by Rachael Zilboorg
“Breed to the best and hope for the best.”
That’s the adage of the Thoroughbred breeding industry, often attributed to breeder John E. Madden (1856-1929). But the reality is, while you can stack the odds in your favor by breeding proven mares to proven stallions, Thoroughbred breeding is a game of chance. An exceptional racehorse may fail to pass on his brilliance. An exceptional race mare can fail to produce a winner… and an unraced mare can produce a champion.
For fun, and for educational purposes, we’ve done a brief sketch of the dams of each of the Kentucky Oaks (G1) contenders below. The Kentucky Oaks will be run on Friday, May 5, at Churchill Downs.
But before we get into it, here are some helpful hints for the laypersons out there:
Post is an abbreviation for post position, which is the gate from which the filly is set to “break” (start) during the race. Post position #1 is on the inner rail to the far left, while post position #14 is closest to the outer rail to the right. Fillies will be presented in order of post below.
Record can be read as follows: Starts-Wins-Seconds-Thirds (Earnings). For example, Mimi Kakushi (below), has five starts, three wins, zero seconds, zero thirds, and earnings of $212,701; 5-3-0-0 ($212,701).
Blacktype is a kind of stakes race recognized worldwide. Almost all of the stakes you read about in national news are blacktype. Some may be graded, like the Kentucky Oaks, while others are restricted to state-breds. Blacktype gets its name from its display on Thoroughbred pedigrees; horses who are blacktype stakes winners are displayed in BOLD, while horses who have finished second or third in blacktype stakes are displayed in Bold.
S. is the abbreviation for a stakes race, in which weights (the amount of weight a horse carries between jockey, saddle, and padded weights) are uniform based on sex. Often times, fillies will be “allowed” a number of pounds when racing against males, meaning they will carry less pounds than their male counterparts.
H. is the abbreviation for a handicap stakes race, in which weights are determined based on a variety of factors, which can include current form (how well the horse has run and at what level in its recent starts), age, and sex.
G1/G2/G3 are abbreviations for Grade 1, Grade 2, and Grade 3 in North America. Grade 1 stakes are considered the highest level of competition. Grade 2 stakes are a level below that. Grade 3 stakes are the lowest level of graded stakes offered. (All graded stakes rank above other kinds of blacktype stakes like listed and restricted, designated by L and R, which we’ve not indicated below.)
Registered foals are foals of a mare which have been registered with The Jockey Club. At this time of year, a mare’s current foal and yearling offspring are often not registered, and it is possible that her two-year-old offspring is not yet registered. Also not registered are any foals a mare produced which died prior to being registered.
In addition, we will indicate the two-year-old, yearling, and 2023 foals of the mares below, but may not discuss older foals except in naming their accomplishments. It is common in the industry upon speaking of the dam of a current performer to describe their younger offspring, or her produce “in the pipe.” Produce records are up to date as April 30, 2023.
In Part 1, we’ll review the dams of the first seven post positions in Friday’s Oaks. Check out Part 2 here for some fun facts about these mares as a group!
Mimi Kakushi - Post 1
by City of Light out of Rite Moment (by Vicar)
Record: 5-3-0-0 ($212,701)
Blacktype: 1st U.A.E. Oaks (G3), 1st U.A.E. One Thousand Guineas
Dam: Rite Moment (2004)
Rite Moment was a multiple Grade 2 winner on the track. In 18 starts at ages 3 and 4, she won six times, including the Bed o’ Roses H. (G2), Distaff H. (G2), and Limit S. She was placed in three additional stakes, two of them graded. She retired with earnings of $399,303.
Rite Moment has produced 10 registered foals so far. Eight of these have started and six are winners. Mimi Kakushi is her most accomplished runner to date, but she has also produced two other blacktype stakes winners: her 2013 foal Moment is Right (filly by Medaglia d’Oro) and her 2015 foal Laudation (filly by Congrats). To date, Rite Moment’s offspring have earned $871,981 on the track.
Rite Moment was last offered at public auction in 2010, where she sold for $400,000 in foal to Smart Strike.
The Alys Look - Post 2
by Connect out of Foul Play (by Harlan's Holiday)
Record: 6-2-1-2 ($190,528)
Blacktype: 1st Silverbulletday S., 2nd Untapable S., 3rd Fair Grounds Oaks (G2)
Dam: Foul Play (2014)
Foul Play won once in six tries at 2 and 3 and earned $42,302.
Foul Play has produced three registered foals to date. Of two to race, The Alys Look is her only winner so far. She has an unnamed two-year-old filly by Mr Speaker. To date, Foul Play’s foals have earned $195,179.
Foul Play was last offered at public auction in 2020, where she sold in foal to Mr Speaker for $16,000.
Gambling Girl - Post 3
by Dialed In out of Tulipmania (by Empire Maker)
Record: 9-2-2-2 ($257,410)
Blacktype: 1st Joseph A. Gimma S., 2nd Gazelle S. (G3), 2nd Busanda S., 3rd Demoiselle S. (G2)
Dam: Tulipmania (2005)
Tulipmania won or placed (finished first, second, or third) in 10 of her 15 career starts, with three wins. She earned $143,796.
