Inglorious could hardly have a more inappropriate name, but, fortunately, horses don't speak English. Blithely ignorant of her moniker, the Donver Stable colorbearer earned classic glory June 26 by handily defeating 16 rivals for North America's longest continuously run race, the Queen's Plate.
Bred by Ontario-based Arosa Farms, Inglorious is from the final crop of the late Hennessy, a talented but unlucky son of Storm Cat. He was one of the better juveniles of the 1993 foal crop, winning the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I), the Sapling Stakes (gr. II), and the Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes (gr. II), but lost the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) in a photo finish to Unbridled's Song, quite possibly costing himself an Eclipse Award. Injury prevented him from racing at 3, and he served his first season at Ashford Stud in 1997 at an advertised fee of $30,000.
Hennessy got off to a quick start, getting Australian champion Grand Armee in his first Southern Hemisphere crop and European and American champion juvenile male Johannesburg in his second North American crop. His later crops were more uneven, but his 74 stakes winners to date have included Turkish champion Perfect Storm and other grade/group 1 winners Henny Hughes, Madcap Escapade, Harmony Lodge, Sunrise Bacchus, Immaculate, Special Duty, and Half Hennessy. Unfortunately, the stallion died while on shuttle duty at Argentina's Haras La Mission in August 2007.
A half brother to 1997 Ballerina Handicap (gr. I) winner Pearl City (by Carson City), to multiple grade III winner Shy Tom (by Blushing Groom), and to multiple stakes winner Wild Kitty (by Bold Bidder), Hennessy was produced from the grade I-placed Hawaii mare Island Kitty, whose dam T. C. Kitten overcame a rather obscure pedigree to become a successful broodmare. A daughter of the undistinguished Tom Fool horse Tom Cat and the Needles mare Needlebug, T. C. Kitten produced 1983 Pan American Handicap (gr. IT) winner Field Cat (by Herbager), South African group II winner Springing Leopard (a full brother to Island Kitty), and restricted stakes winner Beware of the Cat (by Caveat). She also produced Sharp Kitty (by Blade), dam of 1985 champion juvenile filly Family Style (by State Dinner), 1987 Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) winner Lost Kitty (by Magesterial), and I'm No Pussycat (by Valdez), dam of multiple graded stakes winner Sovereign Kitty (by Sovereign Dancer). Another daughter of T. C. Kitten, Careless Kitten (by Caro) produced multiple English group winner Arkadian Hero (by Trempolino).
The strength of T. C. Kitten's pedigree was her female family, which traces back to Belle Rose. Imported to the United States in 1894 by James R. Keene, along with her daughter Royal Rose (by Royal Hampton), Belle Rose became the granddam of Sweep and the great-granddam of Pennant, both important sires. Her family entered the stud of Harry Payne Whitney through her granddaughter Cherokee Rose II, dam of 1917 champion juvenile filly Rosie O'Grady, and her great-granddaughter Wonder, dam of Man o' War's rival John P. Grier. In its varied branches, this is the family of champions Ruffian, Bewitch, Castle Forbes, High Voltage, and First Flight and the important sires Storm Cat, Royal Academy, and Icecapade.
On the dam's side, Inglorious was produced from Ontario stakes winner Noble Strike, a daughter of Smart Strike . Winner of the 1996 Philip H. Iselin Handicap (gr. I), Smart Strike has proven one of the best sons of Mr. Prospector at stud, leading the general sire list in 2007 and 2008. While his two sire titles owe much to the exploits of his son Curlin , who earned Horse of the Year honors in both those years, Smart Strike has been more than a one-horse sire. From his 11 crops of foals 3 years old and older, totaling 894 named foals, Smart Strike has sired 542 winners (60.6%) and 76 stakes winners (8.5%). The Lane's End stallion also already is earning note as a broodmare sire, having been responsible for the dams of 2009 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird, 2009 Queen's Plate winner Eye of the Leopard, 2010 Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT) winner Shared Account, and multiple classic-placed First Dude .
Smart Strike represents one of the best Canadian families, that of No Class, who belied her name by producing Canadian champions Classy 'n Smart (by Smarten), Grey Classic (by Grey Dawn II), Regal Classic (by Vice Regent), and Sky Classic (by Nijinsky II). The last-named was also champion turf male in the United States. In addition, No Class produced grade I winner Always a Classic (by Deputy Minister) and listed stakes winner Classic Reign (by Vice Regent) and was Canada's Broodmare of the Year in 1985. Classy 'n Smart, in turn, has carried on the line in sterling fashion, producing not only Smart Strike but his half sister Dance Smartly (by Danzig), Canadian Horse of the Year and U.S. champion 3-year-old filly in 1991; grade I winner Full of Wonder (by Mr. Prospector); and grade II winner Strike Smartly (by Mr. Prospector). Like her dam, Classy 'n Smart was a Canadian Broodmare of the Year, earning the honor in 1991.
Noble Strike was the only stakes winner produced from the stakes-winning Green Dancer mare Green Noble, herself a half sister to grade II winner Abigailthewife (by Affirmed) and multiple listed stakes winner Skybound (by Sky Classic). Their dam, the stakes-winning Dewan mare Hattab Voladora, was, in turn, produced from Wonderful Gal (The Axe II—Abyssinia II), a full sister to the very good racehorse and sire Al Hattab. Thus, Inglorious' pedigree is rich with solid female strains, surely a good omen for her own career as a broodmare. But that is for the future. With the Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser already under her belt, her present is as the undisputed queen of Canadian racing. Long live the queen.