Broodmarathon -- Dam of Eight Belles

The Keeneland November sale will have a close link to the tragic filly Eight Belles (pedigree) as her dam is being offered, carrying a full sibling to the runner-up in this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).  (Full story here.)

Some numbers on this newsworthy Keeneland November offering:

Hip #271 (catalog page, pedigree), an 11-year-old mare named Away, sells Mon., Nov. 3, 2008  at the Keeneland November mixed sale
  • Thoroughbred female family:  1-x
  • Race record:  seven wins and 17 times in the money from 24 starts for total earnings of $277,550.  Winner of the 2002 Minaret Stakes.  Twice graded stakes-placed.
  • Produce record: dam of five foals, including two winners and three unraced (foals of 2006-2008).
  • Covering sire: Unbridled's Song (SRO).  2008 yearling average: $350,156.  2008 stud fee:  $150,000. 

For those of you who don't follow Thoroughbred female family lines, or who don't know the family numbers offhand, you need to know at least this one:  family 1-x is from La Troienne.  The whole of family #1 is a storied one, and the 1-s branch (that of the 1808 mare Web) has had many standouts that have been prepotent enough to further branch off.  La Troienne is arguably the best of a standout lot, and the direct female line to her is still prized 54 years after her 1954 passing.  (Thoroughbred Family 1 lineage)

It is difficult to discuss Eight Belles without someone mentioning her sad fate.  I believe many will question the propriety of repeating the cross that brought about the sensational, but possibly fragile, filly.  Indeed, the mating occurred three days after the filly's demise, and must have been on the minds of all concerned with Away's care.  I will leave open that question to individual interpretation, and will focus instead on the positives of the mare's pedigree.  Dixieland Band is a terrific broodmare sire and Away herself was a high-class racehorse.  The line from La Troienne only makes things more exciting.

I'd love to see Away booked to Aptitude (SRO) at some point.  The cross introduces several proven successes:  Seattle Slew (and, increasingly, A.P. Indy (SRO)) over Mr. Prospector blood; an influx of Buckpasser bloodlines over mares from his own female family 1-x (Aptitude is inbred 4 x 3 to Buckpasser); and sex-balanced Northern Dancer inbreeding.

Any guesses as to how Away will do in the ring?  If you purchased her, who would you book her to for her next foal -- and why?

Recent Posts


  • Pedigree Newsletter:
    The Five-Cross Files will be featured in a new Pedigree Analysis newsletter from To sign up for this free weekly email -- or any other newsletters from The Blood-Horse -- just click here.

Recommended Reading

More Blogs