Pathfork relatives shine at Eclipse Awards
Highlands Farm’s beautifully bred young sire Pathfork, whose first yearlings go through the sales ring this week, had an exciting update to his pedigree following North America’s Eclipse Award ceremony, which saw USA’s equine champions honoured at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.
Pathfork, himself Ireland’s Champion 2YO Colt of 2010, is out the Sadler’s Wells mare Visions of Clarity, whose second, Group 1 winning 2yo Aviance, is also the second dam of US Champion Sprinter Aldebaran.
A son of Mr Prospector (the great grandsire of Pathfork himself), Aldebaran is the sire of the outstanding US turf performer Main Sequence. The latter picked up two Eclipse Awards on Saturday, when he was named both Champion Turf Male and Champion Older Male, following a season which saw Main Sequence win all four of his outings – culminating in a half length win over subsequent Hong Kong Vase champion Flintshire in the G1 Breeders Cup Turf.
Remarkably Main Sequence, who also finished second in the 2012 G1 Investec Derby to Camelot, is the first US turf champion to win the title following an unbeaten season. All four of his wins came in G1 races – with Main Sequence picking up scores in all of the United Nations Handicap, Sword Dancer Handicap, and Joe Hirsch Turf Classic prior to his Breeders Cup score.
Remarkably, this was not Pathfork’s sole tie to the 2014 Eclipse Champions. Outstanding distaffer Close Hatches, who, like Pathfork, is a descendant of the great mare Best In Show, was named Champion Older Female.
While the end of Close Hatches’ season may have been disappointing, she went unbeaten in her first four outings, and picked up three Grade 1 wins (Personal Ensign Stakes, Ogden Phipps Stakes, Apple Blossom Handicap) to take her tally of Grade 1 wins to six.
Close Hatches retires to stud having won nine of 14 outings and over $2.7 million in stakes – and is the latest champion to have emerged from the great Best In Show family.
Success for this family looks sure to increase, with Close Hatches (a daughter of Unbridled’s Song son First Defense) allegedly set to visit US Champion Sire for 2014 Tapit in her first season at stud.
An unbeaten Group 1 winning son of champion US sire Distorted Humor, Pathfork has four lots on offer at this week’s Cape Premier Yearling Sale.
The champion’s first yearlings to go on sale include:
Lot 19 – a colt out of a four time winning Jet Master mare who hails from the same family as Gr3 Algoa Cup winner All Three A King
Lot 98 – A half brother to 2 winners including the classic placed Beloved Betty, this colt is out Gr3 winner Arch Mistress, whose sire Arch is broodmare sire of Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another. The latter, like the colt on offer, is by a son of Distorted Humor.
Lot 130 – is a colt whose dam is a three parts sister to Equus Champion and promising sire Elusive Fort. Inbred to stallion legend Sadler’s Wells, this colt is from the world famous “E” family.
Lot 140 – is a half brother to 3 winners, including recent Gr3 Lebelo Sprint second Tiger Territory. This is the family of top speedsters Franny and Sweet Sanette, to name a few.