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Super Saver a Tribute to His Late Sire

It was clear at the time that the death of Maria’s Mon – at the early age of 14 – was a severe loss to the industry, and subsequent events have only emphasized that fact. Champion of what turned out to be an exceptional juvenile crop, Maria’s Mon won four of his five starts at two, including the Sanford Stakes (gr. III), Futurity Stakes (gr. I), and Champagne Stakes (gr. I), accounting for such as Unbridled's Song (TrueNicks,SRO), Hennessy, Honour and Glory, Louis Quatorze, Gold Fever, and Editor’s Note. At three, he returned from an injury to run twice without winning. This anticlimactic end to his racing career coupled with a less-than-fashionable pedigree – he was by the Majestic Light stallion Wavering Monarch – saw his fee set at just $7,500 when he retired to Pin Oak Stud in Versailles, Kentucky.

From that inexpensively-sired first crop came nine stakes winners, headed by Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos, and graded winners Wander Mom and Silver Tornado. Maria’s Mon sired five more stakes winners in his second crop, including grade one winner See How She Runs, but none in his third, which at 53 foals was his smallest to date. Monarchos’s Kentucky Derby (gr. I) came in 2001 and as a result, Maria’s Mon’s book or mares for the next few years were of much higher quality. Having sired four graded winners from his fifth crop including Gaff (TrueNicks,SRO), High Limit, Watchmon, and Whimsy, Maria’s Mon really took off with his 2003 crop – the first conceived after Monarchos’s three-year-old campaign – which included the Champion Three-Year-Old Filly Wait a While; Malibu Stakes (gr. I) winner Latent Heat; Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) and Super Derby (gr. II) victor Strong Contender; and other graded winners Cause to Believe and Criminologist. The 2004 group yielded grade one winner Monzante and graded scorer Ice Bear, and the following year produced Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) victor Monba; Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) winner Mint Lane; and graded scorer Sky Mom. There was only one graded victor in Maria’s Mon’s 2006 crop, but his current three-year-olds include not only Super Saver (TrueNicks,SRO), who splashed his way to a decisive victory in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), but also other three-year-old graded scorers Exhi and Awesome Maria.

Super Saver has looked a potential classic candidate ever since his five length tally in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II). As we remarked at the time, he owns a “pedigree that suggests improvement with time and distance,” and what’s more, it was one that had already proved its ability to produce a classic horse. Super Saver’s dam, Supercharger, is a daughter of A.P. Indy and sister to graded stakes winners Daydreaming, Girolamo, and Accelerator, and also to the dam of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) runner-up Bluegrass Cat, who, like Super Saver, carried the colors of WinStar Farm and was trained by Todd Pletcher. The second dam, Get Lucky, is a graded stakes winning sister to Champion Two-Year-Old and Travers Stakes (gr. I) winner Rhythm. This is the Numbered Account branch of the La Troienne family that is also particularly notable for Private Account, Woodman, Mutakddim, and Not For Love, to name just a few. It’s no great surprise to see Maria’s Mon working with Supercharger. His sire Wavering Monarch is out of Uncommitted, who is by Buckpasser and inbred 4 x 4 to La Troienne via Busanda (dam of Buckpasser) and Bimelech (who comes in through Better Self, a reverse genetic relative to Busanda). Broodmare sire A.P. Indy is by Seattle Slew (dam inbred to La Troienne through the sisters Busher and Striking, both three-parts-sister to Busanda), and he has an extra cross of Buckpasser. And finally, Super Saver’s fourth dam, Numbered Account, is by Buckpasser and has the three-quarters related Busanda and Striking 2 x 3.

Super Saver is rated A++ by TrueNicks, but his isn’t a case of being wise after the event. TrueNicks rated the entire 2007 crop of Maria’s Mon before they had ever started. Super Saver was rated A++ then too, and out of curiosity, we can also note that the other graded winners from the crop, Awesome Maria and Exhi were rated A, and the ratings for the other stakes winners from the crop were Paris Vegas (A++), All About Maria (B+), and Turf Melody (B+).

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What? No pictures? Again? LOL!

I love your column, save them, and try to re-read them at least a couple times hoping some of the wealth of information will stick. But .. I often do lament the lack of conformation pics that would allow me to integrate what outline and points of conformation were present in the target individual that may have carried through to successful offspring. It would be great to be able to bring an exact outline to mind when we say "Maria's Mon" or "Super Saver" or "Monarchos." Yes, I was able to find Monarchos.

I do agree that armed with just the dry written stats one could identify and repeat successful patterns with some frequency, even without ever looking at the horses. But ... the rest of the equation is a discussion of conformation along with how specific traits are inherited. I think. : D

  • Ian's reply:  Hi Mary, it's always important to consider conformation and when possible inspect stallions in person. You can use The Blood-Horse Stallion Register to see conformation photos. Try these links: Maria's Mon, Monarchos, Latent Heat, Monba, Strong Contender, Gaff.
  • Mary in VT 06 May 2010 11:13 AM

    Maria's Mon was a beautiful gray..

    Terir 06 May 2010 1:04 PM

    Fantastic article.  Especially because I had Super Saver in the Derby.  The only reason I bet on him was that he was bred for the distance.  I especially love him for the Belmont.  The Preakness might give him trouble, but I don't think so. The only knock against him is that Maria's Mon has not shown that he is a sire of sires. He probably is the best bred son of Maria's Mon, but until another son steps us and keeps the line going, Super Saver won't get the respect he deserves when he goes to stud. People will breed to him because he will probably stand for an affordable fee (less than $50,000), and a Derby winner. We can only hope his female family will beef up the rest of his pedigree. It is also possible that he will be a "Super" broodmare sire. I love the fact that he has the color of A.P. Indy so it is possible he will sire to his broodmare sire and not his sire line. I would be interested to see what lines Alan would recommend to send to Super Saver.

    Robert 06 May 2010 2:49 PM

    Marias Mon was a Beautiful Horse. But I think Super Saver looks like his Grandpa, A.P.INDY.

    HOPE SUPER SAVER is the next Triple Crown Winner. GOD BLESS.

    rolene 06 May 2010 9:57 PM

    I have  a 1999 colt by maria's mon

    he is a picture if TB and a beautiful 16.3 grey-




    even gives lessons to children

    kristl avedisian 12 May 2010 8:07 AM

    Here is a great link regarding Maria's Mon progeny - unfortunately the portugese translation isn't perfect! translate.google.com/translate

    Molly 19 May 2010 12:34 PM

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