The big, beautiful, hard-knocking race mare Smile Big will be mated with the epitome of a slam-dunk stallion prospect when she visits Mendelssohn in the latest 2019 Housatonic Recommended Mating.
Smile Big’s looks can be inferred from the fact that, despite being a daughter of Big Drama out of a mare with no black-type, she brought $105,000 at a 2-year-old in-training sale from renowned bloodstock agent Peter Bradley, who originally campaigned her with Sol Kumin’s Head of Plains Partners and trainer Chad Brown. She has so far run 28 times from 2- through 5-years-old, with five wins and eleven placings, for earnings of $263,419. Her five victories have come on dirt from a mile to a mile-and-an-eighth, including in open allowance company at Saratoga, and she is placed multiple times on turf.
Big Drama is a son of Montbrook, whose daughters have had success when mated with Storm Cat-line stallions, including producing Grade 1 winner Stopchargingmaria by Tale of the Cat and Grade 2 winner Van Beethoven by Scat Daddy.
Scat Daddy, of course, has posthumously become just about the hottest stallion on the planet, and his undefeated, Triple Crown-winning son Justify will enter stud in 2019 at Ashford for a fee of $150,000, where he will be joined by Mendelssohn at about a fifth of that price (and both are reportedly already booked full).
But while Mendelssohn may not have won the Triple Crown, he brings just about every other qualification to stud that you could want:
- By Scat Daddy, who sired not only Justify but also No Nay Never, whose first crop tore up the tracks in Europe in 2018 and sees his fee quadruple to 100,000 pounds for 2019.
- A half-brother to leading juvenile sire and general sire Into Mischief, as well as the multiple Eclipse Champion Beholder, both also by Storm Cat-line stallions.
- A $3 million yearling (highest sale price of his crop), with the looks to match.
- A Grade 1 winner at 2-years-old, and a Graded stakes winner on both turf and dirt.
All of which explains why Mendelssohn will cover 250 mares this year despite his hefty introductory fee, and why we think he will make a fantastic first mate for Smile Big.
Physically this pairing makes a lot of sense as well — it is pretty much a case of like-to-like as both Mendelssohn and Smile Big are tall, lengthy horses with plenty of leg, and she brings just a bit more bulk and substance to the equation, which he could probably benefit from.
Mendelssohn wins the G1 BC Juvenile Turf
Mendelssohn wins the G2 UAE Derby
Smile Big breezes at the 2015 OBS March Sale