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It’s not often I write about stakes at Zia Park, although they do have some competitive racing. But the winner of the Permian Basin Stakes last Sunday is a 2yo granddaughter of G1 winner Top Corsage, a hickory-tough critter from the 1980s who raced 53 times and earned $1.1 million. The mare won a single G1 (Spinster) and half a dozen G3s.

The Topsider mare Top Corsage was from a serious old Elmendorf Farm family going back through Rare Bouquet (dam of G1 winner Slewpy) to Forest Song, a daughter of Mr Music and the first US-bred dam out of a European line imported by Elmendorf to add substance and stamina to fast American lines like the Domino – Black Toney crowd that produced Mr Music.

It worked well enough to make this one of the more solid and consistent Elmendorf lines, and when the farm stock and racing prospects were dispersed, others got to share in the wealth.

Top Corsage was the peak of this particular branch of Rare Bouquet, and for the next generation, that was nearly the end of things. From 10 foals, Top Corsage produced four winners, and the two best were Top Honors, an Honour and Glory colt who earned $160,520 but no black type; and Real Bear, a Formal Gold filly who earned $81,155 from 11 starts. Even more impressively, Real Bear was twice stakes-placed.

That’s useful. Not great. But there was clearly some athletic ability in her. Although it was not expressed at the racetrack, some of Top Corsage’s other foals must also have had some ability. At least, they are producing better than they raced.

To date, Top Corsage’s daughter Violet Lady (Seattle Slew) has been her best producing daughter with two SWs and two Spl horses. The mare’s Fappiano daughter Consider the Lily also has produced a SW, and now Real Bear has joined this improving list with her third foal earning black type for the third time.

The produce record is below:

1st Dam: Real Bear, b, 2000. Bred by Gainesway Thoroughbreds Ltd. (KY). Raced 2 yrs in NA, 11 sts, 2 wins, $81,155 (ssi = 2.83). 2nd Cy-Fair S., Lakeway S.

2006: Formal Tone, dk b/ c, by Touch Tone. Raced 2 yrs in NA, 16 sts, 2 wins, $14,790.
2007: El Oso, dk b/ g, by City Street. Raced 2 yrs in NA, 10 sts, 2 wins, $47,019.
2008: No record.
2009: IM A BEAR.
At 2: Won Permian Basin S.; 3rd Darby’s Daughter Texas Stallion S. , Pan Zareta Texas Stallion S. (R).
2010: Bear Bottom, b f, by C’mon Tiger.
2011: Kicking Bear, dk b/ f, by Supreme Cat.

Broodmare sire: FORMAL GOLD, dkbbr, 1993. Sire of 56 dams of 118 foals, 79 rnrs (67%), 58 wnrs (49%), 21 2yo wnrs (18%), 4 sw (3%).

2nd Dam: TOP CORSAGE, dkbbr, 1983. Bred by Elmendorf Farm (KY). Raced 5 yrs in NA, 53 sts, 15 wins, $1,110,028 (ssi = 20.88). Won Spinster S. (gr. 1), Arlington Oaks (gr. 3), Pucker Up S. (gr. 3), California Jockey Club Handicap (gr. 3), Dahlia Handicap (gr. 3), Sixty Sails Handicap (gr. 3), Falls City Handicap (gr. 3), Louisiana Downs Oaks, California Oaks, B. Thoughtful S., Cardinal Handicap, Furl Sail Handicap; 2nd Yellow Ribbon Invit. S. (gr. 1), San Gorgonio Handicap (gr. 2), Honeymoon Handicap (gr. 3), Countess Fager Handicap (gr. 3), Providencia S., Canterbury Queen Handicap, Sweet Diane S. (R); 3rd Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup S. (gr. 3), El Encino S. (gr. 3), Yerba Buena Handicap (gr. 3), Canterbury Oaks, La Habra S., Santa Ysabel S. (R), Bustles And Bows S. Granddam of GREENSPRING, CABALLERO NEGRO, LILY’S AFFAIR, Dressed To Kill, Dyna Penny, Loow Key.

The sire of Im a Bear is the far more than useful racehorse Touch Tone, one of three stakes winners by stakes winner Pick Up the Phone (Phone Trick). Touch Tone won $632,850 from eight starts. His best victory was the Iowa Derby, and his best performance was his second in the G1 Haskell in 2001 behind champion Point Given.