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Sparkman: Quiet Force adds to the legacy of Dynaformer
Great sire that he was, the late Dynaformer has never established himself as a sire of sires. The death of his Kentucky Derby-winning son, Barbaro, before he had an opportunity at stud may well have had something to do with that, but the sad fact is that Undrafted’s victory in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot a few weeks ago was only the second Group 1 or Grade 1 win for a grandson of Dynaformer, following that of Twilight Eclipse in the Man o’ War Stakes a few weeks earlier. Both of those horses were sired by Dynaformer’s short-lived Grade 1-winning son Purim, but no other son of the 1988 Jersey Derby winner has sired an internationally recognized Grade 1 or Group 1 winner.
Dynaformer’s son Quiet Force, the winner of the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap on July 11, is unlikely to change that statistic, even if he eventually improves enough to merit a chance at stud, but he is yet another reminder of just how good his late sire was at siring racehorses, no matter their prowess at stud.
Bred in Kentucky by Joe Allen, Dynaformer was one of three high-class runners in the 1985 crop sired by Darby Dan Farm’s 1972 Epsom Derby winner, Roberto, with extremely similar pedigrees. Dynaformer was the first foal out of Andover Way, a His Majesty mare Allen purchased as a yearling from Darby Dan who developed into a Grade 1 winner and earner of $372,471. Andover Way’s dam, On the Trail, by Olympia and out of Darby Dan’s great foundation mare Golden Trail, was a half-sister to stakes-placed Kelley’s Day, by His Majesty’s full brother Graustark, whose 1985 colt by Roberto, Brian’s Time, won the Grade 1 Florida Derby in 1988, ran second in the Preakness, was third in the Belmont Stakes, and became an outstanding sire in Japan. Outward Sunshine, a stakes-placed full sister to Kelley’s Day, produced another top Roberto colt in 1985, Sunshine Forever, who became a champion grass horse but failed at stud.
Dynaformer was pretty clearly the third-best among those three closely related colts on the racecourse, but he was easily the superior sire. Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, he showed promise at 2, running second to eventual champion Forty Niner in his first start and winning a seven-furlong maiden special weight race at Saratoga in his third of five starts that year.
Lukas is never shy about running his good horses often or in the best company, and though he was never the most consistent horse, Dynaformer’s record justified Lukas’s persistent optimism. The winner of a 1 1/16-mile allowance race at Aqueduct in January in his first start at 3, he ran second to the then-undefeated Private Terms in the General George Stakes at Laurel before winning the Lucky Draw Stakes back at Aqueduct.
After poor performances in the Grade 2 Jim Beam and the Grade 1 Wood Memorial eliminated him from Kentucky Derby consideration, Dynaformer redeemed himself with a game half-length win over Tsarbaby in the 1 1/4-mile, Grade 2 Jersey Derby at Garden State Park. That, however, was the last time for several months that Dynaformer consented to show his best form, and he was unplaced in five consecutive races before showing a glimmer of his best when second to Blair’s Cove in an overnight handicap at Aqueduct in October.
Dynaformer captured his second Grade 2 race in the Discovery Handicap two weeks later and then ran another good race when second in the 1 5/8-mile, Grade 2 Gallant Fox Handicap, but that was his last good race for four months. Dynaformer did not win again until Lukas tried him on Keeneland’s turf course in April, when he captured consecutive allowance races at 1 1/2 and 1 1/8 miles. For the rest of his career, Lukas kept Dynaformer on the inner course at various tracks, but to no avail. The best he could do was to run third to Coeur de Lion in the Grade 2 Dixie Handicap at Pimlico.
Whereas Brian’s Time and Sunshine Forever had earned first-rate opportunities at stud with their Grade 1 victories, Dynaformer was perhaps lucky to find a place at Wafare Farm near Lexington, Ky., at an initial stud fee of $5,000. Although his sire, Roberto, was not a big horse, Dynaformer was clearly a throwback physically to Roberto’s sire, Hail to Reason, a 17-hand giant who tended to sire large, coarse horses. Dynaformer fit that profile, and his progeny have tended to inherit his size as well as his very deep chest and shoulder.
His first-crop son Blumin Affair (out of Medical Affair, by Dr. Blum) put him on the map by running second in the 1993 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and third in the 1994 Kentucky Derby before eventually winning the Grade 3 San Diego Handicap. Blumin Affair sired 33 stakes winners, mostly in regional markets, but none of graded-stakes quality.
Dynaformer was transferred to Three Chimneys Farm once his merit as a stallion was known, and he rewarded breeders with a steady stream of top runners throughout the rest of his career. He developed a reputation early in his career as a “filly sire,” and indeed, 14 of his 23 Grade 1 or Group 1 winners were fillies, but his failure as a sire of sires is likely due more to simple bad luck than to any imagined genetic deficiency.
Barbaro (La Ville Rouge, by Carson City), an undefeated 2-year-old as well as a Derby winner, fit the profile for sire success but never got the opportunity because of his fatal injury suffered at the start of the Preakness, while Perfect Drift (Nice Gal, by Naskra), who earned more than $4.7 million, was a gelding. Neither of Dynaformer’s male European classic winners, Lucarno (Vignette, by Diesis) or Wiener Walzer (Walzerkoenigin, by Kingmambo), has sired a stakes winner, but there is still hope for some of Dynaformer’s younger stars.
Temple City (Curriculum, by Danzig), a Grade 3 winner out of a half-sister to top sire Malibu Moon, has shown considerable promise with his first crop of 3-year-olds, which features five stakes winners, including Grade 2 winner Startup Nation and Miss Temple City, who ran an excellent race against the best European miler fillies in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot. Meanwhile, multiple Grade 1 winner Point of Entry (Matlacha Pass, by Seeking the Gold) is receiving an excellent opportunity at Adena Springs Kentucky.
Quiet Force has a way to go before earning that kind of opportunity at stud, although his pedigree is certainly good enough. Quiet Force is the second foal and only winner to date out of Quiet Royal (by Royal Academy), who won the Group 3 Prix Miesque at 2 in France and ran second in the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac. Transferred to the U.S. at 4, she won the Kentucky Cup Ladies Turf Stakes over the rolling hills of Kentucky Downs and ran third in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland.
Quiet Royal is a full sister to Group 3 Prix Chloe winner Acago and a half-sister to Group 3 winner Sandwaki, by Dixieland Band. Their dam, Wakigoer, a winning daughter of Miswaki, was a half-sister to Dare and Go, by Alydar, the villain of the piece when Cigar’s 16-race win streak ended in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic in 1996, and to Grade 1 winner Go Deputy, by Deputy Minister, a decent sire in Argentina. The family traces to Tartan Farms’s great foundation mare Cequillo, Quiet Force’s fifth dam.
Bred in Kentucky by the Wertheimer brothers, who purchased Quiet Force’s third dam, Partygoer, by Secretariat, for $215,000 at the Tartan dispersal at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky in 1987, Quiet Force won his first start in their colors at 3 on the downhill course at Santa Anita. He did not win again for the Wertheimers and was claimed the following year for $25,000 by trainer Jerry Fanning. Fanning lost him in his very next start to trainer Dan Blacker, who claimed him for $40,000 on behalf of his current owner, Charles K. Warner.
The Arlington Handicap was Quiet Force’s sixth victory in 13 career starts and represents a new peak in his career. Whether he can continue to improve at age 5 or not, the reputation of his sire, Dynaformer, as one of the greatest stallions of the last two decades is secure.
Dynaformer’s record of 152 stakes winners from 1,343 career foals (11.3 percent) withstands the sternest scrutiny, regardless of whether his remaining sons carry on his male line.