Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Shartin N - 2019 Horse Of The year

In researching my book on the maternal lines of Standardbreds called "Queen Among Queens" I found a book called Patterns Of Greatness by Alan Porter, a book about thoroughbred breeding. There was one quotation in there that spurred my interest in the evolution of maternal lines and the influence of special individuals. He urged breeders to "delve deeply" into a pedigree to discover the underlying genetic strengths which are not readily apparent in the first few generations. As he said

"This can reveal that one particular back ground cross has been built up to a point where it dominates a pedigree and reaches a critical mass reinforcing vital genes to the point where they explode in the form or a dynamic performer"

Shartin N is a perfect example of this scenario.

He further speculated that close inbreeding maternally can bring about  positive mutations as he referenced Marianna Haun's book on the X-factor, a genetic inheritance carried on the X-chromosome of the mares on the maternal line.

That may sound a bit airy-fairy to most readers but it has been a key consideration of mine since reading and writing about it and indeed was a factor in my recommendation to purchase McWicked, the 2018 Horse Of The Year by McArdle. Now we have a similar situation with the 2020 winner of the Dan Patch Horse Of The Year in Shartin N. It is a long story so bear with me because in part it goes back to the very beginnings of the standardbred breed maternally to a daughter of Bartlets Childers, foundation sire of the thouroghbred and to his full brother Flying Childers, the founder of the Standardbred breed. To read the full story of these individuals you can find it in Queen Among Queens available by download from the website.

In the near term the pedigree of Shartin N revolves around the presence of Tar Heel maternally as it did with McWicked, and as indeed it did for many of McArdles top perfomers since it is the most consistent factor in his stallion profile. Shartin N is by a son of McArdle called Tintin In America, who like McArdle also has a maternal line that is dominated by the influence of Tar Heel, one of the best broodmare sires of the past fifty years, and appears in the maternal lines of other great broodmare sires such as Albatross and Bret Hanover.

Tar Heel's influence on maternal lines comes from his dam by Volomite whose dam was by San Francisco whose own dam was Oniska, a 2x3 maternal inbred to the X-factor influence through Lida W, a daughter of Nutwood, the best son of Miss Russell, the subject of my book "Queen Among Queens".

Shartin N's dam, Bagdarin, goes back seven generations to a mare called Protege by Jack Potts who was one of the first great broodmare sires downunder and his dam was by Steiner from a daughter of Nutwood called Miss Marjoe. The dam of Protege was Abyssinia who brings a maternal trace through the dam of World Champion Arion whose dam was Manette by Nutwood. Protege, therefore is an X-factor double to Miss Russell, a pretty good starting point.

Protege had one daughter, Chenault, by U Scott who was then bred to Bachelor Hanover whose maternal family is one of the top maternal families in Minnehaha that is also one of the longest since it is the one that goes all the way back to that daughter of Bartlets Childers in the late 1600's.

The mating of Bachelor Hanover to Chenault produced Bravine, Shartin's fifth dam. By coincidence, perhaps, the fourth dam of Tintin In America, Zenover, was a descendant of one of the best maternal families in Australia/New Zealand and she too was by Bachelor Hanover and from a mare by U Scott. That makes Shartin N an X-factor double to its source , the ancestral mom herself, The Spanker Mare. But that is just another component of her maternal strength, there is much more added in the next three generations that built up into the explosion that is Chartin N.

Bravine foaled Kiatina by Fallacy whose maternal line contributed a North American link to the X-factor through two daughters of American Star. Kiatina was then bred to Noodlum, a son of Bachelor Hanover, whose maternal line brings in another trace to American Star through the dam of World Champion Dexter, the fastest son of Hambletonian, as well as doubling up the family of Minnehaha.
The breeding to Noodlum produced Kinsale, third dam of Shartin N, and she had six daughters but only two of them, both daughters of Save Fuel, had success as broodmares, and that was when the pedigree met up with Meadow Skipper for the first time through Save Fuel's dam by that sire.

Slatina is the second dam of Shartin N and her full sister is Chivasso who, when bred to McArdle, produced the first decent performer in this entire maternal line to date in McDana N who made $165,000 mostly in the United States. She now has another of her sons, Italian Delight N, a recent import, currently racing in Yonkers Open competition as a result of two wins at the Meadowlands taking a record of 1.50.1.

