I’ll Have Another sold for $11,000 as a yearling in 2010 and for $35,000 as a two-year-old in 2011. Those prices are somewhat understandable. His sire, Travers Stakes (G1) winner Flower Alley, was just sort of muddling along, not particularly distinguishing himself. His dam, the Arch mare Arch’s Gal Edith, had no great claims to fame either. About the best thing you could say about her was that she was by Arch, sire of 2010 BC Classic winner and champion older male Blame.
Out of the stakes-placed Pleasant Tap mare Force Five Gal, Arch’s Gal Edith started only once. That was on September 30, 2005 (her three-year-old year), at Belmont Park. Facing a field of seven, Arch’s Gal Edith hustled to the lead, was headed at the quarter pole, but came back to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:11.58 for six furlongs at odds of 27-1. Thus concluded her racing career. She earned $25,800.
There was good news and bad news about this race record. The good news was that she was undefeated. The bad news was that she lasted for only one start. Arch’s Gal Edith herself had sold for $36,000 as a yearling in 2003 and for $80,000 as a two-year-old in 2004. The most any of her progeny have sold for was $35,000. Judging from that evidence, the market seemed more concerned about the bad news than impressed with the good news in her race record.
Offhand I can think of at least one other dam of a recent classic winner with a similar race record. Big Brown (winner of the 2008 Derby and Preakness) was by Boundary out of Mien, by Nureyev. Mien started twice, both in September of her three-year-old year at Pimlico. She finished seventh first time out and won her second start for earnings of $14,250.
As a general rule I think that markets do not pay quite enough attention to the nuances of racing class in the dam. All mares that did not earn any black type are treated pretty much the same (winners, nonwinners, and unraced alike). It seems pretty clear to me, albeit with a dollop of hindsight, that both Mien and Arch’s Gal Edith possessed some racing class, even though they did not display it often (possibly because of soundness issues). For that reason (racing class) they were better than average as broodmare prospects.
As interesting (or NOT) as all this might be, it is not the real reason I decided to write a separate post on Arch’s Gal Edith. The real reason is simply that I love her name. It has to be a reference to Edith, the “Dingbat,” wife of Archie Bunker in “All in the Family.”
From time to time I have written some posts about my beloved family, especially my Dear Ole Dad (DOD). DOD was a huge fan of “All in the Family.” Specifically, he was a huge fan of Archie Bunker. They were a lot alike, we frequently reminded him. “You are just as bad as Archie,” or something like that, is what we told him.
A couple of weeks ago I saw the actress who played Edith in some movie on television. For the life of me I could not remember the name of the actress. I’ll have to ask DOD about it, I decided. I did ask him about it on Wednesday, April 25, the day we attended Keeneland to feed the ponies (and the mutuel machines).
He could not remember the name of the actress who played Edith either. And he had actually met her at least once. She (Jean Stapleton, I later fingered out through the wonders of the internet) had some cousins in Cincinnati. She was doing a play in Cincinnati. DOD went backstage to meet Jean Stapleton after the play through a connection with one of her cousins. DOD distinctly remembered meeting her, but he could not remember the name of the actress who played Edith.
DOD just turned 89 last Thursday, May 3. So such memory lapses are understandable in his case (though not in mine).
Aside from a check for the ritual amount ($89.89 in this case), I also give DOD a free wager ($2 across the board, which I book myself) on the Derby for his birthday every year. This year DOD selected DADDY NOSE BEST as his Derby nag. Yeah, he goes pretty much by the names. Sure am glad that nag did not hit the board.
I usually give DOD some info on the Derby nags (such as Steve Haskin’s “Derby Dozen”) to help him make his selection. I think I shall have to point out to him that he needs to pay a little more attention to the pedigrees in making his selection. If he had seen that Arch’s Gal Edith was the dam of I’ll Have Another (and the info was right there in “Derby Dozen”), he would have been all over I’ll Have Another. And I would owe him another $55 or so.
So I reckon the moral of this story is: Pay more attention to the pedigrees in making a Derby selection.