Wednesday, January 27, 2016

American Pharoah's Florida Secret

Despite his unconventional methods for breeding, Florida breeder Fred Hooper was a bloodline genius whose supreme progeny, Olympia, is responsible for more speed in our breed than any other Thoroughbred in modern history. Olympia even beat champion quarter horse Stella Moore at her own game in a quarter-mile match race.

Don't take my word for it. Just ask California Chrome who is linebred to Olympia, as is American Pharoah, who's 2nd dam Zetta Jet is very intensely linebred to Olympia. Her daughter Littleprincessemma met Pioneerof The Nile, who is tail-female to the same Olympia and set up a another linebreeding to Olympia.

If you need any more proof of Olympia's potency, see Danzig, Smart Strike, and Rockport Harbor.

I hope to be half as successful as a breeder as Fred Hooper was.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Coming Soon!

I have recently decided to improve upon an idea that has become popular. The basic idea was implemented by Taylor Made Sales Agency (eCatalog), with another implementation by Equineline's Sales Catalog App (available only for iPad, unfortunately). I am building an application, called ThoroughCatalog, where consignors can post pedigrees, pictures, and videos of their sales prospects with vet information, family notes, and conformational notes. This website and app will be compatible with any browser on any device (PC, Mac, iOS, Android, etc.).

While I realize the idea of a multimedia-enabled sales catalog is not in itself original, offering this service to all consignors for a small fee ($10 or less per horse) is sure to level the playing field for consignors of all sizes. The small consignors out there can make use of this service without going through the hassle and (huge) expense of hiring a web developer like Taylor Made did. Not all consignors can afford to hire a web developer and soon they won't have to. and domains have been purchased for hosting this application.

You, my audience, will be updated via this blog and through one of the above links.  I hope to have this project done in time for the Fasig-Tipton May Midlantic sale, though the schedule is not set in stone. The project is well underway and is getting new ideas added to the code daily.

Stay tuned for more!

Friday, January 15, 2016

New 48-Hour Inspection Rule Circulating in WV

The West Virginia Thoroughbred Breeders Association (WVTBA) is still awaiting clarification from the WV Racing Commission (WVRC), but news of a new requirement is going around the WV breeder community, particularly in Jefferson County and the surrounding area (Charles Town vicinity) that all breeders must notify the resident mare inspector of new foals and that they must be inspected on the farms within 48 hours of foaling. Several local breeders have received TXT or SMS messages from the mare / foal inspector, but no official notifications have been released from the WVRC.

Concerns being voiced in forums (paraphrased for brevity):
1. There are only two inspectors for the entire state of WV and a lot of foals born.
2. Weather is very unpredictable this time of year and can include tons of snow, causing delays and dangerous commuting / travel conditions.
3. With all the monetary issues in WV racing, where is the money coming from to pay the inspectors?
4. If the foal is in need of emergency vet care, some of the nearest equine veterinary hospitals are in VA, not WV, depending on the farm location. How is this scenario accounted for?

As of the posting of this comment, WVRC has not yet replied to the WVTBA's request for clarification.

My big question is this: with racing dates and purses in such decline in WV and the value of the WV-breds dropping precipitously at public sales, who on earth would want to sneak a foal into WV for WV-bred status? Half of the breeders have moved their stock to MD, especially those that board their stock at other farms. I truly, sincerely feel for those that have invested in farm properties in WV, spent many hours in Charleston fighting to keep the legislature out of the breeding and racing cooking jar that was self-sustaining for many years, only to see it all starting to slip away. These are people I call friends and colleagues in the breeding business.

My advice to the WV breeders: be adaptable, mobile, and agile. Your survival depends on it.

I will update this post as new information is received from the forums or from the WVRC and/or the WVTBA.

UPDATE 4:06pm 1/15/2016 from a WVTBA source:

"The requirement change was made by the Development Fund and had directed the inspectors to inform the farms that foal inspections were to be required. Upon further consideration it was decided that it would be prudent to more fully evaluate the current requirements and make any changes for the 2017 foaling and breeding season. So foal inspections will not be required in 2016. Please be sure to contact the inspector for non-resident mare inspections prior to foaling. Also contact the inspector if you have a resident mare leaving to be bred and when she returns (within 60 days after last date covered). The mare will be reinspected after her return. If a new mare comes into the program pregnant regardless of ownership contact the inspector. If in doubt of a mare's status contact the inspector and they can help determine what is required. The WVTBA office and website has the inspectors' contact information if you need it as does the WV Racing Commission website."

