We are fans of Rasmussen Factor inbreeding to a superior female when we can achieve it in a mating, and as such are excited to be able to recommend that the winning filly Star of Shanghai visit proven Maryland sire Street Magician in 2023 for her first match — a pairing that will result in a foal inbred 3×4 to the stakes winner Special Kell, who is the ancestress of no fewer than 17 black-type runners, including G3 winner Street Magician, multiple stakes winner and G2-placed Strike the Moon, stakes winner Oldies But Goodies, and Star of Shanghai’s own stakes-winning dam Walk of Stars.
Special Kell is a daughter of Ran’s Chick, who was the foundation mare for R. Larry Johnson’s Virginia/Maryland-based breeding program. Though unraced herself, Ran’s Chick is the dam of 11 winners, including a pair of stakes winners, and she is now the ancestress of over 20 black-type winners and double that number of black-type horses overall. Larry Johnson — who bred, raced and stands Street Magician at stud — has already tried inbreeding to Ran’s Chick (and Special Kell on a much more limited basis) via Street Magician with some success: from 18 runners by Street Magician with Ran’s Chick as their 3rd or 4th dam, there are 12 winners of $863,930, including stakes winner Do What I Say and the black-typed placed Mr. Magician. And there is also a winner from two runners with total earnings of $71,010 by Street Magician and with Special Kell as their 4th dam. These statistics (5.5% stakes winners/runners and 11% black-type horses/runners by Street Magician and inbred to Ran’s Chick) suggest that this pattern has some merit, and we are hopeful that the foal from this pairing can contribute to this family legacy.
Closer up there is plenty to recommend this mating, as well. Street Magician was a high class sprinter on the track, including a score in the G3 Hirsh Jacobs at Pimlico as a 3YO, and at stud he has sired 7 black-type winners (good for 4% of his foals of racing age, an excellent number) plus another 7 black-type placed runners. Although some of his foals have stretched out effectively, most of them have been best as sprinters on both turf and dirt — which is in keeping with the proclivities of his female family (and that of Star of Shanghai).
Star of Shanghai herself broke her maiden at a mile on all-weather at Presque Isle, but her black-type placed half-sister Hollywood Walk is at her best sprinting (regardless of the surface, and despite being by the route-oriented Animal Kingdom). Their dam, Walk of Stars by Kentucky Derby and Travers winner Street Sense, was a stakes winner dueling on the front end going 7 furlongs (albeit at the bull-ring that is Charles Town), and interestingly she broke her maiden by more than 30 lengths going a mile at Timonium (another bull-ring track). Though there have been members of this family that could stretch out some (and no doubt there are hopes that Star of Shangha’s 2021 half-brother by Constitution — a $600,000 Keeneland September purchase by Repole and St. Elias Stables — can be a classic contender), it is one that is predominantly filled with fast horses who are versatile in their ability to run over any surface up to a mile or so.
In addition to the inbreeding to Special Kell, the foal from this mating will also be inbred 2×4 to the G1 winner and leading dual hemisphere sire Street Cry (another noteworthy for his offspring’s versatility) — a pattern which has yet to be tried much, though there are a pair of winners inbred to Street Cry so far. Given his racing class and the fact that Star of Shanghai is a well-made, attractive filly with plenty of quality, we have no qualms doubling up on Street Cry here along with Special Kell.
Just as there are loads of reasons to like this pairing on pedigree, and we also love this mating physically: Star of Shanghai is a strong-bodied mare with a fabulous shoulder on her and just enough leg, and that makes her a great like-to-like match for Street Magician, who is similarly stout and endowed with great balance on a medium-sized frame. If their foal is as attractive as they are, and as fast as their family, it’ll serve us well sprinting on Maryland racetracks for a good long time!