Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Stellar Wind: Produced from Generations of Stellar Matings

Gr. 1 Santa Anita Oaks winner and Gr. 1 Breeder's Cup Distaff runner-up Stellar Wind comes from a family of mostly hard-knockers who earned every penny, but generations of successive, thoughtful linebreeding by the Keswick Stables dynasty in Virginia has infused this family with improved speed each generation.

The pedigree starts out with no less than 6 crosses of La Troienne, but brings along many lines of her best friend Domino, as well as Roman in Hasty Road. Hasty Road, like Bold Ruler, Native Dancer, and Intentionally, is out of a Discovery mare. Discovery brings more of Domino's family (Family 23) than Domino himself. Super-sire Curlin has only one line of La Troienne, but he is overloaded with Domino and Discovery through multiples of Native Dancer but also a rarely seen double of Domino-line sire Double Jay, who brings with his damsire Whisk Broom a double of speed influence Maggie B. B., a true taproot source of sire-producing mares who rivals La Troienne in her influence in the Thoroughbred gene pool. Domino also appears through known speed influence Olympia. Bunty Lawless, present twice in Deputy Minister, is also carrying more of Domino's family (Family 23-b).

La Troienne herself is inbred to Family 16 through full siblings Ormonde and Ornament, and Roman brings more of both Ormonde and Ornament. Stellar Wind's dam, Evening Star, brings with her at least five (5) more La Troienne and more Domino, as well as more of family 16. Double Jay is by Balladier, who also carries St. Angelo, a Family 16 member. St. Angelo and Domino are also both present every time you see Blue Larkspur, which clearly explains his potency and prevalence throughout American pedigrees. Herbager is also a direct descendant of Family 16, as are full brothers Bull Dog and Sir Gallahad, both present many times. Add two more Family 16 members, Martagon and Desmond, for every Blenheim II, present in every Mahmoud, Nasrullah, and Royal Charger. Add a another member of the family for every Papyrus, present mostly through Princequillo. To emphasize the point, Secretariat was the result of crossing a sire with Martagon and Desmond on a mare with both Papyrus and Martagon.

To put some icing on the cake, Iron Reward is present in the sire through Track Medal and in the dam through Swaps. Very few things are more potent than crossing brother and sister in pedigrees.

Once she retires to the breeding shed, I am predicting that stallions carrying multiples of Prince John, Olympia, and Tourbillon will be ideally suited for her. La Troienne, Olympia, Prince John, and Tourbillon, especially through his grandson, Djeddah, have proven to be a very potent mix that consistently produces top-class horses.

Same band, different song.


Monday, December 21, 2015

Food for Thought...

In a recent e-mail exchange I had with Bret Jones of Airdrie Stud, I mentioned to him I started this blog because I am fascinated to no end with the genius of those pedigrees designed long before nicking systems but also because I have breeder friends out here who think it is best to solely "play the numbers" and the letter scores with free nicking systems that ignore more than half of the pedigrees of both the sire and the dam, and usually the most important half, the female lines of the sire and dam. I expressed to him that I just don't feel that these nicking systems are in the overall best interests of our breed and future production if we only breed for a runner for today (based on some over-simplified algorithm) but not a pre-potent producer for tomorrow. Validating my premise, Bret responded:

"Few things are more frustrating than a client that relies solely on the Nicks and closes their ears to anything that’s not an 'A-Plus.'  I’ve always been very proud of the fact that some of the best horses we’ve bred have been D or F Nicks."

Let this one steep for awhile. You are probably overlooking the best stallion for your mare because of an over-simplified score or letter grade that ignores the most important part of the pedigree of every mare and stallion.

If you want true pedigree analysis that covers the ENTIRE pedigree, you can either:

a) Contact me for mating recommendations and analysis for your mare based on time-tested linebreeding principles, taking into account geographical proximity, and more importantly, whether you plan to bree to race or breed to sell... all for a modest fee, or

b) Get the TrueNicks Key Ancestors report on stallions that you have to come up with, and pay an expensive $300 to download the report.

Or, you can keep doing things the usual free way and have a foal that becomes neither a runner nor a future producer.

You decide.

Thanks again to Bret Jones and Airdrie Stud for their encouragement and social media support of this outlet.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Contact the WV Racing Commission Today!

