Nodouble Becomes New Dosage Chef-de-Race

(Guest post by Tom Hall)

Arkansas seems an unlikely place to be the birthplace of a future chef-de-race Thoroughbred stallion. But the fact is this: A good horse can be born anywhere, from the "horse capitals" of the world to any out-of-the-mainstream state in the hinterlands. Such is the case with Nodouble.

On March 4, 1965, a chestnut colt arrived at Gene Goff's Verna Lea Farm near Fayetteville, Ark., a son of the Australian-import Noholme II, winner of both the 10-furlong Cox's Plate and 12-furlong C.B. Fisher Plate at 3. At 15.2 hands, the son of Star Kingdom was a small, compact, sturdy sort, cut from the same cloth as Star Kingdom's grandsire, the great English stallion Hyperion.  

Nodouble's dam, Abla-Jay, was a hickory switch of a mare who won eight of her 68 starts across a four-year career. Her sire was 1946 champion 2-year-old male Double Jay, a rangy, durable runner who as an older horse parlayed his four-furlong juvenile speed to success in stakes at nine furlongs. Although Abla-Jay raced mostly at the bargain-basement level, she won from four furlongs to 1-1/16 miles and showed a fondness for an off track.

As a runner, Nodouble combined the stamina of his sire with the hardiness of his dam, winning 13 races from four to 10 furlongs. At 4, the rangy 16-hand colt who was more in the mold of his broodmare sire, developed into quite a handicap horse, with wins in such iconic handicap races as the Strub Stakes (although disqualified to 2nd), Santa Anita Handicap, Brooklyn Handicap, Californian, and Hawthorne Gold Cup. At year's end he was named 1969 champion handicap male, an honor he repeated the following year. His only start on turf came as a 3-year-old when he finished fourth in the Nashua Handicap at Arlington Park. Despite Nodouble's failure in the Nashua, his trainer Bert Sonnier declared that he could indeed handle the turf, as one might expect given the turf heritage of his sire line and his dam's proclivity for an off track.

As a stallion, Nodouble produced runners much in the same vein as he: hardy, versatile performers that were at home on both dirt and turf. From 644 foals, he sired 554 runners (86%). Of those runners 428 (77%) were winners. From his entire foal crop, he was represented by 91 stakes winners, a hefty 14.1%, which bumps to 21% for stakes winners to runners. Although his progeny's average distance raced was 7.67 furlongs, their average winning distance was 7.78. Of his 91 stakes winners, 78 won at a mile or more, and their median distance was 8.5 furlongs.

[Note from Scot: Six stallions were declared Dosage "chefs-de-race" this fall. I thought it would be fun to provide a short profile of each of the sires, concentrating on what type of influence they add to a pedigree. My friend and fellow Blood-Horse editor Tom Hall--you might know him as lordatwar on Twitter--agreed to tackle the first stallion. Additional information about Nodouble may be found on Dr. Roman's Dosage website: Nodouble. Additional installations will address the remaining five stallions in coming weeks.]

21 Comments

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ThoroGreats

I have a question for you Mr. Hall. Is there any reason why one of the greatest sires worldwide Danehill(over 350 stakes winners) is not a chef-de-race? Danehill had many progeny win over 12 furlongs worldwide. And any reason why Storm Cat isn't a chef-de-race either(kind of ironic his son Giant's Causeway has been)? Thanks

  • Scot's reply: I've forwarded your note to Tom Hall but thought I'd put in a quick response as well.  Dr. Roman has noted that he selects new chefs-de-race based on how much predictable influence they have in future generations. Dosage is not meant necessarily as a mark of class--many good stallions will never be Dosage chefs--but instead to recognize that the majority of a sire's offspring share a specific speed or stamina aptitude.  The progeny of Danehill and Storm Cat have not fit a simple pattern, so the influence of those stallions, even if generally GOOD, is not PREDICTABLE.
18 Nov 2010 1:45 PM
sceptre

Hi Scot,

Glad you included this piece on your blog. Nodouble was a good sire and deserves to be remembered. I've forwarded it along to my friend, Dash Goff (Gene Goff's son) who is active in the horse business...As an aside, the memory dims a bit after all these years, but I don't recall Nodouble fitting the description offered. I think I remember visitng him at stud and remarking to myself that he was on the smallish side (relatively short-legged), but somewhat longer-backed than his immediate male line. But, overall, I recall finding him representative of a "Hyperion-type" in appearance. I remember thinking that, in person, he appeared smaller than what he appeared as a racehorse (on the TV screen). Wish today we had the luxury of the diverse lines at stud present at that time. Mating horses has become a nightmare.

