Perfect Gleam, a granddaughter of Broodmare of the Year Anne Campbell, will be our sixth Housatonic Recommended Mating for 2019 featuring the outstanding value sire Munnings at Coolmore America.
Perfect Gleam’s dam, the Halo daughter Halo’s Gleam, is a half-sister to a pair of Grade 1 winners that both finished 2nd in the G1 Kentucky Derby in Desert Wine (by Damascus) and Menifee (by Harlan), and she is also a half-sister to Mr. P’s Princess (by Mr. Prospector), who produced Group 1 winner and Champion Fasliyev (by Nureyev), Group 3 winner Kamarinskaya (by Storm Cat), and the unraced Butterfly Cove (also by Storm Cat), who is in turn the dam of Group 1 winners Ballydoyle and Misty For Me (both by Galileo, and the latter already herself the dam of Group 1 winners Roly Poly and U S Navy Flag, both by War Front).
Perfect Gleam, whose sire is the Grade 1-winning Sadler’s Wells son Perfect Soul, has previously visited the Storm Cat grandson First Samurai twice, and last year she went to War Front’s son Declaration of War in a Housatonic Recommended Mating. These matches were clearly — if not explicitly — designed to mimic some of the features found in the pedigrees of Menifee, Kamarinskaya, Butterfly Cove, Roly Poly and U S Navy Flag (all by Northern Dancer-line sires, most with plenty of inbreeding to that Canadian scion). This year, we will be adding a dose of Mr. Prospector-line speed to the equation for Perfect Gleam’s foal, since all of those good horses in the preceding sentence save Menifee contain Mr. P blood, but Perfect Gleam does not.
Everyone knows by now how highly we think of Munnings as a stallion, and that we consider him the best value sire in the business for 2019. To hit some of the highlights: from his first 413 foals of racing age, including 128 2-year-olds of 2018, he has 28 stakes winners — an excellent 7%. This includes a pair of Grade 1 winners and eleven total Graded stakes winners. If you take this year’s 2-year-olds out of the stats (he does have two juvenile stakes winner this year), he has 9.5% stakes winners/foals aged 3 and up, and 3.9% Graded winners/foals. He has also accomplished this without much help from his mates, so far, as he has a 1.60 AEI/1.26 CI ratio. With his better-bred crops coming shortly (starting with his 2018 yearlings, of which 64 averaged almost $80,000 this year, compared to his 2017 yearling average of $52,000 for 56 sold), these statistics are only going to improve in the coming years.
In addition to contributing Mr. Prospector blood and some serious speed to Perfect Gleam’s foal, we like the fact that Munnings already has four stakes winners that have Hail To Reason in their dam’s first four generations (like Perfect Gleam does, since Hail to Reason is the sire of her broodmare sire Halo), including his best runner to date, I’m a Chatterbox. Indeed, this match will create several similarities to the pedigree of I’m a Chatterbox since both Perfect Gleam’s sire and I’m a Chatterbox’s broodmare sire are by Northern Dancer grandsons that are out of Secretariat mares (providing for 5x5x4 inbreeding to the ’73 Triple Crown winner in both instances), and both Perfect Gleam and I’m a Chatterbox’s dam are out of Hail To Reason-line mares.
Munnings has also had excellent results so far with mares by Sadler’s Wells-line sires, including his Graded-placed multiple stakes winner Never Gone South, who is out of a Perfect Soul mare (one of two winners from two foals bred on that specific cross); plus Grade 2 winner Free Rose is out of an El Prado mare and Grade 3 winner Barkley has a dam by Medaglia d’Oro. In total, Munnings has five stakes winners from just nineteen foals out of mares by sons and grandsons of Sadler’s Wells, good for 26.3%.
This is a pleasing pairing physically as well, in that both are well-balanced, strongly-made horses, and Perfect Gleam has just a tad more scope to her than Munnings — but it is very much a case of like-to-like.
Never Gone South, by Munnings out of a Perfect Soul mare, wins the Frank Whitely, Jr. Stakes
Free Rose, by Munnings out of an El Prado mare, wins the G2 Del Mar Derby
Barkley, by Munnings out of a Medaglia d’Oro mare, wins the G3 Longacres Mile
Munnings wins the G2 Woody Stephens
Munnings wins the G2 Tom Fool
Munnings breezes prior to selling for $1.8 million at Calder