Slatina was bred to Live Or Die whose dam, Mica Lobell, is an X-factor double to Tar Heel, and whose maternal line goes back to yet another daughter of Nutwood called Stray Moments and three more traces to American Star. This was exactly the kind of breeding needed to provide the fuel for the fire lit by Tintin In America in the breeding to Bagdarin, the first female in the maternal line to beat 2:00 with a win in 1.57.4.

Tintin In America has a dam that is a maternal X-factor double to Tar Heel and as a filly Shartin N inherits that bonus to her own maternal traces to Tar Heel through her own dam. This is in addition to the interesting X-factor doubles to Bachelor Hanover and to Meadow Skipper.

In recent times I have also noticed two pedigree patterns, which I code as DD or TB, that occur often in top individuals. Shartin N is an example of the TB pattern where the Adios/Hal Dale sire line of Mcardle is inbred in her dam through sons of Adios and Good Time for an added bonus.

This affinity of Tintin In America for Tar Heel maternally is evident in his best performers with the next best , also a filly, bred in similar fashion but perhaps not with the same long term build up maternally. His sire, McArdle shows the same affinity for Tar Heel with the vast majority of his best being from mares that are X-factor doubles to Tar Heel or are X-factor doubles themselves as a result of McArdles own maternal doubles to Tar Heel in his each of his first three dams.

McWicked had the added benefit of having a DD pedigree pattern where the maternal lines in his dam are the same as those in his own dam and those of his sire. The DD pattern has also produced such recent champions as Greenshoe, Six Pack, Manchego, Mission Brief, Gimpanzee, Hannelore Hanover and Always B Miki among others while TB patterned champions include Jimmy Freight, Warrawee Ubeaut, and several of the best by Muscle Hill including Marion Marauder, Propulsion, and Green Manalishi.

My fascination with the Tar Heel influence, in addition to supporting my recommendation to buy McWicked as a result of four of his first five dams being double copies to Tar Heel or his dam-sire Volomite, pointed me to my first and only credit as a breeder. That was in the form of Scarlet Chaser, from a mare inbred to Tar Heel. His sire was Hussy Chaser, a colt I bought as a yearling for $1,500 on the strength of him being from a mare that was also an x-factor inbred to Tar Heel, and he went on to be the second richest Maritime bred in his day earning over $520,000. I got him back when he retired and then looked for the right mare, one with the Tar Heel double  and found one in Lucky Hare, a daughter of Precious Bunny. The resulting colt, Scarlet Chaser retired last year after making over $240,000 and being race timed in 1.49.4 to become the fastest race-timed colt ever bred on PEI and the fastest and richest Island bred colt by an Island based sire.

Thank you Alan Porter.

Monday, September 30, 2019

New Trotting Sires at Lexington

Sires by Muscle Hill are popping up everywhere and there are two with their first crops in Lexington this year. We already have sires like Trixton, E L Titan and Southwind Spirit with foals racing so we can at least see if they have anything in common as far as mare preference.

Bar Hopping and Southwind Frank do not have many in the first session so perhaps that is an omen. Nevertheless there will be good ones as there are for any sire. Their maternal lines are opposite. Bar Hopping's dam is linebred to Super Bowl while the dam of Southwind Frank is linebred to the Speedster line. In either case, though, based on sires with similar maternal lines they both will do best with mares that are linebred or inbred to the Speedster line or mares with no Speedy Crown line maternally. This is backed up by the early profiles of the sons of Muscle Hill at stud.

Of the 20 top ones 18 of them are from mares linebred or inbred to the Speedster line usually through Speedy Crown  himself or Valley Victory. The broodmare sires involved are through Valley Victory (7) incl 6 of the top 10, other Speedy Crown (2), Super Bowl/Stars Pride (4), Noble Victory (4), and Pine Chip (3).The lone exceptions are Golden Trix from a mare that is both linebred and inbred to the Stars Pride line and has a second dam by Speedy Crown and Spoiled Princess who has no Speedy Crown maternally.

