Haskin's Derby Trail: It's All in the Blood

How big a role does pedigree play nowadays in determining the Kentucky Derby winner? With fewer stamina-oriented stallions, there was for a while more of a tendency to look at the female family in determining a horse’s chances of getting a mile and a quarter, knowing that speed-oriented stallions such as Boundary (Big Brown), Elusive Quality (Smarty Jones), and to a lesser degree Holy Bull (Giacomo) were capable of siring a Derby winner. Last year, speed over stamina was again the equation, but with grass horses Leroidesanimaux and the German-bred stamina specialist Acatenango.

But when you can find a strong female family to go with a sure-fire stamina stallion, such as Street Cry (Street Sense), Dynaformer (Barbaro), Birdstone (Mine That Bird), and Maria’s Mon (Super Saver), it has to boost one’s confidence level when ferreting out that elusive Derby winner.

So, each year, we still look for those royal pedigrees to assure us that a horse will have no problem at a mile and a quarter.

This year, unlike most years, the vast majority of Derby contenders are bred to go a mile and a quarter, making it more difficult in eliminating potential pretenders.

The following is a “Derby Dozen” in alphabetical order of our favorite 2012 contenders based on pedigree.

ALGORITHMS – This smooth-striding colt has a wonderful blend of speed and stamina, with the emphasis on stamina. Undefeated in two starts, he will stretch out from 6 ½ furlongs to a mile in next weekend’s Holy Bull Stakes. By Bernardini, out of a Cryptoclearance mare, that all but assures his ability to go 10 furlongs, even though he is a half-brother to sprinters Justin Philip and Keyed Entry, both of whom are by speed-oriented stallions. Second dam, Ava Romance, is by Belmont Stakes winner Avatar, a son of the classic Graustark. The female family gets a good deal of its speed from tail-female fourth generation sire Gallant Romeo, one of the more versatile stallions of his era. He passed on incredible speed to sprint champion Gallant Bob and to the great My Juliet, a champion sprinter who also defeated the colts in the nine-furlong Michigan Mile and an Eighth. Gallant Romeo also sired Preakness winner Elocutionist and Hollywood Oaks winner Nicosia, who equaled the track record for 1 1/4 miles at Arlington Park in the Sheridan Handicap. Algorithms is inbred 3x4 to Dr. Fager’s grandson Fappiano, one of the most influential stallions of modern times.

ALPHA – Winner of the Count Fleet Stakes and runner-up in the Champagne. Another son of Bernardini, he is out of the Nijinsky mare Munnaya, winner of the English Oaks Trial at 1 3/8 miles. Second dam, Hiaam, is a half-sister to multiple grade I winner Gorgeous, as well as Queen’s Plate winner and Canadian 3-year-old champion Key to the Moon and Kentucky Oaks winner Seaside Attraction, dam of 2-year-old filly champion Golden Attraction and Florida Derby winner Cape Town. Third dam, Kamar, by Key to the Mint, out of a Quadrangle mare, won the Canadian Oaks.

CASUAL TRICK – Finished a game second in the 1 1/16-mile Gulfstream Park Derby in only his third career start and first start after breaking his maiden sprinting. Still another son of Bernardini, he is out of English Oaks winner Casual Look, a daughter of Red Ransom, sire of Dubai World Cup winner Electrocutionist. His second dam, Style Setter, is a daughter of grass champion and Hall of Famer Manila. Third dam, Frizette winner Charleston Rag, is by General Assembly, a son of Secretariat who ran the second fastest Vosburgh (1:21) of all time and the fastest Travers (2:00 flat) of all time. He also is inbred to Secretariat through Weekend Surprise (dam of A.P. Indy).

CONSORTIUM – And the Bernardinis just keep on coming. He is scheduled to meet Agorithms and 2-year-old champ Hansen in the Holy Bull after finishing second to the former in an allowance race. He is out of Arlington Oaks and Iowa Oaks winner Marietta, by Machiavellian. Second dam, Minister Wife, won the Demoiselle Stakes. Third dam, Dowery, was a graded stakes winner who placed in the Spinster, and is a half-sister to grade I winner and $800,000 earner Reluctant Guest. Fourth dam, Vaguely Royal, is a daughter of major stamina influence Vaguely Noble.

CREATIVE CAUSE – Won the Norfolk Stakes going away and was a close third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Love his sire, Giant’s Causeway, and his female family, while devoid of major influences, is loaded with stamina through broodmare sire Siberian Summer, winner of the 1 ¼-mile Charles H. Strub Stakes, and tail-female stallions Skywalker, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Relaunch, and Properantes, winner of the 1 ¾-mile San Juan Capistrano. With In Reality and Rising Market in his female family he has inbreeding twice to Man O’ War (through War Relic twice, War Admiral, and American Flag).

El PADRINO – Impressive maiden winner came back to finish a close third in the Remsen Stakes. He is by Pulpit, out of the Giant’s Causeway mare Enchanted Rock, a half-sister to grade II Ladies Handicap winner Tara Roma and grade II True North Handicap winner Waldoboro. His second dam, Chic Shirine, a full-sister to champion mare Queena, won the grade I Ashland Stakes and is out of Too Chic, winner of the grade I Maskette Stakes and second in the Alabama. His fourth dam, Remedia, is by Dr. Fager, out of Monade, winner of the English Oaks and runner-up in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe who was voted 3-year-old filly champion in Europe and champion older mare in France the following year.

– Winner of the CashCall Futurity and Real Quiet Stakes. Although Uncle Mo was not considered a mile and a quarter horse, mainly because of his sire Indian Charlie, there is absolutely no reason why Indian Charlie cannot sire a Derby horse, especially with the right dam. Indian Charlie is by In Excess, who ran the fastest mile and a quarter (1:58 1/5) in the history of New York racing. And this tenacious colt definitely has the right dam, Galloping Gal, a multiple stakes winner at 1 1/16 miles who is by Belmont Stakes winner Victory Gallop. His third dam, Indy Flash, is a daughter of A.P. Indy, out of a mare by Calumet Farm’s Gleaming (a son of major distance influence Herbager), who won or placed in multiple 1 ½-mile stakes on the grass. Liaison’s tail-female family traces back five generations of Calumet Farm breeding to Bull Lea (two times) through his Hall of Fame daughters Real Delight and Twilight Tear.

RUSSIAN GREEK – Winner of the California Derby and Gold Rush Stakes. This son of Giant’s Causeway is out of a Grindstone mare. Second dam, Train Robbery, is a multiple graded stakes winner by Alydar, out of Track Robbery, a three-time grade I winner and champion older mare. Breeders should love Russian Greek, who is a complete outcross through his first five generations, where he is represented by seven Kentucky Derby winners.

SABERCAT – Impressive winner of the Delta Downs Jackpot and Garden State Stakes, he is a son of the promising young stallion Bluegrass Cat, runner-up in the Kentucky Derby, who is out of an A.P. Indy mare and traces to the great Phipps mare Numbered Account. His dam, Miner’s Blessing, is a daughter of Travers and Haskell winner Forty Niner, out of a Halo mare. Miner’s Blessing is a half-sister to Conquistadoress, second in the Ashland and Black-Eyed Susan Stakes. This family is four generations of Stuart Janney Jr. (breeder of Ruffian) and his son Stuart Janney III breeding, and we love old traditional families that span several generations. Prior to Janney, this was a solid Wheatley Stable family that traces to Man O’ War and La Troienne. Sabercat’s dam also is inbred to major stamina influence Tom Rolfe, by Ribot.

SKY KINGDOM – Impressive allowance winner last time out. He is by Belmont winner Empire Maker, out of the Kingmambo mare Sky Beam, who is out of Weekend in Seattle, a full-sister to A.P. Indy and half-sister to Summer Squall. Third dam, Weekend Surprise, in addition to producing A.P. Indy, Summer Squall, and graded stakes winner Honor Grades, is a half-sister to Charming Lassie, the dam of champion older horse and Belmont winner Lemon Drop Kid. Sky Kingdom is inbred to two of our favorite inbreeding influences, In Reality and Buckpasser.

– With only a brilliant maiden victory to his credit, he has a lot of catching up to do, but also has a magnificent pedigree. He’s by Smart Strike, who sires champions in almost every category, whether at classic distances on dirt and grass or sprinting. His dam, Colonial Minstrel, is a multiple graded stakes winner by the great classic influence Pleasant Colony. His second dam, Minstrella, is a three-time group I winner in Ireland and England, who also produced Minidar, the dam of Jim Dandy Stakes winner A Little Warm. His third dam, Flight Dancer, produced, in addition to Minstrella, multiple stakes winner Misty Gallore and Misty Dancer, the granddam of Horse of the Year Saint Liam. His fourth dam, Courbette, is by Native Dancer, out of the great Gallorette.

– Runner-up in the Count Fleet Stakes. This son of A.P. Indy is a half-brother to last year’s Preakness winner Shackleford and to Alabama winner Lady Joanne. His dam, Oatsee, is a daughter of Unbridled, out of a Lear Fan mare. His third dam, Amo, is a half-sister to millionaires Tappiano and A P Jet. And his fourth dam, Taminette, is a full-sister to 2,000 Guineas winner and top sire Known Fact and a half-sister to Met Mile and United Nations winner Tentam and to Secrettame, dam of Gone West.


Leave a Comment:

Tiz Herself

Hey Steve - like all the horses you named there, as well as Howe Great, Dullahan, Gemologist, Motor City, In The Beat, Discreet Dancer, Longview Drive, and Overdriven (not sure where he's at)

Lots to look forward to from the fillies this year too as My Miss Aurelia, Believe You Can, Grace Hall, Killer Graces, Weemissfrankie, Disposeablepleasure, etc..

Cannot wait.

21 Jan 2012 9:35 PM
Karen in Indiana

Hi, Steve. You are right - we have an embarassing amount of riches on the Derby trail this year. I will add all of these to my watch list. What do you think about Howe Great & Z Dager?

21 Jan 2012 10:28 PM

Mr. Haskin, Fappiano is a son of Mr. Prospector, not Dr. Fager´s!!

21 Jan 2012 10:36 PM

Thanks, Steve and good to see you back on the trail.  It's still very early but the breeding of this group you have presented reveals some very classy individuals with a ton of potential.  It's an exciting time of anticipation.

One comment on Stephanoatsee; he isn't as flashy as Shack and he seems to want to come from off the pace as he did in the Count Fleet but when he came flying in the stretch with his big muscular neck lowered, powered by those huge strides, I thought for a moment it was Shack in disguise.  Talk about sires stamping their foals, Oatsee

can stamp them with the best.

21 Jan 2012 11:01 PM
Steve Haskin

Jorge, I meant to write grandson. I fixed it, thanks.

21 Jan 2012 11:25 PM
Steve Haskin

Karen, I really liked Z Dager's race. He could  be a good one. Howe Great is staying on the grass and will not be pointed for the Derby.

21 Jan 2012 11:28 PM

Steve, I noted that you did not have Take Charge Indy in your list. Obviously, there are many 'names' you could have had on your list besides which horses are there but it does intrigue me why TCI has not been included. Any specific reason?

21 Jan 2012 11:30 PM
Steve Haskin

Davids, my top pedigrees arent based just on the name value of the dam. Take Charge Lady has produced three other foals, none of whom have done anything. And her pedigree is just OK, nothing more, and her broodmare sire, Rubiano, was strictly a sprinter. It's obviously a good pedigree, with a big-name sire and dam, but for depth it doesnt make my Top 12.

21 Jan 2012 11:48 PM
Karen in Texas

Glad to have you back--hope you had a restful holiday break, Steve. I saw Spring Hill Farm's maiden race last week and thought he showed a lot of promise. Do you know if he is being pointed toward the Triple Crown races? I did not hear anything about his next start on HRTV that afternoon.

22 Jan 2012 12:09 AM


Glad to have you back. I don't know that its ALL in the blood but a great deal of the Triple Crown puzzle certainly lies there. You asked a very good opening question but your list doesn't reflect the answer, especially with six of your twelve being from a sire line (AP Indy) that is yet to taste Kentucky Derby success and three from the Storm Cat branch of Northern Dancer that has also languished in Derby failure. Nine out of twelve produced from historical flops on the sire's side doesn't look like a great forcast just yet.  Anyway I guess that since you are coming off a layoff yourself the opening derby dozen should be taken as a warm up "gallop".

Among the Bernardini's Casual Trick looks most appealing to me on the broodmare side. This colt has looked promising on the dirt and will improve stretching out.  I just am weary of the late development syndrome affecting the AP Indy line colts so that their best efforts come after the Derby.

Karen in Texas' favourite, Sprng Hill Farm is indeed bred-in-the-purple and looks like a serious classic contender in the making. His pedigree suggests that he'd be a force to reckon with on dirt or turf and being a grandson of Smart strike he could be ready for the Derby.  The caution with him is that he's a May and may need more time to really develop.

The Derby twelve in 2012 should be special. More anon.

22 Jan 2012 1:28 AM

Steve did you know that Empire Maker's dam Toussand had five group or grade one winners.I would like to see one of Empire Maker's sons break through and win this time.The last serious Empire Maker offspring that was a threat to take the roses Pioneer of The Nile came in 2nd just like Empire Maker did in his derby before sitting out the Preakness to come back and win the Belmont.Id like to see Sky Kingdom in that regard and  you have included Liaison in your list,if both stay healthy Baffert will have a great uncoupled entry one will run close to the pace one from midpack.

22 Jan 2012 4:24 AM

The more I read the better I liked it.  I saw Seattle Slew blood most everywhere...through sons, grandsons or grandaughters and great grand daughters.  That's good enough for me.  I have any number of horses "to watch" and to cheer for.  Thanks

22 Jan 2012 8:35 AM

Mr. Haskin

Welcome back and we all hope you had a good respite and is fully reenergized for the challenges involving the identification of Triple Crown contenders and pretenders.

You have compiled an interesting twelve! While I agree that the dam line of the colts comprising the list are loaded with stamina, I am  of the opinion that only two possibly three appear to have the stride pattern that suggest they will be effective at the derby distance. They are Alpha, Russian Greek and Liaison. A number are showing way too much speed for their stamina laden pedigrees and this suggest they will be lacking in the stamina department. Others have an over compensation of stamina and are just too slow to win the Derby. Although a number of the dam sires highlighted are from strong stamina background, their broodmares have had only moderate success in the Triple Crown. The likes of ALGORITHMS, CASUAL TRICK, CREATIVE CAUSE, El PADRINO, LIAISON and SKY KINGDOM all have dam sires that do not inspire Derby confidence.

I think the following horses are worth noting for dam line stamina:

Out of Bounds - Discreet Cat -Unbridles Elaine by Unbridled Song

A Boy Named Em - Point Given - No Knocks by A P Indy

Done Takling - Broken Vow - Dixie Talking by Dixieland Band

Groovin Solo - Bob and John by Squall Linda by Summer Squall

Najjaar - Jazil - Hasheema by Darshaan

Tiger Walk - Tale Of The Cat - Majestic Trail by Kris S

Nachas and Joy - Lion Heart - Competent Sort by Cahill Road

Captivating Lass - A P Indy - Folk by Quiet American

22 Jan 2012 8:41 AM

Steve, why did you not include Union Rags.  I don't care about his sire, Dixie Union; I'm looking at his dam's line.  Union Rags is out of a Gone West mare, and of course Gone West is out of Secrettame, a Secretariat mare. A lot of people think that because Union Rags is the son of Dixie Union, he can't go the distance.  People were saying the same thing about Bold Ruler, speed but no stamina to go the distance.  That all went out the window, when he and Somethingroyal produced the great Secretariat.  When you're looking for stamina, study the female line of the pedigree.  IMO  

22 Jan 2012 8:43 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Excellent list !!!!  This could be the year !!!!!!

22 Jan 2012 10:48 AM

Welcome back Steve.

Excellent list . You have identified horses that have the breeding to perform well at 10 furlongs. That is all one can reasonably do at this stage. But I am sure the pedigree prophets will be out saying that certain horses do not have the right profile based on some fanciful analysis of their sire line.

When the race is over most of them will be able to claim that they were right, because there will be 19 losers and only one winner. However, none of them are likely to have predicted the actual winner. But with respect to the other starters they will grandly declare-I told you so.

Excellent list.

22 Jan 2012 11:23 AM
Pedigree Ann

Mary - this legend about Bold Ruler and Secretariat is inaccurate, despite how many times it is repeated.

Many Bold Rulers had won at 10f and more by the time Secretariat came along, but not in the spring as 3yos. Many Bold Rulers had come along up to Derby-time as mentally immature sorts who were doomed to failure, many of whom had just as good staying pedigrees as Sec; Bold Lad was out of champion Misty Morn, also by Princequillo, who as a 3yo filly won the Gallant Fox H at 13f. And there were some who didn't stay, it is true, and others who were injured after big Derby prep wins (Boldnesian). But after his Wood Memorial loss, when he couldn't go by Angle Light, many questioned whether Secretariat's advantage had been early maturity (another Bold Ruler trait) which had now been negated and he wasn't better than his contemporaries anymore.

Remember, himself Bold Ruler ran 4th in the Ky Derby, yet in October he beat Gallant Man and Round Table in the 10f Trenton H.

Some of us were around back then and have memories. I was in SoCal at university and a big fan of Sham. Didn't mind his third in the Wood; he was coming on at the end and would be all set for the big event in two weeks. Or so I thought. Nobody knew about the mouth abscess bothering Sec.

22 Jan 2012 11:26 AM

So great to have you back.  But you could make a list 4x as long of great gene combinations that never produced great runners.  Look at any great sire and for every success story there are dozens of foals who never raced or never raced well.

It's great wishful thinking, though.

22 Jan 2012 11:50 AM
Shelby's Best Pal

I am so ready for your weekly Derby Dozens.  Starting to feel the fever!  

22 Jan 2012 12:03 PM

Steve, you've compiled a list of horses with impressive pedigrees, but in recent years we've had to throw out almost everything we believed about stamina influence in a pedigree being paramount to Derby success.  My personal preference for success at distances over a mile is to look for speed, particularly a high cruising speed, on top and stamina on the bottom.  I look for as many crosses of this type in a pedigree as possible. At first glance, Algorithms and Liason appear interesting in this regard.  Looks like it's time for some serious pedigree research!  Let the trail begin!  

22 Jan 2012 12:13 PM

Coldfacts, disagree with you on Liaison.  I don't think distance will be a problem for him at all.  I'm sticking with Union Rags; he IMO has the very best pedigree.

22 Jan 2012 12:18 PM


If there's an Empire Maker colt that's going to make some noise on the triple Crown trail this year it could be Exothermic, out of the South African mare Irridesence. He's already shown ability on grass but could transition very well to dirt a la Big Brown, Barbaro and Animal Kingdom, in time for the Kentucky Derby. His dam is inbred 3x4 to Northern Dancer and carries inbreeding to the great Hyperion 6x6x6 on her sire's side and 6x5 on her dam's side. Follow this one pal. I can't see why Steve who is usually adept at spotting those under-the-radar-colts overlooked him ...maybe its just a little "blog rust" or "AP Indy-Bernardini-itis"(LOL).

22 Jan 2012 12:39 PM
carol in utah

Sorry...confused...wood 1973...angle light...then sham...then sec...right?

Does no one like Hansen this yr

22 Jan 2012 1:13 PM

Hi Steve great blog...There is a horse HAIL TO REASON who was the sire of HALO and ROBERTO and if u look at all the past triple crown races you will see that alot of the 1st 2cond and 3rd horses had this bloodline some where down the line alot on the dam side. SABERCAT is out of a Halo Dam and boy his bloodline is so amazing...Liaison also goes way back to Halo..There is a colt named CONSULADO Sired by More Than Ready also with Halo in there...Indain Ambush Sired by Indian Charlie also comes from Roberto on the dams side...I love any Hail To Reason bloodlines...What do you think about this line Steve ? Just my opinion lol...I can't Wait for the CURLIN offspring to run..and i have to give props to Hard Spun his line is doing awsome..I'm still waiting for a great rivalry like we had between Curlin Hard Spun and Street Sense.You always knew they would run 1 2 3 ! gonna be a tuff call on this Derby trail..Im loving it...oh and can you tell me anything about what ever happened to ArchArchArch he was one of my fav's and broke his leg..nobody seems to know anything about him...thank you keep up the great work you do..

22 Jan 2012 1:17 PM

Thank you Pedigree Ann!

22 Jan 2012 1:25 PM

Steve, in your Beware of Keenland Kiddies, you spoke about Dullahan, and Optimizer, to really watch out for on the Derby Trail, I was wondering why you didn't have them listed.

Also your article Breeders Cup Saturday Long Shots  you did mention Take Charge Indy,

TAKE CHARGE INDY (Juvenile) – This is our megabomb special in the Juvenile at 30-1. His fourth in the Breeders’ Futurity was solid enough, but we’re looking for him to show big improvement on the dirt. He also worked well at Churchill Downs and we feel he could surprise a lot of people, even though this Juvenile is one of the toughest ever.

Did his 5th place finish, change your mind about his prospects?

Kind Regards,


22 Jan 2012 1:27 PM


I cannot find an Indian Charlie that has finished in the top four of a Triple Crown race. Oh My bad! The blog is about dam line stamina. Victory Gallop has not distinguished himself as a broodmare sire. You will note I did not specify that distance will be a problem I merely stated that Liaison’s dam sire does not inspire confidence.

Union Rags is a nice colt and I would not discourage support for him. I just happen to think he has stamina limitations for the Derby distance. In fact, the horse that I think has the best pedigree and action for the Derby is a filly. At the rate at which females have been wining HOY awards the time seems right for a female Derby winner. Winning Colors won the 1988 Derby; Rags To Riches won the 2007 Belmont and Rachael Alexandra won the 2009 Preakness. It time to start the sequence for female again If this filly improves in the speed department the colts will be running for second as she has the size and energy efficient strides to run all day. Her sire was once described as the perfect horse. Her dam sire is also broodmare of a Preakness and  Breeder Cup Classic winner. He also sired a Kentucky Derby winner. Union Rags pedigree is moderate in comparison to this filly.  Do not be fixated on one horse. You are advised to keep an open mind and continue to evaluate the class of 2012.

MB: Bold Commander a son of Bold Ruler sired the 1970 Derby winner Dust commander.

22 Jan 2012 1:31 PM
Steve Haskin

Mary, Union Rags' pedigree is OK, good enough to win the Derby with his talent. It's just not among the top 12 pedigrees in my opinon. Excluding a horse from only 12 horses does not mean I dont think they can win the Derby.

Yeager055, I love the Hail to Reason line; one of the great lines in America. I mentioned Halo in my comments about Sabercat; one of the reasons I like the horse.

