Glennwood Farm's broodmare Stage Magic joined an elite group this year as the producer of a dual American classic winner, with her status poised to become even more exclusive should her son Justify sweep the Triple Crown June 9 at Belmont Park.
Justify's success has put Stage Magic in another special group as well. She is among nine black-type producing mares from Ghostzapper 's first crop and one of three who have produced a grade 1 winner to date.
Out of 80 live foals in the first crop by Adena Springs Kentucky's son of Awesome Again and 2004 Horse of the Year, 41 were fillies and 38 of them have produced at least one foal so far. Of Ghostzapper's first-crop mares, 33 (87%) have produced at least one runner, 29 (76%) have produced at least one winner, and nine (24%) have produced at least one black-type performer.
Six of the mares have produced black-type winners, led by Stage Magic, Eltimaas, and American Story, who have all produced a grade 1 winner.
Among the three grade 1 producers, Eltimaas was the most expensive yearling purchase. The half sister to champion 2-year-old colt Action This Day first went through the 2008 Keeneland January winter mixed sale where she sold for $300,000 to Lee Rogers. She was then offered again by the Taylor Made Sales Agency at the Keeneland September yearling sale, where Shadwell Estate bought her for $600,000. Eltimaas would never make it to the races, so the trading began with her as a broodmare prospect and broodmare. She was offered at auction four times between 2010-13 and changed hands in three of those sales.
Eltimaas was last sold at the 2013 Keeneland November breeding stock sale, where Machmer Hall bought her for $77,000 from the Blackburn Farm consignment. In that same sale was Eltimaas' 2013 Gio Ponti colt, who sold for $200,000. The colt grew up to be three-time grade 1 winner and champion sprinter Drefong.
American Story, bred by Gibraltar Group, is the next most expensive grade 1-producing daughter of Ghostzapper. Eaton Sales sold the half sister to grade/group 1 winners Seventh Street and Reynaldothewizard, to Hartley/DeRenzo Thoroughbreds for $400,000 at the 2008 Keeneland September yearling sale. The pinhooking partners turned around and sold her for $400,000 to Kaleem Shah at the 2009 Fasig-Tipton Florida select 2-year-olds in training sale. Shah won three races and placed in three races with American Story, whose seconds all came in black-type races, including the Milady Handicap (G2).
Shah bred American Story for four consecutive years to Concord Point and produced grade 1 winner American Gal, black-type winner Americanize, and winner American All Star, who were all campaigned by Shah. The fourth Concord Point foal is a 2-year-old filly named America's Starlet, who has not started. American Story had a filly by Bayern on May 12, 2017, so she went through the 2017 Fasig-Tipton November sale not pregnant. Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency still sold her for $2.2 million to Don Alberto.
Stage Magic was bred by Glennwood Farm and offered at the 2008 Keeneland September yearling sale, but she was bought back on a final bid of $70,000—far short of Ghostzapper's $200,000 entering-year stud fee. Unfazed, owner/breeder John Gunther put her into training and she won or placed in eight of her 12 starts. She finished second in the New Orleans Ladies Stakes and third in the Gardenia Stakes (G3), Pippin Stakes, and Roxelana Stakes.
As broodmare, Stage Magic was first bred to Street Sense and produced a colt named The Lieutenant, whom Glennwood sold for $50,000 as a yearling. The colt sold again for $185,000 to trainer Mike McCarthy and went on to win the All American Stakes (G3) May 28 at Golden Gate Fields. Stage Magic's second foal is a winning filly by Harlan's Holiday named Holiday Music, whom Glennwood sold for $60,000 as a yearling. Then came Justify, a son of Scat Daddy whose good looks and presence motivated China Horse Club and Maverick Racing to spend $500,000 on him at the Keeneland September yearling sale. The dual classic winner has earned nearly $3 million.
Stage Magic also has a 2-year-old by Pioneerof the Nile named Egyptian Storm, who sold for $230,000 to Robert Evans and West Point Thoroughbreds and has not started yet. The mare has a yearling colt by Will Take Charge and a full brother to Egyptian Storm at her side. Stage Magic was bred to Quality Road this year.
Ghostzapper's other stakes-producing daughters are: grade 3 winner La Cloche, who is a half sister to grade 1 winner Winter Memories and the dam of multiple black-type winner Bellavais (by Tapit ); winner Laheen, who is the dam of 2015 Debutante Stakes winner Cosmic Evolution (Proud Citizen); and winner I'm Surprised, who is a half sister to grade 1-placed winner Steppenwolfer and the dam of 2015 Sweet Life Stakes turf winner She's a Big Winner (Bellamy Road ).
The Ghostzapper daughters whose best runners to date are stakes-placed include unraced Holy Rosario, the dam of Sandpiper Stakes runner-up A Little Attitude (Summer Bird); winner Wicked Charm, the dam of Big Drama Stakes runner-up Bobby's Wicked One (Speightstown ); and grade 2 winner Arena Elvira, who is the dam of Golden Gate Debutante Stakes third-place finisher Americana (Tapit).
The most successful stallions mated to first-crop Ghostzapper daughters include eight sires with multiple winners: Concord Point, Curlin , Gemologist , Ice Box , Midnight Lute , Mineshaft , Speightstown, and Tapit.
Former Hill 'n' Dale Farms stallion Concord Point, who was exported to South Korea in December of 2016, has the best record among these eight sires, with a grade 1 winner, black-type winner, and a winner out of three foals to race. Concord Point's sire, Tapit, who stands at Gainesway, has the next-best overall record with a black-type winner, stakes-placed winner, and a winner out of three foals. It should also be noted that Millennium Farms' Ice Box, a son of Pulpit, who is also the sire of Tapit, has sired two winners out of first-crop Ghostzapper mares.
To date, the cross of Ghostzapper daughters with Pulpit and his sons and grandsons has produced nine winners from 10 starters and three (30%) black-type winners.
WinStar Farm's Speightstown also has a strong record with one black-type performer and two winners, and Hill 'n' Dale's Curlin has sired three winners out of three foals out of first-crop Ghostzapper mares. The remaining sires among the eight—Gemologist, Midnight Lute, and Mineshaft—have each sired two winners.