19 of the 20 have a Stars Pride line (16) and/or Noble Victory line (3) in their dams. The lone exception here is from a Dream Vacation (Pine Chip) mare that is inbred to Speedy Crown.

The dams that are Stars Pride line are inbred to Speedy Crown or a son of Speedy Crown. A Super Bowl line shows up in 16 of the top 20 but not in the top 3.

The profile then is pretty straightforward. The dams should be

Linebred of inbred to Speedster including at least one line through Speedy Crown.
A Super Bowl line maternally would be preferable for Bar Hopping who like his sire has a dam linebred to Stars Pride.

New Sires at Lexington

Always B Miki will no doubt be the new sire in demand at the Lexington sale and the sales company have loaded the front end of the sale with his first offerings. That does not guarantee their success on the racetrack but certainly will boost their sales prices. Betting Line is another new sire that will draw attention along with Ontario sire Control The Moment.

On the trotting side we will see the first yearlings by Southwind Farnk and Bar Hopping, both being sons of Muscle Hill. I will look at these in my next article.

Always B Miki is a son of Always A Virgin (Western Hanover) whose maternal lines are a combination of Artsplace and Big Towner lines. His pedigree is very similar to that of Big Bad John, an Ohio stallion with several crops racing. That sire is by Western Hanover from a mare that is also Artsplace - Big Towner and was a decent racehorse with over $1 million made. His performance as a sire, however, has been somewhat disappointing at just over 10% winners of over $100K although his best will give us a very good profile to use for Always B Miki.

The profile for Big Bad John is, and was, very predictable since it features mares that have Abercrombie and/or Big Towner maternally with 17 of the top 20 showing this connection. The three exceptions are from mares linebred to the Meadow Skipper line that have one of those lines through Albatross. In fact Albatross is another important feature of the profile since that sire is one of the maternal lines of Western Hanover and of Always A Virgin. An Albatross line, or a line by some other son of Meadow Skipper, shows up in 18 of Always A Virgin's top 20 and his two best also have Abercrombie and Big Towner lines.

One thing to note is that there are no top 20 performers by Big Bad John from Western Hanover (No Nukes) line dams. Another noteworthy feature of Big Bad John and Always A Virgin is that the Abercrombie line dams almost all have another Adios/Abercrombie line or a Big Towner line maternally. The one exception is inbred maternally to Albatross.

The profile I predict for success horses by Always B Miki will show they are from mares that are:

Linebred or inbred to the Meadow Skipper line with at least one line by Meadow Skipper, a son or an Albatross line sire.
Linebred to the Adios/Abercrombie line or a combination of Abercrombie/Big Towner with at least one line by Meadow Skipper, a son or an Albatross line sire.
Preference to Cam Fella line dams or other Meadow Skipper line dams with Cam Fella maternally.
No dams by No Nukes line sires. If there is an exception to the No Nukes line it would likely be through Jate Lobell as is the case for Always A Virgin and No Nukes line dams.

Applying this profile produces just 3 of 31 colts  and 5 of the 27 fillies in the sale that fit the profile.

Betting Line is by Bettors Delight and there are no existing sires that have his particular maternal combination of  Western Hanover and Camtastic (Cam Fella) although there are three sires with Western Hanover dams with foals racing and all three are in Atlantic Canada. Malicious, being by Bettors Delight, is likely our best chance at a possible profile for Betting Line. If you look at all of the active stallions that are sons of Bettors Delight there is a distinct pattern that shows the best from mares that have both Abercrombie and Albatross lines maternally which is not surprising since these are the same lines in the dam of Bettors Delight.

In the case of Malicious his top 5 all have Abercrombie/Albatross line combinations with four of them being from Abercrombie line dams and one from a Western Ideal dam. Looking at the best ones by sons of Bettors Delight generally we see a similar pattern with sires like Mr Apples, Betterthancheddar, Im Gorgeous and Kenneth J  with their best consisting of 3 from Abercrombie line dams and 2 from No Nukes line dams and in each case an Abercrombie/Albatross line combination maternally. The one outlier is the best of all, Lather Up, a horse with a unique pedigree that is probably one of a kind although there is a maternal line by a son of Meadow Skipper. Being from a Direct Scooter line dam, like several others by sons of Bettors Delight opens up the possibility of Somebeachsomewhere mares as long as they have Abercombie and a Meadow Skipper line.

