Broodmarathon -- Proven Producer With Turf Pedigree

So many mares, so little time. 

Today's selection has a definite slant towards grass bloodlines.  Overall, there's a lot to like, and some downsides to consider as well, in this world-traveling mare that spent time in the U.S., France, Great Britain, Ireland, and Australia.

Hip #898 (catalog page, pedigree), an 18-year-old mare named Tinaca, sells Wed., Nov. 5, 2008  at the Keeneland November mixed sale
  • Thoroughbred female family:  11
  • Race record:  two starts in France at 3; no earnings
  • Produce record: dam of 13 foals, five winners, one graded stakes winner
  • Covering sire: Lemon Drop Kid (SRO).  2008 stud fee:  $35,000. 

The stallion Manila, sire of Tinaca, might not be quite as well known as many other sires, but as I mentioned in a recent post on the Keeneland September sale, he must be pretty highly regarded -- he was a leading broodmare sire at the sale.  Manila had Le Fabuleux as his own damsire -- similar to Unbridled -- and was a son of the Northern Dancer stallion Lyphard.  Nice breeding.

Tinaca's broodmare sire was Roberto, from the Turn-to branch of the Nearco sire line.  The mare descends from Immense, and is therefore a half-sister to the six-time graded winner Mariah's Storm, herself dam of six black type offspring including grade I winner and star sire Giant's Causeway (SRO).  Further back in the family #11 dam line are Imsodear (dam of 2-year-old chamption filly Dearly Precious) and Itsabet, a fine racemare and important broodmare.

Manila was champion turf horse in the U.S. in 1986.  Roberto was an English and Irish champion and grade I turf winner. The Itsabet line, too, has tended to excel on turf courses. This mare was bred to race on the grass!

Some positives of this catalog page are huge:  a great family, excellent sire line crosses, and the mare is even a graded stakes producer!  Her foals have tended to sell fairly well -- up to $600,000, and usually in six figures.  She's in foal to a nice sire who's currently experiencing renewed commercial vigor and whose future looks bright.

The negatives are also hard to hide.  At 19 years old when she drops the foal she's carrying, this mare is up in years and her broodmare career isn't going to continue forever. Her progeny records (five winners and eight starters from 11 foals of racing age) could negatively impact the marketability of her future foals.  Her one graded-winning colt impresses with his $900,000+ earnings, but her eight foals to race have had median earnings of a paltry $8,325.

This mare offers a smaller breeder the opportunity to obtain some blue blood -- if he's willing to take on an old mare knowing she might have only one or two more foals before pensioning.  If the market continues to be weak, Tinaca could prove to be a bargain in November.  If so, I'd like to see her crossed with Posse (SRO), whose female family would introduce both Rahy (sire of Mariah's Storm) and inbreeding to Roberto.  Or perhaps Cryptoclearance (SRO), a cross that gives a sex-balanced inbreeding to Nashua and a Rasmussen Factor to Pocohontas, dam of both Tom Rolfe and Chieftain.  Cryptoclearance also brings in Dr. Fager (sire of Dearly Precious) through Fappiano -- a stallion who probaby is more representative of his broodmare sire (Dr. Fager) than of his own sire (Mr. Prospector).  A mating to Cryptoclearance would be a real ride on time -- the mare is getting on at 18, but Cryptoclearance is now 24 years old!

Thoughts on older mares?  Are they full of potential to bring in coveted bloodlines -- or is there a cutoff age that you set when shopping for broodmares?  Will Tinaca's grass pedigree help or hinder her in today's market?  And what sire deserves her court next year?

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