Monday, March 31, 2014

Kentucky Derby Contenders - Update

The winners of the three Derbys on the weekend have jumped to the top of the leaderboard. Two of them are new to the top 20 contenders and they have extreme maternal inbreeding to Northern Dancer. Constitution, the upset winner of the Florida Derby has three different sons of Northern Dancer in his pedigree while Toast Of New York, winner of the United Emirates Derby has five.

The top eight and 14 of the top 20 are inbred maternally as noted below. Six of the top 8 are by Nearco line sires - five through Northern Dancer, while the other two are by Mr Prospector line sires.

1. Vicars In Trouble by Into Mischief.  Icecapade (Nearctic) 5x4
2. Toast Of New York by Thewayyouare. Northern Dancer (5x4)x(4x5x5), Red God (Nasrullah) 5x6
3. Constitution by Tapit.  Mr Prospector (4x5)x4, Northern Dancer 5x(5x5)
4. Intense Holiday by Harlans Holiday. Raise A Native 5x6
5. Wildcat Red by D`Wildcat Nasrullah 6x6, Raise A Native 4x5
6. We Miss Artie by Artie Schiller.   Raise A Native (sire of Mr Prospector) 5x(4x5)
7. Samraat by Noble Causeway.   Raise A Native 5x6, dam inbred to Raise A Native 5x5
8. Hoppertunity by Any Given Saturday.   Danzig (Northern Dancer) 3x4, dam 4x3 Northern Dancer
9. Chitu by Henny Hughes
10. Midnight Hawk by Midnight Lute
11. Ring Weekend by Tapit.   Fappiano (Mr Prospector) 4x3, sire 3x4 to Mr Prospector
12. California Chrome by Lucky Pulpit.   Mr Prospector 4x3, dam inbred to Northern Dancer 4x5
13. Tapiture by Tapit.  Raise A Native 6x6, sire 3x4 to Mr Prospector
14. General A Rod by Roman Ruler.   Danzig (Northern Dancer) 4x4
15. Albano by Istan
16. Cairo Prince by Pioneerof The Nile    
17. Uncle Sigh by Indian Charlie.   Northern Dancer (Nearctic) 5x4
18, Vinceremos by Pioneerof The Nile.   Bold Ruler (Nasrullah) 5x5
19. Harrys Holiday by Harlans Holiday
20. Commanding Curve by Master Command

April 5th we will see more dramatic changes in the top 20 as the Santa Anita Derby and the Wood Memorial are contested. The Arkansas Derby and the Bluegrass finish off the Road to The Kentucky Derby on April 12th with the big race itself scheduled for April 19th.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Kentucky Derby

One of the biggest horse races in North America is the Kentucky Derby. There are over 300 horses eligible but only 20 get to start based on their earnings and points earned during a series of races in what is known as The Road to The Kentucky Derby. According to the race website the current top 20 are as listed below. There are some interesting pedigrees among the leading contenders to date.

A look back at the past winners since 2000 shows an interesting trend in the pedigrees. Thorobred breeders generally favour a pedigree with as little inbreeding as possible and indeed with the possibile exception of 2000 winner Fusaichi Pegasus, that has been evident in recent history but interestingly the last five winners have had significant maternal inbreeding. Last year the winner was Orb by Malibu Moon. Orb was inbred maternally to Mr Prospector 3x4. The year before Ill Have Another shows maternal inbreeding to Northern Dancer 5x5. Both of these winners were outcrossed on sire line. In 2011 Animal Kingdom had a pedigree more typical of past winners with virtually no duplications in six generations other than a 4x4 double of Lyphard (Northern Dancer) from his second dam to the dam of his grandsire Candy Stripes. The 2010 winner Super Saver was double inbred to Nasrullah (Nearco) while Mine That Bird in 2009 was 4x4 to Northern Dancer (grandson of Nearco) maternally.

In recent times there has been a spate of big winners that show maternal doubles to Northern Dancer and /or Mr Prospector. I have noted the ones on the current list that have that pedigree feature.

