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Tiznow's Morning Line

Lookin At Lucky apart, it’s been a strange season for three-year-olds with very few being able to separate themselves from the pack. The most recent weekend, with a purse totaling $1,500,000 for the two event, the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) and Super Derby (gr. II) might have seen some pretenders consolidate their position. Instead it revealed a pair of potential new players, who, while admittedly having some way to go, are at least moving in the right direct.

In the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II), Morning Line got the better of a thrilling battle to score by a head and a nose from two solid yardsticks in First Dude and A Little Warm. A $700,000 purchase, and carrying the colors of Thoroughbred Legends Racing Stable, Morning Line was making his stakes debut, but was coming off an 11-length victory in an August 21 Saratoga allowance event.

Morning Line is a son of Tiznow (TrueNicks,SRO), and Morning Line’s trainer, Nick Zito, suggested that the colt may now head to the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I), noting that Tiznow had also begun to bloom at the same stage in his three-year-old season before going on to claim the first of two classics (in fact Tiznow won the Super Derby (gr. II) on the last weekend in September, then also added the Goodwood Handicap (gr. II) before going on to the Classic). Tiznow, after getting Champion Two-Year-Old Filly Folklore – who turned out to be a somewhat untypical representative of her sire – has developed into one of our best classic distance sires with Champion Canadian Older Mare Bear Now; Dubai World Cup (gr. I) victor Well Armed; Travers Stakes (gr. I) and Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) captor Colonel John (TrueNicks,SRO); the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Da' Tara, another front-runner trained by Zito; and other grade I winners Tough Tiz’s Sis and Bullsbay (TrueNicks,SRO). His current three-year-old crop, his fifth, including, in addition to Morning Line, graded winners Tizahit, American Lion, and Gold Itiz.

Morning Line is out of the very well-bred A.P. Indy (TrueNicks,SRO) mare Indian Snow. She’d been something of an under-achiever prior Morning Line as she never ran, and the only one of her five previous starters to win a race was the Gone West colt Brady Baby, who has four wins and two minor stakes placings to his credit. Indian Snow out of the Alabama Stakes (gr. I) and Test Stakes (gr. I) heroine, November Snow, a daughter of Storm Cat. November Snow never produced a stakes winner, her best being the Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) second November Slew (by A.P. Indy’s sire, Seattle Slew), but she is granddam of the Australian graded stakes winning juvenile Believe’N’Succeed.

November Snow is a sister to the Sport Page Handicap (gr. III) winner Scatmandu, and to the dam of the good Japanese runner Grass World, and half sister to stakes winner Lady Sorolla (by Pancho Villa, a brother to Storm Cat’s dam). She is out of the Alydar mare Princess Alydar, and in tail female line the family goes back to Blue Denim, also ancestress of Grey Dawn II, Green Dancer, and this year’s European mile ace Makfi, to name but a few.

We love Morning Line’s pedigree pattern, which is a complex parallel pattern. Tiznow’s dam is by Seattle Song, a son of Seattle Slew, and Tiznow has a now sired three stakes winners – Morning Line and the brothers Slew’s Tizzy and Slew’s Tiznow – from only 19 starters out of Seattle Slew line mares. Tiznow also has five stakes winners out of mares carrying Storm Cat, sire of Morning Line’s second dam, and a horse who has some pedigree similarities to the granddam of Tiznow. If we consider the overall structure of the pedigree of Morning Line, we can note that both the dam of Tiznow and the dam of Morning Line himself are Seattle Slew/Northern Dancer crosses, with the Northern Dancer through Lonely Dancer/Storm Cat, two horses with some background similarities. It’s also worth mentioning that Morning Line’s dam is inbred to Secretariat, a horse who appears in at least eight of Tiznow’s 27 stakes winners (almost 30%).

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