With a powerful finish, Kentucky-bred Undrafted (by Purim) won the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes over six furlongs at Royal Ascot. With that victory, the powerful chestnut earned his first G1 success and pushed his earnings past $1 million, with five wins in 20 starts, plus two seconds and eight thirds.
One of the gelding’s five unplaced efforts came last year in the G1 July Cup at Newmarket, when he was fourth in a strong renewal of that top sprint behind European star sprinter Slade Power. In addition to that serious expression of international form, Undrafted was third in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint last November.
So, with form that placed him in the hunt, it was not a surprise for Undrafted to run well in the headline international sprint at Ascot, and at the end of the Diamond Jubilee’s six furlongs raced in 1:12.69 over good-to-firm turf, Undrafted was a half-length ahead of the Australian-bred Brazen Beau. Irish-bred Astaire was a length and three-quarters farther back. Two English-breds were fourth and fifth, then the second Australian was sixth in a field of 15 international competitors.
Perhaps a greater surprise than Undrafted having the class to win at this level is the fact that he has shown his best form at sprints. A gelded son of the Dynaformer sire, Purim, Undrafted would have been pigeonholed as a turf router by many observers, and that is what his dosage profile stoutly says, too, with a dosage index of 1.00 and a center of distribution of 0, which should make him better suited to the Ascot Gold Cup than the Diamond Jubilee.
Well, don’t tell that to Undrafted. He’s a sprinter.
What’s more, a more balanced evaluation of the gelding’s pedigree than what dosage offers would indicate that there are plenty of influences for speed, and the general trend of his ancestors, not just those counted by dosage, indicates that Undrafted has every reason to be a sprinter-miler with a probable inclination for turf.
Voila. The sire Purim showed his best with a G1 success in the Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland, and Purim is out Kirsteena, a daughter of the high-class miler influence Lord at War (ARG), who showed high form at 10 furlongs himself but was more dominant over slightly shorter distances.
Purim’s two best performers, however, show a wide variation in aptitudes. He sired two G1 winners, the Diamond Jubilee winner and Twilight Eclipse, winner of the Man o’ War Stakes at 11 furlongs.
Bred in Kentucky by Catesby Clay at the Clay family’s Runnymede Farm, Undrafted is out of the winning mare French Jeannette, a daughter of the high-class miler French Deputy and Fancy Sheba, a daughter of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Alysheba.
The chief effect of Alysheba in a pedigree, evaluated in hindsight, was to neutralize its speed, and his daughter Fancy Sheba won only a modest race, earning $5,600. She was, however, out of a good mare, Hollywood Lassie winner Native Fancy (Our Native), and Native Fancy produced a pair of graded stakes winners in Wilshire Handicap winner Blushing Heiress (Blushing John) and Anoakia Stakes winner Really Fancy (In Reality).
When bred to the high-class speed of French Deputy, Fancy Sheba produced her two best racers: French Jeannette and her full brother Biko Afire, who earned $609,621 while racing in Japan, where French Deputy was sent after several pretty good seasons at stud in Kentucky.
A $33,000 yearling, French Jeannette progressed so well that she sold for $100,000 at the 2002 Fasig-Tipton February sale of selected 2-year-olds in training, where she showed speed and power that suggested bright things for her racing potential. The buyer was Mike Gill, who campaigned the filly through her 5-year-old season, by which time French Jeannette had earned $137,262. She won a maiden special and was essentially an allowance filly in her five other successes, although she also finished fourth twice in minor stakes at Laurel and Penn National.
Runnymede Farm bought her for $24,000 as a broodmare prospect at the 2005 Keeneland November sale, and Undrafted is the mare’s third foal. All four of the mare’s foals to race are winners, with three having earnings of more than $100,000, including her first foal Financial Crisis (Broken Vow) and Undrafted’s year-younger full sibling Play Hard to Get.
Sent to sizable, even rugged, stallions, French Jeannette produced foals that didn’t attract the interest of the commercial market till Undrafted, who sold for $50,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September sale. To bring such a price, Undrafted had to have all the goods because there wasn’t a stakes performer under either his dam or second dam.
Four years and a million dollars later, a lot has changed.