Acquired recently while in foal to the Street Cry sprinter and accomplished stallion Street Boss, Zarella will head back to her birthplace after foaling this spring for a date with the exciting first-year sire Speaker’s Corner.
Speaker’s Corner was highly-hyped from the beginning of his career and broke his maiden at 2 over a field that included future SWs Caddo River, Greatest Honour, Miles D and Bourbonic. After an extended layoff, he returned at 3YO to win an allowance at Saratoga going 7 furlongs, finished 6th as the second choice in the G1 Pennsylvania Derby next time out, won a Belmont allowance by open lengths, then was nailed on the line in the G3 Discovery. Shortened up at 4YO, he ripped off impressive wins in the G3 Fred Hooper and G2 Gulfstream Park Mile, both going a flat mile at Gulfstream, then scorched 7 furlongs in the G1 Carter to win by 4-1/2 lengths and earn a 114 Beyer, the best earned in the past 3 years by any horse other than Flightline (he previously earned a 109 at 3, equal to the highest of all 3 Eclipse finalists in the category that year). Speaker’s Corner followed that 3-race win streak with a game 3rd in the G1 Met Mile after making Flightline run him down on the front end, then was 2nd to Life Is Good in the G2 John Nerud before two subpar races to end his career with a total record of (13) 6-2-2, $739,963. He has the pedigree to back up his class, as well, being a son of leading sire Street Sense out of a Bernardini mare (meaning he’s bred identically to Darley’s second year sire Maxfield), while his 2nd dam is G1 winner Round Pond (the dam of G1 winner Long River), and his 3rd dam is a half to Euro champions Black Minnaloushe and Pennekamp.
We believe that his brilliance and his pedigree make Speaker’s Corner an excellent sire prospect, and if he had retired after the Carter, he could have stood for twice as high a fee (also, if Darley didn’t already have his sire Street Sense at $75k LFSN and Maxfield at $40k LFSN, maybe he’d have been higher as well).
Speaker’s Corner also has an outstanding physical. He has a huge hip and a nice straight hind leg — it’s easy to see where his speed came from. And while he could be described as a bit plain, that’s fully in keeping with his sire-line. Physically he’ll suit Zarella very nicely in a case of like-to-like, both being stoutly-made, medium-sized horses (though he’s a bit longer bodied and she’s a tad closer-coupled).
We also love this matchup on pedigree. Most intriguingly, Zarella’s dam Carella is a half-sister to Speaker’s Corner’s broodmare sire Bernardini — meaning the foal from this mating will have Rasmussen Factor inbreeding 4×3 to the G1W and Broodmare of the Year Cara Rafaela (sex-balanced through a son and daughter, who are also similarly-bred in that Bernardini is by AP Indy and Carella is by Tapit, an AP Indy grandson). This pattern has been sparingly tried so far, but we are believers in the effectiveness of the Rasmussen Factor. This foal will also be inbred 4×3 to the Eclipse Champion and leading sire Awesome Again (again sex-balanced via his HOTY son Ghostzapper and his Breeders’ Cup-winning daughter Round Pond), another pattern that hasn’t had a lot of chances yet — but given how well inbreeding has worked to Awesome Again’s sire Deputy Minister, we think it’s very likely to prove positive.
Street Sense with Ghostzapper is good for an “A++” on TrueNicks thanks to 5 winners from 5 starters including 2 graded stakes winners, while Street Sense with Tapit (Zarella’s broodmare sire) also rates an “A++” with 7 winners from 7 starters including 3 stakes winners (2 of them graded).
So that is a lot of reasons to love this particular pairing, and we can’t wait to see the foal it produces in 2024!