As it stands right now, the WV purse fund does not have enough money in it to stay in the black if the purse for the Gr. 2 Charles Town Classic remains at $1.25 Million, like Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races wants it to be. However, the WV Racing Commission has final say and approves the purse for this race.

Please contact the WV Racing Commission and let them know that the Charles Town Classic purse should be $750,000 in the best interest of WV racing. Help keep purse money in WV as breeders and owners make investments in WV horses, property, and associated businesses.

You can submit your request directly to the WVRC here: http://www.racing.wv.gov/Pages/contact.aspx 

Thank you for your attention in this matter.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Lucy N Ethel: Not the Usual Suspects, But a Lot of Vandals

When a juvenile filly wins by 13 lengths and earns a 104 Equibase E-figure, people start paying attention. Such is the case with Parx maiden special weight and allowance-winning juvenile filly, Lucy N Ethel, presumably named in honor of a TV show I grew up watching re-runs of, I Love Lucy.

Her sire, During (Cherokee Run - Blading Saddle, by Blade) was a first-class runner free of Northern Dancer (and any Native Dancer), A.P. Indy, Seattle Slew, and Mr. Prospector. He is, however, loaded with Nasrullah / Princequillo lash-ups as well as Discovery through Bold Ruler and Tentam. Also present are some lines of Royal Charger, a genetic equivalent to Nasrullah, and also lashed up with Princequillo through Sir Gaylord, half-brother to the immortal Secretariat.

In addition to hailing from the family of Barbaro, During also has our beloved La Troienne present, only twice, but this is more than enough when her accomplices show up to magnify the wake of her carnage. So... who are La Troienne's main accomplices? Domino, present just about everywhere now, Tourbillon, and anyone from or containing family 16, the family of Agnes. La Troienne is herself inbred to full siblings, Ormonde and Ornament (both from same family 16), and any of their close relatives are considered willing and able accomplices.

What does Lucy N Ethel's dam, Kid Silver, bring to the table? First glance reveals a double of Native Dancer, another source of Discovery and John P Grier, twice. She also adds to the overload of Bleinheim II. Blenheim II also comes into play, mainly through more Nasrullah and Royal Charger but through other sources as well, like Mahmoud. Bleinheim II brings more of Agnes to the table through Martagon, close kin to the aforementioned Ormonde and Ornament, dam of the legendary racemare and producer, Sceptre. During himself is also a direct female-line descendant of Agnes, adding to the damage.

All of this is enough to give us a great runner and future producer, but we haven't reached the culprit responsible for the future super-star filly Lucy N Ethel. Glencoe is found everywhere in pedigrees, but overwhelmingly comes in female strains, mostly through his daughter, 1837 Pocahontas, long thought to be a source of the large heart gene, but also through his daughters Florine and Reel. The key to Lucy N Ethel lies in her countless strains of Vandal, a rare, male strain of Glencoe that sex-balances all of the Pocahontas, Reel, and Florine found throughout the gene pool.

During and Kid Silver are both packing Djeddah and Johns Joy, both of whom are packing more Vandal than what I can count in a reasonable amount of time with the tools available (at least 8 from each line of Djeddah, maybe more, and at least 5 from Johns Joy). Whisk Broom also accounts for another line of Vandal each time he is present (at least three lines through During, and at least five lines through Kid Silver). This distant though very heavy presence of Vandal explains the explosiveness of the cross that comes from only a single line of Raise A Native via Mr. Prospector, no Seattle Slew or A.P. Indy, no Northern Dancer, Buckpasser, and no Secretariat.

Fast horses can be produced from modest stock if solid linebreeding principles are applied, and rising star Lucy N Ethel is a perfect example of how to upgrade modest breeding stock.

During stands at O'Sullivan Farms in Charles Town, WV.

As an added bonus, During has had a very good strike rate with mares returning Tamerett to him. Gone West, Shackleford and any Round Table are very nice targets to send to During.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Too Bald: Mating Decisions Made (almost) Too Easy

There is a trend emerging among successful runners that started with the birth of Domino-line scion Include (Broad Brush), who was lightning fast and inbred 4 X 5 to the dam of Too Bald, Hidden Talent. Broad Brush is a direct female-line descendant of Hidden Talent. Another stakes winner has recently emerged in Charitable Annuity, who features a 6 x 5 cross of Too Bald herself.

