2002 by Gone West–Ronda (GB), by Bluebird.
By Avalyn Hunter
A speedy miler type, Istan impressed both racing fans and breeders with an eight-length win over a good field in the 2007 Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) at Churchill Downs. His effort racked up an impressive 111 Beyer figure and was the highlight of a 2007 campaign during which he won five stakes.
Memory Lane, the third dam of Istan, is a group III-winning full sister to Mill Reef, a first-rate racer and sire but one not commonly found in North American pedigrees. Still, this cross between full siblings could have real possibilities. Other stallions from this family include Peterhof (by The Minstrel) and Moscow Ballet (by Nijinsky II), both produced from Millicent, a Cornish Prince half-sister to Memory Lane and Mill Reef. As The Minstrel and Nijinsky II have both combined well with Gone West, mares carrying either of these sires could work well with Istan. Other sons of Northern Dancer that may make good crosses include Nureyev, Dixieland Band, Danzig, and Vice Regent.
The dam of Istan, Ronda, is inbred 3 x 4 to Dusky Evening. This suggests that Silent Screen may be a desirable pedigree element; out of a half-sister to the dam of Dusky Evening, he is by Prince John, who has had some success in combining with both Gone West and Bluebird.
Gone West is a grandson of the blue hen mare Tamerett, who is also the dam of Known Fact and Tentam. These stallions may have possibilities for working with Istan. As Sharpen Up (GB) was sired by Atan, a half-brother to Tamerett, this may also be an interesting strain to consider, especially since Sharpen Up has had some success in combination with both Gone West and Bluebird.
Among the various branches of *Turn-to, Sir Ivor seems to be the most favorable conduit. Returns of Never Bend and Bold Ruler (through lines other than Seattle Slew) look to be useful.