Is This a Broodmare -- Howl At the Moon

Flipping through the pages of this week's issue of The Blood-Horse, I did my usual cursory glance at the Horses For Sale section of the classified ads.  One of the entries screamed out "Lovely Young Dynaformer Mare..." and I decided to dig a little deeper.

Horse for sale ad - Howl at the Moon

Dynaformer (SRO) is one of those stallions who has been under-appreciated for much of his career, but his numbers are undeniable.  I've mentioned him before as a potential sire of sires, but his real influence looks to be through his daughters. Over the past several years he's worked his way up the list of leading broodmare sires and is currently ranked #12 on the Leading Broodmare Sires of 2008, Dynaformer breaks into this position despite having fewer producing daughters and fewer runners than 22 of the other Top 25 broodmare sires (including all 11 ranked above him).

Back to the broodmare for sale.... I exchanged emails with the seller, whose Web site included a nice short write-up about the mare and identified the rest of her pedigree.  The catalog page is a strong one -- this mare is worth some research.

Howl At the Moon (pedigree) is a 7-year-old daughter of the Northern Dancer mare Northabout.  That mare, in turn, descends from the Buckpasser mare Alluvial, who is dam of Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Coastal and multi grade I-winning multi-millionaire Slew o'Gold.  Another couple of jumps back in this female family 9-f line brings us to Bourtai, the dam of a couple of Broodmares of the Year.  This is the family of Belmont winners Creme Fraiche and Bet Twice, and Belmont/Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Bold Forbes.

It would be hard to argue against this mare based on her pedigree.

Her race record is nothing extraordinary.  The Claiborne Farm-bred Howl At the Moon did at least beat the averages -- three wins and an additional place from 10 starts, for earnings of $42,560. She appears to have matured rather late and evidently preferred a bit of distance -- both traits to be expected from a Dynaformer.

Howl At the Moon has two young foals. A 2007 Proud Citizen (SRO) daughter sold for $20,000 at last year's Keeneland November breeding stock sale and is hip #2832 at the Keeneland September sale starting next week.  Another filly came early this year, this time by Olmodavor (SRO). For 2009, Howl At the Moon is in foal to the royally-bred Kitalpha (a full brother to the spectacular sire KingmambHowl At the Moon - Thoroughbred broodmare for saleo (SRO)), who arrived at War Horse Place in Lexington, Ky., in 2008 for his first U.S. stud season.

 The $75,000 price tag reflects the broodmare's good looks and excellent pedigree.  Once the price of a mare hits $40,000 or so, I am generally surprised to see her offered outside of one of the big fall bloodstock sales.  In this case, I'm guessing the mare is priced appropriately and probably is no more than what she would be expected to bring during the Keeneland November sale, for example.  Anything over $50,000 is a question mark for a non-black type mare, but she comes with a million-dollar pedigree to make up for the white type.

I'd like to see Howl At the Moon tried with a Deputy Minister-line sire.  Too bad Silver Deputy was pensioned today; Dynaformer has done particularly well with him (7 winners from 7 foals, including 3 black-type winners, with earnings over $2.2 million).

And now as always, I turn it over to you, the reader.  Would you want this mare as part of your herd?  What stallion out there is just perfect for her?

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