Updated on 09/18/2011 2:46AM

In Excess's stature continues to grow


LEXINGTON, Ky. - With the victory of Romance Is Diane in the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet, the filly's sire, In Excess, has now gotten a trio of winners at racing's highest level. His others in this category are Musical Chimes, winner of the Grade 1 Mabee Handicap and the Group 1 French 1000 Guineas, and the important young sire Indian Charlie, winner of the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby.

Indian Charlie is the sire of one of the year's stars, Fleet Indian, who was unbeaten in 2006 before sustaining an injury as the favorite in the Breeders' Cup Distaff. Fleet Indian is the third Grade 1 winner for her sire, and Indian Charlie has proven himself a reliable and high-quality sire of racehorses with size, speed, and the capacity to race two turns.

The young stallion Indian Charlie has also made his sire even more recognized among breeders and is fueling the demand for sons of In Excess, especially for regional programs looking for stallions with outcross potential.

In terms of pedigree, In Excess represents the branch of Nasrullah through Grey Sovereign and his highly successful grandson Caro. Caro is the sire of the very good stallion Cozzene, the sire of seven champions internationally, the solid American stallion With Approval, the successful French horse Kaldoun, and a couple of U.S.-bred stallions who have succeeded in South America - Parade Marshal and Dr. Carter. But Caro's most famous offspring was not one of his sons, but his grand gray daughter Winning Colors, winner of the 1988 Kentucky Derby.

With the exception of Cozzene, who is a medium-sized and typier sort of horse, like his great-grandsire Grey Sovereign, the descendants of Caro tend to be big, rangy horses who tend to show their best form at a mile or longer.

In Excess follows this physical pattern, and the big brown grew into a phenomenal horse at 4 in 1991, when he won 5 of 8 starts and was possibly the best racehorse in the country. Winner that season of the Woodward, Whitney, Metropolitan, and Suburban (all Grade 1's), In Excess ended his year on a disappointing note with a ninth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Mile. Physical issues compromised his further racing, but they did not dispel the sense among astute race watchers and handicappers that this was a horse of outstanding merit.

In Excess has proven their assessments correct to an unexpected degree as a stallion. Sent to stud in California during the depths of the bloodstock depression, In Excess excelled with his first crop of runners, and his overall statistics have improved as breeders in California have realized what a fine stallion they have available to them and began sending him increasingly good mares.

The stallion has sired nearly 50 stakes winners and runners with total earnings of more than $26omillion.

Among the better stakes winners by In Excess is Romanceishope, winner of the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby and the full brother to Romance Is Diane.

They are out of the Prized mare Romantic Fibs, and both were bred by Swan Equine Service Co., which is the name that Shigehiro Hatake uses for his breeding program.

Hatake purchased Romantic Fibs for $77,000 at the 1995 Barretts March sale of 2-year-olds in training. The mare was a winner from five starts, with earnings of $38,400. As a broodmare, she has been much better, with two graded stakes winners from five foals of racing age.

The breeder bought back Romance Is Diane for $37,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky select sale of yearlings in 2005 and transferred her privately to Senji Nishimura, a Japanese industrialist with businesses in wire and metal fencing.

Since producing Romance Is Diane, Romantic Fibs has a yearling colt by the California stallion Fusaichi Zenon, a stakes-winning son of Sunday Silence and full brother to a pair of stakes winners who earned more than $1 million: Agnes Gold and Limitless Bid. The mare miscarried in 2006.

Romantic Fibs is a daughter of Breeders' Cup Turf winner Prized and is the first foal out of the Groovy mare Scatillac. Scatillac is a half-sister to the good stakes winner Formidable Lady (by Silver Hawk) and her full sister Silveroo, the dam of multiple graded stakes winner Badge of Silver, who will enter stud in 2007 at Airdrie Stud.

Their dam is the stakes-winning Pay Tribute mare Hey Mama, who traces to the stakes-placed Count Fleet mare Recess, dam of four stakes winners.