Friday, February 22, 2013

Baby Belle

On Thursday, Stonestreet Farm (@StonestreetFarm on Twitter) posted a photo of its powerful-looking 2013 colt by Bernardini out of Belle of Perintown via social media, which inspired me to find my baby pictures of Belle of Perintown.

Belle of Perintown as a young foal.
A daughter of Dehere, Belle of Perintown was born at Walmac Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, on January 10, 2000. The bay filly was the third foal out of Hot Match, who, as I recall, had the distinction of having the very first foal on the ground at Walmac each year for her first three or even four seasons as a broodmare.

Hot Match with her Storm Cat colt.

B. Wayne Hughes had purchased the Mr. Prospector filly Hot Match for $675,000 at the 1994 Keeneland July yearling sale. Her dam Jeanne Jones (pronounced “Jeannie”) was the winner of Oaklawn’s Grade 1 Fantasy Stakes, and she had been second to Epitome by a nose in the 1987 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, second to eventual Kentucky Derby winner Winning Colors in the Santa Anita Oaks, and second in the 1988 Kentucky Oaks to Goodbye Halo (who at that time was the only horse to have ever beaten Winning Colors).

Jeanne Jones, who was by great sire and great broodmare sire Nijinsky II, ended up being a disappointing producer; her only stakes winner from 15 foals is Roman Treasure, a Roman Ruler filly who won three stakes races and placed in the Grade 1 Test Stakes at Saratoga in 2011 -- born when her dam was 23. Roman Treasure was a $775,000 racing or broodmare prospect at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton November sale, purchased by Steve Brem, agent.

Hot Match was Jeanne Jones’ third foal, and she never raced. She had her first foal, a winning filly by Salt Lake named Strike the Match, in 1998, followed by the unraced Storm Cat colt Be Frank in 1999.

Hot Match, again with her Storm Cat colt.
Then came Belle of Perintown, who was sold by Hughes for $50,000 through Walmac as agent to Garry Simms at the 2001 Keeneland September yearling sale. Her price was well below champion Dehere’s yearling average of $116,000 but close to his median of $65,000. Five months later, she was led through the ring at the Fasig-Tipton Florida sale of two-year-olds in training unsold for $92,000. The two most expensive of Dehere’s two-year-olds to sell brought $110,000 and $72,000, so clearly Belle of Perintown was showing ability in her early days under tack for her owners to retain her.

Another photo of Belle of Perintown as a foal, a couple of months older than in the picture at the top of this post -- and striking the exact same pose!

She debuted third for owner Ken Mahler (she would later race under Mahler and Jamie Schloss’ name) and trainer Eddie Kenneally in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight at Churchill Downs in June. Let go as the second betting choice in her next start, in July, she bore in badly and hit the rail, trailing the ninth-place finisher home by more than 15 lengths at the end of six furlongs. She made two starts at Arlington Park in August, running second both times, the first after becoming fractious in the gate.

Belle of Perintown broke her maiden in her fifth attempt, winning a seven-furlong maiden special weight at Keeneland on October 4, 2002. She followed that up with a three-quarter-length victory in the Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill in November and closed out her juvenile season with a fifth in the Grade 2 Golden Rod Stakes.

She began her three-year-old career with a poor showing in the Tiffany Lass at Fair Grounds, having again been fractious in the gate. Her next race, the 1 1/16-mile Grade 2 Silverbulletday Stakes in February, was her greatest performance -- she ran away to an 8 1/4-length win under Calvin Borel. After a third in the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks in March, she was away from the races until July, returning to a third-place allowance effort at Churchill and disappearing again until November, when she was third in an allowance/optional claimer at Churchill, her last start. She compiled a race record of 12-3-2-4, with earnings of $265,465.

Belle of Perintown, as a summer yearling.

Belle of Perintown is easily the best of Hot Match’s progeny. Her Joyeux Danseur half-brother Bogangles won nine races; set a track record at Monmouth Park, covering about 1 3/8 miles in 2:13 3/5; and earned black-type with a third in the Black Gold Handicap at Fair Grounds. His full sister Danseur Chaud -- Hughes had raced Grade 1 winner Joyeux Danseur and supported him with some of his well-bred mares -- is the dam of multiple stakes-placed Leave of Absence (by Harlan’s Holiday). Hot Match was two young foals who can further enhance her produce record: Call Me Wonderful (2011 colt by Tiz Wonderful), and a 2012 filly by Warrior’s Reward.

Stonestreet purchased Belle of Perintown privately before she had her first foal and the farm has done well with her. Her first foal was Sumptuous, by Hennessy, who was sold as a yearling for $400,000. That filly placed in three stakes races, and Stonestreet bought her back as a broodmare for $410,000 at Keeneland in November of 2011.

Belle of Perintown’s second foal was Strike it Rich, a filly by Unbridled’s Song sold to trainer Christophe Clement, agent, for $375,000 at the Saratoga yearling sale in 2008. Strike it Rich won two stakes races, including the Grade 3 Boiling Springs Stakes at Monmouth Park, and over $190,000.

The mare’s next two foals, fillies by Forestry and Giant’s Causeway born in 2008 and 2009, were sold as yearlings as well, for $150,000 and $345,000, respectively. The Forestry, Forest Goddess, is unplaced. Lady Aphrodite, the Giant’s Causeway, is a winner.

Belle of Perintown was barren to Curlin for 2010 and had a dead foal by A.P. Indy in 2011, but has since had two colts: a Smart Strike in 2012; and the suckling Bernardini. Sumptuous has a yearling colt by Quality Road and was bred to Tiznow for 2013. Strike it Rich’s first foal is a Giant’s Causeway filly born in New York on February 13, 2013.

On another note, thoughts are with a more well-known Stonestreet resident, champion Rachel Alexandra, as her health continues to improve.


  1. I know Jeanne Jones (she's old, but she's still here). She is a disappointing producer... but she's an amazing mare. I hope her class is passed down to her grandbabies.

  2. Hi Frances,

    Love these mare profiles that you're doing. They fill a much-needed role for information about producers and provide background and photos that nobody else can.



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