Every time a new Reine-de-Course is named we get e-mails, phone calls, etc. telling us why we should have done someone else. Some have merit and we would not be surprised to receive our fair share of criticism for this choice. But we believe our reasons are valid because it is necessary to consider successful breeders’ methods in order to understand their thinking.
Fred Hooper, who bred many of the descendents of Haze (though not Haze herself), marched to his own drummer where pedigrees were concerned. Who, for instance, can easily recall that the great mare Susan’s Girl’s pedigree was a series of “Q’s” (by Quadrange-Quaze by *Quibu)?
Therefore Haze and her pedigree, inbreeding and legacy are worth looking at simply in order to gain some insight and perspective into Hooper’s thinking. Further, it is rare to find a mare who produced not only two good daughter branches but two successful sires as well.
Purchasing a Foundation Mare
Hooper purchased Haze in 1954 in a group of five yearlings he acquired at the Keeneland summer sale. He was no doubt attracted to her partly because she was sired by Olympia, a horse the breeder had also purchased as a yearling.
Olympia became a fine racehorse, one with such exceptional speed that he was fast enough to beat a Quarter horse at a quarter mile as a matter of fact. The icing on the cake was that he also excelled at stud. If he fell short as a classic horse or sire, he was a rich source of middle distance blood when bred to stouter lines.
Haze herself had been bred by Harrie B. Scott. Her dam, Blue Castle by *Blenheim II, was bred by John Hay Whitney. Blue Castle was a tough racemare, lasting 62 starts and she was a full sister to the *Blenheim II gelding Dustman who ran 3rd in the Saratoga Special. She was also a half sister to California Derby winner Grim Reaper by *Sickle.
Haze won once as a juvenile and retired to Hooper’s broodmare band to begin producing her dynasty. He later resold her in foal to T. V. Lark at the 1970 Keeneland winter mixed sale. Though a stakes producer, her advanced age no doubt accounts for the low price of $6,500. Her new owners were the partnership of Brereton C. Jones of Airdrie Stud and Barrett M. Morris of Tremont Farm.
Sadly, she did not produce anything of note for her buyers and she subsequently died three years later in 1973 at Morris’ farm after producing a colt by The Axe II who was later gelded. Racing under the name of Fog Cutter, he ran 69 times and won just $28,010.
The T. V. Lark foal Haze was carrying when Hooper sold her was named Magnesia. He won races in France and sired foals in England and New Zealand prior to his death in 1992.
Haze’s family tails back to the mare Palmflower via her Nassau Stakes winning daughter Maize (GB) by Hampton. Maize produced two important stakes winners in Mazagan (GB) a colt by Martagon who won the Goodwood Cup and Veronese by Donovan who won the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.
She also got the mare Sesame by St. Simon, dam of Goodwood Cup winner Magic and Palm Leaf, fifth dam of July Cup winner Palm Vista. Palm Leaf was also the fifth dam of Haze. So what happened to this family – a family of stayers in Europe – was a complete turnaround through an infusion of Hooper’s much admired speed. In fact this is a family largely known for just that quality. Still it is the kind of speed we seldom see today – which is to say it is speed that holds up under pressure – sound speed.
The Complex Pedigree of Haze
Before we get to how the pedigrees of her various branches were built up, it is helpful to look at Haze’s own pedigree first. While complex, it is not a difficult pedigree to understand.
She is linebred to Canterbury Pilgrim via Swynford x2/Chaucer. Because one of the Chaucer lines is via Selene, we begin to see a build-up of Pilgrimage blood, as Selene was inbred to her via Canterbury Pilgrim/Loved One.
Haze’s sire Olympia was inbred to Santa Brigida via half siblings Santa Cruz and Bridge of Sighs, and was Bay Ronald line. This tail-male line is important to Haze because she was inbred to Bay Ronald and Black Cherry, both offspring of Black Duchess – so Olympia added a third line, thus trebling Black Duchess in Haze’s lineage.
There are also three strains of Violet Melrose via Bridget/Melton x2. Blue Castle has a double of Atalanta via Ayrshire and Flying Footsteps and a double of Moorhen via Gallinule and Pioneer.
