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Poll Question: Stallion Pedigrees

Of the following older U.S.-based horses, who has the best stallion's pedigree? Cast your vote and explain your choice in the comments below.

Battle Plan is a son of Empire Maker (TrueNicks,SRO) and Champion 2-Year-Old Filly Flanders, making Battle Plan a half brother to Champion 3-Year-Old Filly Surfside. View the TrueNicks report for Battle Plan.

Blame is by Arch (TrueNicks,SRO), and his immediate female family includes top sires Sadler's Wells, Fairy King, Nureyev, Numerous, and Jade Robbery, as well as top recent performers Archipenko and Corinthian (TrueNicks,SRO). View the TrueNicks report for Blame.

Gio Ponti, by Tale of the Cat (TrueNicks,SRO), is a half brother to stakes winner and grade I-placed Bon Jovi Girl. He traces from a strong Argentine family which includes group I winner Salt Spring (Gio Ponti's second dam) and grade I winner Mongoose. View the TrueNicks report for Gio Ponti.

Quality Road is a son of Elusive Quality (TrueNicks,SRO) and the Strawberry Road mare Kobla, herself a full sister to Champion 3-Year-Old Filly and Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) winner Ajina. View the TrueNicks report for Quality Road.

Warrior's Reward is by hot sire Medaglia d'Oro (TrueNicks,SRO), out of the Seeking the Gold mare For All You Do. This is the family of English Champion 2-Year-Old Filly Forest Flower and grade I winner High Yield. View the TrueNicks report for Warrior's Reward.

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Blame ! With a female line like that ,he should have a good future as a sire !

Pedigree Shelly 15 Jun 2010 3:08 PM

I chose Blame, too, but more because I love his Sire line. It's loaded with stamina via Kris S -> Roberto AND Princequillo closer up (4th gen) than usually seen in a 4yo colt's chart.  It was seeing Kris S as the grandsire when I checked his pedigree last year that really piqued my interest in him.  Blame is loaded with class wherever you look on his pedigree.

sherpa 15 Jun 2010 3:57 PM

Blame is my pick, I love the Kris S close up and the placement of Mr P and Wow I guess Im not alone, He was also very classy in the Stephen Foster just to mention it.  I do think horses on this cross are large in general and need time to mature there is a lot of ND in there to make me want to take maintaining soundness very seriously.  

Zen's Auntie 15 Jun 2010 5:57 PM

Blame...Kris S...Alydar...Mr Prospector...Nijinsky II, great.

Slew 15 Jun 2010 6:38 PM

I've chosen Blame as well. Can't resist that whole Roberto-Hail to Reason line. Blames dam side is loaded with talent as well. What's not to like?

CajunCountry 16 Jun 2010 6:25 AM

I am surprised Warrior's Reward dosn't have more votes.

aspradling 16 Jun 2010 8:47 AM


I wonder if Warrior's Reward would be getting more votes if he'd won the Met Mile?

Ian Tapp 16 Jun 2010 9:15 AM

Blame has a Kris S sireline and a damline going back to Thong. None of the other older horses boast a stronger female family than that.

Justine 16 Jun 2010 2:16 PM

Who should make the better stallion is a question entirely different from who has the best stallion's pedigree. Same could be said for potential broodmares as well. A, perhaps, more interesting topic would be the comparative of stallion vs broodmare pedigree (should they be evaluated differently?).

sceptre 16 Jun 2010 11:21 PM


You have correctly noted the difference between this poll question and a previous poll question.

The objective here is to analyze which of the above pedigrees is the best "stallion pedigree," not simply which you think will make the better stallion.

The above five horses represent several combinations of pedigree strengths, and each is by a different stallion. Which sire (Empire Maker, Arch, Tale of the Cat, Elusive Quality, Medaglia d'Oro) is the most likely sire of sires? Which pedigree traits are most valuable to you in a stallion's pedigree?

Sceptre, which of the above stallions do you think has the best stallion pedigree? And why?


ITapp 16 Jun 2010 11:45 PM

I'd say Quality Road...he sport's a solid pedigree of influential sires in all the right places...along with effective genetic patterns which made him the stand-out he is (a true representative of his pedigree). His dam boasts two very good broodmare sires in Strawberry Road and Alydar, while his sire looks to be a decent sire of sires in the making. Finally, his pedigree carries a favorable mix of lines at home on either dirt or turf.

Battle Plan's male-line duplication of Mr. Prospector virtually emliminates him as a worthy mate for the high number of Male-line Mr' P mares out there, so that I think will hinder him.

Blame lacks a solid sire of sire as his daddy, but thats perhaps the only flaw against him.

Orpenhill 17 Jun 2010 2:15 PM

Hi Ian,

Thanks for the reply...I'll play along somewhat, but your premise (the question) essentially begs the question that there are such things as "stallions'" pedigrees. Granted there are certainly better and lesser pedigrees, but to assume there are certain qualities distinct to "stallion" pedigrees is questionable. I do acknowledge that there is some evidence for your assertion, i.e. *Turn-To-line stallions, and Foggy Note female line to name a few, but in general I fail to see much distinction...As far as your five candidates, it is interesting to note that three share Seeking The Gold as a broodmare sire. This should come as no great surprise, since Seeking The Gold has been (since Buckpasser) the world's #1 broodmare sire (forget the charts, some stats, etc.-no other broodmare sire imparts quality like Seeking The Gold)...Battle Plan, hands down, has the best dam of the five, both in performance and pedigree. Quality Road's sire, Elusive Quality, is the most proven + sire of the five, and this sire's pedigree is relatively equal to Empire Maker and Tale Of The Cat. As sires, I'd give a slight nod to Elusive Quality, followed closely by Medaglia D'Oro, and then somewhat distantly by Empire Maker and Tale Of The Cat, with Arch decidedly last. I'm also not all that smitten with Bound (Blame's 2nd dam) seeing her as a rather weak branch of that famed family. These are some of the highlights, and I'll now cut to the chase. 1. Quality Road, 2. Battle Plan, 3. Gio Ponti, 4. Warrior's Reward, 5. Blame. This is purely on pedigree. I've closed my eyes re-racing ability, conformation, etc.  

sceptre 17 Jun 2010 3:33 PM


Great response. You have a valid point regarding "stallion pedigrees," but whether that concept is real or perceived, if someone's talking about stallions, you'll inevitably hear them say "He's got a stallion's pedigree." Therefore, the definition of "stallion pedigree" is up for debate on this blog.

And I agree, there are plenty of other important factors in determining a stallion prospect apart from pedigree... like you say, racing ability, conformation, etc.


Ian Tapp 17 Jun 2010 4:06 PM

Pedigree, Pedigree, Pedigree. Why is TRAFFIC JUDGE (USA) ch. H, 1952 in so few prominent stallions. I was astonished when I checked back several generations

Dave L 18 Jun 2010 10:21 PM

Racing ability is my number one criteria for stallion success...

Quality Road is the bomb!

Michael D 21 Jun 2010 6:33 PM

Stallion-producing damlines like Rough Shoes II's produce really good stallions from modest-looking pedigrees time and time again. Look at Wild Again, from a strong overseas stallion family (leading sires in Japan, New Zealand, etc.); nobody expected much from a son of Icecapade. With his racing class and remarkably good sire family, Blame gets my vote.

Ann in Lexington 23 Jun 2010 4:00 AM

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