New Sire Analysis: Curlin

Evaluating young sires is one of my favorite studies, both for my bloodstock work with Thomas Herding Technique (THT) and my handicapping. 

Recognizing trends early is a path to value. The earlier you make an accurate read, the better. As evidence mounts, the public gradually catches on.

One of this year's more interesting first-crop sires is Curlin. A two-time Horse of the Year, Curlin won 11 of 16 starts, including the Preakness, Breeders' Cup Classic, and Dubai World Cup.

All of Curlin's wins came on dirt. He finished second to Breeders' Cup Turf winner Red Rocks (Ire) in his only grass race - the 1 3/8-mile Man O'War Stakes - and ahead of another Breeders' Cup Turf winner Better Talk Now and subsequent multiple Grade 1 turf winner Grand Couturier (GB). It was a very good performance considering it was his first turf start and only his second start  back from a two-race campaign in Dubai.

In his only start on a synthetic track, Curling finished 4th behind Raven's Pass, Henrythenavigator, and Tiago in the 2008 Breeders' Cup Classic. It was the final race of his career and clearly below his best form. How much Santa Anita's synthetic track contributed to his off effort is debatable. Many dirt horses struggled on that surface, but Curlin also may have been slowing down in the latter half of his ambitious four-year-old campaign.

Curlin was so talented and gritty he probably could have been trained to run on anything, but his stride, tracking speed and powerful, sustained pace played out best on dirt. He won at distances from 7 furlongs to 1 1/4 miles. In addition to a very respectable run at 1 3/8 miles on turf, Curlin also ran admirably at 1 1/2 miles when he lost a head decision to the great filly Rags to Riches in the 2007 Belmont Stakes. Curlin (who was carrying five more pounds than the filly) ran his final quarter mile in the Belmont in about 23-4, one of the fastest in recent history.

When evaluating his progeny, keep in mind that Curlin won his debut in February of his three-year-old season. His peak performances came midway through his three-year-old year through the first half of his four-year-old campaign. Curlin's progeny should not be expected to show their best form at age two.

As of today, Curlin has 12 winners from 37 two-year-old starters. Two of those winners came in Russia.

Here are my notes on his 10 two-year-old winners from America and England:

Savanna La Mar: Filly broke her maiden going 7 furlongs on the turf at Chester. She also finished second in a stake at Sandown and 4th in a Group 3 at Newmarket.

Palace Malice: Probably Curlin's highest regarded colt, Palace Malice ran a pair of quick races last summer in New York. In his debut he finished second to Carried Interest, who came back to finish second in the G2 Futurity Stakes. When Palace Malice broke his maiden in his second start, he beat subsequent Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint winner Hightail back to third. No published works since the win, and I read that sore shins ended Palace Malice's juvenile campaign. He is a talented, gritty colt with a potential classic distance aptitude.

Watrugonnadorosie: Broke her maiden in her second career start going 1 1/16 miles over a sloppy sealed surface at Belmont. Note that Curlin was 2-for-2 in the slop, including his powerful 4 1/2-length win in the 2007 Breeders' Cup Classic at Monmouth.

Liberated: Debuted with a nice run going 6 1/2 furlongs in the mud at Ellis Park, then third at the same distance in a strong maiden race on Keeneland's Polytrack. I thought it looked like she didn't relish the Poly that day, although perhaps she just ran into a tough field (2nd-place finisher Flashy Gray came back to win by 10 at Churchill) Switched back to dirt and stretched out to a mile, Liberated broke her maiden nicely at Churchill Downs in her third start.

Flash Forward: Following a pair of poor performances on the turf in New York, they dropped her in for a $50,000 tag and she responded with a gutsy 3/4-length win going 7 furlongs in the slop.

Moulin de Mougin: Finished 8th in her debut on Del Mar's Polytrack, then broke her maiden going 6 1/2 furlongs on the downhill turf. She then faced males when finishing 5th (of 10) in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint Preview. I am interested to see what she can do on dirt and/or going longer.

Lady of Luck: Won her debut at Ellis Park going 5 ½ furlongs on dirt despite looking like a route horse. Under a hustling ride from the start, she settled in between horses, then produced a strong, sustained rally to win going away by 2 ½ lengths. In her second start she ran third in a nW1X going 1 1/16 miles on Keeneland's Polytrack. This was the second time at the Keeneland meet I thought a Curlin struggled a bit with the synthetic surface. Lady of Luck has some quality and she could be a bet next time on dirt.

Evolutionary: Finished a troubled, distant third sprinting 5f on Arlington's Polytrack in her debut. She came back and won going 6f on the dirt at Remington Park.

Stopshoppingdebbie: Broke her maiden by 7 lengths in her debut at Emerald Downs. Not sure if she beat anything, but she looked great. Although she won here going 5 1/2 furlongs, she didn't look like a sprinter to me. Looked like she can handle much more distance. I wouldn't be surprised if she got privately purchased off this impressive debut.

Curlamorous: Broke her maiden in her debut for a $20,000 tag at Delaware Park, then came back to run second by a nose for claiming $25,000. She was just a $14,000 purchase at the two-year-old sales, so maybe she has some issues, but she at least looks like a runner at her level, and she hasn't stretched out yet. 

Conclusions: It is early, and  Curlin is still developing as a sire, but several trends that mirror his profile as a racehorse already are apparent.

Curlin's progeny are winless in eight starts on synthetic surfaces. They have finished second once and third four times. There isn't enough data to stamp Curlin a negtaive influence on synthetic (or turf), but at this time I will stick with his default profile of being best on dirt.

Distance-wise, the Curlins already have won from 5 1/2 furlongs up to 1 1/16 miles. I will not hesitate to bet them going up in distance, and many times a little extra ground could be to their benefit. Curlin won with grit and sustained speed, and that profile is very apparent in his first crop. Curlin has classic distance potential as a sire.

