The following post appeared earlier this week at Paulick Report.
In the 1998 Kentucky Derby, most of the attention at the finish was on Real Quiet, the knife-blade narrow son of Quiet American who came back two weeks later to win the Preakness Stakes. Real Quiet’s immediate victims in the Derby were second-place finisher Victory Gallop (by Cryptoclearance) and his previously unbeaten stablemate Indian Charlie (In Excess), who never raced again.
At stud, however, both the second and third horses outshone their conqueror, and they are combined in the pedigree of Liaison, Saturday’s winner of the Grade 1 Futurity at Hollywood Park.
By leading sire Indian Charlie (whose death was announced Dec. 15), Liaison is out of Galloping Gal, by Victory Gallop. The latter defeated Real Quiet by a nose in the Belmont Stakes and a year later was named champion older horse at the Eclipse Awards.
Of the two, Indian Charlie has been the more successful sire and, at the time of his death, was a highly sought after stallion who was scheduled to stand for $75,000 live foal in 2012. That fee marked Indian Charlie as one of the most important stallions in the country.
The stallion earned that distinction through the many high-quality racehorses that he sired, and they appeared from the beginning of his stud career to the end.
Indian Charlie’s earliest stars were fillies like G1 Spinster winner Pampered Princess and champion older mare Fleet Indian from his first and second crops, and the stallion’s better colts seem to have come later in his career at stud. Last year, champion 2-year-old colt Uncle Mo was unbeaten, and he was recently retired to stud at Ashford for a $35,000 fee.
Now, Liaison is the second high-class colt in succession by Indian Charlie to win a G1 at 2. This quartet, along with champion filly Indian Blessing, are the stallion’s five G1 winners to date.
Bred in Kentucky by the estate of Bill Carl, Liaison had not been born when his breeder passed away at the beginning of 2009. Carl’s daughter Molly Thomas was in charge of dispersing the broodmares for the family. She said her father “had an extensive inventory of horses at the time, and we made a decision as a family at that time to disperse. We started the dispersal in 2009 and completed it at the November sale this year. We have sold everything, and Liaison sold in 2010.”
Thomas said, “Mark Brooking was a huge help with the valuation of the horses, noting how much the market had declined. We were very realistic about what the horses would bring, and Liaison sold well in 2010.”
Liaison sold for $290,000 at the 2010 Keeneland September sale. Lane’s End consigned the colt as Hip 737, and Arnold Zetcher purchased him. The price was the third-highest for a yearling by Indian Charlie in 2010.
Now once beaten from four starts and one of the early favorites for the 2012 classics, Liaison looks like a bargain.
Ben Berger, who raised Liaison at his family’s Woodstock Farm for the Carl estate, said that Liaison “was a nice colt from the time he was born. He was kind of long, had a lot more size and substance than some Indian Charlies will have. He was a straightforward horse but was never one who’d take your breath away just to look at him, not a flashy horse. But the more you looked at him, the better you liked him.”
Those are typical qualities of Indian Charlie, who was not a flashy horse but who was a horse of great size and exceptional muscle quality. In those respects, Uncle Mo is very like his sire and also in being a plain, dark brown horse. For Liaison to follow in that mold is a good thing.
Carl kept all his broodmares at Woodstock, with upwards of 25 at his peak, Berger said. Then, after Carl’s death, the estate sold off the mares, yearlings, and weanlings in phases. Mark Brooking, who advised Carl on mating his bloodstock, said that “we decided not to do a hasty dispersal after the downturn in the market, and it worked out better as a phased dispersal. We sold most in 2010, then the remainder in 2011. We wanted to make sure everything we sold was in foal and was in foal to the right horse.”
The horsemen responsible for the Carl bloodstock knew they had a good Indian Charlie out of Galloping Gal, got the mare back in foal to that stallion, sold the yearling later named Liaison well in September last year, and then managed a fair price for his dam in November. Galloping Gal went through the ring as an RNA for $120,000, then sold promptly to the Penn brothers.
Unfortunately, what would have been a home run for the new owners went badly wrong, because the 10-year-old mare died earlier this year.
Galloping Gal, out of the A.P. Indy mare Indy Flash, won a pair of listed stakes and ran second in the 2003 Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland for Carl. He had purchased her as a yearling at the September sale for $50,000, and she earned almost seven times that for him on the racetrack.