The following post was first published last week at Paulick Report.
Winner of the Real Quiet Stakes at Hollywood Park last weekend, Tamarando is one of five Grade 1-winning sons of champion Bertrando (by Skywalker). Aside from Tamarando, only Officer was a colt, and he retired to become a useful sire.
A highly precocious horse of powerful proportions, Officer was a tiger at 2 and smashed through his early races on the West Coast that culminated with a victory in the Del Mar Futurity. Then, the big bay came east and won the G1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont impressively. Those performances made him the pro-tem divisional champion of 2001 until he was completely upended in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile by the subsequent international highweight and champion Johannesburg (Hennessy).
Officer’s trump card, like his sire’s, was speed, and all the sons of Bertrando showed some lick. Early maturity was not uncommon among the stock of the dark brown stallion who spent nearly his entire career at River Edge Stud in California. Bertrando’s three other G1 winners were the geldings Karelian, Bilo, and Unfold the Flag.
Tamarando became a G1 winner earlier this year with his victory in the Del Mar Futurity and also finished third in the G1 Frontrunner at Santa Anita.
The colt is from the next to last crop by Bertrando, who was pensioned near the end of 2011 at age 22 and has sired 58 stakes winners to date from 1,039 foals.
Bred in California by owners Mr. and Mrs. Larry Williams, Tamarando is one of four stakes horses out of his dam, the Dehere mare Tamarack Bay. A winner of three races and $218,965 in four seasons of racing, Tamarack Bay ran second four times in stakes, and once was third. She did not win one, however, and the most important race she placed in was the G3 Santa Ysabel Stakes at Santa Anita.
Retired to stud, Tamarack Bay has produced four stakes horses from six foals of racing age. Her first foal is stakes-placed Tamarack Smarty (Smart Strike). Her third foal is Luckarack (Lucky Pulpit), who is a multiple stakes winner and has earned nearly a half-million dollars. The mare’s fifth foal is stakes winner U’narack (Unusual Heat), and the sixth is Tamarando.
Tamarack Bay is a daughter of champion juvenile Dehere, whose daughters have produced 70 stakes winners to date. Among the most prominent of these stakes winners are champion sprinter Midnight Lute, now a prominent young sire; current top 3-year-old Will Take Charge (Unbridled’s Song), winner of the Travers and second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic; and the recently retired Take Charge Indy, winner of the 2012 Florida Derby.
Bred in Kentucky by Mike Akers and Pat Gutherie, Tamarack Bay is out of the Slew o’ Gold mare Gee Toto, who was a winner twice on the racetrack.
Bred in Kentucky by John and Betty Mabee, Gee Toto was a half-sister to G1 St. James’s Palace Stakes winner Half a Year (Riverman) and to G2 Del Mar Futurity victor Winning Pact (Alydar). The dam of the major winners above was the Northern Dancer mare Six Months Long, who served the Mabees so grandly as a producer.
Using sires of the highest class was a consistent component of the Mabee mating program. As John Mabee told me in an interview several years ago, “I found after great expense that using proven sires was less disappointing and more rewarding than trying to prove stallions. Sires like Riverman, Danzig, Nijinsky, and Alydar are the top of the tree around the world for the reason that their offspring win the best races against the strongest competition.”
Mabee used stallions such as these to upgrade and enrich families of distinction that he had bought into when they were in a lull, and the legacy of his breeding program is still prospering.