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The following post first appeared earlier this week at Paulick Report.

Love Theway Youare (by Arch) picked a fine time to win a Grade 1 stakes with her victory on Saturday in the Vanity Handicap. The two and a half-length victory over Include Me Out (Include) also represented more than six lengths’ difference in form from her March 17 second to Include Me Out in the G1 Santa Margarita.

On the evidence of these two races, both Love Theway Youare and Include Me Out are very good fillies, and Love Theway Youare suggested she was even sharper than before with a five-furlong work in :58 3/5, which was the best of 14 at the distance on June 7.

Both fillies are also daughters of Kentucky stallions who might be described as underdogs or “dark horses” in the wildly competitive business of sires who are commercial enough for market breeders to use as mates for their better mares and successful enough to buck the tide of interest in breeding to the new crop of entering stallions each spring.

It’s hard to imagine the sire of two North American champions and a pair of highweight racers overseas as a dark horse of the stallion ranks, but that title describes Claiborne Farm’s Arch both literally and figuratively.

He is, as a son of leading sire Kris S. and the Danzig mare Aurora, a tall and good-looking and quite dark horse that Seth Hancock picked out of the 1996 Keeneland July selected yearling sale as an outstanding individual who looked like the type of horse who could become an important addition to the Claiborne stallion roster.

Following a good racing career in which he won five of seven starts, including the G1 Super Derby, Arch entered stud at Claiborne in 1999 and sired the English highweighted sprinter Les Arcs in his first crop. The stallion’s most recent champion is 2010 Eclipse Award winner Blame, who was champion older horse after defeating Quality Road in the G1 Whitney at Saratoga and then becoming the only horse ever to finish in front of Zenyatta in winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Blame set his sire on a roll which has continued with last year’s Arkansas Derby winner Archarcharch, now at stud at Spendthrift in Kentucky, and that swell of success has continued with even greater force this season.

Arch’s major stakes winners this year include Hymn Book (G1 Donn), Newsdad (G2 Pan American), Bauble Queen (G2 Robert Frankel H.), Rothko (G3 Aristides), and now Love Theway Youare.

In addition, from his third crop of foals, Arch sired the winning mare Arch’s Gal Edith, and her son I’ll Have Another won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness this year, putting Arch prominently among the leading broodmare sires.

All these good horses have brought Arch’s popularity to a strong simmer, and he stands for a $30,000 fee to a full book of mares annually. Claiborne also stands Arch’s champion son, and getting a son who carries on for him would be an important box for Arch to mark in the “great stallion sweepstakes” that plays year after year for stallions and the people who manage them.

Among the proven strengths of this line of horses descending from Turn-to and his champion son Hail to Reason through English Derby winner Roberto is versatility. They have speed, and they typically can carry it two turns. Frequently they are better horses with the ability to compete at a higher class in those two-turn races. These are horses who show ability on turf, on dirt, on synthetic.

In the case of Arch, this versatility and quality was grafted onto the speed and fine energy of leading international sire Danzig and champion 2yo filly Althea through their talented daughter Aurora. The latter was a sensational workhorse at New York tracks in 1991-1992, and she showed high speed and a certain amount of mental volatility in the afternoons.

The winner of seven races, but only one stakes, Aurora gave the appearance of an immensely talented filly who somehow had managed not to show her best when it counted most. Still she was very quick, an obvious broodmare prospect of significance, and she proved all that and more, as she has produced four stakes winners to date, including UAE Horse of the Year Festival of Light (A.P. Indy), G1 winner Acoma (Empire Maker), G1 winner Arch, and listed winner Alisios (Kris S.).

Arch’s female family, going back through champion Althea to the wonderful producer Courtly Dee, is one of the mightiest in the stud book, and in the stallion’s most recent G1 winner, we find a correspondingly strong female family.

Love Theway Youare is out of the stakes-winning Tabasco Cat mare Diversa, with mighty Sabin as her third dam. This is the family of Ole Liz that has rewarded the cultivation of breeders for decades.