What is the best Valentine’s Day gift? A beautiful and perfect foal, of course.
Our multiple graded stakes-placed Arch mare Woodford Belle presented us with that ultimate gift on February 14, delivering her first foal, a filly by Flower Alley, shortly before noon. The filly also is the first to be born at Runnymede this year, following colts by Nathaniel and Victoire Pisa foaled by our mares boarded in England and Japan, respectively.
Both Woodford Belle and her baby were doing superbly after the foaling.
“Mother has been awesome for a maiden,” said Runnymede General Manager Romain Malhouitre, who noted that Woodford Belle is scheduled to be bred back to Darley’s champion and outstanding sire Bernardini.
The Flower Alley filly is bred on the same cross as champion I’ll Have Another, who is by the same sire and out of the Arch mare Arch’s Gal Edith. I’ll Have Another won the Kentucky Derby (G1), Preakness Stakes (G1) and Santa Anita Derby (G1) prior to being sidelined by an injury before he could attempt to sweep the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes (G1).
Woodford Belle—bred by Runnymede in partnership with farm chairman Catesby W. Clay’s sons Johnson Camden Clay and James E. Clay II—began her racing career in England, winning a maiden race for trainer Brian Meehan prior to being returned to the United States. While under the care of trainer Michelle Nihei, Woodford Belle showed her stamina and quality while placing in the Bewitch Stakes (G3) and The Very One Stakes (G3).