Lightning Strikes

At the time the exportation of Trippi to South Africa looked to be a major loss to the Florida breeding industry, and he’s continued to underline the point since. In fact, that point became an exclamation mark after his daughter R Heat Lightning scored an impressive win in the weekend’s Spinaway Stakes (gr. I).

R Heat Lightning is the first stakes winner under her first three dams, although her fourth dam is the noted producer Exclusive Dancer (a three-parts-sister to twice Leading Sire Exclusive Native), dam of General Assembly and Expressive Dancer, granddam of grade I-winning millionaires Out of Place, Chief Honcho, and Versailles Treaty, and grade I winner Gold Fever, and also ancestress of group and graded winners American Chance, Haka, Saarland, Gold Tiara, Gemswick Park, Lead Kindly Light, and Jackpot. R Heat Lightning’s dam, Yellow Heat, is by Gold Fever, so has Exclusive Dancer 5 x 3.

R Heat Lightning also has an interesting pedigree. Trippi is by End Sweep, a son of Forty Niner, and since Gold Fever is also by Forty Niner, R Heat Lightning has Forty Niner 3 x 3. This hasn’t exactly been a recipe for success, and R Heat Lightning is the only stakes winner bred on a Forty Niner/Forty Niner cross – from 46 starters – and the only other black type earner is R Heat Lightning’s stakes-placed sister, Hot Trip. What’s interesting about this pedigree is that Forty Niner is a Raise a Native/Ribot cross, and Gold Fever’s broodmare sire, Majestic Light, is a product of the same cross, so R Heat Lightning has Raise a Native/Ribot 3 x 3 x 4. Oddly enough, the only other stakes winner with Forty Niner inbreeding is Bunker Hill, who is also by Trippi, and carries Majestic Light’s sire, Majestic Prince.

On the West Coast, we saw a continued affirmation of the class of young sire Tapit (TrueNicks,SRO). With his third crop, which often sees a tailing off for a less expensive (and these days, even some of the more expensive) horse, he now already has a pair of stakes winning two-year-olds, headed by Tell a Kelly (TrueNicks A++), who won the Del Mar Debutante Stakes (gr. I). She is out of a mare by Tabasco Cat, and so is bred on similar lines to this year’s Kentucky Derby (gr. I) runner-up, Ice Box, who is by Pulpit (TrueNicks,SRO) out of a Tabasco Cat mare. Tapit has sired three stakes winners, two grade I, from just 35 starters out of mares by sons of Storm Cat, which may have something to do with his double of Nijinsky II, a gentic relative to Storm Cat’s sire, Storm Bird. Tapit’s dam is a reverse Raise a Native/Northern Dancer cross to the dam of Tell a Kelly with Northern Dancer through Nijinsky II/Storm Bird, and Raise a Native through another pair of genetic relatives, Mr. Prospector and Alydar. This is another case where the mating has apparently upgraded the family, as Tell a Kelly is the first stakes winner under the first two dams, although the granddam is a half sister to European mile ace, Northjet.

Still with the two-year-olds, the Sapling Stakes (gr. III) was won won by Madman Diaries (TrueNicks A++). He is by Bring the Heat, a non-stakes winning son of In Excess (who in addition to Indian Charlie (TrueNicks,SRO), is a really good minor sire of sires), who stands in Florida, and who has four stakes winners from just over 30 runners (all out of Northern Dancer line mares). The dam is by the Danzig horse Outflanker, and his second dam is Meafara, a multiple graded stakes-winning sprinter by Meadowlake, who also came close to winning a Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I).

Another freshman off the mark is the good sprinter War Front (TrueNicks,SRO) (by Danzig). His son, Soldat (TrueNicks A), broke his maiden with a win in the With Anticipation Stakes (gr. III) on the turf at Saratoga. He’s out of a mare by Coronado’s Quest (by Forty Niner), who looks as if he might turn out to be more of a positive as a broodmare sire than he was as a sire (his daughters have already produced Champion Sprinter Kodiak Kowboy and grade I winner Mani Bhavan), and interestingly enough all five graded winners out of his daughters are inbred to Mr. Prospector. Incidentally, War Front is out of a mare by Rubiano, and has Danzig/Unbridled/Nijinsky II close up, and a similar formula is in the pedigree of the Saranac Stakes (gr. III) winner Lethal Combination (TrueNicks A++) who is by Broken Vow (TrueNicks,SRO) (Unbridled/Nijinsky II cross) out of a mare by Boundary, as son of Danzig.

Last year’s record-breaking freshman Wildcat Heir (TrueNicks,SRO) (and since he’s in Florida, quite possibly Trippi’s heir), is keeping the beat, and has two second season stakes winning three-year-olds, one graded, and two stakes-winning juveniles, the most recent of which is the weekend’s Bassinet Stakes victress Fiscal Policy. Rated B+ by TrueNicks, she is out of a mare by Montbrook, whose daughters should be easy enough to find in Florida, and is a product of the successful Storm Cat line cross with Buckaroo line mares.

We mentioned Tapit as a young stallion working his way through what one would expect to be some of his less well-bred crops, and believe it or not the same applies to Street Cry (IRE) (TrueNicks,SRO) . It’s hard to imagine now, but he was a long way from the height of fashion when his third and fourth crops (four-year-olds and three-year-olds of 2010) were conceived. That’s hardly slowed his progress, however, and he was represented by the second grade I winner, and sixth graded winner, from his fourth crop when Here Comes Ben overcame a classy field to take the Forego Stakes (gr. I). Rated TrueNicks B+, Here Comes Ben is one of 13 stakes winners sire by a son, grandson, or great-grandson of Mr. Prospector out of a mare by Dayjur (dam by Mr. Prospector), a strike rate of 7.1% stakes winners to starters. Here Comes Ben’s dam is half sister to King Charlemagne, a grade I winner in France, and to the dam of the Donn Handicap (gr. I) and Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Albertus Maximus, and the granddam is grade I winner Race The Wild Wind. Here Comes Ben is inbred to Mr. Prospector and Halo, the sire and maternal grandsire of Machiavellian (sire of Street Cry).

Another of the young sire brigade is Candy Ride (ARG) (TrueNicks,SRO), whose first crop are only four. There are so far five graded scorers, and four grade I winners in that first crop, and from the second he had grade I winner Sidney’s Candy joined as a graded victor at the weekend by Twirling Candy, who took the Del Mar Derby (gr. II). Out of a mare by Chester House, he is the third stakes winner for the sire out of a Mr. Prospector line mare. Neither of the first two dams have produced a stakes winner, but the granddam is a Danzig half sister to Candy Ride’s graded-winning and grade I-placed son, Chocolate Candy.

We mentioned several weeks ago that City Zip (TrueNicks,SRO) was having an outstanding season, particularly with turf horses, and at the weekend one of the group, Get Serious (TrueNicks B+), became his sire’s first millionaire with a course record-breaking victory in the Red Bank Stakes (gr. III). City Zip’s half brother Ghostzapper (TrueNicks,SRO) was represented by his fith stakes winner (the fourth from his first crop of three-year-olds), when Grecian Maiden won the Twin Lights Stakes. Rated A++ by TrueNicks, she is out of a mare by Two Punch (TrueNicks,SRO). This is the first stakes winner for a grandson of Deputy Minister out of a Two Punch mare, but sons of Deputy Minister have four stakes winners from 32 starters on the cross (12.5%). We wonder if the strain of Pavot in Two Punch has anything to do with it. Of course, here it doesn’t hurt that the dam was the talented racemare Willa On the Move.

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