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Pedigree Weekly

Sailing the Urban Sea

Mahubah's Corner By Avalyn Hunter

Brilliant Speed, Solid Stamina

John Crofts Photography

Urban Sea won the 1993 CIGA Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

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Few broodmares in the modern era have better records than the late Urban Sea. One of the few mares to produce four grade/group I winners, she is now in position to become one of the great foundation mares of all time. Not only does she number the world’s top sire and Europe’s top second-crop sire among her sons, but her daughters are breeding on. Few mares have equal or nearly equal success through progeny of both sexes, and those that do—matrons of the stature of Pocahontas and Missy Baba—wield profound influence on pedigrees. And if Urban Sea has not yet proved herself to be in that class, she is headed in the right direction.

Urban Sea was no mean runner herself. A half sister to 2000 Sagitta Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) winner King’s Best (by Kingmambo), the daughter of Miswaki and the Lombard mare Allegretta won the 1993 CIGA Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I). She became the first Arc winner to produce a similar winner when her champion son Sea The Stars (by Cape Cross) captured France’s greatest race in 2009.

Urban Sea’s progeny have displayed both the speed of Miswaki and the stamina imparted by Allegretta’s stout German breeding, winning grade/group I races at distances from eight-12 furlongs. This flexibility also characterizes her son Galileo (by Sadler’s Wells), who has sired 185 stakes winners. And at 16 he shows no signs of slowing down. His current top star is dual Derby winner Australia, yet another example of the prolific Sadler’s Wells/Danzig cross as Australia is out of multiple champion Ouija Board, by Cape Cross.

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Sea The Stars’ first crop hasn’t yet matched Galileo’s, which eventually yielded four Northern Hemisphere group/grade I winners, but has already sired two classic winners in Taghrooda (Investec Epsom Oaks, Eng-I) and Sea The Moon (Idee Deutsches Derby, Ger-I) as well as Prix Saint-Alary (Fr-I) winner Vazira. As a Danzig-line half brother to Galileo, it was all but inevitable he would see many daughters and granddaughters of Sadler’s Wells. Taghrooda is the only stakes winner thus far sired by Sea The Stars from 19 foals of racing age out of Sadler’s Wells mares, but Sea The Moon’s dam Sanwa has the Sadler’s Wells’ horse Old Vic as her broodmare sire.

Of Urban Sea’s four daughters, three are already stakes producers. Classic-placed stakes winner Melikah (by Lammtarra) is the dam of 2012 Lucien Barriere Grand Prix de Deauville (Fr-II) winner Masterstroke (by Monsun and third in the 2012 Arc). She has also produced Villarrica (by Selkirk), dam of 2011 U.A.E. Derby Sponsored by the Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (UAE-II) and U.A.E. Oaks Sponsored by Al Tayer Motors (UAE-III) winner Khawlah (by Cape Cross) and 2013 Prix Guillaume d’Ornano Haras du Logis Saint-Germain (Fr-II) winner Vancouverite (by Dansili).

Galileo’s full sister All Too Beautiful was a group III winner at 4 and was runner-up to Ouija Board in the 2004 Epsom Oaks. She is the dam of 2011 Weatherbys Bank Cheshire Oaks winner Wonder of Wonders (by Kingmambo), who emulated her dam by finishing second to Dancing Rain in the 2011 Epsom Oaks and was also placed in the Darley Irish Oaks (Ire-I). Her unraced half sister All for Glory (by Giant’s Causeway) has produced Toogoodtobetrue (by Oasis Dream), recently third in the Debutante Stakes (Ire-II).

Group III-placed Cherry Hinton (by Green Desert) is the youngest of Urban Sea’s daughters and the best so far as a broodmare. From four foals of racing age, she has produced 2014 Irish Oaks winner Bracelet (by Montjeu), 2011 Rockfel Stakes (Eng-II) winner Wading, and multiple stakes-placed juvenile Simply A Star (by Giant’s Causeway).

My Typhoon (by Giant's Causeway), winner of the 2007 Diana Stakes (gr. IT), is waiting for her first stakes winner, but the opportunities are there. She has one winner from two starters and an unraced juvenile filly Tsunami of Love (by Bernardini) and a 2014 colt by Tapit in the wings.

An outcross to the Northern Dancer tribe, Urban Sea got her best progeny when mated to Sadler’s Wells and Cape Cross. While crossing her sons and daughters back to the half of the Sadler’s Wells/Danzig cross missing in their own pedigrees is proving a winning strategy, as evidenced by Australia, Taghrooda, Sea The Moon, and Bracelet, they are also working with other lines, suggesting that Urban Sea’s long-term influence will have as much to do with her own genetic legacy as with the superb quality of her mates.

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