So it looks like rule formally goes into effect in 2017.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Mor Spirit: Mor of the Same

Mor Spirit has put himself on the radar as a potential Kentucky Derby hopeful, winning the Gr. 1 Los Alomitos Futurity. We shall dig in to the pedigree of this rising star in a moment. Before we get too far along, please read this piece on Mor Spirit's sire, Eskendereya, written by my pedigree mentor, Les Brinsfield.

One of my pedigree mentor Les Brinsfield's strongest statements that he ever put in his writing (paraphrasing from a post on the Pedigree Post, a site that has since been taken down, sadly) is the fact that crossing and re-crossing the same set of ancestors either produces good horses or it does not. When a cross as successful as the Domino / La Troienne cross is found and keeps producing good horses, it is not likely to suddenly stop producing these good horses any time in the near future.

This holds true with the pedigree of Gr. 1 Los Alamitos Futurity winner Mor Spirit. This pedigree features two genetically equivalent parents, with a dam inbred to a superior female family, that of Maggie B B (family 4-m), through the doubled Change Water. Maggie B B is a sire-source mare the likes of which are only rivaled by La Troienne herself. Whisk Broom is also from this family. Dixieland Band's 2nd dam is linebred to Maggie B B, and gets support from Dixie Union, who is also tail-female to Maggie B B. Unbridled's Song is also from this family, and Holy Bull is a result of build-ups of Maggie B B. The 2nd damsire Allens Prospect is from this same line, adding yet another line. The list of influential sires from family 4-m reads like a who's-who and I will either a) save it for another day or b) let you do some homework.

Sire Eskendereya and dam Im A Dixie Girl are both a result of a double of Northern Dancer combined with Seattle Slew and Raise A Native. Northern Dancer has Discovery (who has more of Domino's family than Domino himself) and various members of Family 16 (Agnes), all of whom I tout frequently, but, out to 9 generations, has Ormonde, his close kin Martagon (usually found in Blenheim II), plus Muncaster, Desmond, Sardanapale, Broomstick, and St Gatien. Family 16 representative Herbager is also present in Im A Dixie Girl.

Native Dancer and Raise A Native are laden with Domino. Seattle Slew brings La Troienne (inbred to full siblings Ormonde and Ornament, both of family 16) twice, and her granddaughters Striking and Busher present in Seattle Slew are each quadrupled to Domino from Bubbling Over and War Admiral. La Troienne was never bred to a sire free of Domino and the results speak for themselves. 3rd damsire Northern Fashion adds another two lines of La Troienne. Add another round of Ormonde and Ornament for Roman in Giants Causeway.

Potent influence Hail To Reason is present no less than four times and adds Plucky Liege twice for each line of Hail To Reason. Plucky Liege adds both variety and quantity to the family 16 carnage. Mr. Prospector in Im A Dixie Girl adds all the perks of Raise A Native and Native Dancer, plus he adds Lady Reel, stakes winning sister of Domino, plus a plethora of family 16.

Seems like I've heard this song before...

Should this wonderfully bred horse make it to the breeding shed - I have no reason to believe that he won't eventually breed on - I would like to see him get mares loaded with Djeddah and Johns Joy, Spend A Buck, and Friends Lake, who are all heavily loaded with Vandal blood that is critical for linebreeding to Domino. The latter two are also loaded with La Troienne. I would also like to see him get mares with Olympia and Prince John, both of whom also click really well with La Troienne.

Maggie B B was born in 1867 and Agnes was born in 1844. To those who say that nothing beyond the 3rd generation matters, I tell you to look closer, deeper, into the generations past and see how families are built, sustained, and revitalized - when necessary - through effective linebreeding.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Linebreeding Perfected

Another pedigree that simply speaks for itself... Fair Trial (Fairway - Lady Juror, by Son-In-Law).

Sex-balanced full siblings in the same generation. This produced an excellent runner and even stronger progenitor. You can breed this kind of horse from your mares, too!

Stallion Profile: J J's Lucky Train - All Aboard!

