Thursday, November 1, 2018

Breeders Cup 2018

The 2018 Breeders Crown for Standardbreds is over and as expected eight of the twelve winners had double/double or DD pedigrees. The four others had something in common too - a pedigree pattern that shows up in many of the top thoroughbreds. For lack of a better acronym lets call it TB as opposed to DD. It turns out that the TB pattern has been hiding in plain sight all along in top Standardbreds, especially trotters, and a look at the top 20 North American bred trotters shows the richest one, Moni Maker, to be a perfect example. She is by Speedy Crown, a son of Speedy Scot and from a mare that is inbred to Speedy Scot and that is the TB pattern. Speedy Crown, by the way, is a DD and so is the dam of Moni Maker - SURPRISE. The top 20 have 6 that are TB, 12 that are DD and 2 that are of mixed French and North American bloodlines.

A look at the top two and three year old thoroughbreds in North America shows 7 of the top 10 to date in each age group with TB or DD patterns. The two year olds are led by Bellafina who is both TB and DD and is the favorite in Fridays $2 million Juvenile Filly race at 1 1/16th. She has won three straight including two G1 races and a G2. There are two other fillies that are double patterned in the same race with Splashy Kisses and Baby Nina both long shots. The Juvenile Turf has one such in Maries Diamond, a stakes winner from Ireland. Tight Ten in the Juvenile Colt is another longshot chance with both patterns.

The two year old races have 31 TB pattern entrants and 10 with DD including the five noted above. In the races for three year olds and older on Saturday there are 47 TB, 13 DD and 5 that are both including Santa Monica in the Mares Turf, Next Shares in the BC Mile, Robert Bruce in the BC Turf, and Lone Sailor and Axelrod in the BC Classic going for $6 million. The favourite in the Classic is Accelerate, a DD pedigree and winner of three straight G1 races, but my personal sentimental favourite is another DD called Catholic Boy, one of the first ones I noticed last year in the Breeders Cup and co-bred by successful Standardbred owner John Fielding. You can read more about this horse in my previous blog entry on John Fielding.

Pedigree patterns like DD and TB are not guaranteed to give you a classic winner but the fact that so many of the best show these patterns certainly makes it worth while considering as a positive factor in buying and breeding race horses.

There is one yearling in the Harrisburg Standardbred yearling sale that is both DD and TB. What is it worth to you to know which one it is ?

Here are my picks for the winners from the DD and TB entrants

Filly and Mare Sprint - Golden Mischief TB
Turf Sprint - Disco Partner TB or Stormy Liberal DD
Dirt Mile - City Of Light DD or Catalina Cruiser DD
Filly and Mare Turf - Magic Wand TB, longshot Santa Monica TB/DD
BC Sprint - Roy H TB
BC Mile - Next Shares TB/DD
BC Distaff - Blue Prize TB
BC Turf - Enable TB
BC Classic - Catholic Boy DD or Accelerate DD

Juvenile Turf Sprint - Soldiers Call TB or Sergei Profokiev DD
Juvenile Filly Turf - Concrete Rose DD
Juvenile Filly - Bellafina TB/DD
Juvenile Turf - Maries Diamond TB/DD
BC Juvenile - Code Of Honor TB, longshot Tight Ten TB/DD

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Breeders Crown and the Double Double

It is becoming increasingly clear that if you want a world record holder or a Breeders Crown contender your chances are greatly increased if you have the Double/Double pattern in the pedigree of the yearlings you buy, particularily with trotters.

In Lexington several world records were set with Homicide Hunter, Six Pack, Plunge Blue Chip and Iceattraction all having double/double pedigrees.

In the eliminations of the Breeders Crown at Pocono five of the ten winners were double/double and a couple of others were very close to the pattern. They included pacer Tall Drink Hanover and trotters Champagne Jane, Woodside Charm, Smart As Hill and the undefeated Gimpanzee, who is yet another top trotter produced by my client Order By Stable from his small but select broodmare band in New Jersey.

Stefan Balaszi of Order By Stable asked me several years ago to review his mares, which numbered close to 20 at the time, since he had to that point been unsuccessful in producing anything really special. After selling several mares and buying a couple of replacements, and with my assistance with breeding suggestions the Order By Stable yearlings are now in high demand and for good reason. He now has the top three year old in Atlanta, a Hambletonian winner, and the top two year old filly in Gimpanzee, unbeaten in eight starts. Another Order By table bred BC contender named Kings County has qualified for the two year old colt final.

In Harrisburg this year there are just 35 yearlings of the 876 yearlings in Book 1 with the ultimate pattern of success, 17 pacers and 18 trotters. Compare that percentage with the 50% of recent world records and Breeders Crown elimination winners and you can see what I mean by your chances being greatly increased. I expect the three year old elimination winners will continue that trend.