JR, you've really archived my comments quite extensively :), thanks. I still like Dullahan and I still like Take Charge Indy, but this isnt my Derby Dozen, it's a list based ONLY on pedigree. I've already explained about Take Charge Indy. Optimizer has been disappointing. He may go to grass, but its hard to keep Lukas off the Derby trail

22 Jan 2012 3:04 PM



2008, dkb/br

Arch-Woodman's Dancer, by Woodman

Standing At:

Spendthrift - Lexington, Kentucky

2012 Fee: $10,000 Live Foal

22 Jan 2012 4:01 PM

Wow Steve, great list.  Me being a huge Secretariat fan it's hard not to like this list.  And Berrandini, AP Indy and Giants Causeway are my favorite sires. Of course all have Secretariat blood in them as does Hansen (Tapit), Creative Cause (Giants Causeway), Fed Biz (Giants Causeway), Millionreasonswhy (Grand Slam), Mr. Bowling (Istan by Gone West) who won a stakes yesterday, Overdriven (Tale of the Cat), Prospective (Malibu Moon), Pure Gossip (Pure Prize), Sacristy (Pulpit), Self Preservation (Lion Heart),and Thomas Jefferson (Mr. Greeley) all of whom I like and look forward to watching as the year goes on.

22 Jan 2012 4:42 PM

Pedigree Ann:

It is you, and not Mary, who are attempting to re-write history. Prior to Secretariat's '73 Derby there was very good reason/data to be skeptical of his ability to adequately negotiate the 1 1/4 m-because he was a son of Bold Ruler. The fact that an isolated few of the Bold Rulers before managed to win at 10f meant (correctly) little, as Bold Ruler was clearly an influence for precocius speed. Incidentally, Bold Lad, even with age, was essentially never more than a miler. You may have been a racing fan by the time of Secretariat, but one wonders how many years previous to that time, as your comments appear to lack perspective.    

22 Jan 2012 4:59 PM

Steve, I think my comments got submitted before I finished my question, what do you think of Russian Greek's closing style with the current 3 yr.old's in relation to the Kentucky Derby if he runs in it?



22 Jan 2012 5:05 PM

Welcome back Steve! Your posts have been missed.

I really enjoyed your list. One colt I would add is Empire Way, a son of Empire Maker out of the A.P. Indy mare Delta Princess. I feel he's going to be a late-maturing type that we might here from later in the year, or perhaps in the Belmont Stakes where the 1 1/2 mile distance should be perfect for him.

What is your opinion on the old Dosage system of analyzing the pedigrees of potential Derby horses? Do you think it still has merit today, or has it gone out of style? I make a point to check the numbers whenever I'm looking over a Derby contender, but I am confused by cases like Big Brown being considered to have more of a miler type pedigree, despite a strong Dosage profile and index, whereas Mine That Bird was by a Belmont Stakes winner, but had a bit of a weak pedigree for classic distances by the Dosage standard. Any thoughts on the matter would be greatly appreciated!


22 Jan 2012 5:18 PM

Hello Ranagulzion Thanx for calling attention to the colt,I will try to find information about him.Unless he is trained by one of the regulars on the triple crown he wont be known by many(odds should be favorable in one of his upcoming races.

22 Jan 2012 7:41 PM

Love all of that Slew blood. This has to be A.P. Indy's year to sire a Derby winner.

22 Jan 2012 8:23 PM
The Deacon

Nice list Steve, now we wait and see how soundness plays a factor.

Liked you and Lenny's comments on the last ATO segment talking about Lasix. Let's just see who actually makes it to the real Triple Crown trail but at this point its nice to imagine the possibilities....

22 Jan 2012 8:29 PM


You did not ask but here is a tip.

Prepare your entry in Word. Do your checking and editing there, then copy and paste the entry on the blog. It is a simpler way.

22 Jan 2012 8:46 PM
Paula Higgins

Steve, so glad you are back. Interesting blog and a good teaching one too for those of us who know next to nothing about pedigree (me). Congrats to Rachel Alexandra and her connections on the birth of her foal. Very exciting!

22 Jan 2012 9:23 PM

I hate to make sense.....but most of you on here are breeding fans....yet cant agree w what the best breeding is.......so you know what? THEY ALL ARE WELL BRED! Trying to decifer which is better is in a word.....COLDCUTSY! It matters so little, that watching you people discuss it endlessly is hilarious....do you people really think you can pick a horse from this list? Better to just understand that these all are well bred....and go on the athlete and how they come into a race....

22 Jan 2012 9:41 PM
Linda in Texas

I am just glad you are back at the helm Steve. I started to get worried.

My hope is that we have no calamities on or off the track by horse or human this year.

The Giants just kicked a field goal to put them in The Super Bowl and i am sick. One of my favorite Quaterbacks of all time is still Joe Montana thus the 49ers also eventho a Cowboy fan. I wanted them to play New England. It would have been the left coast against the east coast and now it is just the east against the east. Bummer.

So back to the horses. Your list gives me some homework, heck a lot of homework. Last year Giant's Causeway had some nice winners.

And when i watched Creative Cause i looked him up and sure enough there was his sire, Giant's Causeway. And he is a gray.

Thanks Steve, glad you are back in the saddle after having a little extra graze time in your paddock!

22 Jan 2012 10:50 PM
Linda in Texas

KY VET - Who the heck said you make sense? I missed it. So the rest of what you said was clearly indecipherable.

Can't you even welcome Mr. Haskin back to his own blog before you start dissing his list?

I need a list as I am not as intelligent as you are.

22 Jan 2012 10:58 PM
The Deacon

Ky Vet: You are priceless, all you do is insult people. Who died and put you in charge. Your words here are condecending and arrogant.

Breeding is a factor and a parameter knucklehead. Steve was just enlightening us as to who had the breeding to get 10 furlongs.

I's not an end all but a guideline. Get off your know it all high horse. I for one am tired of reading your posts. I have followed horse racing for 56 years so i think i know a little something about it. All these bloggers have something to offer, just be quiet and listen and maybe you'll something...........

23 Jan 2012 1:15 AM

Thanks Steve for, again, a very interesting blog. My DBY dozen up to this point is

1. Dullahan

2. Union Rags

3. Hansen

4. Creative Cause

5. Out of Bounds

6. Rousing Sermon

7. Liaison

8. Sabercat

9. Motor City

10. Souper Speedy

11. Brother Francis

12. ...

Since the defection of O' Prado Again, my twelve spot is waiting for a filly to show up. Steve, you seem possible that Grace Hall's or Stephanie's Kitten connections would consider them for the KYD?

I think they could get even better at a longer distance.

23 Jan 2012 2:25 AM

Steve, this is a great time of year for horse racing and glad to have you cranking it up!

Does RUSSIAN GREEK remind of you of Dialed In a little bit with his style?  Very impressive his mile victory coming late and squeezing through on the rail.  I love these horses that show tenacity.  

LIAISON looks to have some of that with his performances of holding off ROUSING SERMON twice already.

KY Vet

Your last sentence does indeed make sense because I gathered enough information last year in the final week, Derby week, to make me think Animal Kingdom was well worth the bet.

23 Jan 2012 3:40 AM

I just read Rachel successfully delivered a Curlin colt and will be bred back to Bernardini. Mr. Jackson would probably never have bred her to any horse but Curlin, but I think Bernardini will be a much better cross on Rachel.

23 Jan 2012 3:47 AM


“Anyway I guess that since you are coming off a layoff yourself the opening derby dozen should be taken as a warm up "gallop".

The above extract from your post indicates that in your haste to continue your demonization of the A P Indy sire line you failed to recognize that the above list is not Mr. Haskin’s first Derby Dozen. The closing paragraph of his Blog reflects the following:-

“The following is a “Derby Dozen” in alphabetical order of our favorite 2012 contenders based on pedigree”

Pay attention my pal or you  will invariably post inaccurate statement.

“Among the Bernardini's Casual Trick looks most appealing to me on the broodmare side.”

Casual Trick is a slow lumbering colt who has no chance of wining the Derby unless it is switched to turf. If he could not get by a colt sires by crack sprinter Song and A Prayer which of the top class router will he be capable of getting by? Red Ransom has been a grand disappointment as a broodmare sire. The broodmares from a son of the Hail To Reason stallion Roberto should be pumping stamina into their offerings. The last two horses produced from Red Ransom broodmares that entered the Derby were Regal Ransom and Devil May Care. Ironically both were from the same broodmare. They finished 6th and 10th respectively. They showed far more class as youngsters than Casual Trick.  He reminds of Stay Thirsty.

“I just am weary of the late development syndrome affecting the AP Indy line colts so that their best efforts come after the Derby.”

It is evident from the above that you have failed adhere to my Cease and Desist Order. I will therefore have to take legal action for defamation of a sire line. Both Ice Box and Nehro finished second in the 2010 & 2011 Kentucky Derby. They were both sired by sons of A P Indy. With a little luck Ice Box would have won the 2010 Derby. Rags to Riches and Bernardini were winners of the Belmont and Preakness. They were sired by A P Indy. The Preakness is run two week after the Derby. This late development effect seems to have a specific time line. It takes effect only in the Derby. There after it is cease to exist. Ice Box, Nehro, Derby Rags to Riches and Bernardini all won races preceding their plunge into the Triple Crown. Based on this cold fact it appears they were not impacted by development syndrome. You have to drop this absurd notion as you are far too knowledgeable about the game to be so persistent with what has been disproved. I fail to believe that your exchanges with Mr. More Stupider has impacted you so severely

“ The caution with him is that he's a May and may need more time to really develop.”

Who is Northern Dancer?

Who is Mine That Bird, Pioneerof A Nile and Musket Man? (First three past the post in the 2009 Derby)

The answers to the above questions will help to put to rest another of your theories.

As usual the pleasure to inform is mine. One Love!

23 Jan 2012 7:23 AM
Tiz Herself

Hey Steve - do you think we will see a filly or two in this year's Derby? There has been much talk surrounding My Miss Aurelia and On Fire Baby has already faced the boys... it could happen...

I also believe that we'll see much more from Drill this spring. We haven't seen his best yet.

Also love Gemologist.


And another WinStar horse this year, Desert Storm www.pedigreequery.com/desert+storm I don't believe he has actually started yet, however has been working real good.


Congratulations to Rachel Alexandra on the birth of her healthy baby colt! That gave me a much needed pickup this weekend! Love that she's going to Bernardini this year!  I still rewatch her Preakness, Haskell, Mother Goose and Woodward as well as her HRTV special on her Oaks with Hal Wiggins and never fails to keep me smiling.

23 Jan 2012 9:28 AM
Tiz Herself

Also besides Gemologist and Desert Storm, the other WinStar horses I really like this year as three year olds are:

Artistic Design

Bill of Rights


Bold Occurence

Cassandra J

Lisa T



Driven Force


Fire With Fire

Glorious Union


Holiday Promise


Laugh Track



Off Limits

Old Boots


Plus One




Quick Wit


Slice and

Willful Ways

23 Jan 2012 9:33 AM

Welcome back Steve, you have been sorely missed.

I'd have to say, it's difficult to find a colt or filly who is not beholden to one or more of 3 sire lines.  Mr. Prospector, Seattle Slew, and Secretariat...though Slew and Sec' are both from Bold Ruler.  However, last year's Derby winner came from all Brazilian and German lines who eventually trace back to Northern Dancer and Nasrullah.  Considered top sires in the world, Galileo and Sea The Stars are both Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector lines.  

Poker and Dixielandband are dam sires to several KD winners.  AP Indy was dam sire to Super Saver.

I love my Bernardini's...but, I'll wait and see.  I like Hansen, but still need to see how he faces adversity.  I like Union Rags, but feel his sire, Dixie Union, might create limitations. I have to wonder about the Unbridled line who gave us Grindstone, Birdstone, Mine That Bird, and Summer Bird. It seems like excellent groundwork for Secret Circle and Out Of Bounds.  

I'm so confused this early, I just might stick with the white lightning who won the BCJ for now.

Congrats to Rachel, ...what a great looking prince!  

23 Jan 2012 10:26 AM
Pedigree Ann

Mary seemed to think that just sending a Princequillo mare to him was all Bold Ruler needed to get a Derby winner.

My point was that he had been getting those sorts of mares all along, like Misty Morn, and hadn't been able to get a Derby winner to that point. The Nasrullah/Princequillo cross was the big 'nick' of the day and as all three stallions stood at Claiborne Farm, Bold Ruler got his share of staying mares. As I said, Bold Lad was out of a CCA Oaks winner by Princequillo. Stupendous (who was 4th in the Ky Derby) was out of a full sister to CCA Oaks winner High Voltage. Bold Ruler over a staying mare was not a new idea.

FYI, by spring 1973, Bold Ruler had sired Lamb Chop (CCA Oaks 10f), Bold Bidder (a slew of 10f races, the Strub, Monmouth H, etc.), Staunchness (Dwyer H, then 10f), Gamely (Alabama S 10f), Successor (Lawrence Realization, then a semi-classic at 14f), and Bold Hour (Monmouth H 10f). Coming attractions included Top Command (Oak Tree Invitational 12f) and Wajima (Travers and Marlboro Cup 10f). So he COULD get 10f winners at the top class, just not Derby winners.

And yes, I was mistaken - it was Sham and Angle Light in the photo for win and Sec who was third in the Wood. Even more reason to think Sham would triumph.

23 Jan 2012 11:46 AM
Karen in Texas

Linda in Texas & Deacon----Amazing, isn't it? Steve Haskin writes a blog column on pedigree, and a discussion on pedigree/breeding ensues. Only an illogical person would find that to be, well, illogical.

23 Jan 2012 11:54 AM

Hi Steve,

With the birth of Rachel Alexandra and Curlin's colt, I was wondering what you thoughts were about that breeding.  Many people seem to think that Curlin will not be a good sire? I am not an expert on pedigree so I would like your opinion.

23 Jan 2012 11:55 AM

Any thoughts on Thunder Moccasin?

23 Jan 2012 12:00 PM
Kelly Wietsma

It's official...the trail has bugun!  I so very much look forward to your Derby Trail pieces this time of year Steve! Nothing else comes close!

23 Jan 2012 12:06 PM

Hey Ranagulzion about the colt you mentioned, Exothermic, how did you find out about him ?Is there a place to get a list of all the 2yo Empire Makers? I am also wondering why you chose this one, out of ALL the colts that must be out there with this sire.BTW the trainer Rusty Arnold isnt a regular competitor on the Triple Crown Trail, so this one probably has got to convince even him that he belongs.

23 Jan 2012 12:12 PM
Byron Rogers

Good column, but this type of analysis is completely meaningless and a waste of time.

Case in point is Discreetly Mine.

He is by Mineshaft, a son of a Belmont Stakes winner, who himself had Triple Crown winners Seattle Slew and Secretariat as his sire and maternal grandsire, who excelled at 10 furlongs, and out of Pretty Discreet (by apparent stamina influence Private Account), who scored her most important victory in the 10-furlong Alabama Stakes (gr. I).  As an early three-year-old everyone thought he was a lock to run the Derby distance, indeed some had him as a Belmont shot, and Steve himself classified him as "far from a speedball" in his Derby Dozen (March 22nd,2010).

You couldn't be more wrong about him. Turns out that he was genetically a sprinter and when he reverted to sprinting he was devastating. This is not something you can just see on a page, but it is something that you can genetically test for.

Chances are that at least half of the horses mentioned by Steve are like Discreetly Mine, sprinters-in-disguise. Shame that owners are going to spend the spring trying to make these horses go further than they want to, possibly ruining a couple of them, when they could actually know what the best distance of the horse is and train and race the horse accordingly.

23 Jan 2012 1:07 PM

Glad you're back Steve.  We've missed you.  Nice list.  I'm having trouble zeroing in at this time so I can honestly say that I've got about thirty or so under strong consideration and Union Rags and Hansen are both on the bottom end.

23 Jan 2012 1:09 PM


Type in Empire Maker horse pedigree on your search bar and then when you see the site "Empire Maker" on Wikipedia enter and you will see a listing for "record" on the top left side.  Zero in on Progeny.

23 Jan 2012 1:12 PM
Kyle S.


What are your thoughts on the Baffert filly, Princess Arabella?  She looked like she could be any kind when breaking her maiden at Santa Anita on December 31st.  Any talk of taking on the boys along the trail?  Thanks.

23 Jan 2012 1:19 PM


I saw a video of Exothermic's debut and was quite impressed with the way he accelerated in the closing stages of his race, separated from the field and looked full of running in the gallop out. When I checked out his pedigree I immediately put him on my watch list. I've been fairly successful at spotting the good ones early.  Trust me on this one my friend, he may not be under-the-radar very long.


Check the list of Kentucky Derby winners of the last 20 years and look at their pedigree and you wouldn't make yourself look like an ignoramos on this blog.  Steve Haskins' list is dominated by AP Indy sire line and colts with Secretariat close up in their pedigree but these types have no record of Derby success, especially when you consider the annual hype of this thoroughbred family and the amount of stallions out there and the number of fashionably bred broodmares that they cover. They may be all well bred but not for the Kentucky Derby or the Triple Crown. Take the posture of a learner for a change.  

23 Jan 2012 2:04 PM
Sam Santschi

Welcome back Steve!  The Derby Dozen always provides some welcome excitement proving that winter isn't forever despite living in WI.

Holy Bull this weekend...Mucho Macho Man in the Sunshine Millions..The "Luck" premiere on Sunday.  Pebble Beach golf in 10 days...Now, if we can only find some derby trail mounts for my new favorite jockey, James Graham.  This could be his breakout year!

23 Jan 2012 2:07 PM

I agree with Pedigree Ann about the Bold Ruler distance mystique.  In my opinion, I think the temperament that he tended to pass on, the hot-blooded types, was a bigger obstacle than distance limitations.  But, just my opinion.

23 Jan 2012 2:50 PM


I plea not guilty to your charge of demonizing the AP Indy sire line. I have never misrepresented the performance of AP Indy or his sons as sires of Triple Crown candidates ...never. Bring forward your evidence my friend.

My critique of Steve's present list is that it is dominated by the AP Indy line (six out of twelve).  When combined with the colts from the Storm Cat branch of Northern Dancer, you have nine out of twelve colts with Secretariaat close up on the sire's side.  This type of pedigree, although carrying stamina, does not win in the Triple Crown races (zero, zilsh, nil, duck, nought ... in the Kentucky Derby inspite of the annual hype going back almost 2 decades).  Bernardini and Rags to Riches are exceptions rather than the rule, and you know it. I don't think that Steve needs an apologist for his position ...its enough that he stated that the list was comprised of his favourites.

The May foal issue isn't a big deal for me just a note of caution.

23 Jan 2012 3:49 PM

Hey Tizherself, there's a NEW Quick Wit?

23 Jan 2012 4:01 PM
Steve Haskin

Bredblog, when you say many people, who are those people? I dont think anyone can predict whether he will be a good sire. It wouldnt surprise me if this foal turned out to be a star or a bust. Same applies to Rachel as a broodmare. Let's just see how he turns out.

23 Jan 2012 4:20 PM

NASCAR Pro: as you stated, you are somewhat new to the sport. WELCOME! You don't have to be a regular on the TC trail to be a good trainer. George Rusty Arnold is a heck of a trainer. He will have a stable at Churchill downs and always has runners.(36% ITM CD fall meet) Looking back over the last 10 years, we have had trainers like Barclay Tagg (Funny Cide) John Servis (Smarty Jones) Chip Wooley  (Mine that Bird)and Michael Matz (Barbaro)win the Derby, and prior to the Derby they won, were unknown on a national racing level. Just b/c your not named Zito, Pletcher, Asmussen, or Baffert, does not mean you can't get a horse ready to run in the Derby. They just get the really high priced horses.

For this dozen, Sabercat and Spring Hill Farm standout to me. I like both of their pedigree's.

Who would of thought that Bernardini would have such an impact on racing as a new sire. This stud is producing some runners....

Ranag and coldfacts, keep it coming boys. Interesting reading from you 2!

23 Jan 2012 4:20 PM
Steve Haskin

Peeptoad, Thunder Moccasin goes next in the Hutcheson, so we'll know more about him. He has the pedigree, but he's obviously very precocious and is playing catch-up.

23 Jan 2012 4:21 PM
Steve Haskin

Thanks a lot, Kelster. I appreciate it.

23 Jan 2012 4:21 PM

I did not diss anyone, or any list...What i said was, it really makes no difference.....they ALL are well bred! That trying to pick a derby winner on breeding is foolish....I realize it is like a religion to you people......ya just gotta believe......and steve haskin i have no problem with at all.....i respect my elders....

23 Jan 2012 4:39 PM
Terry M.

Very interesting summary! The four Bernardinis really impress me based on pedigree, in particular Algorithms and Alpha. I also love to see the old stamina pedigrees making a comeback.

23 Jan 2012 5:02 PM

Ah, Steve is back, hurray!  Of all the things I read, both about racing and about other things, Steve, your Derby columns are far and away the most engrossing, informative, and thought-provoking.  Thus begin my best lunch breaks of the year, the only ones that actually make me feel as if I've had a break.

Oh - and whoever mentioned there was video of the new Rachel-Curlin baby taking his first steps, thank you!  Found on Stonestreet's FB page - to die for.  Beautiful thing to see.

23 Jan 2012 6:01 PM

Mr. Haskin’s list contains the following colts that I agree are bred for 10F on both sides: ALPHA, CONSORTIUM, SABERCAT, SPRING HILL FARM. Below is a short list of the horse I think have the pedigree and running style to be effective at 10F.  Some of these horses might cause laughter as they are probably unknown to most.

Out of Bounds - Discreet Cat -Unbridles Elaine by Unbridled Song

Discreet Cat had world class speed (1:32) at a mile. I am of the opinion that he could get 10F as he was produced from a mare sired by Private Account a son of the great Damascus. He was not over raced (9 starts) and not subjected to the litany of race day medication due to his time in Dubai. Unbridled Elaine was not over raced (11 Starts) and she could get 10F easily as noted in her incredible rally to win the 9F BC Distaff after being blocked in the home stretch. Her dire Unbridled Song was dam sire of Hold Me Back winner of the 9F Lanes End and runner up in the 10F Traverse. He was also dam sire of General Quarters Blue Grass winner and sire of the ill-fated Eight Bells. Out of Bounds has already run a mile in 1:34.56 closing of a 45 half mile. It was reported that he is still green and immature.

A Boy Named Em - Point Given - No Knocks by A P Indy

Point Given won at 91/2F, 10F & 12F and his stamina is in no doubt. The unraced No Knocks was sired by Belmont/BCC winner A P Indy out of Never Knock dam of Derby winner Go For Gin and Derby 3r place finisher Pleasant Tap. Never Knock was sired by Belmont winner Stag Door Johnny. A Boy Named Em was recently 5th to Discreet Dancer in an 8F race Gulfstream Park. This colt has the looks and the stamina both top and bottom to be a serious Derby horse.

