Blush With Pride, the first of four grade/group I winners from Blushing Groom's landmark first crop, died Aug. 16 in Ireland. The 26-year-old mare was sent from the United States to Ireland in 1997.
The richest of the four stakes winners produced from 1982 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year Best in Show, Blush With Pride won three of racing's most prestigious stakes for 3-year-old fillies in the first part of 1982 and was a champion contender late in the year for Darrell and Lendy Brown's Stonereath Farm. Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Blush With Pride captured the Santa Susana Stakes (gr. I, now the Santa Anita Oaks), then took the Ashland Stakes (gr. II) and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). Her Oaks score came against the previous year's champion 2-year-old filly, Before Dawn.
That September, Blush With Pride won a division of the Golden Harvest Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Louisiana Downs. Sensing a championship, Lukas sent her out against males in the Super Derby (gr. II) at Louisiana Downs, but the best she could do was finish fifth. In what would be her final start, Blush With Pride ran second to subsequent champion older female Track Robbery in the Spinster Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland, but was beaten nine lengths.
Blush With Pride was weighed below only champion Christmas Past and Cupecoy's Joy on Daily Racing Form
's Free Handicap for 3-year-old fillies. She was assigned 120 pounds. Blush With Pride had finished unplaced to Christmas Past in the Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) and was third to Cupecoy's Joy in the Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I).
Blush With Pride, who was bred by the Browns, retired with six wins from 16 starts and earnings of $536,807. Blush With Pride had raced her 2-year-old season for Lendy Brown's father, Leonard K. Firestone, who had bought her through Lukas for $650,000 at the 1980 Keeneland July yearling sale from the Stonereath consignment. The Browns purchased Blush With Pride from Firestone prior to her 3-year-old campaign.
Blushing Groom not only was represented by Blush With Pride, but also by grade I winners Runaway Groomz (Canada's champion 3-year-old male) and Too Chic, plus Italian group I winner Rosananti, from his first crop that year.
As a broodmare, Blush With Pride produced 15 foals, nine of which were winners, for several breeders. Her first foal, a Nijinsky II colt, sold for $3.2 million at the 1986 Keeneland July sale. Her later foals included European group winners Turnberry Isle and Smolensk and grade II winner Better Than Honour, who sold for $2 million in foal to Mineshaft
at last year's Keeneland November breeding stock sale.
Blush With Pride ended up in Ireland after being bought in foal to Deputy Minister for $635,000 at the 1997 Keeneland November sale. Çonsigned by Foxfield, she was bought by the BBA (Ireland) and produced several foals for Orpendale, a Coolmore entity. Her last foal is a 2-year-old Sadler's Wells colt named Poland.