By Michael Adolphson for WoodbineEntertainment.com
TORONTO, November 10 - All class.
Two words that go hand-in-hand with the legacy of Mrs. Lindsay. From one of the last crops of one of the greatest turf sires in recent decades, the chestnut daughter of Theatrical (IRE) waltzed into Canada and gave them a show worthy of applause in the autumn of 2007.
Always a filly enveloped by high hopes, Mrs. Lindsay was conditioned by decorated trainer Francois Rohaut in France for Bettina Jenney of the historic and famed Derry Meeting Farm in Pennsylvania, the birthplace of the great sire Danzig. Those high aspirations were realized early, when she won at second-asking in her sophomore bow.
Taking said March 2007 maiden by an emphatic four lengths, she displayed speed and agility matched only by her admirable stamina, winning at 11 furlongs against the boys. She would then go on to capture the Group III Prix Penelope at Saint-Cloud next out in April, serving notice to her contemporaries and setting her up for a classic run.
Such was not meant to be, as she proved second-best to Sheikh Mohammed’s talented West Wind in the Group I Prix de Diane (French Oaks) at Chantilly. Sent to post as the 8-5 favorite that day, she raced surprisingly flatly in the final furlong under new rider Johnny Murtagh. The best, though, was yet to come for the offspring of Woodman mare Vole Vole Monamour and older half-sister to Grade I winner Dame Dorothy, and Murtagh would figure out quickly how to make the most of her pent-up potency.
Revenge came sweetly two starts later in Longchamp’s Group I Prix Vermeille Lucien Barriere, the traditional filly and mare prep for the Group I Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Defeating West Wind, as well as subsequently Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf-placed mare Passage of Time (dam of top miler Time Test), the game filly with the dangerous combination of speed and endurance defeated her elders and earned herself a ticket to Canada’s premier test for the same division, the Grade I E. P. Taylor Stakes over Woodbine’s world-class turf course.
It looked to be no cakewalk in Canada, though. Mark Casse-trained 3-year-old Sealy Hill came into the race in top form for owner Melnyk Racing and appeared the horse-to-beat and then some. A top field of international players assembled from some of the most powerful barns in the world to take her on, but she would not be deterred.
Mrs. Lindsay broke well from post four, used her tractable speed to sit comfortably in third of the 10 fillies and mares, about four lengths off the pace set by talented local charge Essential Edge, who had won the Woodbine prep, the Grade II Canadian Stakes. From there, Mrs. Lindsay reeled in said Eric Coatrieux trainee, as well as a stalking import Four Sins (GER).
There was a slight cause for concern for a moment as the bold and determined Sealy Hill swept gamely to the front, but Mrs. Lindsay, under a confident and strong Murtagh, unleashed an intrepid stretch run
to out-class, out-will and overpower the subsequently Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf-placed filly by a measured half-length. It was another length and a half back to highly regarded Bobby Frankel trainee Barancella (FR). His Highness the Aga Khan’s well-fancied John Oxx trainee Four Sins (GER) retreated to eighth.
The final time was telling — a track record of 2:00.68 over the firm going — further underlining Mrs. Lindsay’s versatility. In only her seventh career try, she landed her second Group or Grade I event and won over her third grade of turf, following her soft-going maiden win and good-grounded Penelope and Vermeille wins.
Mrs. Lindsay called it a season after giving such a thrill to Woodbine fans and stamping herself as one of the greats to race on its lauded lawn. She would go on to race only three more times as a 4-year-old, facing the likes of subsequent champion Duke of Marmalade in Longchamp’s Group I Prix Ganay to kick off her season in April 2008. Unfortunately, nothing went right for her in said triad and she was retired with four victories from 10 starts, a classic placing and USD $1,201,621 in purses earned.
As a broodmare, she went on to produce multiple French Listed stakes winner Mr. Owen (by Invincible Spirit (IRE)), who proved a talented miler for the same connections and Qatar Racing, placing in the classic Group I Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French 2,000 Guineas), as well as the Group II Prix du Mugeut and Group III Prix Messidor.
In the end, it was not her talented son or the money Mrs. Lindsay made in such a short amount of time that made her what she was. Nor was it the connections she had who were so loved in the racing community. Mrs. Lindsay garnered her place in Canadian racing history and the respect of the racing world with pure class that was inherent from the get-go — and nowhere was that more apparent than when she got going with a blistering acceleration and historic victory in the 2007 E. P. Taylor.
Steeped in tradition, Woodbine’s world-famous turf races have been captured by some of the greats of the sport including recent Woodbine Mile champs Tepin and Wise Dan; the Hall of Fame mare All Along who captured the International in a standout campaign; and the incomparable Secretariat, who concluded his historic career with a runaway score in the 1973 edition of the International. Join us as we profile Titans of the Turf, highlighting those who have triumphed on the Woodbine green.
September 4th, 2017. Titans Of The Turf: Tepin
September 11, 2017 - Titans Of The Turf: Wise Dan
October 12, 2017 - Titans Of The Turf: All Along