No Class

No Class 1

Thoroughbred naming can be a challenging pre-occupation for owners. Some go with a combination of the names of the sire and dam, some are named in honour of family members, while some are cleverly named with a tongue-in-cheek brand of humour, or personal meaning. No Class was named combining part of her sire’s name Nodouble and the name of her dam Classy Quillo. The name she had been registered with would not however describe her importance as a broodmare, because No Class became one of the most important and enduring foundation mares in the twentieth century.

No Class was bred in 1974 by Jack Hood, a local Ontario breeder based in Stratford Ontario, and purchased by Ernie Samuel at the 1975 CTHS Yearling sales. Samuel was in the early stages of stocking his Sam-Son Farm operation, which in due time became a force within North American thoroughbred racing, thanks in large part to the offspring of No Class. No Class was purchased at the same sale as another future foundation mare for Sam-Son Farm, a Quadrangle filly to be named Loudrangle. Of the two, Loudrangle was the more successful runner winning the Princess Elizabeth Stakes. No Class won three of twenty-nine races, placing in two stakes. Both are now regarded as cornerstone mares to Sam-Son Farm’s glorious success.

The sire of No Class is the very good Nodouble, a chestnut male line descendant of Hyperion. Nodouble is by Noholme II, imported from Australia to the U.S. Noholme II was a champion son of Star Kingdom. Nodouble was bred in Arkansas, not exactly one of the first states one thinks of as a location where championship stakes winners are bred. Nodouble became the Eclipse Award champion handicap horse twice, and would also become the leading sire in North America in 1981. He sired sound, durable horses in much the same vein as himself, which includes Overskate. Winner of nine Sovereign Awards in Canada, two as Horse of the Year, Overskate is a member of the Canadian Hall of Fame. Nodouble eventually sired ninety-one stakes winners, which computes to 14% of his total foals.

The dam of No Class, Classy Quillo by Outing Class was a good stakes producer in her own right, having among her offspring stakes winners Baraquillo and Money By Orleans, as well as stakes placed That’s A Kennedy (dam of  multi stakes winner Storm On The Loose), Royal Signature (second dam of St. Elias) and Written Word (dam of Thesaurus). Outing Class (Hopeful Stakes, Dwyer Handicap) is a son of Nasrullah, while the dam of Classy Quillo was Quillopoly by Princequillo. This represents the Nasrullah/Princequillo tried and true breeding nick found in many successful pedigrees.

The first foal produced by No Class was the gelding Classy Cannonade by Cannonade, a winner of one minor race. Her second foal was Sovereign Award Champion Three Year Old Filly Classy ‘n Smart by Smarten. Classy ‘n Smart won the Canadian Oaks, Bison City Stakes, Fury Stakes and Ontario Colleen Stakes among her five wins from nine starts. She placed second three times as well. Classy ‘n Smart would race only the one year, and was retired to Sam-Son Farms, becaming a major producer herself.

Classy ‘n Smart produced stakes winners Secret ‘n Classy by Secretariat, Strike Smartly, Full Of Wonder (Niagara Stakes, forerunner of the Northern Dancer Stakes) and Smart Strike (Philip H. Iselin Handicap) by Mr. Prospector, and from a cover by Danzig her second foal was the great Dance Smartly. Dance Smartly became a legend in the making for Canadian turf enthusiasts. As a two year old she won three of five races capturing the important Natalma Stakes in the process.

At three she would conquer the turf world when she went undefeated in eight races, all stakes events. Dance Smartly started her winning streak in the Star Shoot Stakes, followed in order by the Selene Stakes, Canadian Oaks, Queen’s Plate, Prince of Wales Stakes, Breeder’s Stakes (thus winning the Canadian Triple Crown), the Molson Export Million and then the Breeder’s Cup Distaff. She earned the Eclipse Champion Three Year Old Filly and Sovereign Award Horse of the Year honours at season’s end. Dance Smartly is the only filly to win the Canadian Triple Crown. She came back as a four year old and won the Canadian Maturity Stakes and placed in two grade one events in the U.S. before retiring. She won twelve of seventeen races, was never off the board in her non victories, beat males six times, won on dirt and grass and at distances from five and one-half furlongs to one and one-half miles.

As a broodmare, Dance Smartly continued the legacy set forth by her ancestor No Class when she produced two consecutive Queen’s Plate winners in Scatter the Gold and the filly Dancethruthedawn, the latter also won the Woodbine (formerly Canadian) Oaks, the Princess Elizabeth Stakes at two and the Go For Wand Stakes at four, while Scatter the Gold added the Prince of Wales Stakes. Dance Smartly also is the dam of Dance With Ravens (Breeder’s Stakes etc), stakes placed Dance Brightly and Dance To Destiny. Dance Smartly is a member of the Canadian and U.S. Halls of Fame.

Classy ‘n Smart’s son Smart Strike has been a world class sire since he entered stud in 1997. He has led the North American sire list twice, with notable champions Curlin, English Channel, Soaring Free, Lookin’ At Lucky, Eye Of The Sphynx, My Miss Aurelia and Gold Strike among his ten champion offspring in his stud career. Curlin, Lookin’ At Lucky and English Channel are off to fine starts as sires at the time of writing. Sadly, Smart Strike passed away on March 25 of this year due to laminitis.