To date, Tulipmania has produced 10 registered foals, of which eight have started and four are winners. Gambling Girl is her most accomplished runner to date, followed by her 2016 produce Market Bubble, who finished third in the Central Park S. at 2. She is the dam of an unstarted two-year-old filly by Twirling Candy, a yearling colt by Dialed In, and is bred to Medaglia d’Oro for 2023. To date, Tulipmania’s offspring have earned $648,008 on the track.
Tulipmania has never been offered at public auction.
Southlawn - Post 4
by Pioneerof the Nile out of Mo d'Amour (by Uncle Mo)
Record: 7-3-0-0 ($318,369)
Blacktype: 1st Fair Grounds Oaks (G2)
Dam: Mo d’Amour (2013)
Mo d’Amour was a three-time winner in her career, with her most prominent victory coming in the Busher S. in February of her three-year-old season. She was placed in an additional five stakes, including third-place finishes in the Gazelle S. (G3) and the Monmouth Oaks (G3). Notably, Mo d’Amour finished fifth in her generation’s edition of the Kentucky Oaks (G1). She earned $311,360 in 17 career starts.
Mo d’Amour has produced three registered foals to date, with two winners from three offspring of racing age (her current two-year-old, a colt by Quality Road, has not yet started). Southlawn is her second and most accomplished foal so far. Mo d’Amour produced a colt by Constitution this year. To date, Mo d’Amour’s offspring have earned $366,552 on the track.
Mo d’Amour was last offered at public auction as a two-year-old in 2015, where she sold for $75,000.
Wonder Wheel - Post 5
by Into Mischief out of Wonder Gal (by Tiz Wonderful)
Record: 7-4-2-0 ($1,578,225)
Blacktype: Eclipse Champion 2YO Filly, 1st Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), 1st Alcibides S. (G1), 1st Debutante S., 2nd Spinaway S. (G1), 2nd Suncoast S.
Dam: Wonder Gal (2012)
Wonder Gal was an accomplished stakes performer on the track, with 11 wins or placings in blacktype stakes company in her 18 starts from ages 2 to 5. She won four times, including the Lynbrook S. at 2, the Empire Distaff H. at 3, and the Ladies H. at 4. Of her eight stakes placings, seven were in graded stakes company, including a second in the Frizette S. (G1) and Mother Goose S. (G1) and third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), Acorn S. (G1), Adirondack S. (G2), Comely S. (G3), and Go For Wand H. (G3). She earned $904,800 during her career.
Wonder Gal has produced two registered foals to date, of which both are winners. Wonder Wheel, named Eclipse Award Two-Year-Old Filly of 2022, is her most accomplished runner. So far, Wonder Girl’s offspring have earned $1,656,035.
Wonder Gal was last offered at public auction as a two-year-old, where she sold for $210,000.
Botanical - Post 6
by Medaglia d'Oro out of Daisy (by Blame)
Record: 6-4-1-0 ($374,410)
Blacktype: 1st Bourbonette Oaks, 1st Cincinnati Trophy S.
Dam: Daisy (2015)
Daisy was twice a winner in six career starts, including a victory in the Tempted S. (G3) at 2. She finished second in the Suncoast S. at 3. She earned $162,925.
Daisy has produced three registered foals to date, of whom Botanical is her only starter and winner. She is also the dam of an unraced two-year-old colt by Omaha Beach and a colt by Into Mischief. She is due to Into Mischief this year. To date, Daisy’s offspring have earned $374,410 on the track.
Daisy was last offered at public auction in 2018, where she failed to meet her reserve on a bid of $345,000 as a broodmare prospect. She last sold as a yearling for $80,000 in 2016.
Wet Paint - Post 7
by Blame out of Sky Painter (by Street Cry (IRE))
Record: 6-3-1-0 ($689,000)
Blacktype: 1st Fantasy S. (G3), 1st Honeybee S. (G3), 1st Martha Washington S.
Dam: Sky Painter (2011)
Sky Painter raced 14 times from ages 2 to 5, breaking her maiden on debut during the prestigious Saratoga meet. In her second start, she was just a nose second in the Miss Grillo S. (G3) at Belmont. Next out, she finished ninth of 14 starters in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1). Her second and final win came in her second start at age 5. She retired with a record of 2 wins, 3 seconds, and 2 thirds from 14 starts, and earnings of $169,755.
Sky Painter has produced three registered foals to date. From two foals of racing age, Wet Paint is her second foal and only starter so far. Sky Painter has a yearling filly by Medaglia d’Oro and is in foal to Not This Time for 2023. To date, Sky Painter’s offspring have earned $689,000 on the track.
Sky Painter has never been offered at public auction.
Don't forget to check out Part 2 here!
Support Mareworthy Charities.
Scan or click the QR Code to donate
Mareworthy Charities is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Its tax identification number is 88-4420958
Kyle Rothfus (aka Kyle the OTTB Mare Guy)