Louisiana Derby (gr. II) morning line favorite Revolutionary is continuing the graded stakes-winning tradition that has lasted in his female family for three profitable generations.
The son of the ill-fated champion War Pass has also already done well to carry on his sire's legacy with his neck score in the Feb. 2 Withers Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct Racetrack, and now has aspirations of a start in the May 4 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). For a full preview of the March 30 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, click here.
The colt, who is from the first crop of War Pass, descends from a royal pedigree carefully fashioned by veteran breeder William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm. Farish made a wise choice when he privately acquired Revolutionary's third dam, winner The Garden Club, as a broodmare.
"She just had a terrific pedigree and it was a family that had been extremely successful historically," Farish explained. "That was back in the early 1970s when I was buying top families, and she was one of my favorites."
The daughter of Herbager produced three stakes winners for the Kentucky-based breeder, including Revolutionary's second dam Up the Flagpole. The Hoist the Flag mare, whom Farish raced as a homebred, compiled an impressive 7-3-2 record from 22 starts, topped by a victory in the 1981 Delaware Oaks (gr. II).
Up the Flagpole's abilities as a broodmare proved even more impressive than her race career. Among her seven stakes-winning offspring are European, English, Irish, and Italian highweight Flagbird, plus other grade I victors Prospectors Delite and Runup the Colors.
Prospectors Delite is the dam of U.S. Horse of the Year and prominent sire Mineshaft , grade I winner Tomisue's Delight, and three other stakes winners. Runup the Colors is the dam of Revolutionary.
Runup the Colors also raced as a Farish homebred and made Farish proud by winning six of 18 starts, including the 1997 Alabama Stakes (gr. I). She retired with earnings of $555,024.
Farish explained how the mating with farm stallion War Pass that produced Runup the Colors' eighth foal Revolutionary, was a strategic one.
"I was looking for more speed in that family, because Runup the Colors and (her sire) A.P. Indy both were producing classic horses, but the mare wasn't coming up with the kind of horse we wanted," he said. "It was the first year for War Pass and I thought the pedigree worked awfully well, infusing Mr. Prospector and Cherokee Run into that family."
Lane's End typically sells all of its colts at auction, and Revolutionary was no exception. Farish was impressed with the colt's appearance as a foal and knew he would make a fine sale prospect.
"He was a grand colt conformation-wise," Farish said. "We thought he would be a particularly good pedigree and a conformation horse for War Pass. It certainly turned out to be that way, but tragically we lost War Pass, so that was unfortunate."
Revolutionary is the fifth offspring out of Runup the Colors to fetch six figures at auction. He was acquired for $235,000 by Kenny Troutt's WinStar Farm at the 2012 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s March 2-year-old sale from Niall Brennan Stables, agent.
"At the sale he breezed okay without being spectacular...but because I'd seen him and liked the way he went at Niall Brennan's farm it gave me more confidence to go ahead and buy him," said Elliott Walden, president and CEO of WinStar. "Anything we purchase is with an eye of possibly landing in the stud barn. His pedigree...being out of an Alabama winner and having a very good bottom side combined with being by a champion, I felt like if he could do his job, he could make War Pass look good and therefore be a commodity people would want to breed to."
Runup the Colors is also the dam of stakes-placed Ice Road (by Unbridled's Song) and Tafaseel (by Belong to Me). Those offspring respectively brought $750,000 and $550,000 at auction.
Lane's End sold the now 19-year-old Runup the Colors for $60,000 to Brad Kelley's Bluegrass Hall at the 2011 Keeneland November mixed sale. She was in foal to Quality Road at the time of the sale.
"She's an A.P. Indy mare and he bought her to breed to English Channel and she's in foal to English Channel, but unfortunately she aborted the Quality Road," said Eddie Kane, farm manager of Calumet Farm where the mare is kept.
"She's due April 3, so she's getting close," Kane added. "We'll see how that foal looks; maybe we'll go back to English Channel (for 2014), but we haven't decided yet."
While Lane's End no longer owns Runup the Colors, the farm has retained several of her other family members, including her winning Dixie Union offspring Freedom Flag. Now a broodmare, Freedom Flag has produced two foals, the most recent of which is a Speightstown filly, born March 28.
Time will tell whether the family will continue producing such talented horses as Revolutionary, but Farish can only hope the tradition lives on.