Done Takling - Broken Vow - Dixie Talking by Dixieland Band

Broken Vow was bred for 10F being by Derby & BCC winner Unbridled out of a mare sired  by 1970 British Triple Crown winner Nijinsky. Dixie Talking was sired by Dixieland Band who needs no introduction as he is the dam sire of Derby winners Street Sense and Momarchos. He was also dam sire to the ill-fated Derby runner-up Eights Bell. Dixieland Band was also sired Dixie Splash the dam of Delta Blues the winner of the 2006 Melbourne Cup. Done Talking closed like a runaway train to finish 4th in the pace less 2011 Remsen after being stuck on the rails.

Groovin Solo - Bob and John by Squall Linda by Summer Squall

Bob and John won the 9F Wood Memorial. He was sired by Seeking the Gold who sired Belmont winner Jazil and super horse Dubai Millennium. Seeking The Gold is also dam sire of 2010 BCC winner Blame. Bob & John dam was sired by Deputy Minister dam sired of three Belmont winners. Squall Linda was sired by Summer Squall who was second in the Derby and won the Preakness. Squall Linda produced graded staked winners Street Hero and Premier Pegasus. Summer Squall sired Derby/Preakness winner Charismatic and was dam sires of 2009 Champion 3YO male Summer Bird who won the Belmont, Travers and Jockey Club Gold Cup. Groovin Solo won his last race at a mile and gallops a lot like AP Indy (head down) He is another that looks like he will run all day. He certainly has the pedigree to do so.

Najjaar - Jazil - Hasheema by Darshaan

Jazil won the Belmont. He was sired by Seeking the Gold who sired super horse Dubai Millennium. Seeking The Gold is also dam sire of 2010 BCC winner Blame. The British bred Hasheema was sired by Darshaan was voted the 1984 Champion 3YO stayer in Europe. Najjaar is a dead closer who normally occupy the rear of the field and produces a ferocious late kick to win. The longer the better for this colt!

Tiger Walk - Tale Of The Cat - Majestic Trail by Kris S

Tale Of The Cat has sired Derby runner up and Haskell winner Lion Heart and multiple G1 router Gio Ponti. Tiger Walk’s dam the unraced Majestic Trail was sire by Kris S sire of 5 Breeder Cup winners and dam sire of  Breeders Cup winners Zenyatta and War Chant.  Kris S son Arch sired the 2010 BCC winners Blame and was dam sire of Uncle Mo. Kris S the son of the Hail To Reason stallion Roberto has to be a powerful stamina influence. Tiger Walk won his last two races at a mile (Turf/Dirt) impressively. He has high cruising speed and an extended gallop out.

Captivating Lass - A P Indy - Folk by Quiet American

A P Indy as a stamina influence needs no introduction. Quite American was the sire of 1998 Derby/Preakness winner Real Quiet and was dam sire of BCC winner Saint Liam and Preakness, Traverse, Jockey Club Gold Cup and BCC Runner up Bernardini. Captivating Lass has the most energy efficient strides of the top routers seen in 2012. She carries the size of Raga To Riches  and will love every inch of the Derby distance. Any improvement in the speed department and she will be a dangerous Derby contender.

23 Jan 2012 6:33 PM

Hello Steve, great article, I've narrowed your Dozen list down to a 'metric five'..ALPHA..(Nijinsky damside)...CREATIVE CAUSE (Neartic cross, and Giants Causeway), LIASON (Reminds me of G1 winner BYWORD (10F))...RUSSIAN GREEK(Lope De Vega and Ghanaati, both G1 winners at a trip)...SPRING HILL FARM (I'll keep him on my side:))...all on the basis they should get the trip on breeding...Good Luck!

23 Jan 2012 6:57 PM

Byron Rogers-

Byron, I told myself to leave well alone, and not again respond to anything mentioned on this current blog. But Byron, because of your post I find it too hard to remain silent.- I'm referring to just two of your comments: 1. re-Discreetly Mine; his being a sprinter "...is something that you can genetically test for."  2. Your closing paragraph confirms your belief that the tools/science exists for allowing one to KNOW what is the innate preferred distance for each individual racehorse. Really, Byron; what have I missed? Are you merely alluding to Dr. Emmeline Hill's speed gene theory/data? Hard to believe that you swallowed that whole. If it were only that simple.

While I'm at it-Footlick- Aside from my disagreement with your implied premise- that Bold Ruler was improperly regarded as an impediment to Secretariat's ability to succeed in the Derby-,temperament (your example, "hot-blooded types") is often, in itself, the cause for "distance limitations". Said another way, it, itself, can limit distance ability. Who can say whether it, or other factors (ex. cardio-respiratory, etc.) are any more, or less, heritable.

Lastly, as Steve implies, pedigree is often an aid in predicting distance proclivities, but only an aid. The names in pedigrees do not identify specific genes, rather these various names only connote likelihoods, as the spin of the genetic wheel may cause nearly infinite variations. Take a look, for example, at the pedigree of Kona Gold.      

23 Jan 2012 7:42 PM

Ranagulzion, I don't like to see Secretariat in the sire line; but I like to see him in tail side of a colt's pedigree.  Having said that, with a filly I like to see Secretariat in the sire female line.  The X factor passes from daughter to son.  That's why the great Secretariat produced exceptional daughter.  His daughters passed on the gene to her sons and daughters.  The Y chromosome is mainly a sex-linked gene.  Of course, the sire contributes a lot of genetic material to his daughters, but not his sons. It is all very simple, really.  IMO.

23 Jan 2012 7:57 PM

Pedigree Ann, well Bold Ruler was sent to a Princequillo mare, and they got a Kentucky Derby winner, as well as the Preakness, and Belmont.  It worked once, so what is your point.  Bold Ruler and Somethingroyal produced the greatest race horse of all time.  

Listen, Union Rags is out of Tempo, a Gone West mare.  Gone West, I repeat, is out of a Secretariat mare.  Secretariat produced some great daughters, but except for Risen Star, his sons did not fare so well.  The reason for that is because Secretariat passed on his one x chromosome to his daughters; the y chromosome which carries less genetic material was passed on to his sons.  X-female; Y-male.  

Why would anyone question this or not want to at least attempt to replicate the union.

23 Jan 2012 8:16 PM

Billy's Empire my meaning was not to imply that trainers that are not regular competitors on the TC are any less capable.I mean since he is not a regular, his odds will be higher,until or when his trainee is conceived to be very good or great thats, when the odds will drop.Any of the trainers that you mentioned are regulars on the TC trail because that is part of their regular business,and owners send them and buy young horses for the intention of running in the series.BTW I know Sabercat is trained by Assmussen who trained Nero to a 2nd place finish last year.Spring Hill Farm which I have read mentioned by several different bloggers on this site, I dont know who his trainer is as I write, but when I try to enter the search recommended by Lazmannick I will check on that also.

23 Jan 2012 8:18 PM

Steve, I mentioned the Curlin & Rachel cross vs Bernardini & Rachel proposed breeding and wonder if you have any thoughts on which pedigree might best meet your criteria to be on this list?

23 Jan 2012 8:19 PM

sceptre, thank you so much for your comments.  I'm just looking at genetics.  Union Rags and Liaison have the best pedigress, and should be able to go longer distances, IMO.  The Bernardini colts are good I am sure, but I question the tail side of their pedigrees.    Again, thanks.

23 Jan 2012 8:25 PM

I found the blog very intriguing and exciting to actually contemplate the possibility of of a Triple Crown Winner this year, just based on this one factor, more stamina genetics. Of course there are so many other factors that can prevent this it is not even worth going in to those, other than the first obstacle: the

importance of the KY Derby post position and the "trip" the horse gets, a crap shoot. But it is still fun to contemplate the possibility!

Byron Rogers, what genetic tests are you referring to that show the distance a horse will run his best?

Sceptre, For those who do not know (and I looked this up in the Websters to be sure), "sceptre" is a British variation of "scepter": a staff or a baton borne by a sovereign as an emblem of royal or imperial authority, a token of royal or sovereign authority.

I hereby declare you "The Ultimate Mr. or Ms. Smartypants" HAH! I certainly know the context in which to take your comments.

BTW don't bother to try & interpret my display name, it just means I like The Moody Blues.:)

23 Jan 2012 8:34 PM

Coldfacts, are you talking about My Miss Aurelia.  She has a bit of stamina in the sire line, but she was bred mostly for speed.  Distance my be a problem.  She is a lovely filly, but I have a ??Rags to Riches, Rachel Alexandra, and Zenyatta were bred for stamina.  I know that you have likely looked at their pedigress, but look again.  Thank you for your comments.  I do have an open mind.

23 Jan 2012 8:34 PM

Byron Rogers:

You wrote:

"This is not something you can just see on a page, but it is something that you can genetically test for."

If there is a reliable test to determine a horse’s best distance, why would the participants not simply use it?.  Some of these horses cost half a million. In fact, they would be wise to have the test performed before they complete the transaction whether they are buying or selling.

For prudent operators this would be a no-brainer. They could have a lab do this for them the same way they pay for veterinary services. This assumes they do not do it already.

If the test is performed successfully, the seller could demand a higher price for the ideal horse. Something is missing.

23 Jan 2012 8:47 PM

Thank you Steve, for reading my comments; I appreciate it very much.  I would like to say this, genetics plays an important role in a horse's greatness, but we all know that the trainer, jockey, and luck all have to come together too, not to mention track conditions.  It is a great sport.  There is no animal on this slowly shrinking earth as beautiful and ethereal as the horse.  I wish all of these magnificent gifts from God the best of luck.    

23 Jan 2012 8:48 PM

LAZMANNICK I tried the search,once I was in wilkipedia for Empire Maker I didnt find any listing of  "record" on the top left side.What are you doing that Im not?

23 Jan 2012 9:03 PM
Mary Zinke

I would like to ask other Mary if you like 6 of 8 of Creative Cause's male ancestors on the bottom of his pedigree in the fifth generation going back to the cross of Teddy X Plucky Liege, Fortino goes back to Teddy only, from my brief check, and I don't think Neartic is a descendant of that famous couple. Please correct if wrong; I don't study pedigrees/genetics like you do.  I like to let the horse tell me what it can do once it hits the track, and so far Creative Cause has run in a professional manner and wins except when interfered with or kicked a few days prior to a race, which few seem to remember. Has Dixie Union had many mares with stamina influences? Because he has no stakes winners over 9f. Maybe Union Rags could be his first, but not if DQ'd for his unpredictable veering, and I do like him, so I hope he will mature out of that behavior; maybe blinkers will help. Or, maybe he's tiring? Check the fractions to see if you think he can go further. They all have great ancestors if you go back far enough. Can't take them with them in a race.

23 Jan 2012 9:30 PM
Karen in Texas

Byron Rogers,

There are some people on this blog with biomedical backgrounds, so please explain the testing to which you refer. Are you talking about the Equinome test that supposedly identifies myostatin gene (MSTN) variants? Share your knowledge more specifically, please.

NASCAR PRO----Spring Hill Farm's trainer is Todd Pletcher.

23 Jan 2012 10:11 PM
Karen in Texas

I think Byron Rogers is referring to this test. Maybe he will return and explain what he actually meant. I'll try to link a site.


23 Jan 2012 10:28 PM
El Kabong

Great lead off Steve.

It seems every year, even at the end of the trail when we have all the prep races in our hands, the main question still remains, can they get the distance. I like the twist on our initial focus. Far more important than comparing the exploits of 2 year olds and wondering whose form will carry over. That's a tired old exercise in useless yada yada yada. Always a pleasure to hit the trail with someone who is willing to take the road less traveled. Welcome back and thanks for cooking the first meal with a new recipe.

23 Jan 2012 10:29 PM


Not too surprisingly, you have mistaken what you believe to be a clue to the context. This is a thoroughbred horse blog-hint. Consider the S in my pseudonym to be upper case-hint, and then go from there. And yes, I'm aware of your lame attempt to be insulting.


Nice of you to thank me, but suggest you learn more about genetics before offering your views on this subject as (incorrect) facts. Also, and not related to the preceeding comment, there is no science whatsoever to confirm this "x factor"/"heartline"-stamina, etc. theory. Too often it is espoused as fact.  

23 Jan 2012 10:30 PM


1. Type in Empire Make Horse Pedigree on your search bar.  Click and you will see a site for Empire Maker Horse Pedigree.

2. Click on this site to enter:  You will then see Empire Maker’s family tree in pink and blue.  

3. Just above it you will see a gray bar with the following titles:  Reports, Maintenance, Subscriptions, Help and Message Board.

4. Click on Reports (it’s on the far left).  You will then get a ladder listing starting with Pedigree and ending with Stallions.  The second from the top will be progeny.

5. Click on progeny and you will have a listing of all the horses that he sired (with their foaling year in the column between sex and dam.

6. If you click on any of those horses you will get a similar pedigree chart.

Note:  when you go in if you click on stakes races, second from the bottom in the ladder column, you will get a record of all stakes races the horse participated in (providing it finished in the top three).

23 Jan 2012 10:58 PM

NASCAR Pro, to look up progeny you can go to www.pedigreequery.com and enter the horse's name. When the pedigree comes up look at the upper left hand corner and click on Reports, there will be a list, click on "progeny" and you will get a complete list. Other reports cost but that one is free. Dont bother with Wikki on this stuff.

23 Jan 2012 11:22 PM

Great to have Steve back!  Darley is sure keeping blue-blooded Bernardini busy these days, whew!  Good luck to all these 12, not crazy about their names though for some reason, owners couldn't get more creative than this?  All I know is I cannot wait for Dr. D. to say his famous expression, "Holy Cow in the Holy Bull!!!"  Where are all the little Hard Spuns?  

And off topic, is Smarty back from his "fiesta" yet?

23 Jan 2012 11:42 PM


The filly is Captivating Lass and not My Miss Aurelia. If Captivating Lass had My Miss Aurelia speed the boys from Dubai would be certain of securing their first derby winner. The only component she lacks is speed. I am hoping that in her next couple of starts she will be more forwardly placed. This filly has a very fluent stride pattern and with her exceptional pedigree she is a dangerous customer.

23 Jan 2012 11:53 PM
Arts and Letters

""sceptre" is a British variation of "scepter"

Actually, scepter is an American variation of sceptre.  :)

24 Jan 2012 12:00 AM

Carol in Utah,

I'm still pulling for Hansen.  The others have to catch him before they can beat him.  If he has any of Slew's speed and it certainly looks as if he does, well, need I say more?  Personally, I'd like to think he could follow in his great-great-granddaddy's shoes and go through the Triple Crown unbeaten.  Here's hoping!  

Oh, and to seeing what Hansen does when he meets up with some adversity?  That's good - what do you consider the peanut butter track at CD and the huge step up in class he took to earn that win?  Lack of experience and he still managed to run the full distance unheaded and win.  Sounds like a colt with heart and a desire to win.  My kind of favorite to win.

24 Jan 2012 12:05 AM

The last three Triple Crown winners were produced in the decade that sanded 1971 to 1979.

Secretariat: Bold Ruler - Something Royal by Nasrullah.

Something Royal was the oldest mare to foal a TC winner at age 18. She made one start and earned $0

Seattle Slew: Bold Reasoning - My Charmer by Poker.

My Charmer made 32 starts and earned $34,133

Affirmed: Exclusive Native - Wont Tell You by Crafty Admiral

Wont Tell You made 23 starts and earned $21,210

The broodmares that produced the above TC winners were moderate at best in the racing career.

Rachel Alexandra made 19 starts and earned $3.5M; Zenyatta made 20 starts and earned $7.3M and both earned HOY titles. One was bred to a two times HOY and the other to a HOY runner up.

What are the prospects of two HOYs producing champion? If history is to be used as guide there is zero chance of Rachel Alexandra foal being a champion. Zenyatta’s prospects of being a super producer are extremely remote as well. Mares like Rachel and Zenyatta do not produce champions. I know this is a reality that many will find hard to accept but it is the coldest of the cold facts.

24 Jan 2012 12:34 AM
Jean in Chicago


check out Sceptre on Wikipedia.  If you go to pedigreequiry, she's the one born in 1899.  Although who knows what the grey horse of the same name foaled in 1786 ever did--he was a grandson of the great Herod.  I've heard tell that Sceptre was the first name proposed for Secretariat, but it wasn't accepted by the Jockey Club.  Understandable with one of the great race mares already having the name.

As for blog names, mine just helps Ted From LA keep track of his harem.  

24 Jan 2012 1:55 AM
Jean in Chicago

Sorry, Moodygirl (and Steve),  Ted and his harem are over on Jason Shandler's 'Triple Crown Talk' blog.

In general, speaking of genetics, I'm in favor of more outbreeding.  Inbreeding may lock in some characteristics, but it also brings out some nasty recessive traits.

24 Jan 2012 2:04 AM

Just look back at the contenders that didn't have the durability to even reach the Derby the past few years and you can tell the whole breeding industry is a disaster. Steve wrote a great blog a while back on the thoroughbred Jim French. That is the kind of stamina and durability breeders should be aiming for.

24 Jan 2012 7:41 AM


You wrote:

“If history is to be used as guide there is zero chance of Rachel Alexandra foal being a champion. Zenyatta’s prospects of being a super producer are extremely remote as well”.

You are once again using a lamp to show what is visible in broad daylight. Your conclusion is almost certain to be correct because fewer than 8% of the typical top sire’s offspring win a stakes race of any kind. One of the reasons is that no matter how good the offspring might be, that offspring has to compete against other talented offspring and for some strange reason there is usually only one winner in a race.

Secondly, you should not use historical facts to support your conclusion because we all know from history that no event has ever occurred before it occurred the first time, but the previous non-occurrence did not prevent the event from occurring when it did.

24 Jan 2012 9:24 AM


What about the triple crown horses that should've been except for jockey error or injury?  There are dams that produced as runners as well as produced triple crown talent...

Smarty Jones

Dam: I'll Get Along

Starts: 39 wins 12 place 10 show 8



Dam: la ville rouge

Starts: 25-6-6-2

Earnings: $262,594

24 Jan 2012 10:27 AM

Jean in Chicago, Thanks for the reminder of the horse Sceptre. I had forgotten about her. I have read some of the "person" Sceptre's comments lately and wondered "Who do they think they are?" I got a good laugh when I looked the meaning up in the dictionary. "Ultimate Smartypants" still fits the attitude none the less. I always enjoyed Ted from LA's comments but I had no idea about his harem. Goodness the things one learns on here!:)

24 Jan 2012 10:34 AM
Dawn in MN

98 comments and counting

Mr. Haskin,  Thank you for your analysis.  It is nice to see the usual supect's comments.  I enjoyed reading about the horses you wrote about.  

I'm always sentimental and something about Casual Trick, Russian Greek, Saber Cat, and Stephanoatsee grabbed me.  I am a visual handicapper, and am looking forward to seeing them run.  

Thanks for increasing my interest.  Hope springs eternal when the three-year-olds begin to face off.  I have had a hard time reconciling the harsh realities of this sport with my appreciation of the courage of the Thoroughbred.  

Here's hoping for a safe year and many thrilling races.

24 Jan 2012 10:40 AM

"Sceptre" is a name of Honour and Colour.

Two comments on the comments on this blog:

Maybe Secretariat threw back more to Princequillo and his broodmare sire capabilities than to Nasrullah and his sire of sire capabilities?

And Coldfacts: if you widen your search beyond US HOY's, you come up with Fanfreluche, who was Cdn HOY in Canada in 1970 and when bred to Buckpasser, foaled L'Enjouler, who became HOY in Canada in 1975; also, when bred to Secretariat, foaled Medaille D'Or, who was Champion 2yo in Canada in 1978.  Great filly in her own right (I remember when she finished second to Almoner, I believe, in the Queen's Plate, everyone kept asking if you would rather have a gelding who won the Plate or a filly who finished second.  Also, she started a dynasty that's going strong around the world).

24 Jan 2012 10:43 AM

sceptre, okay I tried to be nice.  You need to take a few classes in pedigree; judging from your posts, I don't think you know a whole lot about it.  Some people may not agree with the findings concerning the x-factor, but Secretariat's owner does.  Penny Chenery talked about it in a documentary.

Australian scientists and other nationalities have been studying this for years.  Look it up.  It is a scientifc fact that the X chromosome carries much more genetic material than the Y.  X-female; Y-male.    

24 Jan 2012 11:47 AM

Steve, your derby dozen will change a dozen times by derby day.

24 Jan 2012 12:03 PM

Mary, Teddy x Plucky Liege ancestry is too far back.  Look at the tail side of Union Rags' pedigree.  Stamina.

24 Jan 2012 12:18 PM

Giddyup,  Jim French had a fantastic pedigree, no line-breeding.

24 Jan 2012 12:21 PM
Forbidden Apple

My early KY Derby 1/2 dozen:

1)Out Of Bounds 2)Alpha 3)Union Rags 4)Stephanoatsee 5)Captivating Lass 6)Consortium

Out Of Bounds is the total package with speed and stamina. This stout colt is still green, yet he knows how to win.

Alpha seemed much more focused in the Count Fleet and he sure did fill out nicely since the Breeders Cup. He will definitely appreciate a distance of ground and has an excellent turn of foot when asked to run.

Union Rags is an obvious talent who also ran a bit green last year. He appears to have a tremendous amount of natural ability and power. The Florida route to the KY Derby goes through this classy colt.

Stephanoatsee is improving with every start and looked like he was ready to explode in the Count Fleet. He has plenty of stamina on both sides and could be very scary come the first saturday in May. He lacks speed, but maybe the lightbulb has not turned on yet.

Captivating Lass is a giant AP Indy filly who should fall in love with a race at 1 1/4 miles. Her win in the Busanda was all class. She was carrying some extra weight and needs much more speed. I am not sure if she will improve enough to test colts, so the KY Oaks looks like a more likely target.

Consortium is another Bernardini colt with talent. I like how he broke well and then settled in nicely in his maiden victory. Who knows, he could be even better than Alpha. I am taking him on top in the Holy Bull to upset all of you Hansen fanatics.


ArchArchArch is at stud with a $10,000 fee, Spendthrift Farm. He is a forgotten horse from the 2011 3 year old crop, along with Premier Pegasus and Soldat.

Four out of my top six horses are owned by Darley, this could be their year for a KY Derby victory. At a $150k stud fee, Bernardini is a bit hyped up at this point. I am expecting a huge stud career from Hard Spun, his fee of $40k is much more appealing. And Discreet Cat is off to a great start at stud with only a $12.5k fee. His flashy son Out of Bounds is stardom bound.

24 Jan 2012 12:22 PM


Was just reading this.

Stephanoatsee off Derby trail with pastern injury.

24 Jan 2012 12:23 PM
Your Only Friend

Agree with Kentucky Vet......Breed best too the best does not always produce what you want.....it is like trying too find needle in haystack.....just have to get lucky...

24 Jan 2012 12:26 PM
Fran Loszynski

Had to put this in your column Steve.  Congrats to Afleet Express on newborn fillie and Congrats to Afleet Alex your Travers son made you a grand-Dad!!!

