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Pedigree Time Machine: Mr. P

Here's an interesting first crop Florida stallion...

Standing for a mere $7,500 fee in 1975, Mr. Prospector sired 28 foals in his initial crop that included 1978 Champion 2-Year-Old Filly It's In the Air. By 1981, Mr. Prospector's continued success had brought him to Claiborne Farm in Kentucky. Here he developed into one of the breed's great sires, siring 181 stakes winners from 1,178 foals (15.4%), 48 gr. I winners, and 16 champions. Mr. Prospector also ranks as one the great all time broodmare sires, accounting for over 370 stakes winners to date.

Mr. Prospector sired several exceptional stallion sons, including Fappiano, Forty Niner, Gone West, Gulch, Kingmambo (TrueNicks,SRO), Machiavellian, Seeking the Gold, Smart Strike (TrueNicks,SRO), and Woodman.

Other sons currently at stud include Dance to Destiny (TrueNicks,SRO), E Dubai (TrueNicks), Fusaichi Pegasus (TrueNicks,SRO), Kayrawan (TrueNicks,SRO), Kitalpha (TrueNicks,SRO), Not For Love (TrueNicks,SRO), and Porto Foricos (TrueNicks,SRO).

From The Blood-Horse Stallion Register for 1975:

Mr. Prospector's Gulfstream Park track record of 1:07 4/5:

Topping the 1971 Keeneland July Yearling Sale at $220,000:

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17 Comments:

It's certainly my opinion (and I believe the opinion of most pedigree analysts) that Mr. Prospector (along with Northern Dancer) were the two most influential sires in the world in the last 50 years.  So, $7,500 was truly a bargain.  However, note that $7,500 in 1975 was about the same buying power as $30,000 today so that amount is not really quite as low a stud fee as it superficially appears.

FourCats 21 Jun 2010 5:00 PM

Very true, FourCats. He certainly wasn't a cheap stallion at $7,500, but remarkable that he rose to $250,000 in less than 10 years.

Ian

Ian Tapp 21 Jun 2010 5:30 PM

What are your thoughts relative to the stallion success of Mr P and ND? Was their conformation such that they fit well with a large number mares? Were they homozyegous (sp?) for dominant racing traits? Did they have pedigrees that blended well with a large mare population?

Michael D 21 Jun 2010 5:55 PM

  It is incredible that Mr P a genuine sprinter , is responsible in male line to most of the Belmont winners of years ! I also like the fact that Seattle Slew and Mr. Prospector both have Myrtlewood on  their dam's side ! Mr.P 4th dam , Slew 5th

Pedigree Shelly 21 Jun 2010 6:09 PM

It is all very well to explain the pedigree points of Mr.P and N.D. AFTER THE FACT.

But Mr. P. did not stand in KY and you could have bred to ND for a mere 15000 dollars.

No one predicted their success before their foals ran.

Of course after they ran everyone became an Expert on those two stallions.

And that seems to be the norm.

Shimatoree 21 Jun 2010 7:51 PM

I've always thought that it was very important that Mr. Prospector was Native Dancer/Nearco, and Northern Dancer was Nearco/Native Dancer. Seattle Slew's grandsire, Boldnesian, was Nearco/Polynesian (sire of Native Dancer).

Alan Porter 21 Jun 2010 9:05 PM

Mr. P was no doubt "in my mind" the most influential stallion of our time.  Many great one's trace back to him.  Saw Seeking the Gold several years ago at Claiborne, and just being in this horses presence was astounding.  Wish I had seen Mr. P in person.

Robin from Maryland 21 Jun 2010 9:41 PM

Shimatoree:

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." -Santayana

Ian Tapp 21 Jun 2010 9:47 PM

Great stallions and broodmares can, at times, seem to come out of nowhere; we find little rhyme or reason for their great success. I submit that Mr. Prospector is not included among that group. I witnessed his entire racing career, and assure you that he had the look, style, and raw racing ability of a great one-evident within his first few races. Believe me, this was an extremely athletic creature, brilliant as they come, yet svelte and somewhat refined-not your typical stocky, blocky, wide-chested, short-necked quarter horse looking sprinter. He didn't have much leg to him, yet to me he was elegant, and just so athletic-looking (his son, Seeking The Gold, typified him more than any). His sire, Raise A Native, was another lightning bolt, but he was larger and more muscular, and had by then demonstrated the capacity to sire many able to go a route of ground. Yes, Mr. Prospector was also well bred and his female line could impart stamina. Although many today seem to dwell on his fore toe-out, and his perceived "plainess", recall that he was the 1971 Keeneland Select Yearling Sale topper. After witnessing but a few of his races, I was convinced of his greatness. My point is that it is very rare to find a horse of such brilliance, who also possesses the style-running carriage, overall "look", and pedigree-type of a Mr. Prospector (as an early racer). Those who didn't know him, and chose to evaluate him merely from a glance at his final race record often grossly underestimated his true racing ability. For me, his total package was such, that from nearly the beginning of his racing career, he was about as close as one can get to a stallion slam dunk. As I recall, Mr. Prospector was plagued by throat/breathing issues which worsened at four, and compromised his performance. Rather than a fluke stallion surprise, he was a near phenotypic masterpiece, with enough pedigree to win the day. Yes, there have been a few others of comparable or near-comparable brilliance, look (some not so similar, but equally pleasing), style and carriage. Dr. Fager may be one, but I think that his sire, Rough 'N Tumble was a limiting factor to his stallion success. Graustark was another, and was a wonderful stallion but, in retrospect, was too stoutly bred (among other things)for that day's, and today's racing program. Mr. Propector was likely jammed packed with a high percentage of the better and best genes from his sire and dam. In the end, this is probably what carried the day, and was alone likely enough (without need to speculate if he did possess a particularly high degree of positive homozygosity). Mr. Prospector should serve as a lesson to many of the importance of closely following the sport, gaining perspective, and developing a keen eye lest you will miss many potential top breeding candidates. Unfortunately, often the loss will not be just yours, but the industry's as well. Stallions need the industry's support to succeed (and become sufficiently noticed). The better informed we become, the less likely that some of great merit will fall through the cracks.  

