Sunland Synchronicity

For those who are inclined to accept Jung’s theory of synchronicity, racing throws out plenty of potential examples, with Sunday at Sunland Park being the latest candidate. The two classic trials, the $800,000 Sunland Derby (gr. III) and the Sunland Park Oaks – taken last year by subsequent Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) heroine Plum Pretty – both went to horses from the first crop of their sires and out of mares by Thunder Gulch (TrueNicks,SRO), and with very similar inbreeding.

Victorious in the Sunland Derby was Daddy Nose Best, a son of Scat Daddy (TrueNicks,SRO). Daddy Nose Best was a $34,000 RNA as a weanling, and a $35,000 yearling, but he’s now earned $633,623. He's also demonstrated good form on turf, on which he was third in the Summer Stakes (gr. III), and all-weather, a surface on which he claimed the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III), as well as dirt.

Scat Daddy went into the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) off wins in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. I) and Florida Derby (gr. I), but finished off the board and never ran again. He was the leading freshman sire of 2011 in a down-to-the-wire battle with Hard Spun (TrueNicks,SRO), and with the earnings from Daddy Nose Best’s victory, shot back to the top of the current second season sire standings. He is sire of three other group/graded winners, including Daddy Long Legs, Finale, and Shared Property, and a total of six stakes winners and 13 stakes horses.

Daddy Nose Best’s dam, Follow Your Bliss, is out of Follow The Money, a winner of the Dahlia Handicap (gr. III) and Violet Handicap (gr. III). By the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) victor Pine Bluff, Follow The Money is a half sister to stakes winners Wealthy and Hearthrob. Daddy Nose Best goes back to Hasty Request (sixth dam), who is best know as dam of the Top Flight Handicap victress Plucky Roman, and ancestress of Diablo, Witchful Thinking, Roamin Rachel, Zenno Rob Roy, Darling My Darling, Cat’s Cradle, and Indian Blessing. Daddy Nose Best is TrueNicks rated A++ on the basis of the Johannesburg/Gulch cross, and is one of 10 stakes winners by a Storm Cat line stallion out of a Thunder Gulch mare (a mating that doubles Thunder Gulch’s maternal grandsire, Storm Bird). Scat Daddy is a Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector (Raise a Native) cross, and his dam is the reverse of that cross. Thunder Gulch is a Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer cross, and Daddy Nose Best’s second dam is a Northern Dancer/Raise a Native cross. There are two crosses of Storm Bird, and one of his genetic relative Nijinsky II, three crosses of Mr. Prospector, and one of his three-quarter relative Marshua’s Dancer, so quite a complex pedigree.

The Sunland Park Oaks saw the much-heralded Princess Arabella romp by eight lengths to take her record to three wins in three starts. Princess Arabella is from the second crop of Any Given Saturday (TrueNicks,SRO) (by Distorted Humor (TrueNicks,SRO)), who entered stud at Darley alongside two other sophomore standouts – Hard Spun and Street Sense (TrueNicks,SRO) – after winning the Dwyer Stakes (gr. II), Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II), and Haskell Invitational (gr. I), defeating Hard Spun and Curlin (TrueNicks,SRO) in the latter.

A half sister to stakes-winning and graded stakes-placed Dyna’s Lassie, Princess Arabella is out of Tortuga Lady, a sister to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) runner-up Invisible Ink. There is a further classic connection further back in the family, as the fourth dam Magic Singing is not only a half sister to Secret Step (twice champion sprinter in England), but also to Quadrangle, who defeated Northern Dancer in the 1964 Belmont Stakes.

Distorted Humor, a grandson of Mr. Prospector, has done well when crossed back over mares by sons and grandsons of Mr. Prospector (six stakes winners from 44 starters, including Flower Alley (TrueNicks,SRO) and Sharp Humor). The signs are that Any Given Saturday might be following his sire’s lead, as Princess Arabella (TrueNicks A++) and Sunday’s Child, Any Given Saturday’s first two stakes winners, come from only nine starters to date on the cross. Distorted Humor and Thunder Gulch – the two grandsires of Princess Arabella – are both Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer crosses, and Princess Arabella has a third cross of Mr. Prospector, as her dam is by Conquistador Cielo.

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