06/15/2006 11:00PM

Belmont winner's dam traces to Foxfield idea


Jazil comes from the Northern Dancer line through his damsire.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - One of the best stallions in the world, Seeking the Gold added a further distinction to his sire record with the victory of Jazil in the Belmont Stakes. A syndicated stallion, Seeking the Gold stands at Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky., for a fee of $125,000, not only because of the quantity of his 74 stakes winners but also their exceptional quality.

A son of Mr. Prospector and the Buckpasser mare Con Game, Seeking the Gold has sired such champions and major stakes winners as Dubai Millennium, Heavenly Prize, Cash Run, Flanders, Cape Town, Seeking the Pearl, Dream Supreme, Oh What a Windfall, Victory Ride, and last year's Breeders' Cup Distaff winner, Pleasant Home.

Before taking his place among Seeking the Gold's most significant stakes winners, Jazil had already demonstrated his ability in this crop of classic colts, running a dead heat with Brother Derek for fourth place in the Kentucky Derby.

By one of Mr. Prospector's best sons, Jazil is out of the Deputy Minister mare Better Than Honour, and thus the attractive bay colt was produced on the famed cross of the Mr. Prospector line with Northern Dancer.

A really good-looking yearling, Jazil brought $725,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale in 2004, selling to Hamdan al Maktoum's Shadwell Farm.

Jazil was bred in Kentucky by Stanley Gumberg's Skara Glen Stables and sold out of the Keeneland September sale consignment of Lane's End, which was the agent in the transaction.

Two months later, Better Than Honour sold at the 2004 Keeneland November breeding stock sale in foal to Mineshaft. The mare was consigned by Lane's End, agent, and sold for $2 million to the British Bloodstock Agency's Irish division. British Bloodstock purchased Better Than Honour for a group of European and Australian breeders.

For her new owners, Better Than Honour has produced a yearling colt by Mineshaft and a colt of 2006 by Giant's Causeway. Both were bred in Kentucky under the name of Shell Bloodstock. Better Than Honour is boarded at Ashford Stud and is back in foal to Ashford stallion Giant's Causeway on a March 29 cover.

A graded-stakes winner herself, Better Than Honour is out of Kentucky Oaks winner Blush With Pride, a daughter of the outstanding international sire Blushing Groom and a Broodmare of the Year, Best in Show.

In addition to her success in the Oaks, Blush With Pride won the Santa Susana Stakes (now run as the Santa Anita Oaks) and Ashland Stakes at Keeneland.

Despite her excellence on the racetrack, Blush With Pride made a slow start as a broodmare. None of her first half-dozen live foals won or placed in a stakes, and in 1992, the outstanding racemare sold to Foxfield at Keeneland November for $200,000 in foal to Lomond.

Rob Whiteley's responsibilities as director of operations for Foxfield included mating the mares, and he said: "Blush With Pride was another instance of my favorite thing to do: buying an older quality mare who has disappointed the previous breeders and then mating her in a different way that features a close blending of the sire and dam's physical characteristics. At the time of purchase, I had noticed that she had produced two foals to stallions from the Northern Dancer line: once to Nijinsky, whom I would not have chosen for her, and once to Danzig, which I thought was promising."

Smolensk, the filly produced by the mating with Danzig, was a yearling when Foxfield acquired Blush With Pride and later became a Group 2 winner in France.

Whiteley said: "I purchased Blush With Pride specifically to breed to Deputy Minister, who represented the Northern Dancer line and also allowed the introduction of additional speed into the pedigree. My typical approach is to try to produce a miler who has the quality to carry that speed further. I thought that Deputy Minister and Blush With Pride were a wonderful match physically and that their physiques blended beautifully. I thought this mating enhanced the potential for speed without sacrificing stamina."

The results were just what Whiteley hoped for. Better Than Honour was such an outstanding yearling that she brought $750,000 at the Keeneland July sale in 1997, and then later that year at the Keeneland November sale, Foxfield sold Blush With Pride at age 18. The mare, carrying Turnberry Isle (by Deputy Minister), sold for $635,000 to BBA Ireland, representing Coolmore and partners.

With the high-class Smolensk already on her catalog page, Blush With Pride's produce record only improved. Better Than Honour won the Grade 2 Demoiselle Stakes as a 2-year-old and then at 3 was second in the Acorn, third in the Mother Goose, both Grade 1. Turnberry Isle, a full brother to Better Than Honour, won the Group 3 Beresford Stakes, and Maryinsky, by the great Northern Dancer stallion Sadler's Wells, was second in the Group 1 Fillies Mile at 2.

Blush With Pride was one of four stakes winners out of Best in Show, whose other major winners included Malinowski (Craven Stakes), Gielgud (Champagne Stakes in England), and Monroe (Ballyogan Stakes).