In the first race at the Fair Grounds today, our “Pedigree of the Day” horse, Surprenante was bumped at the break and then took to an inside trip. But it didn’t matter much. The 4YO filly quickly took command and drew off to a convincing 61/4-length victory.

She was not claimed, as we thought she may be today. Probably was well worth the asking price, though.

Here’s the full story

(Photo Courtesy of WinStar Farm)

Today, in the first race at the Fair Grounds, there is a 4-year-old bay filly that very well could be worth the $7,500 claiming price, if you are looking for a possible broodmare possibility.  That filly is Surprenante, a daughter of the great Distorted Humor and out of the A.P. Indy mare Half a Surprise.

Let’s take a closer look:

First of all, the filly is by one of the most outstanding stallions in recent history of the Thoroughbred breeding industry — Distorted Humor. While he may be getting a little long in the tooth these days, at the ripe age of 25, his record speaks very well for him and itself.

Through his first 17 crops of racing age, this son of Forty Niner, has produced 1,627 foals. Of that group, an amazing 1,233 became starters; 949 became winners; and, ultimately, 140 went on to become stakes winners.

Distorted Humor — who won over $769,000 as a racehorse and captured the Amsterdam Stakes, the Salvator Mile, the Commonwealth Breeders’ Cup, the Churchill Downs Stakes and the Ack Ack Handicap — is the sire of 4 champions — including the likes of Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide.

In addition, he sired the likes of these Grade 1 winners:

  • Drosselmeyer, who won the 2010 Belmont Stakes and the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Classic;
  • Flower Alley, who won the 2005 Travers Stakes, the 2005 Lane’s End Stakes and the 2005 Jim Dandy Stakes; and later sired Kentucky winner I’ll Have Another
  • Hystericalady, who won the 2006 Hollywood Breeders’ Cup Oaks; the 2007 Humana Distaff Handicap; the 2007 & 2008 Molly Pitcher Breeders’ Cup Handicap; the 2008 Fleur de Lis Handicap at Churchill Downs;
  • Commentator, who won the 2005 and 2008 Whitney Handicap, among others;
  • Any Given Saturday, who won the 2007 Dwyer Stakes; the 2007 Haskell Invitational; and the 2007 Brooklyn Handicap;
  • Boisterous, who won the 2013 Man o’ War Stakes
  • Cursory Glance, who won the 2014 Moyglare Stud Stakes

(Honorable Duty / Photo Courtesy of Brisnet)

The list of Grade 2 and Grade 3 winers includes the likes of Honorable Duty (who won the New Orleans Handicap and the Lukas Classic just a year ago), Cowtown Cat, Sharp Humor, Z Humor, Regal Ransom, Alternation, Brethren, and Ironicus.

And, Distorted Humor’s pedigree is Classic American. He is by Forty Niner, who is by Mr. Prospector. He is out of Danzig’s Beauty, who is by Danzig. And, he was a one of the best stallion sons of the great Northern Dancer.

But then, the thing that may (should?) make Surprenante even more attractive to this low-end price tag today is the female family — which sports some of the best, most-noted, and ultra successful Broodmare-sires of all time.

Surprenante’s dam is Half a Surprise, a daughter of the great A.P. Indy, who placed as a 3YO and won just $12,520 at the track. She has been very modest in her broodmare career, producing 7 foals to date with only 2 to race. Both of those, though, have become winners — including Surprenante.

The second dam is Half Queen, a daughter of the great Deputy Minister. She was a winner and earned over $43,000 in a modest racing career. But she produced the champion Halfbridled, who had a brilliant 2YO season, capturing 4 of 6 starts that year, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita. As a 3YO, she ran second in the G1 Santa Anita Oaks.

One of the most interesting things about Half Queen is that she once was RNA’d for a whopping $1,650,000 as a broodmare, while holding in her belly a foal by Distorted Humor. Or, in essence, a nearly full sibling to Surprenante.

Yet, the best of this story, is still to come, so to speak. Surprenante’s third dam is At the Half, one of the best runners ever owned by the Ashview Farm family of Wayne Lyster. At the Half, who is by yet another great stallion in Seeking the Gold, won five of her first 6 career starts at the track and went on to capture the G3 Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill Downs and achieve five wins in 8 starts as a 2YO and earn over $338,000 in her race career.

(Photo of Lu Ravi / Courtesy of Ashview Farm)

At the Half produced the multiple Graded Stakes winner Lu Ravi, a daughter of A.P. Indy. (Take note here: That makes Lu Ravi is very close to Surprenante’s dam, who is also by A.P. Indy.) Lu Ravi had a total of 11 wins in her brilliant race career, one in which she earned over $1.8 million in purses and the G2 Molly Pitcher, the G2 Cotillion, the G3 Delaware Handicap, and the G3 Fair Grounds Oaks. She also set a new track record in the Sixty Sails Handicap at 11/8 miles in 1:49.15.

So, today, Surprenante is entered in the first at the Fair Grounds. For a mere $7,500. Is she worth it?

I think so.