The following post first appeared earlier this week at Paulick Report.
The Grade 1 Clark Handicap and the Grade 2 Falls City Handicap, both run at Churchill Downs over the extended holiday weekend, were captured by siblings, the 4-year-old Shackleford (by Forestry) and 5-year-old Afleeting Lady (Afleet Alex). Both are out of the splendid broodmare Oatsee (Unbridled).
As a daughter of the 1990 champion 3-year-old colt and a race filly herself who managed to earn black-type and win $106,945, Oatsee began her career as a broodmare with a lot of potential. Oatsee was able to transmit qualities of soundness and class that exceeded the merits of her own racing record and that threaten to place her in the pantheon of breed-shaping broodmares.
That she is one of the mares that everyone would like to have in their broodmare band is obvious after a cursory glance at her produce record. From her first eight foals, the mare has five stakes winners, including Grade 1 winners Shackleford and Lady Joanne (Orientate).
Shackleford closed his career on the Friday after Thanksgiving with a game and determined victory in the G1 Clark Handicap. The flashy chestnut won the G1 Metropolitan Handicap earlier this season to go with his victory has year in the G1 Preakness over Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom.
Following his victory in the Clark, Shackleford was retired, and he arrived in Lexington on Monday afternoon, where he will stand at Darby Dan Farm for a stud fee of $20,000 live foal next year.
Shackleford is only one star of several set alongside the name of his now-illustrious dam. Her other produce include Alabama Stakes winner Lady Joanne (also second in the Spinster and Mother Goose); Afleeting Lady, winner of the G2 Falls City Handicap; Baghdaria (Royal Academy), winner of the G3 Indiana Oaks; and listed winner Stephanoatsee (A.P. Indy), who also ran third in the G3 Discovery Handicap.
A big, strong, roomy mare with scope, Oatsee was bred in Kentucky by Bentley Smith, who also raced her. The son-in-law of Unbridled’s owner, Frances Genter, Smith had purchased Oatsee’s dam, the Lear Fan mare With Every Wish, for $140,000 at the 1995 Keeneland November sale, when the mare was 4, and Oatsee was her first foal.
The 1995 November sale featured the Genter dispersal, led by Unbridled’s dam, the Le Fabuleux mare Gana Facil, at $1,350,000 in foal to Seeking the Gold. Genter had bred and raced With Every Wish, who descends from the famous family of Taminette (dam of Spinaway winner Tappiano) and her dam Tamerett (dam of Known Fact and Tentam), back to the important English mares of the Aloe family, and the line’s true daughter Oatsee has returned the family to its high level of distinction.
But before that happened, Smith sold Oatsee to Mike Lauffer and Bill Cubbedge at the 2006 Keeneland January sale in foal to Langfuhr for $135,000, before the mare’s first two stakes winners had gained black type. The next-to-last foal Smith bred out of Oatsee was Lady Joanne, who became a graded winner later in 2006 as a 2-year-old, and she further elevated her dam’s profile with a G1 victory the following year.
As a result of the mare’s production success, Lauffer and Cubbedge sold Oatsee at the Keeneland November sale in 2008 to My Meadowview Farm for $1,550,000. Among the three foals that Cubbedge and Lauffer bred from Oatsee are Shackleford and his year-older half-sister Afleeting Lady, whom they still own, and the mare’s fifth stakes winner was bred by My Meadowview Farm.
So the big chestnut has given joy and rewards to each of her owners, and at her moderate age of 15, she may have several good foals left to produce.
Oatsee has a 2-year-old by Johannesburg named Dare Me, did not have a yearling, and her weanling is a bay filly by Indian Charlie named Play Pretty. Oatsee is in foal to Bernardini on an April 9 cover, and the plan is to send her to England to be bred to Frankel.