Each day, we will look all over the country to discover a horse running that has a pedigree worth noting. We will not always pick a stakes race. In fact, we may even try to find a horse running in a claiming race that may just have a pedigree worth noting. And, you may argue that there is a horse running on that day that deserves to be noted more than the one we have selected. If so, then submit your horse and your arguments. We may print your selection and your short bio. We hope to engage conversation.
But, for the sake of argument and to begin the conversation, we have begun the race for the pedigree today. Today’s selection is picked by Gene McLean, our Publisher and Chief Handicapper. And, his choice is the 4-year-old filly Prudence, who will be running in the 6th race at little Ellis Park this afternoon.
Prudence is a filly that was bred and still owned by Brad Kelley’s Calumet Farm in Lexington, KY. And, this is a prime example that you never know when back class in a family tree may sprout new roots and grow to great heights again. After all, when you dig a little deeper, Prudence is bred very closely along the same lines as the fantastic runner and modest stallion Behrens.
You see, Prudence’s family background gets off to a rather modest start. Back in 2012, Calumet Farm’s upper management team decided to breed a 20-year-old mare, by the name of Hard Copy, to the very successful runner, but undistinguished sire Pleasantly Perfect.
Pleasantly Perfect – whose best runners are probably Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf winner Shared Account and this year’s top Breeders’ Cup Sprint contender Whitmore — was so undistinguished at stud, in fact, that in October of 2014, it was announced that Taylor Made Stallions had sold the son of Pleasant Colony. At that time, Pleasantly Perfect was transferred to a bastion of Thoroughbred racing and breeding — the country of Turkey.
Pleasantly Perfect could get into that country, but Ennis Kanter – who plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA – can’t? But we digress.
Yet, it shows the strength of Prudence’s female family – which is both deep and wide. So, let’s delve and dive in now.
Prudence’s dam is Hard to Copy, a daughter of the great Mr. Prospector, who won both at 3 and 4 and earned nearly $100,000 on the racetrack.
Although she didn’t earn any black type on the track, it didn’t take her long to start making her pedigree drip with black type once again.
Until Prudence came along, one of Hard to Copy’s best runners was the filly Andover Lady, who had 5 wins and an impressive third-place finish in the Grade 3 Pebbles Stakes at Belmont Park. Andover Lady became on of Hard to Copy’s 13 foals – 11 of whom raced and 5 of who won.
But the telling fact in Hard to Copy’s donation to the breed is the fact that she had 8 fillies out of those 13 foals. And, those fillies have already produced stakes winners like Called to Serve (who won the G3 Discovery Handicap and nearly $500,000), Stormy Novel (who won the Miss Woodford Stakes at Monmouth Park), Bridgehampton (who won the My Juliet Stakes at Parx), and Saritta (who won the Happy Ticket Stakes at Louisiana Downs).
And, more stakes winners from those 8 daughters will probably continue – especially when Prudence is retired and joins the broodmare band at Calumet.
But don’t quit reading yet. Here is where Prudence’s pedigree gets really interesting, and, quite honestly, thrilling.
The second dam is the incredible mare Hot Novel, who was an incredibly fast runner. After all, she won the G3 Rancho Bernardo Breeders’ Cup Handicap at Del Mar; the G3 Santa Ynez at Santa Anita, the Moccasin Stakes at Hollywood Park, and the B. Thoughtful Stakes at Santa Anita. She was second in the G1 Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park, the G2 A Gleam Handicap at Hollywood, the La Habra and the Las Cienegas at Santa Anita. And, she was third in the G1 Santa Monica, the G3 Monrovia and the Pasadena Stakes at Santa Anita.
In her race career, dating from 1988 through 1990, she hit the board in 14 of 17 races on dirt and won over $380,000. On turf, she had four more starts and never finished out of the money, earning another $78,000.
And, it was just the beginning of her career. Hot Novel is the dam of Behrens (who just so happens to be a son of Pleasant Colony, just like Pleasantly Perfect). Behrens – who won nearly $5 million in purses — is a multiple G1 winner (Oaklawn Handicap, Gulfstream Park Handicap twice and was a game second in the G1 Travers. He became a stallion, before passing in 2014.
Hot Novel’s daughter Texas Tammy, by Seeking the Gold, is the dam of Cowboy Cal, who won over $1 million and is now a sire, too. After a career here, he was sold to be a stud in South Korea.
And, Hot Novel’s daughter Texas to a Tee, by Purge, is the mother of Mississippi Delta, a Graded Stakes winner of over $725,000.
But the pedigree doesn’t end there. As with all great families, it needs to stay current. And, this one does. In a big, bold, black-type way. In addition to producing the likes of Mr. Palmer, Lemonette and Savvy Supreme, this is also the female family of Commentator – one of the best New York-breds of all time.
Commentator, a gelded son of Distorted Humor owned and raced by Tracy Farmer, had 14 wins in 24 lifetime starts and earned over $2 million in purses. He won the G1 Whitney Stakes and set track records at both Belmont Park and Gulfstream Park.
Commentator lived out his final days at Old Friends retirement home near Midway, but the family lives on.
Prudence gets to run at Ellis Park today. She will carry jockey Brian Hernandez, Jr. and trainer Rusty Arnold. Maybe all the way to the winner’s circle. Personally, I think she will love the turn back in distance to the sprint on the turf today.
But she will be carrying a whole lot more than just the rider. She is carrying a lot of history, too.