LESS than two years ago Peter Brant’s White Birch Farm paid $925,000 for the then five-year-old Animal Kingdom (Leroidesanimaux) mare Regal Glory at the dispersal sale in Keeneland of the late Paul Pompa of Sam-Son Farms.
A stakes winner at two, a Grade 2 winner at three, Regal Glory was also a graded stakes winner at four. Possessing a strong pedigree as a full-sister to the Japanese Group 3 winner Café Pharoah (American Pharoah) and half-sister to the Grade 3 winner Night Prowler (Giant’s Causeway), Regal Glory was one of a trio of stakes winning offspring from Mary’s Follies (More Than Ready), herself a Grade 2 winner.
With a price tag of $925,000, she seemed to have been very well sold.
Well, events since then have shown the wisdom of that purchase. Kept in training at five, and again this year as a six-year-old, Regal Glory has won twice her purchase price since, but most importantly she has embellished her race record with four Grade 1 victories, and she bowed out of racing with a back-to-back success in the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar.
Regal Glory heads to stud as the winner of 13 races and with six runner-up finishes in 23 lifetime starts, an exemplary record of consistency, and winnings of $2,619,134. Three of her placed efforts were in Grade 1 races too. In addition to her two Matriarch successes, she won the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland and the Grade 1 Just A Game Stakes at Belmont.
Brant’s investment looked wiser just a month after his purchase of Regal Glory when Café Pharoah captured the Group 1 February Stakes, and he was not to be outdone by his half-sister and this year won the race again, taking his Japanese earnings to the equivalent of more than $3.4 million.
The dam of these two Group/Grade 1 winners, Mary’s Follies, was a $40,000 yearling purchase whose four wins at three included the Grade 2 Mrs Revere Stakes at Churchill Downs. She was also sold at the same sale as Regal Glory, realising $500,000 and purchased by BBA Ireland. She had a full-brother to Café Pharoah this year and was covered by Into Mischief (Harlan’s Holiday).
Interestingly, despite his outstanding siblings, the two-year-old colt out of Mary’s Follies found his way to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where he is a winner this year. His name is Ready To Connect (Connect), and he is the fifth winner, from seven runners, for his dam.
Winner of the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby and the Group 1 Dubai World Cup, Animal Kingdom stood at Jonabell Farm in the USA and shuttled to and from Australia where he was based at John Messara’s Arrowfield Stud. In October 2019 it was announced that he was acquired by the Japan Bloodhorse Breeders’ Association.
Arrowfield bought the majority interest in Animal Kingdom’s breeding rights in 2012 and the stallion was the first Kentucky Derby winner to launch his stud career there. He shuttled to Jonabell for the 2014 northern hemisphere season, returned three more times to Arrowfield in 2014 2015, and 2017, and spent his last two breeding seasons at Jonabell before heading to Japan. Animal Kingdom has sired 21 stakes winners worldwide, including the Australian millionaire and Group 1 winner Angel Of Truth, successful in the 2019 Group 1 Australian Derby.
The Australian-bred Oleksandra became the stallion’s second top-level winner when she won the Grade 1 Jaipur Stakes at Belmont Park, and Regal Glory is his third winner at this grade. Animal Kingdom’s progeny have earned more than $34 million.
Mind Control also saying goodbye
REGAL Glory was not the only popular runner to bid farewell to racing after a weekend Grade 1 success. Also saying goodbye to racing is Mind Control, and he will commence stud duties in Florida in the springtime. The six-year-old son of Stay Thirsty (Bernardini) has not yet had a fee announced.
A Grade 1 winner at two when he won the Hopeful Stakes over seven furlongs at Saratoga on dirt, Mind Control was back again at the same venue and distance to add the Grade 1 H Allen Jerkens Stakes at three. That season he won a couple of stakes at Aqueduct too, including the Jerome Stakes over a mile. At four he showed his versatility trip-wise when taking the six-furlong Grade 3 Tom Fool Stakes at Aqueduct.
More recently Mind Control has seemed more comfortable back at a mile, the distance of his most recent Grade 1 win in the Cigar Mile, the 12th win in his 29 race career that has also seen him place nine times for earnings of almost $2.2 million.
His victory in the Cigar Mile comes exactly a decade after his sire. Stay Thirsty, won the same race. The previous year the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes runner-up had been successful in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes. Relocating to California for the 2023 season at a fee of $15,000, Stay Thirsty has sired three top-level winners, the other two being in Argentina.
While he possesses a solid pedigree and an admirable record for consistency and soundness, Mind Control’s future as a stallion may be limited. However, there is no doubt that he gave racegoers a great deal of pleasure.
Finally, a special mention for a three-year-old Grade 1 winner who is the undoubted ‘bargain of the week’ accolade holder.
Speaking Scout won the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby for trainer Graham Motion, taking his winnings to half a million dollars. This from a gelding who sold for only $3,000 as a two-year-old, having cost $10,000 as a foal. He is the second Grade 1 winner for Mr Speaker (Pulpit), now Texas-based where he will stand next year for $5,000, and the first was the Ashland Stakes winning filly Speech.
Bred on the same cross as Tapit, by Pulpit (A.P.Indy) out of an Unbridled (Fappiano) mare, Mr Speaker won the 10-furlong Grade 1 Belmont Derby and five other races, and his dam was a graded stakes-placed daughter of the champion Personal Ensign (Private Account).
Speaking Scout is the second runner and winner for his dam, a stakes-placed daughter of Pleasant Tap (Pleasant Colony). Her dam was It’s Over (Stop The Music), a minor stakes winner who went on to have eight winners at stud. Three of It’s Over’s daughters, all winners, have gone on to become the dams of stakes winners.