3-year-old pedigrees: Spice is Nice a zesty Oaks contender

3-year-old pedigrees: Spice is Nice a zesty Oaks contender
Photo: Courtesy of Gulfstream Park

Spice is Nice lived up to the hype and outclassed maidens by a dozen lengths in her Sunday debut. Bred to improve with racing, this is a filly to watch on the Kentucky Oaks trail and leads off a look at emerging 3-year-old females and their bloodlines.


(Curlin - Dame Dorothy, by Bernardini)

Spice is Nice performed up to her hefty $1,050,000 yearling price tag in her debut on Sunday at Gulfstream Park. The Chestnut filly chased the early pace under John Velazquez. Around the turn, Spice is Nice slid through an opening on the rail to take the lead like a seasoned pro. The Todd Pletcher trainee widened her lead with every stride, distancing from the rest by 12 lengths while completing a one-turn mile over the main track in 1:36.06.

Pedigree: Spice is Nice is bred to handle middle to classic distances. Curlin is the No. 2-ranked stallion on the general sire list by earnings, led by Breeders’ Cup Classic victor Vino Rosso.

Spice is Nice is the first foal out of Humana Distaff heroine Dame Dorothy. The mare also captured the Bed O' Roses at seven furlongs, the Turnback the Alarm Handicap at 1 1/16 miles, and she was third in the 1 1/8-mile Comely Stakes. Dame Dorothy earned $749,740 in 12 starts. Dame Dorothy’s half-sister, Mrs. Lindsay, is a French Group 1 winning-turf router. She bore Dr. Owen, a French multiple listed winning miler.

Spice is Nice is bred on the same cross as Black-Eyed Susan (G2) winner Point of Honor.


(Into Mischief - Coup, by Empire Maker)

Spice is Nice wasn't the only filly with Oaks potential getting to the races Sunday. Motivated Seller also romped in her debut at Gulfstream Park. Javier Castellano put the filly through her paces while dueling on the front end through wicked fractions of :21.87 and :44.75. The pair opened up in the stretch to win by six lengths, with the Chad Brown trainee traveling six furlongs in 1:10.99.

Pedigree: Motivated Seller sports a miler/middle-distance pedigree. She has similar breeding to the recent Letellier Memorial winner Taraz and to Amongst, who finished second in the Sugar Bowl Stakes. Into Mischief is the leading sire by winners and by earnings. He’s the sire of this year’s Breeder’s Cup Filly and Mare Sprint heroine Covfefe and Springboard Mile winner Shoplifted, as well as Oklahoma Derby winner Owendale.

There’s no black type in Motivated Seller’s immediate family, but she’s the third winner from as many starters. Her dam, Coup, is a stakes-winning miler who hit the board in five of eight starts, earning $132,637. Motivated Seller’s second dam, the New Zealand-bred French Lady, placed in the AJC Australian Oaks. The gallant Rapid Redux, who earned a special Eclipse Award in 2012 after winning 22 straight races, is part of the family.


(Orb - Vivere, by War Front)

Persisto gradually improved with racing and graduated in her fourth start, a one-mile maiden contest last Friday at Aqueduct. She was wide most of the way under Dylan Davis while pressing the early pace. The bay filly grabbed the lead at the 3/4 pole and drew off to a 1 3/4-length victory. The Kelly Breen trainee traveled a mile in 1:39.89.

Pedigree: Persisto has miler breeding, with 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb is No. 14 on the third-crop sire list by earnings. His offspring generally are slower maturing. He’s the sire of three graded/listed winners, led by Spinaway (G1) winner Sippican Harbor.

Persisto is the second foal and winner in her immediate family. Her dam, Vivere, is a full sister to Grade 3-placed turf sprinter Vici, and she’s also a half-sister to Grade 3-placed miler Luster. Persisto’s pedigree is filled with the best of Claiborne Farm bloodlines. She traces to the tremendous Glowing Tribute, dam of Kentucky Derby winner Sea Hero, through Wild Applause. Wild Applause’s descendants include sires Congrats and Flatterer, Eastern Echo, Roar, and new sire Ironicus. Multiple Grade 1 heroine Elate and Grade 2 winner Tax are also part of the family.

