Success Stories - The Real Quiet Story

The Real Quiet Story

by Jack Werk

Reflections on the 124th Kentucky Derby

As John Chatfield said, "Good and bad luck is a synonym, in the great majority of instances, for good and bad judgment." In this respect, Eduardo Gaviria is a very lucky man. The director of the stud book in Colombia and proprietor of a successful Colombian stud farm, he has been a student of pedigrees for most of his 27 years in the business. He purchased Really Blue at the 1990 Keeneland November sale for $37,000 in foal to Spend a Buck. Unable to compete for the best mares, Gaviria had his eye out for the glass that was half-full, and what he saw was Really Blue.

(Pictured at right:
Jack Werk, Eduardo Gaviria, and others gather to celebrate Real Quiet's victory at the 1998 Kentucky Derby. Used by permission.)

She won only three minor races and earned just $32,000 during three years of racing, and she was an unproven producer. However, she was a daughter of Meadow Blue, who was a full sister to Majestic Prince. Even more important to Gaviria was Really Blue's second dam, Gay Hostess, who was not only the dam of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Majestic Prince, but also the granddam of English Derby winner Secreto. In retrospect, it is now clear that Really Blue was the buy of the sale.

Gaviria contacts WTC

On January 26, 1994, Eduardo Gaviria wrote me a letter from his farm in Ocala, Florida, that would change the lives of many people four years later. He requested our Broodmare Compatibility Analysis for Really Blue. He had a $10,000 budget and wanted to breed in Kentucky. We gave him eight recommendations. Our No. 1 recommendation was Quiet American. On pedigree, Quiet American was a natural for Really Blue. His sire, Fappiano, had had extraordinary success with In Reality mares, six stakes winners from 17 foals. Not only was Quiet American an A++ nick with Really Blue, our highest rating, but this mating also duplicated strains of Rough'n Tumble (4x5x5) and Raise a Native (4x3). Quiet American was only $10,000 at the time, and we felt he had tremendous potential because of his own inbreeding, 3x2 to Dr. Fager and 4x3 to Cequillo.

The result of that recommendation was Real Quiet, who went on to win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and come within a whisker of becoming the first Triple Crown winner in 20 years. As Eduardo and I stood in the Churchill Downs winner's circle with tears in our eyes and the blanket of roses was being placed on the back of Real Quiet, Eduardo put his arm around me, and the words he said to me will be with me for the rest of my life. "Jack, without you, there would be no Real Quiet."

When I started Werk Thoroughbred Consultants in 1987, my dream was to participate in a mating that would produce a Kentucky Derby winner. Little did I know that the letter sent by Eduardo Gaviria in 1994 requesting stallion recommendations for Really Blue would take me far beyond my highest dreams.


While it is true that we recommended the Real Quiet mating, it was his breeder Eduardo Gaviria who studied our analysis, considered the recommendations, and made the final decision. Mr. Gaviria is a highly respected Colombia breeder and director of Colombia's Stud Book, who has been a student of pedigrees for 27 years. Several of our recommendations served as much as a confirmation of his own ideas and research. Gaviria had liked the Fappiano-In Reality nick. As he said, "It makes sense to fish in a hole where you know there are fish." He certainly caught his "Fish."

The Classic Cross

The Fappiano/In Reality cross has had extraordinary success. At the time Really Blue was bred to Real Quiet, this A++ rated nick had produced five unrestricted SWs including G1 winners Tappiano and Serape. Since then, the Fappiano/In Reality nick has produced five additional SWs, all through sons of Fappiano out of granddaughters of In Reality. Coincidentally, one of those is Banshee Breeze (Unbridled-Banshee Winds, by Known Fact), who barely lost the Kentucky Oaks the day before Real Quiet's Derby victory.

It is also worth noting that the first five finishers of the Derby were all the products of strong sireline crosses:

Finish Horse Werk Nick Rating
1 Real Quiet A+
2 Victory Gallop A+
3 Indian Charlie B
4 Halory Hunter A
5 Cape Town A++