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Pedigree Analysis: Bon Accord

All American Derby’s fastest qualifier is about good will and good breeding.

By Andrea Caudill
Q-Racing Journal
August 22, 2013

bon accord

Bon Accord. PHOTO: Andrea Caudill

When the horses in the 10th All American Derby (G1) trial headed out onto the Ruidoso race strip on the afternoon of August 17, nine-time winner Wicked Courage had been bet down to 3-10. The remainder of the field ranged from 6-1 to 70-1 – quite a spread in confidence. But there is a reason we race horses – when the gates opened, Wicked Courage stumbled and at the wire he was a length behind J. Garvan Kelly, Nancy Yearsley and Vinewood Stables’ Bon Accord. The chestnut gelding, sent off at 34-1, sailed home, covering the 440-yards in :20.977 under Rodrigo Aceves.

Bon Accord was bred in Oklahoma by Kelly and Yearsley, who over the years have produced good results from a select group of horses. Over the past decade, they have bred 43 winners and the earners of more than $3.3 million from 59 starters. Among them are 2005 Los Alamitos Million Futurity (G1) winner Value The Man ($732,399), Grade 1 winners Valiantly ($203,754) and Spike It And Fly ($187,652), and major winners Dutch Shultz ($356,668), Hold Me Now ($109,005), Bannow Bay ($130,194), Three Green Leaves ($114,908), Royal Proclamation ($305,048), Voulez Vous ($173,576) and Knuckles O Toole ($245,795).

The gelding is by Shazoom, who in his successful sire career has not yet sired an All American Derby winner -- but he has two chances this year; he is the sire of both finalists Bon Accord and Wonderboy. Now owned by Brazilian Luciano Beretta, the 20-year-old son of champion Takin On The Cash from 14 crops to race has sired the earners of more than $20.5 million, including champions Shining Sky and Lett Her Zoom. Takin On The Cash is the sire of 2000 All American Derby winner A Delightful Dasher.

Bon Accord is out of the Royal Quick Dash mare Dream Mirage, a Florida-bred out of the Gulch (TB) mare Mike’s Way (TB) who comes from a classy Thoroughbred family. Kelly and Yearsley purchased Dream Mirage as a yearling from well known and successful Thoroughbred breeder M.J. Stavola. A race winning earner of $5,979 in her 8 career starts, Dream Mirage has produced four winners from five starters with progeny earnings of $135,170. Her very first foal was Grade 1 finalist Pipers Tune (by Bono Jazz, $76,823); Bon Accord is her fourth foal. She has a yearling filly by Apollitical Jess named Flashy Mirage.

Dream Mirage's dam, Mike's Way (TB), raced at major Thoroughbred tracks on the east coast, winning or placing in eight of 20 starts with earnings of $80,895. Second dam Classy Mirage (TB) was a Grade I winning earner of $716,712 who also produced graded stakes winner and 2010 Kentucky Derby contender Dublin ($438,949). Third dam First Mirage (TB) sold for $3.7 million at Keeneland as a broodmare; she also produced the Grade I winning earner of $838,894, Missy's Mirage (TB). The family's successful progeny also includes European champion Indian Skimmer ($1,469,299) and Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame member Dark Mirage ($362,789).

Dream Mirage's sire, Royal Quick Dash, was from the first crop of his sire First Down Dash, and was the first volley for his sire’s Hall of Fame career. The gray colt was one of four First Down Dashes to race in the 1991 All American Futurity – the others being Holland Ease, Leaving Memories and Easy First Down – and he won by a neck over Ed Grimley to score his one stakes victory.

“In the final, Royal Quick Dash broke in front and that was it – it was our day,” remembered jockey Jerry Rodriguez. “When I left the gate, I was in front all the way. But I kept on riding him. I was having the feeling that, man, they’re going to come after me, because those were some good horses in there. The favorite, Ed Grimley, was the 8 horse on the outside and he was coming to me. So I kept on riding, but tried to not get him over-rode. And when I crossed the wire and knew I’d won it, I stood up and gave the winning shake with the whip. I thought I was dreaming!”

And now his grandson will look for the same trip over the same strip, 22 years later.