Broodmarathon: Juddmonte Castoff Gombeen Is a Hard Sell Despite Danehill Connections

Ask me how much I'd be willing to pay for a Juddmonte mare--any Juddmonte mare--and I wouldn't hesitate to close out my 401k and give you the PIN to my debit card.  And I'd still be getting the better end of the deal by far. Pretty much, if she comes from Juddmonte's broodmare band, she's one of the finest mares in the world. Juddmonte has generations of investment in building truly royal Thoroughbred female families. Because the program is focused on producing top running stock--instead of commercially attractive yearlings--the quality of Juddmonte's families has been strengthened with each generation.  

When Saudi Arabian Prince Khalid Abdullah's outfit deems a broodmare a cull, you can bet she'll become the top mare in her new owner's barn.

Juddmonte gave every opportunity to homebred Gombeen. She was trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Bobby Frankel and ridden by top jocks Corey Nakatani, Mark Guidry, Robby Albarado, and Eibar Coa.  Despite all this, she showed little on the track (though, to be fair to those connections, she did place in four of five MSW starts at 3).

Hip #3611 (catalog page, pedigree), a 15-year-old mare named GOMBEEN, sells Wed., Nov. 17, 2010 at the Keeneland November mixed sale

  • Thoroughbred female family:  2-d
  • Race record:  8 starts, 0 wins, 3 seconds, 2 thirds. Earned $26,026.
  • Produce record: dam of 9 foals, 8 of racing age, 4 raced, 1 winner. 
  • Sale history:  Never previously sold
  • Covering sire: Covered by Latent Heat and First Defence.

As a broodmare, Gombeen visited excellent represenatives of the Mr. Prospector sire line (Distant View) ... the Northern Dancer line (Storm Cat, Storm Boot, Belong to Me, Boundary) ... the A.P. Indy line (Aptitude) ... and even the Caro line (Mizzen Mast).  Results to date: eight foals of racing age and a single, not especially impressive, winner.

Clearly, Gombeen has failed to live up to her family legacy. She is a half sister to 13 other foals out of the blue hen Razyana, seven of which are black type horses. Razyana is one of the best mares to represent the line of Natalma (dam of Northern Dancer) and Almahmoud (granddam of Halo). If any American family has perpetuated class from one generation to the next, it has been Thoroughbred family 2-d.

So how often do daughters of Razyana come on the market?  As you should suspect, they don't.  The only other Razyana daughter to be sold at public auction was her 1987 El Gran Senor mare, Emerald--and only then at age 22 and having produced no black type from 13 foals. As a 22-year-old barren mare, Emerald sold for AUS$9,000 (about $14,000) as 2009 Inglis Easter hip 111. How's that for a comment on the value of Razyana's progeny!

The sales team at Keeneland must have struggled with how to place Gombeen in the seven-book November sale. Here's a mare who could bring six figures just based on her impossible-to-obtain bloodlines. Half sister to Danehill!  Never before offered!  Book 2 must have been tempting, even given her age.

But would it be fair to place a non-winning, poor-producing, 15-year-old mare in an early book? Probably not.

Was Book 6 too late for Gombeen to be viewed by the "right" audience? Possibly, but I suspect anyone who really wants this bloodline will stick around.

I'm going to predict that Gombeen is one of the two or three sales toppers in Session 10. Last year, the top five horses sold for $47,000 through $67,000, with a $9,431 average and $6,000 median for the full day. I'll go out on the line and predict Gombeen at a minimum $50,000.


Leave a Comment:


Am I missing something?  Why has she  been bred to  a son of Danzig only once? And why not to Danzig himself? I'm in no position to question their choice of stallions but seems like they dropped the ball on this one. Boundary's her only success.  Danzig line sires seem like a no-brainer here.  I normally would say "walk away" on a produce record like that, but in this case I'd advise buy and find  sons of Danzig that match physically and breed away!  Be smart, keep the fillies for yourself!      

25 Oct 2010 2:42 PM

OPPS! Belong to me also. My bad!!

25 Oct 2010 2:45 PM
Pedigree Shelly

      If I owned this mare I would stay away from the Danzig line ! I'd try a moderately priced stallion from the Mr P line ! I'm short on time right now but , I did a hypothetical with El Corredor and it 's worth a shot !

Dosage profile - 2 2 13 0 1

DI 1.40 CD 0.22

Inbreeding - Mr Prospector 4sx5s

            Buckpasser 4dx4d

            Tom Fool 5dx5d

            Busanda 5dx5d

I'm going to research more on this mare but , I like this cross .

25 Oct 2010 5:44 PM

Daughters of Razyana have been, overall, disappointing producers. While Gombeen has not been bred to the best of choices for many years, at her age, she would be tremendously overvalued by people who see "Danehill" and don't know about the other failed 1/2 sisters.

