10/17/2016 12:59PM

Sparkman: 'Time' is golden

Keeneland/Coady Photography
Time and Motion, by Tapit, wins the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes at Keeneland.

Two winters ago on one of my visits to Jimmy Crupi’s New Castle Farm to inspect the 2-year-olds training there owned by Vincent and Teresa Viola, I could not help noticing the elegant, beautifully made Tapit filly in a corner stall at the other end of the shed row from the Viola’s Greenpointcrusader. The dam’s name written on the stall door evoked memories of a chilly spring day at Keeneland more than a decade earlier when I had collected on one of my very rare racetrack wagers on the 3-year-old debut of a filly named Ellie’s Moment, by Kris S.

Almost two years on, that Tapit filly, now named Time and Motion, captured her first Grade 1 victory in Keeneland’s Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes on Saturday.

Bred and owned by John Phillips of Darby Dan Farm, Ellie’s Moment was very closely related to 1988 Grade 1 Florida Derby winner Brian’s Time, whose sire, Roberto, also was the sire of Kris S. Ellie’s Moment and Brian’s Time were both second-generation scions of the most prolific of the many foundation mares nurtured for more than a half-century on the fertile acreage of Darby Dan on Old Frankfort Pike near Lexington.

Phillips’s grandfather, Darby Dan founder John W. Galbreath, had acquired their granddam, Golden Trail, when he purchased the bloodstock of the late Isabel Dodge Sloane in 1962. By 1952 Preakness winner Hasty Road, Golden Trail was out of a half-sister to Sloane’s 1958 Acorn Stakes winner Big Effort, by Endeavour II, and she was half-sister to stakes winners Grand Canyon, by Rico Monte, and Valley, by Ardan, but hers was not a pedigree that foretold the greatness that was to come.

Golden Trail’s 12 winners from 17 foals included Dwyer Stakes winner Gleaming Light, by Never Bend; Grade 3 Comely Stakes winner Java Moon, by Graustark; and the latter’s stakes-winning full brother Sylvan Place, but it was Golden Trail’s daughters who secured her place in the Darby Dan pantheon.

Java Moon is granddam of Grade 1 winner Memories of Silver, by Silver Hawk, and third dam of Grade 1 winners Winter Memories, by El Prado, and fourth dam of Grade 1 winners To Honor And Serve and Angela Renee, both by Bernardini.

Java Moon’s stakes-placed full sister Outward Sunshine is dam of Darby Dan’s champion grass horse of 1988, Sunshine Forever, by Roberto, and third dam of Grade 1 Travers winner V. E. Day, by English Channel. Another full sister, Autumn Glory, is granddam of champion Ryafan, by Lear Fan. Their half-sister, On the Trail, by Olympia, is granddam of great sire Dynaformer, by Roberto, and tail-female ancestress of Grade 1 winners Offlee Wild, by Wild Again; Supremo, by Gone West; and Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos, by Maria’s Mon.

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Kelley’s Day, the dam of Brian’s Time and Ellie’s Moment, is another stakes-placed full sister to Java Moon, and her stakes-placed daughter Floramera, by Seattle Slew, is granddam of Chilean Group 1 winners Bonnie and Clyde, by Auguri, and Ocean Quest, by Ocean Terrace.

Time and Motion is the seventh foal and second stakes winner produced by Ellie’s Moment, whose six victories in 14 starts included a win in the 2003 Rare Treat Handicap at Aqueduct. Her third foal, Awesome Bet, by Awesome Again, won the Barbaro Stakes at Delaware Park and ran second in the Grade 2 Super Derby. Her fourth dam, Moment in Dixie, by Dixieland Band, placed in nine stakes, including the Grade 3 Doubledogdare at Keeneland.

Ellie’s Moment has since produced the 2-year-old filly Momentiempo, by Medaglia d’Oro, another lovely individual who ran second in her first start at Saratoga last summer. The latter’s full brother sold for $500,000 to the Albaugh Family Stable at Keeneland September, and there is a weanling full sister to Time and Motion who is highly unlikely ever to see the inside of an auction ring.

Time and Motion is by the all-conquering Tapit, who is certain to lead the American sire list for the third consecutive year in 2016. Time and Motion is the most recent of Tapit’s 20 Grade or Group 1 winners among his 88 stakes winners from 894 foals age 3 and up (9.8 percent), headed by champion fillies Untapable (out of Fun House, by Prized, a son of Kris S.) and Stardom Bound (My White Corvette, by Tarr Road).

Time and Motion could add her name to Tapit’s honor roll of champions with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.