Victory in the Grade 3 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park was the second graded stakes success for Blended Citizen (by Proud Citizen), who now falls under suspicion as a candidate for the Belmont Stakes on June 9.
The Peter Pan is a logical prep for the longest classic in the States, and the race has served its function successfully for such rising stars as Tonalist (Tapit), who subsequently won the 2014 Belmont, then the Jockey Club Gold Cup at 3 and 4, and the Cigar Mile in his final start as a 4-year-old.
Peter Pan (above) is the namesake of Belmont Park’s classic prep. Here is the son of Commando winning the 1907 Belmont Stakes, racing clockwise as was then the custom at Belmont Park.
Bred in Kentucky by Ray Hanson, Blended Citizen was foaled and raised at Pennland Farm in northern Bourbon County.
John Penn said “unfortunately, Mr. Hanson died on Jan. 1. He really loved his racing and this family. He saw this colt’s half-brother run second last year in the Kentucky Derby and would have gotten a blast out of Blended Citizen. He lived in Everett, Wash., and one of his partners, George Gilbert, lives in Vancouver.”
Hanson and Gilbert were partners in the second dam of Blended Citizen, but Hanson became the sole owner of her daughter Langara Lass (Langfuhr).
Blended Citizen is the third graded stakes horse out of the broodmare Langara Lass, a four-time stakes winner at Hastings and Northlands Park in Canada. Also third in the G3 British Columbia Oaks, Langara Lass was a good racehorse but has been a revelation as a producer.
Her best-known racer to date is Lookin at Lee (Lookin at Lucky), who was second in the 2017 Kentucky Derby and second in the 2016 Breeders’ Futurity, both G1 races. Lookin at Lee won the Ellis Park Juvenile and most recently won an allowance at Churchill Downs on Derby Day.
The mare’s two other stakes winners are the full siblings Battlefield Angel (Christiana Stakes; third in the G1 Alcibiades) and Blended Citizen, both by the Gone West stallion Proud Citizen.
Winner of the G2 Lexington Stakes, Proud Citizen ran second in the Kentucky Derby and third in the Preakness. Sent to stud at Airdrie, Proud Citizen has been one of the most consistently useful sons of Gone West at stud. The handsome and well-conformed stallion sired 634 starters (79 percent) and 481 winners (60 percent) from foals, and those stats align admirably with the high-end benchmarks of 80 and 60 percent for stallions who sire sound, athletic racing stock.
Proud Citizen’s best performers to date are a pair of fillies, the Kentucky Oaks winners Proud Spell (2008 champion 3-year-old filly) and Believe You Can. Proud Citizen also sired Mark Valeski, winner of the 2012 Peter Pan Stakes in what proved the final start of the colt’s 3-year-old season. He came back at 4 to win the G3 Mineshaft Handicap and place second in the G2 New Orleans Handicap. His first foals are 2-year-olds of 2018.
Blended Citizen is the leading earner for Proud Citizen this season, but the stallion’s consistency again is evident with gross progeny earnings of more than $40 million to date from 805 foals of racing age, which generates average earnings per runner of $64,171, according to Equineline statistics.
The dam line for the 2018 Peter Pan winner is similarly prolific and successful. In addition to being a stakes winner and stakes producer, Langara Lass is a full sister to Madeira Park (G3 Ballerina Stakes at Hastings) and a half-sister to stakes winners Overact (Sir Cat) and Ambleside Park (Fusaichi Pegasus).
Their dam is the stakes winner Capilano (Demons Begone), and that’s where the story started for Hanson and Gilbert. Penn said, “They became partners originally in Capilano, [purchased as a yearling at the 1995 Keeneland September for $17,000], and they raced that mare and all her daughters. Virtually all her daughters and granddaughters are here on the farm, including Capilano herself,” who is now 24.
“There are four daughters of Capilano here,” Penn said. In addition to Langara Lass, there is her six years younger full sister, Madeira Park. “She has a City Zip 2-year-old colt, who is her first foal; a yearling colt by Munnings; and a foal at side by Palace Malice. She is back in foal to Ghostzapper,” Penn said.
Langara Lass has a “Liam’s Map colt born a couple of weeks ago and probably won’t be bred back this year,” Penn said. “This is a leggy and good-sized colt who thinks he’s a good horse already.”
Capilano is the best performer and producer out of the Conquistador Cielo mare Bella Isabella, out of a Damascus full sister to graded stakes winner Edge, the dam of Boundary (Danzig), who is the sire of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown. This is a family that spent generations at Claiborne Farm producing quality horses for the Gamely partnership of William Haggin Perry and Claiborne.
The family traces back to champion 2-year-old filly Romanita (Roman), whom Claiborne acquired as a broodmare, and thence back through the pages of history to the chestnut mare Golden View, a 1906 full sister to the high-class racehorse and leading sire Fair Play, the sire of Man o’ War and other important performers.
The year that Golden View was foaled, a colt by the name of Peter Pan was one of the best juveniles in America, winning the Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga. The next year, he was the best of his age, winning the Belmont Stakes and other important races. Later a distinguished sire, Peter Pan also gave his name to Belmont Park’s prep for their classic over a mile and a half.