Year-Old Danehill Dancer. The pensioned 22 year-old stallion now has 21 Gr.1 winners to his name, including other classic winners Mastercraftsman (Irish 2000 Guineas and now a leading young sire in his own right), Dancing Rain (English Oaks), Again (Irish 1000 Guineas), Speciosa (Irish 1000 Guineas)), Arapaho Miss (VRC Oaks)) and Light Fantastic (VRC Australian Guineas)), and international sprint champion and successful sire Choisir.

 Legatissimo’s dam Yummy Mummy is a daughter of Montjeu, who, despite a reputation for siring somewhat quirky daughters, is becoming a very successful broodmare sire. Yummy Mummy is only a 12f maiden winner but she’s a sister to Fame and Power, a horse who won Gr.1 events at two, three, four and five, including the Criterium de Saint-Cloud, Irish Derby, Tattersalls Gold Cup, Coronation Stakes and Ascot Gold Cup. Yummy Mummy is also a three-quarter sister to the Galileo mare Gaze, whose Manduro son Greatwood was stakes placed in England, and has won a pair of black type events since being exported to Australia.

  Yummy Mummy is also closely related to another Galileo product in the Lillie Langtry Stakes-Gr.3 scorer Gravitation, who is out of Yummy Mummy’s stakes placed half-sister Guaranda. Yummy Mummy is out of Gryada (by Shirley Heights), a mare who earned black type with a third in the Premio Dormello-Gr.3 and is a daughter of the German 1000 Guineas-Gr.2 heroine Grimpola.

  In addition to scoring a classic success, Grimpola, despite not producing a stakes winner herself, has become a very successful foundation mare and among her descendants is the Preis Von Europa-Gr.1 and Deutschland Preis-Gr.1 winner Gonbarda, dam of European Champion Older Horse Farhh. Legatissimo is one of 21 stakes winners sired by Danehill Dancer out of Sadler’s Wells line mares and follows Ave as the second Gr.1 winner on the cross.

Irish 1000 Guineas-Gr.1

A GALILEO grandaughter beat a Galileo daughter as Pleascach stayed on determinedly to deny the favourite Found by a half-length. This was the third win in five starts for Pleascach, who had captured the Blue Wind Stakes-Gr.3 (10f) just 11 days earlier.

  Pleascach is a member of the fourth northern hemisphere crop sired by Galileo’s undefeated European Champion Two Year-Old Colt Teofilo (who was unraced subsequently due to injury). Teofilo has 33 northern hemisphere sired stakes winners to his name from his first four crops, and they also include Irish Derby-Gr.1 victor Trading Leather; Voleuse de Coeurs, successful in the Irish St Leger-Gr.1; Parish Hall, winner of the Dewhurst Stakes-Gr.1; Loch Garman, who took the Criterium International-Gr.1; and the Prix Jean Prat-Gr.1 scorer Havana Gold. In Australia, Teofilo has six stakes winners in two crops, including the Gr.1 winners Kermadec, successful in this year’s Doncaster Handicap and Sonntag.

  Pleascach is out of the Thunder Gulch mare Toirneach, a three-quarter relation to Spain, who is by Thunder Gulch out of Drina, a stakeswinning half-sister to the dam of Toirneach, and who won seven Graded stakes events in the US including the Breeders’ Cup Distaff-Gr.1. Subsequently, Spain produced Irish Group winner Plan, and Dreatheimpossible, who took the Flame of Tara Stakes and placed third in the Ascot Fillies Mile-Gr.1. The female line goes back to the outstanding US runner and taproot mare Levee, via Sister Shu, who as her name suggests was a full sibling to two-time US Champion Older Mare Shuvee.

  Pleascach is one of five stakes winners by Teofilo out of Mr. Prospector line mares, and in this case Teofilo’s sire Galileo is a Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector cross, where Pleascach’s broodmare sire Thunder Gulch, is a Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer cross. She also has a double of His Majesty, combined with that horse’s genetic relative Majestic Light.

