09/05/2016 12:30PM

Saint Liam's female line showcased at Keeneland sale

Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO
Jockey Edgar Prado smiles after winning the $500,000 Grade 1 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park aboard Saint Liam on Feb. 5, 2005.

A decade after 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam’s death, and five years after the remnants of his female line were scattered across America following the death of prominent breeder Edward P. Evans, his family continues to make an impact that will be felt at the upcoming Keeneland September yearling sale.

Saint Liam’s lone crop included numerous stakes winners led by 2011 Horse of the Year Havre de Grace; a number of his daughters have also become stakes producers, with representatives on the track this year including graded stakes winners Ahh Chocolate and Sharp Azteca. Several of those daughters, including Havre de Grace, have yearlings cataloged to Keeneland September.

Meanwhile, the family that produced the champion stallion continues to excel, with recent standouts from the line including Grade 2 winner Gun Runner and stakes-winning juvenile Lull. The dams of Saint Liam and Gun Runner are both represented by Keeneland yearlings.

Saint Liam won four Grade 1 events in 2005, including the Breeders’ Cup Classic, to earn Horse of the Year honors before retiring to Lane’s End in Versailles, Ky. He was bred to his lone book of mares in the spring of 2006, but that August, while being led to his paddock, he became rambunctious, lost his footing, and fractured a hind leg irreparably while falling.

From his lone crop of 98 foals born the following year, 82 started, and 68 were winners – an 83 percent strike rate of winners from starters. Saint Liam had 10 stakes winners and another eight stakes-placed runners, giving him 22 percent stakes horses from starters. With a handful of older geldings still on the track, his foals have earned $10,303,817 – a healthy average of $125,656 per starter.

Saint Liam’s runners were led by Havre de Grace, who in 2011 became the second female to win the Woodward Stakes, joining Rachel Alexandra (2009). She also posted Grade 1 victories against her own sex in the Apple Blossom Handicap and Beldame Stakes in her championship campaign. She was sold for $10 million at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall selected mixed sale to Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm as a broodmare prospect.

Havre de Grace now resides at Timber Town Farm near Lexington, Ky. Her first foal, the Tapit filly Heavenly Grace, is in training with Ralph Nicks in New York, while her second, a yearling colt by War Front, is consigned to the upcoming Keeneland September yearling sale, with Timber Town as agent.

Saint Liam’s other stakes performers included Grade 2 winner Buddy’s Saint; Grade 3 winners Upgrade and Liam’s Dream; Mexican Group 1 winner Coccolo; graded-placed stakes winners Moment of Majesty, Seruni, and Beyondallboundarys; and stakes winners St Liams Halo and Saint Isabelle.

Saint Liam’s best runners have been his daughters, and three are stakes producers with active runners this year. Ahh is the dam of Ahh Chocolate, the winner of last year’s Grade 2 Falls City Handicap and this year’s Grade 3 Allaire duPont Distaff; So Sharp produced Sharp Azteca, the winner of the Grade 3 Pat Day Mile and most recently second in the Super Derby Prelude; and Saintly Sister is the dam of Abbot, stakes-placed at Gulfstream.

In addition to Havre de Grace’s representation at Keeneland September, Ahh has a Scat Daddy colt consigned by Warrendale Sales, as agent, in the catalog.

Other yearlings at Keeneland September out of Saint Liam mares include a Street Sense colt out of stakes-placed Imaginary Saint consigned by Dromoland Farm, a Temple City colt out of Eyes of a Saint consigned by Allied Bloodstock, a Speightstown filly out of Doilookfatnthese consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, and a Lemon Drop Kid colt out of Lady Liam consigned by Darby Dan Farm.

Saint Liam was out of the stakes-winning Quiet American mare Quiet Dance, whom Evans purchased for just $75,000 as a yearling in 1994. The investment paid dividends. In addition to Saint Liam – who raced for Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren Jr. after selling for $130,000 as a yearling – the mare has produced Grade 2 winner Quiet Giant, Grade 3 winner Congressionalhonor, stakes winner Dance Quietly, Grade 1-placed Miss Besilu, and Grade 2-placed American Dance.

A number of her daughters have become stakes producers. Quiet Giant is the dam of Gun Runner, whose three graded stakes victories this year include the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby; he was third in the Kentucky Derby and Travers Stakes. The winner Quiet Now is the dam of Lull, who won last weekend’s Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies. The unraced Beatem Buster produced Grade 1 winner Buster’s Ready.

A number of representatives from the family will be in high demand at Keeneland September, led by a Giant’s Causeway colt out of Quiet Dance and a Tapit filly out of Quiet Giant – making them half-siblings to Saint Liam and Gun Runner, respectively – both consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency. Also in the catalog are a Tiznow filly out of Dance Quietly consigned by Four Star Sales and a Malibu Moon filly out of Quiet Dance’s full sister Quiet Flight consigned by Mt Brilliant as agent for Lane’s End.

The continued success of this female line is a testament to the legacy of Evans, who bred runners such as Saint Liam and multiple Grade 1 winner Quality Road out of his Spring Hill Farm in Virginia. The prominent owner-breeder died in December 2010; the following year, a complete dispersal of his stock, numbering more than 200 horses, was sold through the Keeneland September yearling and Keeneland November breeding stock sales.

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