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Houston Ladies Classic winner Bellamore’s Interesting Pedigree

Rinaldo Del Gallo, III

Rinaldo Del Gallo, III

By: Rinaldo Del Gallo, III

On Pegasus World Cup Day, Saturday, January 27th, BELLAMORE (USA) dkb/br. M, 2018 {26}(Empire Maker) did something she has not done to date—win a stakes race. She had graduated from the allowance optional claimer ranks and knocked on the door in eight stakes races, but on that Saturday, Bellamore won the $300 K Houston Ladies Classic Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park in Houston, Texas. She had not won a race since winning an allowance optional claimer at Del Mar on July 7, 2022, 12 races ago. The Houston Ladies Classic was a very exciting race, as FREE LIKE A GIRL (USA) b. M, 2019 {4-o}(El Deal), after having a good lead half-way down the home stretch, was caught by a mere neck’s length by Bellamore.

Bellamore has an interesting pedigree. Her sire, Belmont and Wood winner EMPIRE MAKER (USA) dkb/br. H, 2000 {6-d}(Unbridled), needs no introduction to this audience. Empire Maker’s first crop was in 2005, and in that first crop was a millionaire daughter ACOMA (USA) b. M, 2005 {A4}, a winner of the G1 Spinster at age 5. One of the more notable things of Empire Maker’s stallion career was being sent to Japan, and his crops from 2012-2016 were primarily Japanese. Of course, Empire Maker sired Pioneer of the Nile, who in turn sired American Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. Empire Maker currently has a number of stallions at stud, such as Eight Rings (6,000), Empire Way, or Bodemeister standing in Turkey. Among other things, Empire Maker sired twice Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Royal Delta, who unfortunately died of foaling complications while delivering a filly by Galileo in February 2017.

Speaking of Pegasus World Cup Day, Empire Maker’s daughter QUEEN GODDESS (USA) dkb/br. M, 2018 {20-b} won the 2023 Pegasus World Cup Filly and Mare Invitational last year; her bloodline, that of the 20-b family may be the subject of a story for another day, but is a line that has Whirlaway blood from her 8th dam ROCK DRILL (USA) ch. M, 1951 {20-b}(Whirlaway); it was the line that produced OSCAR PERFORMANCE (USA) b. H, 2014 {20-b}(Kitten’s Joy) and his full brother OSCAR NOMINATED (USA) ch. H, 2013 {20-b}, FLIGHTLINE (USA) b. H, 2018 {20-b}(Tapit), INSTILLED REGARD (USA) dkb/br. H, 2015 {20-b} (Arch) and the good runner GIANT PAYDAY (USA) ch. G, 2014 {20-b}.

But I mostly wish to write about Bellmore’s damsire, from female family 26 under the Bruce Lowe system. Bellamore’s dam is SMART N SOFT (USA) dkb/br. M, 2011 {26}(Smart Strike). Smart N’ Soft is also the dam of VICTORY FORMATION (USA) b. C, 2020 {26}(Tapwrit), winner of the 2023 Smarty Jones at Parx.

Bellamore’s 3rd dam is SOFTLY (USA) dkb/br. M, 1998 {26}(Binalong). Binalong was from the Man O’War sire line. Softly was stakes placed in some Grade 2 and Grade 3’s, but in the Grade 2 2002 Churchill Downs Distaff Handicap, she won the race while VICTORY RIDE (USA) br. M, 1998 {9-f}(Seeking the Gold) came in third. Enough was thought of Victory Ride to name a stakes race after her.

Bellamore’s third dam is CORAGIL (USA) dkb/br. M, 1993 {26}, who was sired by METFIELD (USA) b. H, 1988 {A1}(Seattle Slew). Metfield is an Interesting horse. He certainly was not a fantastic runner, but Metfield did win the Grade 3 Sheridan Stakes in 1991 when he was three. The Sheridan Stakes was an odd race with colossal gaps of missed races, and was last run in 1996—it was a Grade 2 when races were first graded in the U.S.A. To his credit, Metfield did sire two Grade 1 fillies, RINGS A CHIME (USA) dkb/br. M, 1997 {11}(Won the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes and was second in the Kentucky Oaks) and TIPICALLY IRISH (USA) b. M, 1993 {8-f}( At 2: WON Oak Leaf S.(G1), Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies S.; 3RD 3rd Debutante S.), but was otherwise a “useful” sire department. Typically, “Tipically” would be spelled with a “y” as the vowel after the initial “t,” but in the vain of Country Grammer, it was probably misspelled for comic effect.

