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We must admit, we did a double-take when we saw the pedigree line for the Malibu Stakes (gr. I) winner, M One Rifle, as the name of his sire, One Man Army, rang absolutely no bells whatsoever. It turns out that we weren’t having a senior moment, as One Man Army has very much been flying under the radar.
Although not bred by Fred Hooper, One Man Army has a pedigree very much in the Hooper mold, as he’s by the Roberto horse, Roman Diplomat, out of a mare by Tri Jet (both Hooper runners) and owns the tell-tale inbreeding to Hooper’s mainstay stallion, Olympio (4 x 4 x 5 in this case). Despite his Florida roots, One Man Army was foaled in Kentucky, and he was purchased at the Keeneland September Yearling Sales for $35,000 by California conditioner, Bruce Headley.
As a runner, One Man Army proved no more than useful, winning two races, $83,454, and taking third in the Oceanside Stakes in his sole foray into black-type company. Retired to Kingsway Farm, Temecula, California, One Man Army was initially virtually a private stallion for Headley. In fact, he sired only three foals in his first two years at stud, before his getting 17 in his third year, 2004. He’s made the most of his opportunities, however, and has sired 22 winners from 35 starters, including additional black-type winners Soldier’s Kiss (the only foal from his first crop) and Woman Warrior.
TrueNicks Rated A, One Man Army is the product of a cross that has enjoyed success over several generations, and through a number of different incarnations, that of Roberto over In Reality line mares. Roberto himself sired three stakes winners from just four starters out of mares by In Reality: Real Shadai, a grade I winner in Europe and Leading Sire in Japan; the Week of Fame Derby winner Pedro the Cool (a 1986 foal, and one of our earliest mating plans) and Major Impact (himself sire of graded stakes winners).

Since then extended version of the cross has gone on to produce numerous stakes winners, including Champions Perfect Sting and Overarching (in South Africa), and other grade I winners Starrer, Collect the Cash and Vacare. M One Rifle is by a grandson of Roberto out of a mare by Bertrando, a great-grandson of In Reality, so the nick is getting fairly extended at this point. But the TrueNicks A rating is achieved on the basis of the Roberto/Skywalker version of the cross.
The fillies version of the Malibu Stakes, the La Brea Stakes (gr. I) went to Evita Argentina (TrueNicks A++), who followed Capt. Candyman Can as the second grade I winner from the first crop of Candy Ride (ARG) (TrueNicks,SRO) out of a mare by as son of Storm Cat. Capt. Candyman Can is out of a mare by Storm Creek (by Storm Cat out of a mare by Mr. Prospector), and Evita Argentina is out of a mare Forest Wildcat (out of a mare by Bold Native, a close genetic relative to Mr. Prospector). This would indicate that it may be worth considering Candy Ride with mares by other Storm Cat/Mr. Prospector crosses such as Tale of the Cat (TrueNicks,SRO) and Storm Boot, or mares themselves bred on the Storm Cat/Mr. Prospector cross (shouldn’t be too hard to find). We’d also find him interesting with mares by Stormy Atlantic (TrueNicks,SRO) and Stormin Fever (TrueNicks,SRO), who carry the Storm Cat/Seattle Slew cross.

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This topic (M One Rifle) is already rather stale, and doubt that anyone, but Mr. Porter, will even look at my posting. Still, this horse-his pedigree, is a good example of how some can lose the forest for the trees. This is less directed at Mr. Porter's brief summary than Ms. Hunter's current expose on this horse. I had followed closely the careers of When (the 2nd dam), Leanessa (the dam), and M One Rifle (due to my admiration of When and Leanessa). When was a very talented filly (appeared to have far more ability than a mere stakes-placed sort). Leanessa was a physical knockout-she topped Del Mar's preferred yearling sale at $200,000. Her full-brother also topped the sale the following year. Leanessa was a speedy, brilliant runner-appearing to have the ability of a graded stakes winner. M One Rifle is Leanessa's 3rd foal, but her older unraced full-siblings have consistently bulletted in their morning works. Leanessa was bred to One Man Army because Mr. Headley owns, or part-owns both. One can only speculate what Leanessa may have accomplished had she been bred to stallions of greater stature. I had attempted to acquire Leanessa from the moment she was retired, up until two months ago. When, her dam, and owned by another remained also unobtainable (I tried, years ago). I mention all this to emphasize the point that there is no substitute to following racing careers closely. M One Rifle's success was very likely caused (most predominently) by Leanessa/When. All too often false conclusions are reached (due to an A Nick, haphazzard outcross luck, over estimating some hidden value in the sire, etc.) because one lacks sufficient  familiarity with the more immediate parents-particularly their racing ability. I'm probably shooting myself in the foot by writing this-who knows, I may still have the chance to one day acquire Leanessa. So I hope this may be read by Alan (and a few others) only.        

sceptre 30 Dec 2009 3:32 PM

Nice article, Alan, but I believe Hooper's stallion was Olympia, not to be confused with Olympio, standing at Victory Rose TBs in Vacaville, CA. I guess I'm on the right track taking my Skywalker mare to One Man Army ?

Marianne Hebner 03 Jan 2010 4:01 PM

Collect the cash has a offspring running today in Gulfstream's 8th race. I do not remember anything about her. Could you help me out please?

Albert Jackson 17 Feb 2010 6:42 AM

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