DON’T SLEEP ON SOUTHERN EQUINE STABLES’ G.3 SORRENTO STAKES WINNER IN THE G.1 DARLEY DEBUTANTE AT DEL MAR
To this point in their partnership, MICHAEL MORENO and ERIC GUILLOT have spent significant money to build a racing program, focusing primarily on racing and breeding purchases that will result in a foundation of broodmares. Last November’s Fasig-Tipton Sale featured a dispersal of joint holdings between their SOUTHERN EQUINE STABLES and JOHN SIKURA of HILL N’ DALE FARMS. The blue hen BETTER THAN HONOUR (RAGS TO RICHES, JAZIL, and CASINO DRIVE) sold for a world record $14 million to MORENO and GUILLOT. Their list of broodmares, according to their website, currently stands at 52. MADCAP ESCAPADE was bought from the same dispersal by SIKURA in a partnership with BRUCE LUNDSFORD, who raced the classy broodmare.
However compelling those two broodmares are currently to their respective breeding operations, SOUTHERN EQUINE STABLES’ most recent graded stakes winner MI SUENO may prove to be the centerpiece of the racing and breeding empire for MORENO and GUILLOT.
The daughter of G.1 winner PULPIT, out of G.1 winner MADCAP ESCAPADE, went into the G.3 Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar as a maiden. After losing her first two starts against two Sorrento S. foes, her last as the 4-5 favorite, MI SUENO recorded an emphatic 6 ½ length win over favored G.3 Hollywood Juvenile winner NECESSARY EVIL becoming California’s leading Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies contender.
Last year, Champion Juvenile Filly STARDOM BOUND lost her first two career starts including a fast-finishing runner-up effort in the Sorrento S. She would go on a three race winning streak, starting with the G.1 Del Mar Debutante, which culminated in a Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies win. STARDOM BOUND became the future book favorite for the Kentucky Oaks and a Kentucky Derby contender.
In well-bred MI SUENO, SOUTHERN EQUINE STABLES has what I consider a more exciting classics prospect than the 2008 Champion 2y.o. filly. There is a wonderful balance of stamina from her sire line and speed from her dam side. Top and bottom, there is high class in her pedigree.
She extends from the BOLD RULER stallion line that produced undefeated Triple Crown winner and 1976 Horse of the Year SEATTLE SLEW and 1992 Horse of the Year A.P. INDY. MI SUENO’s sire PULPIT won the G.1 Blue Grass S., G.2 Fountain of Youth S., and placed second in the G.2 Florida Derby in 1997.
Her dam, MADCAP ESCAPADE, won the G.1 Ashland over 3y.o. Champion Filly ASHADO and finished third to that rival in the 2004 G.1 Kentucky Oaks. However, she is remembered best for her high speed on the track thanks to her sire HENNESSEY. She retired as a millionaire and finished off the board only once in nine starts. MADCAP ESCAPADE has a G.1 winning half sister, DUBAI ESCAPADE. They are out of stakes - winning, Illinois bred SASSY PANTS (by the ALYDAR stallion SARATOGA SIX) who represented a combination of the classiest California speed breeding on the bottom with classic Kentucky genes. SASSY PANTS descends from the great NATIVE DANCER, ranked by Bloodhorse as the #6 all-time racehorses, and considered one of the most important stallions of the second half of the 1900’s. His progeny were responsible for 1978 Triple Crown winner AFFIRMED, 1980 Kentucky Derby winner GENUINE RISK, and 2000 Kentucky Derby winner FUSAICHI PEGASUS. Even this year’s most compelling race horse, Haskell Invitational, Preakness S., and Kentucky Oaks winner RACHEL ALEXANDRA, is traced to NATIVE DANCER through her dam sire ROAR. ROAR is a grandson of MR. PROSPECTOR who was a grandson of NATIVE DANCER.
Stamina, speed, and class…apparently SOUTHERN EQUINE STABLES knew of the limitless potential of MI SUENO on the track and as a broodmare prospect when they signed the $1.7 million ticket for her at the 2007 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. If MISUENO continues to win, it may indicate that this operation is on the rise and will be a compelling force in the racing and breeding industries for decades to come.