When you hit pay-dirt, keep digging.

Just think what could happen if Charitable Man actually got some mares by Include... J J's Lucky Train in Virginia or Understatement in Oregon are also prime to take advantage of this Rasmussen Factor opportunity!

Too Bald was well-known for her small stature but even better known for her big speed, a gift she passed on to her sons Capote, Exceller, and several others who became stakes winners, but also on to her daughters, many of whom were not runners but turned out to be excellent producers. The influence of doubling up on Hidden Talent and her daughter Too Bald, even from several generations out, should never be underestimated.

Include currently stands at Airdrie Stud in Kentucky http://www.airdriestud.com

Charitable Man stands at Taylor Mountain Farm in Charles Town, WV. http://www.taylormountainfarm.com

J J's Lucky Train can be found here: http://www.jjsluckytrain.com

Understatement can be found here: http://www.oakhurstequine.com/stallions.asp?stallion_name=UNDERSTATEMENT





Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Pedigrees of Our Best Runners are Never a Mistake

I do not need to say anything here other than the fact that the breeder of Lucy's Bob Boy, Mr. Furr, was very deliberate in his pedigree design of this very fast runner. The meat of this pedigree is right in front of our eyes. (click to enlarge)

Lucy's Bob Boy
Flatter - Love for Lucy, by Not for Love
Bred in WV by Mr. Robert "Tuffy" Furr, Sr.

Behrnik's Bank: Out to a Fast Start

According to an October 2010 report compiled by Werk Thoroughbred Consultants on the Top 40 dam lines by stakes winners (for the 15-year time period of 1995 - 2010), #1 La Troienne was responsible for more tail-female stakes winners more than any mare in this time frame, outranking her 2nd place rival (Escutcheon) by over 65%. La Troienne's dam, Helene De Troie, was #6 on this list. Between them were Big Hurry (ranked #4), a daughter of La Troienne, and Stolen Hour (#5), by Mr. Busher, out of Baby League, yet another daughter of La Troienne who also ranked 14th on her own merit on the report. La Troienne (by Teddy), had a three-quarter sister named Adargatis (by Asterus, a son of Teddy). Combining any number of sons and daughters of La Troienne has proved remarkable, and combining La Troienne with her French Oaks winning three-quarter sister Adargatis has produced the likes of Spend A Buck, Empire Maker, and Ice Box, all Gr. 1 winners and good producers.
And again the pattern is a hit once again in Behrnik's Bank, winner of the 6-furlong, $75,000 Blue Mountain Juvenile Fillies Stakes run at Penn National Race Course. 
Adargatis is present through Cornish Prince, sire of Behrnik's Bank's 3rd dam, Lightning Bug. Cornish Prince's 2nd dam is Donatella (by Tourbillon, out of Adargatis). Coming Forward, 2nd dam Lady Mondegreen adds two lines of La Troienne through power-producer Numbered Account, who herself is deserving of an entire pedigree feature (California Chrome's dam Love the Chase is closely inbred to Numbered Account).
1st dam Behrnik introduces yet another line of La Troienne through her sire, Chimes Band, who is tail-female to blue hen mare Foggy Note, by The Axe, who is out of Blackball, out of La Troienne daughter Big Event. Foggy Note's 2nd dam Beadah is a daughter of Djeddah, who is tail-male to Tourbillon himself but also traces tail-female to a full-sister to Tourbillon's dam, Banshee. When accounting for the influence of Tourbillon in pedigrees, I count Djeddah as a multiplier of Tourbillon because the influences that created Tourbillon are present twice in the pedigree of Djeddah. Behrnik's line of Damascus also adds another line of Tourbillon through My Babu.
Finally, sire Bank Heist adds two more La Troienne through Buckpasser and Deputy Minister, along with another line of Damascus (read "Tourbillon") and Olden Times (more Tourbillon!). For extra credit, Bank Heist also introduces Caro, Secretariat, and Blue Prince, who all check in with a gaggle of various family 16 members who all help La Troienne. 
Lashing all of this together is a variety of lines of Discovery, who also travels well with La Troienne. Discovery is present through Bold Ruler, Traffic Judge, and Native Dancer. When it is time for Behrnik's Bank to go to the breeding shed, sources of In Reality will add more variety to the sources of Discovery. She is also set up well to receive sources of Prince John and Olympia.
Oddly enough, the cross that produced Behrnik's Bank has been tried before, but Behrnik's Bank is the result of crossing the sons of the sire (Maria's Mon) and broodmare sire (Dixieland Band) that were tried before. Who was the result of the first cross? The only horse to tie Secretariat's Kentucky Derby winning time, Monarchos. The pedigrees of the best horses are never left to chance.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

