Blue Hens
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Viviana, among a select group of mares with two group/grade I winners in same year.
Producing a grade/group I winner is a feather in any broodmare's bridle. How rare is it, then, for a broodmare to produce two runners who win a grade/group I in the same year? In the 30 years that stakes races have been graded, the trick has been turned by 38 broodmares when considering only North American and European contests.

In predicting what broodmares might turn this trick, it is notable that 20 of the 38 were stakes winners themselves. Another four were stakes-placed; a dozen were winners; and only two were non-winners.

As far as the breeders of these terrific producers are concerned, form holds very well. The Phipps family bred five of the 38 broodmares, with Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms breeding four and E.P. Taylor of Windfields Farm three.

A couple of accomplishments stand out even from this notable pack. The Phipps-bred Grecian Banner saw two of her runners win grade I contests in two different years. The 1988 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year, a daughter of Hoist the Flag, produced Personal Flag (by Private Account) in 1983. Personal Flag won the Widener Handicap (gr. I) in 1987 and the Suburban Handicap (gr. I) in 1988 on the way to becoming a millionaire. His full sister, Personal Ensign, came along in 1984. In 1987 she took the Beldame Stakes (gr. I), and in 1988 set the world on fire, conquering the Maskette Stakes, Shuvee Handicap, Hempstead Handicap, Whitney Handicap, Beldame Stakes, and Breeders' Cup Distaff (all gr. I) on the way to champion older female honors that year and a perfect 13-for-13 lifetime mark. She joined her dam as a Kentucky Broodmare of the Year, in 1996.

The Irish-bred Alidiva took things one step further. In 1997, she became the only mare to have three offspring win grade/ group I races in one season. This accomplishment landed her Broodmare of the Year honors that year in both Ireland and Italy. Her first foal, Taipan (by Last Tycoon), won the 35 EMS Kurierpost-Europa-Preis (Ger-I) in 1997. Her second foal, Ali-Royal (by Royal Academy), brought home the Sussex Stakes (Eng-I) that same season, while her third baby, Sleepytime, a full sister to Ali-Royal, took the Pertemps One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I).

Several runners whose names are etched in Thoroughbred history were produced from, and contributed grade I wins, to our 38 notable producers. Tularia, bred in England by Taylor, foaled a What a Pleasure colt in 1973 who was named Honest Pleasure. After being named champion 2-year-old colt, Honest Pleasure at three won the Florida Derby, and Flamingo, Blue Grass, and Travers Stakes (all gr. I) in 1976, when he was also second to Bold Forbes in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). One year after Honest Pleasure, Tularia produced a full brother, For The Moment, who captured the Futurity Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont in 1976.

War Path III earned less than $6,000 as a runner, but in her second career she produced Waya (by Faraway Son) in 1974. Waya was named champion older female in 1979 after winning the Beldame, Top Flight Handicap (gr. I), and Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IT). One year after Waya, War Path III foaled Warfever (by Luthier), who also took to the green, winning the Matchmaker Stakes (gr. IT), her only added-money victory.

Sweet Tooth, 1977 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year, won 10 times but raced in a stakes contest just once, finishing second in the Alcibiades at Keeneland. In 1974 she produced a Herbager filly, Our Mims, who would be named champion 3-year-old filly in 1977 following triumphs in the Coaching Club American Oaks, Alabama Stakes, and Delaware Handicap (all gr. I). Sweet Tooth's next foal was Alydar, by Raise a Native, who joined his half-sister in the winner's circle after grade I triumphs when he took honors in the Champagne and Sapling Stakes in 1977. Alydar would win 11 stakes in his career and go on to be North America's leading sire in 1990 as well as a leading broodmare sire for several years after his death in 1990. Alysheba, Easy Goer, Turkoman, and Criminal Type were just some of his top runners. Alydar is best remembered for his Triple Crown wars with Affirmed in 1978.

Ogden Phipps bred Con Game, a daughter of Buckpasser, but the filly didn't do much at the races, winning twice from 12 starts. Her fifth foal, a colt by Mr. Prospector, put her on the map, though. Seeking the Gold earned better than $2 million in just 15 trips to the post, including 1988 victories in the $1-million Super Derby and the Dwyer Stakes (both gr. I). Seeking the Gold continues to have a distinguished stud career at Claiborne Farm, and he is the sire of outstanding runners Dubai Millennium, Seeking the Pearl, Heavenly Prize, and Flanders. Con Game's next foal after Seeking the Gold was a Seattle Slew colt named Fast Play. As a 2-year-old in 1988 Fast Play captured the Remsen Stakes (gr. I) at Aqueduct, one of two graded stakes wins that helped him amass nearly $600,000 in earnings. Fast Play in turn sired Lucayan Prince, a champion in England and Ireland. Fast Play stands at Wafare Farm near Midway, Ky.

Dona Ysidra made $103,275 from six wins as a runner, but was eclipsed by her second foal, a colt by Lyphard named Manila. Manila was champion grass horse in 1986, and continued his winning ways one year later when he annexed the Budweiser-Arlington Million and United Nations Handicap (both gr. IT). Manila, who now stands in Turkey, earned nearly $2.7 million. Dona Ysidra's next foal, the colt Stately Don (by Nureyev), won stakes in Ireland and North America in 1987, including the Secretariat Stakes and Hollywood Derby, both grassy grade Is. Stately Don stands in Japan.

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