24 Jan 2012 2:15 PM
The Deacon

Breeding is a crap shoot at best. Breeders aren't stupid, they try their best, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Look at Barbaro, Nicanor and Lentenor.

Bold Ruler is argueably considered one of the best sires of all time. He sired more brilliant 2 year olds then MacDonalds has fries.

I never questioned Bold Ruler's ability to get 10 furlongs or sire a colt who could get the 10 furlongs (Secretariat), my issue with him was soundness. Many of his crop were great 2 year olds and then got hurt.

Bold lad, Boldnesian are examples as is Vitriolic. Vitriolic dam was Sarcastic, her bloodline goes back to Man O War.

Then there is Successor, a brilliant 2 year old (only 1 of 3 horses to beat the great Dr. Fager)who's dam is Misty Morn, out of Princequillo.

Everyone here makes good points. No rights or wrongs, just history laid out before us.  

24 Jan 2012 2:24 PM


Don't forget that Fanfreluche was in foal to Secretariat when she was stolen out of a paddock just a few hundred feet away from Seth Hancock's residence at Clairborne Farm.  She was later recovered and the foal, Sain Et Sauf (her second breeding to Secretariat, the first being Madaille Dor two years earlier) had a modest race career winning 3 of 18 starts with no stakes wins.

24 Jan 2012 3:19 PM
Soldier Course

Just dropped in to say hello to Steve and and everyone else. It has been ages since I have posted, and I have missed following "Hangin' With Haskin". Hope to be better about staying in touch this year. It has to be a more exciting year for racing than 2011 was, but cycles are inevitable in any sport.

24 Jan 2012 3:28 PM

Ty Lazmannick and Moodygirl you have been very helpful.Karen in Texas, with Pletcher as his trainer there will be no big surprises as far as odds, unless the race he is in also has high profile trainers such as Baffert,Assumussen etc or well known horses such as Hansen and Union Rags.I havent been playing the ponies for as long as I have played other pari-mutual games.Once you know how to win(make winning bets)its all about odds and money management.I appreciate everyone's help on this blog.I definitely want to improve my skills.

24 Jan 2012 4:50 PM

Steve, with the regrettable injury to Stephanoatsee I feel its only fair to yourself that you select another candidate for the "blood dozen."

24 Jan 2012 5:29 PM


I liked your story to MZ about that mare in foal to Secretariat that was stolen!  Damn horse thieves!!!  The foal you mentioned, very fittingly was named Sain et Sauf, in French it means Safe and Sound.  (As I wish they all could be on the trail this year).


In that decade you mentioned in the 70's when the last TC winners emerged, wasn't it then in the 70's that Lasix was first used and I am wondering if there is a corrolation somewhere.  There has got to be some underlying reason why there has been no TC winner since the 70's.  Ah this Lasix, again, maybe beneficial but did it contribute to the demise of the ironhorse???

24 Jan 2012 7:33 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Well you know what Clint Eastwood says about breeders and breeding- "Do you feel lucky spunky? Well, do ya?" And then if they stay healthy and can get the distance at 10f they have to get it fast enough to win. That's what we're always talking about, who can get 10f in a winning time. We don't really care too much about any other distance unless it's 12f for the 3rd leg of the Triple Crown. They are all bred for the distance but they aren't all bred to get the distance fast enough. To me it's about their stride, ability to relax and desire to win. And conditioning and peaking at the right time. I have 35 on my list but I won't work too hard at it this year. I'll enjoy the preps and wait for the final pps. I do have my favorites though. Number one is Hansen, then Midnight Transfer and Out Of Bounds. I bet we see a Hard Spun or Street Sense in this year's Derby, maybe both. The only thing I know for sure is that it's damn good to see Steve Hsskin back on the trail, in the saddle again, and enjoying reading my favorite bloggers too. Out of all the gin joints in all the world, the only place I really enjoy blogger's posts is right here in Haskinblanca. Speaking of blanca-How bout that Hansen !!! Holy Cow.

24 Jan 2012 7:48 PM

Very nice post, The Deacon.  Very well said.

24 Jan 2012 8:00 PM
It aint easy being good!

This to me is the dog days of racing nothing exciting is happening yet. Watched the Lecomonte stakes.....yawn those horses are slow! The holy bull will be a yawnfest too wake me up when the real racing rolls around late Feb.

24 Jan 2012 8:32 PM
Mary Zinke

Thanks for your brief answer, other Mary. LOL this was posted at the Eclipse blog.

24 Jan 2012 8:39 PM
Splits of 12


Thanks for the breeding breakdown of potential Derby contenders. It seems like the Bernardinis and Giant's Causeways are dominating the landscape, early on.

Algorithms is a horse who looks visually impressive. He has a nice way of moving and has really good speed. He's been on my radar since breaking his maiden.

Creative Cause, is one who has some serious stamina in his pedigree and should be a serious contender as the Derby trail evolves. I was at Hollywood Park the day he broke his maiden and it was an extremely powerful performance. He's every bit as good as Union Rags or Hansen and should improve dramatically as a three-year-old.

A few horses I have my eye on are, the complete opposite of the horses you've mentioned above.  One is a recent maiden winner, Majestic Stride and the other is a stakes placed Cal-Bred, Rousing Sermon.

Majestic Stride, who just broke his maiden at Oaklawn Park last weekend, has the look of a live runner. The son of Trippi, who is trained by Jeff Bonde, seems to be a speedster with the action of a router. What impressed me about this colt, was the way he handled himself after breaking a bit slow. He still got the lead without using up any energy and ran the first quarter in 22.0. The horse then relaxed nicely through the next set of splits and the jockey never moved a muscle on him. As they turned for home, Majestic Stride, who was never asked for anything, dusted the field and finished his last eighth in 12 and change under wraps. Impressive. Spin Zone, the horse who rallied for second, ran very well, but was still beaten some 3 and 1/2 lengths. Whether Majestic Stride wants to go long is anybody's guess. He has the kind of action and speed, that suggest he can do a route of ground.  His sire, Trippi, has more of a sprinter-miler pedigree. But, his dam, Good looking Miss, is by Great Above, who may be able to pass on some of her sires stamina into this Trippi colt. Let's remember that Great Above, grandsired, Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo, so he must have some class. Majestic Stride, may just have the right mixture of speed and stamina to carry him longer distances. Although his dosage index numbers and center of distribution suggest he's more likely to do well at shorter distances, I've seen stranger things happen. He looks to me, like a horse who can run all day long.

Rousing Sermon, looks like a horse who wants more ground. The son of Lucky Pulpit, out of an Awesome Again mare Rousing Again, was a game second to Liasion in the Cash Call Futurity, beaten by a head. Previously before that race he placed to Liasion in the Real Quiet Stakes. He finished fast in that race to get within a neck of the winner. This Cal-Bred is a tough-knocking closer and could end up being trainer Jerry Hollendorfer's male version of Blind Luck. The chestnut colt, has never ran out of the money, and is one of those horses that keeps grinding away at you. I think it's time for another Cal-Bred to have a legit shot at winning the Kentucky Derby since perhaps, Cavonnier. Rousing Sermon, has one of the finest conditioner's in the country in Jerry Hollendorfer, and could be just the type of horse to get it done.                    

24 Jan 2012 9:04 PM
Mike Relva


Hope you enjoyed great holidays. Great read as always, thanks!

24 Jan 2012 9:06 PM
Your Only Friend

Ya all ever notice how many well bred horses are running in claiming races? Disappointed someones dream....Best with the Best is not sure thing.

24 Jan 2012 9:38 PM

"FACTS" are useless unless you know how to use them. COLDCUTS thinks copying down facts, makes him some kinda breeding expert. Yet he doesnt know how or why to use these "FACTS". For some reason, he thinks unraced mares are what you want. He will tell you how more derbys have been won by unraced mares......Does it occur to him what everyone else knows? that there are thousands of unraced mares compared to a handful of champion mares? hmmmmm....maybe 1000 compared to 5 might be the reason huh?  Or how about unraced mares are unraced for a reason....mostly because they cant run...injuries= bad conformation most of the time...ohhh THATS what you WANT passed down? Or that somehow racing damages the mares eggs or some weird theory......Yet nobody seems to challege these "facts".....of course rachels foal has no chance of being any good for one of his other dumb theorys......she is a  jan foal......Oh does it occure to COLDCUTS that most are not foaled in january? maybe thats the reason jan foals ...........oh never mind!

24 Jan 2012 11:02 PM

Dr Drunkinbum,

I always find your posts to be a combination of facts and humor. The last sentence of your post captured my attention:

“Speaking of blanca-How bout that Hansen !!! Holy Cow.”

I highlighted in details his impressive win in the BCJ. There were those that said Union Rags was the better horse but had a troubled trip. I hastened to point out that the real good ones find a way to win in spite of adversities. That said, Hansen won his two races preceding the BCJ by a combined 26 lengths. He won the BCJ by a nose in what was a slow time. He therefore is not worthy of the exclamation Holy Cow at the moment. This weekend’s Holly Bull will answer a lot of questions as he will be facing some very fast colts.  If he is able to win then Holy Cow would certainly be in order.   What a difference a year makes. The giant killer Uncle Mo was not considered for the Holly Bull but instead opted for the specially written ungraded Timely Writer. I posted then that a champion in hiding was not a good sign. I like horse like Hansen as the focus will be so much on him that other talents will be overlooked. The chances for big pay days with him in the race are significantly enhanced

24 Jan 2012 11:03 PM

Forbidden Apple,

. “At a $150k stud fee, Bernardini is a bit hyped up at this point.”

To Honor & Server: Nashua (G2); Remsen (G2); PA Derby; (G2);Cigar Mile (G1)

Stay Thirsty: Gotham(G3); 2nd Belmont(G1); Jim Dandy (G2); Travers (G1); 3rd JCGC (G1)

Wilburn: Indiana Derby (G2)

Gamilati: Cherry Hinton S.(G2)

Arthur's Tale 2nd Wood memorial (G1)

Biondetti: Premio Gran Criterium (Ity-G1)

Genten: 3rd: Daily Hai Nisai Stakes (G2)

A Z Warrior: Frizette S. (G1); 2nd Sorrento S. (G3); 3rd Santa Anita Oaks (G1)

Bernardini has sired a lot of graded stakes performers. At his previous fee of $70,000 he would have been under priced and overbooked. I think $150,000 is more than reasonable. I do not consider him hyped up as the performance of his runners is testament to his ability as a stallion.


24 Jan 2012 11:34 PM

Well do ya spunk?

24 Jan 2012 11:58 PM

Melanie: By adversity, I meant something I have already seen Union Rags do.  Get stopped cold in a race, and be able to restart.

Watch the '77 Kentucky Derby again.  Slew was held a fraction too long in the gate, banged his head on the gate, and ended up leaving the gate last.  He ran up to a wall of horses, had to check, then bulldozed through all of them to the front.  Speed was only one part of Slew, Intimidation and bold courage were the other parts.

Slew was a front runner, but he didn't always get there easily.

I've seen Union Rags get checked twice in one race, and still restart and win.  Not many horses can restart like that.  That's what I'm waiting to see from Hansen.  What happens when he's not in front. (oh, please, please be like the Slew?)

I think Bernardini has proven himself to be an excellent sire.  (I do believe that's judged by graded stakes wins by progeny) which makes him top class.  He has an excellent pedigree...but in 2006 he was bested by an Argentine horse named Invasor whose progeny should also prove interesting. He stands for $20,000.  So far, I've seen only one son in competition.

Has anyone noticed the recent races of Swag Daddy.  In his last out, he ran in front, winning.  But before that, in the Queen's County he displayed a closing kick that utterly amazed me...and I kept looking for the wings he had to sprout to cross the wire first.  By Scat Daddy out of an Eastern Echo (Damascus) mare.  I like him...can't wait to see more.

25 Jan 2012 9:02 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

I had a dream that a bunch of people piled into Haskin's car to go out to eat. I asked if I could go and he said his car was all full, I'd have to take mine. There was a few other people that wanted to go also so they got into my car. A guy handed me a buck to help pay for one of the guy's lunches saying that the guy was a little short on cash and he wanted to help him out. The moral of the story is that Buckpasser will be in the pedigree of The Derby winner. This is a true story. None of the names have beeen changed to protect the innocent.


I expect Hansen to be mesmerizing as I do Union Rags in his race. Both are very talented. In the BC on that day Hansen was the only one able to wire the field in the peanut butter so his race has it's own merits of adversity.

25 Jan 2012 9:08 AM
Forbidden Apple

Splits of 12,

Thank you for mentioning Majestic Stride, he deserves a look. The Jeff Bonde barn has been on fire lately. Last weekend he got a 6 year old gelding named Frumious to run 1:07 for the second race in a row. Amazombie is very lucky that he scratched out of the Palos Verdes. Now Frumious is headed to Dubai, this guy is an excellent trainer.


I was surprised to see a huge jump in the stud fee of Bernardini. I agree that To Honour and Serve and Stay Thirsty are quality horses. With the fee at $150k, Darley has claimed him to be the best stallion around. I'll know more after I see if Alpha and Consortium can indeed stretch out to 10 furlongs. I'm not happy that Alpha was given Lasix in his last start. Do you like Consortium for the Holy Bull?

25 Jan 2012 9:26 AM

Splite of 12: I liked Rousing Sermon too. I'm looking forward to his first Graded win.

25 Jan 2012 9:59 AM


Thanks for pointing out the breeding successes of Franfreluche and L'Enjouler and for gently pointing out to Coldfacts the correct breeding of Secretariat: Bold Ruler-Somethingroyal by Princequillo.


Agree with your post and especially your wording "no event has ever occurred before it occurred the first time, but the previous non-occurrence did not prevent the event from occurring when it did".  Brilliant! I think you've posted that before and it does need to be repeated.


I agree that Zenyatta's chances of producing a champion are exteremely remote, but so are every other HOY's chances as are any mare's foals chances of becoming a champion, the reasons why have been clearly stated by others on this blog.  Simply put, it is a numbers game and the chances are always extremely remote.  But to say that Racheel and her offspring have a "Zero" chance is simply not true.  This new foal has a chance, just like any other foal this year of becoming a champion. Whether it's Bernardini-Zenyatta foal, a Curlin-Rachel Alexandra colt or a Peanut Butter-Jelly foal, each one has a chance, extremely remote yes, but a chance.  I do appreciate you're knowledge, though, and your input on these blogs.

I'm looking forward to that Peanut Butter-Jelly foal.  It just may be able to handle a drying out CD strip in November.

25 Jan 2012 10:59 AM
Splits of 12

Forbidden Apple,

I agree with you that Jeff Bonde is an excellent trainer. Both he and Jerry Hollendorfer learned under Jerry Dutton in Northern California. Bonde has done very well lately, especially with Frumious. He's a very patient trainer and runs an excellent program. He's well-respected by the true horsemen and does a great job of competing with the big boys in So. Cal.  

25 Jan 2012 12:08 PM
Linda in Texas

Mentioned after Rachel foaled the other day, that her next breed to will be to Bernardini. Now, that will in itself cause some competition issues if in 2 or 3 years, Zenyatta's soon to be foal sired by Bernardini ends up racing Rachels projected foal by Bernardini.

So stay tuned folks, the battle will continue if all is well with mares and foals. Now i wonder if Zenyatta will be allowed to breed to Curlin and that will further tantalize the equation.  

Dr. D. glad you came out of hibernation a little early to join the fray. Your comments about the 12 furlongs, and what you like in a horse was so right on, peaking and having the will to run. That is where i always come from and what i admire the most. And their stride, i always take a look at how much they stretch out and dig in to get to that wire. Love it.

I really like Hansen, I think he is a monster. I love his pedigree and Slew's comments i totally agree with also. Always do. Frankly i take in everything everyone says and enjoy all the posts.

Especially the blogmeister himself, the one and only Steve

Haskin. Thanks Sir Haskin.

25 Jan 2012 1:02 PM

I still have a good feeling about Dullahan, who was my one shot at getting rich in the BC Juvenile.  He broke his maiden in the G1 Futurity at Keeneland when he came from well back and finished first of 13.  So far he appears to be best on turf and synthetics, but his half brother Mine That Bird ran well on synthetics and the Derby was his first win on dirt.  Dale Romans his trainer is also due for a break.

25 Jan 2012 1:37 PM


Rachel Alexandra has a fair chance at a successful mating with Bernardini because she carries in her pedigree, inbreeding to Neartic via Northern Danacer as well as Mr Prospector. These represent the best bloodlines of Cara Rafaela, Bernardini's dam and thats usually a good formula for producing stakes class runners.

The only problem I have with the mating is that the offspring's chances of being a Kentucky Derby contender is prejudiced from the gitgo.

Unless you can deduce some plausible explanation for the 'cold facts' of the failure of successful race mares as broodmares, KY VET's argument trumps yours in this regard ...a situation I'm sure that you're not comfortable with (lets deal with the clash of ideas instead of the personal stuff). One love.  

25 Jan 2012 1:51 PM
Karen in Texas

I agree that Hansen faced considerable adversity on the dead rail at Churchill in the BCJ. How he will handle stopping and restarting in traffic is a concern should that happen in the future, but I read that Mike Maker finds him to be much like Serena's Song in style. He thought Hansen would continue to be fast, but would be able to get distance. After thinking about that, I can't remember a single time when Serena didn't leave the gate, then clear the field quickly and cleanly. It was just a matter of how far she could go after that. Hopefully, Hansen continues his journey safely in the Holy Bull with Ramon Dominguez as a supportive guide.

25 Jan 2012 2:00 PM


Thank you. I am just trying to emphasize that in a race the only horses that matter are the ones that enter the starting gate. In a race like the Kentucky Derby, the fact that a horse gets in the race is itself an achievement. History will not affect the outcome.

On another matter, I see many comments about Bernardini’s fees. Tapit is not far behind at $125,000.

AP Indy must be proud of his sons. I just hope people will stop referring to the “ AP Indy sire line”.

I do not think enough time has passed for that designation, especially when people  start comparing him to sire lines that go back over 40 years.

25 Jan 2012 2:13 PM


In a previous post I said AP Indy must be proud of his sons. I should have said “descendants” so as to include grandsons such as Tapit.

25 Jan 2012 2:59 PM

Steve, do you think the two Malibu Moon colts, Maan and Prospective, along with the Corinthian colt, Junebugred, will/or can stretch out beyond 9 furlongs? I realise that everything is possible these days but are these colts pretenders or contenders?    

25 Jan 2012 5:42 PM

KY Vet In what state are you licensed to practice veterinary medicine?

25 Jan 2012 5:57 PM

I know your screen name is KY Vet but you might have attended school in Kentucky and are licensed in another state.

25 Jan 2012 5:59 PM

Coldfacts said: "Mares like Rachel and Zenyatta do not produce champions. I know this is a reality that many will find hard to accept but it is the coldest of the cold facts."


Ever hear of Urban Sea?  She won the Prix de l'Arc, and produced Galileo and Sea the Stars, among other champions.  Her final foal has started his racing career last fall with a win, Out To Sea.

What about Personal Ensign?  Heard of War Emblem?  My Flag?  Storm Flag Flying?

What about Ta Wee..."Ta Wee had five foals, all of them winners, and four stakes winners. Her first foal was the sprint stakes winner, Great Above, who sired Holy Bull."

What you present as fact seems much more like conjecture born from your own myopic research.

It seems to me that the reality is that Rachel A and Zenyatta have a better than average shot at producing a winner eventually.

If he had not been injured, I think Take control would have been a fine champion, by AP Indy out of Azeri.  Another HOY mating that might have struck gold, but then...we really can't account for the injuries that do happen which should by no means disparage the race mare who produced the foal.

Jersey Boy..I just happen to go back a long ways, and still consider it the Slew Sire line.  

25 Jan 2012 7:08 PM

Nice article Steve and great to have you back!!!  I was getting worried about you!

Hey everyone!  Just an FYI, Coldfacts is not the first one to state that the better race mares are usually not the best of producers.  In fact, he may have gotten the info from the same place I did - Federico Tesio!  For those who don't know, he was and still is by many, considered to be the foremost authority on Thoroughbred breeding!  Basically he theorized that the most successful race mares use up so much of her internal "nervous energy" that there is not enough left to be passed on to her produce therefore they usually do not excel on the track.  He studied many hundreds of cases plus observed his own mares in coming to this conclusion.  (For those who have not read it - Breeding the Racehorse is a fascinating book that he wrote) While this may not be an actual "fact", historically the best mares have generally not produced superstars or anything remotely approaching themselves. One of the great things about this sport though is that - anything can happen!!!

25 Jan 2012 8:09 PM

Funny....COLDCUTS hated BERNADINI a few years back! Said the 12,500 candy ride was better than bernadini's 250,000 sire....I told him bernadini would be worth 100 million......Coldcuts? why dont you tell them the truth? Oh his breeding changed in some way huh?

25 Jan 2012 8:36 PM


Great idea regarding the sire line issue.

I see you addressed Coldfacts on that broodmare issue. I do not know why he persists with it.

I will add 2 more examples of top mares producing champions.


“Champion at 2, 3 & 4 (in America, England and France).

1999: Inducted into Hall of Fame” -pedigreequery.com.

Miesque is the dam of  Kingmambo.


“1st Princess Royal S. Gr.3 (GB), Musidora S. Gr.3 (GB), Danepak Bacon S. L., Tom Cribb Maiden Fillies S.,The Oaks Gr.1 (GB). 4th Prix Vermeille Gr.1 (FR). 5th Pretty Polly S. L. (IRE).

Dam of seven starters, five of them winners, including stakes winners Lammtarra, Kammtarra, and Saytarra.”-pedigreequery.com

“Lammtarra was an undefeated Thoroughbred racehorse who won three Group One races in 1995 and was voted the Cartier Three-Year-Old European Champion Colt. He won the Epsom Derby in record time, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe”.  Wikipedia.

25 Jan 2012 9:18 PM


I got you now.  I just figured the peanut butter track at CD and the huge jump up in clas, particularly when a lot of horses don't show much of an affinity for CD on a good day when compared with NY or CA tracks.  And can someone say for sure - whether or not he banged his mouth in the starting gate - if so, the pain and still to grind it out and win?

Yeah, I remember Slew's run in the KY Dy.  I saw it years later at the Kentucky Derby museum.  I was 13 and made to follow along on a family outing to Washington D.C. on Slew's Derby day.  I didn't even find out till late evening that he's won!  Talk about distressing!

I've heard/read how Billy Turner researched/studied the other Triple Crown trainers and tried to follow their approach to winning the Triple Crown with Secretariat, Citation, etc. If I remember correctly, Billy Turner worked Slew a mile before the Belmont, "just to take the edge off", it was said.  It seemed to work.

