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.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Americas Horse - The Fastest Way To A Million

A two year old Quarter Horse filly called Fly Baby Fly won almost $1.6 million last year and in so doing became the richest racing filly of all racing breeds. She also put an exclamation point on the rising interest and financial opportunities in quarter horse racing where million dollar purses are becoming the norm.

Reputed to be the largest horsebreed registry in the World in terms of members and horses, the American Quarter Horse Association may well be also the youngest being founded in Texas, USA, in the 1940's

The origins of the Quarter Horse combine two distinct horse breeds, the English and North American thoroughbred and the mustangs of the south-western States that evolved from the horses brought to South and Central America by the Spanish Conquistadors.

A smallish thoroughbred called Janus (1746) was imported from England to Virginia in the late 1700's. While small in size he was noted for his speed over short distances and his offspring were favourites among the farming community for impromptu racing with their neighbours. As the Wild West became developed  and the numbers of Thoroughbreds grew both in terms of imports and local breds the settlers took many of them to the frontiers where they proved themselves as agile and willing ranch horses and indeed war mounts as a defence against raids by indigenous tribes mounted on their "mustangs". Inevitably the two breeds came together and the result was a horse perfectly adapted for local conditions and the needs of the booming cattle ranching business.

While they started out as work horses adept for such chores as herding, roping and cutting it was also inevitable that their speed over short distances would result in a racing version especially with the continued importation to the West of more thoroughbreds with comparable speed.

The formation of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) predates organized racing and was created by a group of ranchers who enjoyed match racing and riding their horses for business and pleasure. The idea came from an article written in 1935 by Robert Denhardt entitled "The Quarter Horse, Then And Now" about the history and characteristics of the Quarter Horse.

In 1940, William Barre Warren was elected as the first President at an impromptu business meeting following a dinner party in Fort Worth, Texas, where the guests showed interest in forming a registry for the Steeldust and Billy horses of the Southwest. At that time Warren was a director for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. He had hundreds of friends in the rodeo, match-race and ranch industries and it was at his suggestion that the registry not be confined to just the local breds by western bred sires but that horses with up to 50% thoroughbred blood could also be registered as Quarter Horses.

Two of Warren's own stallions were Peter McCue and Traveler. The former was born in 1895 and was a great-grandson of a legendary Kentucky bred stallion called Steel Dust (1844), a descendent of the great Diomed, and who came to the Southwest as a yearling. Traveler was a grandson of Steel Dust.

The American Quarter Horse Racing Association was formed in 1945. This group mainly was concerned with the operation of racetracks and their registration efforts were limited to what was needed for identification for racing purposes. They set the standards for racing, and set up a Register of Merit system to help with handicapping racing. They registered horses that were in AQHA's stud books, as well as Thoroughbreds. Even "Paint" horses, which at this time had no registry and would not for another two decades, were registered. Painted Joe, a foundation stallion with the American Paint Horse Association (APHA), was registered with the AQRA and ran against many of the early Quarter Horse racers.

Because of the continued dilution of the original bloodlines as a result of the 50/50 registration rule there is now an offshoot organization dedicated to the preservation of the older strains dating back to the 1800's. There have also been registries of horses of color in addition to the Paint horses with the Palomino Horse Breeders of America and the American Buckskin Registry Association being cross registered with the racing and ranch Quarter Horses. Both the Paint and Palomino breeds have a racehorse component also.

The largest group of owners, however, are still those involved in rodeos, horse shows and pleasure riding.  Today, people show American Quarter Horses in a variety of competitive events, including, but not limited to, halter classes; western style events such as Western Pleasure, Reining, and Cutting; English riding events in the hunt seat style, such as Hunter Under Saddle, Working Hunter, and Hunter Hack. Driving classes are available at some shows, as are some timed games such as barrel racing. There are also equitation and halter showmanship classes for non-pro exhibitors.

The Racing Quarter Horse.

The earliest mares were primarily ranch mares, many without known pedigrees and with names like Peg, Betty etc. or simply named after the Ranch with a number attached such as Waggoner Mare 56. As the breed has evolved there have been thoroughbred mares bred to Quarter Horse stallions that now are responsible for many of the top racers of today. On the Sire side the bloodlines are dominated by stallions tracing to the thoroughbred stallions Three Bars (1940) and Top Deck (1945), both descendants of the Darley Arabian through the imported English sire Camel (1822). Three Bars had several sons that continue to impact the paternal lines of todays best especially through Rocket Bar and his descendant First Down Dash (1984) who is still at stud although long past his peak in producing top performers. Top Deck is the sire line of the current top Quarter Horse stallion in North America named One Famous Eagle.

As in the thoroughbred world the other top influences in sires descend from Nearco and Native Dancer, known more commonly as the Northern Dancer and the Mr Prospector lines in thoroughbred circles although it is through Beduino and Raise A Native respectively that these lines have come to prominence in Quarter Horse racing particularly through their broodmares.

One Famous Eagle combines all of the top sire lines in his pedigree and has produced One Dashing Eagle, a winner of over $2 million, from a mare that also combines all of the same sires and traces back maternally to a descendant of Peter McCue, one of the original Texas bred sires owned by William Warren, the first President of the AQHA. One Famous Eagle has also produced the top two year old in North America in 2017 by the name of Fly Baby Fly who has the distinction of being the richest two year old race horse of any breed in North America last year. Her maternal line goes back to a ranch mare called Mollie born in 1930 and a grand daughter of Peter McCue. As for Janus, the little speedster who started it all, there appears to be no trace of him in todays pedigrees that I can find.

