While anything is possible, we think it highly unlikely that in 1991 when we began the Reine-de-Course series in Owner Breeder, we thought we might still be doing it 26 years later. Yet here we are, and the family of Forest Song is all the better for our having waited.
Imagine if you will that articles regarding Tapwrit’s Belmont Stakes win this year didn’t even bother to mention Slewpy. No one is going to argue that Tapit siring three Belmont winners is quite a feat. But even Tapit can’t do it alone. When the horse in question is from a family that just keeps on giving, such quality also deserves a fair share of the credit. And Slewpy is part of that family.
This year it took three classic tries before we got a pedigree as good as Tapwrit’s. What we find amusing is that such a superior pedigree as his sire’s seems to have caught at least some unaware.
We’ll be the first to admit that the son of Pulpit scared us to death when he first went to stud because he ran so briefly. But we always recognized the potential of Seattle Slew over Beadah that made Tapit unique.
And while no horse could look less like a Seattle Slew than the nearly white Arab-like Tapit, go look at an old photo of Beadah and you’ll see for yourself the type that Tapit imparts, because it is she, this fabulous little grey Reine-de-Course, which Tapit throws.
And boy, does he ever throw it! Nearly all of his babies are greys – Tonalist is an exception- but most wear the Beadah coat and this year’s Belmont winner is no exception. And thanks to Tapwrit’s classic win, now seems like the perfect time to honor his tail-female line of Forest Song as a Reine-de-Course. We already had a folder set up on her, so she was always in our rear view mirror – and for a long time.
It is probably because of Slewpy that we loved this line so much. This Seattle Slew son traveled to Europe to race in Teenoso’s 1983 Epsom Derby, but the ultra-soft going was not appealing to him and he beat only two of his 18 rivals. We always loved Slewpy and his strength and substance were good for the breed but we wish he had stayed in Kentucky rather than moving to California where he did not always get the best and biggest books.
Tapwrit is Seattle Slew both top and bottom (he possesses a sex-balanced A.P. Indy/Sodeo Sodeo cross at 4 x 4.) Sodeo Sodeo is a ¾ sister to Slewpy sharing a Seattle Slew/Prince John/Forest Song nexus which no one seemed to pay any attention to.
In addition to this pattern Tapwrit has Round Table x2/Monarchy at 7 x 6 x 6. He further has a treble of In Reality (Charedi/Moon Glitter/Valid Appeal at 6 x 5 x 4). Doubles or better of Somethingroyal, Mr. Prospector, Rough ‘n Tumble, Aspidistra and Nijinsky II also appear. There is more, but this is the ‘meat’.
One other note: Famed British writer/historian Tony Morris is starting a new series on the ‘100 top shapers of the breed’. He began with Djebel. This is intriguing as it coincided with Tapwrit’s classic victory since sire Tapit’s lynchpin Beadah is tail-male to Djebel via Djeddah who is inbred to Teddy and Banshee/Frizette. Beadah’s pedigree is rich in history reading – Boussac Stud/Bull Dog-Plucky Liege/Man o’ War/The Tetrarch/Black Duchess. That is what we call in the pedigree business a serious ‘wow’.
However, it is the tail-female line alone which concerns us now. Forest Song, the fifth dam of Tapwrit tails to the Number 19 Old Woodcock [Davill’s] Mare through its main branch. America first saw the roots of Slewpy and his famous relations when Elmendorf Farm imported the Herod-line mare *Sylvanaise. By Meridien (FR), this bay mare was foaled in France and was bred by J. Lafitte and J. Galtier.
Once at Elmendorf, *Sylvanaise was bred to Spy Song’s full brother Mr. Music to produce the winning filly Forest Song. Mr. Music, a Cinderella linebred (Peter Pan x2/Fairy Slipper) also added Queen Mary x2 (Bonnie Scotland/Bonnie Doon), a Sanfoin/Sierra cross and a balanced double of the nasty tempered Hastings (Nettie Hastings/Fair Play).
*Sylvanaise’s pedigree looked very different. Her sire was by Herod line (and linebred) Tourbillon. She carried a balanced double of Grand Prix de Paris winner Sans Souci II, a Bendigo/Bellinzona (x2 Hasty Girl) cross, and a son double of Vista (Bona Vista/Velasquez).
Within this seeming ‘fish and fowl’ match, however, was a treble of the foundation mare Pilgrimage (Loved One/Canterbury Pilgrim/Knight of Malta). However one views it, it worked.
As the family grew in numbers and importance, the only two champion sons of Bold Reasoning (he had just one crop and a half, remember) Seattle Slew and Super Concorde played a major role. Their main contributions: Slewpy, Manashtash Ridge, Seattle Symphony, S. S. Aroma, Appreciating, Ryan’s Charm, and now Sodeo Sodeo – all by Seattle Slew or descending from him. From Super Concorde came the full brothers Croeso and Cardell. All these horses are graded or group winners and all benefitted from the Tourbillon line in *Sylvanise which matched up to Seattle Slew’s own tail-female line of Frizette and linked to My Babu in Super Concorde.
This family has more work to do, of that we are certain. But Tapwrit is sure to get a shot at stud and while Slewpy’s own sire line is gone, The Visualiser in Oklahoma carries a cross and there are bound to be mares out there with lines of horses like Ide and S. S. Aroma to cross back with him. With so much Slew influence here, how can it do otherwise than well?
New Reine-de-Course is Forest Song. We wouldn’t be a bit surprised to add Sodeo Sodeo sooner rather than later.
Family 19 Main