Last year, Littlemissperfect was bred to Imagining only after she returned from Kentucky and lost the pregnancy she’d been carrying to Fed Biz. This year, we’re even more excited to send her back to Imagining in the latest Housatonic Recommended Mating.
Since their matchup last year, we have only become more bullish on Imagining’s chances as a sire. His 54 first crop foals are now 2-year-olds, and before we have even gotten into May, he already has six of his offspring on official worktabs, with several others earning rave reviews from their connections. Included among those is Dreaming of Love, who was entered in just the second baby race of the Laurel season on April 19th.
These early-season appearances are all the more noteworthy given that Imagining himself didn’t debut until his 3-year-old year, didn’t win his first stakes until 5, and scored his biggest career victory at 6.
But arguably that delayed success had more to do with the patience often exercised by trainer Shug McGaughey with the Phipps Stable runners, rather than a lack of precocity in Imagining himself, as his sire, Giant’s Causeway, was a two-time leading juvenile sire in North America (2005 and 2014), and Imagining’s dam, Daydreaming, was a 2-year-old debut winner and then Grade 1-placed that summer at Saratoga. So clearly Imagining is passing on some of the precocity inherent in his pedigree, along with his own stunning good looks (his first crop included yearling sales of $95,000, $50,000 and $25,000 (two) — all very strong numbers for locally-sired offerings at Timonium — plus a 2-year-old purchased for $55,000 at OBS April by West Point Thoroughbreds).
We had hoped, when we sent Littlemissperfect his way last year, that Imagining would prove to be a more precocious influence than his race record alone indicated, and we also believe his runners will have no problems handling dirt as well as turf (the surface that he raced over exclusively) — a versatility which will be complimented by Littlemissperfect’s own record and pedigree.
As we’ve laid out previously, Littlemissperfect’s female family has had prior success with Storm Cat-line stallions like Imagining — most immediately, her dam’s full-sister, Procession, produced the Grade 3 winner of 20 races, Proceed Bee, by the Storm Cat son Bernstein; other stakes winners from this female family by Storm Cat or his sons include Grade 3 winner With Distinction, plus Knit One Purr Too and Grand Prix. And, since Littlemissperfect is sired by the Street Cry stallion Street Hero, this mating also creates some similarities to the pedigree of Group 1 winner (and now leading sire) Shamardal – the first high-class runner and sire by Giant’s Causeway, who happens to be out of a full-sister to Street Cry. The cross of Giant’s Causeway and his sons with Street Cry-line mares has produced multiple Grade 2 winner Sharp Samurai, among others.
We are also excited about this matchup because it will result in two different instances of the Rasmussen Factor in one mating (that is, inbreeding to superior females rather than the more traditional pattern of doubling up on stallion influence): Weekend Surprise, the dam of classic winners A.P. Indy and Summer Squall, will appear 4×5 through those two sons, while the Phipps family’s champion 2-year-old filly Numbered Account will appear 5×5 through her Grade 1-winning daughter Dance Number and her Grade 1-winning son Private Account (and inbreeding to Numbered Account is a pattern that has actually had quite a bit of success relative to opportunities, including multiple times through the Maryland stalwarts Not For Love and Polish Numbers, both from the same female family as Imagining, and who both featured in the pedigree of the dam of recent Horse of the Year California Chrome).
Imagining and Littlemissperfect are also a nice case of like-to-like physically, as good-sized, strong-bodied horses with lots of flash, and they’ve already proved they can combine to produce a very nice foal — hopefully next year’s version will be just as nice!
Imagining wins the G1 Man o’ War
Imagining wins the G3 Red Smith
Imagining wins the G3 Pan American
Imagining wins the Idle Rich