12/04/2001 1:00AM

Class carries down to a third generation


LAS VEGAS - The archives of racing are filled with outstanding broodmares who helped shape the breed, such as Almahmoud, Aspidistra, Courtly Dee, Fall Aspen, Grey Flight, La Troienne, Missy Baba, Rough Shod II, Shenanigans, Somethingroyal, Striking, and Too Bald. Class in the dam is best typified by the inappropriately named No Class, a foal of 1974, who produced five stakes winners, including three champions. What sets legendary broodmares apart from mortal broodmares, however, is their ability to transmit high class through successive generations. This year, a granddaughter of No Class, champion Dance Smartly, was just announced as a candidate for Canada's Sovereign Award as Broodmare of the Year.

No Class was by Nodouble, champion older horse in 1969 and 1970 and leading sire in 1980, and she was out of the Outing Class mare Classy Quillo, the dam of two stakes winners. Outing Class, a stakes winner bred by Greentree Stable, was by Nasrullah out of a full sister to Swaps. No Class was stakes-placed, but became a true superstar as a broodmare. She was bred to a variety of top-class stallions, and no matter whom she was bred to, she produced only high-quality individuals. Bred to Smarten, she produced Classy 'n Smart, champion 3-year-old filly in Canada. Bred to Grey Dawn II, she produced Canadian champion 2-year-old Grey Classic. Bred to Vice Regent, she produced a Canadian champion 2-year-old and good sire, Regal Classic, and also stakes winner Classic Reign, the dam of stakes winner Treasureinmyhand. Bred to Deputy Minister, she produced Grade 1 stakes winner Always a Classic. Classic Slew, an unraced daughter by Seattle Slew, produced stakes-placed Comet Kris (Kris S.). Bred to Nijinsky II, No Class produced her most successful foal, Sky Classic, a multiple champion in Canada, winner of the Rothmans International Stakes and Turf Classic Invitational Stakes, and a successful sire.

In turn, Classy 'n Smart has admirably carried on the family tradition. Her best offspring is Dance Smartly (Danzig), champion filly at 3 in the U.S and multiple champion in Canada. Classy 'n Smart also produced Smart Strike (Mr. Prospector), winner of the Philip H. Iselin Handicap over Eltish, Serena's Song, and Petionville, and now a promising young stallion. An unraced daughter, Seattle Classic (Seattle Slew), produced the brilliant 2-year-old stakes winner, Hello Seattle (Deputy Minister), who, sadly, died from injuries sustained in a prep race for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Bred to Secretariat, Classy 'n Smart produced a stakes-placed colt, Secret 'n Classy.

By any standard, Dance Smartly's 3-year-old year, when she was undefeated in eight races, was extraordinary. She won sprinting, routing, on dirt, turf, and against older fillies and males. She began her perfect year in Canada with a victory in the six-furlong Star Shoot Stakes, followed by victories in the Selene Stakes at 1 1/16 miles and Canadian Oaks at 1 1/8 miles. Dance Smartly then swept the Canadian Triple Crown against colts in dazzling fashion, winning the Queen's Plate (1 1/4 miles) by eight lengths, the Prince of Wales Stakes (1 3/16 miles) by two lengths, and Breeders' Stakes (1 1/2 miles on turf) by eight lengths. Despite her obvious talent and superiority, she was the second choice behind Fly So Free in the Molson Export Million Stakes (1 1/8 miles), but won the race in hand by two lengths, with Fly So Free struggling home in fourth, nine lengths behind the winner. Dance Smartly concluded her 3-year-old campaign winning the Breeders' Cup Distaff over Versailles Treaty and Brought to Mind. She was not only named champion 3-year-old filly in the U.S., she was coronated as Canada's Horse of the Year.

Like her dam, Classy 'n Smart, and granddam, No Class, Dance Smartly is proving to be an exceptional broodmare. Bred to Mr. Prospector, Dance Smartly's first foal was Dance Brightly, who raced only twice at 2 before an injury ended his career, winning a maiden race and then finishing second in the Coronation Futurity at 1 1/8 miles. Standing at Hill 'n' Dale Farms in Lexington, Kentucky, he will have his first foals race next year.

Back-to-back Queen's Plate winners

Two recent foals by Mr. Prospector are the reason Dance Smartly is being strongly considered for Canada's Broodmare of the Year. She is the dam of back-to-back winners of the Queen's Plate, Canada's most prestigious race for 3-year-olds. Last year, as a maiden, Scatter the Gold captured the Queen's Plate and then won the Prince of Wales Stakes. He also finished third in the Breeders' Stakes. This year, Dancethruthedawn, a full sister to Scatter the Gold and Dance Brightly, emulated her brother and dam by winning the Queen's Plate.

In Canada this accomplishment for Dance Smartly is tantamount to a dam producing consecutive winners of the Kentucky Derby, and she would be a very deserving recipient of the Broodmare of the Year Sovereign. Dance Smartly-Classy 'n Smart-No Class. Three successive generations that illustrate what class in the dam is all about.