But what we found particularly intriguing – and here is the root of the speed – is a treble of Bend Or to his full sister Rose of Lancaster (Doncaster-Rouge Rose). The Bend Or is all male – Orvieto to Martagon x2. Fascinating to us because Bend Or is generally thought to be the main source of speed in Thoroughbred pedigrees. No wonder Haze did so well in the Hooper program!
Building Up the Blood – The Best Daughter Lines
Fading Sky – Haze’s various branches and their diverse influence had to do with a build-up of blood and inbreeding created by the different stallions to which they were bred. Fading Sky, by Pry, was her 1958 daughter and was stakes placed. Her branch contains leading New Zealand sire Crested Wave and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and successful producer Twilight Ridge.
Pry was a son of Questionnaire (the tail-male line of Dr. Fager and Holy Bull). He was linebred to Sandiway via half siblings Mosquito and Midge and to half siblings Adderley and Sandfly (the latter appearing in Questionnaire’s contribution); to Cinderella (via Fairy Slipper and Peter Pan) and he carried multiples of the Himyar line via both Plaudit and x4 Domino (plus his half sister Lady Reel). He was thus loaded with ‘American speed’ while tailing to Black Duchess.
When crossed over Haze to get Fading Sky, the combination resulted in more of the Black Duchess line to create a treble, plus Olympio’s speed and some Plaudit blood via Olympia’s third dam, Cauarina plus a Domino strain via Ultimus in his dam’s Stimulus line.
In the next generation, Hooper added *Quibu, whom he later said he had not used enough, to produce Fading Wave add even more Black Duchess via Dark Ronald/Bay Ronald and perhaps more importantly, a cross of Sceptre through Craig An Eran via his sire, Meadow, to Fading Sky’s line of her half brother, Star Ruby (or x2 Ornament). He added more Canterbury Pilgrim as well via Chaucer.
By the time Crested Wave came along, Hooper had added Crozier to his list of favorite sires (he would also later get Precisionist for Hooper) thus affecting a double of Olympia via Crozier’s dam, Miss Olympia and Haze herself. With the background breeding in place, it was an intriguing place to add an completely different sire line, i.e. Herod, via Tourbillon/Djebel/My Babu/Crozier. This is why outcrossing is so important to enrich the breed. In New Zealand, Crested Wave did exactly that but not before he won the G1 Futurity in the United States.
Crested Wave’s full sister Wavy Waves won the G2 Hollywood Lassie and established a branch that produced some good horses. Her most interesting daughter was Waviness, a winner by Copelan who was inbred to Haze. Waviness’ branch produced four horses of graded racing quality including Draw Again who won the Tropical Park Derby.
Waving Sky, a full sister to Fading Wave, would also become a contributing force to the family name. When her daughter, Twilight Ridge by Cox’s Ridge, won the 1985 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), the family would literally have a rebirth, producing a number of good horses including G2 winner La Rosa, already a group producer herself. Further, it is via Twilight Ridge and her offspring that the family has the best chance today of becoming a force for inbreeding to Haze:
Examples include Tattinger Rose (La Rosa’s G3 winner by Menifee) crossed over Student Council or Don’t Get Mad. Either one would result in inbreeding to Haze at 6 x 6 via half siblings Tri Jet and Fading Sky. We hope this is tried at least once; it would be a true ode to Fred Hooper’s original thinking and unique brand of crossing sound speed over sound speed to do so.
Sensitive Lady – In addition to Fading Sky, Haze also had another, successful daughter branch via the placed *Sensitivo mare Sensitive Lady. This mating might be the most intriguing of all, as *Sensitivo was inbred to Palmflower, the tail-female line of Haze herself, thus resulting in a treble of this line. The treble did not result in a good racehorse, but it surely did result in the background of some good runners.
Sensitive Prince, by Majestic Prince, was a G1 winner; his stallion career is discussed elsewhere in this article. G3 winner Harlow by Caro (IRE) ran in France and also went to stud but we have never seen his name in an important pedigree.
The main daughter branch under Sensitive Lady belongs to winning Sensitive Princess by *Pronto. In addition to two three-quarter siblings to Sensitive Prince by Majestic Prince, restricted stakes winner Majestic Empire and Another Penny (G3 placed), she is largely a regional force in various parts of the U. S.
