02/12/2018 11:05AM

Sparkman: A Vanderbilt pedigree

Emily Shields
Kanthaka, by Jimmy Creed, wins the Grade 2 San Vicente at Santa Anita.

Among his many achievements in a long life adorned with honor and glory, the late Alfred G. Vanderbilt Jr. achieved Thoroughbred racing immortality by breeding and racing the great Native Dancer. Beaten only once in 22 starts, “the Gray Ghost,” as he was known to early television viewers, left an eternal mark on the breed through his son Raise a Native and daughter Natalma, dam of Northern Dancer.

Vanderbilt’s influence on the breed also persists through the descendants of the Shut Out mare Exclusive, a granddaughter of one of the first fillies Vanderbilt bought after he entered racing in the 1930s, Parade Girl, winner of the 1935 Schuylerville Stakes. Exclusive won twice for Vanderbilt before he sold her privately to film mogul Albert Warner, for whom she won three more races, but failed in her only stakes venture.

Exclusive produced stakes winner Exclusive Nashua, by Nashua, for Warner and four more stakes winners for Louis B. Wolfson’s Harbor View Farm, headed by Arlington Classic winner Exclusive Native, by Raise a Native, whose Triple Crown-winning son Affirmed made him leading sire in 1978 and 1979. Exclusive’s four daughters and their descendants also were prolific producers, and her name crops up yet again this week as the fifth dam of Saturday’s Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes winner Kanthaka, by Jimmy Creed.

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Bred in Kentucky by B. Wayne Hughes’s Spendthrift Farm LLC, Kanthaka was listed as a buyback at a hammer price of $38,000 at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton July sale but resurfaced at the following spring’s Barrett’s March sale of selected 2-year-olds in training, where he was purchased for $140,000 by West Point Thoroughbreds. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, the San Vicente was his second consecutive victory in three starts.

Kanthaka is the first foal out of the unraced Sliced Bread, by the bad sire Noonmark, by Unbridled’s Song. She has since produced a 2-year-old full brother to Kanthaka, which sold for $150,000 to EQB/Patty Miller, agent, at the 2017 Keeneland September sale, and a yearling filly by Hampton Court, sold for only $2,000 at the 2017 Keeneland November sale. Sliced Bread was bred back to Hit It a Bomb in 2017.

Sliced Bread is half-sister to two talented horses in Japanese stakes winner Red Chili Pepper, by Unbridled, who is granddam of Japanese Group 2 winner Karukenai, by Lohengrin, and to multiple stakes winner Proud Heiress, by Broken Vow. Sliced Bread’s dam, Raise a Carter, by Dr. Carter, was a minor winner, as was her dam, Raise an Heiress, by Raise a Native, who was probably the least accomplished daughter of Mellow Marsh, by Seaneen, one of Exclusive’s five stakes winners.

Mellow Marsh emulated her dam’s achievement with five stakes winners of her own, though none were of the quality of Exclusive Native. Mellow Marsh’s descendants include top-level winners Interco, Fly for Avie, St. Hilarion, Muhtarram, Proportional, and Folk Opera.

Kanthaka is the third stakes winner and second graded winner from the first crop of Jimmy Creed, one of the fastest sons of the great sire Distorted Humor. Bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC, Jimmy Creed was purchased for $900,000 by Spendthrift at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale.

Trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella, Jimmy Creed did not race until May of his 3-year-old season, when he won his second and third starts at Hollywood Park and Del Mar before being beaten a neck by Fed Biz in the El Cajon Stakes. Third in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint, he was not ready for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, where he finished ninth, beaten about six lengths.

The Grade 1 Malibu Stakes for 3-year-olds was more within his range, and he duly won, beating the speedy Private Zone. Jimmy Creed followed up with another good win in the Grade 2 Potrero Grande at Santa Anita, but disappointed in the Grade 1 Triple Bend and closed his career with a third behind Pointsoffthebench and Goldencents in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby at Del Mar.

Jimmy Creed made a splash with his first crop of 2-year-olds last year when his daughter Spectator (out of Diva’s Tribute, by Henny Hughes) won the Grade 2 Sorrento. He also is the sire of Panamanian stakes winner Star Galicia (Marie Louise, by Theatrical) from the 93 foals in his first crop.

Although Sliced Bread failed to show any talent for racing, she is inbred 4x3 to the great sire Caro, an influence for size and stamina. The internal pedigree of Kanthaka is otherwise pretty much standard issue for the contemporary American Thoroughbred, with three distant crosses of both Mr. Prospector and Northern Dancer, both grandsons of Alfred Vanderbilt’s Native Dancer.