While it’s not exactly news that Breeders’ Cup winners sport noteworthy pedigrees, the 2019 class claims close relationships with a number of past Breeders’ Cup champions.
Hall of Famer Curlin, dominant in the 2007 Classic (G1), sired Saturday’s romper Vino Rosso whose 4 1/4-length winning margin at Santa Anita nearly equaled his own 4 1/2-length tally at Monmouth. Curlin already belonged to the club of Breeders’ Cup winners with progeny to follow suit, courtesy of Good Magic’s score in the 2017 Juvenile (G1), but he now becomes only the second Classic winner to sire one. Awesome Again (1998) and Ghostzapper (2004) were the first to turn the father-and-son Classic double.
Vino Rosso is out of a mare by Street Cry, fittingly enough on the 10th anniversary of his Hall of Fame daughter Zenyatta’s Classic victory. Street Cry had the Classic exacta as a grandsire, since his champion son Street Sense (the 2006 Juvenile and 2007 Kentucky Derby [G1] star) is responsible for Classic runner-up McKinzie.
Curlin’s influence is likewise extending to the next generation, as his son Palace Malice sired Juvenile Turf (G1) victor Structor in his first crop. Structor had an additional Breeders’ Cup connection as his dam is a full sister to 2010 Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) heroine More Than Real.
Hot freshman sire American Pharoah got a Breeders’ Cup winner in his first opportunity, with Four Wheel Drive kicking off the championships in the Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2). Out of a More Than Ready mare like Structor, Four Wheel Drive comes from the family of 2009 Dirt Mile (G1) upsetter Furthest Land. Having topped his 2015 Triple Crown sweep in the Classic, American Pharoah becomes a rare Breeders’ Cup winner to sire one in his first crop. His other two Breeders’ Cup runners placed third. Another Miracle finished fast to take the bronze in the Juvenile Turf Sprint, while Sweet Melania was third in the Juvenile Fillies Turf.
Juvenile Fillies Turf victress Sharing is unique as the first Breeders’ Cup winner produced by the union of Breeders’ Cup winners. By 2004 Sprint (G1) champion Speightstown, she’s out of 2010 Filly & Mare Turf (G1) surprise Shared Account, and like her dam, Sharing is trained by Graham Motion. Shared Account is the fourth Breeders’ Cup winner to foal one, following Hollywood Wildcat (dam of War Chant) and Personal Ensign (dam of My Flag who herself produced Storm Flag Flying). Sharing is actually a third generation Breeders’ Cup heroine herself, for broodmare sire Pleasantly Perfect captured the 2003 Classic.
Juvenile upsetter Storm the Court is another third generation winner, as a son of Court Vision, who pulled a 64-1 shock in the 2011 Mile (G1). Court Vision is in turn by 1988 Sprint champion Gulch. Interestingly, Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner British Idiom has a pedigree connection to Court Vision: her broodmare sire, Mr Sekiguchi, is closely related to Court Vision’s dam, Weekend Storm, from the extended family of Hall of Famer (and 1992 Classic winner) A.P. Indy. British Idiom descends from the A.P. Indy sire line, being by Flashback (himself out of a mare by 1995 Sprint near-misser Mr Greeley).
Iridessa emulated her second dam, Starine, by landing the Filly & Mare Turf. Just as Starine was 13.20-1 when toppling defending champion Banks Hill at Arlington in 2002, Iridessa was 13.20-1 when dethroning Sistercharlie at Santa Anita.
Filly & Mare Sprint vixen Covfefe is by Into Mischief, himself out of Broodmare of the Year Leslie’s Lady, and thus a half-brother to triple Breeders’ Cup champion Beholder and 2017 Juvenile Turf winner Mendelssohn. Covfefe herself counts as her broodmare sire 1990 Derby and Classic champ Unbridled (who factors as the direct male-line ancestor of American Pharoah).
Giant’s Causeway, just denied by Tiznow in an epic Classic in 2000, was posthumously honored by the results of both the Turf (G1) and Sprint. His son Bricks and Mortar solidified his status as a leading Horse of the Year candidate by prevailing over another Giant’s Causeway, United, in the Turf. Giant’s Causeway is also the paternal grandsire of Sprint hero Mitole (by Eskendereya), Bricks and Mortars’ most logical rival for the golden statuette.
Aside from Giant’s Causeway and Into Mischief, the Storm Cat sire line also scored with Distaff winner Blue Prize. The Argentinean import is by Pure Prize, a son of Storm Cat and Hall of Famer Heavenly Prize, who both suffered Breeders’ Cup losses. Storm Cat was nailed on the wire in the 1985 Juvenile, and Heavenly Prize, third in the 1993 Juvenile Fillies, was runner-up twice in the Distaff (1994 and 1995). Blue Prize won the prize that eluded Heavenly Prize.
Mile winner Uni likewise captured the race that eluded her broodmare sire, Dansili, an unlucky second to War Chant in 2000. More significantly, Uni crowned a terrific two days for her sire, More Than Ready. She gave More Than Ready his seventh Breeders’ Cup victory as a sire, and he also appears as the broodmare sire of aforementioned two-year-old winners Structor and Four Wheel Drive.
Rock of Gibraltar, famously upended in the 2002 Mile, is the broodmare sire of Turf Sprint queen Belvoir Bay. She was one of three Saturday Breeders’ Cup winners out of Danehill-line mares, along with Uni and Iridessa. Dirt Mile upsetter Spun to Run is by another Breeders’ Cup placer in Hard Spun, second to Curlin in that Classic.
On a more somber note, it should be mentioned that ill-fated Mongolian Groom was by a Breeders’ Cup winner in Hightail, who took the second of only two runnings of the dirt Juvenile Sprint in 2012.
Finally, an important human pedigree: Aidan O’Brien was out of luck at the Breeders’ Cup, but son Joseph O’Brien made history with Iridessa. The youngest Breeders’ Cup-winning trainer at a tender 26, Joseph became just the second to win Breeders’ Cup races as both a jockey and trainer. Like Galileo and his tribe, the O’Brien dynasty’s future is secure.