War Front is a young broodmare sire, with 89 winners to his credit and two listed winners: Stifling, a turf sprinter, and Joevia, winner of last year’s Long Branch Stakes who finished third in the Belmont Stakes.

Rude Awaking

(Bodemeister - Greenfield d'Oro, by Medaglia d'Oro)

Rude Awaking graduated on Sunday in her second start, a seven-furlong maiden event over Aqueduct’s main track. Eric Cancel sent Rude Awaking to the front, and they established a comfortable lead. The Eric Guillot trainee pulled away to win by 2 1/4 lengths in 1:26.58.

Pedigree: Rude Awaking has a middle-distance/classic pedigree. Bodemeister stood at stud in the U.S. for six years before moving to Turkey. He has so far sired 10 graded/listed winners, including 2017 Kentucky Derby hero Always Dreaming.

Rude Awaking is a first foal. Her dam, Greenfield d'Oro, placed in one of two starts and is a half-sister to Radio Silence, an Irish Group 2-placed sprinter. Rude Awaking’s second dam is Ballerina Handicap winner Maryfield, who earned $1,334,331 in 28 starts. Other than Maryfield, Grade 2-placed sprinter Quietly Mine is the most accomplished runner in three generations of Rude Awaking’s female family.

Rude Awaking is bred along the same bloodlines as Spinaway Stakes winner Rachel’s Valentina and multiple Grade 1 winning sprinter Rock Fall.

She’s So Special

(Hard Spun - Born Special, by Pulpit)

She’s So Special found the Santa Anita lawn to her liking on Saturday in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden contest. Traveling three-wide under Joel Rosario, She’s So Special rallied from sixth place and pulled clear in the stretch to win by a length. The Peter Miller trainee zipped 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02.69.

Pedigree: She’s So Special is bred to handle a mile to middle distances. Hard Spun’s offspring are generally later-maturing types. The stallion is No. 6 on the General Sire List by earnings. The bulk of his offspring are middle-distance types, yet he does have stakes winners at classic distances. Hard Spun’s son, Spun to Run, captured last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile, and his daughter Hard Not to Love was a recent winner of the La Brea Stakes.

She’s So Special’s first two dams are unraced, but there’s class in the third generation of her female family. Mother Goose heroine Jersey Girl, who bore Cigar Mile winner and sire Jersey Town, and Jersey Girl’s grandson, multiple graded-placed Bold Conquest, top the list. In an interesting note, She’s So Special is a Chestnut filly, just like her first five dams, starting with Nowmepache, a half-sister to 1974 Champion Two-Year-Old Male and 1975 Kentucky Derby winner Foolish Pleasure.

Meet Laurie Ross

 HRN Pedigree Analyst 


 Published Author

 Pedigree Research/Consultation/Sales 

 Pedigree Analyst Bruno With The Works 

 ThoroFan Advisory Board Member

 Member NTWAB

Through hands-on work at barns, I learned valuable lessons about Thoroughbred conformation, gait, and temperament and later worked withThoroughbred rescue/re-train organizations. I have committed my passion for horses to the intensive study of pedigree and breeding theory for the last 20 years. 

I support clients with all aspects of pedigree/breeding analysis, research, sales, catalogue review, and recommendations on claims or private sales. Clients include national leading owners, racing/breeding syndicates, the little guy with one mare, and everyone in between. 10-20% of all proceeds are donated to Thoroughbred rescue & retraining groups. Check out my website, Iron Maidens Thoroughbreds, and the IMTBreds blog.

I welcome your questions regarding pedigree, handicapping, and breeding. If you would like me to cover a specific topic, please contact me. 

Twitter: @IMTBreds
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