Friday, August 31, 2012

Understanding the Yearling Profiles

The profiles list the yearlings grouped alphabetically by sire. There are four sire profile columns which identify the sires of the first four dams in the pedigree. Each is colour coded to help identify the sire line - For pacers the red is Meadow Skipper, Blue is Adios line, Green is Volomite line and occasionally you will see light blue for the Big Towner line. For the trotters red is the Speedster line, Blue is Stars Pride, green is Volomite through Victory Song and brown is the rarely seen Axworthy line.

Below each sire name is a group of letters e.g. AHKMO which represents the maternal traces to key mares Adioo, Hatteras, Kathleen, Manette and Oniska. M2 is the inbred Margaret Parrish and A2 is Helen Hanover. These traces when combined in a pedigree often give a pattern which is common to the top performers known as the X-profile of the dam - this is shown in the last column. To the left of this combination is a tabulation by trace that shows which traces are doubled in the mares pedigree with each trace doubled signified by the number 1.

Also below the sire names in the first and second columns you will see two numbers e.g. 60 18. This is the cross statistic and in this case it shows the cross has produced 60 of racing age and 18% have earned over $100K. A good percentage is 15%. Any crosses lower than that should be carefully examined to make sure the yearling in question is similar, or not, to the few successful ones. The stats under the first column refer to the primary cross of sire and broodmare sire in the yearling while the second column shows the secondary cross of the mare herself. In the case of a new sire the primary cross numbers will show 0 0.

The yearling profiles should be used in conjunction with the Stallion profiles. As a Multiply member and a friend of this site you have access to these stallion profiles which show the top performers for each stallion in a format similar to the yearling profiles. Each stallion profile also indicates in summary the profile factors to look for in the yearling e.g. a stallion may favour non Meadow Skipper line mares, or mares that combine certain individuals, or Super Bowl line dams with a second dam through Speedy Crown etc. For those stallions that have yet to see their progeny race you can use a similar stallion as a model, as I have discussed in several recent entries regarding sires like Muscle Hill.

Once you have narrowed down the list to the ones that fit the sire profile and have good cross stats then you can put a number on the pedigree that is based on the speed and earnings in the first three dams. Rating the pedigrees like this gives you a priority list for inspection. You can then add any adjustments based on conformation to arrive at your short list of yearlings that fit your criteria based on cost, jurisdiction, gait, sex etc.

Doing your homework like this is not a guarantee that you will buy the next champion. It will, however, prevent you from making costly mistakes and greatly improve your chances of success, not to mention the reduced wear on your shoes.

If this all sounds like too much work then you can always call me for the yearling ratings for any sale. You can get them in total, by gait, by sex, or by racing jurisdiction. Once all of the sales are listed you can even get a North America Top 100 list for any gait/sex combination. For details and pricing email me at or send a private message through this site.

Check to see if the pedigree is right before you write the cheque.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lexington Selected Sale

Attached are the profiles for the Lexington yearlings selling October 2nd - 6th. The sale has 703 catalogued which is down about 10% from last year, a reflection of the continuing drop in yearling numbers in North America. The Harrisburg sale also shows a drop in numbers overall when you factor in the extra ones last year from the aborted New Jersey sale but I understand the increase in Canadian entries has offset that somewhat.

I will get to the Harrisburg sale in a couple of weeks after I look at Morrisville and the other Indiana sales. Between the big two, Harrisburg and Lexington, there will be about 2000 yearlings to look at, an impossible task if you want to inspect them all. There is a better way and that is to narrow the list for inspection down to those that fit the profile of the sire. This typically cuts the overall list to 25% and from there you can shorten it further by your preference for gait. sex or racing jurisdiction. The Black Book has a neat new feature that you can use to store your list and the ratings you give for pedigree and conformation. Both sales will also be available on the Horse sale app from Equineline.

I will post the profiles for the stallions in both sales over the next two weeks under the Links section. To access them you will need to join Multiply and send me a friend request if you have not already done so.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Forest City Pacing Yearlings

Attached are the profiles for the pacing bred yearlings for the Forest City sale in October. The quality here tends to be higher than the Canadian Open since it is somewhat of a select sale but the sire selection is essentially the same with emphasis on the stallions standing at Seelster Farms, one of the owners of the sale.

