The first foal for Divining Rod, a classic-placed son of Tapit standing at Country Life Farm in Bel Air, arrived on Jan. 16. The bay filly is also the first foal out of the 5-year-old Gainesway mare Dixie Dancer, a Union Rags half-sister to Eclipse Award-winning juvenile filly She Be Wild.
Dixie Dancer, a $460,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select sales yearling of 2015, is among the complement of 10 mares being sent by Gainesway to support Divining Rod in each of the stallion’s first four years at stud. Divining Rod is owned by a partnership between Gainesway, Roy and Gretchen Jackson’s Lael Stable and Country Life.
From one of the most dynamic female lines in the world, Divining Rod is out of Grade 1 winner and $1,912,543-earner Precious Kitten, a half-sister to champion and two-time leading sire Kitten’s Joy. Precious Kitten won six graded stakes, including the Grade 1 Matriarch, John C. Mabee and Gamely. Divining Rod was his dam’s first starter, and finished in the money 14 of 17 times while earning $882,604.
A winner in his debut at 2, Divining Rod recorded his first stakes victory in Keeneland’s Lexington Stakes-G3 at 3 after two graded placings in his first two stakes starts. He then contested the Preakness-G1 and finished third behind Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. In seven starts at 3, all stakes, he finished in the top three six times.
At 4, Divining Rod missed winning the $500,000 Grade 1 Cigar Mile by a head to Connect. At 5, he ran seven furlongs in 1:22.07 when winning the Polynesian Stakes. Other stakes placings included a second to eventual Cigar Mile-G1 winner and Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile-G1 runner-up Sharp Azteca in the Grade 2 Kelso Handicap at one mile.
Found under Divining Rod’s second dam, Kitten’s First, is champion grass horse and $2,075,791-earner Kitten’s Joy and stakes winner Justenuffheart, dam of Eclipse Champion 2-year-old filly and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies-G1 winner Dreaming of Anna and graded stakes winners and sires Lewis Michael and Justenuffhumor. Kitten’s First is a half-sister to United Nations Handicap-G1 winner and millionaire Down the Aisle. Others in the family include graded winners Cassatt, Dreamologist and Fast Anna, the latter now at stud at Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky.
Kitten’s Joy, the nation’s leading sire in 2013 and 2018, is the sire of 91 black-type winners, 42 graded, including the likes of champions Roaring Lion, Hawkbill and Big Blue Kitten and Breeders’ Cup winners Stephanie’s Kitten, Oscar Performance and Bobby’s Kitten.
Divining Rod was the most popular stallion in Maryland in 2018, covering 102 mares, according to The Jockey Club’s Report of Mares Bred. He stands at Country Life for a live foal fee of $5,000.