As a half-sister to a multiple Grade 3 derby winner, out of a dam who was closely related to a multiple champion turf horse, and sired by the leading turf stallion English Channel, Mad Grace had every right to be talented and versatile — and she was. She won 9 of 41 starts from 3 through 7YO and placed another 16 times for earnings of $177,517; won on dirt and turf from 7 furlongs to 1-3/8 miles; and hit the board in a pair of non-black-type stakes races as short as 5-1/2 and 6-1/2 furlongs. She retires to the Wasabi Ventures Stables broodmare band for 2023, and her first mating will be to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint-G1 winner Aloha West at Mill Ridge Farm.
Aloha West brings a fascinating package to stud at Mill Ridge, where the team is fresh off a stellar first season at the races for their first stallion in several years, Oscar Performance. Aloha West is a son of the proven and versatile stallion Hard Spun, but takes much more after his broodmare sire Speightstown in both looks and proclivities (as pointed out by Mill Ridge in their marketing materials). Speightstown was an Eclipse Champion Sprinter as an older horse, and Aloha West’s dam Island Bound was a G3W sprinter, too — helping to explain Aloha West’s victory in the BC Sprint in his first season of racing at 4YO (having earlier been one of the most highly-regarded 2YOs in the Bob Baffert barn after a string of bullet workouts, though he never made the races for Baffert). A stakes winner and 3rd in the G1 Churchill Downs Stakes behind Jackie’s Warrior during his 5YO season, he retires to stud with career earnings over $1.5 million, and traces in tail female to Gonfalon (dam of successful stallion Ogygian) and Grand Splendor (granddam of successful stallion Fappiano).
Mad Grace is a half-sister to the dam of 2022 2YO SW Hard To Figure, by Hard Spun (and that half-sister is sired by Mr. Greeley, a son of Gone West like Speightstown, meaning Hard To Figure’s pedigree is quite similar to that of the foal from this mating), and her dam’s half-sister produced the Speightstown stakes winner Congor Bay. Her deeper female family is filled with mares who have produced stakes winners by Danzig-line stallions (he being the sire of Hard Spun). Another interesting pedigree note is that Fappiano (as mentioned above, from the same female family as Aloha West) is the sire of the MG1W and sire Cryptoclearance, who comes from the same female family as Mad Grace. So for us, all of that is far more relevant and important than the “D” rating that TrueNicks gives to the cross of Hard Spun with Smart Strike-line mares, especially in light of the fact that the cross has produced at least two pretty good horses in marathon star Rocketry and the 2022 GSW filly Sparkle Blue.
Physically, this pairing is a very nice match of like-to-like, and we fully expect it will produce a well-balanced, medium-sized foal with plenty of talent and versatility!