Saturday, November 7, 2015

Stallion Profile: Friend Or Foe

Stallion Profile for Friend Or Foe (Friends Lake - Unbridled Star, by Unbridled) 
Standing at Smallwood Farm in Crozet, VA 

If you take a look at Friend Or Foe's race charts, you will see for yourself that, even in his own defeat in Graded stakes company, he still out-ran a Who's Who of commercial sires / Graded stakes winners at the height of his career. 

He defeated top runners and emerging sires like Ice Box (Gr. 1 Florida Derby winner and Kentucky Derby runner-up), Super Saver (Kentucky Derby winner), Mission Impazible (multiple Gr. 2 winner and multiple Gr. 1 runner-up), Morning Line (Gr. 1 winner), Musket Man (Gr. 2 winner, Gr. 1 runner-up), Rail Trip (Gr. 1 winner), and Trappe Shot (Gr. 2 winner, Gr. 1 runner-up), just to name a several. In addition to missing the Belmont track record for 1 1/16 miles by only 1.5 seconds, he also tied Eskendereya's Beyer Speed Figure of 109, the co-fastest for all 3 year old routers of the deep 2010 3-year old crop. 

Friend Or Foe is also replete with 10 lines of distaff force La Troienne (9) and her 3/4 sister Adargatis (1). That's more than Tapit (7 La Troienne), Wilburn (8 La Troienne), Wilburn's sire Bernardini (7 La Troienne) and Super Saver (7 La Troienne). When studying the pedigree of the great matron and French Oaks-winning sister, you will notice there is a full-sibling cross of Ormonde and Ornament. Re-crossing the plentiful Ormonde on himself does very little to affect a pedigree, but combining the two full siblings, and their close kin Kendal, Martagon, and closely-related St. Angelo, (all from family 16, Miss Agnes via Little Agnes) has produced the highest class race horses for close to a century. Friend Or Foe is a direct descendant of this very same 16-c female family and traces straight back to Little Agnes, tail-female.  Other known sources of Ornament include Forty Niner via his dam, File. Mares with Forty Niner should also do well with Friend Or Foe. Flushing (by Mahmoud), should also be potent as he brings Ornament, Kendal, and Martagon back to La Troienne. Need an example? See Unbridled's Song. Daughters of Unbridled's Song will be an excellent cross.  
A key ingredient that Friend Or Foe is in need of is some Nijinsky II blood as the dam of Nijinsky II, Flaming Page, is a known "genetic equivalent" to Buckpasser, whom Friend Or Foe has 3 lines. If you need proof of the effectiveness of the Nijinsky II / Buckpasser cross, look no further than the pedigrees of Tapit and Corinthian (links below). Mares with Carson City and Officer are prime to meet this need. Both are from non-A.P. Indy sire lines and pack Nijinsky II. If you don't have any Nijinsky II blood, mares with the genetically equivalent Storm Bird is close enough to a right answer. Storm Cat adds Storm Bird plus a female strain of Menow to complement the tail-male line from Buckpasser.  

While we're on the subject of genetic equivalents, rockstar sire Medaglia D'Oro is also close enough for Friend Or Foe's dam, Unbridled Star. Medaglia D'Oro's daughters are worth a ton of consideration here. 
Mares with Cornish Prince should also do well, giving a double of Adargatis. Alysheba also offers a deep, potent linebreeding opportunity with Buckpasser. 
One of the best-kept secrets in breeding is linebreeding to Olympia. More Olympia to go with the Olympia he already has in tail-female will be potent enough. Doubling Olympia is potent enough on its own without any of the other elements of Friend Or Foe's pedigree. If you need proof, just look at the pedigrees of Wicked Strong and Immortal Eyes, who also pack La Troienne in multiples. It is apparent that La Troienne and Olympia travel well together. You can exploit Olympia through commonly-found Danzig, Dynaformer, and if you want to get a really talented runner, bring him some Copelan, who not only adds two lines of Olympia, but adds more La Troienne through Cohoes. When in doubt, add more La Troienne, and give your thanks to Fred Hooper for the great gifts he left the Thoroughbred breed in Olympia and, subsequently, Copelan. Smarten, most notably via Smart Strike, is another viable source of Olympia. Need another example?  Look at the pedigree of blazingly-fast, Eclipse Champion 2 Year Old Male, American Pharoah, whose third dam Zetta Jet carries 3 lines of Olympia (3X4X4) to go with Pioneerof the Nile's tail-female line of Olympia.  
And as my pedigree mentor Les Brinsfield would say, "***LOCK THE DOORS AND HIDE THE WOMEN AND CHILDREN IF YOU SEND A ROCKPORT HARBOR MARE TO FRIEND OR FOE!***" Also make sure you get a wheel barrow to haul all of the winnings to take to the bank. See previous paragraph on Olympia and Copelan. 