I am viewing Curlin as a move-up sire in the slop, particularly on sloppy sealed tracks.

Considering that Curlin did not race at age two, there is a very good chance we haven't seen anything close to the best of his progeny. They should improve at age three.

Despite beginning his career with an exorbitant stud fee and the fanfare befitting of a two-time Horse of the Year, expectations have tempered from the standpoints of bloodstock and betting. Curlin's advertised stud fee will be down to $25,000 in 2013, and his yearling average dropped from $136,000 in 2011 to $78,000 in 2012. From a wagering standpoint, I don't sense people are betting his progeny on his name alone. At a minimum, Curlin will be a sire of solid rachorses. He may be approaching underrated territory.

I will close with Curlin's emotional conformation profile, which my boss at THT Kerry Thomas OK'd me to share here. For those unfamiliar with THT, think of this profile as a measurement of class, presence, temperament, and distance aptitude. Note that we have "recommended for breeding" less than 10% of the sires we have inspected.

Curlin: A very strong, well-rounded horse. Great stimulus interpretation. Reads intentions very well. Distance focus is very strong. He is in control of everything around him. Communicates with his environment very well. Slightly hotter females would be ok with him. He could stretch out more precocious mares. A mid-range focus female would be safe for him. He has a lot of overriding qualities that could pepper/strengthen his mares. Recommended for breeding.


Leave a Comment:


Have to ask the obvious. How does Jesse's Dream fit?

14 Nov 2012 3:31 PM

Better start getting good winners or they will write him off as a "distance sire", no good for N.Am. and end up selling him to Japan (except for B. Banke's probable refusal)

14 Nov 2012 4:39 PM
Pete Denk


Love the mating for Jess's Dream.

Her obvious quality aside, a precocious, forward-focused mare with speed (like Rachel) is one of the types we would recommend breeding to Curlin.

14 Nov 2012 5:53 PM
Karen in Texas

Most of Curlin's two year old winners/runners have been fillies. As noted in Pete's analysis, a couple of them have run well on muddy tracks; and at least two of them, Evolutionary and Melody Lin(2nd today at Aquaduct) have run without Lasix. I'm wondering if the colts are going to be the later developers, as Curlin was. If I remember correctly, a "shins" problem was at least partially responsible for his not having started at age two. I hope Palace Malice comes back well and ready to roll as a three year old!

14 Nov 2012 7:06 PM
Storm Catwoman


Nice analysis. Glad to hear you give Curlin credit for his excellent second in the Man O'War which so many people dismiss. I remember Tom Durkin's call of the finish: "Breeders Cup winners one, two and three!". I also think he adds much needed soundness to the breed. Besides the aforementioned "shin"problem at two and tailing off at the end of a hard 4 year old campaign, Curlin seemed to retire sound. That can't be said of many American horses who compete at that level.

14 Nov 2012 8:23 PM

Well, this blog made me feel good at my early "derby" pick Palace Malice.  I just hope he does get over the "shins" issue and comes back strong for the TC campaign.  I like the fact that he didn't race much as a 2 yr old.

14 Nov 2012 8:45 PM
Pedigree Ann

When looking at a sire's record, it is vital to know the mares he has been bred to. For example - Moulin du Mougin is out of Cambiocorsa, who was a specialist on the 6.5f turf downhill turf course at Santa Anita. So far, MdM has shown she has Mum's talent by breaking her maiden on the hill. How much Curlin added to the phenotype is yet to be determined.

Never make the mistake of attributing all of a horse's performance quality and preferences as to surface and distance to the sire alone. The sire is only part of genetic mixture and not always the dominant part.

15 Nov 2012 9:17 AM

Attempts at furthering our understanding of reality is always a worthy endeavor. Wishful thinking, however, can often cause us to mistakenly believe that our attempts were productive...No doubt there are "psychological"/mental variations among horses. But, what leads you to believe that those identified exert any qualitative impact on racing performance? For example- "Distance focus is very strong". It's my understanding that, as a prey animal" the horse's "distance focus" would be (and is) relatively "strong". So you (and/or Mr. Thomas) have apparently found differences within this trait among thoroughbred racehorses. Even if one grants that your testing procedures are valid (yield a "proveable" cause-effect), how does one go about "scientifically" proving that this qualitative difference exerts a positive effect on racing performance? What is the breadth of your data base? As an aside, your analysis of Curlin's sire record has me question your methods. You discussed 10 of his 12 winners, but said nothing about the performance characteristics of his 25 other starters.        

15 Nov 2012 11:49 AM

Although some great sires (such as Seattle Slew) were bargain buys, it always scared me a little that Curlin was only purchased for $57K as a yearling when Smart Stike's average for yearlings in 2005 was almost $85K.  I don't know what Curlin's repository report looked like, but I'm guessing he had some significant issues.  I wonder if Curling will pass along any flaws to his offspring that may have been corrected for him as a racehorse by modern medicine/surgery?

Good point Pedigree Ann that the stallion only makes up half the mix. A good case in point would be looking at Lisa Danielle, the dam of Wise Dan and Successful Dan.  Successful Appeal and Wiseman's Ferry might be decent stallions, but I would say it is fair to say that Lisa Danielle has had much to do with the success of these runners.

By the way, I will take even money that Jess's Dream never wins a race. Any takers???

15 Nov 2012 12:50 PM
an ole railbird

it has always been preached, that the female is 60% of the gene pool.

i have experinced that on a strong breeding mare( a mare that puts her traits in a colt), it is nessasary to breed to a stallion that can put his traits on over 60% of his foals.

this has run true in horses of all disciplines, that i have seen over the years. and has proven true in 4 different breeds.

 this theory proves true in several spieces of mammals. cattle sheep, goats, swine, & dogs.

 it is also easier for a stallions traits to dominate a mating, when it is in a closed gene pool.

 just wanted to offer some observations of a life long,impercial study of mating & breeding champion livestock.

thank you for the chance.

 now ill go back to being "an ole railbird'.

