On the Road

It’s only the third week in January, but the classic generation are already beginning to crank up. As far as the Derby is concerned the most significant race was the San Rafael Stakes (gr. III).

This was won by unbeaten Conveyance, a son of Indian Charlie (TrueNicks,SRO). The dam, Emptythetill, is by Holy Bull (TrueNicks,SRO) , out of a Mr. Prospector three-parts-sister to Gold Case (son of Forty Niner, who has been a pretty decent sire relative to his opportunities). The third dam, Silent Account is a two-year-old graded stakes winner by Private Account, and is sister to Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. I) winner Secret Hello, and half-sister to the speedy Hadif, a good regional sire in Texas. The family goes back to a Mill Ridge foundation that produced Sir Ivor and Menow.

In other West Coast colt action, Ranger Heartley took the California Derby. He’s by the useful Danzig horse, Lost Soldier, best-know as sire of Lost in the Fog, out of a mare by Silver Deputy. He has no black-type in the first two dams, but the dam is three-parts-sister to the good Canadian sprinter Saints Leader. Overall, this looks like all-weather and turf rather than dirt.

Still on turf, Nordic Truce impressed in the Dania Beach Stakes at Gulfstream, coming from last to take the mile event in 1:33 3/5. He’s something rather different for the sire, Yes It's True (TrueNicks,SRO), as she’s out of a European-bred mare by Night Shift – a brother to Fanfreluche – out of a Rainbow Quest mare, whose dam, Gayane was a European sprint stakes winner by Nureyev. This is same family as this year’s Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) winner Bribon, and goes all the way back to Mumtaz Mahal, through Malindi, a sister to Nasrullah.

Remaining in Florida, Uptowncharlybrown was impressive in the Pasco Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. Uptowncharlybrown follows Pedigree Consultants recommended mating Olredlgetcha and House of Grace, as the third winner from the first crop of his sire, Limehouse (TrueNicks,SRO) . Incidentally, for those faint-hearts who were flapping about what we were going to do with horses inbred to Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector, we can note that Limehouse is inbred 3 x 3 to Mr. Prospector and 4 x 3 to Northern Dancer. Uptowncharlybrown is out of a Northern Dancer line mare (by Langfuhr (TrueNicks,SRO) , a really good undervalued broodmare sire), out of a Forty Niner mare, and so has Mr. Prospector 4 x 4 x 4, Northern Dancer 5 x 4 x 4. The sire and dam are reverse parallel patterns too.

Holiday Monday brought two more three-year-old stakes for colts. At Oaklawn, Dryfly, stamped himself as a potential Arkansas Derby (gr. I)  contender with a 2 1/4 lengths win in the Smarty Jones Stakes. He is by the A.P. Indy (TrueNicks,SRO) horse, Jump Start, who we featured as a good value stallion last year, and who despite over-achieving relative to his stud fee, is now is Pennsylvania, where he is a true standout. Rated A++ by TrueNicks prior to his win, Dryfly is out of the Topsider mare Creeksider. We have classic stamina in the distaff side of this pedigree, as Creeksider is half-sister to English Derby winner Henbit. Dryfly has the three-quarters relatives Poker and Drumtop (both by Nasrullah out of Round Table mares) 5 x 3.

At Aqueduct, Deputy Daney, remained undefeated and stamped himself as a smart three-year-old sprinter with a win in the Jimmy Winkfield Stakes. He is by Officer (TrueNicks,SRO) - who bears some watching as he has some well-bred crops to come - out of a mare by Cure the Blues, and from the Christiana Stables family of Enchanted Eve (includes Tempted, Contredance, Polytain, Skimming, Salem, Broom Dance, End Sweep, Lazy Slusan, and Rutherianne). He's also inbred 4 x 4 to Seattle Slew.

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