Updated on 09/17/2011 10:50AM

For Rubies continues family success


Sharon "Sam" Maloney runs a school for young horses at her Dog Patch Farm in Warrenton, Va., breaking yearlings who go on to join the stables of many trainers throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond.

So it's not unusual to find Maloney glued to a television set, watching races from far-flung locations.

But no race has ever stirred Maloney quite like the Grade 3 Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap on June 14 at Arlington Park, in which an unheralded Maryland-bred filly named For Rubies commandeered the lead from multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire Raging Fever, and scored resoundingly, by three lengths, paying $16.40 to win.

That's because For Rubies' family is, well, family at Dog Patch Farm.

Maloney breeds horses for herself on a small scale, and almost all of her homebreds are related to For Rubies (a daughter of leading Maryland sire Not For Love), whom Maloney bred and sold for $27,000 at the 2000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale.

"My fields are filled with pensioners from the family," said Maloney, who rates For Rubies as by far the best horse she has bred.

A two-time stakes winner, and twice graded stakes-placed at 3 last season, For Rubies pushed her lifetime earnings to $334,440 with her victory in the Chicago Breeders' Cup, which was her eighth win in 18 career starts. She races for Dwight and Perry Sutherland's Choctaw Racing Stable, which bought her for $85,000 (from the consignment of Leprechaun Racing, agent) at the 2001 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May 2-year-olds in training sale.

"You always want them to find their way into good hands," Maloney said. "And I'm thankful that For Rubies went into one of the best." Her trainer is Lynn Whiting, who also saddled the 1992 Kentucky Derby winner, Lil E. Tee.

Maloney wasn't planning to get in the breeding business when she purchased For Rubies's great-granddam Won Wabbit for $3,200 at the 1973 Maryland Horse Breeders Association Eastern fall yearling sale. She hoped to build a small racing stable of her own, and Won Wabbit was the second horse she bought. A modest winner during her career that encompassed 52 starts and earnings of $34,913, Won Wabbit (by Hurry to Market) needed something to do when she finished racing. And one foal led to another, for Maloney.

With a racing pedigree that outshines that of her horses, Maloney is the daughter of trainer John Maloney and niece of Hall of Famer Jim Maloney. John and Jim were twin brothers. She learned her trade in the employ of her family and other top-notch horsemen such as Allen Jerkens, Buddy Hirsch, and Henry Clark.

"It's really Mr. Clark's influence that's coming through in For Rubies," said Maloney, who recalled ponying horses for Clark in the early 1980's, "when he had Oh Say and other good horses for Christiana Stables, and there's a lot of Christiana breeding in For Rubies's pedigree."

For Rubies' dam, Eliza Donner, who was unraced, is a daughter of Oh Say, and out of a mare by the Christiana-bred Salem, a son of Cyane.

Maloney bred two stakes horses who are full siblings to Eliza Donner - May Maloy, a foal of 1990, who won the 1995 Shamrock Stakes and placed in two other added-money races, earning $123,297; and the 1991 gelding Sandman Sims, who placed second in the 1994 Maryland Million Turf.

Eliza Donner produced For Rubies as her first foal. The following year she produced a Not for Love colt, For Gold, whom Maloney sold for $75,000 at the 2002 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May 2-year-olds in training sale. Eliza Donner's only other foal to race, For Gold is a stakes-placed winner of $44,170.