15 Nov 2012 2:14 PM
Pete Denk


Great point. The fact that racehorses are actually prey animals is integral to understanding their minds and actions.

And yes, we have found significant differences in the distance focus of Thoroughbreds.

The effect on race performance for many of the characteristics we are studying play out really strongly at 9f and up (as evidenced by our KY Derby analysis the last two years).

We are finding that different types of minds win different types of races. The research is ongoing, and very promising.

But it boils down to this question: what type of mind is controlling the body?

As Kerry often says, "The mental capacity of the equine controls the physical output of the athlete."

Sorry I did not break down Curlin's 25 other runners, but this blog would have been REALLY long had I done that. I have watched quite a few of them run and I see some very consistent patterns of motion emerging.

15 Nov 2012 2:39 PM
Pete Denk

Ole Railbird, good to hear from you. Your 60% stat is interesting.

I wonder what Tapit's % of stamping/domination is.

It will be interesting to see how the weak mares from his early crops played into the dynamic vs. the quality mares he is getting now.

15 Nov 2012 2:47 PM
Karen in Texas

KEYMASTER---Curlin raced and retired sound, did he not? I do not recall one single injury being reported during his two year (2007-2008) campaign, or any unusual, unaccounted for time between races. His career was replete with high quality graded stakes starts. It might be more salient to wonder if he will "pass along" any strengths he displayed while on the track, instead of speculating on the contents of his repository report. When you find that report please share it with us, but meanwhile, let's go with what we know about him. Helen Pitts described his 2y/o physical status as "just being real big and having minor shin problems".

By the way, the Jess's Dream wager seems like a really inane way to waste money.

15 Nov 2012 4:08 PM

an ole railbird,

Your latest remarks (the 60%, etc.)-all of them- are simply incorrect. The sire and dam contributions are, essentially, each 50% (please, let's not now introduce the mtDNA argument. It and all else are genetically negligible). Please also keep in mind that the outward appearance (the "shell") and what contributed to it genetically is but a part of what makes up the total individual (ex. cardio-respiratory, GI systems, much of the musculo-skeletal, etc.-not to mention mental capacity)...Pete, those two Derby prognostications are far from enough evidence to support such claims. But, I'm certainly with THT regarding the plight of the horse re-its present "unnatural" existence.  

15 Nov 2012 4:37 PM


Are you not aware that many horses have surgery to correct angular limb deformities before they are sold as yearlings???

Given his low sale price, I am willing to bet that Curlin had a corrective surgery done.  So while Curlin might have given the appearance of a correct and sound horse, would he have have been correct and sound had the surgery not been done?

My understanding of genetics is that you pass along to your offspring what was acquired hereditarily, not what was altered by medicine or surgery.

So if Curlin had angular limb deformities as a weanling/yearling, wouldn't he be more likely pass this along to the offspring than if he did not?

I think by your comments, you are purely judging a book by its cover.  Especially if you are going to base this off what his trainer told the media when he was a juvenile.  Hasn't anyone ever told you to not believe everything you read?

Curlin looks great on the outside now, but what he carries in his genes could possibly be better observed by what he really looked like prior to any medical/surgical intervention.

15 Nov 2012 5:09 PM

Curlin's dam was unraced and prior to Curlin hadn't produced anything of note. His 2nd dam was a lackluster producer. All reasons enough for his sale price to fall below Smart Strike's average, without need to speculate about his repository x-rays, etc. Perhaps his overall weak female-line production record should be considered when evaluating Curlin's chances for sire success (his known phenotype vs his unknown genotype). I never thought much of him as a stallion prospect, and my sense is that his offspring have a case of the slows (relative to the quality of his books). It's still somewhat early, but I doubt he'll become the poster boy for THT's predictive abilities.    

15 Nov 2012 5:47 PM
Karen in Texas

KEYMASTER---Curlin could have had any number of things in his medical history that we do not know. My problem with your remarks is that they are speculatory in nature, not factual. If you KNOW something to be the case, then share it via a link or other mechanism. Otherwise, what you are "willing to bet" or are guessing is without merit. I simply said to rely on what is KNOWN about this horse.  Helen Pitts' observation is a small part of my point. If you know something definitive about the assertions you put forth, then share your source. Innuendo is meaningless--how silly to question any performance potential for Curlin's foals based on surgery that MIGHT have been done. I've been in human medicine for 30+ years, so show me the reports.....Thanks.

15 Nov 2012 6:02 PM

Excellent article!  Yes, the Mighty Curlin got beat by a chick

and I was there!

I've seen him many times.  I dragged my husband all over New York and New Jersey in 2007 to see Hard Spun, Street Sense, and Curlin.  He most definitely has that keen awareness of his environment and surroundings.  A very intelligent animal, you can see it just looking at him.  He has a very collected, poised demeanor about him.  He looks right through you it seems not at you.  Yes, he is a champion.

IHA, Curlin, Afleet Alex, Bernardini, I still think their sires have the upper hand in success in the gene pool.  I think it takes years before the progeny has genetic athletic greatness.  And I agree with most here it is not all the sire's genes contributing to the foal's prowess on the track.  It's a crapshoot at best, finding the right combination of sire and dam that translates into producing exceptional athleticism.  I could be wrong but I think we are breeding too closely, whereby all these early retirements contribute to it.

I firmly believe in two year old foundations and experience before they embark on the Derby trail.  But maybe there is something to skipping it until age three, or Curlin is just an exception to the rule.  It's interesting.  I personally believe he did not care for that synthetic surface.  How spent could he have been at 4, he missed all of 2.  Tired maybe but not spent.  Had that race been on dirt I think it may have had a different outcome.  His Tomlinson should be high, he won the BC Classic in mega slop, I was there for that one too.  The progeny should do well in slop and dirt.