The predicted profile is for mares that are:

Abercrombie, No Nukes or Direct Scooter line and have a maternal combination of Abercrombie or Big Towner with at least one line by Meadow Skipper, a son or an Albatross line sire.

This profile produces 5 of 20 colts and 2 of the 8 fillies on profile.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Canada Select - Forest City Sale

The 2019 sale roster contains around 300 yearlings, down 40 or so from last year primarily the result of more Canadian horses being sent to Harrisburg and Lexington where the shortage in yearlings and high American dollar makes it more attractive if you have the right pedigrees.

There are, consequently slim opportunities in the entries to the Canadian sale especially for the established sires such as Bettors Delight and Kadabra. There are, however, a couple of new sires worth looking at in Il Sogno Dream, a son of Cantab Hall, and State Treasurer, the fastest son of Real Desire.

Il Sogno Dream made most of his $1.2 million plus earnings as an aged race horse winning the likes of the Allerage in Lexington. His second dam is a full sister to the great Moni Maker. As a son of Cantab Hall he has several other sons of that sire to compare to. One interesting common factor in them so far is their preference for non - Speedy Crown line dams with Noble Victory line dams in particular being the best. Consider that Father Patrick, Explosive Matter, Uncle Peter, and Airzoom Lindy have all produced their best from Noble Victory line dams, primarily through Garland Lobell.

Greenshoe by Father Patrick is from a Donato Hanover mare as are two others in his top six. Eight of his top 10 have the Noble Victory line in the 1st or 2nd dam.
Pinkman by Explosive Matter is from an Angus Hall dam and eight of his top 12 are from mares by sons of Garland Lobell and 14 of his top 20 have a Noble Victory line 1st or 2nd dam.
Super Schissel by Uncle Peter is from an Andover Hall mare
Churita by Airzoom Lindy is out of a mare by Yankee Paco and his next two also are from Noble Victory line dams.
Cassis top two are from mares by sons of Garland Lobell
Dontyouforgetit's second best is out of a Conway Hall dam

If the dam is not Noble Victory line chances are there is a second dam by a Noble Victory line sire which makes yearlings by Il Sogno Dream with such pedigrees the ones to focus on.

In terms of performance rating the top one is Wickenburgh, first foal from an Angus Hall mare that made over $380K who is the top rated trotter in the sale at 96 - 1.51.4

Tristar Dream is another colt that merits inspection. He is the second foal of a Conway Hall mare and rates a more modest 59 - 1.53.4 which makes him a bargain opportunity if he looks the part. Others of interest with respect to pedigree have questionable performance ratings such as Hey Ralphie 55-1.52.4, Iona Dream 51 - 1.54.2 and I Da Princess 46 - 1.53.1

State Treasurer has sixteen entries. A winner of over $2 million and a regular on the Ontario Jockey Club circuit he should be warmly welcomed in his first crop on Ontario soil. His biggest win was in the Canadian Pacing Derby and he also won the United States equivalent US Pacing derby at the Meadowlands taking his record of 1.47m.

As a son of Real Desire he was preceded in the stud ranks by Tell All, a son of Real desire that had a short and marginally successful stud career. Like his sire Tell All had a penchant for mares that had an Albatross line maternally and in fact his best is from an Albatross line dam. Such mares are rare these days and in fact Albatross is getting back in pedigrees past the third generation so that connection will be hard to find. State Treasurer is Western Ideal - Artsplace maternally so mares that have No Nukes and Abercrombie lines as well as, hopefully, Albatross would be the ones to watch for initially.

As expected Albatross lines are rare and the only two I found were from mares with 10 foals or more which I seldom recommend. There are several with No Nukes - Abercrombie maternally but there is an interesting possibility with respect to the special pedigree pattern I call TB which shows up when a sire is bred to a mare that is inbred to the sires own sire line, in this case Abercrombie. There are five such yearlings in the sale and three of them also show the No Nukes connection.

