2-Year-Olds, Pulpit, and Pedigrees

I'm not in the market for a 2-year-old.

My interest lies in breeding; when I get to the point of bringing a horse to the track on my own, it'll probably be one that I've bred.

No, I'm not in the market for a 2-year-old.  But if I were, and the OBS select sale was my venue, I think I'd have to look towards Pulpit this year. It's not that I've always been a great fan of the Claiborne homebred (even though I recently wrote an article about the Blue Grass Stakes for Keeneland magazine and got to interview Seth Hancock about Pulpit's 1997 win in the Keeneland springtime classic, and about the amazing Claiborne foundation family that descends from Round Table's half sister Monarchy, which has produced other sires Johannesburg and Tale of the Cat).  It's not even that Pulpit is one of the leading sires of 2008 (the success of Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner Pyro has helped to move Pulpit to #2 on this year's list).  It's more than the fact that he has already had a $280,000 2-year-old colt this year, or that his lifetime yearling average tops $235,000 (though, as a commercial breeder, I've got to admit those numbers are quite attractive).

The reason that I'm high on Pulpit at the Ocala Breeders' sale is that he -- and his sons -- have colts and fillies out of some broodmares with interesting pedigree patterns. If Pulpit's gaudy sales averages weren't enough to convince you that he's well-regarded, take a look at the catalog for the OBS Selected sale.  In addition to three of his own offspring, Pulpit has three sons with sales progeny:  Essence of Dubai (1 hip), Sky Mesa (6), and Tapit (7). The Pulpit line, therefore, accounts for 3.7% of the hips at this prestigious sale.

So, what's so interesting?  How about hip #98, a chestnut filly by Pulpit out of Sun Princessa. The Pleasant Colony mare is a full sister to European Horse of the Year St. Jovite and useful sire Lac Ouimet, and half to millionaire L'Carriere.

Then there's hip #393, an Essence of Dubai grey or roan colt out of the interestingly-bred (and equally interestingly-named) multiple stakes producer Leggy Super Model. The dam of graded winners Papi Chullo and Rizzi Girl descends from Grey Dawn II on her sire line and Al Hattab on her broodmare sire line -- both names that occur disproportionately in the pedigrees of solid runners.

Sky Mesa's first crop are sophomores of 2008. Hip #399, a chestnut colt, comes from his second crop and was produced by Littlebigthing, a granddaughter of Sharon Brown, who is best known as the dam of Horse of the Year Holy Bull.  Littlebigthing is by Unbridled's Song, and therefore pulls in some of the Tartan Farms bloodlines that crossed so well with her granddam.

Hip #169 looks especially exciting, as the dark bay or brown filly is by freshman sire Tapit out of a daughter of Carols Christmas, the third dam of Pulpit's current star Pyro.  The relationship is even closer, as the sale filly's broodmare sire is Wild Again, who is also the broodmare sire of Pyro. If you think Pyro's going to hit it big and be a contender in the Derby, you should add this filly to your short list (or at least to your Virtual Stable!).

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