Stallion Profile: J J's Lucky Train
Prepared by Jared Gollnitz
Prepared for Anna Simms, DVM

Every once in a while you come across a stallion with a female line that doesn't exactly ring a bell and are subsequently overlooked because American breeders don't recognize the names in the female family of the stallion. These families often come from Great Britain or South America. The good news is that breeders in these distant places, especially in the last 80 years, were educated, analytical minds and were fiendish linebreeders who bred their stock not only to produce runners, but also to produce future producers. Our subject stallion, Graded stakes winner and multiple stakes winner, J J's Lucky Train, (Silver Train - Delta Sensation, by Thunder Gulch) comes from such a family that was developed by foreign breeders that were fully aware of the pre-potent ancestors they had at their disposal when planning matings. The good news is that these same pre-potent ancestors exist in American pedigrees as well, and in plentiful supply.

It is no secret that great results can be had from returning a stallion's dam's best blood. Let's first go over who these ancestors are. Most important is Family 16, the descendants of Agnes. Any from this family will work, but chief among these descendants are the full sibling Ormonde and Ornament, and their close kin Kendal and Martagon. Adding to the family 16 buildups is of importance when considering crossing to the dam of J J's Lucky Train. These family members can be found in any of the sons of Plucky Leige (Bull Dog, Sir Gallahad III, Admiral Drake) and should be considered prime targets. A sire that was plentiful in these buildups was Roberto. Quantity is important, but variety is better. Third dam First of Dawn may have GB, IRE, FR, and ARG notations all over her pedigree, but she has plenty of Ornament, Martagon, and a line of hard-to-find Kendal in her pedigree. Champion 2 year-old Forty Niner's dam File is laced with four lines of Ornament. The newly-minted daughters of Boys At Tosconova and Cal Nation will be great for this purpose, once they reach breeding age. Adding more Kendal to First of Dawn should be explosive. A great source of Kendal is Caro. Caro has five (5) lines of Kendal. Descendants of Unbridled's Song could well be excellent mates for J J's Lucky Train and will provide a source of Caro. Some better options for sources of Caro would be Maria's Mon (through Super Saver and Monarchos) and mares with In Excess or Indian Charlie. Mizzen Mast should also work well here. Mares by Notional and With Approval not only add Caro, but also add more La Troienne as well as Prince John and Tourbillon, known accomplices to La Troienne. These are sounder lines that will also add stamina to the equation.

A distaff line to acquire for J J's Lucky Train is that of Yanina II, an Argentine stakes superstar imported into the U.S. Her daughters and their daughters have bred on, mostly through Peace Tech and Northern Heiress. Their bloodlines can be found throughout the Mid-Atlantic and some in Kentucky. They bring with them four (4) lines of Kendal just through Yanina II alone and any more they've picked up in subsequent generations.

Another key source of speed that is gaining more notoriety in recent years is Olympia. One line of Olympia is potent enough for speed, but he appears as a 4th or 5th damsire of many a successful female lines. Olympia appears in the pedigree of J J's Lucky Train through Old Trieste, via Crozier. Inbreeding to Olympia has been explosive in recent years, even from 5, 6, and 7 generations out. Known for his speed, Olympia tends to add speed without compromising stamina... you don't have to take my word for it... just ask Triple Crown winner American Pharoah whose dam Littleprincessemma has Olympia highly concentrated in her 2nd dam, Zetta Jet, and she got even more Olympia when she met Pioneerof the Nile. 2014 Horse of the Year and dual classic winner California Chrome also crossed Danzig on Lucky Mel, each carrying Olympia. As an added bonus, Lucky Pulpit also brings Caro to the party! Olympia can be found in the aforementioned Pioneerof The Nile, Unbridled's Song, Rockport Harbor, Smart Strike, any Dynaformer (son of Roberto). Olympia is most potent in tail-female descent. Monarchos brings in Olympia through a full sister to Dynaformer, and Caro. Can you say "home-run"?

Another powerful accomplice to La Troienne and Domino (both prevalent throughout the pedigree of J J's Lucky Train) is Tourbillon, and more specifically, male lines of Glencoe, mostly through Vandal. Vandal can be found in his strongest form and buildup through Djeddah, but any descendant of Tourbillon will do. Johns Joy is also a potent source of Vandal. This makes daughters or granddaughters of During (by Cherokee Run) a prime target as he is packing both Djeddah and Johns Joy. Cherokee Run will also bring with him Blue Eyed Momo, who, when crossed on her full sister-in-blood Busanda, dam of the peerless Buckpasser, has had explosive results. Other sources of Blue Eyed Momo are Catienus, Honour and Glory, and Johannesburg.

