DRUNKARD’S WALK

A combination of sales, matings and sire anaylses has somewhat slowed our blogging output of late, but we have still been keeping a close eye on pedigree events around the world (much aided by the stakes digest in the Pedigree Analysis program). So we thought we’d spare a few moments for a random “Drunkard’s Walk” though a few things which have caught our eye in the last week or two.

While Harlan’s Holiday is home and hosed in the Leading Sire of Two-Year-Olds race – with five juvenile stakes winners, including Shanghai Bobby – his son Into Mischief has been shooting up the freshman charts, with three of his offspring taking stakes since mid-November. Goldencents (TrueNicks A++), who is out of a mare by Banker’s Gold, a son of Forty Niner out of a Nijinsky II mare (so giving Storm Bird and Nijinsky II) took the Delta Jackpot (gr. III);  Sittin At the Bar (TrueNIcks A++, and out of a mare by the Seeking the Gold horse, Mutakddim) captured the Louisiana Champions Day Lassie Stakes on December 8; and one day later, Vyjack (out of a mare by the Nureyev horse, Stravinksy) took the Traskwood Stakes at Aqueduct on only his second start.

Into Mischief is still advertised at $10,000 for 2013, and another very good value Storm Cat line horse is After Market, who is at just $5,000 for the coming season. After Market, who is bred on the same cross as Giant’s Causeway, has three graded winners this year, all from his first crop – three-year-olds of 2012 – the most recent of which was Lady of Fifty (TrueNicks A++), who defeated her elders to take the Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II). She is out of a mare by Maria’s Mon, who is also broodmare sire of After Market’s 2012 juvenile stakes winner Renee’s Queen (from only two foals on the cross).

Still on the value-for-money Storm Cat tack, we’ll also give a call to a horse who has fitted in that category for some time, Pure Prize, whose daughter Pure Fun indicated that she is near the top of her division, with a win in the Hollywood Starlet Stakes (gr. I). In addition to being by a son of Storm Cat, Pure Fun has a second version the cross that produced Storm Cat (Northern Dancer/Bold Ruler), though her second dam, Chelseanna. Pure Prize also had another grade one winner in the month in Winning Prize (TrueNicks A+, and out of a mare by You and I), who scored in Argentina on Carlos Pellegrini (gr. I) undercard. The Pellegrini itself, which serves as a South American Championship, fell to Going Somewhere (TrueNicks A++), who was bred in Brazil, and who is by Sulamani, a international turf superstar by Hernando (by Niniski, by Nijinsky II). Going Somewhere is out of a mare by Special Nash (by Nashwan) so score another for the Nijinsky II/Blushing Groom cross.

Actually the progress of our meanderings seems to find us continually stumbling over Storm Cat. In New York, his grandson, Frost Giant (a TrueNicks recommended mating, and by Giant’s Causeway) has set a state record in earnings for a freshman sire. His daughter, Kelli Got Frosty, romped by 9½  lengths in the East View Stakes. Kelli Got Frosty is out of a mare by Jump Start (by A.P. Indy out of a Storm Cat mare, so inbred 3 x 3 to Storm Cat, as well as 4 x 4 to Seattle Slew, and 4 x 5 by Mr. Prospector).

On the subject of inbreeding there was an interesting stakes winner by another Giant’s Causeway horse, First Samurai, who is having quite a revival this year, currently standing fourth on the third crop sire list, and sixth on the juvenile sire table (which makes him another to look value as he’s now at $10,000). His three-year-old, Last Gunfighter (TrueNicks A++), successful in the Raymond Earl stakes at Aqueduct, is out of a Sir Cat mare, so 3 x 3 to Storm Cat (now two stakes winners from 11 starters by Giant’s Causeway and sons out of mares from other branches of Storm Cat).

There are only six stakes winners out of Elusive Quality mares, and with the victory of Cat Five O’ (TrueNicks A++) in the Mistletoe Stakes at Remingtom Park, two of the six are by Pleasantly Perfect, Cat Five O’ and the smart three-year-old My Adonis, being two of the only three starters for that cross. It’s interesting that Pleasantly Perfect is by a son of His Majesty and his second dam is by a son of Northern Dancer, and when we come to the broodmare sire of Elusive Quality, we note that his broodmare sire, Hero’s Honor, is by Northern Dancer out of a mare by Graustark (brother to His Majesty). We find something similar in the pedigree of Elusive Quality’s European star, Elusive Kate, who is out of Gout de Terroir, who is by Lemon Drop Kid (whose sire, Kingmambo, is out of Miesque, a Northern Dancer/Graustark cross) and is half-sister  to Pleasantly Perfect. Anyway, if you have an Elusive Quality mare, and $10,000 to spend, you might want to think about Pleasantly Perfect.

