The latest Housatonic Recommended Mating features Boston Mine, a half-sister to a Puerto Rican champion by Eskendereya, who will visit Eskendereya’s brilliant first-year son Mor Spirit at Spendthrift Farm.
In addition to that Puerto Rican sensation named Pure Lemon, Boston Mine (by Horse of the Year Mineshaft) is a half-sister to stakes winner Crafty Unicorn (by Friends Lake, a son of A.P. Indy just like Mineshaft), while their dam, the Lemon Drop Kid mare Unicorn Kid, is a half sister to Grade 3 placed Foster’s Landing and to the dam of the wickedly fast 2018 stakes winning sprinter Salmanazar.
Pure Lemon, a foal of 2013, has scored in 21 of her 35 lifetime starts so far, including a half-dozen Puerto Rican stakes races. She also won a Pimlico allowance race during a five-race stint on the mainland in 2016, and most recently finished 2nd in the Wayward Lass Stakes at Tampa in January of 2019 to kick off her second stateside stay.
With Pure Lemon being a daughter of Eskendereya, Boston Mine should be a perfect fit for his son Mor Spirit. An $85,000 yearling-turned $650,000 2-year-old in-training purchase, Mor Spirit broke his maiden in his second start at 2 for Bob Baffert. He then shipped to Kentucky where he ran 2nd in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes prior to returning to California to triumph in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity in his juvenile finale, moving to the head of Bob Baffert’s list of Triple Crown hopefuls. Mor Spirit debuted as a sophomore with a win in the Grade 3 Bob Lewis, then finished 2nd in both the Grade 2 San Felipe and Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby before a midpack finish in Nyquist’s Kentucky Derby. After the Derby, Mor Spirit was put away until the Grade 1 Malibu after Christmas (in which he finished 4th behind Mind Your Biscuits and Sharp Azteca at 7 furlongs), and he then stretched back out to be 2nd to Hoppertunity in the Grade 2 San Antonio in his first start as a 4-year-old. At this point Baffert sent Mor Spirit out of town, and he ripped off three impressive victories in a row: the Essex Handicap at Oaklawn carrying top weight, the Grade 3 Steve Sexton Mile at Lone Star by 5, and then his signature victory in the Grade 1 Met Mile at Belmont where he came home 6 lengths to the good of Sharp Azteca in 1:33.71, earning a negative 7 Thorograph figure and a 117 Beyer – which was the best Beyer of 2017 at distances up to a mile, and behind only Arrogate at any distance. Mor Spirit retired to Spendthrift Farm last fall after running once more in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile; a 2018 campaign did not come to fruition. He was 1st or 2nd in 11 of 14 starts, for $1.6 million in earnings.
We like the fact that Pure Lemon is not the only Storm Cat-line stakes winner on Boston Mine’s page, as the aforementioned stakes winner Salmanazar is by Storm Cat’s grandson Shackleford, and his dam has also produced a recently-turned 3-year-old full-brother to Salmanazar that brought $200,000 as a yearling, and a recently-turned 2-year-old half-sister by the Giant’s Causeway stallion Carpe Diem that cost $330,000 as a yearling, either of which could further bolster this particular sire-line/female family affinity.
Interestingly, the foal from this mating will be inbred 4x6x4x5 to Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew (Boston Mine herself has the closely-related A.P. Indy and Charming Lassie 2×3 in her own pedigree — they are both by Seattle Slew and Charming Lassie’s dam is a half to A.P. Indy). There are no fewer than seven Grade 1 winners with Seattle Slew appearing 4×4 in their pedigrees, including the likes of Frosted, Tapwrit, Well Armed and Competitive Edge.
Physically and on racing proclivities Mor Spirit and Boston Mine are also an excellent match. Both are tall, strong-bodied horses with plenty of substance, and although some Giant’s Causeway offspring have handled turf as well as dirt, Eskendereya and Mor Spirit were exclusively dirt horses (even if Eskendereya has sired a couple of turf Graded winners). Mineshaft is predominantly a dirt influence, as well (famously achieving his top-class status in the U.S. after a mediocre start on European turf), so we would expect that the result of this mating would be a dirt performer best at distances around a mile, where Mor Spirit and Boston Mine both scored their biggest victories.
Boston Mine breaks her maiden by 10
Pure Lemon, an Eskendereya half to Boston Mine, wins the Clasico Roberto Clemente
Mor Spirit wins the G1 Met Mile, earning a 117 Beyer Speed Figure
Mor Spirit wins the G1 Los Alamitos Futurity
Mor Spirit wins the G3 Robert B. Lewis
Mor Spirit breezes prior to selling for $650,000 as a 2YO in-training
Mor Spirit’s sire, Eskendereya, wins the G1 Wood Memorial