We were intrigued by the prospects of Darley’s homebred sire Enticed earlier this year, given how well-received his first-crop yearlings had been by some top judges in 2022, and with his first 2YOs having included a trio of six-figure sellers at the first juvenile auction of 2023, we’re excited to be sending the uniquely-bred Queen High to his court for her first mating.
Despite being a big, strapping horse with all the size and scope you could want in a horse, Enticed was a top class 2YO who scored first-time out at Saratoga, was 3rd in the G1 Champagne (just behind eventual champion Good Magic) and scored in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club from all his starts that season. As a 3YO he won the G3 Gotham and was 2nd in the G2 Wood Memorial to eventual champion Vino Rosso, before retiring to stud at his birthplace, Darley at Jonabell. A son of the leading sire and now sire-of-sires Medaglia d’Oro (sons include Violence, Bolt d’Oro, Astern, Golden Lad, etc) out of the multiple G1W It’s Tricky, Enticed had several six-figure yearlings sell last year to such renowned judges as Kenny McPeek, West Point and Cherie DeVaux. This year at the OBS March Sale, 9 of the 11 juveniles by Enticed sold for an average of almost $83,000, with two individuals bringing $200,000 (both to top agent Mike Ryan) and another selling for $120,000 to DJ Stable, while the likes of Dennis O’Neill and Peter Miller also purchased members of his first crop there.
We believe that these sales results, combined with his pedigree, precocity, and a full complement of foals to head to the races with, make him a sneaky value play among those with first runners in 2023.
Queen High, meanwhile, won 3 times going a mile on dirt (fast and muddy) from 3YO through 5YO, including in maiden special weight and allowance company. She earned a total of $87,643 while also placing 7 more times (including as a 2YO) from 6 furlongs to a mile and 70 yards. A tall, leggy mare who will be a nice like-to-like match for Enticed, she is a full-sister to the G3-winning, half-million dollar-earner Monongahela, and a half to the stakes winner Lucabunny, plus a pair of additional winners.
Queen High and Monongahela are sired by the G1 winner K One King, he in turn a son of European champion 2YO Apalachee, who was by the Horse of the Year Round Table out of Horse of the Year Moccasin — meaning that these two mid-century standouts appear in just the 3rd generation of Queen High’s pedigree, which is practically unheard of this day and age. Their dam, Record High, won 5 races and $150k and was a daughter of the Belmont winner Touch Gold out of a winning mare by Smart Strike. Record High was a half-sister to the 14x winner of $266k He’s Dann Good, plus a $92k earner by North Light and a $81k earner by Sky Classic, and there were two more six-figure earners who were half-siblings to Record High’s dam. So while there is a limited amount of black-type under Queen High’s first three dams, there are some hardy campaigners and some very classy names among the broodmare sires (as set forth in this article by Frank Mitchell upon Monongahela’s victory in the G3 Iselin).
Interestingly, this family goes back in tail-female to Marguerite de Valois, a full-sister to the brothers Sir Gallahad and Bull Dog, who were both leading sires, and, in fact, Sir Gallahad will appear 17 times in the pedigree of this Enticed/Queen High foal, while Bull Dog will appear 10 times, to complement their sister’s presence along Queen High’s bottom line.
In addition, the close-up influences of Round Table and Moccasin in Queen High’s pedigree which have already been referenced will be complemented by another appearance of Round Table in Enticed’s pedigree, as well as one of Round Table’s full-sister Monarchy (meaning there is sex-balanced line-breeding to their parents Princequillo and Knight’s Daughter), and an appearance of Moccasin’s full-sister Thong. Admittedly, these names appear quite a way back in Enticed’s pedigree, but our hope is that — because of how close they are in Queen High’s — their influence will be stronger than if they were equally distant on both sides. One other noteworthy name that will appear no fewer than 12 times in the pedigree of this foal is that of Princequillo.
TrueNicks gives the match a “B+” thanks to the success of G2 winner Mr. Commons and another stakes winner from just 27 runners bred on the El Prado/Round Table cross, which is better than we would’ve expected with such an uncommon broodmare sire-line, and that — combined with the plethora of high-class, hard-knocking, classic dirt names repeated throughout the pedigrees of this pairing — gives us hope for a successful foal to kick off Queen High’s breeding career.