Friday, September 21, 2012

A Pattern to Watch For

Back in 1998 when we introduced the Pedigree Matching program at Harrisburg I sat down with a successful trainer and discussed pedigrees. He wanted to know what to look for on the pedigree page. He wanted something simple as a golden rule. We ran through some successful pedigrees and it was remarkable that many of the top individuals of the day did indeed show a particular pattern. Using that pattern the trainer has gone on to be one of the top trainers of young horses in North America.

The pedigree pattern he has since followed was indeed simple. Buy yearlings that were crossed maternally on Albatross for pacers and on Speedy Crown for trotters. Fourteen years later that pattern remains valid except it has moved to the maternal lines. Now we see the top performers coming from mares that are bred that way.

Jug winner Michaels Power is a case in point. He is by Camluck, a sire with no Albatross maternally but his dam is inbred 3x3 to Albatross maternally being by Artsplace, whose dam is by Albatross, and with a second dam by a son of Albatross. Captaintreachorous, the top two year old so far this year, is also from an Artsplace mare that. is inbred 3x4 to Albatross. Rocknroll Hanover has seven of his top ten that show a variation of this pattern with second or third dams through Albatross. Rockincam, winner of the Winbak on Jug Day, is another great example.

On the trotting side we have seen last year's Hambletonian winner Broad Bahn whose dam is inbred 3x3 to Speedy Crown. Cantab Hall has a particular liking for such mares and his best is Explosive Matter, also 3x3 to Speedy Crown in his dam.and most of his top ten show a similar pattern.

This pattern shows up best for sires like Camluck and Cantab Hall that have no Albatross or Speedy Crown maternally but also for sires that themselves have either of these individuals doubled up in their own dams such as Majestic Son and his top two year old Murmur Hanover, or Kadabra's top performer Daylon Magician, or Check Me Out by Donato Hanover a sire that also fits the pattern.

Unfortunately such crosses are not evident in the sales catalog due to the restricted pedigree chart but will jump right off the page when you can see a five generation pedigree chart.

Of course a pattern is just a pattern. You still need to have the pedigree content and the conformation to go with it. Dominant maternal crosses are , however, a good way to short list for potential top horses before you get to see them in the flesh.


  1. Someone asked if it was Bob Glazer that I talked to - it wasn't, but that was a good guess. Glazer and his Peter Pan Stable bought primarily pacers but he was a big fan of the inbred maternal cross as witness many of his top performers by Artsplace and Western Hanover. He used to drop by our booth in Harrisburg to look at pedigrees on our big screen. He would ask to see a pedigree and then would say "Show me the colours " that highlighted the matenal duplicates. Take a look at The Panderosa, The Firepan, Pan Yankees and even No Pan Intended who although it is not an Albatross cross it is Meadow Skipper and you will also see a Meadow Skipper maternal cross in the dam.

  2. In response to another question let me repeat that maternal inbreeding is not universally usefull. I noted that it works best in certain circumstances where the sire has either no Albatross or Speedy Crown lines or where the sire's dam is linebred to the Meadow Skipper line or the Speedster line.

    A case in point is the curious case of the lack of succes for broodmares that are by Western Hanover and from Artsplace dams. I commented on this situation a couple of years ago when the cross was relatively new to the broodmare ranks and the situation has not changed. Despite having an excellent overall success rate as a racing cross at 29.6% and 18.7% for the fillies, the fillies now old enough to have offspring at the races are batting only 7.4% with just 13 winners of over $100K from 175 of racing age.

    On the surface the cross is 3x4 to Albatross so you would think it would be a great type of mare to have, and it is if you choose the right sire. Of the 13 good performers almost half of them are by either Cambest or Camluck, both sires with no Meadow Skipper maternally. These include three of the top four with earnings over $200K. Bettors Delight has two good ones but these are both 4x4 across the pedigree to both Albatross and Abercrombie. The other sires with good but not great performers include Village Jove and Bliisfull Hall, like the previous ones they are Cam Fella line. There are two by a sire that has double Meadow Skipper maternally including Nikki Beach, one of the best fillies by Somebeachsomewhere. There are several similar breedings available in Harrisburg this year that you may want to check out.

  3. Norm, does this pattern include where Albatross maternally in the sire is back in the sixth generation? Or do you mean no Albatross at all? I was just looking at the Mystery Chase - Red Star Sugar Gal cross that we did this year.

    On another note, please say hi to Phyllis for us. We wish her (and you) the best in her recovery.


  4. Is this now preferential to having double Albatross or Speedy Crown in the x position?

  5. as far as Michaels power, Casie told me she's all conformation, doesn't even look at Pedigree till after she buys..interesting

  6. A look at the 2013 two year olds that have made over $100K to date shows four of the top 7 and 6/10 pacers with dams inbred to either Albatross or Abercrombie. On the trot side three of the top five are from dams inbred to Speedy Crown.