January222013

Althea

1981 chestnut filly by Alydar, out of Courtly Dee

Althea dominated the juvenile scene of 1983. Despite finishing second in her first stakes race (the Landaluce Staks), she firmly found her footing. With wins in the Hollywood Starlet Stakes and Del Mar Debutante, she stood firmly on top of her fellow fillies. Althea wasn’t limited to females, however. She also won the Grade 3 Hollywood Juvenile Championship and the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity against colts. Her only blemish was a disappointing 6th place finish in the Hollywood Futurity. At the end of the year, she was overwhelmingly voted Champion Juvenile Filly

Althea started 1984 with a string of wins in major races, including the Santa Anita Oaks and Las Virgenes against fillies, and the Arkansas Derby against colts. She was entered in the 1984 Kentucky Derby and went off as the favorite, but was badly beaten, finishing 19th behind the ill-fated Swale. In her final career race, she struggled home a defeated 6th in the A Gleam Handicap at Hollywood Park

Althea was an exceptional broodmare. All but one of her foals was a stakes winner, and her daughters became top shelf breeders themselves. Her first foal was the Nijinsky filly Destiny Dance, who won the 1989 Sheepshead Bay Handicap and was the dam of millionaire filly Balletto. In 1988, Althea produced the Danzig mare Aurora, who was a minor stakes winner. Aurora is more famous as a blue hen broodmare, being the dam of Grade 1 winners Arch and Acoma and UAE Horse of the Year Festival of Light. Althea’s 1992 filly was Yamanin Paradise, who was sent to Japan where she became the Champion Juvenile Filly of 1994

Althea died in 1995 at the age of 14, of injuries she sustained when she collided with another mare in their paddock

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