Bloodlines: For Belmont Stakes Winner Arcangelo, All Roads Lead Back To Foxfield - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Bloodlines: For Belmont Stakes Winner Arcangelo, All Roads Lead Back To Foxfield

Javier Castellano tips his hat to the crowd after his win aboard Arcangelo in the Belmont Stakes

From his first two crops, and only two full crops of foals, champion Arrogate (by Unbridled's Song) has sired a winner of the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks in Secret Oath and now a winner of the G1 Belmont Stakes in Arcangelo.

These and other good racers are some compensation for the fact that, sadly, Arrogate died part-way through his third season at stud, the victim of a spinal-cord torsion. The galloping gray was always a feel-good horse, both in training and on the farm, and his exuberance apparently caused a kink in the spinal cord.

In addition to his memorable victories in the 2017 Travers and Breeders' Cup Classic and then a dramatic pair of successes in the following year's Pegasus Invitational and Dubai World Cup, Arrogate has left us a legacy of athleticism and talent with the best of his relatively few offspring.

Now a winner in three of his five starts, Arcangelo was bred in Kentucky by Don Alberto Corporation and sold at the 2021 Keeneland September yearling sale for $35,000 to Jon Ebbert, who races under the name of Blue Rose Farm.

The Belmont winner is the fifth foal of the Tapit mare Modeling, whom Don Alberto purchased at the 2014 Keeneland November sale for $2.85 million. At that time, Modeling was in foal to Distorted Humor (Forty Niner), and her foal from that mating is the maiden special winner Montmartre.

Although Modeling has not had a foal since Arcangelo, the mare has been bred to leading sire Munnings (Speightstown) but has not yet been confirmed in foal.

In addition to our newest winner of the Belmont, there are numerous ties to other Belmont winners close up in this family. Modeling is a daughter of Tapit, the sire of four winners of the race, as well as this year's third, Tapit Trice, and is out of Teeming (Storm Cat), a half-sister to a pair of Belmont Stakes winners: Jazil (Seeking the Gold), winner of the classic in 2006, and Rags to Riches (A.P. Indy), the Belmont winner in 2007 over subsequent Horse of the Year Curlin.

On the same day as the Belmont Stakes, multiple leading sire Tapit was represented as the broodmare sire of three Grade 1 winners: Arcangelo, Cody's Wish (Metropolitan Handicap), and Pretty Mischievous (Acorn Stakes). The gray son of Pulpit stands at Gainesway Farm and is the leading broodmare sire in the country. He is the damsire of 80 stakes winners lifetime, 15 this year.

And finally, the second dams of each of Arcangelo's parents, both sire Arrogate and dam Modeling, were bred by the same entity, Foxfield, and are by the same stallion, Deputy Minister (Vice Regent). The operation's director of operations, Rob Whiteley, said that, “With both mares, I thought that Deputy Minister could add a little size and contribute outstanding balance to the foals. I was more than satisfied with the results; Better Than Honour might have been the best-looking yearling filly I ever produced.”

With regard to Modeling, Foxfield acquired the classic producer's third dam, Kentucky Oaks winner Blush With Pride (Blushing Groom), for $200,000 at the 1992 Keeneland November sale. Aged 13 when brought to auction, Blush With Pride was judged a disappointing broodmare by the commercial market.

The mare was in foal to 2,000 Guineas winner Lomond (Northern Dancer) at the time of sale, and her first foal for Foxfield was the chestnut Blushing Boy, who placed second once in five starts. The mare's last foal for prior owner Morven Stud, however, was a Danzig filly named Smolensk. She won on debut, then subsequently won the G2 Prix d'Astarte at Deauville and G3 Prix de Sandringham at Chantilly, as well as finishing second in the G1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.

That moved up Blush With Pride in the esteem of the commercial market, and Foxfield bred the mare to Deputy Minister, a juvenile champion in whom the operation owned a significant stake. Blush With Pride produced the stakes winner Better Than Honour (G2 Demoiselle; second, G1 Acorn); then, Whitley dispersed the 18-year-old broodmare for owner Carl Icahn, selling in foal to Deputy Minister for $635,000 to BBA Ireland for the account of John Magnier.

The resulting foal was G3 winner Turnberry Isle, bred by Orpendale, and then the mare produced several foals by Coolmore's great sire Sadler's Wells, including G1-placed Maryinsky, the dam of four-time G1 winner Peeping Fawn (Danehill) and G1-winning 2-year-old Thewayyouare (Kingmambo).

As with Blush With Pride, the third dam of Arrogate, Foxfield's champion Meadow Star (Meadowlake), was bred to Deputy Minister; in this case, the result was Grechelle, a winner of two races from seven starts and third in the G3 Golden Rod Stakes.

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Whiteley said, “Meadow Star was not a big mare but was beautifully balanced, and I wanted a little more size without compromising the balance. Deputy Minister was a wonderful match physically, and with regard to pedigree.

“When working with Foxfield or breeding my own classic prospects, my breeding approach has always been to assess the physical conformation of the mare and stallion and then try to merge the two for a balanced result. In both these cases, it worked out in fabulous fashion.”

In addition to both fillies showing graded stakes form on the racetrack, both are responsible for first-class racers in subsequent generations.

Better Than Honour remains the most expensive broodmare sold at auction when she was consigned to the 2008 Fasig-Tipton November sale, and the 12-year-old mare, already the dam of Belmont Stakes winners Rags to Riches and Jazil, sold for $14 million to Southern Equine.

Not in foal.

Now once again, this family stands in the circle of glory reserved for classic winners.

Whiteley summarized: “The female family is more important than the sire. Never underestimate the power of quality pedigree. Like truth, it will out.”

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