On Saturday the name Dahlia seemed to be everywhere. First, at Pimlico, there was the grassy 1-mile Dahlia Stakes, won by recent $25k claimer 15-1 longshot Idle Talk, a 6-year-old Olmodavor mare making her first attempt at stakes company in 30 starts. The race itself is named for the great champion Hall of Fame mare Dahlia who in the mid-1970s regularly trounced males at the highest level—in France, in England, and in North America. Among her victories: the FR-G1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud; the ENG-G1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot; the ENG-G1 Juddmonte International at York; the G1 Man o’War at Belmont Park; and the G1 Washington DC International at Laurel.
|Dahlia winning the 1973 Washington DC International|
Dahlia also excelled in the breeding shed, producing 4-time G1 winner Dahar (Lyphard) and 3-time G1 victor Rivlia (Riverman), as well as G1 winners Delegant (Grey Dawn) and Dahlia’s Dreamer (Theatrical), not to mention G1-placed Decadrachm (What a Pleasure).
On the West Coast on Saturday, Dahlia’s 4-year-old granddaughter Capital Plan (Rock Hard Ten) captured the 10-furlong G2 Santa Barbara Handicap at Santa Anita; her dam is the unraced Strawberry Road mare Miss Dahlia. Across the Pacific Ocean on Sunday, 3-year-old Ice Follies (Stay Gold) finished second in the 10-furlong JPN-G2 Sankei Sports Sho Flora Stakes; her second dam Begonia is an unplaced daughter of Dahlia once owned by Nelson Bunker Hunt. How nice it is to see great racing mares continue their prowess down through the generations.