1. We Miss Artie by Artie Schiller.           Raise A Native (sire of Mr Prospector) 5x(4x5)
2. Samraat by Noble Causeway                 Raise A Native 5x6, dam inbred to Raise A Native 5x5
3. Hoppertunity by Any Given Saturday   Danzig (Northern Dancer) 3x4, dam 4x3 Northern Dancer
4. Chitu by Henny Hughes
5. Intense Holiday by Harlans Holiday     Raise A Native 5x6
6. Midnight Hawk by Midnight Lute
7. Wildcat Red by D`Wildcat                    Nasrullah 6x6, Raise A Native 4x5
8. Ring Weekend by Tapit                         Fappiano (Mr Prospector) 4x3, sire 3x4 to Mr Prospector
9. California Chrome by Lucky Pulpit      Mr Prospector 4x3, dam inbred to Northern Dancer 4x5
10. Tapiture by Tapit                                 Raise A Native 6x6, sire 3x4 to Mr Prospector
11. Albano by Istan                                  
12. Uncle Sigh by Indian Charlie              Northern Dancer (Nearctic) 5x4
13, Vinceremos by Pioneerof The Nile     Bold Ruler (Nasrullah) 5x5
14. Vicars In Trouble by Into Mischief     Icecapade (Nearctic) 5x4
15. Harrys Holiday by Harlans Holiday
16.General A Rod by Roman Ruler          Danzig (Northern Dancer) 4x4
17. Ride On Curlin by Curlin                    Northern Dancer 5x4
18. Havana by Dunkirk
19 Cairo Prince by Pioneerof The Nile    
20. Kristo by Distorted Humor                 Northern Dancer 4x4, dam is 6x6 Nearco

Looks like 14 - 6 in favour of the current Derby pattern of maternal inbreeding.

Over the next month the top ones will compete in a number of Derby races in Florida, Arkansas, Louisiana, California and the Wood Memorial in New York.  The current list could change dramatically in the two weeks based on the results of these Derby Prep races.

The pedigrees can be viewed on PM Online Globerunner

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Matchmaker

Every spring the best pacing mares in North America compete in the Matchmaker Series at Yonkers. The series is well named as the pedigrees of the four winners in the first leg are all great examples of Pedigree Matching in a variety of ways.

Coincidentally all four winners have Abercrombie line dams, two by Artsplace and one each by Life Sign and Artiscape and all four are by Meadow Skipper line sires so they satisfy the general rule of outcrossing on sire line. It is the maternal connections, however, that determine their greatness and the maternal breeding and X-factor doubles involved are something to see.

Angel's Delight is the least experienced of the four. Coming into the series with earnings of just over $100K she is a late bloomer whose pedigree is finally coming through. She is by Rocknroll Hanover and was bred by Lothlorien Stable in Ontario who were part owners of the stallion. Her dam, Belovedangel, was bought by Bob Mcintosh at Harrisburg as a yearling. Bob is a PM enthusiast from the early years and has been assisted by Dr Moira Gunn, formerly of Armstrong Farm, and one of my earliest PM followers. Moira and I combined forces to recommend the purchase of several mares for Lothlorien to breed to Rocknroll Hanover in his first year at stud. The highlight of that group was Kikikatie whose four breedings to Rocknroll Hanover have produced four $100K plus winners of over $2.5 million combined including first crop star Rockn Image $903,424. Belovedangel was also in that group of mares and although her five breedings to Rocknroll have been less spectacular they have produced five race starters, including a late racing two year old last year, with combined earnings approaching $500K including Audreys Dream $258K.

With an Artsplace dam that is inbred maternally to Meadow Skipper and from a mare that is also inbred to Meadow Skipper maternally, Angels Delight fit the expected profile for Rocknroll Hanover perfectly. Add to that her second dam by Matts Scooter providing a maternal double to Direct Scooter to compliment the double to Abercrombie and the success of this match was actually pretty predictable.

Summertime Lea also has a close connection to me from a pedigree matching standpoint. Her dam Donna Summer went through the New Jersey sale and I had recommended her purchase to one of my Prince Edward Island breeders. He was hesitant to pay a lot for a mare that had already produced a winner of $206K and she was in foal to Lislea for the fourth time and the first three had not been successful at the track. Two of those were colts, however, and the third was an as yet unraced yearling filly. The buyers were from Indiana and the resultant filly, Summertime Lea, ended up being trained by Ron Burke, making $553K racing in New York including the two year old NYSS championship. Genetics tells us that if you try the same breeding consistently you will get one of the four offspring that will be a top performer, 25%, and in this case it proved to be true.