French 2000 Guineas-Gr.1

MAKE BELIEVE took his record to three wins in four starts with a comfortable three-length triumph here. He is from the first crop of Makfi (Dubawi), who upset the 2000 Guineas-Gr.1 at odds of 33/1, and later upset the mighty Goldikova in the Prix Jacques le Marois-Gr.1. In addition to Make Believe, Makfi’s first northern hemisphere crop also includes French Listed scorer Cornwallville, and from his first southern hemisphere crop he is sire of New Zealand juvenile Gr.1 winner Marky Mark.

  Make Believe’s dam Rosie’s Posy, has previously produced Dubawi Heights (by Dubawi), whose best effort in England was a third in the Lowther Stakes-Gr.3, but who captured the Gamely Stakes-Gr.1, Yellow Ribbon Stakes-Gr.1 and Wilshire Handicap-Gr.3 while racing in the US. Rosie Posy was a 5.5f winner on her debut at two and is by the French Derby-Gr.1 and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe-Gr.1 winner Suave Dancer and out of My Branch (by Distant Relative), a sharp two year-old who took the Firth of Clyde Stakes-LR, as well as runner-up spot in the Cheveley Park Stakes-Gr.1, and trained on to win the Sceptre Stakes-LR, and finish third in the Irish 1000 Guineas-Gr.1 and fourth in the English 1000 Guineas-Gr.1 the following year. 

  Rosie Posy’s half-sister Tante Rose was the Champion Older Sprint Mare in England in 2004, a year in which she ended her career with a victory in the Haydock Sprint Cup-Gr.1. My Branch is also dam of the Sweet Solera Stakes-LR winner Bay Tree and second dam of Gothic Dance, successful in the Premio Chiusura-Gr.3 and the Champion Older Female Miler in Italy last year. Rosie Posy’s fourth dam Ash Lawn is half-sister to Royal Palace, winner of the 2000 Guineas and Derby and to Glass Slipper, dam of the 1000 Guineas-Gr.1 winner Fairy Footsteps and St Leger-Gr.1 winner Light Cavalry.

  Make Believe and his three-quarter sister Dubawi Heights, are two of the six stakes winners, four of them Group or Graded, from 41 starters (15% stakes winners to starters) sired by Dubawi and sons out of Nijinsky II line mares. There are a couple of extra twists in Make Believe’s pedigree, as Makfi’s second dam Irish Valley is half-sister to Green Dancer (sire of Make Believe’s broodmare sire Suave Dancer) and Makfi’s broodmare sire Green Desert is a product of a Northern Dancer/
Sir Gaylord cross, and extended version of which produced Make Believe’s dam.

French 1000 Guineas-Gr.1

THIS went to Ervedya, who was among the leaders of her crop last year, winning her first three starts, including the Prix de Cabourg-Gr.3, before ending the year with a third in the Prix Morny-Gr.1 and a second in the Prix Marcel Boussac-Gr.1. At her only previous start this term she’d taken the Prix Imprudence.

  Ervedya’s sire Siyouni, like Makfi, is currently represented by his first crop three year-olds and stands in France (although Makfi began his stud career in England). A son of Pivotal, out of the Danehill mare Sichilla, Siyouni won four of six starts at two, including the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere-Gr.1 and Prix La Fleche, and also took second in the Prix Robert-Papin-Gr.2 and Prix La Rochette-Gr.3. He failed to add to his win tally in six starts at three, but did finish second in the Prix Jean Prat-Gr.1 and Prix de Fontainebleau-Gr.3, and third in the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp-Gr.1.

  Siyouni made a bright start to his stud career last year, he was Leading Freshman Sire in France, and in addition to Ervedya, he is also sire of Group winners Bourree and Souvenir Delondres, and stakes winner Mocklershill, as well as four black type placed horses.

  Ervedya’s female line has been in the family of her breeder, HH Aga Khan, for several generations. Her dam, Elva (by King’s Best) took second in the Prix Vanteaux-Gr.3, a feat that made her the only black type performer to appear under the first three generations of Ervedya’s female line. The second dam, Marju’s daughter Evora, did win at two, and Elva was her only starter, but the third dam Eviyrna (by The Minstrel), was unplaced, and produced just three minor winners from six starters.

