A tremendously talented horse who became a Grade 1 winner early at 3 with his victory in the Florida Derby, Quality Road (by Elusive Quality) made such improvement from 3 to 4, it should be no surprise that his stock are showing further improvement as well.
It is all the more interesting then that the stallion’s big winner on Mar. 5 was Blofeld, a colt whose ability was immediately obvious from his début as a 2-year-old, winning all three of his starts that season, including the G2 Futurity and Nashua Stakes.
The progressive colt made two unsuccessful starts at 3, then was sidelined by issues that now appear behind the good-looking gray. In Saturday’s Gulfstream Park Handicap, Blofeld roared up the rail to nip Stanford (Malibu Moon) and confirm a third G2 victory for his résumé.
Bred in Kentucky by Keats Grove Farm, Blofeld has been good to a succession of owners. Bred and raised at Indian Creek Farm for the breeder, Blofeld sold out of the Indian Creek consignment at the 2012 Keeneland November sale as a $135,000 weanling to Woods Edge Farm. The latter pinhooked the colt through the 2013 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale for $275,000. Sold to Redwings & Phase II, Blofeld was again resold at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton Florida sale of 2-year-olds in training for $225,000, selling to JSM Equine and Greathouse Properties, which race the colt.
The multiple graded stakes winner is the fifth foal of his dam, the gray Storm Cat mare Storm Minstrel. The first foal of Colonial Minstrel (Pleasant Colony), Storm Minstrel was a useful stakes winner, winning five races and earning $299,339.
At the 2011 Keeneland November sale, Storm Minstrel, who was pregnant with Blofeld at the time, sold for $150,000 out of the Ned Evans dispersal. Storm Minstrel’s yearling colt by Arch brought $575,000 at the 2015 Keeneland September sale, and the mare was bred back to Quality Road in 2015.
With homebreds as his sire and dam, Blofeld represents a thorough Spring Hill Farm family.
His second dam is the high-class graded stakes winner Colonial Minstrel, who was bred by Evans. A winner of the G2 Shuvee Handicap and nine other races, earning $556,586, to date the mare has produced two stakes winners and two stakes-placed horses.
Barren from a cover to Quality Road at the 2011 Evans dispersal at Keeneland, Colonial Minstrel sold for $200,000 to Bluegrass Hall.
A half-sister to G3 winner Minidar (Alydar) and listed stakes winner Unrestrained (Unbridled), Colonial Minstrel was the most accomplished racer from Minstrella (The Minstrel), and yet another mare in this family line bred by Evans. Once-beaten at 2, Minstrella was the highweight filly in England and Ireland in 1986 when her four victories included three G1s — the Phoenix Stakes, Moyglare Stud, and Cheveley Park.
Evans bred Minstrella from the gray Misty Flight mare Flight Dancer, also the dam of major winner Misty Gallore (Halo). Flight Dancer was third in the Queen Mary Stakes at 2 and was a half-sister to major winner Dancing Moss (Ballymoss), winner of the Jockey Club Cup and second in the Irish St. Leger in 1967. Their dam is Courbette, a daughter of Horse of the Year Native Dancer and champion Gallorette (Challenger).
Courbette and Mlle Lorette (Lovely Night) were the two stakes winners out of Gallorette from only seven foals. One of two tip-top horses by the imported Swynford stallion Challenger, Gallorette raced from 2 through 6, winning 21 races and finishing second or third in 33 more races from 72 starts.
A ruggedly made chestnut with tremendous individuality, Gallorette thrashed contemporary colts as well as fillies. She won numerous filly stakes, including the Acorn, Delaware Oaks, and Beldame, but the factor that elevated her into the pantheon of great mares was winning repeatedly at the top level against colts.
Her major victories against horses and colts included the Metropolitan Handicap, Brooklyn Handicap, Whitney, and Carter.
Gallorette’s dam was the Sir Gallahad III mare Gallette, who didn’t win a race. But Gallette was a half-sister to the high-class mare Flambino (Wrack), who became the dam of Triple Crown winner Omaha, and Gallette was a full sister to La France, the dam of Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner Johnstown (Jamestown).
From Blofeld to Gallette and beyond, this is the kind of family that serious owner-breeders cherish for its depth and quality.