Bet you did not know that Roy Rogers horse Trigger was actually a Palomino quarter horse called Golden Cloud. His wife Dale Evans rode a buckskin quarter horse called Buttermilk. Another famous quarter horse in the movies was Mister Ed, the talking horse, played by a quarter horse called Bamboo Harvester and had a stunt double, also a quarter horse, by name of Pumpkin who subsequently appeared in the TV series Green Acres.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Top Two Year Old Performance Horse Of The Year

There are several breeds of horses that earn money through racing including Standardbreds, Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses and Arabians. Which breed had the highest earning two year old in 2017 and what do the top two year olds of 2017 have in common in their pedigrees ? The answers may surprise you.

Fly Baby Fly is a Quarter Horse filly who made $1,585,000 last year. The next best was also a filly but a Thoroughbred one called Caledonia Road who made $1,229,000 with most of her money in one of her three starts as winner of a Breeders Cup race. Good Magic was the top Thoroughbred colt last year with $1,216,000 again due primarily to his Breeders Cup win. The Standardbred fillies, Youaremycandygirl ($943K) a pacer, and the trotter Manchego ($910K), were both Breeders Crown winners. Eagle Jazz, a Quarter Horse gelding comes next with $900K then the Standardbred colts Lost In Time (687K) on the pace and trotter Fiftydallarbill $458K.

The pedigrees of these big winners are remarkably consistent with respect to the pattern of success for most performance horses - Outcrossed on sire line and inbred maternally as we promote through Pedigree Matching and in fact six of the eight are double/double pedigrees with the other two very close. In addition there is another pattern that appears significant in that seven of the eight are by sires whose sire line is maternally inbred in the dams. Here are the important aspects of their pedigrees.

Fly Baby Fly - She is by the current top sire in the racing Quarter Horse world called One Famous Eagle and with a classic pedigree match. The sire has Beduino maternally (a Nearco TB line) and Dash For Cash ( Three Bars line most common in QH breeding and also a TB line). The dam Higher Fire is by Walk Thru Fire by a son of Dash For Cash with a dam by Beduino. The third dam is also by Dash For Cash. The second dam is another thoroughbred line through Raise A Native. If you read my previous blog on the Kentucky Derby you will remember the significance of having both Raise A Native and Nearco maternal lines in top pedigrees. Both the sire and the dam have both in this pedigree so that combination is not unique to thoroughbreds. This is also a double/double pedigree in that the sire of One Famous Eagle has a dam linebred to the Three Bars line making One Famous Eagle double inbred maternally to that line.

Caledonia Road - Her sire Quality Road is a great grandson of Mr Prospector (Raise A Native) and is inbred maternally to the Nearco line and specifically to Northern Dancer. Quality Road's second dam is by a son of Raise A Native, sire of Mr Prospector. Her dam, Come A Callin, is a Northern Dancer line by Dixie Union and the second and third dams are also Northern Dancer - Nearco line.. She is also inbred maternally to Native Dancer. As we saw in the Kentucky Derby winner Justify this maternal crossing of Northern Dancer and Mr Prospector is a powerful combination.

Good Magic - Like Caledonia Road his sire Curlin is through Mr Prospector and Curlin's dam is also a Northern Dancer line. The dam of Good Magic is by a grandson of Northern Dancer and the third dam is by a son of Northern Dancer and the dam is also inbred to Raise A Native. Same magical combination.

Eagle Jazz is by One Dashing Eagle, the top son of his famous sire, One Famous Eagle, and with a pedigree that brings back memories of my own close experience with Quarter Horse pedigrees. You can read about my son Charles' first purchase of a QH called One Famous Glass, with an almost identical pedigree to One Dashing Eagle, both selling in the same year in the Oklahoma sale. One Dashing Eagle earned over $2 millon racing in California and Charles had to be content with winning the Quarter Horse of The Year Award in Canada as a three year old and making just over $200K. As was the case in Fly Baby Fly the key ingredients are Beduino and Dash For Cash across the pedigree maternally and also we find a third dam through Raise A Native.

The standardbred trotter Manchego was written about in my previous blog article on her owner John Fielding. She has a double/double pedigree as does her colt counterpart Fiftydallarbill. That colt is by Swan For All, sire of World Champion Hannelore Hanover. He too is a double/double since the dam Cr Dixie Chick returns all four of her principal lines to the maternal lines of Swan For All and his sire Andover Hall.

The top Standardbred pacing filly Youaremycandygirl is yet another double/double. Her sire American Ideal is Matts Scooter - Albatross maternally and both of these lines are in the dam Sweet Lady Jane. American Ideal's sire is Western Ideal who is Abercombie (Adios line) - Meadow Skipper maternally and we find both lines also in Sweet Baby Jane.

Lost in Time is from the first crop of A Rocknroll Dance, a No Nukes line sire with a dam that is linebred to Meadow Skipper through his sons Most Happy Fella and Albatross. His dam, Summer Mystery is inbred maternally to Most Happy Fella and he has a third dam through a son of Albatross. There is also an Abercrombie return to the maternal lines of the sire of A Rocknroll Dance.

These are examples of three different racing breeds whose champions all have pedigrees that follow Pedigree Matching principles.

I dont want to leave out the Arabians, who do not race at two, but one of the top Arabs last year was aptly named Quick And Rich. He is by TH Richie, a sire whose dam combines the Morafic and Nazeer sire lines. The dam of Quick And Rich is a Morafic line sire as is the third dam, and the second dam is through Nazeer. Just another great pedigree match.