St Lads Yeah Yeah, a colt, is the top rated one at 98 - 1.49.4, then there are two fillies Alumni Seelster at 88 - 1.50.2 and Silhouete Seelster 75 - 1.51.1. Shiatzu Seelster 97 - 1.49.3 and Steelmeatreasure 69 - 1.51.0 are TB but with no line through No Nukes and St Lads Expresso 79 - 1.51.4 and Sorone Seelster 75 - 1.49.3 have No Nukes - Abercrombie lines maternally. All are worthy of inspection.

The full list of recommended yearlings is available on the PM website

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

2019 Stallion Finder

The 2019 Stallion Finder is now available on the PM website .

The document contains all of the significant stallions currently standing in North America with tables listed by stallion name, State/Province and sire lines along with suggested sire lines to look for in matching your mares.

Among the interesting facts shown by the listing :

280 Pacing Sires
276 Trotting Sires
Most Pacing stallion sons at stud - Western Hanover 31, Rocknroll Hanover 18
Most Trotting stallion sons at stud - Muscles Yankee 25, Muscle Hill 24
Oldest Pacing stallion - Dream Away 1994
Oldest Trotting stallion - Giant Hit 1992
Most Pacing Stallions by State/Province - Ohio 41, Ontario 34, Indiana 34
Most Trotting Stallions by State/Province - Indiana 51, Ohio 45, Ontario 32

There are stallions standing in Virginia, Wisconsin, and Kansas for the first time in the Stallion Finder.

Prince Edward Island is down to only one stallion and the Sires Stakes program for trotters will soon be extinct unless we find a couple of additional stallions for this breeding season. If you know of any soon to be retired stallions that may be available for a last ditch lease on life let me know. Stars Pride line or Valley Victory line preferred.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Pacing Stallions for 2019

Lazarus and All Bets Off

Considering that Bettors Delight is arguably the best pacing stallion in the world today it is surprising that he does not have many sons at stud. But then again his sire Cams Card Shark is in the same boat. Bettors Delight and his full brother Roll With Joe, along with Four Starzzz Shark are the only "major" sires that Cams Card Shark has produced. 

The current list of sires by Bettors Delight shows 9 in North America but only four of them have foals racing. Perhaps the most prominent of those is I'm Gorgeous whose limited production includes the exceptional colt Lather Up whose dam is by In The Pocket by Direct Scooter, the same sire line as the dam of Lazarus. That does not really prove much other than the Bettors Delight line and Direct Scooter lines are compatible under certain circumstances and perhaps mares by other Direct Scooter line sires such as Somebeachsomewhere will be important to the success of Bettors Delight sons at stud especially Lazarus.

What adds a bit of credibility to that connection is the success of the best filly so far from a Somebeachsomewhere mare, Youaremycandygirl. She is by American Ideal, a Western Hanover line, but it is the maternal side of that sire that is important since it is a combination of Direct Scooter and Albatross lines just like those of Lazarus. The closest sire overall to the pedigree of Lazarus is the Cam Fella son Village Jiffy whose maternal lines are Direct Scooter - Nero, like Albatross a son of Meadow Skipper.

An interesting feature of all of the current sires by Bettors Delight is the Albatross maternal connection, something that is a key part of the success of Bettors Delight generally. In fact almost all have 4x4 maternal crosses to Albatross or his sire Meadow Skipper. That link to Albatross is very noticeable in their best offspring. Kenneth J's eight that earned over $100K include seven with that connection. Betterthancheddar shows 6/6 for his $100K winners. Im Gorgeous is 5/6. 

All Bets Off and Lazarus have the same 4x4 Albatross cross maternally so there is a high degree of probability that their success as sires will depend upon finding mares that continue the trend. Village Jiffy whose pedigree is closest to Lazarus Village has 19 of his top 20 with a maternal cross of  Meadow Skipper through a son or an Albatross line sire. Given that Albatross is fast disappearing in the first three dams of todays broodmares this may create a problem. There is, however, another option.

The Adios line, particularly through Abercrombie, is also an important part of the profile of Bettors Delight since his own dam is by a son of Abercrombie. His profile shows 18 of his top 20 with an Adios line in the dams with the exceptions having Big Towner. His sons appear to be doing the same thing.

