By Andrew Caulfield
It may be stating the obvious, but stallion success tends to be hereditary. MIZZEN MAST is certainly bred to succeed as a sire, because both his sire Cozzene and grandsire Caro were champion sire
Caro was a remarkably versatile performer during his racing days. Although he stood 16.3 hands, he made a winning debut over 4½ furlongs early in his two-year-old season and trained on to become a classic-winning miler at three and a top-class performer at around 1¼ miles at four.
Caro arrived in Kentucky in 1977, the year he became champion sire in France with the help of winners of the French 1,000 Guineas, Derby and Oaks. Caro’s years in France also produced numerous other champions and he kept up the good work in Kentucky. He sired as many as ten stakes winners in a single crop of 38 named foals and his final tally of 78 stakes winners represented an admirable 13 per cent of his progeny. Caro was also one of those rare stallions with more than 6 per cent Graded/Group winners to his credit.
Although he originally made his name with his turf runners in France, Caro also proved adept at siring top-notch dirt horses, one very good example being Winning Colors, the Kentucky Derby heroine. His Irish-bred grandson In Excess also excelled on dirt and is now a respected sire of dirt performers. Caro is also the broodmare sire of Unbridled’s Song and Maria’s Mon, two highly accomplished dirt performers who have sired major winners on the main track.
As a May foal, Cozzene wasn’t asked to race at two but he did well on the main track at three, winning three of his six starts and failing by only a head to win the Palisades Handicap. However, it is as a turf runner that he will be best remembered, most notably for his victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile in 1985, which earned him the title of champion grass male.
As a turf horse based in Kentucky, Cozzene had to earn his stripes as a stallion. After starting his career at $20,000, his fee slipped to $10,000 during the hard days of the early ’nineties but he soon proved his worth. After getting Cozzene’s Prince, a Canadian champion, in his first crop, Cozzene hit the jackpot with his second, which had eight stakes winners among its 43 named foals. Leading the way was Environment Friend, who became Cozzene’s first Gr.1 winner when he took the Eclipse Stakes, one of England’s most prestigious prizes. Another colt from this crop, Star of Cozzene, proved to have been aptly named and he finished third in the voting for the Eclipse Award for Turf Male in 1993, after winning the Arlington Million and the Man o’War Stakes.
Cozzene finished seventh on the leading sires’ list in 1993 – a tremendous achievement for a stallion who had stood the 1993 season at $10,000. To prove that there was no fluke about this achievement, Cozzene repeated the feat in 1994, when his French son Tikkanen raided the Turf Classic Invitational and the Breeders’ Cup Turf. Then, in 1996, Cozzene moved to the top of the leading sires’ list thanks to a collection of five Graded winners headed by Alphabet Soup, conqueror of Louis Quatorze and Cigar in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Cozzene has made quite an impact on Breeders’ Cup Day, winning the Mile and siring winners of the Classic and the Turf. He nearly added the Juvenile Fillies to his collection in 2000, when Platinum Tiara failed by only half a length to catch Caressing.
Another very good juvenile by Cozzene was Admire Cozzene, who took the title of champion 2yo colt in Japan in 1998. In typical fashion for a son of Cozzene, Admire Cozzene held his form extremely well and he was again a Gr.1 winner in 2002, when he won the important Yasuda Kinen. More recently, Cozzene was responsible for Rose Decollete, winner of the Japanese Oaks in 2007.
Like Admire Cozzene, MIZZEN MAST was one of the quick-maturing Cozzenes, forward enough to make a winning debut in the August of his juvenile season, when he was also beaten the width of a nostril in the Gr.3 Prix des Chenes.
Fearless Revival, a talented juvenile from Cozzene’s first crop, is now the dam of the highly successful British stallion Pivotal.
By Andrew Caulfield
MIZZEN MAST's family was brought into Juddmonte Farms with the purchase of his dam Kinema, a daughter of the celebrated broodmare Mrs Peterkin.
When Kinema came on the market as a yearling in 1984, this daughter of Graustark cost Juddmonte no less than $2,200,000 and it is easy to understand why. Mrs Peterkin had already been represented by three stakes winners, including the California Oaks winner Whydidju (who, like Kinema, was by one of Ribot’s best sons) and the Kentucky Oaks winner Sweet Alliance. Sweet Alliance had also earned her place in the limelight through her son Shareef Dancer, a Northern Dancer colt which sold for $3,300,000 as a yearling before going on to win the Irish Derby. Mrs Peterkin herself did well when she was mated with Northern Dancer’s son Nijinsky, the result being Dancing Champ, winner of the Gr.2 Massachusetts Handicap.
No fewer than five of Mrs Peterkin’s daughters – Sweet Alliance, Farouche, In The Offing, Minstrelsy and Kinema – have produced a Graded Stakes winner. MIZZEN MAST's third dam, the celebrated broodmare Legendra, was also a highly successful producer, especially of two-year-olds. Her stakes-winning daughter Hasty Doll received an Experimental Free Handicap rating of 111; her filly Rich Tradition – winner of the Selima, Spinaway and Schuylerville Stakes – was rated 113; and her son Sky Clipper, winner of the Sapling Stakes, was rated 116. Her other stakes winner – Mrs Peterkin – also won at two, before going on to win the Gr.3 Chrysanthemum Handicap over a mile and an eighth.