The outcome of the Canadian sales does not look promising with the current Liberal government doing significant damage to the industry as a whole with their proposal to end the funding from slots revenues at the tracks. That does not, however, affect the quality of the yearlings and their potential as race horses in other jurisdictions. I think we all wish for a successful outcome.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Italian Yearling Sales

About 700 yearlings will be sold this fall at four different venues in Italy. The two largest sales at Milan (322 entries) and Naples (155) are run by ANACT, the National Breeders organization. The best yearlings, however, are usually found at one of other sales run by a private sale company. The better of the two sales run by ITS (see the website at is the Busto Arsizio sale. Here you will find mostly American sired yearlings and also ones by some of the top sires in Europe. The second ITS sale at Gangliano on September 20th has more of an Italian bred flavour with sires that we seldom hear about in North America.

The Busto sale on September 12th features three yearlings consigned by Lou Guida. They all have America in their names. Lou has had considerable success as a breeder in Italy and just recently retired his great mare Lisa America, one of the top female trotters in Europe for the past three years. There is a sibling to Lisa America in the Busto sale that will likely be one of the sale toppers.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Forest City Trotting Yearlings

The profiles for the Forest City trotting yearlings are attached. Established sires like Angus Hall and Kadabra are well represented as usual and new sires of interest including Federal Flex and Windsong Espoir. There is a much smaller presence of Muscle Mass yearlings probably based on his first crop which has been less than spectacular considering some of the prices paid last year. Surprisingly there are only two by Majestic Son, a sire that is doing rather better than I expected.

To use a baseball analogy - If you want to catch a home run ball, you first need to get in the ballpark, then the right section depending on whether the potential home run hitter is a left or right pull hitter, and then be lucky enough to be in the right seat.

Using the sire profiles is a big step to getting you that prime spot. Some of you have been asking for clarification on how to use the profiles. Lets look at two sires, one established, Angus Hall, and one new, Federal Flex.

Angus Hall has been around long enough to have established quite clearly what his home run horses look like on the pedigree page. His overall profile calls for the following types of mares that will produce yearlings capable of being in his top performers.

His top 16 performers fit the following criteria. The number in brackets gives the number or top performers in the top 16 that fit that particular part of the profile.

!. Speedy Crown line dams with Super Bowl, a son of Super Bowl, or Bonefish line second or third dam or a broodmare sire with a dam by Bonefish (8)

2. Super Bowl or Noble Victory line dams with a Speedy Crown line 2nd or 3rd dam or a broodmare sire with a Speedy Crown line dam (6)

3. Dams with no Speedy Crown maternally and with Super Bowl line 2nd dam (1)

4. Arndon line dam with Super Bowl line 2nd dam (1)

You will find these criteria will carry on down through almost all of his $100K earners but what about his home runs, the millionaires ? The top 5 all have a line through Speedy Crown or a son, and one through Bonefish, in the dam.

The top 9 and 15 of the top 16 all have a line through Speedy Crown or a son,  and one through Bonefish or Super Bowl, in the dam.

I dont see any yearlings in here that could crack the top 5 but there are a few that could make his $100K plus list. I will leave you to figure those ones out.

Federal Flex is a sire I discussed earlier when we looked at Muscle Hill, a sire with similar lines, being by Muscles Yankee from a mare line bred to Stars Pride. I noted then that there were several sires with foals racing that can give us a lead on what to look for initially in the first crop of both Federal Flex and Muscle Hill. Here is what you need to be aware of.

Federal Flex is by Muscles Yankee (Speedy Somolli line) from a dam by Sjs Photo (Hickory Pride line), second dam by Joie de Vie (Super Bowl). Typically such sires, with no Speedy Crown maternally, will do very well with mares that are inbred maternally to Speedy Crown and are by sires that connect to the key individuals on their own maternal lines e.g. Hickory Pride and/or Super Bowl, most likely the latter since Super Bowl is a more dominant factor in pedigrees.

Star Challenge is a Speedy Somolli line sire with a dam by Stars Pride line sire Lindys Crown, second dam by Super Bowl. He has been standing in the States for several years and his best, with over $450K made is from a mare by a son of Super Bowl that is inbred maternally to Speedy Crown. His top two and 6 of his top 7 are bred this way.

Diesel Don is a full brother to Muscle Hill. He stands in Finland. His best to date is also from a mare by a son of Super Bowl and the dam is inbred maternally to Speedster and the broodmare sire has a Speedy Crown line dam. His top 5 all have the same pattern.

Incredible Abe, who produced millionaire Abbey Road C did things a little different since his top two are from Noble Victory line dams but still mares that were inbred to Speedster or Speedy Crown maternally.

