Many guys will admit, if pressed, that within 30 seconds of meeting a new girl, they place her in one of two categories: a potential date or a possible friend.
I think most pedigree geeks do something similar when first encountering a new mare. Is this a potential broodmare prospect? Or is she better off in another career?
I'd like to start an occasional discussion about how we each answer those questions. The best way I can think of is to look at a few actual mares and compare notes. Today's model is a mare that is being offered at a "first bid" price for private sale.
On Tuesday, I stumbled across an online advertisement for a 5-year-old Thoroughbred mare. (See Surgeglobal's pedigree.) A quick look showed that her stats weren't especially impressive: one maiden claiming win from nine starts for earnings of $4,252. And while her sire was a graded winner of nearly $700,000, most of the names in this mare's pedigree don't jump off the page.
A bit more digging revealed that she has five full siblings:
Blazing Count, 1997 colt, stakes-placed winner of $397,432. 45 starts with 15 wins, 5 places, 9 shows
Brazen Count, 1998 colt, winner of $58,457. 34 starts with 4 wins, 6 places, 1 show
Dayzemaemade, 1999 filly, unraced
Blazing Countess, 2000 filly, winner of $245,971. 60 starts, 14 wins, 10 places, 11 shows (through July 13, 2008)
Count On Bill, 2002 gelding, winner of $163,311. 53 starts, 10 wins, 16 places, 7 shows (through June 23, 2008)
Of five full brothers and sisters, three are winners of $100,000+. Not bad.
There's also an unnamed/unraced 2001 Bianconi half-sister, a 2-year-old Minardi half-sister, and a 2007 Teton Forest (SRO) half-brother. Looks like Surgeglobal's dam has earned the opportunity to visit a couple of good sires.
Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot of black type on the catalog page, though Surgeglobal's second dam was stakes-placed and was in the money 15 times from 42 starts. Overall, the family seems to produce hard-knocking runners from out-of-the-mainstream sires.
All that for $1,000.
With these details in mind, I started to look at Surgeglobal in the light of a broodmare prospect. Are her pluses (successful siblings with high "start" numbers that indicate sound stock) enough to overcome her negatives (commercially questionable bloodlines and a poor race record)? In answering these questions, I assumed that the mare would pass my physical inspection without any major red flags. (Disclosure: I traded emails with the mare's seller and was told that Surgeglobal "retired sound but does have a slightly crooked left front leg.")
The conclusion I reached is that, if I were a stallion owner trying to prove a new stud, I'd love to have Surgeglobal in my herd. Or if I were training my own small stable of homebreds, I'd be eager to take a chance on her. In either of those situations, I'd feel pretty confident that I'd get solid foals that would earn their oats -- and with the right cross, possibly even a stakes-quality runner. Surgeglobal doesn't fit into my current breeding program, but I see where she could be a good choice in different circumstances.
Any differing viewpoints? If you like her, who would you cross her with?