Trainers: Lloyd Mason and Lonnie Arterburn
Owners: Dave & Trish Currie and Turf Side Stables
Breeders: Mr. & Mrs. William T. Griffin
Always on the lookout to improve their small band of broodmares, Terry and Mary Lou Griffin ventured to the November Keeneland sale in 1993 where they paid $17,000 for the eight-year-old broodmare Outofthebluebell. A daughter of Mr. Prospector’s full brother Red Ryder, Outofthebluebell had won or placed in eight stakes on the Illinois circuit and earned nearly $200,000. She was carrying her third foal. Sent to back to Kentucky to be bred to Metfield, a Grade 3-winning son of Seattle Slew, Outofthebluebell foaled a dark bay or brown filly on March 15, 1997, at the Griffins’ Griffin Place in Buckley. The following year the Metfield filly brought $26,000 at the WTBOA summer sale.
Now named Rings a Chime, she began her race career for Dave and Trish Currie and trainer Lloyd Mason with a close second in the Malcom Anderson Stakes at Golden Gate Fields on June 20. Her second start also came in stakes company when she was runner-up in the Juan Gonzalez Memorial Stakes at Pleasanton. Her third start yielded yet another second place finish, this time in a maiden special weight race during the Bay Meadows Fair. On September 25 Rings a Chime scored an impressive 4 1/2-length win in a six-panel Bay Meadows maiden allowance race and next went gate-to-wire to take an allowance race at the Bay Area track by three lengths. The talented miss finished off her two-year-old season with a 4 1/2-length tally in the Bay Meadows Lassie Stakes and a close third in the Doonesbury Handicap. She earned $80,040 in seven starts with a 3-3-1 record.
Rings a Chime’s 2000 debut came with a new owner (Joseph D. Kowl’s Turf Side Stable) and a new trainer (Lonnie Arterburn). Stretched beyond a mile for the first time, she finished second behind Surfside in the Santa Ysabel Stakes (G3). In her next start, Rings a Chime ran third in the Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes behind Surfside and Spain. It should be noted that Surfside would be named champion three-year-old filly of 2000 and Spain would go on to take the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1). In her first time out of the top three, Rings a Chime next ran fourth in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1). Right behind her was fellow Washington-bred/WTBOA sale horse Classy Cara.
Sent east to Keeneland, Rings a Chime went off at nearly eight-to-one in the $500,000 1 1/16-mile Ashland Stakes (G1). With Shane Sellers in the saddle, Rings a Chime showed the way throughout and held on to defeat Zoftig by a head and earn a $341,155 payday, the largest ever earned by a Washington-bred. After leading for the first six furlongs of the slightly longer Kentucky Oaks (G1), Rings a Chime finished second behind Secret Status. It was a rare day for Washington-breds as Classy Cara followed home Rings a Chime in third. Rings a Chime suffered a minor tendon injury while finishing seventh and last in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) and was retired with earnings of $606,315.
After being a $975,000 RNA at the select Fasig-Tipton November sale in 2000, Rings a Chime produced her first foal in 2003 for Stonerside Stable, for whom she also foaled two-time Grade 1 winner Country Star. When Robert and Janice McNair sold Stonerside to Darley in 2008, both Rings a Chime and Country Star went with the deal. Rings a Chime produced a filly by Distorted Humor in 2012 while Country Star – the second best two-year-old filly of 2007 – now resides in Europe.
Rings a Chime is the fifth of only seven Washington-breds who have earned a Grade 1 victory.