In Reality’s grand gray son Relaunch has tried single-handedly to resurrect the male line of Man o’ War – Fair Play and their male-line ancestors Matchem and the Godolphin Arabian. In reality, Relaunch has done a damned good job, and the victory of Brazilian-bred Bal a Bali in the Grade 1 Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita gave his sire Put It Back a second G1 winner in the Northern Hemisphere.

That distinction is important because Put It Back has sired several G1 winners south of the Equator, especially in Brazil, where Put It Back has been leading sire and Bal a Bali was the best of his best, earning a title as Horse of the Year before his importation to the States.

Put It Back was a useful stallion during his innings at stud at Florida’s Bridlewood Farm, and G1 winner In Summation was the sire’s most highly ranked runner in the U.S. before Bal a Bali. In Brazil, Put It Back sired champion 2-year-olds Skypilot in 2008 and Nitido in 2007, both G1 winners. Bal a Bali has carried his form across several campaigns and two continents, and he was expected to enter stud this spring at owner Brad Kelley’s Calumet Farm, but the 7-year-old’s form is going to send him through another year of racing.

man o' war in hd photo 1920

Man o’ War, one of the greatest American racehorses in history, also became one of our sport’s great sires. He is widely represented in pedigrees, although principally through his son War Relic in the male lines of Europe and the Americas.

 

The high-profile success in California, and perhaps others through the year, will make Bal a Bali more familiar to breeders as a more significant representative of his famous male line.

Put It Back is one of several fast sons of Metropolitan Handicap winner Honour and Glory, one of three sons of Relaunch who have carved niches at stud for themselves. After his racing career, Honour and Glory sired the Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old filly Caressing (G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies) and sired the very fast Argentine juvenile Mach Glory (Estrellas Juvenile). The beautifully balanced bay stallion also showed his international flair and versatility by siring a pair of UAE Derby winners (Blues and Royal, Honour Devil), a winner of the Gran Premio Jockey Club in Argentina (Indio Glorioso), and a winner of the Tenno Sho in Japan (Name Value).

Early on in his stud career, Relaunch sired his first important son, Santa Anita Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Skywalker. Retired to stud, Skywalker proved a very useful stallion, getting the Eclipse Award-winning older horse Bertrando as the best among a steady supply of stakes horses. For class and durability, Bertrando was a sliver of an improvement on his sire and grandsire as a racehorse, winning the Norfolk Stakes and Del Mar Futurity at 2, when only the absurdly impressive finishing kick of Arazi deprived Bertrando of victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the championship as top 2-year-old colt.

The following season, Bertrando was not as effective but returned in even better form at 4 to win the Pacific Classic and Woodward Stakes in a nationwide campaign that earned him the Eclipse Award and more than $3 million in career winnings. Bertrando became an indispensable asset for California breeding, but the grand old frontrunner’s best son, Officer, ended up being sold to Korea, and a third son of Relaunch is responsible for the majority of this line’s prominence in breeding today.

The only one of these sons who was gray like Relaunch was Cee’s Tizzy, who found the match of his stud career in the Seattle Song mare Cee’s Song. Their offspring included Budroyale (earnings of $2.8 million) and two other stakes winners, but the foal of foals out of Cee’s Song was Horse of the Year Tiznow, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic twice, with earnings of $6.4 million, and established as an important sire in Kentucky both in his own right and with good young sons like Gemologist, Strong Mandate, and Tourist, the winner of last season’s Breeders’ Cup Mile. The first and last of that trio are at stud at WinStar, like their sire.

Tiznow has been the epitome of versatile stallions, siring a champion 2-year-old filly in Folklore, as well as major winners at a mile (Tourist) to a mile and a quarter. At the latter distance, Well Armed won the Dubai World Cup, and Colonel John won the Travers. At nine furlongs, the sire’s major winners include Tizway (Whitney), Bullsbay (Whitney), and Gemologist (Wood Memorial), and at a mile or less, Tiznow’s top performers were Folklore (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies) and Strong Mandate (Hopeful).

This is a male line that is famous for its toughness, plus the versatility to show speed and stay well. Adding Bal a Bali to the mix should be a positive addition for breeders and the breed.

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