18 Nov 2010 5:14 PM
Pedigree Shelly

   Tom , Great article ! I didn't know Nodouble was foaled in Arkansas ! I find the dosage index very interesting and useful !

18 Nov 2010 10:12 PM
MurrayK

I agree with ThoroGreat's question re Danehill, here in Australia we have his sons and grandsons at stud, we were first cab off the rank with him and the winners keep rolling in, just incredible and over all distances. and now double Danehill stakes winners !!!!

The Danehill's have won Group 1 races around the world,virtually every major classic etc and has left a legacy that already is unmatched. He was a champion sire in TWO hemisphere's, the first and only to do so.

Surely there is enough evidence to include him on the list, otherwise it makes a mockery of the whole system.

  • Scot's reply:  You said it:  "The winners keep rolling in ... over all distances."  If Danehill's progeny were winning LESS, but at more predictable distances, he probably already would be a "chef."  I won't be surprised to see a split classification for him in the future, but it would be an odd one like I/S or C/P.  Again, though, I think one of the misunderstandings of Roman's Dosage system is about "class" versus "predictable influence."  How would you classify Danehill, keeping in mind his worldwide pedigree influence?
19 Nov 2010 3:48 AM
Somethingroyal

Very pleased to see an article about Nodouble. What I find particular interesting is Nodouble's dam, Abla-Jay raced 68 times and won from four furlongs to 1 1/16 miles. Very impressive...

19 Nov 2010 8:53 AM
Pedigree Ann

I wish people would make it clear whose dosage system they are speaking of - Varola's, Roman's, Vuillier's, Paulick's..,.

I have certain problems with the way Roman defines a 'chef-de-race'. He took the list of chefs and categories directly from Varola, then changed the definitions. Varola's "chefs-de-race" were just that - bosses of the breed, the breed-changing stallions of wide-spread influence, such as Danehill. Roman's definition is much less demanding, hence he named as "chefs-de-race" quite unimportant stallions like Apalachee.

This doesn't mean I don't respect Nodouble as a stallion. He got darn good, solid, professional racehorses - more a breed-preserver than -shaper, the type Varola put into the intermediate and stout categories.

19 Nov 2010 10:24 AM
jim

this system has been made a mess.Chefs-de-race was a stallion who is noted to be a sire of sires.& now I don't know what it is.Go back 30 yrs & they were all sire of sires.How many great sons of Nodouble are great sires?Now Danehill is another question.He is a sire of sires now what kind of horse's do the sons runs produce.This is what has happen to this system.Please throw out the one's that are not sire of sires.than we will have the system back.

20 Nov 2010 2:46 AM
Pedigree Shelly

          My instinct is telling me the reason why Zenyatta will be residing at Lane's End Farm , AP Indy !!! The decision in my opinion would be easy to make ! AP Indy is the best source of stamina in American Bloodstock ! It's hard not to say because , the first three finishers of The Breeder' Cup Marathon were either sired by AP Indy or a Paternal grandson of him ! Unfortunately AP Indy is not getting any younger ! It is in Zenyatta's best interest to make a date for 2011 . The hypothetical mating between Zenyatta and AP Indy is quite remarkable . The resulting foal would be free of Northern Dancer through the first five generations ! With a dosage profile of 6 11 21 0 0  and a DI of 2.62 and CD of + 0.62, which is about where you want it . The only negative is no Solid or Professional points . Still this mating would have many possibilities and make perfect sense !

20 Nov 2010 9:38 PM
Pocahontas

Oh, come now. Can you not think of a few stallions whose tail-male influence is marginal but whose daughters were great dams of sires? Does Storm Cat owe nothing to Secretariat? Ribot and his sons are now mainly a vein of silver in the bottom of pedigrees but how good to find them there.

21 Nov 2010 6:07 AM
Pedigree Shelly

        Scot , I am curious as to if you had received my blog on Zenyatta and AP Indy ? My computer has been acting up and sometimes I have to hit submit twice ?

