By Avalyn Hunter
Hope springs eternal in the Thoroughbred world. Just consider octogenarian Harry Aleo, whose brilliant Lost in the Fog tragically succumbed to cancer last year. This year, his Smokey Stover developed into a contender in the sprint division but struggled with the off going and a less than ideal trip in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I), finishing ninth of 10.
Smokey Stover will be back next year, however, and is half of a twosome that could make the spring an exciting time for Aleo. His other developing runner is High Resolve who may not yet be on a level with the top juvenile fillies in the nation, but she stretched her unbeaten record to 3-for-3 with a 5 1/4-length scamper in the Joe O’Farrell Juvenile Fillies Stakes on Florida Million Day, Nov. 10, at Calder.
Aleo purchased High Resolve for $135,000 at the 2007 Ocala Breeders’ Sales April sale of 2-year-olds in training. One undoubted attraction was her pedigree. Like Smokey Stover, she is a daughter of Put It Back (Honour and Glory–Miss Shoplifter, by Exuberant), who has had a breakout year in 2007 and currently leads all Florida-based sires by number of 2007 stakes wins (11) and stakes winners (six). Putting icing on the cake for the Bridlewood Farm stallion, his son Nitido (BRZ) has been assigned the highweight among Brazilian juvenile males of 2006/07 following a nine-length score in the Grande Premio Juliano Martins (Brz-I) in May.
Bred by Steve Tucker and Bryan Tucker, High Resolve was produced from Shari’s Glory, a stakes-winning daughter of On to Glory. Although closely related to the great Ruffian as both were by sons of Bold Ruler out of the Native Dancer mare Shenanigans, On to Glory — like many of the progeny of Bold Lad — did not remain sound long enough to fully display his talent. A long-time regional sire in Florida, On to Glory sired the graded stakes winners On to Royalty (dam of 1996 Preakness Stakes winner Louis Quatorze and grade I winner Royal Indy), Greatsilverfleet, Oh My Jessica Pie, and Meritocrat (now a stallion in India and sire of at least 12 winners this year).
Shari’s Glory was the only stakes winner produced from unraced Number One Lark, whose sire Soy Numero Uno (Damascus–Tasma, by Crafty Admiral) won the 1975 Futurity Stakes (gr. I) and the 1977 Oaklawn and Carter handicaps (both gr. II) but proved to be an indifferent sire. The dam of Number One Lark, Laurel Lark, was no improvement on Soy Numero Uno in the breeding shed, the best of her five foals being grade III-placed Authentic Hero (by Mr. Leader).
Laurel Lark was, nonetheless, a well-bred mare with a pedigree similar to that of 1967 Arlington-Washington Futurity winner T. V. Commercial. Like T. V. Commercial, she was sired by T. V. Lark, the U.S. champion turf male of 1961 and the U.S. leading sire of 1974, while her dam, White Lie (by 1960 U.S. champion handicap male Bald Eagle), is out of Etiquette (by the Australian champion *Bernborough), a half-sister to T. V. Commercial. Etiquette is also a half-sister to three other stakes winners and to Gay Hostess, dam of 1969 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Majestic Prince and third dam of 1998 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Real Quiet.
Etiquette and her siblings were produced from Your Hostess (*Alibhai–*Boudoir II, by *Mahmoud), a stakes-placed full sister to the popular speedster Your Host (sire of five-time U.S. Horse of the Year Kelso). Your Hostess is also a half- sister to Flower Bed (by *Beau Pere), whose descendants include two-time U.S. champion filly Bowl of Flowers, New Zealand Horse of the Year Our Poetic Prince (AUS), Derby Italiano (Ity-I) winner Prorutori, U.S. champion 2- and 3-year-old filly Gallant Bloom, and the important sires His Majesty and Graustark.
An interesting feature of High Resolve’s pedigree is the presence of the close relatives What a Pleasure (Bold Ruler–Grey Flight) and Bold Lad (Bold Ruler–Misty Morn, by *Princequillo–Grey Flight), who appear 4x3 as the sires of Exuberant and On to Glory, respectively. Grey Flight was a superior female by any definition, being both a stakes winner herself and the dam of nine stakes winners, and is a popular example of the Rasmussen Factor — which theorizes that inbreeding to superior females through different offspring is a choice breeding pattern — having at least 13 graded or group stakes winners inbred to her within five generations. With What a Pleasure and Bold Lad, of course, Bold Ruler is duplicated as well as Grey Flight, and this particular combination is seen in the pedigrees of the graded winners Tossofthecoin and Three Peat — both sons of Magesterial (whose broodmare sire is Bold Lad) out of mares with dams by What a Pleasure — and in this year’s Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) winner, Irish Smoke, who also has Bold Lad through Magesterial.
High Resolve, of course, has not yet proven herself up to graded stakes class. Nonetheless, she has shown plenty of promise and may well be a factor among the 3-year-old sprint fillies next year if she continues to develop well. That should be more than enough to have even a crusty veteran like Harry Aleo looking forward to next spring.