There were some good performers by these three sires that were from Speedy Crown line dams but in almost every case the mares involved were inbred maternally to Stars Pride.

Again I will leave it to you to come up with the yearlings that fit the profile. If you want to compare notes send me your choices and I will fill in any gaps in the selection process. You obviously have to address the content in the pedigrees as well as the structure. You will find that several of the yearlings by Angus Hall and Federal Flex that fit the profiles are, however, a bit short on content with respect to earnings and speed in the family.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hoosier Heritage Sale

The first of three yearling sales in Indiana comes up on September 1st. It is an offshoot of the much larger Hoosier Classic that takes place a month later and from a look at the pedigrees shoot would be the operative word for the vast majority of the 150 yearlings catalogued.

It always baffles me to see how breeders squander their resources on raising animals with virtually zero chance of success. Some of these are by nice sires like the ones by first crop sire Swan For All. His stud fee was $5000 and the mares in here that were bred to him would not collectively be worth that much. There are a couple of nice pedigrees from a matching standpoint, like Graceful Swan and Swan Of A Kind but there is virtually zero performance in the families. If they were great looking individuals you might take a chance on being the first one with something special, it does happen - rarely.

You can quickly tell the value of the maternal line by checking the sire cross statistics especially the numbers under the 2nd Dam Sire. Graceful Swans dam is actually one of the better ones since she has a cross that is 21% successful from 130 such matings of Pine Chip to Valley Victory dams. Swan Of A Kind's dam has a cross that has only been tried four times with nothing to date. The numbers under the first Dam Sire are the stats for the cross of the current foal. These are all zeros for Swan For All since he is a first crop sire. At a minimum I look for a cross percentage of 15% or more. Anything less needs much closer inspection.

The pacing sires in this sale include Sand Shooter whose first crop was well received last year but so far they have disappointed on the track. Most of the other sires have been around for a while or are unpopular for other reasons. There are two yearlings by Total Truth and the colt Total Proof may be worth close inspection just for his dad's sake at least.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Norway Yearling Sale

One of our Multiply friends asked for a profile of the Norway sale in September. It is a small sale, 107 trotters and another 60 or so coldbloods.

The warmblood trotting sires involved range far and wide. There are NA sires such as Muscle Hill, Federal Flex, Kadabra, Muscle Mass and Muscles Yankee. There are yearlings by former NA stallions like Enjoy Lavec, Lindy Lane, S Js Photo and Dream Vacation. You will also see new sires from North America like Adrian Chip, Clerk Magistrate as well as French stallions like Daguet Rapide and Offshore Dream. There are even two by the German stallion Diamond Way who is now 30 and still breeding.

For the most part, however, the mares are forgettable although there are some pleasant surprises.

One that jumped out at me is the filly Pocahana by Enjoy Lavec. She is from a Mack Lobell mare and that cross is 44% while the second dam by Speedy Crown is 45% with Mack Lobell. There is a sibling cross through Matina Hanover and the dam has already produced some special individuals.

Another that stands out is the Kadabra colt Trottin Genius from a mare that combines Balanced Image and Speedy Crown, similar to Windsong Espoir. The family here is also substantial.

Others I like are Here Chippie Chippie, Biche Va Bien, Benny Lane W, Hayos Arvella, Al Qasr, and Avenger.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Canadian Open Trotting Yearlings

The top group of sires with trotting yearlings in the Canadian Open includes Angus Hall and Kadabra, both sires with major league performers that continue to do well. Federal Flex and Windsong Espoir yearlings should also attract attention as first crop possibilities. Majestic Son appears to be extending his first crop success into his two year olds this year although both he and Muscle Mass seem destined to be good regional sires rather than producers of Grand Circuit material. And then there is the surprisingly lacklustre Deweycheatumnhowe to date.

The Maybe group in this sale includes Amigo Hall, the departed Ken Warkentin, and Striking Sahbra, while the risky buys will be yearlings by Cornaro Dasolo, Mr Lavec, Mutineer, and the unraced The Pres.

I have previously blogged on Federal Flex on a couple of occasions with regards to his similarity to Muscle Hill and the likely profile of his top performers. Windsong Espoir, as a son of Kadabra, is typical of the best by that sire being from a Noble Victory line dam as are 11 of Kadabra's top 16. I expect that connection to also be best for Windsong Espoir. His maternal lines are Balanced Image - Speedy Crown. Yearlings from mares by Angus Hall or by sons of Balanced Image should be among his best especially those inbred maternally to Speedy Crown. In that respect the sire to model on is Rc Royalty, a Super Bowl line sire with maternal lines of Balanced Image - Speedy Scot.