Metfield’s pedigree is a relatively rare one. His dam was INCA QUEEN (USA) b. M, 1968 {A1}(Hail to Reason), a very good runner, winning stakes races at 2 (Demoiselle Stakes at Aqueduct), at 3 the 1972 Columbian Handicap at Hialeah Park (it would be a Grade 2 the next year), the Topflight Handicap, and a second division of the Sheepshead Bay Handicap. Inca Queen was stakes placed at four.

But this is where it gets interesting. Inca Queen’s dam is SILVER SPOON (USA) ch. M, 1956 {A1}, and Silver Spoon was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1978. Silver Spoon’s sire was CITATION (USA) b. H, 1945 {3-l}, and despite him being a sire of a Hall of Famer and a Preakness winner (Fabius), is generally regarded as far below his expectations as a sire. To be fair, when you are one of the greatest horses that ever lived, you are not likely to produce yourself.

Link Below: Silver Spoon’s Link at Hall of Fame

I don’t see a lot of Citation in modern pedigrees and frankly, Citations’ sire BULL LEA (USA) br. H, 1935 {9-f}(Bull Dog) was not much of a sire of sires despite being himself one of the greatest sires that ever lived. Bull Lea led the American general sire list in 1947-1949 and 1952-1953. Not only was Bull Lea a five time leading sire, he was a four time leading broodmare sire, (1958, 1959, 1960, 1961).  Frankly, in the vast majority of cases, it is the horses he was a broodmare sire for (or sire of second or third dam and the like) that kept him in the breed.

Bull Lea’s son BULL PAGE (USA) b. H, 1947 {4-m} made it into the Canadian Hall of Fame and was the sire of FLAMING PAGE (CAN) b. M, 1959 {8-f}, a filly that won the Queen’s Plate and was second in the Kentucky Oaks. Flaming Page in turn was the dam of the ever so important NIJINSKY (CAN) b. H, 1967 {8-f}(Northern Dancer) and his much less influential full brother MINSKY (CAN) ch. H, 1968 {8-f}. The other big contribution to the breed was THE MINSTREL (CAN) ch. H, 1974 {8-f} produced by Flaming Page’s daughter FLEUR (CAN) b. M, 1964 {8-f}(Victoria Park).

Pictured Below:  Bull Page

Bull Page Racehorse

Bull Lea continues to be an influence in the breed with Hall of Famer REAL DELIGHT (USA) br. M, 1949 {9-c}, from whom many excellent race horses descend including Alydar. Another important daughter is RARELEA (USA) br. M, 1949 {12-c} who is the second dam of Roberto. The filly DURAZNA (USA) b. M, 1941 {13-c} (Bull Lea) was an excellent runner, and I do see some of her descendants in the breed, such as SIBERIAN EXPRESS (USA) gr. H, 1981 {13-c}(Caro).

Bull Lea’s Hall of Fame son Armed was a gelding. Preakness, Blue Grass, and multiple stakes winner FAULTLESS (USA) br. H, 1944 {4-m} had a handful of modest stakes winners. Florida Derby winner GEN. DUKE (USA) br. H, 1954 {7-e}, a horse that beat Bold Ruler Twice, died at age 4. Bull Lea’s Kentucky Derby winning son Hill Gail did sire 2,000 Guineas winner MARTIAL (IRE) ch. H, 1957 {2-e}, who did sire a multiple stakes winner in France THE MARSHAL (IRE) ch. H, 1962 {10}. The Martial produced a French stakes winning filly CALAHORRA (FR) ch. M, 1968 {2-e} to give the appearance of a Bull Lea sire line. Bull Lea’s Travers and American Derby winning son BEAU PRINCE (USA) b. H, 1958 {3-o} was also a dud at stud. The filly FLOSSY (FR) b. M, 1966 {21-a} (Spy Well) won the prestigious 1969 Champions Stakes with one of the last great Byerley Turk sire line horses LORENZACCIO (GB) ch. H, 1965 {5-h}(Klarion) coming in third. The following year, in 1970, Lorenzaccio was to win the Champion Stakes, defeating the great aforementioned NIJINSKY (CAN) b. H, 1967 {8-f} (Northern Dancer). Flossy has multiple stakes winner MARK-YE-WELL (USA) b. H, 1949 {9-f}(Bull Lea) as a second sire, but Mark-Ye-Well was not a good sire, despite his excellent sire and maternal line. Bull Lea’s son COALTOWN (USA) br. H, 1945 {7-e} made it into the Hall of Fame but was shockingly ineffective at stud with zero stakes winners from 80 progeny.