  Things improve under the fourth dam Euliya, a Top Ville mare who was bred by the Aga Khan, but has an entirely Boussac pedigree. She won the Prix Royallieu-Gr.3, Prix des Tourelles and Prix Joubert, and is half-sister to Erdelistan, whose most prestigious triumph came in the Gran Premio del Jockey Club-Gr.1. Euliya’s second dam Iroma is half-sister to Locris, a high class 8f-10f horse who was a useful sire in South America, and is out of Ormara, a sister to Boussac’s intensely inbred (2x2 to Tourbillon) Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe heroine Coronation V.

  Ervedya is an example of the cross of Pivotal and sons with Kingmambo line mares that has also produced Gr.1 winner Regal Parade and Group winners Hot Snap and Brazilian Bride, for a stakes winner to starter figure that is currently running at about 12%. The cross with a Kingmambo mare gives a double Nureyev through Pivotal and through Kingmambo’s dam Miesque, and Siyouni already has 10 first crop starters with Nureyev inbreeding, six of them winners, including, in addition to Ervedya, the Prix Yacowlef scorer Mocklershill.

English Derby-Gr.1

GOLDEN HORN wasn’t thought likely to stay the Derby trip until he scored an impressive triumph in the Dante Stakes-Gr.2, his third win in as many starts, following victories in a maiden at Nottingham at two, and the Fielden Stakes on his debut at three 
and was supplemented for the classic at a cost of £75,000.

  Golden Horn’s sire Cape Cross, a son of Green Desert, had only relatively modest form at two and three, but developed into a top class older miler, taking the Lockinge Stakes-Gr.1 at four, and the Celebration Mile-Gr.2 and Queen Anne Stakes-Gr.2 at five. Despite being a miler by a sprinter out of a mare by a sprinter (Ahonoora, a speed-merchant who did sire English Derby-Gr.1 winner Dr Devious), Cape Cross has proved very capable of getting top class middle-distance performers (a trait shared by his fellow Green Desert sons, Oasis Dream and Invincible Spirit). In fact he’s previously sire of two truly exceptional performers who triumphed in Epsom classics, in Ouija Board and Sea The Stars, Ouija Board going on to produce another Derby winner in Australia. Cape Cross also has another 2015 classic winner in the shape of Karpino, who took his record to three-for-three in the German 2000 Guineas-Gr.2.

  Golden Horn’s dam, the unraced Fleche d’Or, has one previous foal, the Champs Elysees filly Eastern Belle, a Listed winner in England last year, and now racing in the US, where she took runner-up spot in the New York Stakes-Gr.2 a few hours after Golden Horn’s triumph. Fleche d’Or is a daughter of Dubai Destination (Kingmambo), who captured the Champagne Stakes-Gr.2 at two, and the Queen Anne Stakes-Gr.1 at four.

  Fleche d’Or is out of Nuryana, a one mile Listed winner by Nureyev. Nuryana is also dam of the Coronation Stakes-Gr.1 victress Rebecca Sharp (by Machiavellian), to the middle-distance Group scorers Mystic Knight and Hidden Hope, as well as to stakes placed Nyarhini (who produced the seven furlong Listed winner Token of Love to Cape Cross). Nuryana’s dam Loralane (by another miler Habitat) was a minor winner, but is a three-quarter sister to Habibti, one of the most brilliant sprint fillies of the post-war era, and also half-sister to the 1000 Guineas-Gr.1 heroine On the House.

  Nuryana was Loralane’s only stakes winner, but Loralane is ancestress of several black type winners, the most notable of whom is Kidnapped, who took the South Australian Derby-Gr.1. Loralane’s dam Lora is a three-quarter sister to another sprint star in the King’s Stand Stakes winner D’Urberville, and to Klairessa, whose daughter is that most famed broodmare Eight Carat. The female line goes back to the “Flying Filly” Mumtaz Mahal, via Tessa Gillian, a smart two year-old and a sister to the important sire Royal Charger.

