Seabiscuit relative, Sea of Tiberias, born April 18
The pitter-patter of new Lil'Biscuit hooves are once again treading the ground after the birth of Sea of Tiberias on April 18 at Tim and Jacqueline Cooper's ranch, American Legend Horse Farm, in Redwood Valley.
Seabiscuit's descendant: Sea of Tiberias with her dam Washoe Valley Sal
The chestnut filly is related to Seabiscuit through her dam, Washoe Valley Sal, a fifth-generation descendent of the legendary racehorse. Sea of Tiberias' sire, Sea of Secrets, is standing at stud at Ballena Vista Farms, a son of Storm Cat and out of the Mr. Prospector mare, Love From Mom.
"Sea of Secrets is a top-ranking California sire. Storm Cat is arguably Secretariat's most famous grandson. We felt the two lines would be a very nice cross." said Cooper. "We are also impressed with the staff at Ballena Vista Farms and their commitment to integrity and compassion. We couldn't be more pleased with the end result."
The Coopers specialize in breeding horses of Seabiscuit's line and hope the new filly will resemble her famous ancestor and enjoy a successful racing career. They've nicknamed her Lil' Sea.
"Of course we would like to see her race at the Santa Anita racetrack," said Jacqueline. "She has very correct confirmation, and we are excited to see her as she grows into the racing age of two to three years."
Though Lil' Sea's feet are firmly on the ground now, the pregnancy was not without complications. In October 2008, Lil' Sea's dam, Washoe Valley Sal Sally for short suffered a bowed tendon and had to be moved from Ridgewood Ranch to the Cooper's Redwood Valley ranch for stall rest and careful surveillance. During the last few months of her pregnancy, Sally also was prone to colic; something Cooper said was common in late pregnancy, but still a cause for concern and care through the final months before birth.
Cooper kept a close eye on the mare, particularly after the loss of the couple's first broodmare, First Class Lacegold, in May 2008 just a day after birthing her foal Josephine, the first Seabiscuit descendent to be born on Ridgewood Ranch in more than 50 years.
Lacy showed signs of distress that day, and the Coopers rushed her to UC Davis, where several veterinarians worked around the clock to try to help save the ailing mare. Lacy died days later from complications in giving birth.
"We thank God all went well in the end this time," Cooper said. "It will be very interesting to see how this filly will fulfill her destiny. I have a feeling she is very special already."
Sea of Tiberias is healthy, strong and vigorous, and Cooper says that from day one she had been up and walking, wanting to explore and see the world.
"Sally hardly gets a chance to stop and eat without Lil' Sea scampering about," Cooper laughed. "They both have a great temperament, and Lil' Sea loves to be petted and sniff people when they come to visit. She's very friendly."
Sally and Sea of Tiberias will be available for viewing during seasonal walking tours of Ridgewood Ranch, the Northern California home of Seabiscuit from June through September.
By Maureen Moore/TWN Staff Writer
Posted: 05/01/2009 01:22:48 PM PDT