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The next time a commentator laments the weakening of the Thoroughbred, just smile and ignore him. The breed is no weaker than we allow it to be.

And proof positive is found in Mission Approved, the weekend winner of the G1 Manhattan Handicap, a horse with miles on the clock but nonetheless a horse who apparently also has miles to go before he sleeps.

His dam is the Fortunate Prospect mare Fortunate Find, who was a winner twice from 20 starts in two seasons. Mission Approved is much the best winner from her four foals, although Mission Approved’s full brother Carry the Day managed to win $64,103 with only a single victory in 30 starts.  He somehow found a way to earn a check repeatedly in his lengthy career.

Mission Approved is the hands-down leader in earnings for his dam with $760,830 to date. And he has a lot of class too. His best effort last year was a second in the G1 Man o’ War, and he came back from a long layoff to win the Manhattan as his 2011 debut.

Fortunate Find is apparently no longer in the breeding pool, but there are worse members than her. The record is below:

1st Dam: Fortunate Find, gr/ro, 1995. Bred by Farnsworth Farms & M. & M. Bloodstock (FL). Raced 2 yrs in NA, 20 sts, 2 wins, $28,955 (ssi = 0.69). ($27,000, 1997, obsjun, 2yo)

2001: Cloudy Morning, gr/ro c, by Dumaani. Raced 2 yrs in NA, 12 sts, 1 win, $12,704 (ssi = 0.37). ($11,500, 2002, ftmsep, yrlg)
2002: Spectacular Dixie, dk b/ g, by Dixie Brass. Raced 2 yrs in NA, 8 sts, 0 wins, $15,371 (ssi = 0.54). ($22,000, 2004, ftmmay, 2yo) Died 2006.
2003: No record.
At 3: Won Princeton S., Saranac S. (G3).
At 4: Won Singspiel S. (G3).
At 5: 2nd Singspiel S. (G3), Kingston S. (R).
At 6: 2nd Man o’ War S. (G1).
At 7: Won Woodford Reserve Manhattan H. (G1).
2005: Carry The Day, g, by With Approval. Raced 5 yrs in NA, 30 sts, 1 win, $64,103 (ssi = 0.68).

Broodmare sire: FORTUNATE PROSPECT, dkbbr, 1981. Sire of 213 dams of 839 foals, 661 rnrs (79%), 464 wnrs (55%), 154 2yo wnrs (18%), 38 sw (5%).

2nd Dam: Spectacularjenelle, ro, 1989. Bred by Bernard Mandler (KY). Raced 1 yr in NA, 8 sts, 0 wins, $4,265 (ssi = 0.44). ($11,000, 1992, ftnnov, rac age; $11,000, 1999, obsjan, rac age) Dam of Won Jenelle (f, Mercedes Won. $172,885, 2nd Revidere S.).