15 Nov 2012 6:31 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  For me the Curlin and Rags to Riches battle was second only to Affirmed and Alydar. 2007 was a great year, you're lucky. You wouldn't of had to drag me around if I was one of your husbands (one of your quotes was, "if any husband of mine ....") Rags to Riches was a real lady, I don't know if I could call her a chick. 2007 I picked the Derby top three in order but I only bet the tri as a box. I should have bet it straight too. My WPS bet was Hard Spun and I think he is an excellent sire. Loved that year. We can love pedigrees all we want but they still have to do it on the track. I like 2yo son of Curlin, Curlinator's pedigree.

15 Nov 2012 8:06 PM

Sorry Karen, but Keeneland doesn't have a link to their repository files... for many obvious reasons.

It is my understanding that Curlin had surgery ankle as a yearling.

Below is a link to a bloodhorse article where Ken McPeek confirms this.  I hope this satisfactory for your factual standards.

15 Nov 2012 8:35 PM
Karen in Texas

Thanks, Keymaster.

15 Nov 2012 9:08 PM

Although I have some doubts about him, I still think Curlin will be a useful sire. Regardless of their pedigree, some foals come out correct and some come out crooked.  Also, there have been some very crooked horses that could still run.

Street Sense was my favorite race horse of the crop although Curlin won 2 or the 3 meetings. I blame Borel for losing the Preakness and the slop for the Breeders Cup loss.  However, Hard Spun is my pick to be the best sire of them all, mainly because of being by Danzig.

Seems contradictory that I would be a fan of Danzig when he only races 3 times...

15 Nov 2012 9:46 PM
Pete Denk


I think Curlin is at that glass half full/half empty spot in his stud career.

As I wrote, I believe he will be a sire of solid racehorses. And he still *could* be an above average or even elite stallion.

I'd much rather endorse taking a shot with him now at 25k and his yearling average cut in half than I would have telling someone to breed to him at 75k when he retired or buy from his first crop of yearlings that averaged over six figures.

Now is the time, before his first crop turns three, if you believe in him.

16 Nov 2012 12:10 AM

Dr. D.,

You are right that was a race for the ages.  And Rags to Riches is a lady.  I was being funny because a girl bet the almighty Curlin!!!!  Rags was a beauty and awesome on the track.  That was some year. Pletcher had to be ecstatic. You are correct, I would never have to "drag" you to any race! I loved that year as well, I was in my glory seeing them all I think 4 times.  My husband is not into it like I am and he was an elite runner!  So "drag" is the word alright!  Oh well, nothing is perfect.  If we all had husbands like you and Steve it would be a perfect world.

Curlinator, what a cute name.  And Hard Spun is proving to be a good sire.  I keep saying they better start feeding Alex a new diet!!!!!

16 Nov 2012 12:15 AM

I have never before seen so much written about a sire who is off to a slow start at stud, compared to the horses he ran against, sires such as Henrythenavigator, Hard Spun and Raven’s Pass. It is a simple fact of life. Some runners become poor sires. Some become outstanding sires. Curlin was a big mule.

The commercial breeders have spoken. They are not rushing to obtain his services because the supreme boss, the marketplace, is not rushing to buy his offspring. That’s life. The commercial breeders must heed the marketplace or go out of business.

16 Nov 2012 8:31 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  No husband, wife or relationship is perfect, that's for sure. Curlin had a lot of stamina. He wasn't that fast but he could carry the speed he had forever. I think that his offspring for the most part won't be real fast, have stamina, develop slower. I wonder if a Broodmare sire of fast two year olds would be a good mix. Or if you want a shot at winning the Belmont Stakes you can go with stamina on the bottom too. It's way too early to tell what kind of a sire he'll be. They are still experimenting with the bottom, and we'll also have to see his runners at four too, but certainly we could see some runners emerge at 3 also just as Pete said. I'll take success at 3 and 4 over 2 anyday.

16 Nov 2012 10:10 AM
Pete Denk

Jersey Boy-

I like Henrythenavigator quite a bit. But remember he was a Group 2 winner by June of his 2yo season. His progeny are supposed to be good at two.

Same with Raven's Pass. He had already won three races by Sep. 1 of his 2yo season.

The Curlins aren't supposed to be early.

Hard Spun is not a fair comparison as he has two crops at the track.

The commercial market incorrectly writes off horses all the time.

16 Nov 2012 10:38 AM
Pete Denk

BTW, two horses the commercial market had no interest in (initially), but who scored very highly on their THT profiles are Hat Trick (JPN) and English Channel.

16 Nov 2012 10:42 AM

I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Hat Trick (JPN), but did meet English Channel when he was at Hurricane.  Been in love with him ever since.  Beautiful animal with a great demeanor and presence!  I hope to either breed to him one day, or acquire one of his daughters.

The only issue I really have with any of this is how can a horse be saved from the stupidity of the people who raise, train, and race him?  I firmly believe we'd have tons more winners if we had real trainers.  I hope your boss is successful in his endeavors regarding this.

16 Nov 2012 11:07 AM

Hi Pete,

I truly want your hopes for Curlin to be realized, because over the last decade the stats for first crop 2 yr. old sire turnarounds has been rather dismal. For top, or near top tier-type stallions, only English Channel (also by Smart Strike), Flower Alley and Lemon Drop Kid have evidenced much positive change (in standings) with the maturity of their offspring. Indian Charlie clearly advanced from what was seen from his initial 2 yr. old crop, but this was less due to the maturity factor. It's all rather disappointing to me, and may say something about the direction of the breed, at least here in the US. It also may be worth noting that Tiznow didn't race at 2, didn't break his maiden until nearly June of his 3 yr. old year, yet was a leading first crop 2 yr. old sire. It's depressing that the die may be cast so early. First Defence is one that I had been rooting for, and I was hopeful (less so now) that he would later establish himself.

Pete, you do an excellent job at authoring, interacting, and managing this blog.    