This family continues to make its mark. The uncomparable Horse of the Year and mutliple Gr.1 winner Zenyatta has Mrs Peterkin as her fourth dam.
Kinema’s sire, Graustark, was a prodigious talent who was rated inferior only to the great Buckpasser among the two-year-olds of 1965, when he was unbeaten in three starts. Graustark extended his winning sequence to six early in 1966 and headed the Kentucky Derby betting until he broke a coffin bone in finishing a nose second in the Blue Grass Stakes. Frank Talmadge Phelps, writing in the Bloodstock Breeders’ Review, described this rangy son of Ribot as “the most convincing colt this reporter has ever seen. His bearing, his grace, his smooth and effortless way of moving convinced virtually everyone who saw him, even the most determined skeptics, that he was cut out to be a champion of champions.”
Graustark had such charisma that he was syndicated for a record $2,400,000 – an enormous valuation at that time – and he went on to sire several champions, including Key To The Mint. Graustark’s brother His Majesty also made his mark, notably siring Pleasant Colony as well as the dam of that exceptional stallion Danehill.
By Andrew Caulfield
When James Willoughby, one of the Racing Post’s most respected journalists, was discussing the quality of the 2002 Breeders’ Cup Classic on British television, he pointed out that the race was missing Street Cry and Left Bank and “it’s also missing possibly the best horse in the world, MIZZEN MAST.”
That Willoughby should make this comment nearly nine months after MIZZEN MAST was last in action is an indication of how mightily impressive the Juddmonte colt had been in winning the Gr.2 Strub Stakes over a mile and an eighth at Santa Anita.
The Blood-Horse reported:
"MIZZEN MAST overpowered his Strub opponents, winning by four lengths after breezing toward the lead on the turn for home and drawing off impressively under Kent Desormeaux.
MIZZEN MAST, in tight among horses going into the first turn, settled into a good spot in the run down the backstretch, about five lengths behind the speeding leader. 'I had so much horse going down the backside, I was pulling on him as hard as I could to slow him down,' Desormeaux said.
MIZZEN MAST swung to the outside on the turn for home and moved past the front-runners with ease. Desormeaux applied some pressure down the lane while MIZZEN MASTcompleted the nine furlongs on a fast track in 1:47.25 after a one-mile clocking of 1:34.74. MIZZEN MASTtook .02 seconds off the stakes mark set by Silver Charm in 1998."
This was only the second time that MIZZEN MAST had raced on the main track and it was the second time that he had won in the style of a champion. The ex-French colt had made his dirt debut in the Gr.1 Malibu Stakes at the end of 2001 and his performance was a revelation, as The Blood-Horse reported:
“Amidst calendar-picture weather, a crowd of 27,713 marched forward on Dec. 26 to take in Santa Anita’s seasonal opener, and there, standing front and center yet again, was Bobby Frankel, placing perhaps the final bow on his gift-wrapped year following MIZZEN MAST's clear-cut triumph in the $200,000 Malibu Stakes (Gr. I) in 1:22.13.
‘I’ll give you some terminology I learned in New Orleans this weekend,’ said energized jockey Kent Desormeaux, fresh from a down-home family fiesta. ‘When I asked him to run, he popped a wheelie, he took off so fast.’
There was no word whether MIZZEN MAST left any skidmarks. But his manhandling of a good Malibu field served notice there’s a new force to be reckoned with from the Frankel stable. This one, however, is now a threat on both surfaces.
‘He fell on his head. The ground tore out from underneath him, he broke so hard,’ Desormeaux said. ‘He would have been in front if his feet grabbed the soil.’
Instead, MIZZEN MAST found himself in mid-pack down the backstretch, chasing a hot pace furnished by Brainy, Giant Gentleman, and Mo Mon. When Desormeaux finally found a clear path turning for home, MIZZEN MAST was ready. The strike was quick, and only Giant Gentleman offered any resistance. Still, it wasn’t enough. The final margin was 2 1/2 lengths.”
Dan Farley in the Racing Post continued the story:
“However, the victory was not achieved without some anxious moments,” he wrote.
“‘When he left the gate I was cursing because he stumbled badly,’ said Frankel. ‘I thought he had no chance, then I saw him moving up and Kent was trying to get him in the clear.
‘He ran unbelievable. He’s obviously a good horse.’
Of the switch to dirt, Frankel said: ‘There's nothing you can teach them. His style was good and he trained good on it.’”
MIZZEN MAST had raced nine times previously, exclusively on turf. On three occasions the soft ground prevented him from reproducing his best form, but he was a different proposition when conditions were fast.