Minor stakes winners in California, Florida and Louisiana all appear under her and any of them would cross back well to horses carrying Copelan like Don’t Get Mad. There are quite a few stakes placed fillies here; we hope someone takes note and makes an effort to duplicate Haze’s sound quickness.
The Outstanding Son
There are four sires worth mentioning under Haze’s contribution, the best of which is arguably Tri Jet. Bred in Florida by Fred Hooper, Tri Jet was a son of Jester and out of Haze herself.
A very solid racehorse, he ran from age two through six and started 46 times, with 17 wins and over $400,000 in earnings. His most important victories came in the Whitney Stakes and Hawthorne Gold Cup H., both G2 at the time.
Tri Jet sired 518 foals in 14 crops and his numbers were excellent and stand the test of time very well. Sound like their sire, 88% made it to the track and 72% won, with an excellent 45 (9%) stakes winners and another 38 (7%) stakes placed. He moved his mares up with an AEI of 2.04 from a comparable index of 1.67.
Among his best get were the tough sprinter Banker’s Jet, a gelding that ran 106 times and won $679,381. His most important win was the A Phenomenon S. at Saratoga and he placed in the G2 Fall Highweight.
Triteamtri, a Hooper bred out of Special Team by Specialmante ran 33 times and won $670,433. A group winner in France, he subsequently also won graded races in the U. S. including the Longfellow H. (G2) and placed in the G1 Santa Anita Handicap.
Copelan, out of champion Susan’s Girl, was probably his most famous son and he carries on the line today in the pedigrees of such horses as Don’t Get Mad and Rockport Harbor. He still has a handful of sons at stud in regional markets, including Marco Bay in Florida.
Tri Jet was also a good broodmare sire with 78% of his daughters’ get making it to the races and 56 (4%) winning stakes to date. Like most broodmare sires, his numbers are weaker as a second generation influence due to the softer type sires to which they were bred (not to mention their moving outside of Fred Hooper’s common-sense approach to other breeders who were more commercially minded).
Among the best produce of Tri Jet mares are $1.2 earner Diplomatic Jet, a multiple G1 winner including the Turf Classic and Man o’ War Stakes; Hesabull, winner of the G2 Mervyn Leroy and second in the G1 Malibu Stakes, and Wekiva Springs, winner of the G1 Suburban and Gulfstream Park Handicaps and $1.5 million. Not to mention his stakes winning daughter Thirty Zip, who is dam of Broodmare of the Year Baby Zip (dam of Ghostzapper and City Zip).
There is little doubt that Tri Jet is the easiest of Haze’s descendents to locate in a pedigree today. The others might take a bit of work but are worth it:
Other Male Heirs
Sensitive Prince – Sensitive Prince (by Derby and Preakness winner Majestic Prince out of Haze’s *Sensitivo daughter Sensitive Lady) was a wonderful racehorse who won such G1 races as the Gulfstream Park Handicap and G2 Jerome H. He was a bit less sound than some of Haze’s descendents, owing no doubt to his Raise a Native-line sire, Majestic Prince.
Never a particularly popular sire, Sensitive Prince got just 323 foals. 78% made it to the races and he sired only five stakes winners. His best was W. L. McKnight Invitational H. (G2) winner All Sincerity out of the *Forli mare Forliane. He was sent to Venezuela to stand after racing 77 times and earning $324,630.
He actually did a bit better as a broodmare sire, with a lesser number of starters (70%) but 16 stakes winners. His daughters’ best offspring was undoubtedly the excellent Common Grounds colt Astudillo (IRE) who won stakes in France and the U. S. But he is probably best represented by Brassy, out of his daughter Calm Princess. Brassy is the dam of the tough gelding Brass Hat.
He is very hard to find in pedigrees today, though Europe and or South America may yield a line of him if one wants to seek it out. He apparently was able to throw Haze’s toughness when exposed to the right blood, so he’s likely worth considering if one comes across a strain of his rare blood.
Crested Wave – Crested Wave, by Crozier out of Haze’s granddaughter Fading Wave by *Quibu, was the leading sire in New Zealand in 1991.
Quite a precocious sort, he won the G1 Futurity at two and also placed in the G3 World’s Playground Stakes and Champagne Stakes (G1), both times behind Spectacular Bid. He returned at three to win the San Miguel Stakes and Spotlight H. and place in the Debonair S. and G2 California Derby but he did not try Bid again in the classics.
