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Tiznow Getting Sprinters and Milers in 2011

Although he sired champion 2-year-old filly Folklore in his first crop, two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) hero Tiznow (TrueNicks,SRO) is generally associated with horses who distinguish themselves in route events, such as Well Armed, Colonel John (TrueNicks,SRO), Bullsbay (TrueNicks,SRO), Da' Tara, Tizdejavu (TrueNicks,SRO), and Informed, all of whom earned notable triumphs at nine furlongs or beyond.

This year, however, Tiznow’s chief headline writers have done their best work at a mile or less. First, Morning Line (who did win the nine-furlong Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) last year), gained a grade I triumph by taking the seven-furlong Carter Handicap (gr. I) in a quick 1:21.46. After that victory, Morning Line loomed as the likely favorite for the weekend’s Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I), but was sidelined after showing some tenderness in his near fore following re-shoeing. However, Tiznow still captured the one-mile event courtesy of his 6-year-old son Tizway – third in last year’s contest – who scored a convincing 2¾-length triumph (video below) in 1:32.90, a time a little more than a tenth outside the stakes record set by Honour and Glory (like Tiznow, from the Relaunch sire line). A half brother to stakes-winning and graded-placed Ticket to Seattle, Tizway is out of Bethany, who was unraced, but doubtless conveyed some speed traits through her broodmare sire, the brilliant sprinter Dayjur (by Danzig out of Mr. Prospector’s sprint champion Gold Beauty). Out of stakes winner and super-producer Willamae, Bethany is a half sister to grade I winners Will’s Way and Will On the Move, and to the excellent Maryland sire Citidancer. Willamae is a daughter of Tentam (by Intentionally), so Bethany is a reverse Northern Dancer/Intentionally cross to Cee’s Tizzy, the sire of Tiznow.

European-breds enjoyed a good Memorial Day weekend. The first crop of Dubawi (IRE) (TrueNicks,SRO) (by Seeking the Gold’s brilliant, but short-lived, son Dubai Millennium) are only 4 years old, but from his Northern Hemisphere crops he’s already sired an astonishing 25 stakes winners, 16 group or graded winners, and five group or grade I winners. The most recent addition to his winners at the highest level is Dubawi Heights (TrueNicks A++), who took the Gamely Stakes (gr. I, video below). She is out of a mare by Suave Dancer (by Green Dancer, by Nijinsky II) and is one of three group/graded winners bred on cross of Dubawi over Nijinsky II mares, from only 14 starters. The dam is also an extended Northern Dancer/Sir Gaylord cross, and Dubawi has two versions of that cross through Shareef Dancer and Dancing Brave.

Another European-bred to tally was the excellent Hibaayeb (TrueNicks A++), a daughter of the late Singspiel (by In the Wings, by Sadler’s Wells), who took the Sheepshead Bay Handicap (gr. II, video below). She is out of a mare by Lion Cavern (brother to Gone West), and in tail female line goes all the way back to the storied Mumtaz Mahal, via a sister to Nasrullah. Hibaayeb is bred on a version of the cross of Singspiel with Mr. Prospector line mares, and is an example of a case where a true genetic affinity has been able to maintain an excellent strike rate with a considerable number of attempts. Here there have been 102 starters by Singspiel out of mares by Mr. Prospector line stallions, and 15 of them are stakes winners, nine group or graded.

Not European, but another turf filly from the Sadler’s Wells line, is Winter Memories (TrueNicks A++) who staked her claim to being leader of the 3-year-old grass filly division with a win in the Sands Point Stakes (gr. II, video below). Winter Memories is a daughter of El Prado and the multiple grade I-winning Memories of Silver, a daughter of Silver Hawk (by Roberto). El Prado has done well with Roberto in general, and Winter Memories is one of three stakes winners and six stakes performers from only 10 starters by the sire out of Silver Hawk mares.

Still on the grass, Irish-bred Ryehill Dreamer upset a pair of grade I winners in Sydney’s Candy and The Usual Q. T. to win the American Handicap (gr. II). He is by the Danehill stallion Catcher in the Rye, who has stood in Ireland, Australia, and Argentina, and has a pair of Argentine group I winners, Catch the Mad and Anaerobio, from his first crop in that country (foals of 2007).

We’ll conclude with a quick dip into a few other pedigrees of interest from the holiday weekend. Keerana (TrueNicks A++), by Gone West’s good turf son Johar (TrueNicks,SRO), won the Louisville Handicap (gr. III). The long-winded 5-year-old mare is one of two stakes winners for the sire out of Storm Bird line mares, the dam in this case being by Storm Cat. Bred on a reverse cross is Willcox Inn (TrueNicks A++), who gained his first stakes win in the Arlington Handicap. He’s by Storm Cat line sire Harlan's Holiday (TrueNicks,SRO) out of a Gone West mare. Harlan’s Holiday now has five stakes winners from his current 3-year-old crop, which coming from his fourth year at stud would have tended not to be his strongest group of mares. Also at Arlington, ex-European raced Pachattack (TrueNicks A++) won the Arlington Matron Stakes (gr. III). She is bred on a version of the A.P. Indy/Roberto cross that is beginning to develop an impressive strike rate, that of A.P. Indy and his sons with mares by Red Ransom. The cross now has seven stakes winners from 32 starters, including Canadian champion Marchfield (TrueNicks,SRO) (who proved very popular in the Dominion this year in his first season at stud), and grade I winner Devil May Care. This also doubles Mr. Prospector (in 10 Pulpit (TrueNicks,SRO) stakes winners, three through Woodman, as here) and Nijinsky II both who are close up in the dam of Pulpit.

A sneaky useful cross is Storm Cat/Meadowlake (eight stakes winners from 102 starters), whose best representative is Henny Hughes (TrueNicks,SRO). It is also responsible for Stormy Lord, a Stormy Atlantic (TrueNicks,SRO) son who took the Connaught Cup (gr. II) in Canada. A cross involving Storm Cat that one might have thought would work but has had limited success is with Broken Vow (TrueNicks,SRO) (by Unbridled out of a mare by Nijinsky II, historically a good combination with Storm Cat’s sire, Storm Bird). However, it’s actually been tried a lot (43 starters by Broken Vow out of Storm Cat line mares) and produced only one black type winner, Sassy Image, a grade I-scorer who took the Winning Colors Stakes (gr. III) at the weekend. The dam of Sassy Image is a Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector cross, which is the reverse of Broken Vow, so maybe that helped.

The little-know Top Hit (Arizona-based son of the Forty Niner horse Twining) came up with a graded winner when his Uh Oh Bango took the Berkeley Stakes (gr. III) at Golden Gate. Rated A++ by TrueNicks, Uh Oh Bango is out of the French Deputy (by Deputy Minister) mare French Debutante. Another Deputy Minister son, Awesome Again (TrueNicks,SRO), had the first and third in the Lone Star Park Handicap (gr. III), with 8-year-old Awesome Gem taking his earnings past $2,500,000 with the win, and Game On Dude, who annexed the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) earlier this year back in third. Also at Lone Star, the Lone Star Derby went to Thirtyfirststreet (TrueNicks A++) who is by the Nureyev horse Good Journey (TrueNicks,SRO) out of a Sky Classic mare. An interesting pedigree here, as Nureyev is by Northern Dancer out of a daughter of the mare Thong, and Thirtyfirststreet’s dam is by grandson of Northern Dancer out of a mare by Apalachee, whose dam, Moccasin, is a sister to Thong.

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