Slew, your opinion - do you think Hansen has what it takes to charge through the Triple Crown?  In order to face the adversity you're referring to, he has to be headed first.  And if he's running, as so many say he is, for the sheer love of running, can anything really stop him?  (Other then sometimes, they can be their own worst enemy...)  I don't see him as a sprinter - Slew wasn't a sprinter by any means.  I just happen to think there's a lot of Slew in Hansen, at least from where I'm sitting, (it just isn't trackside).  But with all the stamina influence through both sire and dam, as long as he stays happy and healthy, I don't see why he can't sweep the crown.  That, and I'd really love to see another Triple Crown winner...!

25 Jan 2012 10:45 PM
Karen in Texas

Another top mare is Glorious Song, 1980 Eclipse and Canadian Older Female and 1981 Canadian Older Female--she produced Singspiel, Rahy, and stakes winner, Rakeen.

25 Jan 2012 11:32 PM


Of all the bloggers here you are the one with whom I have had the most direct exchanges. I quite enjoy them as they have remained factual, humorous and most importantly respectful. I have nothing but respect for your knowledge and wits.  It is therefore with a heavy heart that I must state my disappointment that you have not respected my wishes of not be mentioned in the same sentence the Agent of Intolerance that you have been unwisely giving credit where it is not due. I am aware that simplest of men have stories to tell. However, anyone that knowingly use the term ‘More Stupider’ in their writing cannot be considered to be very bright under any circumstances. In spite of this you have chosen support and accommodate one so uncouth. There are some brilliant minds on this blog and I of the opinion that it is considerably more rewarding to engage them. Time spent on those that have not been schooled in the social graces cannot be considered time well spent.

25 Jan 2012 11:51 PM


Do you think/know if there is a good possiblity that the trainer of Summer Front will try him on the dirt with the triple crown races as a possibility? With his excellence on turf, if he could transfer that to dirt he could be a strong Derby horse. I know Clement is usually very conservative with his horses, but it would be a shame if they didn't at least give him the chance to run.

26 Jan 2012 12:59 AM
Matthew W

Nice that you have noted the stamina-laden female lineage of Creative Cause--he was battling from between the whole way in the Breeders Cup, and that was between two dynamos, in the race I figure as the best race of the entire Cup--a rather weak Cup--not the two year olds! No sir! Everyone's talking about Union Rags, and I love him--I rate Hansen at the very top of the heap, that horse has the look of something very special, and my fingers are crossed, Steve, cuz he gives me goosebumps....all Creative Cause will give you is everything he has--and he has a lot! Union Rags was weaving in the Breeders Cup--he'd better straighten up and fly right--his competition is fierce!

26 Jan 2012 1:25 AM

It has been proven statistically that a mare who has raced successfully, even if lightly will more likely produce progeny of better quality than those who have never raced. Of course there are exceptions, as pointed out here. But if you look at the results year after year, a successfully raced mare has better odds. That is even including heavily raced mares which some point to as an exception. And of course a completely extraordinary horse will never reproduce itself. All things in the heavens and earth need to be aligned just right for those horses to occur.

If you want to read the facts for yourself you can check out the blog  Boojum's Bonanza. He lives to sort out what is myth & what is reality in horse racing through statistical analysis. Lots of good sire & pedigree analysis there also.  

26 Jan 2012 1:42 AM

JerseyBoy and Slew:

Here's a few more:

• Tranquility Lake (11 wins with 8 graded stakes wins and $1.6M in earnings) produced Courageous Cat (6 wins in 15 starts and 4 graded stakes wins with $1.165M in earnings).

• Fran’s valentine (13 wins and DQ’d winner of the BC Juv Filly and with 7 graded stakes wins and $1.4M in earnings) produced With Anticipation (15 wins with 5 G1 wins and $2.6M in earnings).

• Two Lea who won six major stakes including the 10F HGC against males produce the Kentucky Derby and three year old champion Tim Tam.

• Relaxing a champion older mare and winner of 6 graded stakes including three over males produced Easy Goer (I think someone already stated this one).

26 Jan 2012 1:59 AM

Guys take it easy! You are all correct and I am an opinionated fool.

With the birth of Rachel’s first foal, my post was just to temper expectations regarding the two mares. It was not intended to be malicious. That said history has clearly indicated that those types of mares have not been the ones that have produced the great champions that have left their foot prints on the sands of time. This is a fact not fiction. There are no emotions involved.

Triple Crown Winners:

Sir Barton - Dam: Lady Sterling; No available racing record

Gallant Fox - Dam: Marguerite; 1 Starts, 0 - 0 - 0

Omaha - Dam: Flambino: 9 Starts, 4-, 1 - 2; $9,375

War Admiral - Dam: Brushup - 3 Starts, 0 - 1 - 1; $300

Whirlaway - Dam: Dustwhirl - Unraced

Count Fleet - Dam: Quickly 85 Starts, 32 - 14 - 13; $21,530

Assault - Dam: Igual Unraced

Citation - Dam: Hydroplane No available racing record

Secretariat - Dam: Somethingroyal - 1 Starts: M - 0 - 0, $0

Seattle Slew - Dam: My Charmer 32 Starts: 6 - 4 - 2, $34,133

Affirmed - Dam: Wont Tell You- 23 Starts: 5 - 2 - 3, $21,210

Summary: Two mares earned zero; four were unraced; one earned $300; Three averaged $22K; one earned <$10.  My Charmer won Fair Grounds Oaks and is probably the only stakes winner. Quickly 85 Starts and probably won a stakes. None of the broodmares above were not HOYs or stars on the track.


Man O War - Dam: Mahubah:  5 Starts, 1 - 0 - 1; $390

Round Table - Dam: Knights Daughter: 4 Starts: 3-0-0; $4,219

Native Dancer - Dam: Geisha: 11 Starts: 1-3-1; $4,120

Cigar - Dam: Solar Slew: 7 Starts, 0- 1- 1;  $5,856

Phar Lap  (AUS) - Dam: Entreaty: 1 Starts, 0 Wins, 0 Places, 0 Shows $0

Makybe Diva  (AUS) - Dam: Tugela : 2 Starts, 0 Wins, 0 Places, 0

There are certainly a lot more exceptional horses that could be features i.e. the unbeaten Federico Tesio duo of Ribot & Nearco, Nijinsky, Shergar to name a few. The one thing these great horses have in common is the fact that they were all produced by modest mares. I know I am being very selective and will be inviting a lot of incoming fire but I remain convince that  that the prospect of champion caliber mares producing greats chanpions is remote at best. Brilliant horses such as Curlin, Invasor CandyRide and Leroidesanimaux were all products of unraced mares.

Who is Princess Turia? She was the winner of the 1956 Kentucky Oaks. Why is she being mentioned? Subject to correction she is the only Oaks winner in the last 80 years that has foaled a Kentucky Derby winner (Forward Pass 1968).

What has happened to all the Oaks winners over the ast 40-50 years?

In the era of high purses how many femal million dollar earners have produced the winner of a Triple Crown race? Subject to correction, none!

Can either Rachel Alexandra or Zenyatta produce an exceptional horse? Absolutely! However, having researched the profile of the broodmares that have produced many of the greatest thoroughbreds of the past, I must remain skeptical. Kindly differentiate my oipnions from the colt facts. In a sport of glorious uncertainties, anything can happen but maybe not in our lifetime.

26 Jan 2012 2:02 AM

The theory that a hard-raced mare leaves something on the track is not a new one.  It has been around for a long time.  As many examples that can be found that refute it can also be found to support it.  I have never heard a breeder say that he won't breed to a mare because of her race record or money won because another theory is breed the best to the best.  But, I have never seen a breeder shy away from a broodmare who had a dismal record on the track if she is from a producing family or he likes her breeding.  So you all are right on some level.

26 Jan 2012 9:41 AM

If you want an example of breeding the best to the best, you only have to look at the Aga Khan.  He also is a proponent of racing fillies lightly, it seems.  He retires them early to get them into his breeding program.  Zarkava, though highly successful, only raced 7 times.  It will remain to be seen how she does as a broodmare.

26 Jan 2012 9:47 AM

Coldfacts:  Flaming Page, the dame of Nijinsjy, was by NO means a "modest" mare.  She won the Queens Plate and the Oaks (Cdns) in her year.

Re: Kentucjy Oaks winners in the last 40 years, Blush with Pride won in 1982 and she happened to foal a little stakes winner called Better than Honor, who happened to foal a couple of stakes winners herself.

If you go through the list of Oaks winners, you will find that even if they threw nothing themselves, many, many of them had daughters who did very well in the breeding shed.

26 Jan 2012 9:52 AM
Your Only Friend

Breeding is name of the Game.....OK....how many well breed colts and fillies are running in "Claiming Races"......Breeding may be the game but still like finding needle in haystack.....all about luck.

26 Jan 2012 10:51 AM


You are confusing a simple matter. It is this. Top horses have been produced by both low-achieving mares and high-achieving mares. Two of the greatest sires of our time are Kingmambo and Galileo, both of whom were produced by top-class mares . No one is saying that low-achieving mares never produce top-class horses.

You seem to have excluded Japanese horses from your analysis. So I will name one:


Winner Aral-Pokal G1 (Ger); 2nd Oaks Stakes (GB)

She is the dam of Japanese Triple Crown winner Deep Impact.

You are also implying that breeders of horses do not know what they are doing because unproven mares who finished in the top three in graded stakes are more likely to be accepted by the managers of top stallions than unproven mares who never won or placed in graded stakes.

I learned a long time ago-when in doubt, follow the money.

26 Jan 2012 11:19 AM


If this does not end this discussion on broodmares, nothing ever will.

“At 2: WON Shady Well Stakes; 2ND Princess Elizabeth Stakes; 3RD Coronation Futurity Stakes

At 3: WON Queen's Plate, Canadian Oaks; 2ND Kentucky Oaks

Flaming Page was unable to conceive after suffering birthing complications in 1969 and was retired from stud duty in 1975.

She only produced three foals one of which was the ENG Triple crown winner Nijinsky (NIJINSKY), another of which was Fleur, dam of Epsom Derby winner The Minstrel.

Inducted into Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1980.” pedigreequery.com

26 Jan 2012 11:46 AM

I think the point was, never present as a "cold fact" a theory that has already been disproven.  And yes, Cold Facts, you seemed unequivical when stating RA and Zen would never foal a champion.  That in itself is a huge contradiction, since there are no absolutes in horse racing.

Melanie: It has been said that it takes a million things to go right to win a race, and only one thing to go wrong to lose it.  I, personally like black horses, and they are always my favorites.  But when I saw Hansen for the first time in the BCJ, my very first thought was of Seattle Slew and a Triple Crown, before I even checked out his pedigree.  (and before anyone beats me up about it, yes, I know gray horses are actually black horses.)  But I don't want to get ahead of myself this early in the TC Trail.  I am certainly not ready to point to any one horse and say...he's the one....but Hansen comes close.  Yes, I'll continue to check pedigrees, and watch the preps.  And just maybe an outsider won't sneak up on me again.  Right now, the wildness of Presious Passion still rankles me.  He always ran off, but they had him in marathons, and he could never rate and relax, and make it to a winning finish because he used up too much too early.  Hansen really has to be able to learn to relax to get 12f.  Being fast is simply not enough.

26 Jan 2012 2:02 PM

I should have also noted, that when discussing a mare's earnings, you really should keep in mind that due to inflation, $1,000 earned in the 40's is equal to more than $15,000 today....so it's not a fair point in your discussion, Coldfacts.

26 Jan 2012 2:15 PM

Your Only Friend, perhaps you didn't mean this as bluntly as you said it, but saying that breeding success is "all about luck" does a huge disservice to those who spend lifetimes working on the mysteries of genetic combinations.  Great breeders can look at pedigrees and see each family member in their minds, can look at a mare and make note of what a stallion must have, conformationally, mentally, and genetically, to improve her chances of producing the best foal she is capable of producing.

That said, there are sometimes insurmountable limitations on ideal matches, monetary and proximity high on the list.


26 Jan 2012 2:47 PM
The Deacon

Coldcuts:  Although I neither agree or disagree with most of your posts I think you ought to apply for a job at Bloodhorse as a bloodline expert because you seem to attrack most of the attention on these blogs. You may as well get paid for being the expert you claim to be...just a thought....

26 Jan 2012 3:13 PM

I still think that the law of averages is less than equal when it comes to the probability of a champion mare producing a champion foal when compared to a non champion producing a champion.  The non champions producing a champion will always have the edge.  Champions producing champions is no guarantee, but it can happen.

26 Jan 2012 3:21 PM

DAvidS, I am not too familiar with the two malibu moon colts you mentioned, but I am familiar with Junebugred. Out of Corinthian, he is from the Raise the Native Sire line. His dosage is 1.91, so all signs point that he can get the distance. He had a tough race in the Smarty Jones, but beat a really nice filly and fought hard to the line for the win. Steve Hobby, who is one of the best trainers at Hot Springs, will have him fit and ready. I would love to see this horse do well for Hobby. He is a class act.

26 Jan 2012 4:02 PM

The Deacon, Secretariat's grandsire, Princequillo corrected any soundness problems that Secretariat may have had.

26 Jan 2012 4:24 PM

Pedigree Ann, I don't care how many Princequillo mares were sent to Bold Ruler; this particular mating between Bold Ruler and Somethingroyal created the greatest horse of all time.      

26 Jan 2012 4:33 PM

Again.....If you try to put yourself out there as some kind of EXPERT, know what you are talking about.....i've studied genetics...Common sense would tell you less than a few percent of mares are stakes winners. youre comparing thousands to a few.......And what does racing damage? Weaken the egg? The dna? how would you explain that?.....Coldcuts Gives BAD SCIENCE.......now, if you say something like a race mares who raced alot sometimes have a hard time getting in foal, that would have some sense to it.......

26 Jan 2012 4:41 PM
steve from st louis

steve: Great job, as always. I personally put too much emphasis on breeding even after seeing a horse in person. Most good bloodstock agents look at the individual before they look at the breeding page, but us handicappers and horse players in such out of the way places as St. Louis don't have that choice. We're forced to pick our favorites in the paddock or post parade before a televised race or based purely on the race itself. But more than likely, we fantasize based on the breeding, even when it seems more good foals come from unraced mares than those who raced.

26 Jan 2012 5:02 PM
Bob from Boston


I am a long time lurker, first time blogger.  I am glad I didn't forget the "l" in the last word in the last sentence.  mz (may I call you that?), you mention the "breeding shed."  You've obviously been to Ted from LA's home.  Who can tell me more about Quick Wit?  This seems like a very intelligent crowd, much like a graduate school seminar.  Jason's blog, on the other hand, seems more like a GED class in the pen.  I better head back over there.  Steve, this article is a great start for the Derby trail.  Jean from Chicago, let's go to a Cubs game this summer.

26 Jan 2012 6:08 PM

I do believe that a lot of controversy arises when folks are coming from different perspectives.  It seems to me that coldfacts has restricted his research to sire lines in trying to predict a Kentucky Derby winner.  Many of us, however, are desperately parched for a Triple Crown winner, and are looking for the horses that can not only sprint fastest for the Preakness, but also have the stamina and tractibility to last 12f for the Belmont, and the toughness needed to overcome the jouncing of the Derby itself.  Because of the search for that stamina, we tend to rely more heavily on the dam side of the equation...which is where the durability lies.  Whatever our perspective, we all seem to have lively discussions that serve to broaden our insight into a sport that heavily relies on pure luck. We are a strange bunch indeed, but I'm having a great time.  How about everyone else? I think you're all great, with a warehouse of information that I'm so thankful you want to share with the rest of us.

26 Jan 2012 7:11 PM

Coldfacts, to tell you the truth, genetically fillies have a great advantage over the colts because they inherit two X chromosomes, one from the sire, the other from the dam. In other words, the filly inherits mcuh more genetic material from her sire; the colt inherits most of his genetic material from his dam.

It really is simple science.  I don't care about doage, etc.  Look at the pedigrees of Zenyatta, Rags to Riches, and Rachel Alexandra, and you will see what I'm talking about.  Now, Havre De Grace was bred more for speed, but she does have a strong Buckpasser influence on the tail side of her pedigree.  

Really, this is just IMO.  I don't know that much, but I have been studying pedigree for a long while.  I still have a lot to learn.

26 Jan 2012 7:59 PM


All the rage on here surrounds your posts.  Good job my friend.

I too appreciate our exchanges on the blogs and regret the heart ache caused by addressing both yourself and KY VET in the same post (please forgive just once more but I don't know how to apologise properly for this without mentioning both of you in this posing).  I much prefer to interact with the ideas shared for our mutual benefit and to avoid the unpleasantries that seem to be hangovers from a previous blog-life between you two.

Anyway I shall cease and desit from addressing you and "the agent of intollerance" in the same posting. Peace and love.

BTW I'm touting Fort Loudon to upset Hansen in the Holy Bull and Mucho Macho Man to capture the Sunshine Millions Classic.    

26 Jan 2012 8:30 PM

How can COLDCUTS be a breeding "expert" when he misses the most important part.....the DAM....how can a breeding expert prefer unraced mares to talented ones? Conformation is the main reason horses are unraced..unraced means the cant run, and/or injuries...exactly not what you want!

26 Jan 2012 8:37 PM

IMO, it is the bloodlines and whether the dam descends from a producing family that is important.  For me, that would trump success on the track.  If the successful filly/mare also descends from a producing family, great.  But if they don't, I would always look elsewhere.  You can always try to compensate for conformation issues with picking the right sire.  But there is no way you can really compensate for a non-productive bloodline.

26 Jan 2012 11:18 PM

Slew- nice post and thanks for the information that you share also.

26 Jan 2012 11:19 PM
Jean in Chicago


 Horses have 64 chromosomes.  Each foal gets 32 from its sire and 32 from its dam.  Only one of these is a sex chromosome (X or Y) and while the X chromosome  is larger than the Y, it hardly accounts for most of the genetic material inherited.

Bob from Boston:

 Even though I'm a south sider (and therefore a White Sox fan) I would love to trek northward and go to a Cub's game with you.  Although if we went to a White Sox game we could watch them beat the Red Sox.

26 Jan 2012 11:44 PM

Only a few scientific studies have been made to determine the actual value of a pedigree. One of the most comprehensive of these was done by Dr. Dewey G. Steele of the University of Kentucky. Thoroughbred stakes winners of 1935-1940, and arbitrarily chosen horses that failed to make a good record during the same years. The "poors" were the horses who finished last in their races, exclusive of accident and breakdown, using a predetermined sampling system of races held on cetain days through the season. All of these pedigrees were broken down into the percentage of blood of each of the famous male lines such as Domino, St. Simon, Bend Or, Isonomy, Galopin, Hampton, Hermit, Eclipse, Herod and Matchem. It was amazing to see how little was the variation between the pedigree percentages of the winners and the "poors." Dr. Steele remarks, "Minor differences between the superior and the poor horses were hardly consistent enough nor great enough to be of

practical significance." Incidentally a similar study of American Saddle Horses showed the same thing in regard to the pedigrees of the top winners and those of average or poor quality.

27 Jan 2012 12:11 AM

Forbidden Apple,

“Do you like Consortium for the Holy Bull?”

The Holy Bull is an interesting race. Hansen will be the overwhelming favorite. I would not wager a dollar on him. Now do not get me wrong, he is a very talented colt. However, there is something that has troubled me ever since reading that he bit his tongue badly during the BCJ. What caused this? Was enormouse  pressure he was under? What the supporters of Hansen have failed to recognize is the fact that he exited what was basically an allowance race to defeat two of the top colts in the US. He was fully extended to hold off Union Rags running on the most tiring section of the track. This type of performance though impressive can adversely affect a young horse. Was Hansen damage by his all out effort in the BCJ? If I had had to advance and answer I would lean towards probably. Of course this could be yet another of my wild theories. I hope this race did not have an adverse impact on the colt and my concerns are proven unfounded.

Consortium surrendered the lead to Algorithms who was inching away at the end and in the gallop out was ahead of him. I do not have a lot on data on Machiavellian as a dam sire. That said he was the dam sire of the 2011 Dubai World Cup winner Victoire Pisa and sires two winner of the race (Almutawakel & Street Sense). Machiavellian was produced from a Halo broodmare. Halo is from the powerful Hail To Reason sire line that has been associated with three Derby winners and six Melbourne Cup winners. It therefore can be concluded that Consortium should no stamina issues. He is displaying a lot of speed for his pedigree but I have no doubt that he will be effective at 8F and longer. Could he be better on turf?  His stride pattern suggest it may be his better surf.

I prefer the other Bernardini colt Algorithms. I am not a Todd Pletcher fan but this colt has one major pedigree advantage over all in the field. His dam sire Cryptoclearance is a broodmare sire of 33 stakes horse. The influence of Fappiano as a grand dam sire is very powerful and has been highlighted by Mr. Haskin. Quiet American a son of Fappiano was dam sire of Bernardini (Preakness) and Saint Liam ( Breeder Cup Classic). Unbridled another son was dam sire Tapit (Wood Memorial) and Shackleford (Preakness). Yet another son Defensive play was dam sire of the 2007 Melbourne Cup winner Efficient. Cryptoclearance leads all of Fappiano’s sons in the Broodmare sire department. Algorithms is a May foal and is already running 61/2F in 1:15 and change. I am not overly impressed with his stride pattern and this could be due to his conformation. His sale price of $170K is surprising low for his pedigree. He probably was not a good mover in the sale ring.  This colt’s pedigree makes him very special. If he does not become a victim of his barn’s powerful cocktails he should be very dangerous on the Triple Crown trail. I think he is the colt to beat in the Holy Bull. That said, I have no luck with Todd P.

27 Jan 2012 12:45 AM
The Deacon

Mary:  Don't really understand your point here, my comment was directed at Bold Ruler's ability to have soundness in his crop past the age of two. Somethingroyal was Secretariat's dam, that made the difference in my mind. I based my feelings on the history of watching many of Bold Ruler's crop race. Secretariat came along a little later then the horses I mentioned. Post a blog and don't make it sound like you're arguing with yourself.

By the way I do not agree with you when it comes to Secretariat being the greatest race horse ever. He is in my top six but not the greatest. My opinion and it's just my opinion, the best best horses of all time are Spectacular Bid, Man O War, Dr. Fager, Swaps, Secretariat and Ruffian. You could easily throw in a couple more....

27 Jan 2012 3:32 AM

If the Mayans just got lazy with their calendar, and an asteroid doesn't knock us out of orbit, I'm thinking the next 4 years of racing should be very interesting.  The sire line I'm most interested in tracking, is one of my heroes who carries the Buckpasser genes.  Einstein!  My friend has a farm she retreats to when the snow hits Penna.  In Ocala, her farm borders Adena Springs, and she still hasn't gotten me a photo of Einstein.  She's seen him playing...now I'll go jog her memory to send me my photo asap.