  Golden Horn follows Group winners Moohaajim and Cape Dollar as the third stakes winner by Cape Cross out of a Kingmambo line mare, and Cape Cross’s son Sea The Stars has already sired stakes winner Sivoliere, on the same cross. In fact, Sea The Stars himself is also a product of the broader Cape Cross/Mr. Prospector cross that Golden Horn represents. We’ll also note that Cape Cross is by a stallion bred on a Northern Dancer/Sir Gaylord cross, out of a mare by a son of Lorenzaccio, where Golden Horn’s dam, is a Northern Dancer/Sir Gaylord cross, with a second dam by Lorenzaccio.

English Oaks-Gr.1

QUALIFY, who caused a 50/1 upset in the English Oaks-Gr.1 at Epsom, catching Legatissimo in the final stride, made some history in the process, as she is the first major European classic winner sired by a reverse shuttler. She’s from the second shuttle crop of Danehill’s Champion Sprinter and Champion Sire Fastnet Rock. Although he never won at further than six furlongs, and although he has sired numerous good sprinters and milers in Australia, Fastnet Rock has been a more versatile as sire than as a racehorse, with at least five of his Australia Gr.1 winners scoring at in excess of 2000m.

  In Europe, one gets the impression that Fastnet Rock has primarily been mated in the hope that he’d put speed into staying mares, but in reality it appears that it is the aptitude of his mates that has had the greater influence, and only one of the seven stakes winners from his first two European crops has scored at less than a mile. In addition to Qualify, his best European runners include the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial-Gr.3 scorer Fascinating Rock; La Saldana, who took the Schwarzgold Rennen-Gr.3; and Diamondsandrubies, winner of the Cheshire Oaks-Gr.1, and fourth in this year’s Oaks-Gr.1 after a rough trip.

  There is certainly no lack of stamina in the distaff side of Qualify’s pedigree, her dam Perihelion (by Galileo) gaining black type with a second in the Park Hill Stakes-Gr.2 at 14.5f. Perihelion has actually produced a previous Oaks winner of a sort, as her Duke of Marmalade daughter Saltanat, a three-quarter sister to Qualify, won the Ceska Oaks in Czechoslovakia, as well as running second in that country’s St Leger. Qualify’s second dam is also stoutly bred, being by another English Derby hero The Minstrel, out of English Oaks runner-up Media Luna.

  Bred to Alleged, Media Luna produced Eva Luna, who not only won the Park Hill Stakes-Gr.3, but also produced four other stakes winners headed by Brian Boru, who took the St Leger-Gr.1 and Racing Post Trophy-Gr.1 and Sea Moon, a Gr.2 winner in England and Australia, who was also runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Turf-Gr.1. Brian Boru is by Sadler’s Wells and Sea Moon by that horse’s son Beat Hollow, so both were bred very similarly to Perihelion.

  Media Luna is also dam of the stakeswinning and Graded placed Blushing Groom filly Rougeur, herself dam of a classic performer in the Kentucky Oaks-Gr.1 winner Flute. Like Golden Horn, in direct female line Qualify traces to a mare whose name is enshrined in history. In Qualify’s case this is the “peerless” Pretty Polly, winner of 22 of her 24 starts, including the 1904 renewal of the Oaks.

  Qualify goes back to Pretty Polly via her sixth dam Lady Sybil, a three-quarter sister to Nearctic, and we’ll note that Nearctic’s son Northern Dancer appears four times in the first five generations of Qualify’s pedigree, two of those crosses coming through the three-quarter brothers Nijinsky II and The Minstrel. The other two sources are in Fastnet Rock’s male line, via Danehill and Danzig, and in Qualify’s broodmare sire line, via Galileo’s sire Sadler’s Wells. 

  The success of the Galileo/Danehill cross has been long established through such as Frankel, Teofilo, Intello, Roderic O’Connor, Maybe, Noble Mission and Golden Lilac, and for Fastnet Rock, reversing it has also paid dividends, producing four stakes winners from only 16 starters, among them Magicool, who took the Queensland Derby-Gr.1 the day after Qualify’s Epsom triumph. Fastnet Rock has also sired four stakes winners out of mares by Sadler’s Wells himself, Gr.1 winner First Seal out of a mare by Sadler’s Wells grandson Scenic, and Group winner La Saldana out of a mare by Sadler’s Wells grandson Singspiel.

