Coil's Haskell Gives Spotlight Back to Point Given

Back in mid-June, we blogged that “On the West Coast, Bob Baffert has a potential good 'second season' 3-year-old in Coil (TrueNicks A++), who took his record to three wins in four starts by capturing the Affirmed Handicap (gr. III). Coil was apparently under consideration for the Woody Stephens, but he shouldn’t have much trouble carrying his speed a distance of ground, as he’s by Point Given out of a Theatrical mare.

Well, on Sunday, Coil sprang to somewhere near the top of the 3-year-old division with a win over the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Shackleford, and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) hero Ruler On Ice, in the nine-furlong Haskell Invitational Stakes (gr. I, video below). This effort also places Coil firmly among the leading offspring of his sire, Point Given (TrueNicks,SRO). Champion 3-year-old and Horse of the Year (and like Coil, a Haskell winner), Point Given retired to stud at a $125,000 stud fee but was advertised as being available for $7,500 live foal in 2011. As those numbers suggest, Point Given hasn’t achieved all that his supporters might have hoped when he retired to stud, but the record shows that he can get a good one. In addition Coil, he’s also been represented by Go Between, who took the Pacific Classic (gr. I); the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) victress Point Ashley; Sealy Hill, who was the first filly to claim Canada’s Triple Tiara, and earned honors as Horse of the Year, champion 3-year-old filly, and champion turf female in Canada; champion Canadian turf mare Points of Grace; and graded scorers Air Commander (TrueNicks) and Point Determined (TrueNicks,SRO).

There are very few $7,500 stallions who can sire those kind of runners, and that makes it worth a look at Point Given’s stakes winners, since, with the right mare, he appears to be the kind of horse who could get a real runner for an owner/breeder, so it’s worth having a look at what appear to be his most notable affinities.

Even at a passing glance, one trend is particularly obvious. Three of Point Given’s stakes winners, including Sealy Hill (TrueNicks A++) and Point Ashley (TrueNicks A++) are out of Seattle Slew line mares (from daughters of Boston Harbor and Slew o’Gold, respectively), while Seattle Slew also appears in the second dams of two other Point Given stakes winners (that places Seattle Slew in five of 17 Point Given stakes winners, which is 29%). A point of interest here is that Point Given is by the diminutive Thunder Gulch (TrueNicks,SRO) (by Gulch) out of a mare by the far more substantial Turkoman, and at 17 hands, physically takes far more after his broodmare sire than his sire. Gulch, and particularly Thunder Gulch, have a relatively poor record with Seattle Slew line mares, but Turkoman combined successfully with that strain, and it’s interesting to note that Turkoman is out of a mare by Table Play (by Round Table out of a Nasrullah mare, a reverse of the famed Nasrullah/Princequillo cross). Seattle Slew himself was an extended Nasrullah/Princequillo cross, and his dam was by Poker, like Table Play, by Round Table out of a Nasrullah mare.

A similar pattern persists in two other notables by Point Given, Points of Grace (TrueNicks A++) and Go Between (TrueNicks A++). Points of Grace is out of a mare by Topsider (Nearco/Round Table cross, whose dam, Drumtop, is another Round Table/Nasrullah cross), and Go Between is out of a mare by Caerleon (Nearco/Round Table cross, out of a mare who is bred on a cross of Round Table over Royal Charger, the three-parts-brother to Nasrullah), and has a second dam by General Assembly (by Secretariat, a Nasrullah/Princequillo cross). As Caerleon is by Nijinsky II, we also get the combination of genetic relatives Nijinsky II and Storm Bird (broodmare sire of Thunder Gulch).

There are three other sire lines that have produced multiple stakes winners for Point Given: Blushing Groom, Broad Brush, and In Reality. Blushing Groom appears as broodmare sire of Winning Point, while his sons Blushing John (another Nasrullah/Princequillo cross) and Rahy, are broodmare sires of She’s Sensational and Fancy Point (all TrueNicks A++).

The grade III-winning Point Determined and stakes winner Lawrence the Roman – a horse who showed significantly above average talent, but whose career was compromised by injury – are both TrueNicks A++ and bred on very similar lines, both out of mares by Broad Brush, one with a dam by a son of Seattle Slew, and one with a dam by Seattle Slew. Point Given also has stakes winner The Max, who is out of a mare by Lost Code, a reverse cross (Ribot/Ack Ack) to Broad Brush.

As far as the In Reality line goes, Takedown is out of a mare by Valid Appeal, and Fifteen Love from a daughter of Known Fact (with a second dam by Seattle Slew’s grandsire, Boldnesian), again, both TrueNicks rated A++.

Willsboro Point is by Point Given out of a mare by Red Ransom (TrueNicks A+), and his second dam is by Sportin’ Life, who has a pedigree rather like Caerleon (broodmare sire of Go Between), as he’s by Nijinsky II, with a dam bred on the Round Table/Nasrullah cross (so also rather similar to Topsider, broodmare sire of Points of Grace). The one less obvious horse here is the listed winner Fareena, who is out of a mare by Elocutionist (by Gallant Romeo, from the Mahmoud line).

As far as Coil’s pedigree goes, he is TrueNicks rated A++ on the basis of the cross of Thunder Gulch and his sons with mares by Theatrical. Point Given has only three starters on the cross, all of whom are winners. However, the cross has been firmly established as a good one for Point Given’s sire, Thunder Gulch, who has three stakes winners from 28 starters out of Theatrical mares. We can note that there is actually a pedigree similarity between Thunder Gulch’s dam and Theatrical, as both are by sons of Northern Dancer out of mares that carry a double of the influential Hurry On/Tredennis cross (and both through the same horses, the Ascot Gold Cup winner Precipitation and the English Derby and St. Leger winner Coronach).

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