Last weekend saw a pair of classic trials at Sunland Park in New Mexico, the $800,000 Sunland Derby (gr. III) and the Sunland Park Oaks (taken last year by subsequent Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) heroine, Plum Pretty). There were some interesting parallels between the two winners: both are by horses from the first crop of their sires, both are out of mares by Thunder Gulch, and both very similar inbreeding involving what we call “Parallel Patterns.”
Victorious in the Sunland Derby was Daddy Nose Best, a son of Scat Daddy. Daddy Nose Best was a $34,000 RNA as a weanling, and a $35,000 Keeneland September yearling, but he’s now earned $633,623, and has demonstrated smart form form on turf, on which he was third in the Summer Stakes (gr. III), all-weather, a surface on which he claimed the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III), as well as dirt.
Winner of the Sanford Stakes (gr. II) and Champagne Stakes (gr. I) at two, Scat Daddy went into the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) off victories in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. I) and Florida Derby (gr. I), but finished off the board, and never ran again. He was the Leading Freshman Sire of 2011, in a down-to-the-wire battle with Hard Spun, and with the earnings from Daddy Nose Best’s victory, shot back to the top of the current second season sire standings. He is sire of three other group/graded winners, Daddy Long Legs, Finale and Shared Property, and a total of six stakes winners, and 13 stakes horses.
Daddy Nose Best’s dam, Follow Your Bliss, is out of Follow The Money, a winner of the Dahlia Handicap (gr. III) and Violet Handicap (gr. III). By the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) victor, Pine Bluff, Follow The Money is half-sister to stakes winners Wealthy and Hearthrob. Daddy Nose Best goes back to Hasty Request (sixth dam), who is best know as dam of the Top Flight Handicap victress Plucky Roman, and ancestress of Diablo, Witchful Thinking,Roamin Rachel, Zenno Rob Roy, Darling My Darling, Cat’s Cradle and Indian Blessing.
Daddy Nose Best is TrueNicks rated A++ on the basis of the Johannesburg/Gulch cross, and is one of ten stakes winners by a Storm Cat line stallion out of a Thunder Gulch mare (a mating that doubles Thunder Gulch’s maternal grandsire, Storm Bird). Scat Daddy is a Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector (Raise a Native) cross, and his dam is the reverse of that cross. Thunder Gulch is a Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer cross, and Daddy Nose Best’s second dam is a Northern Dancer/Raise a Native cross. There are two crosses of Storm Bird, and one of his genetic relative Nijinsky II, and three crosses of Mr. Prospector, and one of his three-quarters relative Marshua’s Dancer, so all-in-all quite a complex pedigree.
Given that Scat Daddy is a Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector cross, with doubles of both Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector, it’s probably no surprise that a lot of his offspring have multiples of those horses (or Mr. Prospector’s sire, Raise a Native). It doesn’t seem to be a major negative as in addition to Daddy Nose Best, grade three winner Shared Property is out of a mare by Belong to Me, a Northern Dancer/Raise a Native cross; group three winner Daddy Long Legs is out of a Meadowlake mare, but has extra Raise a Native and Northern Dancer; and Scatman, who is not yet a stakes winner, but has put in two brave efforts against the formidableSecret Circle is out of a mare by Gone West (Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer cross), with a second dam by a grandson of Nijinsky II, so bred on a parallel cross to Scat Daddy’s dam. Representing somewhat more outcross formulas are graded stakes winner Finale (dam by Lively One, a son of Halo, from the family of Storm Cat’s broodmare sire, Crimson Satan); and stakes winners Lady of Shamrock (dam by Blushing John, by Blushing Groom) and Swag Daddy (dam by Eastern Echo, a reverse Damascus/Northern Dancer cross to Scat Daddy’s sire, Johannesburg).
We don’t know a whole lot about the distance capacity of the Scat Daddys to date, but he certainly closed strongly at end of the nine furlong Florida Derby, and given that Daddy Nose Best’s dam is by a Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner, out of a mare by a Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner, his chances of seeing out the Derby trip look better than most.
The Sunland Park Oaks saw the much-heralded Princess Arabella romp by eight lengths to take her record to three wins in three starts. Princess Arabella is from the second crop of Any Given Saturday (by Distorted Humor), who entered stud at Darley alongside two other sophomore standouts – Hard Spun and Street Sense – after winning the Dwyer Stakes (gr. II), Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II) and Haskell Invitational (gr. I), defeating Hard Spun and Curlin in the latter.
A half-sister to stakes winning and graded stakes placed Dyna’s Lassie, Princess Arabella, is out of Tortuga Lady, a sister to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) runner-up Invisible Ink. There is a further classic connection further back in the family, as the fourth dam, Magic Singing, is not only half-sister to Secret Step, twice Champion Sprinter in England, but also to Quadrangle who defeated Northern Dancer in the 1964 Belmont Stakes.
Any Given Saturday’s sire, Distorted Humor, a grandson of Mr. Prospector, has done well when crossed back over mares by sons and grandsons of Mr. Prospector (six stakes winners from 44 starters, including Flower Alley and Sharp Humor). The signs are that Any Given Saturday might be following his sire’s lead, as his first two stakes winners, Princess Arabella (TrueNicks A++) and Sunday’s Child, come from a total only nine starters that Any Given Satur. Distorted Humor and Thunder Gulch – the two grandsires of Princess Arabella – are both Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer crosses, and Princess Arabella has a third cross of Mr. Prospector, as her dam is byConquistador Cielo. Sunday’s Child’s dam is by Luhuk, like Distorted Humor, a son of Forty Niner out of a mare by a son of Northern Dancer, so again a Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer cross.