  • Scot's reply:  Got it!  Not surprisingly, we're seeing a lot of interest in Zenyatta's first mating. TrueNicks ran a poll on the topic, and Deirdre Biles is discussing Zenyatta's matchmaking on the Hammertime blog.
21 Nov 2010 6:41 PM
Byron Rogers

As far as a breeder should be concerned, Dosage is a waste of time. Its fundamental flaw is that it is more concerned with juggling names in a pedigree to make them fit a formula, rather than acknowledging genetics and how inheritance works.

As misguided as he was, at his heart Vuillier was trying to help breeders breed better racehorses. The Dosage that we see today is a long way from that and is no longer a scheme designed to help breeders and cannot be applied that way.

23 Nov 2010 11:36 AM
Lorri S

Danehill is a sire of sires and his Australian son Redoute's Choice is a sire of sires of the future. His sons and daughters are consistently winning races and will be for many years to come it seems. Varolas is a better system than Romans as Romans favors consistency in speeds and distances above all else.  

23 Nov 2010 11:04 PM
Pedigree Ann

It wasn't "sires of sires", jim, it was sires of influential offspring. Sir Gallahad III and Blue Larkspur had good racing sons, but it was through their daughters that they became breed-wide influences.

Varola's and Vuilliers' systems didn't restrict attention to the most recent generations nor include stallions still at stud. These were among the problems of Roman's system that have become more obvious 30 years along.

24 Nov 2010 11:15 AM
Pedigree Shelly

       brogers , I'm sorry ,but I have to disagree with you ! The Dosage is not a waste of time ! I suggest you read Dr. Steve Romans' book,Dosage,Pedigree And Performance ! This is an excellent book ,from which I've learned alot ! I realize the original introduction to the Dosage Theory was written by Col. J J Vuilier but,Dr. Romans did a great job revising it !  By the way I'd like to wish you Scot , and my fellow bloggers a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving !!

24 Nov 2010 7:39 PM
Pedigree Shelly

       brogers , I'm sorry ,but I have to disagree with you ! The Dosage is not a waste of time ! I suggest you read Dr. Steve Romans' book,Dosage,Pedigree And Performance ! This is an excellent book ,from which I've learned alot ! I realize the original introduction to the Dosage Theory was written by Col. J J Vuilier but,Dr. Romans did a great job revising it !  By the way I'd like to wish you Scot , and my fellow bloggers a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving !!

24 Nov 2010 7:39 PM
Byron Rogers

Pedigree Shelly,

I have read it. I have also read Col. JJ Vuilier's Les Croisements Rationnels Dans La Race Pure and Typology of the Racehorse and The Functional Development of the Racehorse by Franco Varola.

They are all interesting reads, and instructional in some way, but for BREEDERS they mean nothing.

From Dr Roman's own web site " In order to establish greater utility, we chose to use more accessible four-generation pedigrees instead of the extended pedigrees used previously. We also re-introduced Vuillier's approximation of a genetic effect by halving the influence of any chef in each successive earlier generation. Finally, we established a statistical method for evaluating the results of our analysis. In this framework, Dosage in its latest configuration was developed."

That is, they are using Galton's Law. Francis Galton's "Law of Ancestral Heredity" theory was developed further by Karl Pearson, and their work was important in the development of modern statistics, giving us the term 'regression', modern notions of partial and multiple correlation among other things.

As good as their work was on statistics as it related to genetics, their work on heredity was ultimately eclipsed by the development of modern quantitative genetics, which based itself securely on Mendelian principles.

Dosage is based on a law of heritability (Galton) that has been proven inaccurate as far as how we know inheritance works today.

25 Nov 2010 12:34 PM
Pedigree Shelly

        Brogers , I truly apprciate your expertise on this subject , there is always something new to learn . I found an interesting article by Dr Dewey G Steele , Professor of Genetics at The University of Kentucky who wrote " Pedigrees must be judged on the basis of ancestors of the 1st and 2nd generation and individuals beyond the 3rd generation may for all practical purposes be ignored. " He goes on to say , " There is no evidence that the tail female line or any other line exercises a hereditary influence greater than would be expected on a purely chance basis ". I tend to disagree with what Dr. Steele wrote ! The pedigree of very modestly bred Carry Back comes to mind ! Here was a horse any trainer could have very easily ruined . Saggy , the sire of Carry Back was by( Swing and Sway )his only notable win was when he beat the great Citation ,when he was having an "off "day ! Carry Back's female line was bleak . His dam Joppy by Star Blen had only one notable thing , she was inbred 4dx5d to the great Teddy . Carry Back's Dosage Index of 1.00 with a CD of +0.17 indicates STAMINA which he proved by winning at Classic distances ! This reminds me of Sir Francis Galton , who coined the phrase" Nature vs. Nuture " !There are so many" Carry Backs" out in the Thoroughbred world waiting to be molded by the right trainer ! Zenyatta who has a great pedigree could easily have been ruined by a different trainer . The legendary Col. E R Bradley said it best " Class is in the dam " I truly believe that . I consider myself being a hands on self taught blue collar pedigree fanatic , always searching and trying to learn more !This being said , knowledge does not guarantee success and Dosage not being an exact science . It all boils down to how you use Dosage or decide to dismiss it !