Double/double pedigrees are not hard to spot in a three generation pedigree if you can recognize the sire lines. Read my previous blogs on the Double/Double for assistance.

Harrisburg is your last chance this year to buy a potential champion.  Ratings for Harrisburg are available by contacting me directly at including the list of DD
special yearlings.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Double - Double Yearlings

Add Tall Drink Hanover, winner of the Shes A Great Lady at Woodbine, to the growing list of top two year olds with double-double pedigrees. She was rated at 80 - 1.48.3 on our list for yearlings to consider at Harrisburg last year. Also on the list was Metro winner Stag Party at 95 - 1.50.0.

There are similar pedigree treasures to be found in this year's catalogues at Harrisburg, Lexington and Forest City. A special Double-Double report is available to the first ten buyers, a limited number because this is exclusive information on a short list of horses that have the potential for greatness, just like Always B Miki, McWicked, Hannelore Hanover, Manchego and many other champions.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Lexington Yearlings and The Double-Double

More yearlings than usual will be for sale at the Lexington, Kentucky sale this year scheduled for October with 720 being an increase of 160 over the 2017 sale. Lexington will also add a mixed sale after the yearling sale as the demand for racehorses and quality broodmares has greatly increased with consequent higher prices resulting from the sharp decrease in the overall horse population over the past few years.

Harrisburg sale shows a drop from last year in terms of yearlings in Book 1 although there may be some added to their mixed sale as was the case last year when they reduced their yearling sessions to three from four.

Lexington will give buyers their first look at sires like Sebastian K and Artspeak, the two most prominent first crop offerings. Father Patrick and Captaintreacherous will be back with the biggest consignments although neither has exactly overwhelmed the opposition in their first crop to the races this year.

Sebastian K is a world record holder by Korean, a French bred sire, and with a maternal line that may be hard to connect with. His dam is by Probe, a son of Super Bowl, second dam by The Prophet, a grandson of the Axworthy sire Florican. There is a Speedy Crown line as the dam of Probe but nowhere else in the pedigree. Based on similar sires I would expect him to do well with mares that are linebred or inbred to Speedy Crown and that also have Super Bowl maternally and there are, surprisingly, not that many in this group of 19 yearlings. Just four fit my expected profile and the pedigrees are modest with ratings in the 70's.

Artspeak has a maternal line of Artsplace - Matts Scooter, the same as Well Said. I'm not sure if that is a good or bad thing depending on your point of view, but Well Said and Artspeak have both been relocated from Hanover Farms to Ohio and Ontario respectively. There are just 9 Artspeak yearlings in Lexington in contrast to the 41 in Harrisburg but there is one that is a double-double pedigree - see if you can find him.

Speaking of double-double pedigrees the latest one to surface is Swandre The Giant, undefeated in 7 starts in his rookie season. By Swan For All and from a dam line bred to Speedy Somolli, as is the dam of Swan For All, and complimented by lines through Arnie Almahurst and Super Bowl, the maternal lines of Andover Hall, sire of Swan For All, the pedigree is virtually the same as for World Champion Hannelore Hanover. History does repeat itself especially with pedigrees. That is why it is important to recognize and use Sire profiles in selecting breedings or yearlings.

Swandre The Giant sold with a rating of 71 - 1.54.1 for $17,000 at last year's Hoosier Classic and was bought by Anthony MacDonald of PEI for his fractional ownership enterprise The Stable. He was subsequently sold shortly after the sale to the current owners who just might have recognized the chance for greatness that the pedigree of Swandre The Giant showed. He now moves to the barn of Jimmy Takter after selling for an undisclosed price of seven figures. The next great sire ?

As our slogan goes Percentages - Patterns - Profiles, Know them, Recognize them, breed or own a Champion.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

2018 Yearling Sales

Profiles and ratings are now available on the Pedigree Matching site for the New York (Goshen, Morrisville), Alberta and Ohio Jug sales. The recommendations for the Goshen and Morrisville sales are combined in the Ratings report. Sire profiles for all sires represented will be available shortly with some already posted.

You can access sale and sire profiles as well as Rating reports on the PM site.

Harrisburg list should be available shortly in addition to the Canadian Open sale in London, Ontario. Others to follow when available from Lexington, Indiana, and the Ohio Buckeye.

Pricing for Ratings reports remains the same as last year. Lexington and Harrisburg are $800 for the full sale or $250 for any segment e.g. pacing colts, New York breds etc. Other sales are $250. Sale profiles are $50 per sale.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Meadowlands Pace 2018

Meadowlands Pace

One of the premier events for three year old pacers has drawn what coukd be considered one of the weakest fields in its history. There will be two divisions in elimination to determine the 10 racing from the 15 declared but odds are there are only three with a chance to win.

