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The Devil Went Down To Florida

Last year’s Frizette Stakes (gr. I) captress, Devil May Care re-established herself near the top of the division with a 2¾ lengths win in the Bonnie Miss Stakes (gr. III). She’s a Pedigree Consultants recommended mating (for Diamond A Racing Corp) and is by the A.P. Indy (TrueNicks,SRO) son [Malibu Moon] out of the Red Ransom mare, Kelli’s Ransom (rated A++ by TrueNicks). The pedigree has some intricate plays on the Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer combination: Malibu Moon’s dam, Macoumba, is by Mr. Prospector out of a Northern Dancer line mare; Devil May Care’s granddam is a Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector cross, and the third dam is by Mr. Prospector out of a Northern Dancer mare. This Mr Prospector/Northern Dancer combination also finds itself in the pedigree of Malibu Moon's other top class three year old Odysseus with his dam being bred on the Mr Prospector/Northern Dancer mix also.
In New York, the late Horse of the Year, Saint Liam, was represented by the second stakes winner from his first crop when Liam’s Dream (TrueNicks rated B) won the Cicada Stakes (gr. III). Out of a half-sister to Distorted Humor (TrueNicks,SRO) , she is particularly notable for having inbreeding to Fappiano, this coming through Quiet American (TrueNicks,SRO) (broodmare sire of Saint Liam), and her own broodmare sire, Rubiano. This pair is an interesting combination, as Quiet American is inbred to Dr. Fager and to Fappiano’s third dam, Cequillo (through three-parts-sisters), and Rubiano is linebred to Dr. Fager’s sire, Rough’n Tumble. This is an encouragement for something we’ve been cautiously suggesting, trying Bernardini (TrueNicks,SRO) (dam by Quiet American), with mares descending from Fappiano through Unbridled (inbred to the dam of Dr. Fager, and linebred to Rough’n Tumble), although Rubiano would obviously also have potential.

Still with Fappiano and background, Unrivaled Belle (TrueNicks A++) gained a first stakes win in the Rampart Stakes (gr. III). She’s by Unbridled's Song (TrueNicks,SRO) out of the Bertrando (TrueNicks,SRO) mare, Queenie Belle. What is interesting here, is that Bertrando is a grandson of Relaunch (by In Reality). It’s old news that Fappiano (grandsire of Unbridled’s Song) and his descendents have had an extended affinity for the In Reality line, but close up, Relaunch (a somewhat physically untypical In Reality) wasn’t one of the prime choices. This is a cross that’s actually begun to work better as it’s receded into pedigrees, particularly for the Unbridled branch, with three Unbridled line stakes winners from 36 starters with Relaunch as sire of the broodmare, and two stakes winners from just seven starters with Relaunch as grandsire of the broodmare sire. We suspect that at times there are crosses that are good on genotype, and not so hot on phenotype, that are worth trying further back, when the initially non-matching physical types have become less so.

Super-consistent City Zip (TrueNicks,SRO) , had another good Saturday with Romantic Hideaway second in the Cicada Stakes (gr. III) and Unzip Me winning the $100,000 Irish O’Brien Stakes at Santa Anita. Unzip Me is out of a mare by Arazi, and the dam is a Blushing Groom/Nijinsky II cross, just like the dam of City Zip’s sire, Carson City. A quick look shows that City Zip has only 12 starters with Blushing Groom in the first four generations of the dam, and four of those horses are stakes winners (33% stakes winners to foals!).

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Check out the feature on Malibu Moon over at Zipse at the Track. zipseatthetrack.blogspot.com/.../bella-luna.html

Dan 24 Mar 2010 5:07 PM


It is clear that you have completed a great deal of study and i enjoy reading and evaluating your ratings and supporting reasons.  I support your findings and believe they are accurate. However i also believe that this continual inbreeding will in the long run have a negative effect on the thoroughbred population.  I wish you would spend more time in evaluating the attributes of breeding where there is no cross at 5 X 5 or closer.  Thanks.

dave york 27 Mar 2010 6:56 AM

Hi Dave,

There certainly are plenty of good horses with no inbreeding at 4 x 4,  less with none at 5 x 5: Secretariat who had duplications at 6 x 5 and 6 x 6 is about as out-crossed a good horse as I've come across.

Obviously it's possible to breed good horses on outcross matings. For success they tend to rely on deeper linebreeding - an accumulation of related strains further back in the pedigree. This can be hard to track down, and successful nicks are sometimes a shorthand to this.

I'd have to say, though that the reliance on deeper patterns to pay off is a bit more hit and miss.

Obviously you can't - generally - just continue to inbreed to the same strains generation after generation, but inbreeding to a specific strain, say Mr. Prospector, and inbreeding a horse who has double Mr. Prospector to a different individual, isn't a technique that is likely to cause harm to the breed as a whole.

Alan Porter 02 Apr 2010 2:23 PM

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