A couple of sires with modest results to date are Deweycheatumnhowe and Muscle Mass. Dewey, who is Speedy Somolli - Noble Victory maternally,  is sticking close to his profile with 11 of his top 16 being from Noble Victory line dams and 9 of his top 10 showing a line through Speedy Somolli. His best performer has just $46K made but it is still too early to make a real judgement. The same can be said for Muscle Mass whose best are all over the map so far with respect to profile which does not come as a surprise since similar sires like Glidemaster have been every bit as unpredictable and inconsistent. One of the few I liked last year at the yearling sales was Muscle Magic, who is right on profile and off to a good start to date with a close third place finish in the first OSS Gold Final. and two seconds in Gold elims. Take a look at Northern Cone in this sale.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Canadian Open Pacing Yearlings

Attached you will find the profiles for the pacing yearlings in the Canadian Open Sale.

As you can expect in an Open sale there is a variety of sires represented that you can put in Yes, Maybe and No groupings. The Yes group for this sale includes several new sires with potential to be successful based on their racing careers as we see in Artistic Fella, Major In Art, Mister Big and Shadow Play, It also would include the sires that to date have shown the ability to produce a special individual such as Mach Three, Badlands Hanover and Camluck. There are also yearlings by Rocknroll Hanover and If I Can Dream, the full brother to Western Terror to consider.

The Maybe sires are those that have had limited success to date as first crop sires or are ones that have done well but not lately. I would Include Astronomical, Blissfull Hall, His Mattjesty, Jeremes Jet, No Pan Intended, Santanna Blue Chip and Stonebridge Regal here.

The No sires are those that have underperformed as sires or that have little chance of producing something special. Armbro Deuce, Classic Card Shark, Daylon Frontier, Eagle Luck, Electric Stena, Lis Mara, Sir Luck and Whosurboy. This is not to say that they have no chance to be successful but if you are looking at one then it better be an outstanding individual to offset the risk. There is always another Warrawee Needy out there.

Looking at the first crop sires is always a challenge to figure out which way they will lean. The Stallion Finder tables will give you a ballpark to look in but usually there are three or four groups of mares that will fit each sire based on the maternal lines of the sire.

Artistic Fella falls into a large group that includes sires with Abercrombie - Meadow Skipper line combinations maternally. His maternal lines through Artsplace and No Nukes bring him close to such sires as Western Terror (Artsplace - On The Road Again) . The general profile is for Non Meadow Skipper line dams, Double Meadow Skipper line dams and for Meadow Skipper line dams with Adios line second dams. In the case of Western Terror this is exactly the order of priority with 11 of the top 16 fitting the first category, 4 in the second category and just one that fits the third profile factor. Clearly the percentages favour Non Meadow Skipper line dams although the very best by Western Terror, Western Silk, is from a double Meadow Skipper dam that is inbred maternally to Most Happy Fella. You may want to take a close look at Marigold Bloom accordingly.

Major In Art combines Jate Lobell and Big Towner maternally and may well take after his sire Art Major whose maternal lines are Nihilator - Big Towner. The profile factors are for mares that are Meadow Skipper line with an Adios or Big Towner line 2nd or 3rd Dam, or dams with a 2nd or 3rd dam by Meadow Skipper, a son, or an Albatross line sire. Dams by Big Towner line sires are also a consideration. Interestingly while 12 of the top sixteen by Art Major are from Meadow Skipper line dams, four of the top five including the top two fit the other profile factors. Perhaps you should focus on the four yearlings in this sale that fit the minority factors.

Mister Big is Jate Lobell - Cam Fella maternally. He is unique in that respect but in general he fits a category of sires that will favour mares that offer combinations of Meadow Skipper lines featuring No Nukes and Cam Fella.

Shadow Wave will probaly be the most popular first crop sire in Ontario and deservedly so. His maternal lines of Matts Scooter  - Warm Breeze make him open particularily to mares that are non Meadow Skipper line and inbred to Meadow Skipper, especially through Albatross. You only need to look at World Champion Put On A Show for inspiration. She is by Rocknroll Hanover, like Shadow Play a grandson of Western Hanover, whose maternal lines are Direct Scooter - Abercrombie, the same Direct Scooter - Adios line combination as in Shadow Play. How about Kesons Silhouette or Hidden Expression ?

I will add the sire profiles to the Links page over the next few days for the other sires in the sale. Good luck with your choices.