I've got to say, the Northern Dancer line never really excited me as broodmare sires. Sure, there were loads of successes along the way, but you'd expect that just based on opportunity: a lot of well-bred mares had a lot of well-bred daughters by Northern Dancer and his sons, and just by sheer numbers they're likely to have their fair share of good foals.
When I review a pedigree and see a Northern Dancer-line stallion as the broodmare sire, I usually just make a mental note ("this could be a good opportunity to inbreed to Almahmoud" or, more often, "yawn") and go on. It wasn't until recently that I started to realize just how often one such stallion occupies that spot in the pedigree of several track superstars.
Tell me if you don't recognize some of these names: classic winners Curlin, Sarava, Rags to Riches, and Jazil; champion Halfbridled; grade I winners Redattore (BRZ), Request for Parole, Bob and John, Magistretti, and Kane Hekili (JPN); millionaires Tenpins, Position One, Maltese Superb, Maruka Diesis, and License Fee; and many other graded winners including Strong Hope and Minister Eric.
How's this sire look in 2008? We're only a few weeks away now from the Triple Crown, and it looks like Deputy Minister won't have any of his daughters' foals compete, at least in the Kentucky Derby. But... he will be represented by a couple of sons as broodmare sires of three possible classic contenders: Recapturetheglory, Smooth Air, and Visionaire. None are favorites, perhaps, but solid runners all. If you handicap based on pedigree, any one of these guys is worth a look.