I'm A Chatterbox: a Gr. 1 Pedigree for a Gr. 1 Runner

Here is an analysis on Gr. 1 winner I'm a Chatterbox that I wrote for Mid-Atlantic racing news publication TheRacingBiz.com
Pedigree Insights: I'm a Chatterbox: http://www.theracingbiz.com/2015/12/09/pedigree-insights-im-a-chatterbox/

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Mohaymen: The REAL Pedigree Insight

Thoroughbred Daily News recently ran a "Pedigree Insights" piece on the pedigree of multiple Gr. 2 winning juvenile, Mohaymen (Tapit - Justwhistledixie, by Dixie Union) that was a nicely written piece on the history of the progeny of Tapit but did almost nothing to explain the secret sauce behind the pedigree of this beautifully-bred, high-class runner, as many "pedigree analysts" often do nowadays when they publish their work. Let's delve into the recipe for classic speed that created this profitable masterpiece. I will try to stay focused and stay within six generations for the sake of brevity. Choosing a starting place for breaking down this pedigree is not very easy because there is so much goodness present.

Olin Gentry's two most important maxims as passed on to me from my pedigree mentor Les Brinsfield (to anyone who has bothered to read his priceless works) are:

1. Return to the sire the best blood of his dam, and
2. It is very, very, very, very, very, very, very important to get the target ancestor in the same generation in both the sire and the dam.

Olin Gentry left Kentucky Derby winners at every farm he ever worked at in Kentucky and his observations deserve examination.

The rock star stallion Tapit is no mistake from a pedigree perspective and his pedigree is a blueprint to follow for future generations. Gentry maxim #1 is followed in the pedigree of Tapit and sets up both maxim #1 and maxim #2 very nicely for Justwhistledixie, dam of Mohaymen. Inbreeding and linebreeding are of no use if you do not know which ancestors are the true influences that you need to inbreed to. Tapit's dam is inbred to the potent In Reality and Aspidistra. Tapit himself is inbred to Nijinsky II, Buckpasser (and more La Troienne through Seattle Slew, Unbridled, and The Axe), and Mr. Prospector.

Justwhistledixie returns the usual suspects of Mr. Prospector and Northern Dancer, but also returns the best blood of Tapit's dam, Tap Your Heels. The best blood includes In Reality, Seattle Slew, Turn-To (compounded by Seattle Slew, who also has Turn-To) as far as the male strains are concerned.

Following Gentry maxim #2, Mohaymen also features inbreeding to potent distaffers including Foggy Note (5 x 5), Grand Splendor (6 x 6, also giving more Aspidistra), and many, many more lines of La Troienne by extension.

Also present is the cross of full siblings Relaunch and Moon Glitter, 3rd dam of Tapit. Very few crosses are more potent than full brother/sister crosses. These should be sought out in as many matings as possible. Full sisters-in-blood Busanda and Blue Eyed Momo are also present in this pedigree, a combination that has yielded many a good runner in our present day.

A double of Seattle Slew (think La Troienne / Domino / Turn-To / Nasrullah / Princequillo) will never hurt, regardless of where it exists in the pedigree. In this case, Seattle Slew does not fit neatly into the Gentry maxims, but his doubled influence is still important to Mohaymen's pedigree.

The final kicker in this pedigree is 8 x 8 x 6 of Djeddah (think Tourbillon times two for each Djeddah, times three). Tourbillon is critical for sex-balancing all of the Pocahontas (female strain of Glencoe) present in American pedigrees, primarily in Domino - with Vandal, a rare male line of Glencoe.