27 Jan 2012 8:35 AM

Hello again I have a related question for the pedigree experts on this blog:I have read about Blue Hen mares that produce stakes winners from several differnt sires,which include the one I have posted on here  Toussaund dam of Empire Maker and I have also read about La Troienne.Who is the mare that started breeding most recently that is considered a Blue Hen mare?

27 Jan 2012 8:55 AM
Tiz Herself

Another I really like is a chestnut colt named Timely Tally

www.pedigreequery.com/timely+tally. Trainer Wilkes, who also trains Motor City also trains this son of Mr. Greeley, who was third in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes behind Gemologist.

Ian Wilkes of course was an assistant to Carl Nafzger and got to see Street Sense and Unbridled under the guidance of Nafzger. He knowswhat to look for. The move he made in the Kentucky Jockey Club to be third was incredible and had he not come wide, the two lengths that he was short behind Gemologist would have been a different story. I can't wait to see him in the future. Between Motor City and Timely Tally, whichever one Borel chooses to ride will be included among my bets come the first Saturday in May.

27 Jan 2012 9:22 AM

The powerful cocktails you posted about, Coldfacts is a major factor in a wild theory I have.  Why such a prominent trainer Pletcher, as far as money earned has not done as well in the Breeders Cup or the Kentucky Derby on a win percentage basis.I think Pletcher starts his stable of 2yos yearly at Gulfstream and almost every year he wins at an extremely high percentage.He wheels the best of his 2yo winners into stakes races and is very successful at doing this also.By the time the colts he trains make the gate in the Derby they have already gone through various cycles of the cocktails you wrote about and have already peaked before the big race.In otherwords he jumps on the competition very early in his young horses racing careers and uses whatever edge he can to win those early stakes races, and allowance races, and thus tries to get a jump on the other prominent stakes horses barns that are always at the top of the trainer standings.He is not the only one doing this but his horses seem to peak before the biggest races or what are considered the biggest races outside his business,Kentucky Derby and Breeders Cup.His derby winner Super Saver was lightly raced and they managed his medication cycle brilliantly so that he peaked on derby day.Two weeks later various observers noticed that Super Saver looked lighter carrying less weight,including Donna Barton that does the televised event on horseback observing the colts visually.The result was probably that he was somewhat dehydrated from at least the salix that he was receiving.Pletcher somewhat compromises his young horses chances in the bigger races because they are busy winning relatively minor races before they get the what is considered the big one.

27 Jan 2012 9:41 AM
steve from st louis

Ky. Vet: I believe well-bred, unraced mares are more likely to drop a good runner because of their relative young age. The younger the mare, the better the broodmare--generally--and unraced mares are generally younger broodmares than those who have raced. There are a million reasons why a filly doesn't make the races, poor confirmation just being one of them, injuries being another. Hard to dispute that unraced or lightly-raced  broodmares have as many opportunities to produce runners.

27 Jan 2012 12:37 PM
Karen in Indiana

Slew, I'm looking forward to seeing how Einstein's babies do, also! He has bloodlines, race record, physical & mental soundness, and he was fast. What more could you ask for?

27 Jan 2012 1:10 PM
Steve Haskin

TizHerself, Timely Tally strained a tendon and will be on the shelf for 3 months.

27 Jan 2012 1:48 PM


I don’t know if there is a better blue hen producer born in the years after Better Than Honor was foaled.  Better than Honor was foaled in 1996.  She is by Danzig out of Blush With Pride (a former Kentucky Oaks winner and the winner of several graded stakes).  Blush With Pride’s dam, Best in Show, dropped 17 foals and by far the best of the lot was Blush With Pride.  Better Than Honor’s sire, Danzig, was not out of a mare that distinguished herself on the race track.  His mother was a mare named Mint Copy who raced on the Ontario circuit for as little as a $6,250 claiming tag and her best finish (she won 11 of 76 career races) was a third place finish to former Woodbine Oaks winner Reasonable Sin in the Nassau stakes.

Better Than Honor’s progeny record is about as good as it gets.  Her first foal in 2001 was a horse called Teeming (by Storm Cat).  He was meant to be a good one, winning 3 of 4 lifetime starts before they had to retire him.  From 2003 to 2006 she produced four top foals which included two Belmont winners.  In 2003 it was Belmont winner Jazil (by Seeking the Gold).  In 2004 it was the filly Rags to Riches (by A.P. Indy) who defeated Curlin in a memorable Belmont and also won three other G1 races in a short 7 race career.  In 2005 she produced Casino Drive (by Mineshaft) who won 4 of 8 including the G2 Peter Pan and finished unplaced in the 2009 BCC.  (He is currently in Japan).  In 2006 she produced Man of Iron who won the BC Marathon in 2009.  Her latest foal is a filly Better Not Cry dropped in 2010 (by Street Cry) who so far is unraced.

The closest I think that we come to a possible blue hen producer since then is Zenyatta’s dam, Vertigineux.  Zenyatta was foaled in 2004 (a great foaling year BTW).  In 2003 she produced the filly Balance, a three time G1 winner of over $1M (by Thunder Gulch).  It is still too early to see if she will be a bona-fide blue hen type.

27 Jan 2012 2:11 PM
Karen in Texas

Slew and Karen in Indiana---I'm looking forward to the Einstein foals, too! Maybe they can bring a measure of redemption for Spend a Buck, after all the shuffling around he endured since beginning his stud career at Lane's End. I was sad that he died in Brazil of anaphylaxis.

NASCAR PRO---I think Acoma, daughter of Aurora, may be considered potentially Blue Hen. Aurora was also the dam of Arch.

27 Jan 2012 2:35 PM

Nascar Pro: look up No Class.

(I know it's not a human family member but I have to go tomorrow to put Pierino, the One-Eyed Wonder to sleep.  Only 3YO.  He was a stray cat that we "caught" and he bacame my sister's "baby".  He came to us with an eye problem and when we finally civilized him and took him to the Vet, the eye had to be taken out and the Vet asked if we wanted a prosthesis.  I told him we would prefer a patch and a parrot.)

(Sorry to be a downer)

27 Jan 2012 3:37 PM
Linda in Texas

mz not an easy thing to do re: Pierino, your sister's 'baby' you 'caught' and i know that word also. Like he ran and jumped in your lap when he knew he was with  safe and trusting people. Big, little or whatever, they become a part of you. Letting go is not easy. So for your furry friend, i say, rest in peace Pierino. As many critters as i feed every day, they come up missing and one always takes it's place, almost.

27 Jan 2012 5:13 PM

Mz: I'm so sorry for you.  I have a thing for strays and found a lovely tuxedo kitten.  Already having 2 ornery females, I named him Chico and found a home for him with my sons.  He was so loving, and, unusually, enjoyed lying in my son's arms like a baby.  Due to a severe illness at 3, with no resolution, he had to be euthanized last fall, and the family was devastated.  I hope Pierino finds his own peace over that rainbow bridge.  Maybe he'll run across Chico, and they can play together.

27 Jan 2012 5:35 PM
Karen in Texas

mz---I'm sorry for the sadness you are feeling over Pierino. I, myself, have raised ~9 stray/feral cats and was totally in love with each of them. My favorite, Tiggs, was FIV positive and had to have an eye removed due to chronic uveitis. He died in 2007 and I miss him still. I know Pierino felt the love shown to him by you and your sister. Again, sorry.

27 Jan 2012 6:03 PM

Now there are stories that the number of starts a broodmare made affects her ability to produce.

It may be so but that belief must be weighed against these facts.

Miesque, dam of super sire Kingmambo, made 16 starts.

Super mare Urban Sea made 22 starts. She is the dam of Galileo and Sea the Stars.

I would think that a  great number of starts indicates durability which I assume would be desirable.

27 Jan 2012 6:07 PM
Tiz Herself

Thanks Steve, that is unfortunate, however perhaps will see Timely Tally back in the fall or as an older horse.

27 Jan 2012 7:14 PM
Tiz Herself

Also hope to see the Coolmore connections back with another try at the Derby. Perhaps Wrote?

27 Jan 2012 7:19 PM
Tiz Herself

I also like another chestnut full brother to Pyro; Longview Drive. He seems to be one that tries everytime he goes out there and looks like distance could benefit him. He won the Cavonnier Juvenile Stakes as a two year old and the Charlie Palmer Futurity. Was third behind Sabercat and Basmati (another I really like!) in the Delta Downs Jackpot and was third in the most recently run Sham behind Out of Bounds and Secret Circle. I think he's developing into a potentially promising horse and would be awesome to see Pyro's little brother do well.

And I like Basmati who put in a good second place effort behind Sabercat in the Delta Downs Jackpot.


Always liked Borrego as a racehorse - he always tried and he was no slouch in his career, was an even better older horse winning the Pacific Classic and Jockey Club Gold Cup and earning $2,052,090.

Reckless Jerry who was second in the Smarty Jones tries hard, too, from what I saw.

27 Jan 2012 7:40 PM

Lazmannick ty again, I will research these names.Hello Karen in Texas Acoma is out of Empire Maker I remember her, she was trained last by Bill Mott.Mz I hope you and your kitty are better.

27 Jan 2012 7:52 PM

Steve, what is up with Rachel Alexandra?  I wish her and the foal well, she and the foal were taken to the hospital.  The article is very vague it says for pain management related to the birth, I pray she is ok.  

Dr. D, you made my day!  I am pulling for Hansen too.  Hopefully by Sunday night, if Hansen takes off like a "bull out of a chute" again and heads the pack we will be saying, "Holy Hansen's HardSpunesque Heroics in the Holy Bull !!!"  

27 Jan 2012 8:01 PM
Forbidden Apple


Consortium is dropping 2 pounds and picking up Lasix for the Holy Bull on sunday.

I also like Ron the Greek in the Sunshine Millions Classic tomorrow.

27 Jan 2012 8:15 PM

Tiz Herself,

Below is a post I made about Timely Tally on (11/12/2011)

“Timely Tally: The Raise A Native sire lines crossed with the Seattle Slew broodmare line has produced two Derby winners to date i.e., Super Saver and Funny Cide. Mr. Greeley’s best offspring’s are better on turf.  Is it surprising that Timely Tally sole victory came on a synthetic track?  He was destroyed by Alpha in his second start at Saratoga and struggled to break his maiden against moderate bunch of colt. He was defeated in two slowly run 8 1/2F races at CD. Gemologist won the KJC Stakes in the pedestrian time of 1:44.46 and he could no run faster to defeat him. I do not regard the trip he had in KJC as the reason for his defeat. This colt is slow for a 2YO who is being considered as a derby prospect. He has to improve significantly in the speed department to pose any danger as a derby prospect. I am of the opinion he belongs on turf as he is too slow on dirt. He is average at best on dirt so far.”

I was not impressed with him at all. He appeared to be a turf horse.

27 Jan 2012 8:17 PM

NASCAR PRO- Hasili, Toussaud's dam, in my opinion, is a real Blue Hen, not only because of all the stakes winners, but because Toussaud bred on and became important herself.

27 Jan 2012 9:16 PM


“BTW I'm touting Fort Loudon to upset Hansen in the Holy Bull”

Do you realize that Fort Loudon was produced from a broodmare that is a multi millionaire? Outstanding horses produced by broodmare with this profile are few and far between. There is one outstanding horse produced by millionaire that merits your focus i.e., Out Of bounds. Fort Loudon is too slow to win the HB. A member of the Todd Squad will win.


27 Jan 2012 9:44 PM
El Kabong


I watched Junebugred pick off that rail opening like a pro and was impressed with his confidence. I like to see that in a colt this early. I hope he proves to be a player, his owners, and trainer would be great for the sport. Long shot at this point but stranger things have happened.

27 Jan 2012 9:45 PM

Jersey Boy- I have been following horse racing since 1960, and I remember hearing that story told all the time on the backstretch.  The theory was that if you ran a mare too hard, they left "something on the track" which was how they phrased it.  Whatever that meant to them, or whatever they thought it meant, many people believed it.  I have always assumed they meant that the mare got stressed out and if that happened too often they didn't produce in the breeding shed.  As we all know that the percentages are low as to how many fillies/mares period become top broodmares. It was probably a belief or a prejudice that certain breeders had and it became one of those things that ended up being believed even though it may not be true.  Remember, La Troienne did nothing on the racetrack in 7 starts and she is a legend that all breeders want in their horses bloodlines.  I don't think there is a right or wrong.  Just my opinion, though.  We all have them.

27 Jan 2012 9:57 PM
El Kabong

Nascar Pro,

Welcome to the world of "amish nascar." Something that must be noted about Mr Pletcher is that he is subject to he same perplexity that makes a Kentucky Derby winner so hard to come by for everyone. Sheiks spend millions to get the right mix and fail. Trainers and owners of obscurity emerge in the limelight on the first Saturday in May all the time and have throughout the history of this grand event. That no one formula for success has been discovered is certainly one thing that has been consistent and beautiful about the sport. Mr. Pletcher's success in other racing endeavors  is just that. He is successful at what he does. To join the marauders who try to tear down his success because of his record in the Derby and the Breeders Cup and to base it on unfounded theories of unscrupulous behavior is to attack the very integrity of the sport and a hard working man.  Now I'm not against the questioning of any institution for it's behavior, but it must be based on fact. I will disclose the fact that I like the man and think he works his tail end off for the results he gets. I would only advise more caution before offering such nonsense.

27 Jan 2012 10:21 PM

To bring some closure to the can of worms that I have open I will address some of the point raised in the various posts.

Firstly I am not a breeding expert and I have never professed to be same. My preference for unraced and lightly raced broodmares stems from the fact that available records reflect that those are broodmares who are associated with the great champions of the past. I compiled a spreadsheet with about 30 to 40 G1 wining millionaire and a save it as the ‘Millionaire Broodmares Club’ Only two members of the MBC produced any horses of significance. They are Jameela and Hollywood Wildcat. Jameela was the dam of Breeder Cup Sprint winner and multi millionaire Gulch. Champion 3YO filly and Breeder Cup Distaff winner Hollywood Wildcat who was produced from an unraced mare was the dam of War Chant, Breeders Cup Turf winner. No mare earning a million dollars has ever been the broodmare of a Derby winner. Subject to corrections none have also produced the winner of either the Preakness or Belmont. What does earning have to do with a broodmare? Nothing! However, those belonging to the MBC have been past winners of the major graded stakes for their gender. Wishing Well the dam of Sunday Silence remains the highest earning broodmare ($381,625) to foal a Derby winner. Historically, the majority of female mega champions of the track turn out flops as broodmares. The likes of Regret, Chris Evert, Genuine Risk, Winning Colors, Personal Ensign, Lady Secret Dream Supreme etc., were considered flops as broodmares. What is the prospect of multi millionaires like Silverbulletday, Azeri, Rags To Riches, Ashado, Dreaming Of Anna etc., being great broodmares? In the age of race day cocktails with no exception for fillies and mares, I would lean towards “Remote at best” When  a $7.7M bid was refused for an Azeri yearling via A P Indy, I posted that those in control of  Allen E. Paulson Living Trust had made a mega error. I would have sold the foal packaged with the mare. I made the same point then that I made in an earlier post. Two former HOYs were never going to produce a champion. The colt was subsequently sold for $1.7M and has made one start to date. Alfred G. Vanderbilt was a major supporter of the philosophy of breeding the best to the best and hoping for the best. His star Native Dancer was sires by 1945 Preakness winner and champion sprinter Polynesian. It is inconceivable that Mr. Vanderbilt considered Geisha his best mare with a racing record of  11 Starts: 1 - 3 - 1, $4,120. It is likely that one of Mr. Vanderbilt’s average mare produced his greatest horse.

I saw no need to state the obvious. In a breeding industry that at its peak was breeding 35,000 horses per year, it would be blatantly obvious that there would be a greater percentage of none graded broodmares. The pool of broodmares that were not stars on the track is significantly greater than those that were. Is the law of average so adversely stacked against superstar mares that they are less capable of producing either the winner of a Triple Crown race or HOY? Dunkirk’s dam Secret Status is a member of the MBC. He cost $3.7M and was beaten by a $9000 pint size gelding produced from an unraced mare. Mine That Bird won the Derby by the biggest winning margin in the last 50 years. The colt produced from the superstar mare did not hit the board.

If I were in the market for a yearling and attended a sale that had yearlings produced by RA and Zenyatta I would have absolutely no interest in them. I would focus on yearlings produced by mares with the profiles of those that have produced the champions of the past. Those who choose to ignore the historic record of superstar mares in the breeding sheds do so at their own peril. History seem to always wins.

27 Jan 2012 11:19 PM

Agree with Tiz Herself about Reckless Jerry.  Tries every time out it seems.  He is the one that is owned by country star Toby Keith.  Quite a pedigree this Restless Jerry has too, Hennessey, Danzig, Secretariat, Raise A Native, and Mr. Prospector all in there.  I see the chestnut color of Hennessey and Secretariat prevailed in Jerry.  Good luck again to Jerry and Toby.

28 Jan 2012 12:19 AM
Jean in Chicago


 I'm so sorry.  I wish there was something I could say that would help.


Avalyn Hunter has a 2008 column in Bloodhorse titled "Acoma is a Blue Hen in the Making" that does a great job of tracing back her female line to Courtly Dee, a definite Blue Hen mare.  But remember, its not 'just' that a mare produces winners herself, its that her decendents have a major effect as well.  So by definition several generations have to pass before the Blue Hen label can be applied.

28 Jan 2012 2:05 AM

Footlick, I love to see La Troienne in a horse's pedigree; also Plucky Leige (sp,)

28 Jan 2012 9:45 AM

Forbidden Apple,

I missed the addition of Lasix to Consortium. This certainly changes the picture. I think this will move hum up several lengths. I think he should turn the tables on Algorithms and if I have Algorithms to beat Hansen then he should be the winner.

CASUAL TRICK a member of Mr. Haskin’s twelve will be running on Sunday in an ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING over One And One Sixteenth Miles. It appears he will be the favorites with Mr. Pletcher’s El Padrino and Mr. Byrne’s Take Charge Indy will also take major portions of the betting.  I happen to think the Point Given colt A Boy Named Em can upset the apple cart. He is bred to run long and I mean very long. His dam No Knock is an unraced daughter of A P Indy. The daughters of A P Indy have produced the likes of Bluegrass Cat, Royal Delta and Super Saver.  Is Never Knock tha type of mare? I am hoping she is. Some who live in hope eventually die in despair. I will remain hopefully optimistic. A Boy Named Em won on debut at 6F and I consider that distance much too short for his pedigree, He was recently 5th to Discreet Dancer  at a mile and I think with an expected strong pace he will be closing hands over fist for a major shares. A ML of 10-1 should be should translate to 15-1. There is no doubt he will run long but does have the speed to catch them? I am prepared to make that wager.    

28 Jan 2012 10:16 AM
7 1/2 Furlongs

Steve -

The football season is over for me.  The 49ers have been eliminated.  SC Trojans were banned from bowl games.  And my Fantasy Football finished Christmas week.

Time to move on to golf and horse racing.  As for Kentucky Derby 138, if he makes it as a separate betting interest in future wagers, I'm on the Russian Greek band wagon.

Most likely, he'll get a lack of respect from bettors.  After all,

how many view Northern California horses as serious contenders?  Hint:  less than Tom Brady's number.

28 Jan 2012 11:04 AM

1- Only about 80% of foals make it to the races. Assuming a foal crop of 30000, this means there 6000 unraced foals from each crop.  Assuming that half of these are females, this means 3000 unraced mares are added each year.

2- Of the foals produced each year fewer than 8% will ever win a stakes race. But let us say 8% of the unraced mares produce stakes winners. That would amount to 240 stakes winners from new   unraced mares.

Now let us say there are 100 members in the millionaires club. If 30% of them produce a stakes winner, that would be 30 stakes winners.  So what do you know? The unraced mares produced more stakes winners than the millionaires!

3 To say a mare is a member of the millionaires club is meaningless because the comparison has not been adjusted for inflation.

The above is a rough illustration but it is a waste of time to pursue this  further, because as my headmaster always reminded us:

A man convinced against his will; is of the same opinion still.

28 Jan 2012 11:38 AM
Karen in Texas

NASCAR PRO---Off topic here, but I see that your colt, Sky Kingdom, is now shown to be starting next in the G2 Robert B. Lewis on Feb.4th. Apparently staying in California for now.

28 Jan 2012 12:28 PM
Steve Haskin

7 1/2 furlongs, Visually, I really liked Russian Greek's last start. The main thing with him is to duplicate it on dirt and against better horses.

Lots of knowledgeable and stimulating pedigree talk. Well done, everyone.

28 Jan 2012 12:52 PM

Ed Kabong You can believe whatever you want. Im not trying to change your opinion or blemish Todd Pletcher's training exploits.You misunderstond my point,which I will restate in these words,Pletcher has a businees model that includes winning stakes all over the country with his ample stable.He has colts and horses that have already run their best race before they reach the KD or the Breeders Cup it is as simple as that and it is a wild theory, but I regret to tell you that I definitely believe there is truth to it.Allmost all the trainers use milkshkes and medications to improve their horses chances,sometimes the owners will insist on salix eventhough the horse hasnt bled because without it they believe they are at a disadvantage.I think you should know that in any endeavor where there is so much money at stake their will be people that step over the rules to try to get that extra edge,it is human nature.I never suggested Pletcher did anything immoral or uncommon in his profession.So my friend You have chosen to take my meaning out of context,which is your right,but if I didnt believe there was some truth to it I would never bothered to post it.

28 Jan 2012 1:16 PM

Footlick,Jean in Chicago thank you for your suggestions.

28 Jan 2012 1:17 PM

Ed Kabong one other thing in contrast to Pletcher,Baffert has a business model that has always streesed the KD derby and thats why he has done so well.BTW Bluegrass Cat ran very well in that derby but with Barbaro in there he was always running for second money.

28 Jan 2012 1:20 PM

Ed Kabong see these short posts lend themselves to omissions, the shieks havent won any derbies IMO because they want to prep their horses in Europe or Dubai,American dirt racing is a lot differnt.They have brought horses over here to prep,but not the right ones and not with the right trainers,at least not yet.

28 Jan 2012 1:28 PM

Ed Kabong Im in no way stating that pletchers form cycles and or medication cycles are the only reason for his dismal record in the Derby.I am only stating one of who knows how many factors for this fact.He also trains with an intention of having his horses run on the lead or close to it,that style hasnt won a derby since when Baffert won with a colt on the lead sorry I dont remember its name at the moment.

28 Jan 2012 1:40 PM

Karen in Texas did you get that from horseracing nation?

28 Jan 2012 1:42 PM

Sorry was checking all the tracks on my betting screen.Now War Emblem won it for Baffert the owner purchased the horse after or before the illinois Derby and wallah derby winner.Super Saver did run right off the pace to win after chasing a sprinter all the way around in the Arkansas Derby.Bottom line when Derby day rolls around whos horses will you rate higher Pletchers or Bafferts,you should know my choice.