French Derby-Gr.1

THIS fell to the French 2000 Guineas runner-up New Bay, a son of Dubawi. New Bay is the 12th Gr.1 winner from the first six northern hemisphere crops sired by Dubawi, who has a total of 74 stakes winners and 48 Group/Graded winners from those crops. Himself a top class miler who didn’t quite get home when third in the English Derby, Dubawi’s best offspring have been effective anywhere from a mile to a mile and a half, and in addition to New Bay, they include 2000 Guineas-Gr.1 winners Makfi and Night of Thunder; a pair of Dubai World Cup-Gr.1 winners in Prince Bishop and Monterosso; three time Gr.1 winner Al Kazeem; Walpark, successful in the German Derby-Gr.1; Poet’s Voice who took the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes-Gr.1; and Hong Kong star Luck or Design/Lucky Nine. Dubawi also sired three shuttle crops in Australia, and they produced 20 individual stakes winners, 13 Group and six Gr.1.

  New Bay’s dam Cinnamon Bay won the Listed Prix d’Angerville at a mile. She is a three-quarter sister to Zenda, winner of the French 1000 Guineas and dam of last year’s star miler Kingman, both being by Zamindar out of half-sisters. Cinnamon Bay’s dam Trellis Bay, is a stakes placed daughter of Sadler’s Wells, and is also dam of the Gr.2-winning and Gr.1-placed Bellamy Cay.

  Trellis Bay is also a sister to black type producer Spanish Wells and to Coraline, dam of a trio of Group winners, including the Prix du Cadran-Gr.1 scorer Reefscape. She is also half-sister to a notable pair of Dancing Brave siblings in Wemyss Bight and Hope. Wemyss Bight took the Irish Oaks-Gr.1 and to a cover by Sadler’s Wells produced Trellis Bay’s three-quarter brother Beat Hollow, successful in the Arlington Million-Gr.1, Woodford Reserve Turf Classic-Gr.1, Manhattan Handicap-Gr.1 and Grand Prix de Paris-Gr.1. Hope failed to win, but is dam of a trio of black type winners, including Zenda, and Oasis Dream.

  Bahamian, the third dam of New Bay, won the Lingfield Oaks Trial, and was three-times Group placed. She owned a distinctly classic pedigree, as she was a daughter of Mill Reef and Sorbus, who although lacking a black type win on her catalogue page was good enough to cross the line first in the Irish Oaks-Gr.1 before being demoted to second by the stewards, and also claim runner-up spots in the Irish 1000 Guineas-Gr.1, Yorkshire Oaks-Gr.1 and Irish St Leger-Gr.1.

  In general we find that crossing a stallion back over mares from his own sire line produces below opportunity results, but in the case of Dubawi, a great-grandson of Mr. Prospector (via Dubai Millennium and Seeking the Gold), it has paid dividends, perhaps because Dubawi is sufficiently genetically removed that he’s “his own man” rather than just “a Mr. Prospector line horse”. That theory is given some credibility by the statistics, as there is just one stakes winner from 22 starters by Dubawi out of mares by sons of Mr. Prospector (Australian Gr.1 winner Shamal Wind), but taking the cross one generation further back, there are 10 stakes winners, seven Group or Graded, from only 36 starters by Dubawi out of mares by grandsons of Mr. Prospector.

  There are distinct similarities between both halves of New Bay’s pedigree: Dubawi’s sire is a Mr. Prospector /Northern Dancer cross, and his dam is a Mill Reef/ Northern Dancer cross, and when we turn to Cinnamon Bay, we see she is a Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer cross.

French Oaks-Gr.1

APPEARING just nine days after being badly hampered when beaten 39 lengths in the English Oaks at Epsom, Star of Seville rebounded to take the French equivalent. She is from the third crop of former shuttler and now South African resident Duke of Marmalade. One of the best middle-distance performers sired by Danehill, Duke of Marmalade blossomed as a four year-old when he won five straight Gr.1 races, including the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Juddmonte International and Tattersalls Gold Cup. Star of Seville is his first Gr.1 winner, but he has 18 stakes winners from his first three northern hemisphere crops, eight of them Group winners, seven of them fillies. His shuttle crops have been less successful, with MRC Herbert Power Stakes-Gr.2 winner Big Memory (born in France), South African Group scorer Moofeed and NZ Gr.3 winner Lady Cumquat as his only stakes winners.