Another angle is to keep piling on more La Troienne, Domino, and Discovery a key to maximizing linebreeding to Domino, since Discovery has more of Domino's family (23-b) than Domino himself. Now that he's back in the U.S., Empire Maker fits the bill perfectly, adding La Troienne, Buckpasser, and Tourbillon.

Another distaff blue hen is Maggie B. B., she the tail-female ancestress of Unbridled's Song, Silver Train, and many others. This is real sire source family. A sound, sturdy source with many lines of Maggie B. B. blood is Holy Bull, who has also historically done well with La Troienne. Holy Bull's sons Macho Uno, Flashy Bull, and Giacomo should be considered prime to meet this need.

Blue hen Boudoir II is also present through Flower Bowl's son His Majesty. Adding his full-brother Graustark to the mix should do well here also. Any distaff sources of Boudoir II will add potency and speed. This is also the female line of champion sprinter Groupie Doll and assumed 2015 Champion Juvenile filly Songbird.

Another potent cross that keeps coming up is crosses of blue hen Hidden Talent, most notably through her daughter Too Bald, dam of Capote, Baldski, Exceller, and many other stakes-producing sons and daughters. West Virginia stallion Charitable Man has already had his best stakes winner to date by doubling Too Bald in the pedigree of Charitable Annuity, winner of the $500,000 West Virginia Breeder's Classic. Charitable Man now has daughters of breeding age in the Mid-Atlantic region to cross into this line. Charitable Man is a female-line descendant of Too Bald. Daughters of Include (Broad Brush) should be prime, as Include is already doubled to Hidden Talent. New daughters of Include's son Redeemed are also worth heavy, heavy consideration once they come of age. Redeemed would give two more lines of distaff powerhouse Flower Bowl as well as Hidden Talent.

J J's Lucky Train also has inbreeding to full brothers in blood Nijinski II and Far North. Far North's full brother The Minstrel should always be considered in-play. Malibu Moon mares probably aren't ideal for adding more Nijinski II but could be considered. More ideal would be daughters of Malibu Moon mares. This configuration will give better generational alignment of Nijinski II and probably be less likely to double A.P. Indy in tail-male in both parents. Any source of Green Dancer will mesh well with Silver Train... sources like Malibu Moon, Temple City, and Officer... all have French super-mare Maximova, by Green Dancer, in common.

Any sources of Seattle Slew will also be welcome, especially through sources that are not A.P. Indy, like OfficerStormy Atlantic, and Lemon Drop Kid as Slew brings in two La Troienne and more Domino. Officer is tail-female to Busanda and brings with him more La Troienne and many, many, lines to the sisters of Domino, mostly through his many lines of Discovery.

There are several routes to go, but this is also a stallion that a breeder can get creative with. How cool would it be to have a double of Storm Bird without touching the shortcomings of Storm Cat? As an added bonus, add two lines of Prince John (another accomplice of La Troienne and Olympia who brings more Correction, another sister of Domino), more Tourbillon and War Admiral, through a son of Street Cry with new WV sire Our Entourage, whose 1st dam is by the aforementioned Dynaformer (read "Olympia") and 2nd dam by Storm Bird.

Let your mind run wild.

J J's Lucky Train will stand in 2016 for $1,000 LFSN at Little Hawk Farm in Crozier, VA and can be found on the web at

Linebreeding is the cause. A nick is the result. Would you rather react to a nick that everyone else can see after the fact, or would you rather create one at a fraction of the cost before a stallion's price jumps and other breeders jump on the bandwagon?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

When You Find Gold, Keep Digging.

Not every pedigree is by intentional design, but is sometimes simply a repeat of previous success (successful crosses are not likely to suddenly stop producing good horses, after all). Such is the case with Tepin, younger full sister to multiple graded stakes-placed Prime Cut, by Bernstein, and half sister to multiple Grade 2 winner, Vyjack. I recently spoke with Vyjack and Tepin's breeder, Carrie Brogden of Machmer Hall Farm, about the selection of Bernstein, and she stated that she had no real pedigree designs in mind when she bred 1st dam Life Happened back to Bernstein - she simply wanted to reproduce the same mating that produced Prime Cut. In between Prime Cut and Tepin, Brogden was not able to get in to Bernstien's book for breeding, so she "called an audible" as she put it, and booked Life Happened to a sire who had yet to truly spread his wings at the time, Into Mischief. The rest of the story is that Into Mischief became wildly successful, including the foal out of Life Happened, Vyjack. The following year, Brogden was able to get Life Happened into Bernstein's book of mares and was handsomely rewarded with Gr. 1 winner Tepin. Mrs. Brogden admitted she was not a "pedigree" person, but the pedigree of Tepin and, by extension, her full brother Prime Cut, as well as Vyjack, will be covered.

