11/14/2016 11:30AM

Sparkman: Benefitting from the big picture

Chelsea Durand/NYRA
Bigger Picture wins Saturday's Grade 3 Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct.

One of the highlights of the ongoing Keeneland November sale has been the nine-horse Phipps Stable reduction consignment, with Claiborne Farm as agent.

The fourth highest-priced mare of that group was Satisfaction, a winning half-sister by Awesome Again to Grade 1 winner Dancing Forever, by Rahy, who was purchased for $310,000 by Roger Long. But the reason that breeders value mares from Phipps families so highly was demonstrated yet again in Saturday’s Grade 3 Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct, won by Bigger Picture, who shares his fourth dam, Lady Pitt, with Satisfaction.

Bred by John W. Greathouse Sr., Lady Pitt, by Sword Dancer out of Rock Drill, by Whirlaway, was purchased for $24,000 at the 1964 Keeneland July sale of selected yearlings by Thomas Eazor, who had raced her stakes-winning half-brother Rocky Link, by Sailor.

Lady Pitt dead-heated for the 1965 Astarita Stakes and ran second to champion Moccasin in the Gardenia Stakes and second to Buckpasser’s conqueror, Priceless Gem, in the Frizette at 2. As her pedigree suggested, however, she improved dramatically at 3, sweeping the 1966 CCA Oaks, Mother Goose, and Delaware Oaks to earn champion 3-year-old filly honors.

Eazor bred Lady Pitt to Buckpasser in her first two seasons at stud, which attracted the attention of the stallion’s owner, Ogden Phipps, grandfather of the current generation of stewards of the Phipps family stable. Phipps purchased Lady Pitt privately in 1969, and her first Phipps-bred foal, the Buckpasser filly Bank of England, is third dam of Grade 1 winner Dramatic Gold, by Slew o’ Gold, and sixth dam of 2016 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Oscar Performance, by Kitten’s Joy.

Lady Pitt’s best son, Grade 1 Brooklyn Handicap winner The Liberal Member, by Bold Reason, made no impression at stud, but her best daughter, Grade 2 winner Blitey, by Riva Ridge, stands at the head of one of the best Phipps families. Blitey’s son Dancing Spree, by Nijinsky II, won three Grade 1s, including the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, but failed at stud in France. Her Grade 1-winning daughter Furlough, by Easy Goer, produced two stakes winners and is granddam of Grade 2 Futurity Stakes winner Annual Report, by Harlan’s Holiday.

Lady Pitt’s Grade 1-winning daughter Fantastic Find, by Mr. Prospector, produced another Grade 1 winner in Finder’s Fee, by Storm Cat, granddam of Grade 3 winner Feathered, by Indian Charlie, who sold for $2.35 million, in foal to War Front, at Keeneland last week. Fantastic Find also is granddam of graded winners Optimizer, by English Channel; and T.D. Vance, by Rahy.

Dancing Spree’s full sister Oh What a Dance, by Nijinsky II, was unraced, but produced champion Heavenly Prize, by Seeking the Gold, and her Grade 1-winning full sister Oh What a Windfall. Heavenly Prize is dam of Grade 1 winner Good Reward and Grade 2 winner and good sire Pure Prize, both by Storm Cat.

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Another full sister to Dancing Spree, Dancing All Night, won the Grade 2 Long Island Handicap, and her winning daughter Glory Dancer, by Honour and Glory, is the dam of Bigger Picture as well as his stakes-winning half-brother Gung Ho, by Kitten’s Joy.

Trainer Dale Romans purchased Glory Dancer for $45,000 as a yearling at the 2003 Keeneland September yearling sale and sold her privately to Ken and Sarah Ramsey midway through her nine-start racing career, which was highlighted by a win in $25,000 maiden-claiming company over a mile at Churchill Downs.

Bigger Picture, who has worked his way up through the claiming ranks, is her fifth foal. Glory Dancer has an unraced 2-year-old colt, Fungible, by Kitten’s Joy; a yearling colt by Big Brown; and was bred to We Miss Artie this year.

Bigger Picture is the 15th stakes winner from 369 foals of racing age sired by Badge of Silver, who won the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap in 2005 and the Grade 2 San Gabriel Handicap in 2006. One of the best sons of the outstanding sire Silver Deputy, by Deputy Minister, Badge of Silver’s best son Fly Lexis Fly (out of Becky Loves Silver, by Silver Charm) was champion 3-year-old colt in Peru and finished second in the 2012 Grade 2 Super Derby in the United States. Badge of Silver also is the sire of Grade 1 Shadwell Mile winner Silver Max (Kissin Rene, by Kissin Kris) and another Peruvian Group 1 winner in Barbon (Barbazilla, by Successful Appeal).

Badge of Silver began his stud career at Airdrie Stud in Kentucky, but transferred to Colebrook Farm in Canada in 2014. His success in Peru led to a shuttle trip in 2012, and he has again ventured to Peru this fall.