16 Nov 2012 11:31 AM
Cathy in Washington

What I like about the Curlin offspring that I have watched is that they have good shoulder and hip angles and their movement is correct, the race of Stopshopping Debbie come to mind.  The ankle surgery Curlin had a a yearling was not a reason for K. Mcpeak to reject him, but the full disclosure made him confident to go forward with the purchase.  It obviously had no effect on his racing career. I think his offspring will do better as they get older and the races get longer.

16 Nov 2012 12:04 PM

Competitive race, but going with Leading Astray in the G2 Mrs. Revere at CD tomorrow.

16 Nov 2012 2:06 PM

Curlin's Fanfare is in the 6th at CD tomorrow and has a big chance to win.  However, Sanaaya looks tough (who ran second to Curlin's Liberated in her last start). I also like Snowfinch and Undo as horses to include at a price.

16 Nov 2012 2:27 PM

Really enjoyed this blog.  Any chance you will be doing more of these?  or have done already?  I would love to read one on Big Brown or Midnight Lute as well....

16 Nov 2012 3:10 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

By a long nose

    I think Pete is doing an excellent job too except for posting your statement without one word as to what you're referring to, so I don't know why you say that. Don't you think if you are calling someone a moron you should state why you feel that way? Or is it a contest and whoever guesses what you are referring to wins a prize? A new oven !!!! A new car !!!

16 Nov 2012 7:52 PM
Pete Denk

Name calling and/or insults aimed at other posters, without any substance, reasoning, or humor, are likely to be deleted.

16 Nov 2012 8:04 PM
Pete Denk


Agreed, English Channel has a really great presence.


Yeah, I liked StopshoppingDebbie's debut race.

Here's the video for those who'd like to see it:

16 Nov 2012 8:12 PM
Mary Zinke

Aw, he just misses chatting. Isn't that sweet?  Sorry I missed your wisp of smoke, b a l n.

16 Nov 2012 10:20 PM

The Keymaster

Let’s not forget that Smart Strike didn’t race at two either.  I wonder what his so-called deformities were.  If indeed he did have deformities or issues of some kind, they sure didn’t affect him in on the track as he is a G1 winner, nor in the breeding shed as he has sired a number of good, strong stakes winners.  It’s also true that Curlin sold for $57K as a yearling (Smart Strike’s stud fee in the year of his conception was $75K).  Let’s also not forget that after a single race he was resold for $3.7M, the amount so high partially because of his stud potential.  

17 Nov 2012 12:39 AM

I’m not so sure that Curlin wasn’t as adept on synthetics and turf as he was on dirt.  True, he only raced once on each surface, and in each of those races he was losing ground in the final furlong, but it is interesting when looking at the circumstances in both those races.

In the MOW, he ran wide pretty well the entire race, being three wide in the first turn and 4 wide turning into the stretch.  He also hit the starting gate at the break, which might or might not have had an adverse effect on his performance, something we’ll never know for sure.  The interesting thing in the MOW was his time in the final 3/8ths (individually timed in 35.10 seconds), and the final 5/8ths (individually timed in 58.38 seconds) pretty exceptional for an 11F race.  That was a strong performance and in losing he lost to an experienced BC Turf winner and finished in front of another experienced BC Turf winner.  To me that means he passed the turf test.

In the 2008 BCC on synthetics, it is fair to say that he was in training through the entire year and was a world traveler.  In the final two months he ran in three physically demanding races, including crossing the country for his final race, and the entire year was definitely taking a toll on him, probably both mentally as well as physically.  He lost the BCC, but when examining his performance, it was actually very good.  In a fast race, he actually was individually timed in the 4th of those 5 quarters in an eye-popping 22.79 seconds.  That is exceptional for a 4th quarter in a 10F race and proves that he could handle synthetics.  Also, in spite of tiring badly in that final furlong (more do to his feeling the effects of a long year rather than an inability to grasp the race track), he still managed to run an individually timed 47.13 seconds for the final 4F.  That to me means that he passed the synthetic test.

I’m definitely no expert on breeding and after reading some of the exceptional posts on this blog I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m way out of your league.  However, there is turf in Curlin’s pedigree beginning with his sire Smart Strike, who sired some good turf winners including English Channel; and on his dam’s side tracing through Vice Regent, Northern Dancer and Sir Ivor, etc.  Maybe being a sire of good turf runners is in his future.

17 Nov 2012 2:31 AM
Pedigree Ann

I remember seeing Tiznow being dismissed as a sire by some BEFORE he had any horse on the track because his yearlings' prices were nothing special and falling.

Read years ago in a bound copy of some periodical from the 1940s that "You can't fully judge a stallion's career until he's been dead for 20 years." So true.

I wanted to breed to Hat Trick but then Gainsway snapped him up and doubled his fee so that was that. He is beautifully balanced horse, nice mover, with a tremendous turn-of-foot.

While physically, half of the genetic material in the offspring comes from each parent, the characteristics that are expressed can be all over the block - mostly sire, mostly dam or both in any combination. Full siblings can be wildly different or nearly the same.

Once upon a time, all stock breeders thought that the sire was solely responsible for the qualities of the offspring and the mare acted as an incubator only, despite what must have been the evidence of their eyes. We in the TB business have a lot of that archaic attitude in the way we report about breedings ("out of a Seattle Slew mare" - WHICH ONE? they are not all identical). Sire lists and broodmare sire lists presuppose that the males are the ones responsible for outcomes. Likewise 'nicking' reports.

Claiborne chose mates for Secretariat early on as if he were a typical son of Bold Ruler - speedy sorts who needed a bit of stamina from the mares. Big mistake; he was actually a stamina horse who needed speedy mares. So there were a lot of duds in the first couple of crops. Then Claiborne wised up and gave him more of the sort of mares he needed: HotY Lady's Secret was out of a confirmed sprinter. But the impression that Big Red was a 'failure', formed those first couple of years, persisted.