26 Nov 2010 8:55 PM
Pedigree Shelly

       Scot , I realize this blog was to be about Nodouble , I'm sorry if I changed things ! My grandpa claimed a son of Nodouble back in the 80's curiously named Derby Day ! I hope this makes things right :)

26 Nov 2010 9:11 PM
Byron Rogers

Pedigree Shelly,

I admire your thoughts here, and please take this the right way, I am not wanting to criticize, just understand.

When a respected Professor of Genetics says " Pedigrees must be judged on the basis of ancestors of the 1st and 2nd generation and individuals beyond the 3rd generation may for all practical purposes be ignored. " and then...." There is no evidence that the tail female line or any other line exercises a hereditary influence greater than would be expected on a purely chance basis "....what possesses you to think he is (partially at least) wrong?

Equally, when it is known that inheritance works under Mendelian principles and Galton's Law has little application in quantitative genetics, what possesses you to defend a system like Dosage that uses the latter as the cornerstone of its operation?

In your Carry Back scenario, you raise an interesting point namely genetics vs environment.

Let's take for a moment that you score each out of 10...a horse gets a score of 1 to 10 based on his or her genetics and a score of 1 to 10 based on the environment (how the horse was raised, what trainer it goes to, jockey, etc). So on a given day, two horses turn up to the races. One is a genetic score of 7, but he has a bad trainer and a jock so his environment is only a 5. The other horse is a modestly bred horse so he has a genetic score of 4, but he has the best trainer in the land and the best jockey so his environment is a 9.

The first horse has a total score of 12, the second, even with poor genetics, has a score of 13, so in our theoretical race, the second horse with the modest pedigree but great trainer and jock, beats the first.

The problem is when they retire to stud. The horse with the poor genetic score only has his or her genetics to rely on, no trainer or jockey can help them now....ever wondered why Carry Back has faded out of most thoroughbred pedigrees?

05 Dec 2010 6:46 PM
Pedigree Shelly

      Just in case you don't have any more subjects during the holidays, I'd like to wish you and my fellow bloggers A Merry Christmas and A Safe Happy New Year !! I wanted to contact you about a couple of things that were important , but this computer I'm using is making hard to retrieve e-mails ! The computer I'm using has a software issue and was formerly used by my Father for buisness . :( It looks like Santa might have a new Laptop waiting for me :) That's great news because I've had a terribly rough week ! I had to put my puppy to sleep , he was fourteen and had kidney failure ! He was my Baby ! I don't have any children so he was everything to me !! I'm sorry to say that but, you seem like a real animal lover who would understand :) Anyways I've been studying the time away ! I just received the 2011 Stallion Register , so that has kept me busy and I have been researching The Thoroughbred Heritage sight also. What I wanted to ask you about was a conversation we had earlier this year . You had a project for me and that was to visit farms in the area which I did ! The only problem was the last farm I visited , I was offered the filly Wasted Words and that kind of got me "off track" so to speak ! Well , to wrap this up I'd like a written project to work on ! You had given me one but, like I said , I was trying so hard to find a job to keep the filly ! Now I'm ready to use all the knowledge I have to use and give it my ALL ! Could you please give me a project to submit to you ? Thank you for taking the time and patience to read this ! Very Much appreciated . Would it be okay to contact you Monday ?

     Very Sincerely , M Stevens

16 Dec 2010 9:45 PM
The Five-Cross Files

Part of the legacy of the great racemare and producer Miesque, who died six days ago, is her top son Kingmambo. Tom Hall analyzes the miler son of Mr. Prospector, who is a member of the most recent Chef-de-Race class designated by Dosage chief Steven

26 Jan 2011 4:20 PM

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