Tepin and Prime Cut are by Bernstein, out of Life Happened, by Stravinsky, out of Round It Off. There is a 4 x 4 cross of Northern Dancer and Round Table present in both parents. This is never a bad thing and the affinity the two horses have for each other is undeniable as both parents have been successful runners and producers on their own. This brings a build-up of St. Simon and his full sister Angelica, as well as a plethora of family 16 (descendants of Agnes), which I have discussed at length in some of my other posts.

It is no mystery that highly inbred mares tend to make very successful dams and even better 2nd dams, especially when inbred to superior female lines (aka Rasmussen Factor). 2nd dam Round It Off is no exception to this principle.  Her inbreeding to blue hen Rough Shod, especially with opposite-sex, full siblings Moccasin and Ridan, gets the party started.

First dam Life Happened adds to the carnage of Rough Shod as she adds another full sister in Thong. A mare that has high concentrations of known classic-producing female lines is now pre-potent and selectively filtered enough to produce nothing but superior offspring. When bred to Bernstein, another blue hen, Boola Brook is now duplicated, creating a new Rasmussen Factor scenario.

To top it off, our best friend La Troienne is present through Bernstien via Busanda, dam of champion Buckpasser. La Troienne's best friend Domino and his accomplices Tourbillon and Discovery are also present.

Vyjack is a slightly different story. At five generations, he appears to be a total outcross. A further comparison of Bernstein and Into Mischief reveals that they are similarly bred, both with Storm Cat and Triple Crown winner Affirmed close up in the sire.  Bernstein is tail-female to La Troienne, but Into Mischief is tail-female to Cornish Prince, whose 4th dam Adargatis is three-quarter sister to La Troienne. Bernstein and Into Mischief can be considered genetic equivalents at this point. Into Mischief also has Djeddah, a necessity when linebreeding for Domino. Refer to my previous article on Lucy N Ethel to find out why this is important.

What is the result of crossing Storm Cat on Affirmed? Family 16 all over the place, plus close genetic relatives Mahmoud and Nasrullah lashed up nicely with their best friend, Princequillo, all of whom add more of family 16 through Martagon and Papyrus. 

Same band, different song...

I will post segments of my interview with Carrie Brogden in a later post. Many thanks to Carrie and Machmer Hall Farm for her time on the phone with me! I learned a lot about the commercial sales side of the business that I will cover in more detail later.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A New Opportunity to Publicize Your Stallion, Consignment Agency, or Other Thoroughbred Business

The Breed For (Classic) Speed blog has amassed quite a following of domestic and international readers in its short existence. Readers on nearly every populated continent and throughout North America, from Canada, to the Mid-Atlantic region, to the Bluegrass have read and continue to read this blog. 

Many days, even when no content is published, the blog reaches over 50 daily visitors, which is exceptional for a such a new, niche source of content specific to Thoroughbred breeding. I hope to have this number over 100 visitors per day.

Wouldn't it be nice to see your advertisement on this blog, dedicated to the art and science of Thoroughbred breeding? I don't like the Google ads either.

For stallion owners, I can offer advertising packages that include a stallion profile of pedigree analysis and mating recommendations for the subject stallion. Stallion profiles and advertising can be waived in exchange for a breeding season. If you just want a stallion profile to put on your stallion's website, stallion profiles are $125 for the first profile and $100 for additional profiles. Alan Porter's fee is currently $200 for an over-simplified set of nicks that doesn't truly dig deep into the pedigree to exploit other unseen crosses that could be game changers. Get recommendations on siresas well as distaff (Rasmussen Factor) recommendations as well as recommendations based on X-factor (large heart gene) passing opportunities.

For all other advertisers, persistent advertising starts at just $25 / month, targeted at Thoroughbred breeding and racing readers, some of whom are major players in the Thoroughbred industry!

If you would like to take advantage of an excellent publicity opportunity and advertise on this blog, please contact me by phone at 317-721-1704 or e-mail me at