Crested Wave also ran at four and five but those two seasons would yield but one more win in 16 tries and no more black type. In 1982, at the age of six, Crested Wave was sent to Australia where he enjoyed a long and successful career.
The son of Crozier sired 21 crops, 614 foals and 25 stakes winners (4%) plus another 15 stakes placed (2%). His outstanding son, Surfers Paradise (NZ) helped to vault him to the top of the sire’s list in New Zealand, when he was horse of the year in that land in 1991. Unfortunately for Crested Wave – and the Herod line in general – Surfers Paradise was a gelding.
His leading money-winning colt was named =Crush and he was a G1 winner in Australia but today his male line is pretty well gone. Crested Wave’s daughters did produce one stallion, Steel Heart, who appears to still be at stud.
But perhaps his greatest legacy will come via the mare Penpoint (NZ), dam of Unusual Suspect by Unusual Heat and his full siblings Rushed Heat and Golden Doc A. Unusual Suspect won the G1 Hollywood Turf Cup and had enough speed to also win the G3 Hollywood Turf Express. He is currently standing in Australia.
This is precious blood. Precisionist’s inability to sire more than a few foals pretty well put paid for all time the Crozier/My Babu male line – the line of Herod so nobly represented in the past by such horses as *Ambiorix and Luthier. If you have or can locate some Crested Wave blood, you can use it to breed back to any of the sires carrying Tri Jet that we have mentioned in this article.
Tinsley and Sky Gem- These two full brothers by *Quibu out of Haze were both good racehorses. Sky Gem won the Hawthorne Juvenile Stakes and ran second in the Santa Anita Derby. Tinsley won the Breeders’ Futurity.
Neither of them made much of a mark at stud, but in case anyone comes across a strain, here are the bare-bone facts: Sky Gem got only nine foals, five won but he got no black type earners. Three of his daughters produced foals and remarkably one of those mares got two foals who placed in stakes, which is what is known as beating the odds.
Her dam was Bink’s Treat out of the Saggy mare Senorita Jane. Her two stakes placed offspring were Sister Binkie (by the Swoon’s Son sire Seducer), second in the Dogwood Stakes and Worthy Senorita by Twice Worthy, who ran second in the Bayouland Sales Futurity. Obviously, this is not world-class racing, but it does make a statement: You just never know when good blood will raise its head!
Tinsley got more foals, but he still didn’t get very many – 67 in all as a matter of fact. Two of his foals won stakes: Tinsley’s Hope out of Guess Right by Golden Ruler was a hard-knocker who ran in the Chicago/Kentucky/Ohio circuit and raced through the age of nine. He ran 61 times and won $279,080, winning seven stakes and placing in five others, none of them graded.
Tinsley’s Image, out of Wing Revoked by Revoked, was also tough, racing 55 times and earning $123,670. He won the Cabrillo Stakes at Hollywood Park and ran third in the G2 Hollywood Juvenile Championship S.
Finally, Tinsley got a stakes placed runner named Tinsley’s Affair out of Magnetic Affair by Magnitude. This 1974 colt ran third in the Rebel Handicap at Oaklawn.
His daughters produced four stakes winners and four stakes placed individuals, again against all odds. The best of these was probably Towering Star by Irish Tower out of Tinsley Star. Racing mostly at Philadelphia Park, he won $234,107 and raced 45 times.
Once more, this blood is very hard to find. But Tinsley may well be lurking out there in a handful of regional pedigrees. Don’t bet against him. We remember a time when he was actually rather highly regarded.
We’ve written here ourselves and frequently heard it said that it works to breed ‘like to like’. This refers not only to conformation but also to pedigree and includes things like adding Bradley blood to Bradley blood – or in this case, Hooper blood to Hooper blood.
We always loved the fact that Fred Hooper was not afraid to zig when everyone else zagged and that he bred to race. As a result, he got some of the toughest speed horses ever and good routers as well – and now he has two new Reines-de-Course.
Haze is a tip of the hat to him and we add Fading Sky to the Reine list as well. We would love to return one day and add Sensitive Lady if some more graded black type appears under her in the future.