Late maturing racers can't be evaluated based on their 2yos, especially if the stud hasn't made any attempt to make sure he gets the right sort of mare. Court is still out.

17 Nov 2012 9:14 AM
Karen in Texas

Laz and Pedigree Ann---Thanks so much for simply making sense!

17 Nov 2012 10:39 AM

Pedigree Ann,

For the sake of some readers, I must dispute some of your points:

re- what is inherited from the genes, it is true that "the characteristics expressed can be all over the block", but you also contend (or imply) that offspring can inherit nearly all, or very little of their "characteristics" from one parent or the other. Due to the number of genes, this is extremely unlikely, mathematically. Instead, it is almost universally true that expressed "characteristics" are inherited nearly equally from both parents, but which specific characteristics can differ widely from individual(offspring) to individual (offspring). For example, this can play itself out such that one offspring may express the lion's share of those characteristics that enabled its sire to demonstrate great speed, yet also express more of the characteristics associated with its dam's mane composition, GI functionality, blood type, what have you. I think what you really mean to imply is that those expressed characteristics associated with racing performance can, at times, be more similar to those of one parent, or the other, or any variation in between...Also, while initially those mates chosen for Secretariat may have been more stamina oriented, it is not accurate to imply that his stud career took off, or became much more successful, once it was discovered that he was more of a stamina influence, with his mates then chosen accordingly. Speaking of myths, this is another widely circulating (perhaps wishful thinking) myth...Lastly, sire lists, or broodmare sire lists don't "presuppose" anything. What they offer, instead, is a PIECE of the data. The mistake, perhaps, lies with those who assume it is much more than just a portion of what is needed for a reasonably accurate evaluation.        

17 Nov 2012 10:47 AM
Karen in Texas

sceptre---"Presuppose" may not be the correct term regarding the sire lists, but the implication that the sires are more important is evidenced by virtue of the very title of the lists. Biologically speaking that is archaic, as Pedigree Ann noted. I'm not trying to be oppositional, but it's something I've observed/thought for years. Of course I'm not a breeder...

17 Nov 2012 11:32 AM

Karen in Texas:

How would you prefer those lists be titled? Or, perhaps, would you prefer no lists at all? I've been a breeder for many years, and never assumed that the sires contributed more than the dams (and I often reviewed those lists). Whether it's "lists" or indices, nick ratings etc., none can paint the entire picture. There are no shortcuts depite the fact that almost everyone would prefer it that way. Much of the erroneous information conveyed on these blogs is derived from those who believe the "Shortcut" information is sufficient-they don't view it as shortcut/partial information.  

17 Nov 2012 2:47 PM
Karen in Texas

sceptre---Maybe keep the title, but add the name of the dam of the chief earner for each individual sire listed? It would still be abbreviated information. I only meant that I can see PA's point. Someone with your obvious knowledge of biology/genetics would never assume that sires contributed more than dams.

17 Nov 2012 3:47 PM

Ever made a P4 bet where you beat the favorites for the first 3 legs and for some unknown stupid reason, you leave out the 2nd ML favorite in the last leg...  I'm an expert on that.

17 Nov 2012 11:53 PM

This blog is incredible. I thought that anyone who wanted to learn about the principles of heredity would simply go on line and do a search on "principles of heredity".

Incredible. I take it for granted that serious  people do not use blogs as sources of education.

18 Nov 2012 9:43 AM


I suppose had your earlier entry been written by one more "serious", Pete wouldn't have found the need to respond.

18 Nov 2012 12:34 PM


Try googling Chronic Foot In The Mouth Disease.

18 Nov 2012 12:40 PM

Curlin is from the Mr. Prospector sire line, one of the most successful in the world. The line has accounted for the winner of 50 Triple Crown races. It would therefore be reasonable to conclude that Curlin with his achievements and record earnings would automatically be a successful stallion.

He is a grandson of t Mr. Prospector. Sires from this category have been the most successful, particularly in Triple Crown races. Quiet American, Unbridled, Street Cry, Elusive Quality and Distorted Humor have sired the winner of 11 TC races.  Of the aforementioned classic winning sires , Curlin’s achievements supersedes all. Unbridled achievements probably comes the closest having won on leg of the Triple Crown and the BCC.

Curlin therefore belongs to an elite group of sires. He also belongs to an elite group that historically have not done well in the breeding shed.  

Cigar, Affirmed, Secretariat, Skip Away, Silver Charm, Pleasantly Perfect to name a few were all champions that either did not or have not distinguish themselves in the breeding shed. Cigar should really be excluded for obvious reasons but I think would fear no better if not for his fertility issues. It may still be too early for some but the blog is based on Curlin’s first crop. More recently Candy Ride and Invasor two of the most brilliant horses to have competed in US over the last 10 years have not been lighting up the sale rings or tracks.  

I tend to be guided by history in spite of the fact that anything is possible in issues where there is no exact science to determine outcomes. I was not overly optimistic about Curlin’s prospect to a champion sire in spite of the elite group to which he belongs.

His record was greatly enhanced by the retirement of most of the top 3YOs i.e., Street Sense, Any Given Saturday, Hard Spun and top older horses invasor and Bernardini.  He was therefore beating mostly substandard competition as 4YO. The Dubai World Cup being the exception.

Curlin won the Eclipse Award for HOY in consecutive years. He joined Secretariat, Affirmed, Farego and Cigar as the only horses to win the award consecutively since the Eclipse Awards began in 1971.  He is also the holder of the record for earning in NA.

Folks all the indicators point to a moderate at best career for Curlin as a sire. Horses with his type of resume are not the ones that make great sires.

19 Nov 2012 10:47 AM


I do not use Google. I use a different search engine. I looked up your pseudonym and this is what I found.


