Fancy That! Top Sprinters Trace Back To Hollywood Lassie Winner

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The Hollywood Lassie Stakes is no more, having been renamed the Landaluce Stakes in 1983 to commemorate the unbeaten but ill-fated champion two-year-old filly who had won the previous year’s renewal by an astonishing 21 lengths. With the closure of Hollywood Park in 2013, the Landaluce is now run at Santa Anita instead (over five and a half furlongs, instead of six at its former home), while another change is that today’s Landaluce is a non-graded stakes, whereas in its days as the Hollywood Lassie it once held Grade 2 status.

Looking back at former Hollywood Lassie winners, another name that will jump out to many is that of the 1978 winner Terlingua (trained, like Landaluce, by D. Wayne Lukas for L. R. French and Barry Beal) who went on to become the dam of Storm Cat.

However, it’s the filly who won the Hollywood Lassie two years after Terlingua, Native Fancy, who’s of interest here. Successful in five of her eight starts, Native Fancy bred a couple of graded stakes winners of her own in Blushing Heiress and Really Fancy.

But it wasn’t until well into the twenty-first century, and a few generations down the line, that Native Fancy’s descendents have begun to make their mark at the highest level. Two of the most successful are a pair of sprinters who have each made a name for themselves a long way from their native America, one on turf and one on synthetics/dirt, while a third descendent of Native Fancy is on the verge of joining them as a Group/Grade 1 winner.

First there’s Undrafted, a great grandson of Native Fancy who has taken after the top half of his pedigree in proving best on turf. By the Shadwell Turf Mile winner Purim, a son of leading turf sire Dynaformer, Undrafted beat some of the best British and Irish sprinters, as well as Australian Group 1 winners Brazen Beau and Wandjina, when winning the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot last summer. That followed a close third finish in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita the previous season, when he also finished fourth on his first visit to Britain in the July Cup at Newmarket.

While the now six-year-old gelding Undrafted has gone on to earn over a million dollars, he had been bought for just $50,000 as a yearling at Keeneland. That price reflected the unexceptional record of his particular branch of the Native Fancy family.

However, by contrast, two years earlier in 2009 the mare Holiday Runner (just a $35,000 yearling herself) had been the sale topper when sold at Keeneland’s November Sale, in foal to Tiznow, for $2.15 million. Holiday Runner was a granddaughter of Really Fancy, one of Native Fancy’s graded stakes-winning daughters.  A minor stakes winner at two when third in the Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes at Saratoga, the heightened interest in Holiday Runner in 2009 was due to the exploits of her four-year-old daughter Seventh Street earlier that year.

Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra were the headline acts among the fillies and mares in 2009, but Seventh Street managed to win a couple of Grade 1 contests even so, taking the Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn and the Go For Wand Handicap at Saratoga. Sadly, her dam Holiday Runner died from complications after giving birth to the Tiznow foal (future winner Now And Then) the following spring.

Meanwhile, the remarkable career of Seventh Street’s year-younger half-brother was in its early stages. Like Seventh Street, who had been a million dollar breeze-up purchase for Godolphin at the Fasig-Tipton February Sale, the Speightstown colt made an impact at the same venue, fetching $775,000 there a year later. He duly made a winning debut in a maiden at Churchill Downs later in 2008 before going on to finish third in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special Stakes later that summer.

However, it won’t be Reynaldothewizard’s precocity for which he will be remembered in future, but his longevity, as he’s still going strong in 2016 at the age of ten having competed every year since his two-year-old days.

Reynaldothewizard was exported to Dubai as a four-year-old and has become a stalwart of the Carnival there ever since for trainer Satish Seemar. He won his first two starts, a couple of handicaps, at Meydan late in 2010, but it was at the 2013 Carnival that Reynaldothewizard enjoyed the highlight of his career, winning all three of his races there that year, culminating in the big sprint on Dubai World Cup night itself when beating an international field for the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen. Here‘s Reynaldothewizard’s trainer (with the horse himself) talking prior to the 2014 Carnival.

Three defeats in a similar campaign at that 2014 Carnival (including a fourth in the Golden Shaheen) suggested Reynaldothewizard’s best days were behind him at the age of eight, but he bounced back as a nine-year-old, clearly unfazed by Meydan swapping its synthetic tapeta track for a dirt surface. So it was that Reynaldothewizard won the listed Dubawi Stakes last year before following up in the Group 3 Al Shindagha Sprint from old rival Krypton Factor, third behind him in the Golden Shaheen two years earlier and winner of the same race in 2012. Unfortunately, a throat abscess ruled Reynaldothewizard out of another attempt at the Golden Shaheen in 2015.

So much for Native Fancy’s established sprint stars, Undrafted and Reynaldothewizard. For a potential third top sprinter from the family, we need to return to Reynaldothewizard’s half-sister Seventh Street who produced a colt foal by champion three-year-old Bernardini in 2012. Named Marking, he didn’t make his debut until last September, but just three months and two starts later he chased home the Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Runhappy in the Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita.

Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin who was formerly based in the UAE, Marking thereby earned his place at this year’s Dubai Carnival. Almost inevitably, that meant meeting with his own ‘uncle’ Reynaldothewizard who had recently gained his tenth career victory when winning the Dubawi Stakes again in January. A fascinating race was in prospect when Marking and Reynaldothewizard lined up for the Al Shindagha Sprint earlier in February, but the nephew-uncle match was over before it really began, as can been seen here. Hopefully, there will be other opportunities for Marking in Dubai, and perhaps another meeting with his relative in the Golden Shaheen on World Cup night.

[Undrafted’s silks courtesy of JockeyColours]