He established that he had a very bright future when he made his debut in a newcomers’ race at Deauville in the August of his two-year-old days. Staying on strongly at the end of the mile, he won smoothly from a field which also included Domedriver, the top-notch miler who later defeated Rock of Gibraltar in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
MIZZEN MAST was immediately stepped up to Group-race company, tackling the Prix des Chenes at Longchamp. He was a little unfortunate to lose by a nose to the more-experienced Equerry, who was to remain unbeaten in his first five starts. The French Racing On Line site recorded that MIZZEN MAST had been in front every stride but the last during a lengthy battle with the winner.
Unfortunately the ground was totally against him when he stepped up to Gr.1 company for his final start at two, but he had done enough on his previous appearances to earn a rating of 111 on the International Classifications – and to show that he was much more precocious than his sire Cozzene.
MIZZEN MAST had to wait until May 2000 before he again had ground conditions in his favour and he showed his appreciation with an impressive victory in the Gr.3 Prix de Guiche over a mile and an eighth. French Racing On Line recorded that he “made all at a lively pace five in front and kept going in the straight without being ever threatened.” His winning margin was 6 lengths.
Trainer Criquette Head-Maarek commented afterwards in the Racing Post: “It’s incredible how the ground can play such a role with this horse. He hates it when it’s heavy."
“MIZZEN MAST would have been even better on a firmer surface. It was only good this afternoon.”
She added, “MIZZEN MAST was probably at his maximum distance today. The Prix Jean Prat might come a little soon, but we will definitely be looking at the Grand Prix de Paris.”
Jockey Olivier Doleuze said, “He just loves galloping and we have always thought a lot of him.”
MIZZEN MAST attempted similar tactics next time out in the Gr.1 Grand Prix de Paris over 1¼ miles. Unfortunately for him, his opponents included the high-class Chichicastenango, who had proven his liking for distances of 1¼ miles or more by defeating the future classic winners Anabaa Blue and Milan in the Gr.1 Prix Lupin and by finishing a close second in the French Derby. MIZZEN MAST set up a clear lead but Chichicastenango’s stamina came into play in the last furlong and the Juddmonte colt went down honorably by 1½ lengths over a distance which was probably beyond his best.
MIZZEN MAST also demonstrated his turf-course talents after his transfer to Bobby Frankel. The firm track at Hollywood Park was ideal when MIZZEN MAST took on Momentum, another very talented import from Europe, in the Bien Bien Stakes over a mile. Quickening well in the stretch, he won by more than 3 lengths from Momentum, who won the Gr.3 Native Diver Handicap next time out.
MIZZEN MAST was evidently an even better horse in his native America than he had been in France, perhaps because he was ridden differently. In gaining his three Californian stakes victories, he was ridden much more patiently and his rider was rewarded with an impressive burst of acceleration. MIZZEN MAST had the speed to win at Gr.1 level over 7 furlongs, this speed being combined with the strength to win going away over 1 1/8 miles. His career was halted just as he appeared to be on the verge of establishing himself as one of the stars of American dirt racing.
By Ercel Ellis
First the Gr.1 $1,000,000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, now the Gr.1 Classic Poule D'Essai des Pouliches, Flotilla has stamped herself as an elite performer at both two and three. She's by MIZZEN MAST. May 12th, at Longchamp, Flotilla defeated a field of 20 to take the French classic by a widening length and a quarter at the direct expense of the previously undefeated filly Esoterique. It was her first start since her victory at the Breeders' Cup last November at Santa Anita, and she has accumulated earnings of $916,102. Her time for the one mile Poule D'Essai des Pouliches was 1:34 and 3, equaling her time in her Breeders' Cup victory.
MIZZEN MAST is also the sire of Mizdirection, the top rated sprinter on grass of either sex in the US this year. Like Flotilla, Mizdirection posted a win at last year's Breeders' Cup, defeating males in the Gr.1 $1,000,000 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. This year she has posted wins in the Gr.2 Buena Vista Stakes, Gr.2 Monrovia Stakes, and Gr.3 Las Cienegas Stakes in as many starts for earnings of $1,154,621. A model of consistency, Mizdirection has never been out of the money in 15 career starts with 10 wins, four seconds, and a third. She has also yet to taste defeat at Santa Anita.
Flotilla and Mizdirection are just two of the five Gr.1 winners sired by MIZZEN MAST, having been preceded by Mast Track, winner of the Gr.1 Hollywood Gold Cup and of $922,822, Ultimate Eagle, winner of the Gr.1 Hollywood Derby and $547,800, and Midships, winner of the Gr.1 Charles Whittingham Memorial and $528,041.
MIZZEN MAST has sired graded stakes winners on dirt, grass, and artificial, and they have won graded stakes at distances from six furlongs to a mile and a quarter. Sired by the highly successful Cozzene and out of daughter of Ribot's illustrious son, Graustark. MIZZEN MAST's pedigree offers an outcross to the popular sire lines of Storm Cat, Mr. Prospector, and Seattle Slew. Four of his five Gr.1 winners Flotilla, Mizdirection, Ultimate Eagle, and Mast Track are the result of outcross breeding and one must go back to the fourth generation to find a trace of inbreeding in the pedigree of Midships.
To quote Michel Zerolo, who as a partner in Oceanic Bloodstock planned the mating which resulted in Flotilla, MIZZEN MAST is a "great value as a sire."