Divina Preciosa: A Double Dose of Missy Baba

If the connections of Ruler of The World need any more encouragement as to their colt's sire potential, they need only look to South America. On June 15 Chile's top race for juvenile fillies, the Clasico Tanteo de Potrancas (Chi-I), fell to Antonio Vodanovic's Divina Preciosa, a daughter of the American export Crocker Road. The stallion is yet another of the busy clan of Missy Baba, to which Ruler of The World belongs.

In fact, Crocker Road descends from Missy Baba twice over, both times through her Sir Gaylord daughter Gay Missile. The winner of the 1970 Ashland Stakes, Gay Missile produced four stakes winners, including 1979 French champion older male Gay Mecene (by Vaguely Noble) and 1976 Villager Stakes (gr. III) winner Lassie Dear (by Buckpasser). Lassie Dear, in turn, is the dam of multiple graded winner Weekend Surprise (by Secretariat), dam of A.P. Indy, Summer Squall, and Honor Grades; Charming Lassie (by Seattle Slew), dam of Lemon Drop Kid  ; and Lassie's Lady (by Alydar), granddam of Ruler of the World and his European champion half brother Duke of Marmalade.

A son of A.P. Indy, Crocker Road is also a grandson of Gay Missile through her daughter Gallanta (by Nureyev). Herself a stakes winner and group I-placed in France, Gallanta is the dam of 1991 Windfields Farm Gallinule Stakes (Ire-II) winner Sportsworld (by Alleged) and 1994 Shadwell Stud Cheveley Park Stakes (Eng-I) winner Gay Gallanta (by Woodman), whose multiple group II-winning son Byron (by Green Desert) added another grade I tally to his family's history of sire production June 15 when his daughter Byrama won the Vanity Handicap (gr. I) at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Crocker Road was not up to the racing standard of either Gay Gallanta or Sportsworld, though he did notch two wins and four placings from nine starts. He was exported to Chile's Haras Matancilla (which bred Divina Preciosa), standing his first season there in 2006, and has sired 51 winners from his first four crops of racing age.

Of course, the sire is only half the pedigree, and Divina Preciosa's distaff side also holds some interest. Her dam, Hecate, is a Chilean group II-placed daughter of another American expatriate, the Mr. Prospector horse Golden Voyager. A half brother to multiple graded winner Time Bandit and stakes winner Innovative (both by Time for a Change), he is out of multiple Canadian champion La Voyageuse (by Tentam), whose dam Fanfreluche (by Northern Dancer) was not only a champion in both the United States and Canada (where she was Horse of the Year in 1970) but is the ancestress of Argentine champion sire Lode and Australian champion sires Flying Spur and Encosta de Lago. While Golden Voyager did not quite live up to that standard, he nonetheless had a respectable record with at least 21 stakes winners to his credit, including Chilean Horse of the Year Crystal House and Chilean dual classic winner Mister Acpen. He died in 2005.

Hecate is out of Hanging Valley, an unraced daughter of the good sire Cox's Ridge who was sent to Chile in 1993 as a 4-year-old. Also the dam of multiple Chilean stakes winner Hickory (by the Sadler's Wells horse Dushyantor), Hanging Valley was produced from the Nodouble mare Mairzy Doates, who scored the biggest victory of her career in the 1981 Japan Cup (Jpn-I). A four-time graded stakes winner in the United States, Mairzy Doates was a disappointing broodmare but is the granddam of German group III winner Etoile Nocturne (by Medicean).

Mairzy Doates belongs to a branch of the family of 1927 Irish Oaks winner Cinq a Sept, best known as the ancestress of Secretariat and his high-class half brother Sir Gaylord. Mairzy Doates' line descends from Cinq a Sept's daughter Gentle Tryst (by Sir Gallahad III), who produced the 1953 Narragansett Handicap winner Sailed Away (by War Admiral) and 1941 Ladies' Handicap winner Up the Hill (by 1930 English champion juvenile male Jacopo). Up the Hill, in turn, produced 1960 Everglades Stakes winner Moslem Chief (by Alibhai) and 1948 Arlington Lassie Stakes winner Pail of Water (by Jack High).

Tumbling, a multiple stakes-placed daughter of Up the Hill by War Admiral, followed what had become a family tradition by producing two stakes winners of her own in Falling Evidence (by Prove It) and Proud Kenn (by Lt. Stevens). Her daughter by 1954 Kentucky Derby winner Determine, Determined Lady, produced the best horse from the direct female line since Cinq a Sept herself in Princess Pout (by Prince John). A formidable turf mare who tackled males as readily as females, Princess Pout gained still greater distinction as the dam of two-time Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner and important sire Alleged (by Hoist the Flag). Another of Tumbling's produce was Tumble Lark, a stakes-placed son of T. V. Lark who was sent to Brazil and sired at least 28 stakes winners including group I winners Big Lark, Damping Wave, Dark Brown, Embout, Equation, Jotaele, and Kill Me. Mairzy Doates is out of Tumble Lark's full sister Avalanche Lily, also the dam of stakes winners Blue Blood (by Round Table) and Avalanche Way (by Bold Forbes).

Divina Preciosa still has some work to do to prove herself up to the standard of Mairzy Doates, Princess Pout, or her ancestress Cinq a Sept, but she is headed in the right direction and on pedigree would appear to have a good chance of improving as she matures. In any event, her pedigree is an interesting study in both the continuing influence of American bloodlines on South American breeding and the even more durable influence of several great female families.

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