Atlantic Rainbow’s mate for 2015 is Verrazano (More Than Ready x Enchanted Rock, by Giant’s Causeway; stands for $22,500 at Ashford). Verrazano was a brilliant racehorse, as witnessed by his dominant win in the Grade 1 Haskell, and he raced 10 times as a 3-year-old for Todd Pletcher, demonstrating his durability. He was also versatile, shipping to Europe for his 4-year-old campaign with Aidan O’Brien. Although Atlantic Rainbow never raced, her sire, Stormy Atlantic, has had success with runners on all surfaces, so the foal from this mating should be extremely versatile.
Verrazano is a gorgeous physical specimen; Steve Haskin said of him: “When you look at him next to other horses, he looks like Hercules next to mere mortals” (see more). He’s tall, very muscular, and well-balanced, and hopefully his offspring look the same. This foal will be from his first crop.
By breeding Atlantic Rainbow to Verrazano, their foal will have 4 x 3 inbreeding to Storm Cat, which should ensure a measure of speed and precocity, as well as 4 x 4 inbreeding to Halo. Halo is a son of Hail To Reason, who is also the sire of Roberto, and Hail To Reason himself is by Turn-To. Inbreeding to Roberto and Hail To Reason has been very successful for the likes of Kitten’s Joy, and this sire-line has crossed well in the past with Atlantic Rainbow’s female family: of her stakes-caliber siblings, one was by Benny the Dip (by Roberto), and one was by Broad Brush, who is himself inbred 3 x 3 to Turn-To.
Curlin’s Needle’s mate for 2015 is Data Link (War Front x Database, by Known Fact; stands for $7,500 at Claiborne). Data Link was one of the first good sons of War Front, and he has been extremely popular at Claiborne – a farm known for making stallions. Curlin’s Needle’s foal will be from Data Link’s second crop.
Data Link is a solid, well-made, medium-sized horse much in the mold of his grandsire Danzig, and he should be a good physical match for the somewhat coarse Curlin’s Needle.
As a turf miler with a strong turn-of-foot, Data Link should inject some speed into Curlin’s Needle’s foal, as she herself placed going 1-1/4 miles on turf. War Front also nicks well with mares from the Mr. Prospector line (Curlin’s Needle is by Curlin, who is by Smart Strike, a son of Mr. Prospector). The Grade 1 winners bred on this cross include The Factor (out of a mare by Mr. Prospector’s son Miswaki), Jack Milton (out of a mare by Mr. Prospector’s son Forty Niner), and Peace and War (out of a mare by Smart Strike).
The foal from this mating will be inbred 4 x 5 x 5 to Northern Dancer, as well as 4 x 4 to Deputy Minister (himself a grandson of Northern Dancer).
I’m Engaged’s mate for 2015 is Exchange Rate (Danzig x Sterling Pound, by Seeking the Gold; stands for $20,000 at Three Chimneys). Exchange Rate is a proven son of Danzig, and he had an excellent year in 2014, with Grade 1 winners Sunset Glow and Ball Dancing to his credit. He is one of the 32% of stallions with an AEI that is higher than his CI, and his weanlings averaged over $100,000 at the sales in 2014.
Exchange Rate is an impressive horse physically. He is very well-balanced and has more leg than some representatives of his sire-line, a trait which he passes on to his foals and something from which I’m Engaged could benefit.
The nick rates highly enough from relatively limited opportunities, and I’m Engaged’s female family has had success with Danzig-line stallions (**including 2015 Group 1 winning 2-year-old Air Force Blue in Ireland), and the Northern Dancer line more generally (stakes-placed winner Lawn Party is out of a half-sister to I’m Engaged and sired by Medaglia d’Oro, a great-grandson of Northern Dancer, and Grade 3 winner Irish Surf, by Giant’s Causeway, another great-grandson of Northern Dancer, appears under I’m Engaged’s 2nd dam).
The foal from this mating will be inbred 3 x 5 to Northern Dancer, 4 x 5 to Mr. Prospector, and 5 x 5 to Buckpasser.