This Kentucky Derby week column won’t feature a Derby horse because there are no remaining preps to the Run for the Roses. So the question for an avid writer is how many references to the Kentucky classic can we come up with, anyway?
Naturally, it’s a filly who allows me to get into the spirit of classic week here in Kentucky, and Quiet Business won the Grade 3 Bewitch Stakes at Keeneland to provide the vehicle for this essay.
Her sire is the Grade 1 winner Quiet American (by Fappiano), who won the G1 NYRA Mile at 4 as part of a quartet of victories from 12 starts for earnings of $754,419. Bred in Florida by Tartan Farms, Quiet American sold as a yearling at the Tartan dispersal in September 1987 at Fasig-Tipton in Kentucky.
There, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum purchased the scopy colt for $300,000. At the same auction, a year-younger colt later named Unbridled sold to Frances Genter.
Three years later, Unbridled won the 1990 Kentucky Derby. That was the most visible popular success in a very good stallion career for Fappiano, the sire of both Unbridled and Quiet American. Fappiano, who died young at age 13, became the most important conduit of Mr. Prospector’s male line in America, largely due to these two sons.
While Unbridled gathered greater celebrity from his victory in the Derby, plus success in the 1990 Breeders’ Cup Classic, Quiet American polished his credentials and went to stud at Gainsborough outside Versailles, Ky., then moved to Darley’s Jonabell facility near Keeneland when Sheikh Mohammed purchased that property as his American stallion station.
The sire of Eclipse Award winner Hidden Lake, Quiet American is also an important broodmare sire. His daughter Cara Rafaela – also winner of the G1 Hollywood Starlet and G2 Alcibiades Stakes – produced classic winner and champion Bernardini (A.P. Indy), and the Quiet American mare Quiet Dance foaled 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam (Saint Ballado).
To date, Quiet American has sired 55 stakes winners, and there are likely to be a few additions to the list. The stallion was pensioned in 2013 and died October 16, 2016.
But the most famous of all Quiet American’s offspring was a colt born in 1995 and later named Real Quiet. A tall, narrow yearling who fetched the pittance of $17,000 at auction, Real Quiet developed into a beautifully proportioned racer who matured late at 2 to win the G1 Hollywood Futurity, then grew into a classic performer who won both the 1998 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.
Real Quiet’s second dam, Meadow Blue, was a full sister to 1969 Kentucky Derby winner Majestic Prince (Raise a Native), and Meadow Blue is the fourth dam of Quiet Business. Real Quiet’s half-sister Mining My Business (Mining) is the second dam of Quiet Business. Mining My Business has produced G2 Fair Grounds Oaks winner Real Cozzy (Cozzene), also second in the G1 Kentucky Oaks, plus the unraced A.P. Indy mare Indy Business. The latter is the dam of Quiet Business, one of the numerous good horses out of A.P. Indy mares.
A.P. Indy is a living legend at Lane’s End Farm, where he was bred and raised and where he returned – after earning Horse of the Year in 1992 with victories in the Belmont, Santa Anita Derby, and Breeders’ Cup Classic – to begin a historic tenure at stud.
In his long career at stud, A.P. Indy has sired Horse of the Year Mineshaft (sire of Derby prospect J Boys Echo and grandsire of Gunnevera) and leading sire Pulpit (sire of three-time leading national sire Tapit). Both of those stallions are out of mares by Mr. Prospector, and A.P. Indy’s first-crop star Pulpit was in the vanguard that established this as the preferred pedigree cross for A.P. Indy, who was scratched out of the 1992 Kentucky Derby due to a foot problem that trainer Neil Drysdale was able to resolve quickly enough to put the dynamic colt into contention for the Belmont Stakes and a championship season that ended with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
In addition to the numerous classic performers that A.P. Indy sired, the bay son of Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew is a prominent broodmare sire, and A.P. Indy has two prospects for the Kentucky Derby out of his daughters: Hence, out of Floating Island, and Patch, out of Windyindy. Also, more than a half-dozen Derby prospects descend from A.P. Indy in the male line, with a nearly equal number coming from Mr. Prospector’s male line.
With all these different, but classic connections, the Bewitch winner has “Derby” written all over her pedigree.