After visiting proven stallions during her first three years in the breeding shed, 14-time winner No More Excuses will get a shot with the exciting and well-bred young multiple graded winner Greatest Honour in 2023 as a member of his first book of mares.
Greatest Honour rose to prominence on the Triple Crown Trail in Florida, breaking his maiden impressively despite a troubled trip and then reeling off victories in both the G3 Holy Bull and G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes in off-the-pace style for trainer Shug McGaughey over a Gulfstream surface and configuration that would not have played to his strengths. Though he went to the sidelines before the Kentucky Derby-G1, the impression that he made in those wins combined with a stunning physical presence and a pedigree that’s second to none in the studbook, he makes for a fascinating new addition to the Kentucky stallion ranks for 2023 at Spendthrift Farm. His incredible pedigree combines a sire in Tapit who is the all-time leading North American sire by money won, and a three-time Leading General Sire, responsible for the likes of Flightline, Essential Quality, Constitution, Tonalist, Frosted, Untapable, Unique Bella, Tapizar, Tapiture, Tacitus, etc. Greatest Honour’s dam was a $2.2 million broodmare purchase who is half to the Belmont-G1 winners Rags to Riches and Jazil, all of them out of the Broodmare of the Year Better Than Honour, herself a daughter of Blue Hen broodmare and Kentucky Oaks-G1 winner Blush With Pride. This is the female family also of Eclipse Champion Close Hatches, the dam of Tapit’s multiple classic-placed and exciting young sire son Tacitus.
So Greatest Honour is a stallion with a big shot, and he makes a perfect match for No More Excuses. Firstly, both are big, strapping, scopey physicals who present a great case of like-to-like, which we always prefer to achieve when possible. And then on pedigree, No More Excuses is a half-sister to the Maryland Million Classic winner Saratoga Bob by an A.P. Indy-line stallion like Greatest Honour, which compliments an “A+” TrueNicks rating for the cross of Tapit and Not For Love. That cross is responsible for 34 winners from 40 foals to race, including 5 stakes winners (13%), among them both Local Motive and Why Not Tonight, with whom we have some connections (and another 4 black-type runners are bred this way, also). Although he doesn’t factor into that rating, multiple G1 winner of the Kentucky Derby California Chrome is a product of the Pulpit/Not For Love cross, too. Looking further back, No More Excuses is out of Lucky Dance, by Kafwain (he a son of Cherokee Run), and the Tapit/Cherokee Run cross is also an “A” nick.
So this is a match that has everything going for it, and we cannot wait to see what No More Excuses produces in 2024!