INTERNTIONALLY renowned publication, Thoroughbred Daily News(TDN), has penned Vinery sire Congrats’ full-brother Flatter an exhaustive tribute in their latest edition.

Flatter is stationed at the famous Claiborne Stud in Kentucky from where he continues to climb the ladder of success in the footsteps of his full brother.

Congrats, was himself the Leading USA First Season Sire in 2010 and boasts 33 stakes horses (15 SW’ers and 18 SP’ed) from his total of 164 race winners at a winner-to-runners ratio of 72.9 percent.

Whilst Congrats will have Holiday Magic running in the $200,000 Davona Dale Stakes G.2 this weekend, it was Flatter producing the goods with Kobe’s Black in the San Vicente S G.2 last weekend.

Both stallions share the same pedigree and look to both be on an upward spiral.

TDN review Flatter, his pedigree and that of his latest Stakes winner.



Together with virtually everyone brave enough to own a racehorse, Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider have sometimes had to ponder that unwelcome question. “What might have been?”

For example, everything appeared to be going swimmingly with their colt Flatter back in 2002. Having shaped promisingly over too short a distance on his debut, this son of A.P.

Indy then galloped his rivals into submission in a mile maiden at Churchill Downs and in

allowances at Arlington and Turfway Parks.

He was especially impressive over a mile and an eighth at Arlington, scoring by more than 11 lengths.

At this stage Flatter’s owners could have been forgiven for wondering whether he was about to develop into another vivid illustration of the merits of the A.P. Indy/Mr Prospector nick. This cross had already been very ably represented by Tempera (GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies), Tomisue’s Delight (GI Ruffian H. and GI Personal Ensign H.) and Pulpit (GII Fountain of Youth S. and GII Blue Grass S.).

But then, with stakes races beckoning, disaster struck in a workout. Flatter fractured his right fore cannon bone badly enough to require the insertion of a plate and 14 screws. To his credit, Flatter returned victorious after an absence of nearly 10 months, taking an allowance at Churchill Downs.

This decisive win finally earned him a stab at stakes company in the GII Washington Park H. at Arlington, where his opponents included the accomplished Perfect Drift. Flatter proved no match for the former Kentucky Derby third but kept on for third.

August, September and October then passed by without further action from Flatter and an

announcement soon followed that he had been retired to join the stallion team at Claiborne.

His fee of $5,000 was very different from the $35,000 commanded at the time by Pulpit, Claiborne’s other A.P. Indy stallion, but Flatter offered a big pedigree for a small price.

Thanks to the likes of Sky Mesa, Tapit, Stroll and Essence of Dubai, Pulpit had already hinted at the potential of the stallions representing the A.P. Indy-Mr Prospector alliance. This cross had received another sizeable boost in 2003, when Mineshaft secured Horse of the Year honours, and 2004 saw the similarly bred Malibu Moon supply the year’s champion juvenile, Declan’s Moon. Malibu Moon achieved this distinction even though he too had begun his career at a bargain price, having been denied the chance of stakes success by injury.

Malibu Moon no doubt benefited from having a Grade I winning dam, something he shared with Pulpit and Mineshaft. While Flatter couldn’t make that claim, no-one could deny that his dam Praise had a Grade I pedigree. Her dam, the GII Diana H. winner Wild Applause had cost Seth Hancock $1,025,000 in the depressed days of 1992, while she was carrying the smart Forty Niner colt Roar (GII Jim Beam S. and GIII Swale S.).

Wild Applause’s admirable total of four graded stakes winners also included A.P. Indy’s daughter Yell, who numbered a second in the Mother Goose S. and a third in the Kentucky Oaks among her notable efforts. A.P. Indy also made his mark on this family when Flatter’s

younger brother Congrats did very well in California as a 5-year-old.

Praise’s second dam Glowing Tribute had also sold at the Rokeby dispersal in 1992, fetching $460,000 even though she was approaching her 20th birthday. The Summer Squall filly she was carrying was Mackie, a Grade III winner who was to sell for $5,000,000 in 2000. Mackie boosted Glowing Tribute’s total of Graded winners to a rarely equalled total of six, the best of them being the Kentucky Derby winner Sea Hero and his fellow Grade I winner Heros Honor.

As if this weren’t enough, the next few names in Flatter’s bottom line were Admiring (a sister to the dam of the great Allez France), Searching, Big Hurry and La Troienne.

In other words, Flatter’s bloodlines gave breeders every incentive to give this inexpensive stallion a chance and he has taken the chance in fine style.

Judging by the way his son Kobes Back quickened past his opponents in Sunday’s GII San Vicente S. over seven furlongs, he has every chance of one day developing into Flatter’s second Grade I winner. The first, of course, is that admirable veteran Flat Out, who

was seven when he added the GI Cigar Mile H. to his two victories in the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup over a mile and a quarter.

Kobe’s Back was bred in Kentucky, but it was at Ocala that he worked so well that his price soared to $480,000, from a yearling price of $60,000. It is a little worrying to see Well Decorated, a fast and precocious son of Raja Baba, occupying the position of broodmare sire in Kobe’s Back’s pedigree, especially when Kobe’s Back is a half-brother to Well Spelled, a Grade III winner who shone over six furlongs. I should add that Kobe’s Back’s family also produced the top European sprinter Indian King to Raja Baba.

This inevitably raises a few doubts about the youngster’s stamina potential, but Kobe’s Back’s connections are right to go in search of Kentucky Derby points. After all, the colt’s next two dams were by Runaway Groom and Temperence Hill.  Runaway Groom won the GI Travers S. over a mile and a quarter, plus two legs of the Canadian Triple Crown over a mile and a half, whereas Temperence Hill landed the Travers and the Belmont S. The next dam, the Nodouble mare No Test, visited Well Decorated to produce Notation, winner of the GII Lexington S. over 1 1/16 miles before finishing second in the GII Illinois Derby.