Superstar stallions have the highest stud fees, not for their good looks, but for the number of their racers who show up on the weekend cards for the premier races. Once again, Curlin, Into Mischief, and Tapit scored heavily over the Easter weekend of racing, with the highly regarded Bernardini and Candy Ride picking up major stakes on opposite coasts, as well.
At Keeneland on Saturday, April 3, the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes went to Malathaat (by Curlin). Bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet and sold to Shadwell for $1.05 million at the 2019 Keeneland September yearling sale, Malathaat remained unbeaten with this victory in her fourth start, and she became the third generation of Grade 1 winners for her female line.
Malathaat is out of the A.P. Indy mare Dreaming of Julia, who won the G1 Frizette Stakes at Belmont Park as a 2-year-old and then ran second in the G1 Mother Goose the following year.
After retiring to stud, Dreaming of Julia was sent first to Horse of the Year Ghostzapper (Awesome Again) and produced a colt who was not named. In 2017, the mare produced Golden Julia (Medaglia d’Oro), who also died, and Malathaat is the third foal from Dreaming of Julia.
Of Golden Julia, Stonestreet adviser John Moynihan recalled: “We kept the Medaglia d’Oro filly the year before Malathaat, and Golden Julia was phenomenal. When we sent her to the training center in Florida, Ian [Brennan, trainer at the Stonestreet Training and Rehabilitation Center] said she was light years ahead of the rest in the crop, was phenomenal at every stage. As these things in racing do, however, she ended up getting hurt in a stall, she had a pelvis injury, and we lost her. It was heartbreaking because she was a Grade 1 horse if I ever saw one; I told Barbara that she’d have been one of the best we’d ever raced.”
The mare’s 2-year-old is an unnamed colt by Medaglia d’Oro; she has a yearling full sister to Malathaat, a filly foal of 2021 by Medaglia d’Oro at Stonestreet, and goes back to Curlin.
As a Grade 1 winner, Dreaming of Julia was the most accomplished foal of her dam, Grade 1 winner Dream Rush, and she won half of her eight starts at two and three.
But, there would be some who might argue that the mare’s other graded stakes-winning daughter, two-time Grade 3 winner Dream Pauline (Tapit), was just as good. A winner in four of five starts, Dream Pauline won the G3 Hurricane Bertie and Sugar Swirl Stakes at Gulfstream.
Both are broodmares at Stonestreet, and Dream Pauline had her first foal, a chestnut colt by Curlin, in February.
Their dam, Dream Rush, has produced three stakes winners, the two fillies above and the colt Atreides (Medaglia d’Oro), who likewise won four of his five starts, then went to stud in Kentucky at Hill n’ Dale Farm (now at Xalapa).
On the racetrack, Dream Rush was one of three black-type performers out of the Unbridled mare Turbo Dream, who was unraced. Turbo Dream also is the dam of Adream (Bernardini), dam of the G3 winner Song of Spring (Spring at Last).
There is no question that Dream Rush was much the best of all the foals from Turbo Dream. Dream Rush won both her two starts as a juvenile, then advanced impressively as a 3-year-old to win the Old Hat Stakes at Gulfstream, the G2 Nassau County at Belmont, place second in the G1 Acorn, then win the G1 Prioress and Test Stakes before finishing unplaced in the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Filly Sprint.
That race was Oct. 26 at Monmouth Park, and nine days later she was in the ring at the 2007 Fasig-Tipton November sale.
As agent for Halsey Minor, Debbie Easter bought Dream Rush for $3.3 million after a spirited bidding battle, and the then-3-year-old was sold as a racing or broodmare prospect.
Easter said, “She was a big, long, beautiful mare, and with a pair of Grade 1 victories. This was his first venture into broodmares, and she was what we were looking for as a foundation mare. Dream Rush was one of the most beautiful mares I’ve ever seen, had such a lovely attitude, and was a great athletic individual.”
Unfortunately, Dream Rush didn’t reproduce her earlier form, coming back to race at four and five, but only placing third in the G1 Princess Rooney and second in the G2 Vagrancy.
“The point of the purchase,” Easter said, “was to acquire a foundation broodmare and that has worked out beautifully.”
The plan worked out for Stonestreet, rather than for Minor, who dispersed his stock after getting stuck in the Great Recession.
On acquiring Dream Rush from Minor, Moynihan recalled that “a year or two after the Fasig sale, he called, said that he remembered our bidding for Dream Rush, and asked if we’d be interested in buying the mare privately.
“When we bought her, it was about this time of year, and we were still waiting days to see if she was in foal from a cover to A.P. Indy,” and she was.
Dream Rush produced her first foal for Stonestreet in 2010, and that was Dreaming of Julia.
Since then, Dream Rush has had eight more foals, and after a pair of barren years in 2019 and 2020, the 17-year-old mare had a filly by Bernardini earlier this year. Moynihan noted that “we were trying to get a filly to carry on the line from Dream Rush,” and they got one.
Some dreams never go away, and some even come true.