As for Citation, I see him in the modern breed usually from AFLEET (CAN) ch. H, 1984 {1-h}. Citation is the damsire of GREEN TICKET (USA) b. H, 1959 {4-m}, a good horse that sire the second dam of Afleet, FRIENDLY WAYS (USA) b. M, 1968 {1-h}. Sometimes you can actually see Citation in the first five generations of today’s horses through EXCEED AND EXCEL (AUS) b. H, 2000 {23-b}(Danehill), for which Citation was the sire of Sapling Stakes winner WATCH YOUR STEP (USA) ch. H, 1956 {6-a}, who is the sire of Exceed and Excel’s second dam. Watch Your Step’s daughter GLADIOLUS (USA) ch. M, 1974 {23-b}, who is the second dam of Exceed and Excel is a multiple stakes winner, winning and placing in fifteen stakes, and won the then Grade 3 Interborough Handicap twice, in 1979 and 1980. Through Green Ticket, Citation is in regional sire BULLSBAY (USA) b. H, 2004 {13-c}(Tiznow), a horse I bet on when I went to see the Whitney at Saratoga with my father. I occasionally see Citation elsewhere, but rarely. STACKED DECK (USA) dkb/br. G, 2011 {13-c}, a two time winner of the Kennedy Road has Citation in him from the same female family of Bullsbay.

PICTURED BELOW: Exceed and Excel, a source of Citation

Exceed and Excel Racehorse

PAPILA and her Descendants

Of note is Bullsbay’s sire, Tiznow. Tiznow’s sixth dam is the Argentinian horse PAPILA (ARG) ch. M, 1943 {26}, dam of CRIMSON SATAN (USA) ch. H, 1959 {26}(Spy Song), a multiple stakes winner at 2, 3 and 4, and a co-champion two-year-old. Crimson Satan won or placed in 26 stakes races. Tiznow descends from Papila’s daughter BLUE CANARY (USA) b. M, 1952 {26}(Buy and Seal). Blue Canary was a hard-knocking race horse with a record of 133 Starts: 13 – 12 – 15, $21,050. BELLAMORE (USA) dkb/br. M, 2018 {26} also descends from Papila, but from Papila’s daughter SISTER SATAN (USA) ch. M, 1960 {26}(High Bandit). Preakness winner OXBOW (USA) b. H, 2010 {26}, who’s unraced dam TIZAMAZING (USA) dkb/br. M, 2002 {26} is a full sister to Tiznow, also descends from Papila, as does his Alydar Stakes winning half brother AWESOME PATRIOT (USA) dkb/br. H, 2008 {26}(Awesome Again). The gelding BUDROYALE (USA) b. G, 1993 {26}(Cee’s Tizzy), a horse that earned just shy of $3 million dollars in the 90’s is a full brother to Tiznow and Tizamazing. Another full horse, TIZSO (USA) dkb/br. M, 1995 {26}, full to Tiznow, Bud Royale, and Tisamazig, is the dam of Haskell winner PAYNTER (USA) b. H, 2009 {26}. Paynter was a good sire and his most notable progeny is KNICKS GO (USA) gr/r. H, 2016 {1-w}.

Pictured Below: Tiznow

Tiznow Racehorse

Apart from being entrenched in the breed through Storm Cat, Crimson Satan is the damsire to ROYAL ACADEMY (USA) b. H, 1987 {8-c}(Nijinsky), winner of the Breeders’ Cup Mile and England’s July Stakes. Crimson Satan is also the damsire of MT. LIVERMORE (USA) ch. H, 1981 {9}(Blushing Groom). And through that same family 26, Crimson Satan is in the blood of Matt Win winner DISARM (USA) ch. C, 2020 {26}(Gun Runner), who was second in the 2023 Travers won by Arcangelo. Disarm’s third dam is the aforementioned WHITE JASMINE (USA) ch. M, 1977 {26}(Whitesburg sired by Crimson Satan), for that double dose of Papila. When you look at horses such as SIBELIUS (USA) ch. G, 2018 {8-f}(Not this Time), you can see Crimson Satan twice—once through Storm Cat, Sibelius’ third sire, and once through Mt. Livermore, the sire of Sibelius’ second dam. And every once in a while you see a random appearance of another connection to Crimson Satan, such as in the unraced RUNOLLIE (USA) b. C, 2018 {1-k}(Run Happy), that has Mr. Livermore but also has a son of Crimson Satan TARTAR CHIEF (USA) ch. H, 1969 {20-a}( Sheridan H., Chicago H., Illinois Owners H.), a horse according to who “set a new course record at Arlington Park (1 1/16 mi. in 1:40 3/5).”