Nine of the 15 sold in the Lexington sale, 3 in Harrisburg, and 3 are homebreds either kept or sold privately.

The odds-on favourite should be Stay Hungry but he has serious contenders in Jimmy Freight, Hayden Hanover, Dorsoduro Hanover and American History who all should make the final after eliminations this Saturday. Others that could advance are Captain Deo, Courtly Choice, This Is The Plan, Fashiononthebeach and Nutcracker Sweet.

There are six that were on the recommended list of pedigree matched individuals as yearlings.

American History         83 – 1.50.1  sold for 150K at Lexington
Captain Deo                 108 – 1.48.4  sold for 90K at Lexington
Dorsoduro Hanover      99 – 1.48.0 sold for 100K at Harrisburg
Hayden Hanover           105 – 1.48.4  sold for 85K at Harrisburg
Stay Hungry                 104 – 1.48.0  sold for 150K at Lexington
This Is The Plan            71 – 1.51.2  sold for 90K at Harrisburg

Courtly Choice, a 14th foal, has a correct pedigree but was not on the list due to his birth order which reduced his rating below 60.

The three that I could consider winning are StayHungry, the class of the race, American History with a recent win in 1.47 and Jimmy Freight who was not in a sale but has been one of the best lately.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

North America Standardbred Yearlings in 2018

The number of yearlings registered in North America continues to drop although there are signs that the trend may be bottoming out. The total to date is 7236 and just 36 lower than the 2016 crop. Interestingly the numbers would have been much lower but for an upward tick in trotting yearlings from 3095 in 2016 to 3177 in 2017. Pacing yearlings dropped from 4177 to 4059 as the number of pacing sires at stud with yearlings in 2018 showed a dramatic drop of 57 retirees from the 2017 list. Trotting stallion numbers also dropped with 48 fewer represented in the current crop.

New sires of consequence this year are minimal with the most prominent ones being Artspeak and Hes Watching on the pacing side and trotting yearlings by Sebastian K and Wheeling N Dealin who are likely to be the new trotting sires of interest at the yearling sales.

Artspeak stood at Hanover Shoe Farms but has moved to Ontario even before his first crop sells. His pedigree is similar to that of Well Said who also has been relocated from Hanover and nows stands in Ohio. Perhaps the relatively poor performance of Well Said, with a below average success rate of around 13% in terms of producing $100K winners, has something to do with the Artspeak move. His first crop totals just 80 foals. In previous blog articles I wrote about Well Said and his prospects after his first crop. The article is entitled Well Bred - Well Dead and predicted his apparent early demise as a popular sire. I also wrote a recent article on sires with Artsplace dams that documents the surprising facts regarding the lack of success in general for such sires. That being said, as I am fond of also saying that every sire can produce something special if given the right opportunity, Well Said did produce a million dollar winner in Control The Moment, now at stud in Ontario, plus another half dozen that made over $500K. His lack of consistency and low number of top stakes winners, however, have doomed him to be a regional sire. Control The Moment is from an Abercrombie line dam that is inbred maternally to Meadow Skipper through No Nukes and/or the Albatross line and as such shares the profile of both Rocknroll Hanover and Shadow Play in general. Lost In Time, the second best by Well Said follows that same profile pattern. The other aspect of his profile is success with Cam Fella line dams that are inbred to Adios/Abercrombie (Katie Said) or inbred maternally to Albatross/No Nukes lines (My Hero Ron).

Hes Watching is by American Ideal and with a maternal combination of Abercrombie and Meadow Skipper lines. The Meadow Skipper line sire in this case is Jennas Beach Boy, a rarity in the dams of current sires as is Real Desire, the Abercrombie line present. There is one other current sire in Heston Blue Chip that is a son of American Ideal and has foals of racing age. His first crop is just qualifying and already has produced one of the fastest qualifying two year olds in Zero Tolerance 2,Q1.53.3m. Heston Blue Chips dam is also a Meadow Skipper/Abercrombie line combination albeit through different sons of these sires. The pedigree of Zero Tolerance shows his dam is a full sister to the great mare Rainbow Blue so perhaps that has as much to do with his early showing. The pedigree is a double return of Adios/Abercrombie and Most Happy Fella lines to the dam of Heston Blue Chip and a very good pedigree match accordingly, however, and something to watch for in the possibilities by Hes Watching. I recommended a breeding to my friends at Saulsbrook Farm for their mare Heroine Hanover who is by Somebeachsomewhere and from the Hall Of Fame mare Httie by Abercrombie. The match is a double/double and similar mares with SBSW and Abercrombie lines would be high on my list at the yearling sales.

I will look at the prospects for Sebastian K and Wheeling N Dealing in my next article.