By Sid Fernando
North American Grade 2 winner and multiple Grade 1-placed La Force (Ger), who sells with Lane’s End in November at Fasig-Tipton, will be a sought-after broodmare prospect for a number of reasons, not the least of which is her race record of 16 wins or placings from 28 starts and $599,151 in earnings.
A winner on both turf and dirt, the highlight of her career was a 1 ¼-length defeat of multiple Grade 1 winner Paradise Woods in the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes at Santa Anita at 1 1/16 miles on dirt this year. Moreover, last year she had 5 ½ lengths on Paradise Woods in the Grade 1 Beholder Mile Stakes at Santa Anita on dirt when second to multiple Grade 1 winner and champion Unique Bella, and she was only a ½-length second behind Unique Bella in the subsequent Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on dirt at Del Mar, a race in which she finished 9 ¼ lengths ahead of the third-place finisher. After that, La Force was a ¾-length second to multiple Grade 1 winner Vale Dori (Arg) in the Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on dirt at Santa Anita, a race in which champion and multiple Grade 1 winner Abel Tasman was fifth. No matter how you slice and dice it, La Force was a bonafide Grade 1 racemare who ran competitively with the best of her generation, and she was unlucky not to land a Grade 1 win of her own. She was also tough, precocious, and versatile, winning her first start at 2 on European turf in May – she made seven starts as a juvenile – and continuing to race competitively and enthusiastically at 3, 4, and 5, getting better each year.
When you combine this Grade 1-quality race record, her zest for racing, and overall hardiness with her pedigree, La Force becomes that much more attractive as a future broodmare. Bred in Germany by the top outfit Gestut Karlshof, La Force is a combination of a some of the best European lines grafted to the best modern-day source of German class and stamina, the late sire Monsun (Ger).
La Force is by classic winner Power (GB), an Aiden O’Brien-trained Group 1 winner at 2 and the winner of the Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas at 3. A son of top sire Oasis Dream, who is the broodmare sire of 25 group or graded winners – including this year’s undefeated Group 1-winning 2-year-old Siskin – Power stood at Coolmore and shuttled to Cambridge Stud in New Zealand, where he was the leading first-crop sire of 2016/2017. Currently at stud in Australia and represented by 11 black-type winners, he’s the influence for early maturity and speed in La Force’s pedigree, but her toughness and class is easily traced through her German-bred dam La Miraculeuse, who is by the German-bred sire Samum, a son of Monsun.
Also bred by Karlshof, champion Samum was a Group 1 German Derby winner at 3 in 2000, and later at stud at Karlshof he was the champion sire in Germany in 2008. He was also a full brother to 2006 German Derby winner Schiaparelli (Ger) and to 2002 Group 1 German Oaks winner Salve Regina (Ger). A mile and a half on turf was this family’s métier.
Monsun’s extraordinary influence transcended Germany and extended worldwide. The sire of 113 black-type winners, his offspring were known for their abilities on turf from a mile to two miles and included three winners of the two-mile Group 1 Melbourne Cup, Fiorente (Ire), Protectionist (Ger), and Almandin (Ger). Monsun also sired such as Novellist (Ire), winner of the Group 1 King George Vl and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at a mile and a half; and Manduro (Ger), who won Group 1 races in France and England from a mile to a mile and a quarter and a Group 2 race at a mile and a half.
Monsun, a son of Konigsstuhl (Ger), may be the glamorous face of German bloodlines, but the overall influence of German breeding includes others and is quite profound – especially when considering that there are less that 1,000 foals a year produced in Germany. This year alone through the middle of October, La Force is one at least 12 group or graded winners in Japan, North America, Ireland, or France produced from German-bred dams, and this doesn’t include the black-type winners produced in Germany.
European and Japanese breeders have long known of the strengths that German broodmares inject into pedigrees, but American breeders became dramatically aware of this phenomenon in 2011 when the German-bred mare Dalicia’s son Animal Kingdom won the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby.
Dalicia was a daughter of the German-bred Acatenango, who was from a long line of German-bred sires, and she was a Group 3 winner in Germany. She’d been entered in the 2008 Keeneland November sale but was withdrawn and sold the next year at Tattersalls December, where she made approximately $400,000 on a bid from Teruya Yoshida’s Shadai.
In particular, the Yoshida brothers, which include Katsumi and Haruya, have been prominent buyers of some of the few German-bred mares and broodmare prospects that have appeared at public auction in this country. Last year at Fasig-Tipton November, Haruya Yoshida paid $2 million for A Raving Beauty (Ger), a Karlshof-bred Grade 1 winner of $1,198,555 who was sold as a broodmare/racing prospect. A Raving Beauty was one of only two black-type winners under her first three dams, and the other one was a German Group 2 winner.
