Broodmarathon: Spring, From Danzig's Family, Carries Sibling to Grade I-Placed Winner

Hip #1350 (catalog page, pedigree), an 8-year-old mare named SPRING, sells Fri., Nov. 12, 2010 at the Keeneland November mixed sale

  • Thoroughbred female family:  7-a
  • Race record:  Unraced
  • Produce record: dam of four foals, two of racing age, two winners, one stakes-placed.
  • Sale history:  $45,000 as a 2002 Keeneland November weanling; $110,000 as a 2003 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling; $4,500 as a 2005 Keeneland January broodmare prospect.
  • Covering sire: Include.

When reviewing bloodstock for myself or my clients, one thing I try to discern from the sales catalog page--and some additional research--is whether the previous owner attempted to replicate crosses that have worked previously.

In the case of the Stravinsky mare Spring, it's clear that history was honored a couple of times.

First, Spring herself is the result of a purposeful reproduction of a cross that a decade earlier yielded Gentlemen (ARG), a multiple grade I winner, Argentine champion 3-year-old, and earner of $3.6 million. Specifically, Spring and Gentlemen are by sons of Nureyev and are out of the full sisters Spinnin Cannon and Elegant Glance, respectively. Unfortunately, other than Gentlemen, the family has not produced much of note in a couple of generations. One other U.S. stakes winner appears under the third dam (coincidentally, this "great great uncle" is also by a Northern Dancer-line stallion); Spinnin Cannon produced a graded-placed filly (by King of Kings, who's by Northern Dancer's great Sadler's Wells); and a few stakes-placed runners in North and South America round out the page.

The second instance of applied research is more immediate and probably more meaningful. Spring sells in foal to Include, making her carried foal a full sibling to Pulsion, her 2007 colt.  Pulsion ran five times as a juvenile and scored once with two additional place efforts for a six-figure paycheck on the year. One of those seconds was his current claim to fame: he was runner-up in the Norfolk Stakes (gr. I) during the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meet. He has not yet tallied a win in 2010, his sophomore season, but trainer Patrick Biancone apparently feels he's on the cusp of a breakout race: Pulsion's four starts this year include efforts in the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) and the Florida and Arkansas Derbies (both gr. I).

Pinhookers would be wise to consider hip #1350 at a reasonable price. If Pulsion returns to the track--he's been off since finishing poorly June 20 in a Monmouth allowance--and finally puts it all together, this mare's catalog page will erupt.  Just as important for profitability, the carried foal, if sold as a yearling, would likely return the investment and a significant profit.

Go back a bit further in the pedigree and you'll find Petitioner (fifth dam of Spring), who produced Pas de Nom, the multiple U.S. and Canadian stakes-winning "iron" mare who is best known as the dam of the great Danzig.  (By Northern Dancer.  It would be interesting to figure out if Northern Dancer works well with this family because of some genetic affinity, or because of opportunity.)



Leave a Comment:

Larry Ensor

One of the first things I look for is does the family have some well known runners in the immediate family. I like to see respected broodmare sires. One of the most important things IMO from a commercial breeders aspect are there any other horses working to improve the pedigree.  In this case the dam of the selling horse is going on 21 and only one filly on the page. Graded stakes placed should mean she is being bred to proper stallions. Being that King of Kings moved his tack a few years back she should have foals of racing age. I am sure there are other half sister to the selling horses but obviously none have produced anything of note. Spring is a grade 1 stakes placed producer. I wouldn't give any credence to what Biancone has to say. A few phone calls will tell the story of his future. More importantly is the fact the she has a yearling by Congrats the leading freshman sire. Did it go through the ring? If not a phone call or two should explain along with who the breeder has been. Nothing too exciting about being in foal to Include. She is interesting at a price and worthy of further review. Interesting that the family has been breed to several Ashford stallions.

  • Scot's reply:  You bring up some important research to conduct before considering a purchase--especially if you're looking to sell the mare's offspring. Let me address a few of the questions you raised:  (1) Spring has a full sister (Spring Symphony, born 2004) that has just had her first foal this year. Throne and White Cannon (on the catalog page) are the only other fillies out of Spinnin Cannon.  ... (2) Spring's 2009 Congrats filly sold for $72,000 as OBSAUG hip #146 (the average for this preferred sale was $35,697 and median was $26,000).  Spring's 2010 Graeme Hall weanling colt sold yesterday (Oct. 19) for $45,000 as hip #242 at the preferred session of the OBSOCT mixed sale (average at that sale was $15,664 and median was $7,500) ... (3) I'll leave it to anyone who's planning to bid to follow up on Pulsion's future racing prospects!
20 Oct 2010 7:33 PM

I pinhooked Spring and he was one of the most beautiful horses that has ever set foot on this farm.  He did not "vet" perfectly as a yearling or he actually would have sold even better than he did.  I am so thrilled that he was able to become a g1 horse.  I saw the G Hall colt and he was a beauty too. His new owners have a lovely horse on their hands and I wish them the best!

20 Oct 2010 9:08 PM
Pedigree Shelly

        I've just received my catalogs today , I'm only half way through book one :) The subject broodmare Spring , looks to be a promising producer ! I'd be looking forwards to her 2010 Congrats colt ! Congrats , being the top first crop sire so far is amazing , despite his $4.500 stud fee ! I'll guarantee you his fee will be upped and he won't be standing in Florida next year

20 Oct 2010 10:32 PM

Scot, we see things differently re-this mare ("Spring"). You seem to infer that she may well bring less than her "true" value (relative to most others in the sale)-("the carried foal....a significant profit"), but I hear from you no reasons to support this. I suppose it's based on the fact that Include is out of fashion-but this didn't stop her Graeme Hall weanling from bringing a good price. Her present owners are likely selling her because they wish to strike while the iron is hot (she's carrying a full to a rather recent graded stakes horse, and she has a yearling by a hot stallion). My guess is that she'll bring more than what she's worth. One wonders why she was unraced (conformational issues, unsoundness, or just bad luck-I'd try to find out, but examining her up close could provide some answers. I'm also somewhat skeptical about graded 2 yr. old black type. Pulsion may be a nice horse, but I doubt he's G-I material. So, her (apparent) positives are there for all to see, but perhaps the more subtle negative nuances are not= (all else equal) she'll bring more than what she's truly worth.  

