A Lucky Pair With Three of a Kind

There was a 'lucky' ending to the last major two-year-old contests of the year with Looking At Lucky taking the Cashcall Futurity (gr. I) and Blind Luck the Hollywood Starlet Stakes (gr. I).
Lookin At Lucky is a son of Smart Strike (TrueNicks,SRO) , who won’t repeat his Leading Sire titles of 2007 and 2009, but who has had enjoyed another excellent season, and would have captured the Leading Two-Year-Old Sire title had Lookin At Lucky, not been unlucky in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
Lookin At Lucky, who is out of a mare by the Danzig son Belong to Me (TrueNicks,SRO), is an example of a very predictable nick that has extended itself a generation. Smart Strike is half-brother to Dance Smartly, an exceptional filly who was a daughter of Danzig. No surprise then, that Smart Strike has found success over Danzig mares. In fact he’s had 18 starters and four stakes winners on the cross (22%), including grade I winner Soaring Free. What is interesting here is how well the nick has carried on to the next generation. The cross of Smart Strike with mares by sons of Danzig, has produced 28 starters and six stakes winners (21%), including another grade I winner in Shadow Cast. Since Smart Strike over Belong to Me is an in-house Lane’s End Farm cross, one might speculate that it would have had plenty of opportunity, but in fact the three stakes winners on the cross are from just six starters.
Smart Strike is by Mr. Prospector, and Belong to Me is by Danzig out of an Exclusive Native mare. We wouldn’t have thought that there were a tremendous number of stakes winners with Mr. Prospector in the sire and Danzig and Exclusive Native in the dam, but in fact there are already at least 19, of which 16 are by Mr. Prospector line sires. Oddly enough, one of the three other grade I winners with the combination is Blind Luck, who was simply sensational in taking the Starlet, running a much faster time that Lookin At Lucky had recorded over the same trip the previous day.
Blind Luck had already given the surprising Pollard's Vision (TrueNicks,SRO) a first crop grade I winner with her win in the Oak Leaf (gr. I) in October. He is an atypical son of Carson City, out of a Dixieland Band mare, who was at his best at three and four when he won the Illinois Derby (gr. II), Leonard Richards Stakes (gr. III), Lone Star Derby (gr. III) and National Jockey Club Handicap (gr. III).
Blind Luck’s Danzig/Exclusive Native comes through Crowned the dam of Blind Luck’s broodmare sire, Best of Luck, who is by Chief’s Crown (by Danzig) out of an Exclusive Native mare. We have some interesting inbreeding here as both Pollard’s Vision and Chief’s Crown go back to the same female line through genetic relatives: Pollard’s Vision’s third dam, Nijinsky Star, is by a son of Northern Dancer out of Chris Evert, and Chief’s Crown is by a son of Northern Dancer out of a daughter of Chris Evert.

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