19 Nov 2012 1:58 PM

JerseyBoy : Going "online" to research doesn't mean you'll get the truest and most accurate information.  What's the difference between reading people's opinion in a blog and researching online ?  Most articles online are put there by people who thinks they know more than everyone.  If you search "principles of heredity" online, you'll probably get thousands of hits and in the end, you probably still won't get the information you want.  At least in a blog, such as this one, I'm confident I'm reading opinions and thoughts from people who has a passion for horses.  Not to say I believe everyone that posts on here, I only really pay attention to the PRO ;)

19 Nov 2012 4:06 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   That's an excellent point, but make that zillions of hits, and none answer the question. I nominate you for blackboard monitor !!!!!!

19 Nov 2012 6:34 PM


Your analysis and conclusion about Curlin's prospects as a sire might have been enhanced by looking also at the performance of his broodmare sire line.  Broodmares from the Northern Dancer line occupy six of the top ten on the current broodmare sire's list.  Curlin's dam was not an outstanding racer but you have documented so many times that mares with her kind of profile are the ones that produce exceptional types, yet you missed that kind of observation in your analysis. I tell you again that you need to get rid of this "blog-rust".  

You concluded that Curlin would have at best a moderate stud career based upon the failure of a few racing stars at stud. BTW, Secretaiat was not a failure at stud. He is to this day one of the most outstanding broodmare sire of successful sires (check that cold fact my friend).  That kind of logic is falacious at best since there have been quite a few star performers on the race track that have gone on to have stellar careers a stud. I can name a few: Man O War, Count Fleet, Hyperion, Ribot, Buckpasser, Northern Dancer, Nijinsky, Alydar (think of him whenever you mention Affirmed) and Seattle Slew etc.

Both his sire line and broodmare sire line offer good prospects.  I would think that because he was a star performer he has a better than average shot of passing on his racing prowess to his offsprings, especially if covering mares carrying the best of his dam's blood: mares with multiples of Teddy via La Troinne and Sir Gallahad. Mares with pedigree that have nicked well with stallions carrying Deputy Minister blood are those from Hail To Reason, Dr Fager (Rough & Tumble), Graustark (Ribot) Prince John and Blushing Groom.

A couple more "breezes" on the blog should see you in good nick for the upcoming Triple Crown trail (LOL). Peace.    

19 Nov 2012 6:52 PM

Poor Affirmed!

Still not getting as much respect as Alydar.

I think one crop is a little early to be writing Curlin off.  Never discount No Class blood.

20 Nov 2012 12:33 AM


I could not agree with you more. I choose the ones which on the surface appear to be reliable, especially ones that cite sources.

Below is an example.

20 Nov 2012 7:22 AM

Questing HURT? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Big shock.......what did i tell you? Maybe the fact that she would not change leads correctly, lug all over the something! Horses lug, drift, for a reason.......all of them bad! Lesson for all the doubters!

20 Nov 2012 9:23 PM
J Fanelli racing

Hello my name is john Fanelli. I am the very proud owner of the 2 year old filly Curlamorous. I want to start out by saying there is nothing wrong with this filly. Secondly since this article / blog was started she ran in an A other than optional claiming and just missed by a nose after the winner came out on her and moved her out in the stretch (with a poor inside post position).  You can tell I'm still a little bitter LOL. But the reason for me joining this blog is to simply tell you she is exactly what I thought she would be... A well dispositioned racehorse with a ton of heart! She is improving with every start and I believe Curlin will prove to be not only a true champion but a great stallion as well. Good luck

21 Nov 2012 12:32 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

John Fanelli

    Curlamorous looks really good. Excellent stride and does run with a lot of heart. A few things I found interesting are that she was up for a claim, and that the odds she goes off at are always  lower than the ML so far. Her last race she went from ML of 10-1 down to 3-1. I'm going to put her on my HTW list. I can see why you're proud of her. I like her pedigree too. I can't tell what her optimal distance will be but I'm sure you'll find out. Good luck, I wish both of you the very best. Happy Thanksgiving !!!!!

21 Nov 2012 1:32 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

And Happy Thanksgiving to all of you bloggers, blogettes, bloggeristas, and bloggittos, and our gracious host Pete. We're stuffing our turkey with Twinkies this year.  And Happy Thanksgiving to all of the valiant and talented horses. We love them all even when we hate them for beating our pants off at the windows. Give your horse a special treat on Thanksgiving, and any of your animals. They all deserve the best.

21 Nov 2012 1:49 AM

Well said Dr. D.  You have a wonderful turkey day yourself and your family.  I'm heading up to Lake Tahoe and will be trying my luck with the massive P6 carryover tomorrow at the sports book.  

Happy thanksgiving to all and good luck to all betting the races this week!

21 Nov 2012 10:10 AM
Karen in Texas

Mr. Fanelli---Nice of you to comment on this blog. I saw the recent race where Curlamorous battled in the stretch and lost by a short margin; she did indeed display a lot of heart! Good luck to her and to you in the future!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Have you seen Steve's special, personal Thanksgiving top ten for the year on "And They're Off"?

21 Nov 2012 11:14 AM
Pedigree Ann

"... it is almost universally true that expressed "characteristics" are inherited nearly equally from both parents...,"

Not if one parent has a lot of dominant characteristics and the other is recessive for same. Surely you have seen children who resemble one parent quite closely and look nothing like the other? Happens in horses, too.

21 Nov 2012 11:52 AM

Darwin a $1.3M colt by Curlin won on debut but was fully extended to defeat 29-1 longshot Retreive who was secured for $44,000 in a 2YO in Training Sale. In his subsequent race he was a troubled but lackluster 4th in the Nashua Stk. He has to be the most expensive Curlin to date.  He appears to be a useful sprinter at best. It is unlikely that he will feature in the TC races.

21 Nov 2012 12:56 PM
Karen in Texas

Unless I've lost my ability to read and comprehend the English language, Darwin is a colt by Big Brown, NOT Curlin. Might want to recheck those facts. (Facts?)

