Something Happening Here?

Until very recently, the Unbridled's Song (TrueNicks, SRO)/Seattle Slew cross had been a virtually unmitigated disaster. Unbridled's Song had just one stakes winner on the cross, and his sire, Unbridled, also had one stakes winner out of a Seattle Slew-line mare, the being Symphony Sid, who is also closely inbred to Unbridled's sire, Fappiano. The only grade I winner by an Unbridled-line stallion out of a Seattle Slew-line mare was Country Star, a daughter of Empire Maker (a horse who just happens to be half-brother to Seattle Slew's exceptional daughter Honest Lady).

However, in a matter of a handful of days, First Defence (by Unbridled's Song out of Honest Lady) won the Forego Stakes (gr. I), and Midshipman (by Unbridled's Song out of a mare by Seattle Slew's son Avenue of Flags) captured the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I).

So, is Unbridled's Song/Seattle Slew about to become a major new nick? Well, there are some factors to consider here. The first is the class of the dams of First Defence and Midshipman. First Defence is out of the brilliant Honest Lady, winner of four graded stakes including the Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) and a very close second in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I). As mentioned earlier, Honest Lady also happens to be half-sister to one of Unbridled's best offspring, Empire Maker.

Fleet Lady, the dam of Midshipman, was not quite in the Honest Lady class, but was heroine of six black type events including the La Canada Stakes and El Encino Stakes (both gr. II). Fleet Lady also proved herself as a producer, as she is also dam of the Cotillion Handicap (gr. II) winner Fast Cookie.

We can also note that even with the two grade I winners accounted for, the Unbridled's Song/Seattle Slew nick still only rates a TrueNicks C.

However, if we're not exactly ready to hail the arrival of a new "mega-knick," we can say that we would be prepared to give a lot more careful consideration to the offspring of Unbridled's Song out of Seattle Slew-line mares, especially if the are out of accomplished runners or producers.

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