This Housatonic Recommended Mating features the first match for the hard-knocking young mare Mission Good Karma, for whom we have chosen the precocious, versatile and well-bred newcomer Flameaway — and she is actually already pregnant to Darby Dan’s son of Scat Daddy on a February cover.
We are fans of Flameaway because he was extremely tough and versatile. He won from 2YO to 4YO, on dirt (fast and sloppy), turf and all-weather, from 4-1/2 furlongs to 1-1/16 miles, and often in front-running, stretch-battling style. Originally a $150,000 short yearling purchase, Flameaway was subsequently pinhooked for $400,000 at Saratoga. He broke his maiden first-time out in May of his 2YO year for trainer Mark Casse, then was a stakes winner at Saratoga and won Keeneland’s Grade 3 Bourbon Stakes by a nose despite a 3-wide trip in the slop later in his juvenile season.
Flameaway’s first start as a 3YO was a win in the grassy Kitten’s Joy Stakes (“battled every step, game” was the chart comment) before he out-gunned future Grade 1 winners Catholic Boy and Vino Rosso to take the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis on dirt (“pressured, headed, game”). He was then 2nd in the Tampa Bay Derby-G2 and the Blue Grass-G2 prior to attempting the Kentucky Derby-G1. Later in the year he was 2nd in the Jim Dandy-G2, and at 4YO he returned to be 3rd in the Mineshaft-G3 and win the Challenger Stakes at Tampa (“determinedly”).
Flameaway’s sire, Scat Daddy, ascended to the top of the stallion heap prior to his untimely death, and his sons are now at a premium after the early success of the likes of No Nay Never, as witnessed by the fact that Justify and Mendelssohn were at the top of the list of mares bred in 2019. Flameaway traces on his dam’s side to Flame of Tara, who produced 5 stakes winners including the top class Marju and Salsabil. This pedigree, combined with his race record and toughness, makes him an exciting prospect, and a perfect match for the likes of Mission Good Karma.
As she is a daughter of the Unbridled’s Song stallion Mission Impazible, this mating features the same strong nick (a “B+ on TrueNicks) as 2019 Grade 1 winner Valid Point, plus a pair of Scat Daddy’s early graded winners in El Kabeir and Pretty N Cool.
This mating actually includes further similarities to that which produced Pretty N Cool (for Bob Baffert a winner at 2 of the Sorrento-G2 and Matron-G2, and at 4 of the Las Flores-G3) since Pretty N Cool’s dam is by a son of Unbridled’s Song and out of a mare by Forest Wildcat, while Mission Good Karma is by a son of Unbridled’s Song and out of a mare by a son of Forest Wildcat. And Forest Wildcat is also the broodmare sire of Scat Daddy’s champion daughter Lady Aurelia, so there’s a lot to like in this pedigree cross.
Physically this is an excellent case of like-to-like — both Flameaway and Mission Good Karma are well-balanced, medium-sized horses, and the speed she showed in her three 6-furlong victories will complement Flameaway’s talents well.
Flameaway wins the G3 Sam F. Davis over Catholic Boy and Vino Rosso
Flameaway wins the G3 Bourbon Stakes