Carly Silver is a young horse racing journalist living in Connecticut. She is a member of Kids to the Cup, a youth horse racing organization, and hit her first trifecta at age 12. Carly is an avid pedigree student, and has won several awards for her equine essays and poems. This article first appeared on bloodhorse.com on April 23.Although Smarty Jones is from a "speedy" family, his sire being world-record setting miler Elusive Quality and his broodmare sire being champion sprinter Smile, he actually comes from a very classic-oriented family, on the top and bottom. On the top, Elusive Quality traces in tail-female to the Coaching Club American Oaks winner and champion Vagrancy (note: the CCA Oaks was 1 1/2 miles when Vagrancy won).Vagrancy is also the dam of Natasha, whose daughter Natashka won the Alabama Stakes, and English St. Leger winner Black Tarquin. The St. Leger is the longest of the English classics (2,000 Guineas, Epsom Derby, and St. Leger), which shows he has stamina. Also, Natashka was a Kentucky Broodmare of the Year, and by the handicap champion Dedicate, a hardy, sound horse, and Natashka the ancestress of champion Anees and grade I winner Atticus. Even further back, she traces to Frizette, the great mare for whom the Frizette Stakes, (gr. I) is named. Frizette is also the ancestress of the fabulous foundation mare Myrtlewood, the ancestress of the likes of Mr. Prospector (sire of stayer and Hore of the Year Conquistador Cielo) and Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew (a classic influence and sire of the stamina sire A.P. Indy and other classic winners like Swale and Seaside Attraction).Further back, Frizette traces to the Regulus mare, granddam of the amazing sire Highflyer (leading sire in England in 1785-96, and again in 1798). Also, the family of Vagrancy has proven to cross very well with that of Man o' War and Fair Play, and Elusive Quality carries several strains of those two stallions.The female family of Smarty Jones is second to none. His dam, I'll Get Along, is a multiple stakes winner of $276,969, and a veteran of 39 starts (12 of them wins).His granddam, Dont Worry Bout Me, is a daughter of 1975 Derby winner Foolish Pleasure, a half brother to champion What a Pleasure. Dont Worry Bout Me was a stakes winner for breeder Frances A. Genter, breeder of the famed Unbridled, a top sire and Derby winner. Her dam, Stolen Base, is a daughter of the great Herbager (a carrier of the Teddy blood, another cross great with the La Troienne family), and a European classic influence. She is the dam of grade I winner Basie and stakes winner Ask Clarence. Stolen Bases' dam, Bases Full, was a good broodmare. A stakes winner herself, she was the dam of major stakes winner Bold and Brave, as well as the third dam of $463,222 earner Irish Open, and the ancestress of Venezuelan grade III winner Dona Martha.In turn, her dam, Striking, was a fabulous broodmare. She was the winner of the Schuylerville Stakes, and the 1961 Broodmare of the Year. She was the dam of stakes winners My Boss Lady (victress of the Prioress Stakes), Dwyer and Withers Stakes winner Hitting Away, Test Stakes winner Glamour, in turn the dam of Poker, winner of the Bowling Green Handicap and broodmare sire of Derby/Preakness winners Seattle Slew (also a Belmont winner) and Silver Charm.Poker, ironically, was the holder of the world record mile before Smarty Jones's sire, Elusive Quality, broke it. Poker also defeated the great Buckpasser, albeit it was that champion's first and only start on the turf, a surface he did not care for. Glamour was also the dam of Intriguing, dam of champion Numbered Account, in turn dam of the excellent sire Private Account, a son of Damascus, a further good cross with the La Troienne family with the Teddy line. Intriguing is also the dam of Woodman, a champion in Ireland, and a good sire for Ashford Stud, turning out such champions as Hawk Wing and Bosra Sham.
The best broodmare yet was Striking's dam Baby League. Baby League was the dam of Busher, the 1945 female Horse of the Year and daughter of War Admiral, another Man o' War stallion (proving that the cross of the La Troienne family with Fair Play is a good one). She is also the dam of Busher's full brother Mr. Busher, winner of the Arlington Futurity. Further brood included Man o' War Stakes winner Harmonizing. Finally, the dam of Baby League was La Troienne. She was an incomparable broodmare, and one of the cornerstones of the modern breed. She was the dam of champion Black Helen (Florida Derby over males, etc.), champion Bimelech (Preakness, Belmont, etc.), Belle of Troy (dam of Cohoes, a successful son of Mahmoud), Businesslike (dam of Busanda, dam of Buckpasser).Other noteworthy descendants of La Troienne are Sea Hero (Derby, Travers, and Champagne winner, can get the classic distance), Lite Light (CCA Oaks and Kentucky Oaks winner), Polish Navy (Woodward, Champagne), Adored (Santa Margarita H, etc.), champ Easy Goer (Belmont S, Cowdin S, and sire of My Flag and Will's Way), champion Rhythm (Breeders' Cup Juvenile), Allez France (Arc de Triomphe), and Prarie Bayou (Preakness S.)Further back, La Troienne traces to the foundation mare Penelope. Penelope was the dam of the great sire Whalebone, sire of two Epsom Derby winners, and Woful, sire of two classic winners. Penelope's daughters included Web, ancestress of the great sire Glencoe. Whalebone is the ancestor of Ben Brush, Domino, Leamington, and Birdcatcher, all great sires who founded lasting sire lines. The family of Penelope crosses very well with descendants of Waxy (the sire of Whalebone), and Elusive Quality is a descendant of that stallion. She was also the dam of classic winner Wizgig.Penelope's dam, Prunella, was the dam of classic winners Reginald and Rowan, as well as Parasol, dam of two classic winners.As is visible, even though, up close, Smarty Jones's pedigree looks speedy, he is more than well suited for the Derby.