05/01/2015 8:04PM

Lovely Maria’s Oaks win a coup for freshman sire Majesticperfection

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Tom Keyser
Grade 1 winner Majesticperfection, above, sired Kentucky Oaks winner Lovely Maria from his first crop.

When a stallion prospect retires to the breeding shed, he goes in with the hope that his first foals are capable of winning major races in the spring four years later.

Lovely Maria did just that for her sire Majesticperfection, winning the Kentucky Oaks on Friday by 2 ¾ lengths and giving the stallion a signature victory from his first crop.

The race further asserted the do-it-yourself dominance of the Kentucky Oaks owner/breeder Brereton Jones. Lovely Maria was his third Oaks winner in the past seven years, all sired by a resident of his stallion operation, Airdrie Stud. His previous two Oaks winners – Proud Spell in 2008 and Believe You Can in 2013, were sired by Proud Citizen, who also stands at the Midway, Ky. farm.

Jones, the former governor of Kentucky, plays an active role in the development of his stallions. While he admitted that every one hasn’t been a rousing success, Jones has certainly seen benefits from his business model.

“I feel very strongly that if you’re not willing to breed to your own stallion, you ought not to have that stallion,” he said. “What I think has made it so special for us is we are committed to breeding to our own stallions, and that way you get to know [what you have].”

Majesticperfection, a 9-year-old son of Harlan’s Holiday, entered stud at Airdrie in 2011 after an on-track career that included five wins from six starts for earnings of $310,430.

While Lovely Maria proved that Majesticperfection is capable of siring a runner that can get a route of ground, the stallion himself was a sprinter, never racing longer than six furlongs. His biggest wins came in the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap and the listed Iowa Sprint Handicap, where he set the track record for six furlongs at Prairie Meadows that still stands.

Lovely Maria became Majesticperfection’s first graded stakes winner in April when she won the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland. The Oaks brought her career record to four wins in eight starts for $966,800. Bred in Kentucky by Ollin Gentry and Thomas Gaines, the filly was a private purchase by Jones after finishing under her reserve as a weanling at the 2012 Keeneland November breeding stock sale with a final bid of $5,000.

Jones said Lovely Maria’s effort in the Ashland was a breakthrough moment for him in realizing just what he had with his young stallion.

“In this particular case, I must admit the first thing that went through my mind when she won the race at Keeneland, the Ashland, was that Majesticperfection is going to be not just a good stallion, but a classic stallion,” he said, “a great stallion.”

Other successful runners by Majesticperfection include stakes winners Majestic Affair and Perfect Style, Grade 2-placed Hebbronville, and stakes-placed runners Moons Over Me, Perfect Fit, and Homer Matt. Through May 1, he has sired 28 winners from 48 starters for combined progeny earnings exceeding $2.38 million.

Bred in Kentucky by Ronald McPeek and Shane Floyd, Majesticperfection is out of the unraced Wavering Monarch mare Act So Noble, who is the dam of two winners from four foals to race. He was purchased for $370,000 at the 2008 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. spring 2-year-olds in training sale by Padua Stables, which campaigned him during his on-track career.

Majesticperfection stands for an advertised fee of $15,000.