CAVE Rock, a two-year-old son of the late Arrogate (Unbridled’s Song), won the Group 1 American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita at the weekend, and he was chased home, more than five lengths in arrears, by National Treasure, Hejazi and Gandolfini, all four trained by Bob Baffert.

This was a second Grade 1 win for Cave Rock, already with the Del Mar Futurity under his belt, and the unbeaten colt will now be a hot favourite for his target at the Breeders’ Cup. Cave Rock won on his debut just hours before his full-brother was offered at the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred Yearling Sale in August; the colt then topped the sale at $700,000. Imagine what he is worth now?

Cave Rock’s dam Georgie’s Angel (Bellamy Road) was sold carrying her now yearling for just $75,000 to Longford Farm. She has a filly foal on the ground by Grade 1 winner Improbable (City Zip) and was covered by Grade 1 winner and Grade 1 sire Connect (Curlin).

Georgie’s Girl and her half-brother Lawn Ranger (U S Ranger) are both Grade 3 winners in the USA, but the next two removes of the family are full of Canadian stakes winners, many of whom were among the best of their generation. Cave Rock was a successful pinhook, sold by her breeders Anne and Ronnie Sheffer for $210,000 as a foal before returning to the same ring at Keeneland and realising $550,000 last year.

Timely boost

Yet another dual Grade 1 winner at two in the USA is the Violence (Medaglia D’Oro) colt Forte.

He added the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland to an earlier win in the Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga and is now a three-time winner in four starts. His first Grade 1 win came in time for the sale of his half-brother by Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie) at Keeneland last month. He made $850,000.

That price was a great deal more than Forte made himself. He sold twice, for $80,000 as a foal and for $110,000 the following September. Forte is the first foal out of Queen Caroline (Blame), and four of her six wins were in stakes races at Indiana Downs and Laurel. She had winnings of more than $400,000, a nice return on her yearling price of $170,000. Queen Caroline comes from a reasonable female line, her grandam, Queens Plaza (Forestry), being a stakes-winning juvenile at Monmouth.

Skip back another generation to Forte’s fourth dam, Jeano (Fappiano). She was a sound runner, her 10 victories including Grade 3 wins at Keeneland and Gulfstream Park. While none of her seven winners were much above average, one of Jeano’s unraced daughters might provide a clue as to where the recent talent displayed by Forte stems from.


Contrive (Storm Cat) did not run, but she was a success as a producer and in the sales ring. Thanks to her daughter Folklore (Tiznow) becoming champion juvenile filly, Contive was sold for $3 million to John Ferguson in 2005. Folklore went on to add the Grade 1 Matron Stakes to her win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile fillies, and she later became the grandam of three-time Japanese champion Contrail (Deep Impact).

Should Forte go on to be a champion this year, he would be the third family member to do so in the last two decades. Folklore’s stakes-placed half-sister Delightful Quality is the dam of Essential Quality (Tapit), and he was the best of his generation in 2020 and last year. The first Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner to capture the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes, he also won the Grade 1 Travers Stakes, and has just completed his first season at Darley America.

From the sixth crop of the Grade 1 juvenile winner Violence, Forte is his sire’s sixth Grade 1 winner. Violence stands at Hill ‘N’ Dale for $25,000.