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Bloomy earns the spotlight this week not so much for exceptional success with her progeny, although she’s had two stakes winners, but for helping to continue one of my favorite female lines, which descends from the Greentree Stud mares Dunce Cap (by Tom Fool) and her champion daughter Late Bloomer (Stage Door Johnny).

When I became pedigree-conscious long years ago, like most readers and race watchers, there were certain breeders and horses that attracted my interest. Greentree Stud and their racing stable was one of the favorites, not least because they gave their horses goog names that sounded interesting.

(I wasn’t a fan of Secretariat, for instance, till I saw the first picture of the magnificent beast during his 2yo Saratoga campaign.)

But Twenty Grand, Shut Out, Tom Fool, and that lot caught my fancy when I was a wee reader of racing history, and reading about the history of Greentree and others created a perception of breeders as developers of tradition when they retained families for generations, improving their stock with judicious matings and carrying on the best for the next generation of matings.

Bloomy and her immediate forebears are all Greentree, but the fourth dam is the Bull Lea mare Bright Coronet whom Greentree got from Calumet, which had its own tradition and success.

Bright Coronet, for instance, was a daughter of one of Triple Crown winner Whirlaway’s half-dozen best runners: Arlington Lassie winner Duchess Peg. One of four stakes winners out of Some Pomp, along with Acorn winner Proud One (Blenheim), Futurity winner Some Chance (Chance Play), and Canadian stakes winner Beau Dandy (Bull Lea), Duchess Peg won a half-dozen races and showed her best form as a 2yo.

She proved a sore disappointment as a broodmare. Although the dam of 16 named foals and two that died (yes, that’s 18 pregnancies to term), Duchess Peg had a relatively undistinguished record with her foals on the track, getting her two stakes winners as her two last live foals. Neither stakes winner was notable, either.

Calumet, like any other farm breeding a number of foals, had to cull a lot of mares and fillies. And Bright Coronet, the third foal out of Duchess Peg and one of five minor winners from the mare’s first six runners, was considered surplus to need.

In truth, Calumet wasn’t that far wrong. Bright Coronet produced only five foals from 12 years of breeding, but one of those was Dunce Cap, a lithe and elegant daughter of Tom Fool who won the Lowther and Seaton Delaval Stakes in England, where she also ran second in the Cheveley Park at 2.

As a broodmare, Dunce Cap was apparently the perfect match for Greentree’s homebred classic winner and champion Stage Door Johnny. Bred to that coarse influence for stamina, Dunce Cap produced 1976 Louisiana Derby winner Johnny Appleseed, 1978 champion older mare Late Bloomer, and Late Act, who was a G3 winner from 4 through 6 and who earned more than any of the mare’s offspring — $661,089 — from nine victories in 38 starts.

Late Bloomer then began her producing career as well as a mare can, with two graded stakes winners: G1 winner Ends Well (Lyphard) and G2 winner Fred Astaire (Nijinsky). They were of nearly equal quality, but Ends Well got lucky to win a G1, and Fred Astaire was only able to get third in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile. Both had high class but lacked supreme brilliance.

But Late Bloomer’s subsequent foals were either unraced or lightly raced nonwinners till her final offspring, the Polish Numbers (Danzig) filly Bloomy came to the track, won races, and placed in a minor stakes. Now, she is bidding fair to extend the family another generation.

The produce record is below.

1st Dam: Bloomy, b, 1997. Bred by Brushwood Stable (PA). Raced 3 yrs in NA, 11 sts, 4 wins, $127,670 (ssi = 5.28). 2nd George Rosenberger Memorial S. (R).

2004: Miss Poison, b f, by Kingmambo. Raced 2 yrs in NA, 5 sts, 0 wins, $1,290.
2005: Slambino, dk b/ g, by Grand Slam. Raced 6 yrs in NA, 46 sts, 6 wins, $309,119. 2nd John’s Gold S.; 3rd Allied Forces S.
2006: SPRING OF FAME, b c, by Grand Slam. Raced 5 yrs in Engl, Fr, UAE, 23 starts, 6 wins, $399,332. Won Prix de Tourgeville, 2nd Maktoum Challenge Round 2 (G3), 3rd Newmarket S., Heron S.
2007: Leopolis, b c, by A.P. Indy. Raced 1 yr in NA, 1 sts, 0 wins, $0.
2008: PHILLY ACE. Raced 2 yrs, 6 wins in 12 starts at 3 and 4, $277,446.
At 4: Won Alphabet Soup H. (R); 2nd Robellino S. (R).
2009: Not Covered Previous Year.
2010: Waynesborough, ch c, by Curlin.  Unraced in NA, Eng and Fr.
2011: Unnamed foal, dk b/ f, by Elusive Quality.  Unraced in NA, Eng and Fr.
2012: Barren.

2nd Dam: LATE BLOOMER, b, 1974-1998. Bred by Greentree Stud, Inc. (KY). Champion Older Mare. Raced 4 yrs in NA, 24 sts, 11 wins, $512,040 (ssi = 34.82). Won Beldame S. (G1), Delaware H. (G1), Ruffian H. (G1), Sheepshead Bay H. (G2), Black Helen H. (G2), New York H. (G3), Garden City H.; 2nd Sheepshead Bay H. (G2), Orchid H. (G3), Saratoga Springs Cup H. (G3); 3rd Suwanee River H. (G3). Dam of ENDS WELL (c, Lyphard, $872,093. Won United Nations H. (G1), Rutgers H. (G2), Hawthorne Gold Cup H. (gr. 2), Michigan Mile H. (gr. 2), Neshaminy H., Red Bank H.; 2nd Whitney H. (G1), Canadian Turf H. (G2), Westchester H. (G3), Winter Quarters H. (L); 3rd Gulfstream Park Breeders’ Cup H.), FRED ASTAIRE (c, Nijinsky II, $275,010. Won Rutgers H. (G2); 3rd Breeders Cup Mile (G1)). Granddam of INDY WIND, LINCOLN CENTERApprenticeLoose LimbedRomantic Comedy.