On breeding: The (Avani) Force is strong

by | Nov 5, 2019 | Breaking, Breeding, Regionwide, Top Stories

Pink Caddy was much the best in the $100,000 Small Wonder Stakes at Delaware Park. Photo by The Racing Biz.

Though much of the attention in Thoroughbred racing and sales is focused on the stallion side of things — which is logical enough given that a sire can get 100-plus foals in each crop, while a mare can only have one a year — there are some mares that achieve enough, despite their relatively limited opportunities, to deserve laurels of their own. The victories of Call Paul and Pink Caddy on Delaware Park’s September 28th Owners’ Day program put the spotlight squarely on their dam, Avani Force.

A foal of 2007, Avani Force won five of her eight starts at 3- and 4-years-old, finishing third in another, good for earnings of $77,200. She is by the beautiful and beautifully-bred Grade 1 winner Forestry, who had a very inconsistent stud career that resulted in his exportation to Brazil in 2014 despite having earlier sired Preakness-G1 winner Shackleford, the brilliant miler Discreet Cat, and the infamous $16 million 2-year-old in-training The Green Monkey.

Avani Force’s dam, Avani, is by Peter Brant’s champion Gulch, and is a half-sister to the Grade 2 winner and stakes-producer Jade Flush, and to stakes winner and Grade 1-producer Tenga (dam of Startac). But Avani herself never raced, and while she has thrown three winners from five foals to race in addition to Avani Force (she also has a yearling filly to come by My Pal Charlie, and was bred to Sassicaia for 2020), none of her foals was of stakes caliber.

What that means is that when Avani Force’s first foal came to the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2013, she had “two blank dams” — neither her dam nor her granddam had earned or thrown any foals that had earned black-type by winning or placing in stakes competition. That filly by Monba, eventually named Aggreysive, failed to find a buyer on a final bid of $14,000 at Keeneland, before going on to earn $33,435 with two wins and three thirds in fifteen starts from 2- through 6-years-old.

Avani Force’s second foal, a 2014 filly by the Country Life Farm stallion Friesan Fire, did somewhat better at auction and on the track. She brought $6,000 as a weanling at the Fasig-Tipton December Mixed Sale from Country Life, and as Friesani, she broke her maiden for a Country Life racing partnership as a 3-year-old before being claimed away. In sixteen career starts she added another victory, plus finished second five times and third once, earning a total of $87,636 — a healthy return on her purchase price, even if she did not show any evidence of what was to come from Avani Force’s next foal.

Born two years after Friesani was a full-brother by Friesan Fire. A much different physical type than Friesani, who was not a big filly, this heavy, robust colt sold as a Fasig-Tipton Timonium yearling for $20,000 out of the Marshall Silverman consignment to Grassroots Training & Sales, who then brought him back to Timonium as a juvenile. After breezing a furlong in a solid-if-unspectacular time of :10.2 at the preview show (demonstrating a long, fluid stride to go with his impressive physique), the colt was knocked down for $210,000 to owner Michael Dubb.

A little less than two months later, Call Paul broke his maiden at Delaware Park by open lengths over eventual Grade 1 winner Mind Control, then took the Saratoga Special-G2 in his second start. He finished his juvenile season with third-place finishes in the Champagne-G1 and Nashua-G3 going longer and then shortened up to take the state-bred Pennsylvania Nursery in December.

Call Paul returned this year at 3 with a win in the Swale-G3 at Gulfstream, before placing in the Bay Shore-G3 and the Gold Fever Stakes in New York. He triumphed over older state-bred foes in the Danzig Stakes in June at Penn National but then was off-the-board in a pair of graded stakes at Saratoga this summer before returning to the winner’s circle at Delaware Park in their New Castle Stakes for Delaware-certified runners. He was subsequently second as the favorite in the Maryland Million Sprint earlier this month, once again taking on older horses. His career earnings now stand at $566,670 for his owners and trainer Jason Servis.

Between Call Paul’s second and third starts last year at 2, his year-younger half-sister by El Padrino sold for $40,000 to Greg Quick at the same Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale where Call Paul had brought half that a year prior. Subsequently named Pink Caddy, she was third in her first start for Quick trainer Randy Allen, then broke her maiden by 7 3/4 lengths in July at Parx. She came into Delaware’s Small Wonder Stakes off a fifth-place finish behind the disqualified Maryland-bred Miss J McKay in Monmouth’s turfy Colleen Stakes, and got back to the winner’s circle by 6-3/4 lengths as the heavy favorite on Owners Day, bringing her earnings to $106,730.

Two days after Call Paul and Pink Caddy were both victorious at Delaware Park, their yearling half-brother by Bullsbay went through the ring at Timonium and was purchased for $55,000 by Call Paul’s owner Michael Dubb.

Avani Force has a colt of 2019 by Uncle Lino, and was this spring was sent to Kentucky stallion Tapizar (who is from the same A.P. Indy/Pulpit sire-line as Friesan Fire and El Padrino).

All of Avani Force’s foals (except for Aggreysive, who was bred by Michael Jester) have been bred in Pennsylvania by Vicky Schowe and Beatrice Patterson, who find themselves the lucky owners of a mare in whom the “force” is very strong.

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About The Author

George Adams

George Adams is the founder and principal of the Maryland-based Housatonic Bloodstock LLC.

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