No, it’s not the sparkling city in Nevada, but the newest Polish Triple Crown winner in this year of remarkable performers. While the racing in Poland isn’t as high profile on an international scale as it is in America, they’ve had their own superstars emerge the last few years. If you read my previous translation on the racing history in Warsaw, then you know that the small, slavik country used to be the place to go for a good horse; especially for the Irish, English, and other western European connections that frequented Tor Sluzewiec in the pre-World War era.
We’ll start this introduction by examining his family. Fabulous Las Vegas (FR) does have some American influence in his pedigree: Danzig and his sons are present on his sire side through Air Chief Marshal (IRE) and Kingmambo makes an appearance in the third generation of the dam’s family through her sire, Kings Best; he’s a half brother to Urban Sea. In case you’re not fluent in pedigree, that makes him a half-uncle to the living legend Galileo and Sea the Stars.
Air Chief Marshal (IRE) is owned by the Magnier-Tabor combination, and there’s magic in the air when those connections are involved. He initially began his stud career in Normandy, France before moving to Longford House Stud in Ireland. He was a €320,000 purchase and made back a bit more than half of his initial purchase price.
For giggles, if you check ACM’s dam side, they’re named: Hawala, Halawa, Hanzala, Halwah, Herila, Herbissima, and Altissima. Pattern? Me says yes.
Vegas’ dam Coleene (GB) comes with her own line of interesting family trees. When we reach deeper into her pedigree, she is inbred on both sides to the foundation sire Tourbillon, the leading sire in France three times in the 1940s’. In turn, his family goes back to Frizette, who was sent to France in late 1908; the race run in her honor is one of the premier targets for young fillies and is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (13 winners have gone on to become the Champion 2YO). Sea-Bird and Ninjinky are also back in the pedigree, and Miesque is found as well.
Born March 31, 2015 Fabulous Las Vegas (FR) was picked up by J. Traka with ownership for 2019 being transferred over to J., M. I E. Traka; the new connections hit with impressive numbers for their size, as they are winning on a 50% rate (18 starters: 9 wins- 2-2-5 OTB). His trainer Krzysztof Ziemiański is also experiencing a great year, winning on an almost 19% rate (138 starts: 26-17-14-81 OTB). He has 39 horses that have made at least one start and 24 yet to be unveiled. OTB: off the board
Poland is experiencing a streak of sorts with the Triple Crown victories: they’ve had four since the start of this decade, and 14 overall. Granted, their records of this achievement start in 1948 with Ruch being the first recorded conqueror of this series. Then, it had its big “drought” until 1961, when Solali captured the crown. Another eleven year break to Dipol (1972) and Czerkies (1974) before a 15 year break to Krezus in 1989. Since then, it’s been consistent with an eight year gap being the longest.
Poland’s Triple Crown winners:
- 1948: Ruch
- 1961: Solali
- 1972: Dipol
- 1974: Czerkies
- 1989: Krezus
- 1992: Mokosz
- 2000: Dzamajka
- 2002: Dancer Life
- 2005: Dzesmin
- 2007: San Moritz
- 2011: Intens
- 2015: Va Bank
- 2017: Bush Brave
- 2018: Fabulous Las Vegas
The three races in this series are: Polish Derby, Polish St. Leger, and the Warszawska.
I would love to see him in the Breeders’ Cup (as unlikely as that is) but just seeing him progress and continue to make a name for himself in Europe is good enough for me. If you want to keep track of the other Triple Crown winners that are still racing, Va Bank and Bush Brave are both active though the latter is most likely out for the rest of the year with an injury. No retirement announcements so far, so I’m optimistic that they will return.
If you would like to watch live streaming of the Polish races, those can be found here, though the times will be late for us in the States (east coast folks, at least). Translate to English and you should be able to find your way easily from there; race replays are also available free of charge. Enjoy!