Saturday, September 20, 2014

Lexington Sale Profile

The Lexington sale is set for the first week in October with a reduced number of yearlings from previous years, about 100 less than two years ago, and this year the sale includes a number of Indiana breds as the Kentucky breeding industry, as well as the industry as a whole, experiences a continued drop in yearling registrations. This year the total has dropped to below 8,000 foals in the North American crop of 2013 and next year will see another big drop with the damaging effects of the Ontario government debacle hitting home.

This year will see a big increase in Ontario breds at Lexington with the first crops of Big Jim, Vintage Master and Manofmanymissions well represented in addition to the hot sire of the year Sportswriter. These yearlings would mostly have sold in Ontario in previous years but many breeders have opted to try their luck in US sales at both Lexington and Harrisburg.

Also among the first crop trotting sires is a small group of yearlings by Broad Bahn including a nice pedigreed filly called Trendy Broad that will be worth looking over. On the pacing side Roll With Joe will debut his first yearlings and he will have a hard time filling the boots of his full brother Bettors Delight based on the mares he had to work with. Bettors Delight stood in Ontario in 2012 and he has a large group of Ontario eligibles on the Lexington list and another even bigger group in Harrisburg. A lot of these were foaled in the United States as breeders still had confidence in his ability to produce top shelf racehorses despite being evicted from New York to make way for his upstart brother.

Lexington Trotter Profile

Lexington Pacer Profile

For those of you not familiar with the Sale Profile format the numbers you see in the chart are cross statistics. The first pair under the 1st Dam Sire column shows the number of times that cross has been tried in terms of foals of racing age, then the percentage success rate in producing $100K winners. For instance The Yank by Always A Virgin shows 12 0 meaning 12 crosses of Always A Virgin to mares by Jennas Beach Boy and 0 % top winners. The second pair under the 2nd Dam Sire No Nukes is the cross of Jennas Beach Boy to No Nukes and it shows 100 crosses with a success rate of 22%. Generally a 15% success rate is considered acceptable.

To the right of the sire line columns, which by the way are colour coded to identify which sire lines are in the pedigree of the mare, you will see several columns headed by a letter A,H,K,M or O. These relate to the presence of special mares in the back pedigree and a 1 under any column identifies the dam of the yearling as having that mare doubled up in the dam's pedigree. For a full explanation of the significance of maternal influences you can download my book Queen Among Queens from the PM Online library.

For those of you needing help in short listing the best yearlings to look at in Lexington and Harrisburg I can prepare lists based on any criteria such as sex, gait, jurisdiction, or sire along with my ratings. They won't necessarily guarantee you a world champion but they will prevent you from making a costly mistake in buying the wrong yearling. Great race horses like Somebeachsomewhere, Bettors Delight, Lis Mara, Donato Hanover, and many more have been included in previous sale lists for Harrisburg and Lexington. Email me for further information at

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Ohio Jug Sale

Little Brown Jug Week starts on Monday 15th and traditionally there has been a small yearling sale to kick off the festivities. This year the sale has increased dramatically in numbers as the benefits of OHIO slots boosts the interest in Ohio breds - the reverse of what has occurred in Ontario and ironically the Ohio experience is based on the now defunct Ontario Slots at Racetracks program.

This sale has never been of much significance serving primarily as an opportunity to get horsemen involved in Jug Week in advance of the big race on the Thursday. There still is not a lot of significance in this sale either and if you take out the 60 head by first crop sire Big Bad John, and the 25 by Ohio's current hot pacing sire Feelin Friskie there is really not a lot of value in the pacing consignment.

The trotters are even more forgettable unless again you are interested in the current top trotting stallion Chip Chip Hooray with 25 yearlings and a new stallion Triumphant Caviar with 24. There is also a handful by Pilgrims Taj who left Ontario after one crop and now has 7 on hand here. I believe he is now in Finland and based on his Ontario racing crop that is probably a blessing, and not necessarily for the Finns.

Big Bad John is by Western Hanover and joins 35 others currently at stud by that sire. His maternal side of Artsplace - Big Towner is not shared by any of them and indeed the only same sire maternally is Mr Saratoga by Million Dollar Cam with a few racing in Ontario. There are other sires that we can use however to construct a profile  including Dragon Again (Abercrombie - Towners Big Guy), Memphis Flash (Big Towner - Abercrombie) and Allamerican Merlin (Big Towner - Abercrombie). Based on the common elements in the dams of their top performers to date here is what I see.

1. Non Meadow Skipper line broodmares that are inbred to the Meadow Skipper line through sons, the Albatross line and the No Nukes line. (43%)
2. Linebred Meadow Skipper mares with an Albatross line 2nd or 3rd dam (35%)
3. Cam Fella line dams with an Adios/Abercrombie line 2nd or 3rd dam or a broodmare sire with a dam through Adios (18%)
4. Mares with maternal combinations of Abercrombie and Big Towner (4%)

Big Towner maternally, although not essential, would be considered an asset.

