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Promising First Act for Awesome Again Son

Awesome Act is by Awesome Again (TrueNicks,SRO), who with nine grade I winners in his first eight crops is the leading stallion son of Deputy Minister. Winner of the Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) and Queen's Plate at 3, Awesome Again went undefeated in six starts at 4, five of them stakes, including a victory over what was perhaps the strongest Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) field ever assembled.

Adena Springs has always marched to its own beat in breeding shed decisions, and Awesome Again's best winners are out of what is probably a more eclectic group of broodmare sires than most recent top-class stallions: Ghostzapper (TrueNicks,SRO) (dam by Relaunch), Ginger Punch (Bold Revenue), Wilko (Indian Ridge), Toccet (Cozzene), Spun Sugar and Daaher (Irish Open), Sugar Shake (Skip Away) and Dubai Escapade (Saratoga Six). In addition to the grade I winners, the broodmare sires of his graded winners include Pentelicus, Turkoman, Olympio, Digression, Great Gladiator, Dayjur, and Time For a Change, who again don't represent a typical group for a leading sire.

We are aware that Adena Springs generally favor outcrossing, and Awesome Again maybe one of those relatively outcrossed stallions (his nearest duplications are Nearco 5 x 5 and Native Dancer 5 x 5, the cross being responsible for Northern Dancer in his sire line, and in a more extended version, his dam), who has enough strength in depth to himself work primarily as an outcross. If that strength in depth is the same as his sire, Deputy Minister, we suspect that it's to horses carrying concentrations of the very important mare Queen Mary. That would make the best prospects for him somewhat hard to discern and the results somewhat unpredictable, but happily, we can note that nicking helps to some of the heavy lifting. Looking at The Blood-Horse Stallion Register for 2010, we see that that eight of his nine graded winners are rated A+ or A++, and 12 of his grade II or III winners are A or better. Whatever is working, for owner/breeders looking for a horse who can get a top-class runner, Awesome Again can't be ignored at his 2010 fee of $50,000.

One strain we haven't mentioned up until know in relation to Awesome Again is that of Mr. Prospector (the sire of his second dam). Unlike Dixie Union, who has Mr. Prospector in the same position in his pedigree, crossing Awesome Again with Mr. Prospector-line mares has been a barely-mitigated disaster. He has had four starters out of Mr. Prospector mares, 29 out of mares by sons of Mr. Prospector, and another 18 out of mares by grandsons of Mr. Prospector, and until the Gotham, the cross had yielded just two stakes winners from 51 starters (4% stakes winners to starters, compared to an overall figure of 9% stakes winners to starters for the sire). Still if you were going to try a Mr. Prospector mare, Awesome Act's dam, Houdini's Honey, might have been the one to have. A winner at up to 10 furlongs (which virtually guarantees Awesome Act getting the Derby trip, should he prove good enough), she is a sister to Machiavellian (French champion juvenile and sire of Street Cry), group I-winning and classic-placed Coup de Genie, and group-winning and group I-placed Ocean of Wisdom. The granddam, the famous mare Coup de Folie, is by Halo out of Northern Dancer's half-sister Raise the Standard, and inbred 3 x 3 to Almahmoud (so from the same family and with a somewhat similar inbreeding to current leading Kentucky Derby hopeful, Eskendereya).

With this background, Awesome Act should eventually make an interesting stallion prospect!

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