Peppers Pride

Peppers Pride

Ty Wyant Photos

Pride of New Mexico

Peppers Pride takes advantage of state-bred stakes to collect a string of 16 wins.

by Alan Porter

Several state-bred fillies have taken advantage of restricted programs to run up some impressive win streaks in recent years. Louisiana-bred Hallowed Dreams won her first 16 starts, 10 of which came in events contested only by state-breds. Another Louisiana-bred – Happy Ticket, foaled four years after Hallowed Dreams – took nine straight, the first seven against state-breds. Now we have Peppers Pride, who took her record to a perfect 13 – all against fellow New Mexico-breds – with a decisive win in the Nov. 11 New Mexico Cup Championship Fillies & Mares Stakes.

Hallowed Dreams eventually retired with a record of 25 wins in 30 starts, and seven of her 17 black-type wins came in restricted company. Happy Ticket suffered her first defeat when second to Madcap Escapade in the Princess Rooney Handicap (gr. II), but bounced back to take the Ballerina Stakes (gr. I) by five lengths, and the following year took the Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) and finished second in the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I). Whether Peppers Pride can rise to that sort of standard remains to be seen. Her speed figures don’t yet place her on a par with either Hallowed Dreams or Happy Ticket, but apparently she has a tendency to pull herself up when in front, making it possible that her best has yet to be seen. For the moment, however, Peppers Pride heads to Sunland Park, where she will seek to pass the modern day record of 16 consecutive wins jointly held by Citation, Cigar, Hallowed Dreams, and Mister Frisky.

Peppers Pride is a daughter of Desert God, who stood the most recent season for a fee of $4,000 at the A & A Horse Ranch in Anthony, N.M., as the property of Peppers Pride’s owner/breeder Joe Allen and his brother Ronald. Desert God never ran, but there is no knocking his pedigree. A son of Fappiano out of Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) heroine Blush With Pride, Desert God is half brother to group/graded winners Turnberry Isle (IRE), Smolensk, and Better Than Honour, dam of back-to-back Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winners Jazil and Rags to Riches. Desert God has done a very useful job within his region, getting 129 foals, 76 starters, 51 winners (67% winners to starters) and 10 stakes winners (13.2% stakes winners to starters) from his first 12 crops.

Peppers Pride is out of Lady Pepper, a four-time winner, who was also third in the Bluebonnet Stakes at Bandera Downs. She was by Chili Pepper Pie (a great-grandson of Triple Crown hero Count Fleet), who started 40 times over four season, winning eight races including the El Paso Times Handicap, his efforts netting just $20,370. Chili Pepper Pie’s sire, Red Gar, was a smart sprinter (stakes winner and second in the Carter and Vosburgh Handicaps) and was a brother to Hobeau Stable’s frequently brilliant Beau Purple, three times conqueror of the legendary Kelso. Lady Pepper is also dam of Peppers Pride’s sister Desert Pride, winner of the New Mexico Cup Filly Stakes.

Peppers Pride’s granddam, Lady Chanel (by the Never Bend horse Draconic), is a sister to Draconic’s Lady. Something of a standout in the region, Draconic’s Lady won 10 of 61 starts and four stakes events, including the Rio Grande Futurity, the Pan Zareta and Delicada Stakes, and the Fair Queen Handicap, and took second in the New Mexico Derby. There are no other black type winners under the next three dams--Fair Perfume (by the My Babu horse Pack Trip); Fair Bonnie (by champion 3-year-old Phalanx); Bonnie Basket (by Fair Task, a son of English sire Fair Trial); and Basket Dinner (by Brilliant, a modestly performing son of Broomstick out of a sister to Man o’ War). The seventh dam, The Vestal II, was imported from France in the 1920s. It is curious to note that the female line traces back to Vivandiere (GB), a sister to the great English racehorse of the mid-1800s, Voltigeur (GB). Peppers Pride’s tenth dam has the full siblings Voltigeur and Vivandiere 4 x 4 in tail-male (through St. Simon) and tail-female ancestry.

The broad cross of Mr. Prospector over Beau Gar line mares, which Peppers Pride represents, is one which has out-performed opportunity, and from limited crossings it has also produced the Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) winner Fortunate Faith and graded-placed and listed scorer Gold Crest Express. There are actually significant pedigree similarities between Red Gar, grandsire of the dam of Peppers Pride, and Gold Digger, dam of Mr. Prospector. Red Gar is a grandson of Count Fleet out of a mare by Johnstown, and Gold Digger is by Nashua (dam by Johnstown) out of a mare by Count Fleet, and both combine the brothers Sir Gallahad II and Bull Dog. Additionally, Gold Digger is a reverse Nasrullah/Count Fleet cross to Peppers Pride’s dam.