21 Oct 2010 12:45 AM

I neglected to note my estimate of Spring's sale price.  This one is a bit trickier than others in my "Broodmarathon" series to date. Spring has a previous $4,500 sale price that seems to set a fairly low bar. She's improved her catalog page as a producer since then--and breeders have got to consider her high progeny sales prices when they evaluate her to determine a final bid amount. I'm guessing she'll pull in between $28,000 and $38,000, so I'll call my guess $33,000, right in the middle.  (For reference, the 2009 results from Session 5 were $42,004 average and $32,000 median.)

21 Oct 2010 10:50 AM

Hi Scot,

She is indeed rather tricky to appraise. Your appraisal could very well be right on and, if it is, she could be a good buy, and one could easily turn a profit with her in-utero. I think the key to what she'll bring is her conformation-the fact that she brought only $4500 last time doesn't necessarily mean that she isn't a good looking mare. Now that he's thrown a Graded Stakes horse early in her production career will have those looking at her seeking a reason. Should she be a real looker, they may in part attribute it (the Graded Stakes horse) to that, and then some might value her quite a bit higher than your appraisal. That said, in reality her looks (good or bad) may have had nothing to do with her having produced that good horse.  

21 Oct 2010 5:27 PM
Larry Ensor

Regardless of what her conformation issues may or may not be or why she did not race the fact that she has had several foals that sold very well in a very unforgiving market suggests she gets a good looking foal.  Again I would like to know what her two American based sisters are being are being bred to. The Argentine half sister is nice to have on the page but adds little to no value to the page IMO. I am not discounting Argentine racing having been there many times and was the agent that sold Robin des Bois to Argentina but unless it is a Grade 1 race anything less is just an average allowance American race.  I agree with Scott but would not be surprised it she brought $50-75.

Sceptre, nothing is easy in today's market. I have never put a lot of stock in full siblings.  I gave away a correct good looking filly by Johannesburg out of a very well bred Gulch mare (first foal) last month for $4,000 because of some minor vet issues.  

23 Oct 2010 9:31 AM
Pedigree Shelly

        Scot , What's your impression on hip 1928 ? East Cape is a proven broodmare by Mr P , for the right price she'd be an excellent purchase !

  • Scot's reply: I'm often a fan of full siblings to standout runners. In this case, it's intriguing to think of East Cape's prospects when crossed with the same bloodlines that her family has liked in the past. Grade I-winning half brother West by West was by Mr. P's son Gone West, so had similar breeding with the addition of a line of Secretariat. East Cape's "uncle," Little Missouri, seemed to do well with Bold Ruler and with non-Mr. Prospector lines of Raise a Native (Prairie Bayou, his classic winner, had both).  Kodiak Kowboy's another one to consider when thinking of this mare's best crosses. Neat choice, Shelly.
23 Oct 2010 11:08 PM

Mr. Ensor:

I agree with your general message, but feel you may be a bit too "black & white" with some of your opinions re-this mare. While it's likely that this mare has already produced at least three good-looking foals (as assumed by their sales prices), I still maintain that her looks, alone, could bear greatly on her sales price in Nov. Unlike you, I don't assume that all bidders/buyers share your degree of sophistication. Let's assume all are aware of the sales prices of her recent offspring. Many might simply attribute (some/all) those prices to the relatively recent G-I stakes horse and, re the Congrats, the fact that this sire is hot. I'm not saying that I would agree with their logic, but I do feel that many would think that way. Most people would also believe that a mare who is good-looking and has already produced three good-looking foals would be more likely to continue to do so, than a mare who is less than good-looking, but has already produced three good-looking foals. More importantly, it is this mare herself (and alone) that is the subject of their inspection at the sale...Your comments about full-siblings notwithstanding, I'd say it is rather likely that Spring's present owner(s) will receive the best bang for their bucks by having her in-foal to Include. Again, this speaks somewhat to relative buyer sophistication, but it is also true that full-siblings (on average) possess 50% identical genetic material (yes, 50% is a far cry from 100%). Lastly, I did not mean to suggest that it would be "easy" to turn a profit should Spring bring in the mid-30's, but rather that her in-utero Include, as a yearling, would have the potential to bring significantly more than that figure-I apologize for my poor composition related to that.  

24 Oct 2010 8:45 PM
Pedigree Ann

Boy, has commercial breeding skewed the way folks think. Once upon a time, breeders cared about whether a mare could produce good runners, not whether her offspring could be sold for a big profit. Matings determined by how hot various sires are rather than what stallion best suits the mare often don't result in good runners; compare B. Mozelle's early produce record, when she was bred to produce racing stock, and her late produce record, when she was bred to produce sales stock.

25 Oct 2010 10:33 AM

As a general rule, mares have better foals in their first four than their last four. Comparing a mare's early and late produce tells nothing about the effect of breeding for sale vs racing. An old, scarred uterus is unlikely to produce much, even if it belongs to a multiple stakes producer.

29 Oct 2010 1:53 AM

I should add, in fairness to our old matrons and their get, that the genes are not at issue with their progeny, just the development. A useless racing prospect from an old mare has an excuse, and can be expected to produce to her pedigree, not her performance.

29 Oct 2010 1:57 AM

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