The Legend of Sir Prancealot in America.

 The legend of Sir Prancealot in America: 14 starters, 25 wins, 3GSWrs, 4SWrs, 6 SHs and earnings over $2.6 million.

Sir Prancealot raced 6 times at 2 in a four month period of time, winning 3 races in England, including a G2 in his final start and placing second in a G2 and fourth in a G1 in France.  He was injured and subsequently retired to Tally Ho Stud in Ireland the next year.

He was an immediate sensation with his first two-year-olds of 2016 leading all European stallions, including the great Frankel, with 32 individual winners led by G3 winner Madam Dancealot. These first crop winners included 3 future multiple G2 winners: Beau Recall, Madam Dancealot and Sir Dancealot.  Based on his first crop, he was soon serving double duty by shuttling to service mares in Australia at Cornerstone Stud in 2017, where his first Southern Hemisphere foals will be yearlings, as well as two-year-olds, of 2020.

This is all interesting, but the legend had not yet begun.  Sir Dancealot raced on in England, winning two Grade 2 races in both 2018 and 2019.  Beau Recall and Madam Dancealot were both sold and exported to the United States by Slam Dunk Racing.

Madam Dancealot was the first to start in the United States when she finished an inauspicious 13 of 14 in the 2016 Breeders Cup Juvenile Filly Turf (G1) at Santa Anita.  Beau Recall won 1 of 2 starts in Ireland at 2 earning about $10,557.

The following year, Beau Recall won her first start in stateside in an allowance race at Santa Anita and in the next 3 races ran second each time to the undefeated Sircat Sally, beaten only a neck in the G2 Honeymoon StakesMadam Dancealot placed 2nd in a small stakes at Santa Anita in her first 4 starts at 3.

The legend begins.

Things changed when racing moved to Del Mar.  Madam Dancealot came from last at the ¼ pole to win the San Clemente S. (G2) (VIDEO) and then Beau Recall was beaten a nose in the Del Mar Oaks (G1) (VIDEO) with Madam Dancealot just a neck back in third.  They both traveled to Keeneland where Madam Dancealot finished 3rd and Beau Recall was 5th in the Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup (G1) (VIDEO).  Next, they both ran in the American Oaks (G1) at Santa Anita where Madam Dancealot was beaten a nose (VIDEO) and Beau Recall finished 5th again.  They never raced again competitively against each other.

At 4 in 2018, Beau Recall won only 2 races: the Grade 2 Royal Heroine S. (VIDEO) at Santa Anita in her 2nd start and the Blushing KD Stakes at the Fair Grounds in her last start of the year when first transferred to the barn of Brad Cox.  Madam Dancealot made only four starts winning the Santa Ana (G2) (VIDEO) in her second start and then finishing 2nd, again beaten a nose, in the Gamely S. (G1) (VIDEO) in her final start in May.  Madam Dancealot, having finished her career with 2 G2 wins and 4 G1 placings, was subsequently sold to Japanese powerhouse breeder Shadai Farm for $400,000 in November.

Additionally in 2018, two-year-old Lady Prancealot was imported to the United States after winning 1 race in 5 starts in England earning approximately $12,497.  She ran second in both of the California preps for the Breeders Cup Juvenile Filly Turf (G1) before finishing last in the G1 itself and finished the year with 1 win.

At 5 in 2019, Beau Recall started the year out simply enough with a win and a second in small stakes at the Fair Grounds.  In her third start, she shipped to Churchill Downs for Derby Day and came from ninth at the ¼ pole to run down Got Stormy in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2) (VIDEO), then shipped to Belmont Park to run 2nd to Rushing Fall in the Just a Game (G1) (VIDEO), before returning to Del Mar to win the Yellow Ribbon (G2) (VIDEO).   She finished the season with a slow pace induced runner-up finish in the Rodeo Drive (G1) (VIDEO) in her final start. She has 3 G2 wins and 3 G1 placings to date.

At 3 in 2019, Lady Prancealot won an allowance race at Santa Anita in her first start, followed that with a third and a second in G3 stakes before breaking through with a win in the Honeymoon Stakes (G3) (VIDEO) at Santa Anita.  Repeating the pattern of the two imported fillies before her listed above, things improved when the racing switched to Del Mar in the summer and she placed in the Del Mar Oaks (G1) (VIDEO) in her next start.  After a subpar performance over a wet turf course at Belmont in the Jockey Club Oaks, she traveled to Keeneland where she made a breathtaking run to win the Valley View Stakes (G3) (VIDEO) after being severely bumped at the start.

