04/14/2017 11:26AM

Galloping Ami represents Dalos well at Sovereign Awards


Ivan Dalos’s Tall Oaks Farm was poised to have a big evening Thursday at the Sovereign Awards, with 11 horses he owns or bred being finalists for awards and him being up for individual honors.

The category in which he held the hottest hand was Canada’s Broodmare of the Year. Dalos had two of the four finalists, both Tall Oaks Farm homebreds, and took home the hardware with Galloping Ami.

Though she went unraced, the 11-year-old mare is one of the most refined jewels of the Tall Oaks breeding program. She is a fourth-generation member of the Dalos broodmare band, tracing back to third dam Silly Billie, and her sire is the champion and Belmont Stakes winner Victory Gallop, who was bred by Dalos.

Galloping Ami is the dam of four winners from five foals to race and had a pair of stakes winners in 2016.

Amis Gizmo, by Giant Gizmo, was a $124,200 buyback at auction for Dalos but went on to reward him last year with victories in the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie and the Grade 3 Ontario Derby at Woodbine and a runner-up effort in the Queen’s Plate. He earned Dalos his second Sovereign of the night when he was crowned as Canada’s champion 3-year-old male of 2016.

Also strengthening the mare’s produce record was Ami’s Flatter, a Flatter colt who won the Grade 3 Commonwealth Stakes last year and finished third in the Grade 2 Phoenix Stakes, both at Keeneland.

Galloping Ami is also the dam of Aragorn Ami, who won the 2014 Martha Washington Stakes at Oaklawn Park. All three of Galloping Ami’s stakes winners ran as Dalos homebreds trained by Josie Carroll.

“All the horses that I race are all bred by me,” Dalos said. “I don’t buy horses, everything’s bred. I race them, I sell them, but they’re all bred by me.”

Galloping Ami is out of the stakes-placed Secret Claim mare Secret Ami and is a full sister to stakes winner Victorious Ami, who has produced Grade 3 winner Ami’s Holiday.

Dalos, a native of Hungary who is a partner in a Toronto-area hardwood flooring operation, said Galloping Ami tends to produce foals that resemble the stallion, meaning he can base the matings on the traits he would like to pull from the male side of the cross.

Also nominated for outstanding-broodmare honors from the Tall Oaks roster was Keen Victory, a 12-year-old Victory Gallop mare who was represented by Canadian champion turf male Conquest Enforcer and multiple stakes winner Conquest Vivi, who was a finalist for champion 2-year-old female.

The Tall Oaks Farm breeding program has clearly established a method to build cornerstone broodmares, but after the Sovereign Awards, Dalos said the secret to that method and his breeding philosophy would remain just that.

“That’s a million-dollar secret,” he said coyly. “I’ve worked almost 40 years on my recipe, and I can’t give it away. It’s just too valuable, and I’ve worked too hard for it. Cooking recipes, they don’t like to give away, and breeding recipes, I don’t want to give away.”