Grey Classic by Grey Dawn II is the second champion produced by No Class. Grey Classic captured the Summer Stakes, Cup and Saucer Stakes and the Coronation Futurity, the three most important races for juvenile colts in Canada. Named as champion two year old, Grey Classic would suffer from minor, nagging ailments during his next two seasons of racing, missing out on many top races. As a five year old however, he returned to form winning the Connaught Cup and Laurel Turf Cup. Sadly, Grey Classic was found dead in his paddock on January 10, 1993, at the Sam-Son Florida training centre.

Regal Classic by Vice Regent is the third champion produced by No Class. He would emulate his half brother Grey Classic in winning the Sovereign Award as Canadian Champion Two Year Old, with an almost identical record. Victories from Regal Classic’s two year old season are Summer Stakes, Cup and Saucer Stakes and Coronation Futurity. He then travelled to Hollywood Park for the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile, finishing a close second to Success Express.

Back as a three year old, Regal Classic finished third in the Blue Grass Stakes and ran unplaced in the Kentucky Derby after a troubled trip. Returning to home soil, he won the Marine Stakes and Plate Trial Stakes but ran second in the Queen’s Plate to his stable mate Regal Intention (another a son of Vice Regent) and then reverse the order in the Prince of Wales Stakes. He would add the Eclipse Stakes early in his four year old season but then have to be retired due to injury. He stood at Windfields in Oshawa for the first part of his stud career, alongside his sire, shuttled to Australia for a few breeding seasons, and later moving to McMahon Farm in Saratoga to complete his stud career.

Regal Classic had good success as a sire getting Regal Discovery (Queen’s Plate), One Way Love (Champion older horse and sprinter), Stephanotis (Prince of Wales Stakes, Dominion Day Handicap etc), Regal Roller (Dubai Club Cup etc), Inish Glora (three time Canadian champion turf female) who is the dam of Roan Inish (Woodbine Oaks), and Parental Pressure (Coronation Futurity etc). Regal Classic was a leading sire in New York twice.

The fourth champion produced by No Class, her name just does not suit her, was Sky Classic by Nijinsky. Sky Classic continued the family tradition by becoming champion two year old colt in Canada after winning the Summer Stakes, Grey Stakes and Cup and Saucer Stakes. He missed almost his entire three year old season due to an assortment of minor injuries, but come back at four and establish himself as one of the premier grass specialists in North America.

His four year old season saw Sky Classic win the prestigious Canadian International and the King Edward Gold Cup among his five stakes victories. Back as a five year old he became the Eclipse Award Champion Turf horse after winning the Turf Classic and Manhattan Handicap at Belmont, the former over Fraise, as well as the Arlington Handicap, the Caesar’s International Handicap and was an agonizing second by a nose to Fraise in the Breeder’s Cup Turf. Sky Classic also was named the Sovereign Award Champion Turf Horse twice, and is a member of the Canadian Racing Hall of Fame.

Sky Classic was pensioned from stud service in January of this year. He also had good success as a sire, fifty-nine stakes winners at time of writing, when he plied his trade at Pin Oak Stud in Kentucky. He is the sire of Canadian Horse of the Year Thornfield (Canadian International, Niagara Stakes), Sky Conqueror (Northern Dancer Stakes, Woodford Turf Classic etc), Nothing To Lose (Shadwell Turf Mile etc), Hyperbaric (Citation Handicap, Oak Tree Mile Stakes etc), and Stage Classic, who won Sky Classic Stakes, the grade two race named after his sire run annually at Woodbine.

No Class also produced stakes winners Classic Reign (Canadian Maturity, Mint Julep Handicap) by Vice Regent, and Always A Classic (Turf Classic) by Deputy Minister. Further stakes winners as to direct female line from No Class are Hello Seattle, His Race To Win, Paiota Falls, West Coast Swing, Surging River, Sail From Seattle, La Verita, Happy Spirit and Treasureinmyhand.

No Class produced eight foals, six of which were stakes winners and four of those became champions. She too was a champion, being named Broodmare of the Year in 1985. Furthermore two of her sons became very good sires while her daughters have become exceptional broodmares, producing multiple champions and a leading sire to add to the family achievements.

No Class was perhaps the most important purchase Ernie Samuel had ever made for his Sam-Son Farm racing and breeding operation. She passed away at the age of nineteen on the Milton, Ontario farm and is buried there in a place of prominence, later joined by her daughter Classy ‘n Smart and granddaughter Dance Smartly.

Although her was name No Class, this outstanding mare proved to be world class.

(Photo courtesy of Sam-son Farms)


  • No Class was all class for sure. I saw Dance Smartly win her Breeder’s Cup race. No one could touch her. Sky Classic was great and Regal Classic was too. A great family.

  • Her name did not suit her. No Class was very special. What a wonderful mare and a wonderful family. I really enjoy these stories you write.

  • Marlaine R Meeker

    What a wonderful read. I knew some of the story, now the rest. Amazing No Class and how one broodmare can change history. Thank you so much for all your articles and research.

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