Saturday, December 21, 2013

Welcome to Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners

With the startup of PM Online we enter a new phase in the development of Pedigree Matching.

While my interest in the influence of pedigree on breeding and racing success has primarily been on the standardbred breed, I have been watching the top performers of other performance breeds to see if the same principles apply in their pedigrees. I am convinced that they do. Here are some examples drawn from the past year.

Thoroughbred breeders are generally convinced that inbreeding of any kind is bad and as a consequence the pedigrees often show little of the kinds ot patterns that show up in top standardbreds. In that respect the situation is similar to the approach of the French trotter breeders. The net result is that the overall success rates in producing top performers is less than half that of standardbreds generally. Similarily when this approach does produce a special individual it is because of the extreme outcross nature of such matings, the much touted hybrid vigour, that can and does succeed spectacularly on relatively rare occasions. But not all top thoroughbred performers come from such matings by any means. Four of the top earning horses in North America are the following:

Will Take Charge by Unbridleds Song
Game On Dude by Awesome Again
Orb by Malibu Moon
Mucho Macho Man by Macho Uno

The basic approach to pedigree matching is to outcross on sire line and inbreed maternally. The sire lines in thoroughbreds are more numerous than in standardbreds but the majority of sires currently standing in North America descend from Bartletts Childers, the full brother to Flying Childers a sire that is responsible for the vast majority of the modern day standardbred stallions. This sire line splits at a sire called Phalaris 1913 into two sire lines that are commonly described as the Nearco and Native Dancer lines. Nearco's line is famous for the great Northern Dancer and his siring legacy while Mr Prospector is a sire from the Native Danver branch that is prominent, as is Northern Dancer, both as a sire of sires and as a strong maternal influence through his daughters.

Orb is by a Nearco line sire and from a Native Dancer line dam and thus considered an outcross on sire line since the common ancestor on sire line is several generations away. He is inbred maternally to Mr Prospector 3x4 and also inbred to the Nearco line maternally with Northern Dancer and Turn To, both grandsons of Nearco, across the pedigree maternally.

Will Take Charge is outcrossed on sire line in similar fashion but the other way around being by a Native Dancer line sire and from a Nearco line dam. He also is inbred maternally to Nearco through grandsons Nasrullah and Northern Dancer.

Game On Dude is actually linebred on sire line to Nearco with the sire line through Northern Dancer and the dam sire through Turn To. Maternally , however, he is inbred to both Nasrullah and to Raise A Native, son of Native Dancer.

Mucho Macho Man has over $7 million made lifetime and he is outcrossed on sire line being by yet another line descending from Bartletts Childers through Roughntumble. He is strongly inbred maternally to both Mr Prospector 4x4 and to Nasrullah 5x6.

As you can see all four have pedigrees typical of the best standardbreds and I will point out two others. Remember the Breeders Cup race a couple of years ago when the great mare Zenyatta took on the best male horses and came second by a head to Blame. Guess what. Blame is outcrossed on sire line through Turn To (Nearco) to Native Dancer and is inbred maternally to Northern Dancer 4x4 and Raise A Native 5x4,  And then there is the mighty Zenyatta. She shows yet another pattern familiar to standardbred breeders. She too is outcrossed on sire line by a grandson of Mr Prospector and from a mare through Turn To. Her maternal connections are a typical standardbred outcross pattern with her maternal lines through Hail To Reason (Turn To) and Hoist The Flag being duplicated in the maternal lines of her grandsire Machiavellian.

I'll add one more for the Quarter Horse breeders and that is the horse I posted about earlier, One Famous Glass, the quarter horse colt, by a first crop sire, plucked from a 1200 strong yearling sale for $10,000 based solely on a pedigree reminiscent of standardbred success. That colt has just been named Horse Of The Year in Canada for 2013. He is owned by my son Charles who created the original Pedigree Matching computer program.

Perhaps the quarter horse breeders, as well as the thoroughbred breeders, can learn from these examples that maternal inbreeding is not that bad after all.

Game On Dude
Mucho Macho Man
Will Take Charge
One Famous Glass

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