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Starting Early

It’s hard to believe, but we’ve already had the first U.S. juvenile stakes of the new season.
 
Winner of the colt’s division of the Copper Top was Verny. His sire, Gold Case (by Forty Niner), was 3-for-3, all at two, including the Old Hickory Stakes and Sugar Bowl Handicap. He’s now in New Mexico, but has been a very useful stallion wherever he has stood, getting 18 stakes winners in his first eight crops (4% stakes winners to foals, creditable relative to the mares he has bred), including the multiple graded winning filly Randaroo. Verny (TrueNicks rated A++) is out of a mare by Present Value, and is the second stakes winner by Gold Case out of a mare by a son of Halo. Forty Niner and his sons often did well with mares carrying Halo’s sire, Hail to Reason, and here it can’t hurt that Halo is accompanied by two crosses of Prince John (out of a half-sister to Halo’s broodmare sire, Cosmic Bomb).
 
The filly division went to Squall Wilbud (TrueNicks B). She is from the fifth crop sired by Squall, a son of Summer Squall and the Ladies Handicap (gr. I) victress, Dance Teacher. Squall has had just ten foals in his previous four crops, five starting and two winning. For this year, he has a bumper crop of 11, and five have already faced the starter, Squall Wilbud being the only winner. Squall Wilbud’s dam, Fancywilfly is out of Jack Wilson (TrueNicks,SRO), who in turn is by Royal Academy’s brother, Encino. Of course, this means that Squall Wilbud is another with Northern Dancer-sired genetic relatives Storm Bird and Nijinsky II combined (and here the sire and dam are Storm Bird/Turn-to and Nijinsky II/Turn-to crosses, so parallel pattern).
 
The weekend brought another two-year-old stakes winner with an interesting pedigree in Lady Primal, who took the Manor Downs Thoroughbred Futurity. She is by Primal Storm, winner of the Flash Stakes (gr. III) at two, and a son of Storm Boot. She’s out of a mare by Seneca Jones (by Alydar) and the second dam is by Storm Cat, the sire of Storm Boot. So a look at the pedigree shows Storm Cat 3 x 3, in both cases through Storm Cat/Mr. Prospector crosses, with Alydar, a genetic relative to Mr. Prospector also in the pedigree. She is the fourth stakes winner (from 104 starters) with inbreeding to Storm Cat at 3 x 3 or closer. Only seven of those starters have Storm Cat through the direct sire line and direct female line (as here), and we can also note two stakes winners from 31 starters – including graded winner Bridgetown – where Storm Cat is broodmare sire of the sire, and sire of the broodmare sire (both out of mares by Tabasco Cat).

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