28 Jan 2012 1:50 PM

El Kabong,

Very well said in defence of Todd Pletcher, in your post dated Jan 27, 10:21PM.


I shall be grateful if you would explain the following comments "If he does not become a victim of his barn’s powerful cocktails he should be very dangerous on the Triple Crown trail."  I wonder whether you are intebding to cast maligning aspersions on trainer Todd Pletcher's training practices?

28 Jan 2012 3:03 PM

Great list and great information to add to my Pedigree education.

So glad you are back!

Looking forward to your Derby Dozen.

28 Jan 2012 3:49 PM
Karen in Texas

NASCAR PRO---Yes, from the Derby contenders list on Horse Racing Nation. I check it almost every day this time of year. They add or change info very frequently.

28 Jan 2012 6:13 PM


“I wonder whether you are intending to cast maligning aspersions on trainer Todd Lecher’s training practices.”

With all due respect Sir I am doing no such thing. Mr. Plertcher’s training record speaks for itself. His development and conditioning practices is what my post targeted. Training involves a program of scheduled aerobic and anaerobic exercises designed to get the thoroughbred to a desired level of fitness for a targeted race or series of races. Strengthening and conditioning though separate is part of the overall program for thoroughbred destine for the race track.

Cocktails are used for development, strengthening, conditioning and as race day boasters. It is likely that most of Mr. Haskin’s supporters enjoy a few cocktails on evenings where pleasantries are being shared. These mixed drinks are useful to secure a buzz but can be devastating if over consumed. Equine cocktails are designed to deliver a lean, mean running machine to the race track. Their compositions make them very potent and while their usage succeeds in enhancing a horse’s performance, the impact on the horse’s system can be extremely devastating.  When these high powered cocktails are used it takes a lot of time for the horse to recover from a performance which under normal circumstance would not occur. Most of the components in cocktails have to flirted out by the horses system and the chief organ responsible for this is the liver.  Is it any surprise that Uncle Mo who was designate to be the next Secretariat was diagnosed with a liver problem? Each horse reacts differently to substances administered to them. Some are more resilient than other and some can be labeled equine drug addicts. One thing that is irrefutable is the fact that these cocktail are use in a random and injudicious manner to achieve a competitive advantage. Each vet thinks the cocktail they have formulated is the cocktail of all cocktails. There are so many concoctions to choose from and each with a promise to enhance the chances of winning. While trainers and unsuspecting owners secure short term financial benefits and glory the defenseless horse has to endure days of outer body experiences while their livers work over time to clear their system of powerful pollutant. Many become shadows of themselves and never recapture their competitive status. In short they go MIA. Why? Far too many cocktails resulting in damages internal organs;. in short these horse have been COCKTAILED!  

Now that I have made a complete idiot of myself with the above overview of cocktails, I will try to address your probe above. I am well aware that both Mr. Shandler and you worship at the altar of Pletcher. Your collective adoration for the perceived ‘Give To Thoroughbred Racing” is only superseded by that of Mr. Repole. He regards the revered trainer as the best thing on planet earth or any other planet. However, he can be excused as it is apparent he had one too many Vitamin Water cocktail.  There is no excuse for your blindness brought on by your refusal to see. Mr. Pletcher’s stable has a MIA problem..

The Team Valor/Pluck case below may help to shed some light on the basis of my cocktail claim:

Who is Barry Irvin?  He just happens to be the main man in the Team Valor operation. He stated after the removal of his horses from unspecified stables that he did not like to be lied to or for performance enhancing drugs to be used on his horses. One of the stables from which Mr. Irvin’s removed his horses was that of Todd Pletcher. One of the horses was Pluck who had just demolished a good field of 2YO in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. After such a devastating performance why would an owner pull the plug on a trainer?

Well let’s see if Mr. Irvin had a point about drugs/cocktails. Pluck entered the BCJ Turf with two victories from four starts. There was nothing to suggest that he would be capable of the performance he delivered in the BCJ Turf. He spotted the field about four to five lengths at the gate because broke badly and won by a similar margin. So devastating was Pluck’s performance that Trevor Denman stated that it appeared Pluck jumped into the race at the furlong pole. He was swung five to six wide at the top of the stretch after spotting the field and finished like a human cannonball. Three weeks after his removal from Mr. Pletcher’s barn he started in an Allowance race at Tampa Bay and finished 4th. His next race was four months later where he finished unplaced. He recently underwent surgery for complication.

Would it be unreasonable to blame Pluck’ no show on the adverse effect of the development, strengthening, conditioning program to which he was previously exposed? Could the series of cocktails that were administered to prepare him for the BCJ Turf be responsible for changing his status from Champion Turf 2YO to damage goods?  I consider these legitimate questions and while the answers will be speculative, there is no speculation in what Mr. Ervin saw. He saw a horse leaving the starting gates and witness part horse and part bird passing the finishing post as Pluck sprouted wings in the stretch.  

Pluck is one of many horses from Mr. Pletcher’s barn that over the years that has mysteriously loss form and go MIA. The last place finishes recorded by Life At Ten and Quality Road in their respective Breeders Cup races are two recent examples. The celebration of Left Bank’s demolition of the top rated Street Cry in the Whitney was short lived as he drop dead two week later. Flower Alley’s runner up finish in the Breeder Cup Classic left him incapable of getting out of his own way the following year.  

Mr. Pletcher entered the trainer’s community like a tornado. He made great and exceptional older trainers look average and lesser trainer look like amateurs. His 2YO & 3YO seem to develop much faster than ever other trainer and record time more consistent with older horses. He has been sanction, fined and suspended for substance excess. His horses disappear with disturbing regularity and rarely have long racing careers. How many horse have been taken from his barn that have performed to the level they did previously? I cannot recall any. I have no doubt that he is very high tech. There are those who confuse training with a development, strengthening, conditioning program. A good groom can train a horse to achieve a requisite level of fitness. However, very few know anything about magic cocktails.

29 Jan 2012 9:34 AM

The broodmare overlooked in the discussion of broodmares is Fairy Bridge. I say no more.


"Sent To Ireland at 1. Joint top filly on the 1977 Irish 2YO Free Handicap.

Dam of Sadler's Wells, Tate Gallery, Fairy Gold, Puppet Dance, Perugino & 2 other winners. Half-sister to champion sire Nureyev.” Pedigreequery.com

29 Jan 2012 10:07 AM


I could have easily saved my spread sheet as G1 WINNERS CLUB. That's exactly these mares are. I gather you are equating their lack of success to the fact that they are outnumbered in the breeding shed by none graded winners ad unraced mares. In the last 50 years three unraced and one possibly two G1 winning mares have produced Derby winners. If there is a greater proportion of unraced mares to graded mares in the breeding sheds, the disproportion has no significantly favored the unraced mares. In the case of dollars earned, you will note I specified that in the era of high purses none of these mega earners have turned out to be successful broodmares. The dollars earned is irrelevant as it symbolizes the likely races mares have won in these periods of high purses.

Is the law of average so adversely stacked against superstar mares that they are less capable of producing either the winner of a Triple Crown race or HOY? Whatever the reasons for the lack of success of these mares, demonizing the one who highlight it will not change the COLD FACTS.

29 Jan 2012 11:09 AM

At the beginning of the year, my early pick for the Kentucky Derby (and a bold one, might I add!) was In the Beat, a son of Street Sense trained by Carl Nafzger that had broken his maiden sprinting six furlongs at Churchill Downs in impressive fashion. I felt that he was bred to be a route horse and would run even better with additional time and distance.

However, upon watching the colt finish a disapointing seventh behind the highly-regarded Discreet Dancer in a Gulfstream allowance race -- beaten some sixteen lengths -- I jumped off the bandwagon and switched to Creative Cause.

This afternoon, In the Beat is entered to race in the seventh race at Gulfstream, a 1 1/16th miles allowance optional claiming race around two turns. He'll be facing a number of proven stakes colts, namely Take Charge Indy, El Padrino, and Casual Trick, so I won't be surprised if he is soundly beaten again. However, I'm going to give him one more chance at stamping himself as a contender for the Kentucky Derby prep races, mainly because I feel he will be better around two turns than one.

Does anyone else have opinions on this colt?


29 Jan 2012 2:35 PM
Jean in Chicago

NASCAR PRO:   the fastest way I know of to check out possible 'Blue Hens' is to look for those green asterisks on pedigreequiry.com.  They stand for 'Reine de Course'.  A mare with a star by herself in a pedigree shows she was a fine broodmare, but if you see a whole stretch of them from a mare to her daughter, grand daughter, etc. mixed in with well known studs, its a good bet you're looking at a Blue Hen.

Just as a general comment:  Its fun (and educational!) to look up the histories of the horses with races named after them.  They weren't just names picked out of a hat.  (Hint--Charles H. Strub was not a horse.)  Is the Discovery still run?  Check him out anyway.  Kelso was not just a race Uncle Mo won.   Go back into pedigrees, sometimes way back, and look up some of those horses.  Fairplay didn't stop at siring Man O'War and Nearco wasn't just Northern Dancers' grandpa.

29 Jan 2012 4:38 PM

Cold facts:

If you make the criterion narrow enough you can produce any statistic you want. My criterion is the production of top-class  graded stakes winners, the primary criterion for judging broodmares.

The problem is you have reached a conclusion based of the narrow criterion you chose. Your criterion seems to be the production of Triple Crown winners  or Horses of the Year. There is only one Horse of the Year per year and it is not a horse race, it is an election. A Triple Crown race is just another Grade 1 race.

So when you ask the question -

“Is the law of average so adversely stacked against superstar mares that they are less capable of producing either the winner of a Triple Crown race or HOY?” you are engaged in an exercise in self-justification to the extent you are saying that your criterion has a rational basis. It does not.

I did not realize you felt you were being “demonized”. That word is usually used in connection with people in authority. You are not in that position.

Just use broader criteria.

29 Jan 2012 5:10 PM

Hansen looked a bit lost out in front today, even when Algorithms blew past him.  Casual Trick faded to last in his race (he seemed to drop back quickly and I wonder if he is ok?), but Take Charge Indy shone brightly even though El Padrino took over the lead.  Dynamic performance by Broadway's Alibi, a Vindication filly.  

Since a stallion covers about 120 mares each year, each year the sire has 120 chances to get a champion.  Meanwhile a broodmare has one per year if she conceives every year.  

I had an early post that didn't make it here.  In essence, I noted that well-raced mare and daughter of Secretariat, Terlingua gaves us Storm Cat, a major sire during the past 25 years, and he sired Tabasco Cat..who won the Preakness and Belmont.

29 Jan 2012 5:36 PM
Age of Reason


Don't give up yet on In The Beat. It seemed obvious to me that he never had a chance in that last merry-go-round race. He went from a generally closer-biased track (Churchill) to a front-running superspeedway (Gulfstream), and that's asking a lot at his age.

If you can find the video of the race, please post the link; regardless of whether or not ITB wins, I'm still def. interested in some of the other horses in the race, also.

29 Jan 2012 5:50 PM

Karen from Texas,I just came from horseracingnation and I got to tell you after reading the comentary on Hansen,such as terrible ride by the jockey,worst trip in 200 years,I really think I could apply to be a pro in horseracing.

29 Jan 2012 7:14 PM

The 2YO champ was made to look quite ordinary in the Holy Bull today. My pick, Fort Loudon, gained eight lengths on him since the Breeder's Cup Juvenile (just under three months ago). There is in my opinion something "in the blood" of these AP Indy line colts that retards their growth/development relative to say, the Northern Dancer and Raise A Native line colts leading up to the Kentucky Derby. This has been my observation for years and the trend continues with Hansen.

I know that the Bernardini fans will be all excited about Algorithim and some will say follow El Padrino (boy did this son of Pulpit look impressive blowing past Take Charge Indy ...take charge who?) but I'll only be convinced that they are exceptions when they make it among the top ones into the starting gates on the first Saturday in May. In the past I've thought of Pulpit, Mineshaft and Steven Got Even as possible exception to my late development syndrome hypothesis of the AP Indy sire line but nothing convincing has happened with their progeny thus far. Last year, Pulpit's son, Dialed In was my Derby pick and disappointed. This year Pulpit has another good one in El Padrino but I shall not be swayed from the Northern Dancer line this year.  From all appearances so far the Derby could turn out to be all about Union Rags versus the hot and spicy Todd squad (Discreet Dancer, Algorithim, El Padrino, Spring Hill Farm and Gemologist).

Todd Pletcher's band of 3YO seem definitely deserving of being in every knowledgeable Derby prognosticator's top twelve. However there are a few other colts (some, only turf runners right now) including the Californians, Liason, Creative Cause and Out of Bounds that will have a lot to say about this. More anon.  

29 Jan 2012 7:16 PM

Congrats Steve:

Your list is looking good. Those grandsons of A P Indy proved you right.

Algorithms and El Padrino looked really good today.

29 Jan 2012 7:53 PM
Karen in Texas

Hansen didn't really look like himself, even in the post parade. He was "on his toes" before the BCJ, but seemed flat to me this P.M. Then, the stumble; but the 2nd quarter in 22 probably was too much.... Hopefully they'll regroup and do better next time out.

NASCAR PRO---LOL! I saw those comments, too, but I don't really know what they meant by some of it.

Ranagulzion---I get what you're saying about the AP Indy line, particularly with regard to the Tapits, but give Hansen a chance to redeem himself before declaring him totally out of the picture. None of the BC champs did well this weekend. Still no word on where Spring Hill Farm will run next as far as I know--do you know?

29 Jan 2012 9:03 PM

Alot of excuses out there....i loved algorithims especially when coldcuts went off him....howd that lasix work for ya on consortium?

29 Jan 2012 10:28 PM

Jersey Boy- thanks for mentioning Fairy Bridge. She certainly does belong.

29 Jan 2012 10:44 PM

Ranagulzion, I agree it will be all about Union Rags and the Pletcher boys.  I'm sticking with Union Rags.  

29 Jan 2012 11:17 PM

Slew, you got it.  Those Secretariat mares are something special.  

29 Jan 2012 11:27 PM
El Kabong

Nascar Pro,

I understood quite well your theory about Pletcher not being able to prep a horse for the Derby because for some reason he allows them to “peak to early,” but you also clearly stated  the other reason is that

“by the time the colts he trains make the gate in the Derby they have already gone through various cycles of the cocktails.” I have to admit, my favorite part was way you explained away his one Derby win with Super Saver. He couldn’t have expertly trained the horse because that would trash your theory. No sir, instead he  “managed his medication cycle brilliantly so that he peaked on derby day.” As proof, you note that because Donna Brothers notes that Super Saver has lost weight between the Derby and Preakness, he must have been in a state of dehydration from medication or a lack there of.  Did you ever read the report about Super Saver from Larry Bramladge sighting condylar bruising? Until you or someone of expertise can prove that Pletcher is a better chemist than trainer, I will naivly stick to the notion that he’s and outstanding trainer who will get his fair share of KD and BC wins in time. He’s quite a bit younger than Bob so I’ll give him a few more years.  

30 Jan 2012 12:24 AM
El Kabong


Thanks the support, please, call me Ed.

30 Jan 2012 12:53 AM

Next week there will be a prep run that IMO will provide more clues as to the colts that will or will not be in the Kentucky Derby.The Robert Lewis G2 will be run at 1 1/8 with the top 5 finishers of the Cash Call G1 returning to contest this race at 1/16 of a mile longer.If all the colts that are signed on race, this will actually be a G1, that is if you believe the Cash Call was a G1.

30 Jan 2012 1:06 AM
El Kabong

Great day of racing at GP. Hats off to the Filly Broadway's Alibi for putting on a spectacular run down the lane. In the words of  Christopher Walken, "Wowie Wow Wow Wow!. " I think I saw Velazquez eating a bag of chips. I could be wrong.  

Algorithms and El Padrino looked good. Hansen fans need not give up. I have a feeling his best is yet to come. No need to be cranked in January is there?

30 Jan 2012 1:21 AM

The descendants of A P Indy finished first and second in each of two races at a mile or longer at Gulfstream on Sunday. What does this prove?

For one blogger it confirms that AP Indy’s descendants have a development issue leading up to the Kentucky Derby.

I cannot imagine what that blogger’s comments would have been if they had finished off the board like the horse he touted in one of the races.

Hansen’s dam won her final start. It was a 5-furlong race. That might explain a lot.

30 Jan 2012 9:41 AM

Jacob Bratcher;

Thanks for your reply! Here are the replays of In the Beat's last three races -- including yesterday's performance -- from the Blood-Horse replay archive.




I guess two turns didn't really help In the Beat. In yesterday's race, he was beaten a total of 24 3/4 lengths. Perhaps he's one of those horses that -- despite being bred otherwise -- is going to end up being best as a late-running sprinter.


30 Jan 2012 9:44 AM

I never said T.Pletcher was not one of the best trainers in the US.I guess this blog is to argue and you have continued to do so.Yesterday Pletcher had a monster day with 3yos,2 stakes winners.I hate to tell you but this is an example of what I am talking about.Lets say he had the screws tightened on both Broadway Alibi and Algo enough to capture these stake races(I wont say anything about medication).That is what he does he jumps on his competition early in the year with his 3yos,hoping that they can retain this form, at least for Algo all the way to the Derby.Lets see how Algo does.BTW he has an affinity for the track so The Florida Derby is well within his reach, just like Scat Daddy and Dunkirk, he was 2nd in the Florida Derby, before they both flopped in the derby.I look forward to your next arguement GL.

30 Jan 2012 9:52 AM

My lost post noted that coldfacts based his assumption that RA and Zen cannot produce a champion because no HOY mares produced a winner of any Triple Crown race.  The single focused thinking has caused him to forget that many Champions have never even run in a TC race.  Invasor swept the championship away from Bernardini when he won the BC Classic and became 2006 HOY, and he was never in a USA TC race.  Azeri never ran in a TC race, but was still a Champion HOY.  Coldfacts emphasis is always on the Kentucky Derby, as is his research...but not all Champions go that route.  To be certain, if a special horse comes along who wins the TC, that horse WILL be HOY...but it hasn't happened in 33 years, but we have a Champion HOY each year regardless.  

Yesterday we had the Wishing Well Stakes.  A well-raced mare who gave us the brilliant Sunday Silence.  Terlingua, daugter of Secretariat, was a Champion race mare who gave us Storm Cat, thereby giving us Tabasco Cat, winner of the Preakness and the Belmont.  Cigar was a late bloomer who did next to nothing as a 3 year old including no runs in the TC...but when he blossomed he was a champion HOY x 2, a winner of the Dubai World Cup and the BC Classic.  Tiznow was a spectacular champion whose route to fame did not include the TC.

And the best example of a blue hen mare I can think of is Urban Sea, a well raced champion mare who kept foaling champions.  She had Sea The Stars at 17.  She had Galileo earlier...but her sons and daughters have mostly gone on to be champions, and sires and dams of champions.

30 Jan 2012 10:17 AM

Karen in Texas,

Spring hill Farm's next race will be in an allowance contest accordin to word out of the Pletcher barn. I like it that they are not rushing him.


Keep your confidence girl because Union Rags is doing well and will show all and sundry when he returns in the Fountain of Youth that he's king of the 3YOs and should've been voted 2YO champ.

30 Jan 2012 1:03 PM
Byron Rogers


Actually, what I was referring to is this


30 Jan 2012 2:30 PM


You mentioned Risen Star as the only male offspring that did much on the track, but General Assembly and Tinner's Way were both grade 1 winners. They also placed in a number of other graded stakes races.

30 Jan 2012 4:50 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I sure hope the Derby Dozen is soon, like pronto, like now. Then we can really start living. I'm ready to smell the roses and coffee and the sprung of spring and watch Spunky frolic in the fields. This is the year of the Triple Crown winner. Do you remember what that is like you previously spoiled, now starving 70's race fans?

30 Jan 2012 5:00 PM

REALITY CHECK! Alot of people are a little misguided......HANSEN ran bad? Did he? remember the bc juv. was a 94 beyer...i;ve been telling you people this. It was one of the weakest EVER! wait for the beyer fig to come out....I bet the best horse. This was the point i was making, about why did rags lose....he should have won that race...he didnt run very good and drifted out in stretch.....thats all im saying....94 beyer....big upset? ha!

30 Jan 2012 6:13 PM

Nice performance by Algorithms in the Holy Bull.  I am starting to worry about Hansen's running style and not able to sit back and rate.  He likes to head the pack as a front runner and that cost Hard Spun a lot of races as well.

He looks funny out there, a white streak amidst the bays, but I like him.  Still way too early and they are all going to exhibit some greeness until they do some more maturing.  Did the 6 lbs. he packed over the winner matter, who knows?

Glad to see Rachel is ok and her and the foal will probably go back to Stonestreet Farm within days.  If anyone has not seen it there is a video (Stonestreet's website) of the foal taking its first steps after birth and also one of it romping about at Rood and Riddle hospital.  Very cute indeed.

30 Jan 2012 6:32 PM

Jersey Boy,

I quote you "The descendants of A P Indy finished first and second in each of two races at a mile or longer at Gulfstream on Sunday. What does this prove?

I tell me that there are a lot of them out there: three out of a field of five in the Holy Bull. At some point the huge number of mares covered by the huge number of AP Indy sons is supposed to produce a Kentucky Derby winner. I'm still waiting my friend.  Lets see if it will happen this year. Steve's list suggests that it should happen this year and your sentiments seem to in line.  

30 Jan 2012 8:28 PM

I was impressed by El Padrino's allowance win, but not by Borel's ride on Take Charge Indy. He hustled him along just after the 1/2 mile marker, and I didn't see any reason for it. He should have waited a bit longer to make his move.

30 Jan 2012 8:55 PM

Ranagulzion, I sure hope so.  Union Rags is a Kentucky Derby kind of horse.  I agree, he really was the best horse as a two year old.  I think most people feel the same way.  Hansen is a wonderful horse, but derby material, I don't know.  I will always feel that Union Rags got robbed.  He did not get the respect that he deserved.  He's the better horse.  

30 Jan 2012 9:22 PM

KR, I agree, but Risen Star was his best son.  In the Belmont, Risen Star ran the 2nd fast Belmont, his sire being first.  Secretariat has produced some great daughters.  Somethingroyal, his dam, is a blue hen mare, as is his daughters, Weekend Surprise, Terlinqua, Secrettame, and others.  If you are smart, and I know that you are, you are going to look for Secretariat mares in the tail side of a colt's pedigree, and the sire-female and tail side of a filly's pedigree.

30 Jan 2012 10:12 PM

Still love my Hansen!  Even Man o'War lost once.  Was wondering, though, if anyone knows why Victor Lebron was replaced after his first 2 wins on Hansen?  Experience maybe?  Secretariat lost before taking the Triple Crown, so IMO, anything is still possible...

30 Jan 2012 10:30 PM

I know a lot of you will disagree with me, but Hansen is a sprinter.  He can't be rated; he set some pretty fast fractions, but in the end he's not going to win a whole lot of races on the lead.  IMO.  Union Rags had a bad day in the breeder's cup, but I do believe he was robbed in not getting the 2 year old champ award, really, what were the voters thinking.