When you win over $3 million that should give you credibility as a potential sire - right ?

It is, however, unusual to see a modern day stallion enter the stud as an eight year old and I am not aware of any valid comparisons to prove whether this is a scenario for possible success. I am, however, fairly convinced that stallion success is largely based on the maternal connections that occur in the middle of the pedigree, the 3rd and 4th generation crosses of the offspring in particular. All Bets Off is from a mare by Dexter Nukes, a son of No Nukes, and has a second dam by the trotting bred Horton Hanover (Volomite line).

Camystic and  Driven To Win, are the only sires with Dexter Nukes dams that have offspring racing and they may offer a clue to the possibilities although their second dams are through Adios line. Malicious is Western Hanover with a Adios line second dam also. The Adios line, in fact, is the dominant factor in their best. The three good ones by Driven To Win have Abercrombie maternally and all three have the Meadow Skipper/Albatross connection we see generally for Bettors Delight line stallions. Camystic has 14 of his top 20 from Abercrombie line mares, 18 of 20 with Abercrombie in the pedigree and 19 of 20 with the Albatross connection, the sole connection being the highly inbred Jackson K Down whose dam was by Dexter Nukes.

Mysticism in Florida is Western Hanover - Harold J (Volomite line) maternally, the only active sire similar maternally to All Bets Off,  and his only two good ones have both Abercrombie and Albatross lines in their dams. 

It looks like the same profile keys for both Lazarus and All Bets Off.

Predicted Profile

Mares that are line bred or inbred to the Meadow Skipper line including one dam by Meadow Skipper, a son or an Albatross line sire plus an adios/Abercrombie line maternally.

Example Pedigrees

Saturday, December 29, 2018

New Stallions for 2019 - Tactical Landing

Tactical Landing

With the addition of Tactical Landing to the stallion ranks there are now 13 sons of Muscle Hill standing in North America - I hope that is not a bad omen. As a race horse he did not have much luck until late in his three year old season when he convincingly won back to back major stakes in the Breeders Crown and the TVG to just get past his $800,000 purchase price. That was not enough to get him any year-end honours but enough to justify giving him a chance as a stallion. He is, after all, a full brother to a $1.66 million winner in the filly Mission Brief.

His pedigree is unusual being from a mare by Italian bred Varenne whose own stallion career has been somewhat of a disappointment and whose broodmares are pretty much a disaster generally at 3.9% success rate in producing $100K winners. Four out his top six credits, however, are from the dam of Tactical Landing so she had to have something special. She was a Breeders Crown winner at three and an X-factor double to both Speedy Crown and Stars Pride. She was also an example of the TB pattern being by a Speedy Crown line sire and from a dam that is inbred maternally to the same sire line.

Tactical Landing has a double/double pedigree and like many of the best by Muscle Hill has maternal connections to Speedy Crown, Noble Victory and Stars Pride across his pedigree. His principal sire lines maternally are through Varenne (Speedy Somolli line) and Pine Chip (Arnie Almahurst line). As a Valley Victory line sire that puts him in the same category as Glidemaster whose dam was by Mr Lavec (Speedy Somolli) - Florida Pro (Arnie Almahurst). That may not be very auspicious considering the stud career of Glidemaster but it should give us a good model to follow.

Glidemaster's best offspring was the exceptional mare Maven, a double millionaire and a double/double pedigree as well. Her dam, M Stewart, was by American Winner, whose dam was by Speedy Somolli, and her second dam was by Arnie Almahurst, third dam by a son of Stars Pride - all of the lines in Tactical Landing worth connecting too.

Fourteen of Glidemaster's best were from non-Speedster line dams and four of the exceptions had an Arnie Almahurst line maternally. Fifteen of his best, including the top four, were inbred maternally to Speedster mostly on the TB pattern. In that respect Maven was both DD and TB.

Expected Profile

Non Speedy Crown line dams that are inbred maternally to Speedster line and have Arnie Almahurst and/or Stars Pride lines maternally.

Example Breedings - M Stewart, Mamora Bay