Her dam is by Life Sign and as you can see from the pedigree that sire is a virtual clone of Lisheen, the dam of Lislea. The maternal sequence of both is Abercrombie - Albatross - Bret Hanover - Knight Dream with the last three sires being doubled in X-factor position. Added to this is a third dam also through Albatross making Donna Summer inbred maternally to that sire and also with an X-factor double to Bret Hanover. It helps too that Summertime Lea's second dam is a double to the X-factor pacing queen Helen Hanover.

Somwherovrtherainbow has a great mother in $1.6 million earner Rainbow Blue but even great race mares are no guarantee in the broodmare ranks unless they are bred to the right sire. After essentially failed breedings to top sires like Western Hanover, Bettors Delight and Dragon Again, she was finally paired up with Somebeachsomewhere, a sire that could take advantage of her close maternal inbreeding to Meadow Skipper. SBSW has a double Meadow Skipper dam and such sires predictably favour mares that are either linebred or inbred maternally to that sire line. Before she started racing I predicted in an earlier blog post that she would become the fastest female of all time. She certainly started out in the right direction as a two year old but struggled with health issues last year. Healthy now she is looking like this might be her year to achieve lasting greatness in the footsteps of her record setting mother.

Her dam is by Artiscape and is inbred to On The Road Again 3x2 maternally, an unusual but historically significant pattern that produced exceptional maternal influences like Helen Hanover and Margaret Parrish. Across the pedigree the X-factor highlights are Tar Heel and Bret Hanover, two individuals that show up consistently in X-factor position in great mares and for good reason as you can read in my book Queen Among Queens. Another interesting characteristic of this pedigree is the connection from Rainbow Blue to dam of the grandsire of Somwherovrtherainbow, Mach Three, where we see his maternal lines of Abercrombie and Most Happy Fella repeated. This outmatch pattern is a common feature in the best offspring by SBSW.

Yagonnakissmeornot is from the Artsplace mare Artstopper. She was bought by George Teague as a yearling and like many of his bargain purchases at Harrisburg she raced well at 2 and 3. Her four year old season was not up to par but starting her five year old campaign she now shows four wins and two seconds in her first seven starts. With $368K made she is the best of six from her dam and the only one by The Panderosa. A look at her pedigree tells you why this match worked better than the others.

Her pedigree is inbred maternally to Abercrombie and Gene Abbe and she has X-factor doubles to Tar Heel and Bret Hanover - enough said. She had a very good two year old by Always A Virgin last year and another in training this year by the same sire. Look for both of these to be prominent at the races in 2014 based on their pedigrees which feature maternal crosses to both Big Towner and Albatross.

I'm sure there will be other mares in this series that will win subsequent legs and I suspect they too will show the pedigree patterns that make for great mares.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

2014 North American Stallion Finder

The Stallion Finder for sires standing in North America during 2014 is now available. The report tables list all sires, pacers and trotters, by name, State or Province standing, and by maternal lines together with a summary of preferred lines in the broodmares that fit the profiles of the sires.

Subscribers to PM Online can access a complimentary copy of the Stallion Finder in the PM Online library along with other Pedigree Matching publications including current stallion profiles. The Stallion Finder document can also be downloaded by submitting a Paypal payment of $25 through the Pedigree Matching website.

There are 313 sires listed, 182 pacers and 131 trotters, a considerable drop from the 374 in the 2013 Stallion Finder.

Sons of Western Hanover (35), Artsplace (16) and Cams Card Shark (13), lead the pacing sires while sires by Muscles Yankee (12). Yankee Glide (11), Valley Victory (8) and Garland Lobell (8) head the trotting lists.

Veteran pacing sires Abercrombie and Big Towner have just one representative left standing while current super sire Somebeachsomewhere has his first son in stud with So Surreal, a half brother to Well Said, that is standing in New York.

Speedy Crown and Super Bowl also have just one sire each in the trotting sire listings with Giant Hit in Delaware and American Winner in Pennsylvania respectively. An interesting addition to the trotting sire ranks is the first son of Revenue to stand stud in Break The Bank K who stands in Ohio. This is to my knowledge the first American bred son of a French sire to start a stud career in North America.