sceptre 21 Jun 2010 10:54 PM

Alan, I find it interesting that ithe common factor in those 3 great stallions is Nearco (who i so admire), who no one ever discusses...to me, HE is the dominating stallion of the last 50 years WORLDWIDE...

Plus, he was a perfect 14/14 retiring undefeated & sound...

Nearco is the horse that should be discussed.

Rachel 22 Jun 2010 7:11 AM

sceptre - thanks for the in-depth analysis.  Great info.

Judi O. 22 Jun 2010 7:58 AM

The great thing about horse racing is that the first horse over finish-line is the winner - barring disqualification. If price, conformation and who owns the horse were the only things that determined the winner, racing would loose it's appeal to the average owner and race fan. Mr. P had all these things. More credit should be given to the horse - people (environment) can only detract from the true genetic potential of a horse. It did not take Mr. P long to show his brilliants on the track and his superior genetics in the breeding shed. Thanks to Claiborne Farm Mr. P's place among the great sires was preserved.

Dr. T 22 Jun 2010 8:28 AM

sceptre,

I added the Blood-Horse cover of Mr. Prospector topping the Keeneland July sale.

Ian

Ian Tapp 22 Jun 2010 2:09 PM

Visually it appears that Mr. P looks alot more like many of the sire influences on his dam side than he does as compared to sire influences on his sire side.  For those of you who are a bit older and have seen Mr. P in person, what are your thoughts.  The 13c female line is chocked full of significant influences for many generations.  I suspect that Mr. P is as much or more a product of influences on his dam side [both sires and mares] than from RAN.  

Many of the sires that are 5 to 9 generations deep in his pedigree appear to be very straight legged which should cause Sceptre to provide some background information from his years of breeding.

dave york 22 Jun 2010 5:47 PM

Thanks, Ian, for including that ring shot of Mr. P. Nice to know that my memory remains intact, for at least some things. By the way, the stately, well postured gentleman handling him in the ring appears to be the same person who's worked the Keeneland Sale to near present day (but don't recall seeing him the past year or so).

Dave York: It comes as no great surprise to me that I don't agree with most of your statements/opinions on your post. Of all the sires in Mr. P's pedigree (that I've personally observed, or seen photos), I feel that Mr. P. resembles Raise A Native most ( I have seen Raise A Native, Nashua, and Count Fleet (at 30). Raise A Native and Mr. P. shared much the same proportions. Not that it should matter, but of the sires 5-9 generations back in his pedigree, name the "many" who you see as "very straight (hind) legged. I note hardly any. Since you seem a bit focused on this excessively straight hind leg matter (re-Mizzen Mast), I suggest yuou consult a few equine vets for their take on it's potential negative consequences. I will say that Man O' War, Ribot, and Graustark, to name a few,  were a bit straight hind-legged, but not to the degree of a Mizzen Mast. Also, it "fit" with their overall conformation, unlike a Mizzen Mast. Lastly, I've never been much of a believer in the significance of these 13C, etc. female families. Some are inaccurate anyway, and consider the genetic dilution. Yes, there is the mDNA aspect, but it's significance is likely overblown (very minimal # of genes when compared to nuclear DNA.

Perhaps, a far more interesting subject to ponder is why some sprinter-types are far more capable than others (sprinter-types) of siring middle and middle + distance types. My interest relates more to the physiology aspect, than to pedigree per se. We are aware of the variations in fast twitch vs slow twitch fibers, but is not the respiratory and cardiovascular apparatus somewhat independant of this (it is certainly coded separately. Consider a horse, let's say a Mr. Prospector, that is capable of having brilliant speed. He employs that brilliant speed right from the start in his races (horses, unlike humans) are often less "rateable". Due to his expending of this brilliant speed, he is unable to compete well over longer distances. My point is that he may still possess a better than average, etc. cardiovascular and respiratory makeup (genome) which, all else equal, would contribute to one capable of competing well at longer distances. This may be one reason for a Raise a Native's and a Mr. P's ability to sire high profile non-sprinters. Would be curious to hear, Ian's, Byron's, and Alan's take on this.

sceptre 22 Jun 2010 10:05 PM

dave york's comment on mr.p, getting his genetic influence from the dam,'SPOT ON', DAVE. i have always believed mr.p is more of nasrullah and 13c, than RAN.

DR.RAVI CHOWDARY, INDIA. 25 Jun 2010 5:06 AM

Mr. P. kind of favors Selene to my eye.  As you know, she was the dam of many great sire sons, including Sickle, the sire of Polynesian.

vineyridge 25 Jun 2010 9:14 AM

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