It's All Relative

Last weekend was relatively light on graded stakes action in the U.S., with just three races at that level. Two of the three, however, went to horses with interesting genetic relative inbreeding.

Medaglia d'Oro (TrueNicks,SRO)’s “other” grade I winning filly, Gabby’s Golden Gal, took her second race at that level, the Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I). She is out of a European-bred mare by Ashkalani, a grandson of Nureyev. This means that she has the three-parts-brothers Sadler’s Wells and Nureyev 3 x 4 in her pedigree. Sadler’s Wells and Nureyev appear together in more than 90 stakes winners, but as a sire line cross, Sadler’s Wells over Nureyev was slow getting off the mark. It’s improved somewhat as the protagonists have fallen back in pedigrees, and there are now at least 14 stakes winners by Sadler’s Wells line stallions out of Nureyev line mares. Some versions of the cross are now outperforming opportunity, and Gabby’s Golden Girl (TrueNicks A++) is a version of one of these, the El Prado/Nureyev cross. Gabby’s Golden Girl has a second dam by Cure the Blues, who is from the same family as Sir Gaylord (in El Prado's pedigree), and is bred on similar lines to that horse. Cure the Blues also appears in Rachel Alexandra, and another Medaglia d’Oro stakes winner Tasty Temptation.

City Zip (TrueNicks,SRO) is the epitome of a good-value racehorse sire, and he added another graded winner to his record when Acting Zippy took the John B. Connally Turf Handicap (gr. III) at Sam Houston Race Park. Acting Zippy (TrueNicks A++) is a product of the Carson City/Storm Cat cross, which brings together the genetic relatives Nijinsky II and Storm Bird. As a broad cross, it hasn’t improved much on opportunity yet – although it came up with last year’s Florida juvenile star and current classic prospect Jackson Bend, and track-record-breaking stakes winner Carnack’s Choice, a Pedigree Consultant’s recommended mating – but we think it might turn out to be more effective for the sons of Carson City going forward. The reverse, Storm Cat/Carson City, has produced nearly a dozen stakes winners, five graded.

The Sunshine Millions Classic, at $500,000 was the richest race of the weekend in North America it went to Bold Chieftain (TrueNicks B+). He is by far the highest earner for his sire, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and Champagne Stakes (gr. I) runner-up Chief Seattle (TrueNicks,SRO). Chief Seattle is by Seattle Slew out of a mare by Icecapade (three-quarters genetic relative to Northern Dancer), and Bold Chieftain’s dam is by Seattle Dancer, who is by Nijinsky II (by Northern Dancer) and is half-brother to Seattle Slew. Bold Chieftain’s second dam is by Norcliffe (by Buckpasser, who is from the La Troienne family, and out of a three-parts-sister to the siblings, Busher and Striking, who are 3 x 3 in the pedigree of My Charmer, dam of Seattle Slew and Seattle Dancer, and herself 3 x 3 in this pedigree). Finally, to go along with the three crosses of Northern Dancer/Icecapade, Bold Chieftain’s third dam is by a daughter of their sire, Nearctic. Quite a pedigree!

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