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A First for Storm Cat, and Other Observations

Here's a mating which we think represents a first. When Ingrid the Gambler (Johannesburg - Pretty Livia, by Forest Wildcat) took the Wishing Well II Handicap Feb. 10, she became what is almost certainly the first stakes winner (in fact, the first stakes horse) by a Storm Cat-line stallion out of a Storm Cat-line mare. As students of pedigree know, the cross of a sire over a mare from the same immediate sire line tends to have a disappointing strike rate. Ingrid the Gambler is rated a TrueNicks C horse, but has other factors that help "rescue" the pedigree. One of these is a double of Mr. Prospector combined with his genetic relative, Bold Native, and another is a cross of Nijinsky II, a genetic relative to Storm Cat's sire, Storm Bird.

Still on the subject of Storm Cat, we've always thought that Smoke Glacken had promise with Storm Cat mares, especially as he is half brother to the excellent sprint filly, Smokey Glacken, a daughter of Storm Cat's popular son Forestry (TrueNicks, SRO). The key is Smoke Glacken's broodmare sire, Magesterial, who is by Northern Dancer out of a mare by Bold Lad (who is bred on the successful Bold Ruler/Princequillo cross), while Storm Cat is by a son of Northern Dancer out of a mare by Secretariat (who is also produced from the Bold Ruler/Princequillo cross). The first stakes winner on the cross was the Monmouth Park NATC Futurity winner Cat On a Cloud, and the second is Throbbin' Heart, winner of the Marshua Stakes Feb. 9. What is particularly interesting about this A++ rated nick is that Smoke Glacken has two stakes winners from only three starters out of Storm Cat mares.

A few years ago, some pedigree pundits railed against inbreeding to Mr. Prospector, employing some rather flawed logic to do so. Fortunately, those considering sending mares to Dixie Union - whose second dam is by Mr. Prospector - did not heed the cries. When Grasshopper took the Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III) Feb. 9, he became the fourth stakes winner, and third graded winner, by Dixie Union out of a Mr. Prospector mare (so inbred 4 x 2 to Mr. Prospector). Not surprisingly, the mating is an A++ nick.

Back on the male line/male line cross.... The Turf Paradise Derby winner Nikki'sgoldensteed (a B on TrueNicks) is by Mr. Prospector great-grandson Formal Gold out of a mare by "Mr. P" son Tank's Prospector. This one has a very clever trade-off for the male line/male line inbreeding: Formal Gold's sire, Black Tie Affair (IRE), is out of a mare by Al Hattab (by The Axe II). The second dam of Nikki'sgoldensteed is by Grey Dawn II. Both The Axe II and the dam of Grey Dawn II are by Mahmoud out of daughters of Blue Larkspur mares, making them genetic relatives. "Just by coincidence," the other stakes winner by Formal Gold out of a Mr. Prospector-line mare has a dam by Two Punch, whose maternal grandsire is ... Grey Dawn II!

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