Getting a pair of Grade 1 stakes winners over the weekend was a feather in the growing headdress of the young sire Temple City (by Dynaformer). The 3-year-old Annals of Time won the Hollywood Derby at Del Mar; that was the colt’s first stakes victory. The 4-year-old Miss Temple City won the Matriarch, which was the filly’s third victory at the premier level.
And in Miss Temple City’s pedigree, we find inbreeding to a horse who is rarely duplicated in pedigrees: Admiral’s Voyage (Crafty Admiral). The dark bay horse’s main claim to pedigree fame is being the broodmare sire of Danzig, the broodmare sire of Temple City.
Being Danzig’s broodmare sire puts Admiral’s Voyage in a ton of pedigrees because the chubby dark bay son of Northern Dancer is one of the most prolific names in bloodstock around the world. Normally, when we do see Admiral’s Voyage duplicated, it is through inbreeding to Danzig, rather than inbreeding to Admiral’s Voyage.
The stallion is also the sire of Miss Temple City’s fourth dam, Distant Voyage. Born in 1976, Distant Voyage won nine of 25 starts, including the Ruddy Belle Stakes, and was second once, third twice in stakes. Distant Voyage and Pas de Nom were two of their sire’s eight stakes winners, and he was at stud for a very long time, living to age 30.
A foal of 1959, Admiral’s Voyage was bred and raced by Fred Hooper. The colt would be ranked as the best son of sire Crafty Admiral, along with Neptune, winner of the 1957 Prix Robert Papin and Prix Morny in France.
Tough and competitive, Admiral’s Voyage won 12 of his 52 starts in four seasons of racing. Third in the Arlington Futurity at 2, Admiral’s Voyage progressed rapidly at 3, with his most important victory coming in the Wood Memorial. In that race, he dead-heated with Sunrise County, but that colt was disqualified to second for bumping his opponent.
Admiral’s Voyage raced head-to-head with Sunrise County for much of the Wood, and he likewise showed his gameness once again in the Belmont Stakes. Trying to lead the whole way, Admiral’s Voyage finished second by a nose to Jaipur (Nasrullah) in the final classic.
From 14 starts at 3, Admiral’s Voyage won the Louisiana Derby; was second in the Hollywood Derby, Jersey Derby, and Santa Anita Derby; and was third in the Florida Derby. In the Derby that counted most, however, he finished 9th.
Admiral’s Voyage maintained his competitive form at 4 and 5, winning the Carter Handicap and the San Carlos Handicap, among other races. He also finished second in such events as the Massachusetts Handicap and Hollywood Express, as well as third in the Los Angeles Handicap.
Whether sprinting or racing classic distances, Admiral’s Voyage was an admirable performer, and his natural ability, allied with great competitiveness, earned him a place at stud, first in Kentucky, then in Florida, and finally in Louisiana.
That sequence indicates that the horse did not make a success of his second career, and like most horses sent to stud, Admiral’s Voyage proved an unsuccessful stallion. Siring only three percent stakes winners from foals, he would seem to be unexpectedly disappointing, given his own good speed and stamina.
This horse, however, was one of the final blips on the radar for one of the celebrated male lines of French-American breeding of the 20th century, that of Teddy through his very fast son Sir Gallahad III. Brought to stand in Kentucky at Claiborne Farm, Sir Gallahad III sired Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox in his first U.S. crop, plus additional Kentucky Derby winners Gallahadion (1940) and Hoop Jr. (1945).
One of the era’s great broodmare sires, the male line of Sir Gallahad III tended toward the fast fade. Gallant Fox had a useful stud career, but his sons, including Triple Crown winner Omaha, were past dismal. Gallant Fox’s full brother Fighting Fox was not as good on the racetrack but was tough and game and fast. The two brothers were almost identical at stud, getting six percent stakes winners during their years at stud.
Gallant Fox sired a trio who were top class: Omaha, his full brother Flares, and 1936 champion 3-year-old colt Granville. Fighting Fox got the high-class Bonnie Beryl (Frizette), Fighting Step (American Derby), and Crafty Admiral, winner of the Brooklyn and Washington Park handicaps, as well as 16 other races.
But through their sons, the male line of Sir Gallahad III hit the windscreen of time like a night bug. The great sire and his descendants have bred on through the internal lines of pedigrees so that less-familiar horses like Admiral’s Voyage still can play a part in the bloodlines of top-class performers.