  Star of Seville is out of the Selkirk mare Stage Presence, also dam of Star of Seville’s Group-wining three-quarter sister English Ballet (by Danehill Dancer) and second dam of Listed scorer Valbchek. Stage Presence is a half-sister to the Ballychorus Stakes-Gr.3 winner Rum Charger, dam of the four-time Gr.1-winning US turf horse, Winchester. Park Charger is half-sister to the dam of Irish Group winner Eastern Appeal. Her dam Haitienne is by Green Dancer out of French Group-winning sprinter-miler Hamada, and is a sister to stakes winner and Gr.1 placed Harifa. Hamada is a half-sister to Histoire, dam of the English Derby-Gr.1 winner Erhaab.

  Star of Seville is bred on a version of the hugely successful Danzig/Sharpen Up cross, and on the more specific version, Danehill and sons have sired 13 stakes winners out of Selkirk mares, including other Gr.1 winners Mount Nelson and Simply Perfect.

US Triple Crown

THE US Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby-Gr.1, Preakness Stakes-Gr.1 and Belmont Stakes-Gr.1, fell to American Pharoah, who became the 12th Triple Crown winner and the first since 1978.

  The Champion Two Year-Old of 2013, American Pharoah started three times as a juvenile, breaking his maiden with a 4.75 length victory in the Del Mar Futurity-Gr.1, and following up with a 3.5 length triumph in the FrontRunner Stakes-Gr.1, with subsequent Breeders’ Cup Juvenile-Gr.1 captor Texas Red back in third. Returning at three, American Pharoah took the Rebel Stakes-Gr.2 by 6.25 lengths and the Arkansas Derby-Gr.1 by eight lengths.

  He had to fight to beat Firing Line by a length in the Kentucky Derby, then romped home by seven lengths in the slop in the Preakness Stakes, leading almost all the way. He completed the Triple Crown in style, leading virtually throughout to score by 5.5 lengths in the Belmont Stakes. The time was the fastest since A.P. Indy in 1972, and the sixth fastest ever. The closing quarter mile of 24:32 was believed to be the fastest ever by a Belmont winner.

  American Pharoah is from the second crop of Pioneerof the Nile. A son of Belmont Stakes victor Empire Maker (by Fappiano) and the Lord At War mare Star of Goshen, Pioneerof the Nile came near to classic glory himself, finishing second to Mine That Bird in the Kentucky Derby. He did win four other Graded stakes, including the CashCall Futurity-Gr.1 at two, and Santa Anita Derby-Gr.1 at three. American Pharoah is the only stakes winner to date from Pioneerof the Nile’s second crop, but he does have six first crop stakes winners including Cairo Prince, a dual Graded winner who was an early favourite for the Derby, and other Graded scorers Jojo Warrior, Midnight Storm and Vinceremos.

  American Pharoah is out of a Littleprincessemma, who is by the fast Storm Cat horse Yankee Gentleman, and who is a three-quarter sister to the Graded-winning sprinters Storm Wolf and Misty Rosette. The second dam Exclusive Rosette, a daughter of the Exclusive Native stallion Ecliptical, was also speedy, gaining a stakes win at two in the Florida Thoroughbred Charities Stakes (5.5f).

  Exclusive Rosette comes from a family developed by the famed Florida horseman Fred Hooper and her dam Zetta Jet is inbred 3x4,4 to Hooper’s brilliant runner Olympia, while Exclusive Rosette’s sire, brings in another cross of Olympia’s sire, the Hyperion horse Heliopolis. The family, which goes back to Hoop Mood, a daughter of Hooper’s 1945 Kentucky Derby winner Hoop Jr, has previously produced a number of useful runners, but nothing approaching the class of American Pharoah. n