June 12th, 2024

Crimson Advocate Seeking More Royal Ascot Glory

The 2023 Queen Mary (G2) winner represents the female family of Peroration, a British-bred Claiborne foundation mare imported a century ago by Arthur B. Hancock, Sr.

Story by B. Jason Brooks

Founded in 1711, Great Britain’s prestigious Royal Ascot meet is a display of international racing’s decadence and pageantry.  Last year, the meet saw Kentucky-bred juvenile filly Crimson Advocate burst onto the global racing scene with a thrilling win by a nose of the group 2 Queen Mary Stakes, producing an “unforgettable thrill… locked away in the minds and hearts of everyone involved,” according Blood-Horse’s story by Bob Ehalt.

Crimson Advocate wins the 2023 G2 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot with John Velazquez aboard. Credit: Mathea Kelley via The Bloodhorse

In a field of 26 juvenile fillies going five furlongs over Ascot’s straight turf course, she hesitated in breaking from the gate, but was sent to the lead on the near side by jockey John Velazquez.  With the field split into two separate packs, she entered the final furlong with a clear advantage.  According to Mr. Ehalt’s story, “In one of the Hall of Famer’s most masterful rides, he managed to get her nose down first at the wire.  The European-based Relief Rally staged a furious rally to draw alongside Crimson Advocate in the final desperate yards.  A stride before the wire and a stride after it, Relief Rally was ahead.  But when it mattered most, Velazquez pushed his filly across the wire first.”

It was an exciting victory in the third career start for the George Weaver-trained Nyquist filly from the Damaged Goods branch of Claiborne foundation mare Peroration.  Bred by Tom Mara’s Whitehall Lane Farm and purchased as a yearling for $100,000 by a partnership that included Randy Hill, Reagan Swinbank, BlackRidge Stables’ Bill Daugherty, Black Type Thoroughbreds’ Jake Ballis, Hall of Fame basketball coach Rick Pitino, and the New York Giants’ Chris Mara.  Following her Ascot success, she was acquired by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, for his newly-started Wathnan Racing stable.

Crimson Advocate as a yearling at the 2022 OBS October Sale

Remaining in training with Mr. Weaver, she made her next and final juvenile start for Sheikh Tamim against the boys in the grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Santa Anita Park.  She was fractious at the gate before breaking from the rail and got into an early speed duel.  She remained on the lead though the turn before weakening in the stretch, losing the lead with a furlong to go to finish sixth, two and a half lengths behind Michael Appleby-trained Irish-bred winner Big Evs, by her native sire Blue Point.

After being scratched from two races taken off the turf to start her sophomore campaign earlier this year, Crimson Advocate finally found her way back to the starting gate and, not surprisingly, the winners’ circle in the five-furlong Roar Stakes at Gulfstream Park on May 18.  Taking on a field of six male rivals, she overcame a bobble at the start and tracked the leader before swinging four wide into the stretch and charging past the leader in the final sixteenth to win by a length.  Following the win, she now has three wins from five career starts and earnings of $202,147.

She is set to return to Royal Ascot for the group 1 King Charles III Stakes (formerly knows as the King’s Stand) covering five-furlongs on the turf on Tuesday, June 18th.  She will have the services of former Godolphin jockey James Doyle, an 18-time winner at Royal Ascot, for her group 1 debut, which is the third race on the card with a post of 10:45 am Eastern time.

While she has remained in training with Mr. Weaver, Wathnan Racing is pointing her towards a European campaign this summer.  She will be saddled at Royal Ascot by John and Thady Gosden and will be trained at their Clarehaven Stables at Newmarket going forward.  Explaining the decision to keep her in Europe, Wathnan Racing’s U.S. representative Case Clay recently stated (here), “There are more important five-furlong sprints in England in the summer and fall… So, whether that is the Nunthorpe or the King George (at Goodwood), there is just more of them over there, so we thought let’s keep her over there for a little while and see what unfolds.”

Crimson Advocate (John Velazquez, near side) beats Relief Rally to win the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2023. Credit: Mark Cranham / focusonracing.com

The Wathnan team is upbeat about where she is at leading into the prestigious international meet, with Mr. Clay stating (here), “I just got back from Keeneland, where she breezed on the turf…  It was her final breeze before she ships on June 11, and she’s in great form.  She won really well at Gulfstream last month, and that was exactly what George Weaver wanted from her as a tune-up for Ascot.”

Crimson Advocate is out of Florida-bred multiple stakes-winning mare Citizen Advocate, by Proud Advocate.  The dam is a half-sister to Come a Callin, by Dixie Union, producer of Caledonia Road, by Quality Road, winner of the 2017 grade 1 Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Fillies and U.S. champion two-year-old filly.  She sold for a whopping $2.3 million as a broodmare prospect from the Blake-Albina Thoroughbred Services consignment at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton November Mixed Sale.  Come a Callin also produced Officiating, by Claiborne stallion Blame, winner of a combined three graded stakes races in 2021 and 2022.  Additionally, Come a Callin’s unraced daughter Lady Esme, by Majestic Warrior, produced 2023 grade 2 Wood Memorial winner Lord Miles, by Curlin.

Officiating wins the 2022 Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows. Credit: Coady Photography via The Bloodhorse

Crimson Advocate’s Royal Ascot win came 100 years after her female family left Great Britain in 1923 bound for her new home at Claiborne Farm.  As noted above, Crimson Advocate’s tail-female line traces back to the successful Damaged Goods branch of imported British-bred mare Peroration, by British-bred 1916 Two Thousand Guineas winner Clarissimus.  Peroration was bred by Lord Rosebery and imported to the U.S. as a juvenile by Arthur B. Hancock, Sr.

From 11 foals, Peroration produced 10 winners, including stakes winner Chouette, by 1926 Kentucky Derby winner Bubbling Over, California sire Termination, by Toro; and Elocution, by British sire Jacopo, a producer of multiple stakes winners.  Through her daughter Perjury, by August Belmont, Jr.-bred sire Chatterton, Peroration is the granddam of Damaged Goods, by Jacopo, winner of the 1940 Acorn Stakes and Coaching Club American Oaks, from which Crimson Advocate descends.

Data Link at Claiborne Farm

Through the branch of her granddaughter Damaged Goods, Peroration is the ancestress of grade 1 winner Data Link, a Stuart S. Janney III homebred by Claiborne stallion War Front, winner of the Maker’s Mark Mile in 2012 who went on to become a stallion at Claiborne.  The family also includes Hymn Book, by Claiborne stallion Arch, another Janney homebred who won the grade 1 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park in 2012.

The Damaged Goods branch also includes star Ontario-bred Moira, by Ghostzapper.  Owned by Madaket Stables, SF Racing, and X-Men Racing, she dominated against the boys with a 7-length victory in the 2022 Queen’s Plate, Canada’s most prestigious race, and earned the Sovereign award for Horse of the Year.  Following her 2023 campaign highlighted by another blowout victory against the boys in the 2023 group 2 Canadian Stakes in September, she was purchased by DM Racing for $3 million from the Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms consignment at the Fasig-Tipton Mixed November Sale.

Moira. Credit: Michael Burns

It will be thrilling to watch this promising American-bred and -trained sophomore filly from an elite Claiborne family take her next step forward at Royal Ascot and her continued European campaign this summer.



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