25 Oct 2010 5:46 PM

Hi Scot,

What some of your readers need to grasp is that a Gombeen is NOT an aberration, rather far from it. Many, many extremely well-bred mares, even some that were talented runners, are failures as producers. There are genetic reasons why this can occur, but we are not yet privy to some of them. But, can we be certain that Gombeen is among those very poor risks? At first blush it would appear that way, but I'd like to see her, physically, and learn about her history. It is curious that they bred her to Storm Cat (probably among the Overbrook/Juddmonte Storm Cat arrangement) so late in her career (after repeated produce failures), but the "nick" was fairly obvious. It's a longshot, but it's also possible that Gombeen just happened to receive the lesser genes from her previous mates. I do like that she's a Private Account (only one in sale) and that she's so closely inbred to Buckpasser. Will say this-whenever I've run accross a mare such as this (super pedigree/poor production record) I was turned off by their looks...She was bred to Danzig-line sires a few times, and this line would appear to be a good cross, not just because of Danehill, but also that Danzig/Private Account was a good nick...Very good chance that Gombeen inherited relatively little of the better genes from Private Account and Razyana (who was a looker-I saw her when a Saratoga yearling). But, it's not an all or nothing scenario-Gombeen is worthy of more investigation. I I liked her physically, and heard the right excuses, Gio Ponti, for one, could be an interesting mate.      

25 Oct 2010 5:47 PM
Pedigree Shelly

        Scot , I found a Mr P line stallion that would be excellent for Gombeen's new owner, Any Given Saturday !! A True Nicks A++ rating !

25 Oct 2010 6:03 PM
Pedigree Shelly

         I agree with pretty much what Sceptre said ! Alot of well bred talented mares do not make it as broodmares ( Winning Colors ) for example . It seems that Gombeen is not "clicking" with the Northern Dancer line !I realize that she was bred to Mr. P line Distant View twice with no luck but, I would not give up on that cross ! Just look at the Private Account mare Personal Ensign , she did superb with Mr. P ! I think Any Given Saturday  with this mare would prove to be a winner !

25 Oct 2010 7:56 PM
Dermot Carty

On paper she looks the part,Sire Female family ect

HOWEVER that is where it ends

She has an awful produce record and she was giving all the chances in the world

I suspect that she is trowing individuals that even a blind man would not buy. Pedigree and theory are just a tool in producing the race horse but the individual is the reality


2000 Eye View, f. by Distant View. Sent to Ireland. Unraced. Producer.

2001 Ownership, c. by Belong to  Me. Unplaced in 2 starts in Ireland.

2002 Ground Rules, c. by Boundary. Winner at 3, £6,328, in England. (Total:


2003 no report; 2005 unnamed f. by Storm Boot, died as a weanling.

2004 Tinted View, f. by Distant View. Unplaced in England.

2006 Aptenia, f. by Aptitude. Unplaced in Australia.

2007 Steamship, c. by Mizzen Mast. Sent to England. Unraced.

2008 unnamed c. by Storm Cat.

2009 c. by Mizzen Mast; 2010 aborted single foal

and to top of the cherry pie she has a very spotty produce record Yest when I was twenty I would have chased this mare all over the sales ground but as time has passed(along with many hundreds of thousands) i would avoid her

26 Oct 2010 8:25 AM
Pedigree Ann

One big difference between Private Account and the other stallions Razyana was bred to is that he was a dirt horse and he sired dirt horses. But Gombeen has been treated like she was pure turf and her foals sent to race in turf countries. She deserves a chance to have offspring raced on US dirt before she is tossed on the rubbish heap. Being inbred to Buckpasser, with His Majesty as damsire, probably means she has a load of stamina that needs a good dose of speed. There is no lack of dirt sires who can transmit speed in this country, some good ones for reasonable prices. Langfuhr has some appeal.

As to Winning Colors, she seems to be one who was mated for status rather than suitability. Mr. P, Danzig, Storm Cat, Rahy, Broad Brush (after he had made it big). But were they what SHE needed? Yes, one of the Mr. Ps won a bunch a money in Japan, but her most suitable foal for US racing has been by Orientate, which interestingly enough introduces distant inbreeding to T.V. Lark (4x5 in the foal).

26 Oct 2010 10:51 AM
Larry Ensor

I agree with Dermont. A Storm Cat thats not worth naming speaks volumes. I'd rather have one of her daughters.

26 Oct 2010 11:38 AM
Miguel Alfonzo

I am making a different analysis why Gombeen(1995) has no good production.

a)At the time she born Razyana(1981) has 14 years old.

b)Different was Danehill(1986)that Razyana was 5 yeas old.

c)Spring Adieu(1974)produce Razyana when she was 7 years old,but must of her offspring failed.

d)Natalma(1957)produce Spring Adieu when she was 17 years old.Northern Dancer(1961)born when Natalma was 4 years old.


a)the owners are selling a problem with no options to fix

b)I have read the discussion about to use some or other stallions,in the case on Gombeen she won't produce anything more than she has already produce..nothing good.The reason is because of her age right now(15)the degeneration of her endometrium results in patchy areas where fewer and less well-developed microcotyledones results in a serious reduction in the level of nutrition available to the fetus.This is the main reason why must of the mares at ages more than 12 failed to produce a good racehorse,but with the understand that a few HEN mares brake the rule.

26 Oct 2010 1:54 PM
Pedigree Shelly

       Miguel , you brought up some excellent points but , wasn't Secretariat the last foal of the aged mare Somethingroyal ?

29 Oct 2010 9:58 PM
Pedigree Shelly

        I'm sorry, I wanted to add something to my last blog :) Was Secretariat an exception to the rule ?

29 Oct 2010 10:04 PM

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