I just think that Union Rags has the pedigree to go all the way.  Michael Matz knows that Union Rags can take long breaks and ship out to different tracks and show up in the end.  Union Rags is a special horse.

Castellano said that he had ridden some great horses, Bernardini and Ghostzapper come to mind, but he had never had a horse beneath him like Union Rags.  Now, Castellano may give up Union Rags for a Pletcher horse, but I don't think so. He is a smart jockey, and he knows he is sitting on a gold mine with Union Rags.  

Union Rags IMO, because he appears to be a very intelligent and easy going horse, could be the one.  We will see another triple crown winner; perfection comes along every 40 or 50 years.  It's all about pedigree, trainer, jockey, and luck.  Amen, I have had a couple of cocktails down here in New Orleans and can't wait for the FOY.  Oh by the way, just my opinion.

30 Jan 2012 10:43 PM

Still love my Hansen!  Even Man o'War lost once.  Secretariat lost one of his Derby preps and still won the Triple Crown.  Just goes to prove anything's possible...However, I was wondering - does anyone know why Victor Lebron was replaced on Hansen after his first 2 races?  Experience maybe?  Seemed like a good fit though...

30 Jan 2012 10:46 PM

    I see that your article was just a glimpse at a few of this year’s likely “potatoes” and some of your earlier picks under consideration. But according to your ‘by line’, I was actually looking forward to a real article on breeding, as related to the current American racing horses and those three year-olds traditionally pointed to the Kentucky Derby and then the elusive quest for the Triple Crown. Although I agree that half of your early “potato” selection are also near my ‘top ten’ of the near about 200 of mine researched and looked over thus far re-breeding, of course excluding the ever-possible cross over from the fillies’ side, which I personally also keep track of.

    To myself, my way of thinking, there are keys to the breeding, but you yourself once stated that “the winner can come from anywhere”, breeding wise,--although no such Derby winner yet has oddly enough ever come out of the highly bred “Storm Cat” line,--yet, as a testimonial of last years winner, “Animal Kingdom”, on the dam side about 6 generation back was bred to the 2nd ever most German bred sire. And yet, ‘who really ever looked back at the breeding that deeply to discover such information pre-Derby?’, only maybe I post-Derby who after I was upset in my betting on Derby Day went back and did some research on this horse ‘that had never run on dirt’ prior to last year’s Derby win, thusly breaking a tradition in that category I might add.--

    But as to ‘keys’ in current breeding strains, I certainly look for those descended from the greatest racehorses: “Free for All”; “Le Fabuluex (Fr.); ”Blushing Groom” (Fr.); “Teddy” (Fr.)-Ajax (Fr.); “Man O’War”; “Prince Rose” (G.B.); “Ribot” (G.B.); and of course, the great “Nearco” of (Ity.) to which most all of the moderns are multiply inbred to. Surely we in the modern era also appreciate breeding lines like those of: “Secretariat”-“Bold Ruler”; “Northern Dancer”-(Nearco); “Nashua”-(Nearco); “Rahy”-“Blushing Groom” (Fr.); “A.P. Indy”-“Seattle Slew”;  “Raise a Native”-“Native Dancer”; Princequillo (Ire.)-“Prince Rose” (G.B.); “Hoist the Flag” and “Graustark” the descendants of the Ribot (G.B.); “Dr. Fager” to “Free For All”; and “Buckpasser” to Tom Fool; and, etc., and etc.

    You mentioned the filly side of the breeding when searching for increased distance stamina, but you failed to mention any insight into the “Big Heart “X” Factor Gene” strains,--“BHXFG”--specific to the colts through only the dam side,--although some such lines can of course be traced through the sire lines of the fillies,--and that of the connections to: “Blossom Time” (f); “Brushup” (f); “Cosquilla” (G.B.) (f); and “Mah Mahal” (G.B.) (f) and their links as carriers of the “Big Heart “X” Factor Gene”, which I have never seen an article on regarding racing success wise as such at 1 ¼, or at any distance or that matter, but to which I have personally traced all such Kentucky Derby winning horses with those lines back through the 1951 Kentucky Derby.

   And yet. it appears, that most all Derby winners were of course all most simply percentage wise multiply inbred to “Nearco” (Ity.), more so than any other line, but then again, “that is why they play the game”, “that’s why the run the race”, “that is why this is the Sport of Kings”, and why the Kentucky Derby is “the Greatest Two Minutes in Sports”, Yes, the winner can come from anywhere, breeding wise, but there are keys to some greater percentage of being winners through those lines so mentioned above.  

  Just a few added insights and thoughts. Good luck to all in 2012 in your quest in finding those winners. And thank you Steve for opening another year of the blog on Bloodhorse, may you rein here a long time.    


31 Jan 2012 12:29 AM


I humbly ascribe to you dominion in pedigree analysis and the English language. I have declared in previous posts that I have limitation with the language consequently you must forgive me if I occasionally misplace my adjectives, verbs and nouns. My quest to achieve better command continues and I hope one day to attain your level.  

“If you make the criterion narrow enough you can produce any statistic you want”

Would the opposite be true? Did Mr. Haskin narrow his criterion in the opening sentence of his blog? A fact check can easily answer the question. Below is the aforementioned opening sentence.

“How big a role does pedigree play nowadays in determining the Kentucky Derby winner?”

My limited command of the language suggests that he was referring to pedigree in relation to a particular race i.e., The Kentucky Derby. It appears that his criterion was even narrower than mine as I focused on the Triple Crown, HOY and other Champions. If my criterion is narrowed to that of Mr. Haskin’s, the COLD FACTS do not change. Superstar mares have not been the ones producing Derby winners. Mr. Haskin is at liberty to narrow his criterion but in my quest for self-justification I have narrowed mine to make the cold fact fit my conclusion. It must be obvious to you by now that in posting the statement above, you failed to recognize that Mr. Haskin was the one that set the criterion for the subject and I merely followed. If you are going to scold someone do not leave room to in turn be scolded.

“My criterion is the production of top-class graded stakes winners, the primary criterion for judging broodmares.”

Your criterion is admirable but obviously irrelevant to the Derby and Triple Crown.

“The problem is you have reached a conclusion based of the narrow criterion you chose.”

The criterion was determined by Mr. Haskin. The problem lies in the fact that you failed to recognize this.

“There is only one HOY per year and it is not a horse race, it is an election.”

No doubt the majority of those achieving the award were products of champion G1 winning mares.

“You are engaged in an exercise in self-justification to the extent you are saying that your criterion has a rational basis. It does not.”

You haves lost me with the above. How does being syndical about the prospect of two HOYs producing champions equates to self-justification? The truth is I am curious as why G1 winning mares have such a dismal record in the Triple Crown. I am aware that they are outnumbered by the other category and consequently I do not expect them to produce large quantities of these winners. However, if in 80 year only one winner of the Oak has produced a Derby winner it cannot be a case of simply being outnumbered.

“I did not realize you felt you were being “demonized”. That word is usually used in connection with people in authority. You are not in that position”

As previously mentioned I occasionally misplace my adjectives, nouns and verbs. It appear that I have used demonized” in the wrong context. I was unaware that the word is reserved for use against figures in authority which I am clearly not.  If it appears that this was inferred, kindly forgive for getting ahead of myself. Mr. Haskin is the only authority. He set the stage; he determines what will be displayed on his blog and who warrants reprimand. I have researched the meaning of demonized to verify its miss use. The numerous definitions found made to reference to usage in association with persons in authority. You have probably compiled you own dictionary and consequently you are the sole authority on definition and word usage. I do not professed to be as knowledgeable and brilliant as most of Mr. Haskin’s supporter. However, I do know my limitations. The big question is, do you know your? One love!

31 Jan 2012 1:14 AM

    For the Derby Run, where is it that you actually want to see your stamina influences for distance to come from? These are some of my preferences outside of the dam line and the “BHXFG” strain influences. And, of course being whereby some of these are related.

  Affirmed-  (29   22-5-1);  

  Ajax (Fr.)-   (5   5-0-0);  

   Alleged-  (10   9-1-0);

   Alydar-  (26   14-9-1);  

   Afleet Alex-  (12   8-2-1);

  Arch-  (7  5-1-0);

   Bernardini-  (8   6-1-0);

   Big Brown-  (8   7-0-0);  

  Blushing Groom(Fr.)-(10 7-1-2)

   Boldnesian-  (5   4-0-0);  

   Bold Ruler-   (33   23-4-2);

   Boundary-  (8   6-1-1-);  

   Buckpasser-  (31   25-4-1);  

  Candy Ride (Arg.)(6  6-0-0);  

   Commando-  (9-   7-2-0);  

 Court Marshall(G.B.)(8- 6-1-1);

  Citation  (45-  32-10-2);

   Danzig-  (3   3-0-0);  

Deputy Minister(Can.(22 12-2-2)  

  Dr. Fager-  (22-  18-2-1);  

  Easy Goer-   (20   14-5-1-);

  Empire Maker-  (8-   4-4-0-);  

  Fappiano-   (17   10-3-1-);

  Forty Niner-  (19-   11-5-0);  

   Free For All-  (7-   6-0-0);

  Giant’s Causeway-(13- 9-4-0);

  Graustark- (8   7-1-0) ;  

   Hoist the Flag-(6   5-0-0-);  

   Kitten’s Joy-  (14   9-4-0);

  Le Fabuleux(Fr.)- (11 8-1-0);  

  Man O’ War-   (21   20-1-0);  

  Native Dancer-  (22   21-1-0);

  Nearco (Ity.)-  (16   16-0-0)-

 Nijinsky (Can.) (13 11-2-0);  

  Nureyev-  (3   2-0-0);  

 Prince Rose (G.B.)-(17 16-0-1)-

  Pulpit-  (6   4-1-0);  

  Raise a Cup-  (6-  4-0-1);

   Raise a Native-  (4   4-0-0);

   Real Court-   (21-  16-4-1);

   Ribot (G.B.)- (16   16-0-0);

 Sadler’s Wells  (11   6-4-0);  

   Seattle Slew- (17   14-2-0);

   Secretariat-  (21   16-3-1);  

   Smarty Jones-  (9   8-1-0);  

   Storm Bird (Can). (6  5-0-0);

  Swaps-  (25- 19–2-2);

   Teddy (Fr.) (8   6-0-1);

 The Minstrel (Can.)(9 7-1-1);  

   Turn-To- (8   6-1-1); ...&  

  War Admiral- (26 21-3-1)-

31 Jan 2012 2:12 AM


Remember, I judge horses by their performance. Not winning a specific race will never be an issue with me. What matters is whether a sire or dam produces top class runners. In the case of the sire this is reflected in the stud fees. This is the reason AP Indy and his descendants command the fees they do.

On another note. To all.

In an illustration, I stated that 80% of foals become starters. That was an error. While up to 89% of the foals of a few sires become starters, the national average is not 80%. It is around 70%.

I am sorry if I misled anyone. See URL below.


31 Jan 2012 6:27 AM


I agree with your comment about Borel, I was wondering the same thing when I was watching it.  


31 Jan 2012 7:41 AM

Slightly off topic but still "in the blood."

I was so saddened to read of the passing of Mike Tammaro.  He was a helluva man and a true horseman.  Those traits run in the Tammaro family. My condolences to the family and all who were close to him.

Mr. Haskin, perhaps you could write one of your fantastic pieces on the Tammaro's.  Lots of history there.

31 Jan 2012 9:15 AM


I am ending this exchange. This is nothing but a distraction. Sorry I even got into it.

31 Jan 2012 9:37 AM
Byron Rogers


The X Factor, in terms of a single mutated gene carried on the X Chromosome that expresses a large heart that in turn is a cause for elite racehorse performance, is a myth. It was a great story, well told, but in terms of science it is bunk.

31 Jan 2012 11:10 AM

Mary, I ´m sure  Castellano was having a nice party…. when he said those things about Ghostzapper and Bernardini!!!

31 Jan 2012 11:40 AM

    “Bunk”  huh??? Here’s to your “BUNK”…. O.K ., let’s look at most of the DERBY WINNERS since  let’s  say “Secretartiat”,--(she personally autopsied to reveal the 2nd biggest heart ever among those looked into dead race horses).--You really want your next Derby winner pick to NOT  have been a carrier of a “BHXFG” strain line? --Gee, I wonder if the likes of:  “Giacomo”; “Thunder Gulch”: “Lil E Tee”; & “Sunday Silence”, were “Odds” Derby “favorites”??? …Oh yeah, that’s right. “Giacomo” was 50-1 ?? or 99-1 or something… If you bet on a Derby winner that does  NOT carrying  a  link to the “BHXFG”, you would be  bucking the odds!!!!  …MR.  ROGERS!!…

From the Modern Era…

    2011:  “Animal Kingdom”:       2x’s Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;  

    2010:  “Super Saver”:              10x’s Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    2009:  “Mine That Bird”:          2x’s Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;  

    2008:  “Big Brown”:                   2x’s Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    2007:  “Street Sense”:                3x’s Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    2006:   “Barbaro”:                     2x’s Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    2005:   “Giacomo”:                     0x’s Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    2004:   “Smarty Jones”:             2x’s Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    2003:   “Funny Cide”:                3x’s Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    2002:   “War Emblem”:             2x’s Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    2001:   “Monarhos”:                   3x’s Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    2000:   “Fusiachi Pegasus”:       2x’s Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    1999:   “Charismatic”:               2x’s Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    1998:   “Real Quiet”:                 2x’s Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    1997:  “Silver Charm”:             1x Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    1996:  “Grindstone”:                 1x Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    1995:  “Thunder Gulch”:             0x’s Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    1994:   “Go For Gin”:                1x Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    1993:   “Sea Hero”:                    3x’s Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    1992:    “Lil E Tee”:                    0x’s Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    1991:    “Strike the Gold”:        1x Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    1990:    “Unbridled”:                  3x’s Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    1989:    “Sunday Silence”:           0x’s Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    1988:   “Winning Colors”:        1x Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    1987:   “Alysheba”:                    2x’s Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    1983:   “Sunny’s Halo”:             1x Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    1982:   “Gato Del Sol”:               1x Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    1981:   “Pleasant Colony”:         2x’s Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    1980:   “Genuine Risk”:               1x Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    1979:   “Spectacular Bid”:           1x Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    1978:   “Affirmed”:                     2x’s Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    1977:    “Seattle Slew”:                3x’s Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

    1973:    “Secretariat”:                1x Bred to the “BHZFG” strain;

                         via “Cosquilla” (G.B.);  

P.S.:  For fun if board, find Blood-Horse’s ‘Top 10 Race Horses of All Time” and look up such links. Try looking up the last 25 years, or so, of let’s say Belmont Winners, etc., and link such to those lines as a BETTING percentage consideration regarding breeding and stamina for DISTANCE regarding modern race horses, thusly in seeking out a KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER, which this blog is most usually geared toward discussions of. Again, mine was just some free information, not the word of “GOD”.

 P.P.S.:  Only one runner in this year’s recent HOLY BULL did NOT carry a link to the “BHXFG” lines, and that would have been the horse in a 6 horse race that finished 5th or 2nd TO LAST !!!!, …and, that at only a distance of a Mile and thusly, we aren’t talking yet about HEART for a 1 ¼ ,  or such as looking into  Belmont 1 ½ runners and winners, yet. But, I surely want my NEXT  Derby pick linked to at least one “BHXFG” strain line myself, being my point.  You can stick to your own beliefs… these are just some of mine. And, I never told anyone to take my advice, I was just throwing out some percentage statistical keys of my own that I consider important TO RACE HORSES going  Lonngggggg regarding modern breeding lines. Take from it what you will, its just free information and over the years I have taken plenty of negative responses in regards to my posts.  No biggie, just like water off a duck’s back…  


31 Jan 2012 9:58 PM

Funny how you breeding people are....HANSEN loses and now he cant route....i thought his breeding was good for distance? TRUTH is, alot of you on here just dont like close to the pace horses...because every time they lose, you think it is because they cant go a distance......I whipped hansen on saturday.... but let me tell you, that that is a perfect race if you want him in the derby...its called a prep! you dont want to run too good! when will you people get it?  

31 Jan 2012 11:14 PM


Can’t you recognize a sales pitch when you see one?

If someone representing that he is pushing science places horses into three groups-sprinters,milers and routers, without defining each group, what do you call that?

Nice fun this.

01 Feb 2012 8:31 AM
Pedigree Ann

"The likes of Regret, Chris Evert, Genuine Risk, Winning Colors, Personal Ensign, Lady Secret (sic), Dream Supreme [why is she on this list?] etc., were considered flops as broodmares..."

Where do I start with this statement? Personal Ensign a flop? The dam of 3 G1 winners (1 champion) and 3 graded-placed (one multiple G1-placed) winners? What do you demand for a success? All G1 winners?

Genuine Risk contracted a low-grade uterine infection early on in her breeding career and produced only 2 foals, late in her teens, neither of which raced. Her lack of success as a broodmare was not due to her racing career, which comprised only 15 races, after all.

Chris Evert produced 2 SWs and one SP from 5 foals, better than average to be sure. Winning Colors and Lady's Secret were definitely flops; IMHO these two Lukas trainees had their breeding careers wasted trying for the perfect sales yearling.

Even if she didn't belong in the same category with those mentioned, Dream Supreme has been far from a flop. First 4 foals, 4 winners, 3 SWs, 1 G1 winner Majestic Warrior. What more do you want from her?

01 Feb 2012 12:17 PM
Pedigree Ann

Racingfan -

Tesio may have written that "over-raced" mares were less likely to produce well than others, but his definition of "over-raced" may be different from the modern definition.

The dam of Nearco was Nogara, winner of 14 of 18 starts, including both the Italian 1000 and 2000 Guineas - she beat colts on many occasions. I would hardly call her a 'modest' racemare. And she foaled a further 6 SWs, including another Italian Derby winner and an Italian Oaks winner.

Donatello II (a very important sire in Britain) was out of Delleana, who won the same classic races as Nogara did as well as the then important Premio Principe Amadeo and Gran Premio d'Italia, over colts. She also foaled Dossa Dossi, Italian Oaks and 1000 Guineas winner.

The dam of Ribot was Romanella, champion 2yo filly in Italy, winner of several races over colts, including the Criterium Nazionale.

None of these mares could be considered 'modest' IMHO. They were tested for class, something Tesio was adamant about. Since he (part-)owned the horses he trained, he could and did train them hard to expose any weaknesses; modern trainers would probably react to his training regime with horror. But the survivors were as fit as they could be and as I understand it, he never had a fatal break-down during a race.

01 Feb 2012 12:39 PM

    Speaking of interesting bloodlines, here is a foreigner I came across while checking a filly’s from-off-of-the turf’s dam line:

My Babu (Fr.)  

      (16-  11-2-0)- by

Djebel (Fr.)  

      (22-  15-2-1)- by

Tourbillion (Fr.)-

      (12-  6-1-1)- by

Kasar (Fr.)  

      (15-  11-3-0)- by

Bruleur (Fr.)

      (5-  3-2-0)- by

Chouberski (Fr.)- by

Gardefue (Fr.)-

      (15-  7-x-x)-

01 Feb 2012 10:20 PM

Byron Rogers: What you call a "myth" is actually scientific genetic research that, through DNA, traced the Xfactor back to the dam of Eclipse.  Not a myth!

Coldfacts:  Yes, Steve set the parameters of this article, but you widely strayed when you declared RA and Zen would never sire a champion...based soley on your reseach of bloodlines only in the Kentucky Derby winners.  Fervent discussion then followed.

AS to Hansen, after scorching the track early, I don't think he's ever seen another horse creep up on him.  Instead of fighting back, he calmly stood at the rail and watched as Algorithms swept past.  It was a race for learning.  I haven't lost faith in his ability.  

A Bernardini filly, Gamalati, ran off with the UAE 1,000 Guineas this morning at Meydan.  It is such a pleasure to watch those races with the horses all groomed to perfection.

And while I enjoy my Bernardini babies, I'm rooting for Swag Daddy in the Withers tomorrow.  After what I've seen him do before, I think he's an awesome colt.

03 Feb 2012 10:44 AM
Karen in Texas

Byron Rogers----It is my understanding that Dr. Matthew Binns and (possibly) Dr. Gus Cothran as well, believe that the large heart associated with elite performance in thoroughbreds exists, but not due to the existence of one single mutated gene. I have read that Dr. Binns believes the heart size in question is attributed to polygenic influences and expression. That would not necessarily exclude the location(s) from residing on the X chromosome. Dr. Binns apparently formed this idea after his work on the equine genome map, which was only completed a few years ago. Do you have knowledge of the specific studies or information that guided his opinion? I am not "challenging" you, but am honestly looking for facts. I noticed that your Jan. 31 comment to Zarvona was worded very carefully and this caught my attention. Can you cite sources or direct quotes for your statement?

Thank you for the link to Performance Genetics. It seems to me that their test and the Equinome test are both based on myostatin gene research and its application as far as possibly understanding distance ability/limitations in race horses. These tests must be fairly new in their availability. As owners/trainers subscribe to and use these tests, their validity should be confirmed or denied based on results.  

03 Feb 2012 6:19 PM
Karen in Texas

Hansen not only had never seen another horse sweep up to him forcefully in a race, he was carrying 6lbs. more than the winner, I believe. I read on another site that his blinkers will be removed for the next outing.

03 Feb 2012 6:31 PM

I'm coming a little late to the party, but couldn't resist throwing in a quote.  Now, I'm not sure about the number of progeny Mrs. Sullivan had, but, I think it goes:  "Mrs. Sullivan had 8 sons, but only 1 John L."  You get the gist! As a huge fan of both Zenyatta and Rachel, I can wish all day long that their offspring will be special, but I know and understand that it is highly unlikely. It is interesting, though, that the two farms that are rather cool towards each other (as reported) got together last year to breed Vertigineux (Z's dam) and Street Cry (her sire), to produce a full sibling to Zenyatta!Due sometime this spring, I think, but haven't heard a due date. If the odds are against another Zenyatta, why would they do it anyway?  Because, even they HOPE they hit the jackpot. That's good enough for me and I will continue to dream of more Rachels and Zenyattas. Abigail Anderson did a nice piece looking at the heritage of Zenyatta, Rachel, and Rags to Riches at her blog, The Vault: Horseracing Past and Present.

27 Feb 2012 12:36 AM

I enjoyed looking back at the comments made before the derby.  I will say some of you agreed with my comments about Union Rags, but many did not.  

I got the last laugh though, as my horse traveled farther than any other three year old in the country, to win the Belmont Stakes.

Many of you, including Mr. Haskin, questioned Union Rags' ability to get the distance, based soley on his sire's pedigree, without any regard for the female line of his pedigree.  I'm still dumbfounded by some of the remarks that were made.  Good day all.

03 Jan 2013 12:27 PM

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