The percentages are the collective results of the top 16 offspring of the comparable sires so give this some priority in your selections. Having said that I must admit there is one colt that I really like that falls under the #4 profile factor. He is called Big Cool John and from a mare by Real Artist, a sire by Artsplace from a Big Towner mare.

As noted the trotters are an indifferent bunch mostly from dams with low percentage crosses. There are always a few gems to sift for like a full sister to a winner of $470K that is however an 11th foal and an interesting Pilgrims Taj called Taj For All.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Canadian Open 2014

This year's version of the Canadian Open, to be held on Sunday 14th, lists just 164 yearlings, a far cry from the previous sales that often topped 300 entries. That was before the Liberal government gutted the breeding industry and the effects of that move are now seen here. Not only is the number down but most of the good mares have obviously been bred to other jusrisdictions so the quality has taken a big drop too. Old standby sires like Camluck, Mach Three and Angus Hall are still there but they are now serving a depleted and weaker mare population. Not that there is any great competition with just a handful of new sires like Big Jim and Manofmanymissions to share the leftovers with.

The pacing yearlings will no doubt be highlighted by the ones in the second crop of Sportswriter who has been the dominant sire of two year olds in the Ontario Sires Stakes. New sires Big Jim and Vintage Master will also get some attention.

Sportswriter has just five in this sale. His sire profile is quickly being established and shows a definite preference for No Nukes line dams as well as those with Big Towner maternally. Not surprising since his maternal lines are Jate Lobell - Big Towner. That group makes up 10 of the top 16. There are five by Cam Fella line dams all of which are linebred to Meadow Skipper. The best one, though, is from a mare by On The Road Again although he too traces through to Most Happy Fella and the dam is the dam of the great Rainbow Blue so is an exception in more ways than one.

Big Jim has 7 entries and you can get a pretty good idea of what to expect there by looking at the best by Allamerican Native and Always A Virgin, both sires that share similar maternal lines to Big Jim featuring Big Towner and Albatross. Albatross is a big factor in the mares with 22 of the best 32 by Allamerican Native and Always A Virgin having that sire or one of his sons maternally and five of the others showing Big Towner. Overall the best are split 50-50 between Most Happy Fella line dams and non-Meadow Skipper line dams with each of them showing Big Towner in 5 of their top 16.

Vintage Master has five yearlings. He is a virtual copy of his sire Western Ideal (maternal lines of Abercrombie - Meadow Skipper) being a No Nukes line sire with Artsplace (Abercrombie) and Most Happy Fella (Meadow Skipper) maternally so you can expect him to like the same kind of mares as his sire. They are in a general category of sires that prefer non Meadow Skipper line dams with the exception of Meadow Skipper linebred dams. In Western Ideal's case the ratio is 12 to 4 for his top 16.

The big news for the trotters will be the first crop of Manofmanymissions, the fast but quirky son of Yankee Glide, who has since left to stand in Ohio. With 13 yearlings his is the second largest group, next to Angus Hall with 14 entries. He has a unique maternal line of Garland Lobell - Super Bowl and there is no active sire with foals racing with that combination. Cantab Hall has a Garland Lobell dam with a Super Bowl son third dam so may offer some clues but the key will clearly be Super Bowl. Sires with Super Bowl or Bonefish second dams invariably do best with Super Bowl line dams or those with second or third dams through Super Bowl. Similar sires include Hard Rock N Roll and Keystone Savage with most of their best ones keying on Super Bowl or Bonefish maternally in addition to Noble Victory lines. The Noble Victory line brings Angus Hall and Balanced Image mares into play especially those with Super Bowl.

I will post the sire profiles for the sires in the Canadian Open in the PM Online library. Tomorrow we will look at the OHIO Jug sale also taking place Monday 15th.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

2014 Yearling Sales

The yearling sale season is just weeks away in North America but there is a major French auction in Deauville starting this week with 500 yearlings on offer. Among them are yearlings by stallion star Ready Cash as well as old favourites like Coktail Jet and Love You.

The Sale Profile for the Deauville sale is available via this link. The North American maternal traces don't apply here although some of the French sires do have such connections maternally. The cross percentage statistics are typically about half what you see in North America so you wont see many at 15% or higher.

Later this week I will post the Canadian Open and Ohio Jug profiles and in following weeks the sale profiles for the Morrisville, Lexington, Forest City and Harrisburg venues. There are over 2600 yearlings on offer in these NA sales, almost 1/3 of the total foals of 2013.

First crop sires are always a challenge but look for projected profiles on my blog in the next week for sires like Big Jim, Big Bad John, Broad Bahn, Manofmanymissions and others with their first foals on offer this year. We will also take a look at what happened in the first crops from last year for Lucky Chucky, Muscle Massive, Sportswriter and Rock N Roll Heaven.

Sometime in the next few days the sales lists will be available on PM Online for Guru level subscribers along with an editable sale report that you can use to identify your choices and ratings.


The colour codes for the sire lines in French Pedigrees are as follows:

Dark Blue - Stars Pride line
Red - Peter Scott line
Green - Volomite line
Brown - Axworthy line
Light Blue - Fuschia line
Black - Other French lines.