ON BREEDING: KATARICA DISCO DANCES ON
The Disco Rico mare Katarica Disco has been an amazing producer for Stephen and Susan Quick, whose St. Omer’s Farm is located in Forest Hill, Md. And her success is continuing.
From eight foals to race, she has produced eight winners, with all but one sired by Pennsylvania stallion Weigelia, who stands at the nearby WynOaks Farm of Chip and Barbara Wheeler.
It is a rare broodmare, indeed, who can produce seven full brothers and sisters that consistently find the winner’s circle – including two stakes winners and two stakes-placed horses – but Katarica Disco has done so, with her fillies being especially talented.
The mare’s most recent winner by Weigelia prevailed July 25 at Monmouth Park, when Disco Deja Vu, a 3-year-old filly, upset the field in a $48,000 allowance test at 5-½ furlongs, pushing her earnings to nearly $50,000. Disco Déjà vu went off at nearly 34-1.
The fact that Disco Deja Vu even made it to the races at all is something of a miracle, according to Barbara Wheeler, who owns the filly under her WynOaks Farm banner.
“As a foal, she had colic surgery,” said Wheeler. “We were going to sell her at auction but had to withdraw because she needed colic surgery again. At that point, we said it would be good for us to race her ourselves, and try and capture some purse earnings.”
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The story of Katarica Disco begins in 1978, when the Quicks purchased her fourth dam, the First Landing mare Pilgrim’s Pride, at the Maryland Winter Mixed Sale in foal to North Sea. She was the first mare they bought, and she gave them a kickstart in the breeding business when she produced the filly Kattegat’s Pride the following spring.
Kattegat’s Pride, the third dam of Katarica Disco, was a popular Maryland performer, winning the Gallorette Handicap (Gr. 3) at Pimlico and also winning or placing in 17 other stakes, earning $511,812.
Upon retirement, she produced only two foals for the Quicks, but one of them was Kattebuck, a winning daughter of Spend a Buck. Bred to Maryland stallion Diamond when her racing days were done, Kattebuck produced millionairess and multiple graded stakes winner Silmaril, as well as the unraced filly Legal Kat, by Caveat. Legal Kat, in turn, became the dam of Katarica Disco.
A winner of two of her three lifetime starts, including an allowance victory at Laurel Park, Katarica Disco was retired to the broodmare ranks after finishing off the board in the 2007 Maryland Million Oaks.
A peek at Katarica Disco’s produce record shows that her first foal, a 2009 filly by Crypto Star, was the multiple winner Cryptic Kate, who earned $95,714.
In 2010, the mare produced her first foal by Weigelia, a filly named Pink Princess, who made 66 starts, won 16 times, placed 26 times, and earned $572,135. At age 8, she placed in the Power by Far Stakes at Parx Racing. She is now a broodmare residing at WynOaks, and was bred this year to new sire Force the Pass.
Fat Kat, a stakes winner of $423,318, followed in 2011, while winner Mischief Music (2012) and graded stakes-placed Disco Rose (2013, $449,280) came next.
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Smooth B, a colt foaled in 2015, is a stakes winner of $392,118 and most recently finished second in an allowance/optional claiming race at Delaware Park July 8. One Fat Kat, a filly foaled in 2016, is a two-time winner who placed in a starter event at Laurel Park July 25, with Disco Deja Vu being the youngest to win.
Katarica Disco has a 2-year-old colt by Weigelia, named Fore Harp, that is currently in training at Parx Racing but has not started. Fore Harp sold for $80,000 as a yearling at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale at Timonium.
Katarica Disco foaled a filly by Weigelia in 2019, and is currently back in foal to… you guessed it… Weigelia.
The success of the mare’s progeny stems in equal parts from her solid female line and from Weigelia, who has proven to be an outstanding sire of blue-collar, hard-knocking runners.
Weigelia raced six seasons during which he made 48 starts and won 13 races, eight of which were stakes. A talented speedster on both dirt and turf who captured the Gr. 3 Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap and set two course records, Weigelia earned more than a million dollars, ran nine 100-plus Beyer Speed Figures, and placed in the Gr. 1 King’s Bishop Stakes as well as the Gr. 2 Amsterdam Stakes at Saratoga.
Read more of Linda Dougherty’s On Breeding columns here.
Weigelia is the best horse to be produced by both his sire, Safely’s Mark, and dam, Turning North.
Safely’s Mark, a winning son of Danzig out of champion sprinter Safely Kept, sired only 79 foals during his stud career. Turning North, a daughter of former New York stallion Obligato and the only foal from the unplaced Best Turn mare Best Turn’s Girl, was sold by her breeder Coventry Farm for $600 as a yearling, but outran her pedigree, winning the Bryn Mawr Stakes and placing in two others, earning $103,444 while based at Philadelphia Park with the late trainer Marty Fallon.
Weigelia has impressive lifetime statistics as a sire, including average earnings per starter of $86,220, 70 percent starters from foals, and 53 percent winners from foals, all from a $3,500 stud fee.
Wheeler praises Weigelia as a kind of blue-collar stallion.
“He consistently moves his mares up. His offspring are very durable,” she explained. “It’s a hard game, but on the bright side an average mare could be moved up by breeding to him. Also, his progeny seem to be getting more recognition at the sales, especially 2-year-old sales.”
To Wheeler’s point, last year a 2-year-old filly out of Dixiewood brought $120,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale of 2-year-olds in training at Timonium.