When Gabriel Charles powered home the winner in the Grade 1 Eddie Read at Del Mar on July 18, he established several firsts. The victory was the bay’s third stakes but first G1 success, and Gabriel Charles is the first winner at the top level for his sire Street Hero (by Street Cry) and for his breeder, Doris Tummillo, a cardiologist from Augusta, Ga.
Foaled and raised at the Trackside Farm of Tom Evans and Pam Clark outside Versailles, Ky., Gabriel Charles is from the first crop by his sire, a good-looking son of Street Cry who raced only at 2 and proved a G1 winner during his brief career.
Street Hero was also third in the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, but he entered stud the following season at Vinery in Kentucky, and his first foals were born in 2010.
Gabriel Charles was foaled on March 31, and Evans recalled the colt as a nice individual with scope and good balance. When the owner elected to sell the yearling, however, he drew Book 6 of 6 at the Keeneland September sale in 2011.
That was not good news. Evans recalled that despite having a nice yearling, selling Gabriel Charles proved a challenge because “we didn’t have a lot of sire power, we were selling late in the sale [as Hip 3706], and it was 2011, which wasn’t a good year to be selling anything.”
But a bad market for sellers can prove a good market for buyers, and agent Federico Barberini picked up the likable bay for $19,000.
At the Ocala Breeders Sales auction in April 2012, Gabriel Charles had continued his good progress, and now that he could show some of his qualities on the racetrack, buyers were less interested in the commercial appeal of his sire.
The colt flew a furlong in :10 1/5, looked good doing it, and sold to Mike House for $160,000. Even at that price, “This horse was well bought,” said DataTrack International’s managing director Bob Fierro. “Gabriel Charles was one of the standouts on the figs for 2012 April sale. He scored a Group 1 on our rankings, earned a BreezeFig of 69, which was 7 points over par, and he showed a stride length well over 24 feet, more than a foot longer than the average.”
House races Gabriel Charles with Sam Britt, and the colt has earned $584,400 and has been in the money 9 times from 11 starts. A stakes winner at 2 and 3, Gabriel Charles was on a definite upward trend near the end of his 3-year-old season, winning a division of the G2 Del Mar Derby and then finishing second in the G2 Twilight Derby on Nov. 1, 2013.
Then the colt was away from the races till mid-April this year.
All his connections showed patience, and they have been duly rewarded. Now their colt is a G1 winner, and that reflects well on the whole family.
Out of the Atticus mare Star of Atticus, Gabriel Charles is his dam’s fifth foal and fifth winner. He is notably the best of them, but this is a family that has flirted with G1 class generation after generation, and not too far back, there are other G1 winners.
Star of Atticus, the dam of the Eddie Read winner, ran second in the Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill as a 2-year-old and earned $123,971. She is one of three stakes-placed performers out of the Halo mare Trip Around Heaven. One of them, Nan (High Yield), ran second in the G1 Del Mar Oaks. Trip Around Heaven was a winner, like her half-sister Key Flight, who produced two stakes winners.
They are out of the Key to the Mint mare Key to Flight. Although unraced herself, Key to Flight is a half-sister to some high-performing racers. Her half-sister Minstrella (The Minstrel) won three times at the G1 level at 2 in 1986, including the Cheveley Park Stakes, and was the highweight juvenile filly in England that season. Their half-sister Misty Gallore (Halo) won at the G2 and G3 levels, along with three seconds in G1 races.
These excellent performers are out of Flight Dancer (Misty Flight), the fourth dam of Gabriel Charles. Third in the Queen Mary Stakes at 2, Flight Dancer is out of Courbette, one of most grandly pedigreed mares in the stud book.
Courbette, a foal of 1957, was a gray daughter of Horse of the Year Native Dancer and champion racemare Gallorette (Challenger). Beaten once in 22 starts, Native Dancer is ranked equal to or higher than nearly all other 20th century champions. Outstanding on the racetrack, he was arguably even better at stud, as his line is the predominant one in North America and vies for influence elsewhere with that of Northern Dancer, who is (ahem) out of a Native Dancer mare.
Unbeaten in her only start, the Waterford Testamonial Stakes in Ireland, Courbette was one of two stakes winners out of gallant and much-praised Gallorette. The mare raced from 2 through 6, winning major stakes from 3 onward. Many of these, including the Whitney, Carter, Brooklyn, and Metropolitan, were against colts.
And Gabriel Charles did his 6th dam proud when taking home the G1 success in the Eddie Read last weekend.
**Ed. note: The next dam in this sequence is the Sir Gallahad III mare Gallette, and this is the immediate family of Triple Crown winner Omaha, Kentucky Derby and Belmont winner Johnstown, and leading juvenile Nadir.