Lord Kanaloa, who picked up over  $1,100,000 for a win in the Hong Kong Sprint (gr. I) isn’t a Pedigree Consultants mating, but he is a special interest to us, as we did plan the matings that resulted in his sire, King Kamehameha, and his dam, Lady Blossom. The latter, who was exported to Japan in utero is by Storm Cat out of Saratoga Dew, a mare who was something of a history-maker, as in 1992 she became the first New York-bred to take an Eclipse Award (for Champion Three-Year-Old Filly). Bred by Mrs. Helen B. Chenery (of Secretariat fame), Saratoga Dew had Secretariat’s sister, Syrian Sea, as her third dam, and consequently, Lady Blossom has Secretariat/Syrian Sea 3 x 4.

Likely Champion Two-Year-Old Colt in Japan is Logotype, who won the Asahi Hai Futurity (gr. I), by a neck over Condino, another King Kamehameha. Logotype is by the relatively low-profile sire, Lohengrin, a Japanese grade two winner by Singspiel (Sadler’s Wells line) who also had the third here. Both first and third are out of mares by Sunday Silence (who gives Halo 4 x 3 when under Lohengrin) and this is only Lohengrin’s second crop, so he might be a bit of a sleeper.

The top juvenile filly will be Robe Tissage, a daughter of the libido-challenged U.S. Champion Three-Year-Old, War Emblem, whose pedigree we have studied in detail elsewhere . And yes – despite rumors to the contrary – she really is the first grade one winner for her sire as far as International cataloging standards are concerned, although his daughter Black Emblem did take the Shuka-Sho, the last leg of the Filly Triple Crown in Japan, when that race was a grade one for domestic purposes only.

The one question over the tremendous start made by Medaglia d’Oro, was the preponderance of distaffers among his best offspring. We’d always had a theory that this was related to phenotype, and that the pattern might change as breeders altered the mares they sent to him. That feeling was reinforced by a look at his yearlings in the 2011 sales, and lo and behold, he now has a top colt classic prospect in the shape of Violence (TrueNicks A), who took the Cashcall Futurity (gr. I) over a game Fury Kapcori (by Tiznow, and a Pedigree Consultants mating), with another Medaglia d’Oro colt, Den’s Legacy in third. Violence certainly has a classic pedigree, as his dam is by Gone West out of Storming Beauty, a daughter of Storm Cat and Champion Older Mare, Sky Beauty. He actually made our pedigree short list at the sales last year as he is the product of a cross we’d been looking for (with Gone West). The logic is based on Medaglia d’Oro’s success with Mr. Prospector line mares in general (he now has 12 stakes winners from 105 starters on the cross, or 11%), and a feeling that he might like the Somethingroyal/Imperatrice strain (for example his finest creation, Rachel Alexandra, is out of a Mr. Prospector line mare with a dam who is linebred to Imperatrice).  Violence’s dam has Somethingroyal’s son, Secretariat, 3 x 4,  once through Storm Cat, who is Northern Dancer/Secretariat, where Medaglia d’Oro’s sire, El Prado, is a Northern Dancer/Sir Gaylord (half-brother to Secetariat) cross. The Medaglia d’Oro/Mr. Prospector cross also has a better record production record for males than Medaglia d’Oro in general, with five stakes winning males and seven stakes winning females, and the score among graded winners on the cross being three apiece. Mind, the cross has actually produced about 55% colts as against 45% fillies, and this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a sex-bias in terms of actually foals produced on a cross.

We haven’t seen much comment on it, so we’ll give a call to Broken Vow, who has enjoyed a tremendous season in 2012, with no less than 19 individual stakes winners (behind only Giant’s Causeway and Speightstown, who are slugging it out for the Leading Sire title). Five of those stakes winners are two-year-olds, including Tour Guide (TrueNicks A prior to gaining black-type), who is now a winner of three of his last four starts, the most recent being a decisive score in the Sugar Bowl Stakes.  Broken Vow, who is by Unbridled, has done well back over Mr. Prospector mares, as this is his seventh stakes winner out of a Mr. Prospector line mare, and they are out of mares by six different stallions.

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