This weekend’s racing was essentially a celebration of sires we lost too soon through the living tribute of their offspring; many of the important winners over the weekend are by stallions who are dead.
Tepin leads the list with her dominant victory in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile, and she is a daughter of the good Storm Cat stallion Bernstein. With a victory in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile, an Eclipse Award, and earnings of $4 million, Tepin is the best of Bernstein’s offspring based in the States, but the bay son of Storm Cat was also responsible for G1 winners and champions in France, Japan, and Argentina.
In the G2 Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs, Daddys Lil Darling (Scat Daddy) won like a prominent challenger for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, and Scat Daddy also had Dacita, the second-place finisher of the G2 Canadian Stakes at Woodbine.
And then on Sunday at Woodbine, the Harlan’s Holiday colt Good Samaritan won the G2 Summer Stakes over Conquest Farenheit, another good performer by Scat Daddy.
Of the three prominent stallions above, Scat Daddy died most recently, near the end of 2015. The big, dark bay son of Johannesburg had carved a niche for himself as a force in siring stock that possessed scopy physiques and showed a surprising amount of early ability, especially for horses of size.
Scat Daddy was a major force himself as a 2-year-old, winning the G1 Champagne Stakes and G2 Sanford, as well as finishing second in the Hopeful and fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Scat Daddy progressed to win the G1 Florida Derby at 3, as well as the Fountain of Youth, but his career was over after 9 starts and he entered stud at Ashford in 2008.
As a shuttle stallion, Scat Daddy went to Chile for the Southern Hemisphere breeding season from 2009 through 2011 and from those foals, he was leading sire in Chile in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Dacita, mentioned above, is one of those Chilean-born racers and clearly possesses high class.
Then, on Dec. 14 last year, Scat Daddy collapsed and died while being led from his paddock at Ashford Stud outside Versailles, Ky.
To emphasize what breeding and racing have lost with the sudden demise of such a talented horse, Scat Daddy’s offspring are having a banner year. In addition to Daddys Lil Darling and Conquest Farenheit, two leading juveniles in Europe this year, top filly Lady Aurelia and the impressive group winner Caravaggio are both by Scat Daddy.
The colt who outran Conquest Farenheit in the Summer Stakes is the bay Good Samaritan, a striking son of Harlan’s Holiday. The colt won his debut at Saratoga and is now unbeaten in two starts. This handsome prospect is also from the last crop by Harlan’s Holiday.
The stallion won the G1 Florida Derby and Blue Grass Stakes at 3, then won the G1 Donn at 4, when he was also second in the Dubai World Cup and Hollywood Gold Cup. Harlan’s Holiday retired to stud in 2004 at Airdrie, where he remained until going to WinStar in 2011. Harlan’s Holiday shuttled to Haras La Mission in Argentina, where he died on Nov. 1, 2013, and the stallion’s last Kentucky crop was foaled in the spring of 2014.
Good Samaritan, bred by WinStar and owned by China Horse Club and WinStar, is out of the stakes-placed Pull Dancer (Pulpit), whose dam is a half-sister to two-time G3 winner Wiseman’s Ferry (Hennessy), the sire of champion Wise Dan.
The next dam, La Affirmed (Affirmed), produced four stakes winners, including the important sire Bernstein.
A winner in half of his 8 starts, Bernstein was twice a winner in G3 company, and he entered stud in 2001 at Buck Pond Farm. Along with shuttling to Argentina, Bernstein ended his stud career at Castleton, and the horse was euthanized on Oct. 23, 2011, due to complications of colic.
While Tepin stands at the top of Bernstein’s produce as a winner of high international class and as his biggest money winner, she is markedly similar to another Bernstein. This is G1 winner Karakontie, a striking bay who was a G1 winner at 2, when he won the Grand Criterium, and at 3, when he won the Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French 2,000 Guineas) and Breeders’ Cup Mile. They have high form on turf, love racing a mile, and have a devastating kick.
Both bear the trademark of Bernstein and the best Storm Cats, and Karakontie entered stud at Gainesway Farm earlier this year. He stands for a fee of $15,000 live foal, and he does not shuttle.