Updated on 09/15/2011 12:34PM

From out west, Down Under . . .

Benoit & Associates
Filly heard 'round the world: Kalatiara, bred in western Australia won the Royal Heroine Stakes at Hollywood on Saturday.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - By major league standards it was small potatoes, just a $109,900 race on the grass for fillies and mares, over and done with in less than 95 seconds. But it was also history in the making, with a result that was heard literally around the world.

About the same time Kalatiara was beating favored Dianehill by a head in the Royal Heroine Stakes at Hollywood Park last Saturday afternoon, the Harvey boys - father Rob and sons Todd and Clint - were deep into another day of work at their training stable not far from the town of Perth in Western Australia.

It was Sunday morning in Perth, 9,300 miles and 16 time zones from suburban Los Angeles. The Harveys were preparing for a set of 2-year-old trial races on Monday afternoon, so they were busy, but they still had time to check the Internet for the results of the Royal Heroine.

Did you hear them whoop and holler?

American racing fans have an indelible image of the great runner from Down Under. That would be Phar Lap, a great skyscraper of a horse, who ran once in North America 70 years ago and won so impressively that eyewitnesses began to have second thoughts about Man o' War.

Since then there has been a host of top-class animals from Australia and neighboring New Zealand who have penetrated some of the best American races. Sailor's Guide, Daryl's Joy, Strawberry Road, Pride of Rosewood, and Caterman are among them.

Kalatiara stands out, however, because she comes from western Australia. Horses from from Australia's East Coast make international headlines with regularity. But the West, as far as the racing world is concerned, might as well be on the far side of the moon.

"They don't run for the same kind of purses they have in the East, but best horses in the West can compete anywhere," insisted Bob Drummond, the Brisbane-based broker who negotiated the Australian end of the Kalataria deal.

Kalatiara would fit neatly beneath Phar Lap, with plenty of headroom in the bargain. When she stepped off the plane in California last February, Ron McAnally wondered aloud if the rest of the shipment might be coming later.

Word got back to Rob Harvey that, in the States, size really mattered.

Harvey's reply was polite, but firm. "Tell Mr. McAnally that when he begins racing her, he'll know he's got a real racehorse on his hands."

Kalatiara was nurtured and trained by the Harveys from her yearling days.

Todd Harvey, his father's assistant, rarely let her out of his sight and even traveled with her to California. Clint, Todd's younger brother, rode her in her first three races before passing the torch to his cousin, Paul Harvey, the five-time western Australian champion.

Lex and Shirley Piper, her doting owners and breeders, watched as Kalatiara became a regional superstar, reeling off six straight victories and then beating the boys in the 2000 Western Australia Guineas for lucky number seven. By the time she finished a game third in the Western Australia Oaks, stretching far beyond her best distance, Kalatiara had become a pearl of great price, almost too valuable to keep at home.

"She was going to get a lot of weight," Harvey said. "If the American connections hadn't bought her, we would have taken her to Melbourne for sure."

It was the almighty American dollar that finally pried Kalatiara away from hearth and home. After being contacted by Bob Drummond, Denny Boultinghouse chaperoned the U.S. end of the transaction with John Adger, who represented the Stonerside Stable of Bob and Janice McNair.

"Believe me, it was hard for the Pipers to let her go," said Drummond, who has been in the horse business for most of his 70 years. "As far as Mrs. Piper was concerned, Kalatiara was her baby."

Kalatiara gets her name from her pedigree, which leads to Kalamoun through her sire, Metal Storm, and Princess Tiara through her dam, Bonny Guest. There is some consolation for the Pipers, since they have a full sister named Kentiara who is approaching her 3-year-old season unbeaten in two starts as age two. She is also a shade taller than big sister.

Height was the least of the challenges faced by Kalatiara in the Royal Heroine. She had not raced since Dec. 26, and because she was foaled in August, on the Southern Hemisphere breeding clock, she was giving away half a year of maturity to her opposition. On top of all that, she had sprouted her winter coat. As far as her metabolism was concerned, it was the right thing to do. Never mind that it was in the mid-80's.

"That had me worried," McAnally said. "It's my experience that if they don't look good, they don't run good. The way she ran tells me that she could have some very good races ahead of her."