Lady of Shamrock Brings Luck to Scat Daddy
by Alan Porter
Date Posted: 8/31/2012 8:56:06 AM
Last Updated: 9/1/2012 8:27:46 AM

Lady of Shamrock
Photo: Benoit Photo

Last year, Scat Daddy   and Hard Spun   waged a furious battle for the leading freshman sire title, the decision—which fell in favor of Scat Daddy—being in doubt until the evening of the final day of the year. These two excellent young stallions are now engaged in an almost equally close battle at the head of the second-crop sire list, with Scat Daddy currently less than $100,000 to the good.

Both Scat Daddy and Hard Spun were represented by grade I-winning daughters Aug. 18 when Scat Daddy's Lady of Shamrock captured the Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) and Hard Spun's Questing took the Alabama Stakes (gr. I). In a continuing symmetry, these victories would confirm the duo as the leaders of the 3-year-old filly division on their respective surfaces.
 
We recently took an in-depth look at Hard Spun following the late April victory of his Hierro in the Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial Stakes (gr. III), so we'll take this opportunity to review the achievements of Scat Daddy. He is a member of the first crop of the remarkable Johannesburg (champion at 2 in the U.S., England, Ireland, and France, having won group/grade I events in all four countries), a son of Hennessy, making Scat Daddy a Storm Cat-line stallion, albeit with that sire back in the fourth generation of his offspring.
 
If not as brilliant as Johannesburg, Scat Daddy was near the top of his generation at 2, winning three of five starts, including the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) and Sandford Stakes (gr. II), in which he defeated another son of Johannesburg, Teuflesberg  , who sired current top 3-year-old sprinter Trinniberg   in his first crop. He was also second to Circular Quay   in the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I), and ended his first campaign with a fourth to runaway winner Street Sense   in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
 
A ring-rusty looking third in the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) first time out at 3, Scat Daddy rebounded to defeat Stormello and Nobiz Like Shobiz   in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II). He cemented his status as a leading Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) prospect with a 1 1/4-length win in the Florida Derby (gr. I). Scat Daddy started third favorite for the 2007 "Run for the Roses" but finished 18th as Street Sense defeated Hard Spun and Curlin  , and was retired after the race with a tendon injury.
 
From a first crop sired at a fee of $30,000 Scat Daddy has been represented by 14 stakes horses, six of them stakes winners and five graded. In addition to Lady of Shamrock, his first crop graded scorers are Daddy Long Legs, who took the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (Eng-II) at 2 and the UAE Derby Sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (UAE-II) at 3; Daddy Nose Best, successful in the Sunland Dery and El Camino Real Derby (both gr. III); Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. III) victor Shared Property; and Finale, who scored in last year's Summer Stakes Presented by TVG (Can-III)).
 
For a horse who has a more than respectable pedigree, and who has turned out to be a top-class performer, Lady of Shamrock charted a rather strange course through the sales ring. Her first visit saw her fail to sell to a final bid of $35,000 as a weanling at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale. She then realized $80,000 as a Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling, but only $11,000 when reoffered at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training.
 
Lady of Shamrock didn't show a tremendous amount while finishing sixth and fifth in her first two starts, 8 1/2-furlong turf maidens at Saratoga Race Course and Keeneland at 2. However, she completed her first season in style, closing late to take a Churchill Downs maiden by a head, then winning the Blue Norther Stakes at Santa Anita Park by 2 3/4 lengths.

This year, all six of Lady of Shamrock's starts have come in black-type events, and she has won four of them. Third while trying dirt in January’s Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III), Lady of Shamrock reverted to the lawn to take the China Doll Stakes. A powerful closing burst saw her achieve her first graded victory, which came in the Providencia Stakes (gr. IIIT) over nine furlongs in April. The triumphant progress was temporarily interrupted in the Honeymoon Handicap (gr. IIT) where she fell a nose short of catching My Gi Gi, but her only other outing before the Del Mar Oaks score saw her gain revenge over that rival in the American Oaks (gr. IT) in mid-July.
 
Lady of Shamrock's dam, Blushing Issue, has produced two other stakes winners in the shape of the very speedy Smooth Jazz, winner of the Commonwealth Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) and Best Turn Stakes, and the three-time stakes winner She's Sensational. Both have some passing similarities to the pedigree of Lady of Shamrock, as Smooth Jazz is by Storm Boot (by Storm Cat out of a Mr. Prospector mare, where Scat Daddy is by a grandson of Storm Cat out of a Mr. Prospector mare), and She's Sensational is by Point Given   (by Thunder Gulch, who is by a son of Mr. Prospector out of a mare by Storm Cat's sire Storm Bird).

By Blushing Groom's son Blushing John—winner of the classic Dubai Poule d’Essai des Poulains  (Fr-I) in Europe and champion older horse in the U.S.—Blushing Issue is half sister to another excellent turf runner in the Strawberry Road gelding Royal Chariot, whose successes included the Hollywood Turf Cup Invitational (gr. IT). She's also a half sister to stakes winner Johnny Mountain and to Burning Hope, a stakes-placed Dehere daughter who produced a pair of Storm Cat-line stakes winners in Admiral's Arch (by High Yield) and Hoya (by Cat Thief). The second dam of Lady of Shamrock, Gold Issue, is by Key to the Mint out of Sea Sands, a Sea-Bird II daughter who won the Prix de l'Opera (Fr-II) and Prix Vanteaux (Fr-III). Sea Sands produced a pair of notable Storm Cats in Future Storm, who won the Criterium di Roma (Ity-III) at 2 and the Will Rogers Handicap (gr. IIIT) and Baldwin Stakes at 3; and Level Sands, a graded stakes-placed performer who set a new track mark for 6 1/2 furlongs at Keeneland; as well as being dam of Romantico, a stakes winner by Storm Cat's broodmare sire, Secretariat.

Lady of Shamrock is a product of the Storm Cat/Blushing Groom cross. Storm Cat himself did very well with Blushing Groom-line mares, siring at least 16 stakes winners on the cross, including Giant's Causeway  , Consolidator, Missed the Storm, Sophisticat, Aljabr, After Market, and Courageous Cat  . Surprisingly, Hennessy—despite being out of a mare by Hawaii, a horse with significant pedigree links to Blushing Groom—was much less successful, getting just one stakes winner on the cross, while Johannesburg has yet to have a stakes winner from a Blushing Groom-line mare. Perhaps the difference in Scat Daddy's pedigree is that his dam is out of a daughter of Nijinsky II (a horse who does extremely well with Blushing Groom), and that his third dam is by No Robbery, a grandson of Khaled (a close relative to the granddam of Blushing Groom).
 



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