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Eclipse Award winner Pierrot Lunaire: Steeplechase champion newest star in accomplished family
By Nicole Russo
courtesy Three Chimneys Farm
The top side of multiple Grade 1 winner Pierrot Lunaire's pedigree is littered with Grade 1 performers on both turf and dirt, while the 9-year-old gelding hails from a female family that has produced stakes horses on both sides of the Atlantic. This versatile family now welcomes a steeplechase champion.
Three-time graded stakes winner War Chant capped his career with a victory in the Breeders' Cup Mile in 2000, retiring with over $1.1 million in earnings. The 16-year-old Danzig horse, who is out of champion Hollywood Wildcat, has sired 294 winners to date from 569 foals of racing age. His 33 stakes winners (nearly six percent) include a variety of runners who have excelled at most distances and surfaces, highlighted by Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint winner Chamberlain Bridge and Santa Anita Derby winner Midnight Interlude.
This is the fourth time in the last six years that the steeplechase champion has been sired by a horse who won a Breeders' Cup event on the flat. War Chant joins 1994 Breeders' Cup Classic winner Concern, who produced repeat champion Good Night Shirt (2007-08); and 1997 Breeders' Cup Classic winner Skip Away, sire of Slip Away (2010).
War Chant is out of the Kris S. mare Hollywood Wildcat, who was voted champion 3-year-old filly of 1993, when she won the Breeders' Cup Distaff. The stallion is a half-brother to Group 2 winner and sire Ivan Denisovich, stakes winner and sire Ministers Wild Cat, and stakes winner Double Cat.
War Chant stands at Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Ky. for an advertised fee of $10,000 in 2012. He has been one of the stalwart stallions for the Clay family in recent years, and his consistency should continue to appeal to breeders as Three Chimneys moves forward under its new agreement with the Borges Torrealba family. Pierrot Lunaire is one of three 2012 Eclipse Awards finalists sired by Three Chimneys stallions, along with likely champion 3-year-old male I'll Have Another (Flower Alley), who is also a finalist for Horse of the Year; and Point of Entry (the late Dynaformer), a finalist for champion turf male.
Pierrot Lunaire is out of the Irish-born Hernando mare Playact, a stakes winner in France who was also Grade 2-placed in both the United States and France. Playact is the dam of three winners from five runners; Pierrot Lunaire, her only stakes winner, joins the Rail Link filly Miss Rail Link and the Cape Cross filly Playland.
Playact is out of the stakes-placed Play Fellow mare Play Or Pay, a half sister to stakes winner Ka Lae and to Group 3 placed Morena-Clara. Playact is the fourth stakes producer out of Play Or Pay, and the second to produce a stakes horse who has excelled over fences.
Play Or Pay's other daughters include stakes winner Play Around, dam of three stakes horses, including Press The Button, who is stakes-placed over hurdles in England. She is also the dam of stakes-placed Paix Royale, dam of stakes winner Peach Pearl and stakes-placed Peacefally; and Play With Fire, dam of stakes winner Millbag and stakes-placed Coconut Penang.
Farther back in Pierrot Lunaire’s female family, his third dam, the Elocutionist mare Port Desire, is a half-sister to Noble Esteem, by Nashua, who is the dam of the unraced Giboulee mare Neraida. Neraida produced Nerio, a Group 2 winner on the flat, and more importantly Neriette and Never, both multiple stakes winners in Europe over hurdles.
To read more about Pierrot Lunaire's Eclipse Award-winning season, click here.