None of Limehouse's Connections are Singing the Blues

Grand Slam, whose oldest offspring just turned four this year, could have two sons entered in this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I)--Limehouse and Master David. The more accomplished of the two, Limehouse has four stakes victories to his credit and quality connections on his side.

Cheryl Curtin bred Limehouse in Florida. Her husband, Richard, bought the colt's dam, Dixieland Blues, as a yearling with the intention of reselling her as a 2-year-old. Curtin paid $75,000 for the daughter of Dixieland Band at the 1995 Keeneland September sale, where her breeder, Fares Farms, had consigned her.

Dixieland Blues was entered in the following year's Barretts March sale of 2-year-olds in training, but she went lame and was withdrawn. Dixieland Blues raced once for the Curtins and finished second.

"She was fast, but not very sound," said Cheryl Curtin. "She always had some type of problem."

Part of the reason the Curtins like Dixieland Blues is because they had kept her granddam, multiple stakes winner Jones Time Machine, at their farm for trainer John Parisella and owner Ted Sabarese. The Curtins own Shanbally Acres near Ocala, Fla., where Richard did pinhooking, breaking of young horses, and lay-ups, while Cheryl bred for the commercial market.

"When you have success with something, you like to go back into the family," Cheryl said.

Cheryl, who has bred four other stakes winners including grade III winners Bonnie Rob and Plum Country, currently owns 13 mares. She doesn't typically send more than a handful of her mares to Kentucky to be bred, but Grand Slam came to mind for Dixieland Blues. Although she send very many of her mares to Kentucky to be bred, she shipped Dixieland Blues northward to visit Grand Slam, who stands at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky.

"I just remember him being a good 2-year-old," she said. "Then I looked at the pedigree and saw a relationship between El Gran Senor and Dixieland Band. I always breed the horses that fit the mares, period, not just because it's a hot stallion. I was taught all that by (pedigree expert) Alan Porter. I use Alan a lot but I just happened to do that one on my own from what he taught me."

Limehouse was foaled at Shanbally Acres. Curtin consigned him, through Eaton Sales, to the 2002 Saratoga yearling sale where Dogwood Stable, his current owners, bought him for $140,000. Curtin said at one point she had even questioned if she should send the colt to auction because he was found to have an immature epiglottis which could affect his races at age two.

"He threw all that out," she said, laughing. (Limehouse won three of his six starts as a 2-year-old, including two stakes, and placed third in two other races as a juvenile.)

Dixieland Blues produced two more foals for Curtin before her death last November. Curtin still owns a yearling full sister to Limehouse. She said she plans to keep and race the filly, who is still unnamed.

Cot Campbell and his wife, Anne, head up Dogwood Stable. They named this colt after the jazz tune "Limehouse Blues," as a nod to his broodmare sire, Dixieland Band, and sold interests in the colt to partners Paul Oreffice, Vernon Brinson, Dick Kelso, John Bitzer, and Howard Ulfelder.

Dixieland Band is the broodmare sire of 61 stakes winners, including 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos (Maria's Mon--Regal Band, by Dixieland Band) and 2004 graded stakes winner Society Selection. He is also the broodmare sire of another Derby contender, Pollard's Vision (by Carson City), winner of the Illinois Derby (gr. II).

Limehouse has strong doses of Mr. Prospector and Northern Dancer in both branches of his pedigree. He is inbred to Mr. P 3S x 3D, as Mr. Prospector is Grand Slam's grandsire, and Mr. Prospector is also the sire of Blue Jean Baby, the dam of Dixieland Blues. Northern Dancer also pops up on both sides, first as the sire of Dixieland Band, Limehouse's broodmare sire, and again as the grandsire of Bright Candles, who is the dam of Grand Slam.

Sire: GRAND SLAM, dkb/br, 1995. Raced 2 yrs, 15 sts, 4 wins, $971,292. Won Moet Champagne S (gr. I), Futurity S (gr. I), Peter Pan S (gr. II); 2nd Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), Swaps S (gr. II), Jerome H (gr. II), Seattle Slew S (T); 3rd Buick Haskell Invitational H (gr. I), Coolmore Lexington S (gr. II).

Lifetime: 2 crops, 234 foals, 151 rnrs (65%), 89 wnrs (38%), 34 2yo wnrs (15%), 12 sw (5%), 2.27 AEI, 2.04 CI, 183 sale yrlgs, avg $136,940, 2.8 TNA.

In 2004: 6 sw, 6 sale yrlgs, avg $90,167.

1st dam: Dixieland Blues, ch, 1994. Bred by Fares Farm (Ky.). Raced 1 yr, 1 st, 0 wins, $7,320. Dam of 3 named foals, 2 rnrs, 1 wnr, 1 sw. ($75,000, 1995 keesep yrlg).

2000: Comeon Dixie, ch f, by Mr. Greeley. Raced 2 yrs, 4 sts, 0 wins, $1,990. ($97,000 obsmar 2yo).

2001: LIMEHOUSE, ch c, by Grand Slam. ($140,000 ftsaug yrlg).

At 2: Won Bashford Manor S (gr. III), Three Chimneys Juvenile S; 3rd Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. II), Saratoga Special S (gr. II).

At 3: Won Hutcheson S (gr. II), Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III).

2002: Blues and Royals, b c, by Honour and Glory. ($400,000 keesep yrlg).

2003: Ch f, by Grand Slam.

Broodmare sire: DIXIELAND BAND, b, 1980. Sire of 311 dams of 1,085 foals, 739 rnrs (68%), 541 wnrs (50%), 173 2yo wnrs (16%), 1.59 AEI, 1.62 CI; 60 sw.

2nd dam: BLUE JEAN BABY, b, 1985. Bred by Mandysland Farm and Enemy Stable (Ky.). Raced 2 yrs, 10 sts, 5 wins, $259,316. Won Sorority S (gr. II), Colleen S, Crowning Glory S (R); 2nd Landaluce S (gr. III). Sent to Japan 1998. Dam of DENIM YENEM (f, Ogygian; $244,575, Won Autumn Days H, CERF Stakes, Crimson Saint S, Turbo Launch S; 2nd Pasadena S, Arbor Vitae S). Granddam of I am Tsuyoshi.