In her final start of 2019, she was entered in and was the favorite for the American Oaks (G1), a race like the Del Mar Oaks in which both Beau Recall and Madam Dancealot had both raced valiantly without victory.  Indeed between Beau Recall, Madam Dancealot and Lady Prancealot, they had previously placed 8 times in Grade 1 races without winning, including 3 losses by a nose.  During the race Lady Prancealot was positioned in what seemed like a box with fillies surrounding her on all sides from the start to when they entered the stretch and it seemed like it would soon be 9 placings without a win.  Suddenly Jersey Joe Bravo found a small opening and Lady Prancealot called on her inner Ayra Stark and shouted “NOT TODAY!”   (VIDEO)

In early July 2019 just as Del Mar was ready to start racing, the late Clay Murdock of Rancho San Miguel and Adrian Gonzalez of Checkmate Thoroughbreds were negotiating with Cornerstone Stud in Australia to reverse shuttle Sir Prancealot to Rancho San Miguel in San Miguel, California. It was announced on July 23 that he would be coming to California to stand where his offspring have thrived at the racetrack in 2020.  His top class progeny almost immediately supported him with quite a run over the next 5 months worldwide:

  • 07/30/2019 Sir Dancealot wins Qatar Lennox Stakes (G2) at Goodwood in UK for the second year in a row.
  • 08/03/2019 Beau Recall wins Yellow Ribbon Handicap (G2) at Del Mar.
  • 08/18/2019 Lady Prancealot finishes a closing third in Del Mar Oaks (G1) at Del Mar.
  • 09/14/2019 Sir Dancealot wins Hird Rail Group Park Stakes (G2) at Doncaster in UK.
  • 09/28/2019 Beau Recall finishes a closing second in Rodeo Drive Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita becoming Sir Prancealot’s first millionaire.
  • 10/18/2019 Lady Prancealot wins Pin Oak Valley View Stakes (G3) at Keeneland in Kentucky.
  • 12/28/2019 Lady Prancealot wins American Oaks (G1) at Santa Anita becoming Sir Prancealot’s first Grade 1 winner.

The legend grows.

For the first 14 starters in the United States, all of which were bred in Ireland and imported here, there are 1 Grade 1 winner, 2 Grade 2 winners, 1 Listed Stakes winner and 2 other stakes placed horses which equals 21% Graded SWrs, 29% SWrs and 43% stakes horses with average earnings per starter over $188,000 and earnings per start over $19,500That is legendary stuff.  A breakdown of all Sir Prancealot U.S. Starters as of December 31, 2019 is HERE.

2020 will not only be the start of Sir Prancealot’s standing at stud in California, but will also be the start of his first crop of two-year-olds racing in Australia when they first hit the track in the fall.  Interestingly enough, there will also be the first California-bred two-year-old because Madam Dancealot’s half-sister was purchased in Kentucky in foal to him in 2017.  Both Lady Prancealot and Beau Recall are also expected to run.

The legend continues.

SIR PRANCEALOT

please read Alan Porter’s story about SIR PRANCEALOT.

Clay Murdock Passes

SAN MIGUEL, Calif. (Sept. 5, 2019) — Rancho San Miguel is greatly saddened to announce the passing of our General Manager Clay Murdock on September 3, 2019. Clay was not only an incredible horseman, but he was an extraordinary man who touched the lives of those around him.

A viewing will be held at Kuehl-Nicolay Funeral Home in Paso Robles, California on Friday, September 13, 2019 from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Funeral Services will be held in Atascadero, California at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building on Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 2 p.m.

Murdock was a member of the board of directors of California Thoroughbred Breeders Association. He broke into the business at the age of 12 as an exercise rider for his father’s race horses in Idaho and Montana. At 16, Murdock took out his jockey license and in his early 20s migrated to California, first galloping horses at Golden Gate, then coming south to head up a breaking and training facility for Quarter Horse trainer Russell Harris.

He took over a Thoroughbred breaking and training facility in San Miguel for Dr. William Marano that had one stallion in 1987 and in 2000 Tom and Nancy Clark purchased Rancho San Miguel and transformed it into a full-scale breeding operation under Murdock’s supervision with a horse population of 400.

“Nancy and I bought the farm because we had complete confidence in Clay’s ability to manage the operation,” Tom Clark told California Thoroughbred magazine in 2017.

“He has proved that our faith in him was well founded. Clay led the difficult transition of Rancho San Miguel from a training facility to now one of the leading breeding operations in the state. He did this at a very difficult and challenging time for the Thoroughbred industry in California. He built the infrastructure, recruited and developed the most professional and knowledgeable staff he could assemble, and has worked diligently every day to build a reputation beyond reproach for the farm.”

Murdock and his wife lived on the property and reared their five children there. Among the horses he handled were Sudden Hush, a California-bred winner of the Graduation Stakes who was second in the Del Mar Futurity, and the pair of Slew’s Tiznow foals, Zakaroff and More Power to Him, 1-2 finishers in the 2017 Grade III El Camino Real Derby.

“Clay has dedicated 30 years of his life to Rancho San Miguel,” Clark said two years ago. “He has accomplished so much during this time. Nancy and I are blessed to have had the opportunity to know and work with him so closely. Clay is not only the manager of our farm, but we consider him one of our closest friends.”