As in, what are the chances a Grade 1-winning mare will have finished first or second in 11 of 19 starts, registered stakes wins at two, three and five, and earned over $1.1 million?
Or, what are the chances a horse will be good enough to be second in a Breeders’ Cup race at two, and be sound and talented enough to win the G1 Beverly D. S. at five?
The chances, frankly, are slim. It takes a horse of genetic superiority, physical dominance and superb class to achieve these things, and that is what breeders will have before them when Watsdachances (Ire) enters the ring as Hip 144 at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale on Nov. 1.
“She’s a filly that is absolutely as genuine as can be,” Pete Bradley said to America’s Best Racing earlier this year. “If you look at her race record, she’s never been worse than fourth. There are very few that you can look down the list of their races and, maybe she didn’t get there, but every time she was coming and making a run at them. And that doesn’t happen with very many horses.”
Bradley purchased Watsdachances privately as a 2-year-old after a six-length maiden breaker in Ireland, and the big, powerful filly quickly made her mark in America.
In her U.S. debut, she chased down Broken Spell to win the P. G. Johnson S. at Saratoga for the Chad Brown barn. Favored in Belmont’s G3 Miss Grillo S. in her next, Watsdachances bid from the back of the pack and surged clear to win by 2 1/4 lengths.
That effort put her as one of the favorites for the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita, and Watsdachances put in another superb effort, running second to the French champion and future Classic winner Flotilla (Fr).
At three, Watsdachances was perhaps unlucky to not add a second graded win after placing in the G2 Sands Point S., G2 Lake George and G2 Lake Placid S., but she concluded her season with a smart victory in Aqueduct’s Summer Secretary S.
At four, it took an in-form Grade 1 winner like Somali Lemonade to beat her in the G3 Gallorette S., but Watsdachances avenged that loss a year later when she absolutely flew home to get up in the 2015 renewal at Pimlico. That kicked off what’s been another outstanding season for Watsdachances.
In July, she went favored in the G2 Dance Smartly at Woodbine, and after racing at the back of the pack off dawdling fractions, she charged home with her patented late kick to be second a head.
Then, in one of the most memorable editions of the Beverly D. ever, Watsdachances put in a career effort in a driving Chicago rain. Last but one under Joe Bravo, she began to motor at the top of the stretch, but had to pause for room for a critical second in mid-stretch. She burst through between rivals in the dying strides and finished in a photo with Stephanie’s Kitten and Secret Gesture (Ire). Following a stewards’ review, she was awarded the race.
Watsdachances now faces a rematch with that pair in what’s shaping up to be a stellar showdown in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, won last year by another Bradley purchase in Dayatthespa.
In addition to being a top racing prospect, Watsdachances clearly has the makings of a top broodmare, too. She’s a daughter of the French star Diamond Green from the Danzig sire line, and was produced by a half-sister to the Irish group winner Reunion. This is the successful international family of the Group 1 winner Planet Rock (Aus).
“Watsdachances” this miss will fit in your program? If you’re looking for an elite mare, they’re pretty darn good.
– Lucas Marquardt