With his 3 ¾-length victory in the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds racetrack in New Orleans, the freshly minted 3-year-old Instilled Regard (by Arch) put another stamp on his passport along the Triple Crown trail.
Previously second in the G1 Los Alamitos Futurity after the disqualification of Solomini (Curlin), Instilled Regard has now won two races, with a pair of seconds and a third from 5 starts. Second on debut to American Pharoah’s younger brother Saint Patrick’s Day (Pioneerof the Nile), Instilled Regard won an 8 ½-furlong maiden in his third start, then was placed in the Los Alamitos Futurity to earn his first level of consideration for serious things this season.
Owner Larry Best, who races under the name OXO Racing LLC, made the decision to ship Instilled Regard to New Orleans for the Lecomte, according to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, and it worked out well. The dark bay Arch colt sat off the early pace to pounce down the stretch and win convincingly from the previously undefeated Tapit colt Principe Guilherme.
Bred in Kentucky by KatieRich Farms, Instilled Regard was a $110,000 RNA at the Keeneland September yearling sale in 2016, then sold at the 2017 Ocala Breeders March Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training for $1.05 million. Consigned by Tom McCrocklin, Instilled Regard had worked a flaming quarter-mile in :20 4/5.
The colt’s sales work was as impressive in the estimation of DataTrack International’s stride evaluation technology as it was on the stopwatch. Instilled Regard earned a Group 1 designation for exceeding all the internal stride performance benchmarks, and he scored a BreezeFig of 70, which is very good indeed.
Instilled Regard is the 62nd stakes winner and 37th graded stakes winner by Arch, who died two years ago at age 21.
A sale-topping yearling and G1 winner during his racing career, Arch was a striking horse who produced some good sales yearlings and even more good racers. Among his G1 winners alone are champion Blame, also a sire at Claiborne Farm; Arravale, Horse of the Year in Canada; Overarching, three times a champion in South Africa; Les Arcs, a highweighted sprinter in Europe; Grand Arch (Shadwell Turf Mile; It Tiz Well (2017 Cotillion); and Hymn Book (Donn Handicap).
The Lecomte winner is out of the Forestry mare Enhancing, a daughter of champion Heavenly Prize, a big, rangy mare by the beautifully proportioned Seeking the Gold (Mr. Prospector). Heavenly Prize was one of two champion fillies (along with Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Flanders) from the first two crops by Seeking the Gold who helped cement that horse’s reputation as an elite sire.
Heavenly Prize was the Eclipse Award winner in 1994 as champion 3-year-old filly and won half of her 18 starts, including eight G1 stakes such as the Frizette, Beldame, Alabama, and Apple Blossom.
At stud, Heavenly Prize produced two dissimilar stakes-winning sons of Storm Cat. Two-time G1 winner Good Reward was a bay more in the mold of Seeking the Gold, and G2 winner Pure Prize was a tall, brawny version of Storm Cat who wasn’t the easiest horse to produce at this best but was mighty talented. At stud, the bright chestnut Pure Prize was much the better sire in North and South America.
This family, going back through Heavenly Prize’s dam Oh What a Dance (Nijinsky) to Maskette Stakes winner Blitey (Riva Ridge), produced some brilliant results for the Phipps family stable, including four graded winners out of Blitey: G1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Dancing Spree (Nijinsky), G1 Ballerina winner Furlough (Easy Goer), G1 Hempstead winner Fantastic Find (Mr. Prospector), and G2 Long Island Handicap winner Dancing All Night (Nijinsky).
The first and last of these are full siblings to the dam of Heavenly Prize. If there was some feeling that this family might be losing its G1 edge after Heavenly Prize managed to produce “only” one winner at that level, her daughter Enhancing is helping put the ship to rights with G3 winner and G1-placed Instilled Regard, who is his dam’s third named foal. Enhancing has a 2-year-old filly by Hard Spun (Danzig) named Heavenly Sis and produced a colt by American Pharoah in 2017, which is now a yearling.