A combination that had much to do with Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney's success as a breeder and owner was that of the stallion Mahmoud—winner of the 1936 Epsom Derby for the Aga Khan and imported to the U.S. by Whitney in 1940—with mares by "The Chocolate Soldier," Equipoise, or that horse's sire, Pennant.
Out of mares by sons of Equipoise, the French-bred Mahmoud sired stakes winner Magic Forest for C.V. Whitney, and also sired The Axe II—a major stakes-winner in England and North America, and a very successful sire—for the Greentree Stable of John Hay "Jock" Whitney. Out of Equipoise mares, Mahmoud sired four stakes winners from 11 starters, as well as Silver Fog (ancestress of 17 grade 1 winners, including 1982 Kentucky Derby victor Gato Del Sol); Snowfall, dam of Wood Memorial Stakes winner Head Man; and Jazz Baby, third in the Coaching Club Oaks, and dam of the sire Tom Cat.
The cross of Mahmoud with mares by Equipoise's sire, Pennant, shows an even better strike rate, with four stakes winners from just eight foals, and seven starters. Three of those eight were out of Equipoise's sister Schwester: Mameluke, successful in the Blue Grass Stakes and Metropolitan Handicap; Mahratta, who produced the Travers Stakes winner Chompion; and Recce, ancestress of more than 21 grade 1 winners, including last year's Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) winner Mandaloun. The cross also yielded another very good Whitney runner in Mount Marcy, a seven-time stakes winner, including the Clark Handicap, and stakes producer Frangipani. We'll also mention Inquisitive, by Mahmoud out of a daughter of Schwester: she was a black-type-placed runner who produced Pia Star, whose wins included the Widener, Suburban and Brooklyn Handicaps.
One of the constants in the Mahmoud/Equipoise and Pennant combination is Pennant's sire, Peter Pan. Among the initial inductees into the North American Racing Hall of Fame, Peter Pan gained a classic victory in the 1907 Belmont Stakes, and fittingly he's immortalized at that track by the Peter Pan Stakes (G3), a premier trial for the third leg of the Triple Crown. On an equally historic note, we'd also expect that C.V. Whitney would relish the pedigree of this year's Peter Pan winner, the fast-developing We the People, whose pedigree is very much shaped by the same Mahmoud/Equipoise and Pennant combination.
The Peter Pan was only the fourth start for We the People, who had scored runaway victories at Oaklawn Park in his first two starts but didn't fire when second favorite for the Arkansas Derby (G1). In the Peter Pan, he showed that the early impressions he created were on the mark, reveling in the wet track to go wire to wire for a 10 1/4-length victory.
We the People is a member of the third Northern Hemisphere crop sired by breakout stallion Constitution . A son of Tapit, he's been represented by 21 Northern Hemisphere stakes winners, 13 graded, headed by Tiz the Law (like We the People out of a Tiznow mare), successful in four grade 1 events, including the Belmont Stakes (G1) and Travers Stakes (G1) and the Cigar Mile Handicap presented by NYRA Bets (G1) victor Americanrevolution.
On the dam's side, We the People comes from a family that has really taken off from his fourth dam, Honeytab. She produced the multiple graded-stakes winner Diligence and We the People's third dam, the Interborough Handicap (G3) scorer Win Crafty Lady. In turn, Win Crafty Lady, was an even better producer, her offspring including We the People's second dam, Harmony Lodge—winner of five graded events, including the Ballerina Handicap (G1), and also dam of graded winner Stratford Hill and listed winner Armistice Day—multiple graded-stakes winner and grade 1-placed Graeme Hall, graded winner Win McCool and stakes winner Win's Fair Lady, and she's also ancestress of grade 1 winners Magnum Moon and Pinehurst.
The connection to Equipoise starts deep in this pedigree. We the People's eighth dam, Lotopep, is by Menow out of an Equipoise mare. Menow and his great son, Tom Fool, who himself carries Equipoise, both stood at Greentree Stud, and are frequently found crossed over with Mahmoud and Equipoise/Pennant). Honeytab, the fourth dam of We the People, is by a son of The Axe II (Mahmoud/Equipoise), and her granddam is by a son of Tom Fool. Harmony Lodge is by Hennessy, whose third dam is by Tom Cat (by Tom Fool, out of the Mahmoud/Equipoise cross Jazz Baby). Hennessy's sire, Storm Cat, goes back to a half-sister to Pennant, via First Rose, a daughter of Menow. We the People's dam, the unraced Letchworth, is by Tiznow--chosen as a mate for Harmony Lode to exploit these connections-- who has The Axe II through Relaunch.
When we get to Constitution, we find that Tapit's third dam, Moon Glitter, is a sister to Relaunch, and his granddam has a double of The Axe II. Overall, through The Axe II, Jazz Baby and Inquisition, there are six instances of closely related horses bred on the similar cross, most with Tom Fool or Menow close at hand.