Saturday, August 10, 2013

Whos Watching Hes Watching

Last night the world saw it’s first two year old colt to pace in 1:50 over a 5/8 track. Hes Watching, a $3,000 purchase at Harrisburg, was an easy winner and a boost to the fortunes of his sire American Ideal who has struggled to produce top colts. With the exception of Heston Blue Chip the other ones in his top four are all fillies. These four millionaires would be a credit to any sire’s record but with an overall success rate of about 6% in producing winners of over $100K, American Ideal needs this colt badly to further his career.

Bred by Brittany Farms the pedigree of Hes Watching has the stamp of my fellow pedigree guru Myron Bell, the pedigree brain of Brittany Farms, all over it. Myron will tell anyone that he does not care what the sire line is, he is only interested in what the maternal lines are and he is particularly fond of sibling and maternal crosses to great mares. Much of the success of Brittany Farms has come from their initial purchase of the Bill Sheehan farm and its broodmares. Many of these mares featured such maternal powerhouses as K Nora and Golden Miss. The latter is a principal conduit of Helen Hanover and both of these mares trace back on the X-factor trail to By By, a grand daughter of Miss Russell through her son Nutwood. K Nora is actually the maternal family of both American Ideal and his sire Western Ideal. But that is not all that is in play in the pedigree of Hes Watching, or the pedigrees of American Ideal’s current top four.

American Jewel was almost unbeatable before running into atrial fibrillation problems, not uncommon in exceptional individuals. The striking feature of her pedigree was the X-factor maternal cross of the great Three Diamonds, a grand-daughter of K Nora. What is perhaps not so evident is that she also carries an x-factor double to Margaret Parrish through the maternal lines of Matts Scooter in her sire and Big Towner in her second dam.

Heston Blue Chip is a colt and his dam also carries a double to Helen Hanover through his Cams Card Shark dam and Cam Fella third dam. Big Towner is also present in the maternal line in X-factor position.

Idyllic has a maternal line that goes to Emily Guy, a grand daughter of Margaret Parrish through Arion Guy and is a double to the great x-factor mare Margaret Parrish accordingly.. She also has X-factor doubles to both Albatross and Bret Hanover as well as three x-Factor crosses to By By, the x-factor source inbred into Helen Hanover.

Romantic Moment doubles Margaret Parrish twice across her pedigree through her second dam by Nihilator and her third dam by Falcon Almahurst.

So how does Hes Watching’s pedigree compare to these other great horses by American Ideal ?  The first thing you see is a sibling cross of Lifetime Success to her half brother Life Sign. In addition there is another sibling cross with Western Ideal, the grand-sire of Hes Watching being a three quarter brother to Cheer Me Up, the third dam of Hes Watching. These sibling crosses are not an X-factor consideration but interesting features nevertheless especially the latter which is a pedigree pattern that has shown up recently in some top trotters such as Muscle Massive and features a brother and sister on the top sire line and the maternal line respectively.

What is most important though is the makeup of Hes Watching’s dam who is loaded for business with X-factor traces to Helen Hanover. The dam, Baberhood, is by Real Desire whose maternal line traces to the Sheehan mare Golden Miss and Helen Hanover accordingly and his dam is actually a Helen Hanover double with an additional trace through Trenton. Baberhood picks up another Helen Hanover double through her own dam by Jennas Beach Boy whose dam is by Cam Fella as well as tracing to Helen Hanover on his maternal line. Yet another Helen Hanover trace comes from Baberhood’s second dam by No Nukes and then her third dam is the great K Nora, grand dam of Three Diamonds.

This is a loaded X-factor pedigree that is ready to explode.  In my book Queen Among Queens I used both Real Desire and Jennas Beach Boy as examples of the power of Helen Hanover when doubled maternally in the maternal line. I also included the following in the chapter on X-factor:

“In his book Patterns of Greatness, Thoroughbred researcher Alan Porter noted the need to delve deeply into a pedigree to discover the underlying genetic strengths that are not apparent in the first six generations.

This can reveal that one particular background 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 of a dynamic performer”.

Perhaps Alan Porter is watching Hes Watching from above and telling his heavenly buddies “I told you so”


  1. Hi Norman,
    I always think this is quite an exciting time because it's when you see the sires of the future in the 2 and 3yos.

    Any thoughts on Kikikatie's offspring to date?

    And i know that Somebeach has some phenomenal horses to date, but is that as much about the quality of the dams? Silly question, but has Worldly Beauty gone to the wrong stallions whereas her lesser performed full sister didnt?

  2. Kikikatie has done extremely well with four offspring by Rocknroll Hanover all pacing in 1.50 or better. I am a big fan of Camluck and Katies dam is a full sister to that sire. As you know my colt Scarlet Chaser is from a three quarter sister to Katies dam. By the way he is racing well at three, now with a record of 1.57.2 and race timed in 1.56.1h finishing second where he came from last in a final half of 54.4. He has some big races coming up so things look positive.

    I was part of the process for purchasing Katie as a broodmare for her owner Lothlorien Stable. She was bought specifically to breed to Rocknroll Hanover on my recommendation. So far that has worked out well. Her two year old by Well Said is now racing and one of the best by that sire to date with a record of 1.52.2f.

    Worldly Beauty has never been bred to Somebeachsomewhere while her sister has been bred exclusively to that sire. Her best is by Rocknroll Hanover so a breeding to the Beach is certainly one to consider especially since her daughter by Western Ideal has one of the best by SBSW in Sir Richard Z Tam.

  3. It's lucky Katie did go to Rocknroll Hanover when she did. Good for you. You must be quite proud of your colt too.