PAPILA (ARG) ch. M, 1943 {26} was sired by REQUIEBRO from the Godolphin Arabian sire line through Marco. Papila herself came from a female line of four generations in Argentina dating back to a French mare AGITEE (FR) b. M, 1881 {26}( Androcles from the St. Simon sire line).

Of note when looking at the pedigree of BELLAMORE (USA) dkb/br. M, 2018 {26}, her fourth dam PAPILA (ARG) ch. M, 1943 {26} } was sired by Bashford Manor Stakes winner WHITESBURG (USA) ch. H, 1969 {12-e}, who was sired by CRIMSON SATAN (USA) ch. H, 1959 {26}, son of PAPILA (ARG) ch. M, 1943 {26}. This makes WHITE JASMINE (USA) ch. M, 1977 {26} 3 sire x 3 dam Papila. White Jasmine herself was the dam of four stakes winners, all of them placing in top races. Arkansas Derby winner ANGEL OF EMPIRE (USA) b. C, 2020 {26}, himself sired by Arkansas Derby winner CLASSIC EMPIRE (USA) b. H, 2014 {4-m}, descends from WHITE JASMINE (USA) ch. M, 1977 {26}, which is his fourth dam.

Both Angel of Empire and Bellamore descend from White Jasmine’s daughter CORAGIL (USA) dkb/br. M, 1993 {26}(Metfield), and Cogragil is Angel of Empire’s and White Jasmine’s closest female ancestress from the Papila female family. Of note, because of his fourth dam WHITE JASMINE (USA) ch. M, 1977 {26} has two links to Papila, and because Angel of Empire has Storm Cat in his blood through his sire’s damsire CAT THIEF (USA) ch. H, 1996 {13-b}, there are three appearances of Papila in Angel of Empire’s blood.

Crimson Satan himself is the sire of the second dam of STORM CAT (USA) dkb/br. H, 1983 {8-c}, and damsire of PANCHO VILLA (USA) ch. H, 1982 {8-c}(Secretariat) through his daughter CRIMSON SAINT (USA) ch. M, 1969 {8-c}, herself a winner of the Ballerina, a multiple stakes winner.

Pictured Below: CRIMSON SAINT (USA) ch. M, 1969 {8-c}(Crimson Satan)(Ballerina, Meteor Handicap (twice) Hollywood Express Handicap), dam of TERLINGUA (USA) ch. M, 1976 {8-c}(a winner of 7 races, 3 Grade 2 and dam of STORM CAT (USA) dkb/br. H, 1983 {8-c}); dam of ROYAL ACADEMY (USA) b. H, 1987 {8-c}(Nijinsky); dam of ROYAL ACADEMY (USA) b. H, 1987 {8-c}.

Crimson Saint Racehorse

Bellamore is 4 sire x 3 dam Mr. Prospector, unusual for a horse born in 2018, and is 5 sire x 4 dam x 5 dam In Reality. Most horses do not have Citation, and it was odd that the horse that came in second in the Houston Ladies Classic, FREE LIKE A GIRL (USA) b. M, 2019 {4-o}(El Deal), also has Citation—she has it from Afleet.

As for Silver Spoon herself, according to “American Classic Pedigrees,” “Silver Spoon (1956, by Citation) was the American co-champion 3-year-old filly of 1959. She is the dam of 1972 Top Flight Handicap winner Inca Queen (by Hail to Reason), dam of Grade 2 winners Exile King (by Exclusive Native; a successful sire in Brazil ) and Hail Bold King (by Bold Bidder) and of Grade 3 winner Metfield (by Seattle Slew). Inca Queen is also the second dam of five stakes winners including multiple German Group 1 winner Germany, 1999 Ruffian Handicap (USA-G1) winner Catinca, and Grade 3 winner Manny’s Prospect. Silver Spoon’s other foals include Silver Coin (by Never Bend), dam of 1977 Florida Derby (USA-G1) winner Coined Silver (by Herbager).” Coined Silver stood in Japan but I do not know of any horses with his blood.

Video Below: Silver Spoon beats the boys in the Santa Anita Derby

On a final note, I am not sure of the wisdom of a Grade 3 race for 4 year old filly’s and up with $300 K purse, the Houston Ladies Classic, and a Grade 2 race for 3 year old filly’s and up on the same day with a $210,000 purse (The Inside Information Stakes at Gulfstream Park). I suppose I do not have a complaint about grading horse races, but I would much rather racing forms put the monetary level of the purse than the grade of the race. As a racing historian, but perhaps more importantly, as a handicapper, is much more important information.

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