Given that he was a brilliant racehorse, an outstanding sire in both North America and Europe, and a successful sire of sires, it is remarkable how the male line of Blushing Groom (FR) has faded out. In fact, following the death of Le Havre (FR) in France last year, there isn’t a single top-level representative to be found in North America or Europe, despite it being little more than 30 years since Blushing Groom himself passed.
In North America, although Rahy was his most successful son, Blushing Groom’s line was predominantly passed on through two other channels, the sprinter Mt. Livermore and Runaway Groom, a Canadian champion and conqueror of the winners of the Kentucky Derby (Gato Del Sol), Preakness Stakes (Aloma's Ruler) and Belmont Stakes (Conquistador Cielo) – all grade 1—in the 1982 Travers Stakes (G1).
What looked to be the strongest chance for the continuation of the Blushing Groom line in North America took a severe hit when War Pass, the champion 2-year-old colt of 2007 (by Runaway Groom’s Breeders' Cup Sprint [G1] winner Cherokee Run) died after siring just two crops of Northern Hemisphere runners. Those two crops produced seven stakes winners, five graded, from only 86 starters, including the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) victor Java's War (out of a mare by Blushing Groom son Rainbow Quest) and Revolutionary, successful in the Louisiana Derby (G2), Pimlico Special (G3) and Withers Stakes (G3), and third in the Kentucky Derby.
Java’s War retired to stud at Colebrook Stud, Ontario, Canada, in 2017, served two seasons at Darby Dan Farm, Lexington, in 2019, and then returned north of the border to Equiprovet, Brantford, Ontario. He’s been represented by only 22 foals from his first three crops, 11 starting, and seven winning, his only black-type horse being stakes placed in Puerto Rico.
Revolutionary began his career at WinStar Farm, Versailles, Ky., in 2015, and was sold to South Korea for the 2020 breeding season. Revolutionary has been represented by four stakes winners from five North American crops, and at the weekend was responsible for his first graded winner, and likely one of the Blushing Groom line’s last North American-sired winners at that level, when his daughter R Calli Kim took the Long Island Stakes (G3). This was the first black-type win for R Calli Kim, and only her second black-type start. She began her career with a 6 1/2-length win in a seven-furlong maiden $16,000 claiming event at Tampa Bay Downs in April 2020. She switched to the turf for her next start, a one-mile $35,000 claiming contest at Gulfstream Park, which she won. The 6-year-old has stayed on that surface ever since, other than an off-turf 12- furlong allowance event at Churchill Downs last May, which she won. Overall, R Calli Kim’s record shows eight wins in 13 starts, and she has gone 4-for-4 in 2023, with her other wins coming in a $30,000 claimer at Saratoga Race Course, an allowance/optional claimer at Kentucky Downs, and an allowance race at Keeneland.
Remarkably, R Calli Kim is the second winner of the Long Island Stakes in two years for her dam, It Takes Two, after her two years older half sister Temple City Terror took the event in 2022. It Takes Two scored her only win in a maiden $15,000 claiming event at Turfway Park, but the daughter of More Than Ready is very well related.
Her dam, the black-type placed Chastity Belle (by Gilded Time) is half-sister to Ready's Gal, who was one of More Than Ready’s more accomplished daughters, winning five black-type events, including the Canadian Stakes (G2), Matchmaker Stakes (G3), Hillsborough Stakes (G3), and Lake George Stakes (G3), and also half sister to the dam of another More Than Ready product, the Fantasy Stakes (G2) scorer Ready to Please (subsequently dam of Japanese graded winner Nac Venus).
The third dam of R Calli Kim, Exquisite Mistress, won the Beaumont Stakes and Davona Dale Stakes, and was also graded stakes placed. Exquisite Mistress is by Naskra’s son Nasty and Bold, out of El Hamo, who is by Search For Gold, a brother to Mr. Prospector. This gives It Takes Two, Ready’s Gal, and Ready to Please a rather interesting pattern as More Than Ready’s dam is by Woodman, a son of Mr. Prospector, out of a mare by Naskra, effectively a reverse cross to Exquisite Mistress. Revolutionary also carries Mr. Prospector, giving Mr. Prospector/Search For Gold 4x5x5.
El Hamo is a sister to Pot of Gold (the dam of champion Canadian older horse Ten Gold Pots, and granddam of millionaire Anet), and half sister to Come Near (granddam of Canadian champion and classic winner Cryptocloser) and to Count on Bonnie (dam of champion Hansel, winner of the Belmont Stakes and Preakness Stakes). It’s worth noting here that both Hansel and his multiple stakes-winning brother, Lahint, were both by More Than Ready’s broodmare sire, Woodman.
The family arrived in North America from Italy in the mid-1960s when Midinette II, a stakes winner in Italy, was imported by E.P. Taylor of Windfields Farm. She was a descendant of the famous Italian mare Fausta. Purchased as a yearling by Federico Tesio, Fausta won both the Italian Derby and Oaks and produced three Italian Derby-winning siblings, Meissonier, Melozza da Forli, and Michelangelo.