Be careful with Danzig as he ran unsound and tends to pass on his fragile bone to his offspring, so make sure any Danzig mares are sound individuals with good bone. 
NOTE: Mares with Dynaformer will also give you the ever-increasing Roberto / Buckpasser cross, in addition to the Olympia cross. 5 out of 6 Gr. 1 winners by Kitten's Joy in 2013 contained doubles of Roberto and Buckpasser. 

A strong broodmare sire to consider is Distorted Humor - by the aforementioned Forty Niner out of a mare by the also-aforementioned Danzig - who had a strike rate of 35% (7 out of 20) stakes winners from his first crop when bred to mares with La Troienne. Even crazier is the fact that it took 8 years at stud for Distorted Humor to produce a stakes winner void of La Troienne. The inverse should work as well, given the number of lines of La Troienne and Adargatis that Friend Or Foe is packing. Distorted Humor mares are in plentiful supply and should be fairly easy to obtain. A good number of them should have La Troienne. 
Mares by Cherokee Run or his sons should also do well. Not only is Cherokee Run doubled to La Troienne, but he is also of similar running style to Friend Or Foe, favoring 7 to 9 furlongs. 
Other sires packing Buckpasser in multiples include Ready's Image and his sire More Than Ready (via Woodman), and Aptitude. However, it should be noted that mares from the sire line of A.P. Indy will probably be avoided, unless the strike rate improves. As of the writing of this profile, there are no black-type winning or placed horses from nearly 70 tries of the A.P. Indy / A.P. Indy sire-broodmare sire line cross. 
Mares with Not For Love, Polish Numbers, and Maria's Mon (via Kentucky Derby winners Monarchos and Super Saver) will also be potent here. Any stallions with the great mare Numbered Account, such as Not For Love and Polish Numbers should be considered prime targets. Polish Numbers gives both Buckpasser and Danzig, giving more of La Troienne and Olympia.  

The 2014 Horse of the Year and dual classic winner California Chrome gave us a glimpse at what happens when all of these genetic tools are combined. Yes, my friends, the lesser-spoken partner of Team Chrome, Perry Martin, knew exactly what he was doing when he planned this mating of an $8,000 claiming mare and a $2,500 stallion. Even Nijinsky II is present via Pulpit's 3rd dam, State, as well as a double of Olympia via Lucky Mel and Danzig (sex-balanced even), and anchored with an overwhelming number of La Troienne. 
BOTTOM LINE: Any of La Troienne or Adargatis and their known accomplices like Roman, Nasrullah, Royal Charger, Mahmoud, plus Olympia will work. Domino, through sources like Hildene, should also be considered in-play via daughters of War Pass and Speightstown. Speightstown has plenty of offspring and is an excellent known source of Hildene and packs the multiple world record-setting Bolero via Storm Cat. Speightstown also packs Buckpasser and a double of Secretariat, who, by the way, carries two lines of Martagon, a known accomplice to La Troienne, through Nasrullah and Caruso. For Mid-Atlantic Region folks, Speightstown has a successful unraced half-brother sire standing in WV named Fiber Sonde, by Unbridled's Song, also packing Olympia via Lucky Mel. Mares by Fiber Sonde will also fit the bill as Fiber Sonde is double to aforementioned Flushing and doubled to Buckpasser. Friend Or Foe should also thrive on returns of Seattle Slew and his siblings Lomond and Seattle Dancer, all of which add two La Troienne via their dam, My Charmer. Seattle Dancer is by Nijinsky II as an added bonus. Try to get My Charmer as much on the distaff portion of the mare's pedigree as possible. 

Don't let Friend Or Foe's excellent jumping ability, low introductory fee, or his racing stat summary fool you as far as a breed-to-race prospect. He has the goods. If you're breeding to get a racehorse, he is as qualified as any sire in the Mid-Atlantic region as a sire and could potentially turn commercial after his first runners hit the track. 

As for conformation, artist Richard Stone Reeves, whose talented paintbrush has captured many of our greatest racehorses, considered Buckpasser the perfect physical specimen, of whom Friend Or Foe carries three lines.  NYRA veterinarian Manuel Gilman agreed, saying, "It is said that every horse has 100 faults of conformation, but I would defy anybody to pick a flaw in Buckpasser." Friend Or Foe will always appreciate more Buckpasser through his mares and will aid in maintaining a good conformation and top-notch classic speed in his offspring. 

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