06/18/2009 11:00PM

Honest Pursuit holds special allure


LEXINGTON, Ky. - When Overbrook Farm owner Bill Young announced earlier this month that he would disperse the farm's bloodstock holdings, quite a few fillies and mares on the "for sale" list caught people's eyes.

One of the more intriguing broodmare prospects is Honest Pursuit, a 4-year-old Storm Cat filly out of Honest Lady. The dark bay filly is a winner, but it was her pedigree that drew attention. Bred by Juddmonte Farms, Honest Pursuit is out of one of the great broodmare Toussaud's Grade 1-winning daughters. In short, she is from one of the most valuable privately held Thoroughbred families in the game, one that rarely comes available to outside breeders.

Overbrook Farm, of course, was no ordinary breeding entity. It stood Storm Cat, one of the most successful sires in the Thoroughbred business, until his retirement from stud in 2008. And it was Storm Cat who brought Overbrook the opportunity to access Juddmonte's famous, and famously private, mares in 2004.

"We wanted access to the great Juddmonte families, and they wanted access to Storm Cat," said Overbrook advisor Ric Waldman. Storm Cat stood for $500,000 then, and the two powerful breeding farms struck a deal: Storm Cat would cover some Juddmonte mares each year, and the two farms would divide up the resulting foals.

"We determined by chance who would get the first draw the first year, and then we'd alternate foals," Waldman said.

Overbrook founder W.T. Young Jr. did not live to see the deal fulfilled. He died in January 2004, the same season Storm Cat began covering the Juddmonte mares under the agreement. The arrangement ended with foals born in 2008, but in the meantime it produced some extraordinarily rich pedigrees for Overbrook.

In addition to Honest Pursuit, Overbrook also got such fillies as Dark Sky, a 4-year-old full sister to 2003 French Oaks winner Nebraska Tornado; 3-year-old Driven Snow and an unnamed yearling out of 1996 champion turf mare Wandesta; Crosswinds, a 3-year-old daughter of Alabama Stakes and Kentucky Oaks winner Flute; Bright Morning, a 3-year-old half-sister to English champion Observatory; an unnamed 2-year-old half-sister to Group 1 winner Distant Music; and a half-sister to Group 1 and Grade 2 winner Etoile Montante, among others.

Honest Pursuit is the only foal out of Honest Lady. She's currently resting at Goldmark Farm in Ocala, Fla., and will head back to trainer Christophe Clement shortly, Waldman said.

There were some colts, too. Among the notable males is a juvenile out of Grade 1 winner Tates Creek, now named Delong Road.

"In many cases, fillies were what we wanted, but we did choose some colts," Waldman said. "Our goal was to get into the families, and obviously if a filly out of Honest Lady or out of Media Nox becomes available, that's going to get our attention."

They're likely to get attention in the auction ring this fall, too.

Jump Start will spend time in Argentina

Since announcing the dispersal earlier this month, Overbrook has struck a deal to send its stallion Jump Start to Argentina for the Southern Hemisphere season. Raoul Lottero and Alessandro Miserocchi have purchased a quarter-interest in Jump Start and will stand him at Haras La Esperanza, but the 10-year-old A.P. Indy horse will return for the Northern Hemisphere season.

"For Cape Town, we are very close to finalizing a deal, where he would go to stand in Brazil," Waldman said. "Grindstone, unless we find the right situation for him to stand in Kentucky, he will stay at Overbrook."

Saint Liam produces winner in Russia

The 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam got a winner, believed to be his first, in a distant land last week.

Invest, a son of the stakes-winning Farma Way mare Impending Bear, won a maiden race at Russia's Pyatigorsk racetrack on June 14 for owner M.H. Oguzov. He was bred by one of the United States's most successful programs, Stonerside Stable, which last year sold almost all of its bloodstock to Darley Stable.

Stonerside sold Invest as a short yearling at Keeneland's 2008 January sale, where he brought $75,000 from Global Equine as a pinhooking prospect. But by the time he arrived at the 2008 Keeneland September sale, he had become "really big and upright," recalled consignor Lyn Burleson.

The global economic crisis that hit during the sale didn't help Invest, either. Gennadi Dorochenko bought him for just $3,000.

"He was a nice horse for the money," Burleson said of Invest.

A number of other inexpensive American-breds also fared well in Russia last week. Grey Rio, a $4,500 yearling at Fasig-Tipton's Eastern fall sale, took one of Pyatigorsk's feature races the same day that Invest won. Grey Rio is a 5-year-old son of Mizzen Mast and Pledge the Fifth. The day before at the Central Moscow Hippodrome, the Indian Charlie-Heirtight colt won the Russian 2000 Guineas. The prize money for that contest, a Russian-rated Group 1, was 300,000 rubles, or about $9,650.

The leading sires' list available at www.hippodrom.ru also has a strong American flavor. As of June 19, Quiet American ranked first by progeny earnings, and there are eight other American-based stallions on the top-10 list.