By Avalyn Hunter
2010 saw the passing of many notable figures in the Thoroughbred world, few more so than Edward Evans. The son of Thomas Evans, who made a great contribution to the breed as the breeder and owner of champion and important sire Pleasant Colony, Evans enjoyed a distinguished career as a breeder in his own right before succumbing to leukemia on New Year’s Eve, accounting for over 100 stakes winners. That his tally cannot yet be counted as complete was demonstrated by newly turned 3-year-old filly Dance Quietly, who earned her first stakes victory in the Busanda Stakes just eight days after her breeder’s death.
Evans made a practice of sending his broodmares to some of the best stallions available, and Dance Quietly is an example of the results. According to The Jockey Club, she is the 136th stakes winner for two-time leading sire A.P. Indy, who opened 2011 on a good note after an uncharacteristically weak (for him) showing in 2010. Only 26th on last year’s general sire list–his lowest ranking since the 1990s–the veteran sire may be down but is by no means out. He was the leading sire of commercial yearlings by average price ($544,737) in 2010, and he has a couple of colts on the radar for Steve Haskin’s “Kentucky Derby Trail” watch in Astrology (already a grade III winner) and Shadow Warrior.
Dance Quietly is the latest stakes winner for Quiet Dance, who now has four stakes winners and one graded stakes-placed runner from nine foals of racing age. Her best, of course, is 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam (by Saint Ballado), who sadly had to be destroyed due to injury after siring just one crop. Quiet Dance did not produce a live foal in 2009 but has a yearling colt by Pulpit.
Quiet Dance herself had some talent, winning the restricted Gala Lil Stakes as a 4-year-old and running second in the Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) at 2. She is by 1990 NYRA Mile (gr. I) winner Quiet American, a good stallion whose most recent top performer, Switch, won the 2010 La Brea Stakes (gr. I).
The sire of 53 stakes winners to date, including 1997 champion older female Hidden Lake and 1998 champion 3-year-old male Real Quiet, Quiet American has also achieved some note as a broodmare sire. Besides Quiet Dance’s brood, the 51 stakes winners produced so far by his daughters include 2006 champion 3-year-old male Bernardini (by A.P. Indy), now off to a highly promising start at stud, and German and Italian highweight Cherry Mix (by Linamix), a group I winner in both countries. The A.P. Indy/Quiet American cross that produced Dance Quietly and Bernardini has been inconsistent but very successful when it has clicked; of the five winners from 15 foals so bred, four have been stakes winners and the fifth (Dance Quietly’s full brother American Dance) is grade II-placed.
Quiet Dance was produced from Misty Dancer, a Lyphard half-sister to 1986 Irish champion juvenile filly Minstrella (by The Minstrel) and to multiple graded stakes winner Misty Gallore (by Halo), dam of the good sire Silver Ghost. The sisters’ dam, Flight Dancer (by Misty Flight) is also well-connected, as she is a half sister to Jockey Club Cup (Eng) winner and Irish St. Leger runner-up Dancing Moss (by Ballymoss). Exported to Argentina, Dancing Moss was leading sire there in 1973.
Courbette, the dam of Flight Dancer, is one of two stakes winners produced by the great Gallorette. The champion handicap mare of 1946, Gallorette won 21 of her 72 starts and placed another 33 times while facing such male stalwarts as Armed, Assault, Stymie, Polynesian, Lucky Draw, First Fiddle, and Rico Monte, a record that earned her induction into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1962. A daughter of Native Dancer, Courbette was not as talented as her dam but proved more precocious, winning the Waterford Testimonial Stakes as a juvenile in Ireland.
Gallorette’s family has never been numerous, but it has had its share of successes, some of which have already been noted in connection with Courbette. Gallorette’s other stakes-winning daughter, Mlle. Lorette, was also a successful broodmare. Winner of the inaugural Gallorette Stakes, Mlle. Lorette produced European stakes winners Lovely Gale and Mlle. Barker and is the ancestress of 1987 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner Success Express; 1989 Canadian champion turf horse Charlie Barley; 1999 Champagne Stakes (gr. I) winner Greenwood Lake; and German and Italian highweight Air Express, who swept the 1997 equivalents to the English classic Two Thousand Guineas in both countries as well as winning that year’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Eng-I).
As the breeder or co-breeder of Minstrella, Misty Gallore, Silver Ghost, and Saint Liam, Evans has contributed greatly to the preservation and advancement of Gallorette’s family. That would be legacy enough for any breeder, but, as Dance Quietly has hinted, there may be more to come.