The Yoshida brothers frequently tend to hold a broodmare prospect’s race record in higher regard than overall pedigree, and they’ve had a lot of success breeding top-class runners from well-performed mares. Multiple North American Grade 1 winner Yoshida (Jpn), for example, is from Hilda’s Passion, the Canadian Frontier Grade 1 winner of $739,493 that Katsumi Yoshida purchased for $1,225,000 at the 2011 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall sale. At the time of the sale, she was the only black-type winner under her first four dams.
Seeking well-raced mares isn’t exactly a new phenomenon, either. Nelson Bunker Hunt used the formula to collect mares to breed to his imported stallion Vaguely Noble and got the outstanding champion Dahlia this way. Her California-bred dam Charming Alibi, a minor stakes winner of $110,483, was by Honey’s Alibi and didn’t have much black type close up, though Dahlia’s fifth dam was the influential Frizette. At stud, Dahlia created her own family by producing six graded or group winners.
La Force has a stronger pedigree up close than A Raving Beauty, Hilda’s Passion, or Charming Alibi, with two group/graded winners and three additional black-type placed runners under her first two dams, including the Monsun champion and French Group 1 winner Le Miracle (Ger), a three-quarter brother to her dam. And like Charming Alibi, she traces tail-female to an influential mare, sixth dam Valoris ll – a champion filly in England and the winner of the 1000 Guineas and Oaks, as well as being a half-sister to French Derby winner Val de Loir.
German mares at U.S. auctions
There aren’t that many German mares around outside of that country, and even less so with credentials that are comparable to those of La Force, but the few that have been put through the ring in the U.S. have sold and produced well.
Here’s a listing of stakes-quality German-bred mares from the November sales at Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton since 2007:
Mandela (Ger): By Acatenango. Half-sister to Manduro. German black-type winner of $141,254; placed in Grade 2 Santa Barbara Handicap and the Group 2 Prix de Pomone. Purchased by Katsumi Yoshida for $1,400,000 at Keeneland in 2007. Dam of the recent Group 1 Japanese St. Leger winner World Premiere (Jpn) and Japanese G2 winner World Ace (Jpn).
Banyu Dewi (Ger): By Poliglote (GB). Half-sister to a German Group 3 winner and to the dam of a Listed German winner. German black-type winner of $127,631; placed in Grade 2 Long Island Handicap. Sold for $165,000 at Keeneland in 2007. Dam of Group 2 Prix Vicomtesse Vigier winner Brigantin, who was also placed in the Group 1 Prix du Cadran.
Daveron (Ger): By Black Sam Bellamy. Dam was a sister to Dalicia – dam of Animal Kingdom. Won Grade 2 Ballston Spa Stakes and earned $495,642. Purchased by Live Oak Stud for $750,000 at Keeneland in 2011. Dam of 2019 Grade 2 winner March to the Arch and 2019 Grade 3 winner Global Access.
Kapitale (Ger): By Dubawi. Half-sister to German Derby winner Kamsin (by Samum, broodmare sire of La Force). Three black-type winners under three dams. German Group 3 winner of $144,806. Purchased by Stonereath Stud for $435,000 at Fasig-Tipton in 2012.
Meerjungfrau (Ger): By Manduro. Only black-type winner for dam. Next dam produced a black-type winner. German Group 3 winner of $64,830. Sold for $290,000 at Keeneland 2014.
Rock My Heart (Ger): By Sholokhov. Half-sister to a German black-type winner. Second dam produced a German Group 3 winner. German black-type winner of $64,159. Sold for $150,000 at Keeneland 2014.
Night Lagoon (Ger): By Lagunas. Group 3 winner of $89,720 and champion 2-year-old in Germany. Purchased by BBA Ireland for $1,700,000 at Fasig-Tipton 2014 in foal to War Front. Dam of Novellist.
Wild Wind (Ger): By Danehill Dancer. Only black-type winner under dam but Miesque is third dam. Irish Group 3 winner of $229,617 and Group 1-placed in French Guineas. Purchased for $750,000 by Shadai at Keeneland in 2016 in foal to Medaglia d’Oro. Dam of black-type winner since sale.
The $2,000,000 sale of A Raving Beauty was mentioned earlier but note also that at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton sale the British-bred Quidura, from a strong German dam and family, sold for $3,600,000 as a broodmare/racing prospect to Peter Brant’s White Birch. By Dubawi from Quetena, by Acatenango, Quidura was a Grade 3 winner and Grade 1-placed earner of $503,788 at the time of sale but won the Grade 2 Ballston Spa in 2018 and retired with earnings of $778,788.