21 Nov 2012 1:17 PM

Pedigree Ann,

You've pulled that phrase from the rest of the sentence, not to mention its context. I agree, though; it could have been said more artfully. To, perhaps, better clarify, I'll respond to your latest remarks.- It's highly unlikely that one parent would genetically dominate for all, or near all charcteristics over the other. There are just too many separate characteristics for this to be other than a great mathematical longshot. Yes, what we may label as "characteristics" are often determined by several genes and, there are less total numbers of characteristics than there are genes. But, the numbers of characteristics are great enough to make this a mathematical improbability. So again, that child may closely "resemble" the one parent, but consider what you mean by "resemble". Does it also resemble that one parent in the constellation of characteristics less evident to your immediate senses?...Assuming I'm correct, how easily is this deduced by a read of Wikipedia-Principles Of Heredity, JerseyBoy?  

21 Nov 2012 2:01 PM

Karen in Texas,

Once again, his are not Coldfacts, but rather something absurdly reasoned and often based on very Sloppyfacts.

21 Nov 2012 2:09 PM

Sceptre and Karen in Texas,

Please go easy on my good friend Cold Facts. He hasn't found his best stride yet since returning to these blogs.


You write Big Brown's million dollar son, Darwin at your peril my friend. That colt has lots of upside to him and his pedigree is loaded with class and stamina on the dam side. He can be any kind of horse. I expect him to be a factor in on the Triple Crown trail. Looking forward to rumbling with you when you're in better form.

21 Nov 2012 2:29 PM

Hi to all. I am a breeder in Cyprus, (don't ask), i read most of the comments pleasantly, but i have some notes. 1st my background: my Forty Niner line mare, i bred her to Provo (Alydar-Terlingua). This shows exactly my breeding orientation. How many times do you hear of low prised horses becoming champions? High price DOES NOT affect a horses ability, simple as that. Good pedigree DOES NOT guarantee champions, simple as that. Analysis, nicking etc are just a way for non-breeders to profit from rich wannabe horsemen. Noone can predict a horses' stallion outcome. Unless you see the results you go blindly. For example if you follow a mare line of Lyphard - Carson City, Saint Ballado - Silver Deputy, your success is almost guaranteed. And with very low buying price. As of Curlin, his achievements, pedigree, but most of all his presence are good enough to make him a very good bet.

21 Nov 2012 2:47 PM


Perhaps you should re-read your post. You may then note that you did an excellent job of contradicting yourself.


Coldfacts has no "best stride" in him. There is his body of work out there to prove this.

21 Nov 2012 4:50 PM
Cathy in Washington

Mr Fanelli, I think your filly Curlamorous is a lovely filly. Her last race was a big step up in class and she is ba beautiful free moving filly, look forward to seeing more from her.

Nice debut by Curly Top on Sunday, first time starter going a mile and a sixteenth around 2 turns and just missed by neck.

21 Nov 2012 5:18 PM

Karen in Texas,

You are correct. Too much Red Stripe before TG. Thanks.

22 Nov 2012 2:34 AM

I have taken the liberty of using a capital 'S' at the start of your posting ID. In spite of my academic challenges I am aware that names and titles are proper nouns. I hope this does not offend as it takes very little to do same in your world.

I have repeatedly ascribed intellectual dominion to you. I am therefore puzzled as to the reason for your continued bashing of one held in such low regard. There are programs to correct the bully disorder that affects you. You are advised to register in one of these programs.

I have tried to establish a foundation for meaningful exchanges between us and you have rejected same. You have chosen instead to demean and disrespect. You have gone as far as requesting that my contributions not be displayed as they deemed provide misinformation of the less informed.  It is unlikely that information coming from a misfit such as I can influence anyone. It is clear your dislike for me knows no bounds and you take immense pleasure in demeaning me. What exactly am I guilty of?  Your superiority complex is clearly on display. It is indeed sad that one so bright is so tainted.

With regards to my BOW, I have certainly received more compliments for same than you have for your intellectual and thought-provoking submissions

Happy TG!

22 Nov 2012 3:53 AM


My dear colleague I must again express my gratitude for your defense of me. However, you are wasting your time. Both Sceptre and Karen in Texas detest me and eve of Thanks Giving will not influence a change.

Darwin is in fact a colt by Big Brown. I need to get back in the mix and fact check before I hit the submit button. To err is human to forgive is divine. You display of divinity is to be commended. Others can learn from your example.

Karen in Texas had the option to post a gentle correction but choose to do otherwise. It is not surprising as she was the first to applauded Mr. Ervin for the insults he directed at me. As for Sceptre, his superiority complex is now in a chronic state. He is a bright but tainted individual that only the elites amongst us should engage. Sadly I am a bottom feeder and clearly not qualified to engage learned contributor.

22 Nov 2012 4:24 AM


I see your post has been subjected to a critique by the self-appointed blog Tzar. I possess a less complicated brain and was able to identify the pertinent points in your post.

“As for Curlin, his achievements, pedigree, but most of all his presence are good enough to make him a very good bet.”

I agree that Curlin is an imposing horse with impressive achievements.  He is also from the most dominant sire line in the world and appeared to have been sound throughout is racing career. Curlin like Affirmed hails from the Raise A Native sire line. Why mention Affirmed? He is the most impressive horse from this sire line to date. He was a Triple Crown winner and two times HOY. He was a flop a stallion. How does one explain the fact that the best horse from the most dominant sire line being such a big bust as a stallion? Your guess is as good as mine. I can only conclude that historically horses with those types of resumes do not turn out to be great stallions. Could it be that they spent too much time on the track i.e., over raced? Are they bred to too many top class mares? There will always be more questions than answers. I will remain guided by history and consequently remain convinced that Curlin will not be a great sire.

I have taken a lot of flak for my reliance of historic data. However, in the absence of any other means to measure potential success, I consider the stud success of past champions with similar resumes useful guide.

22 Nov 2012 7:02 AM

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

I take it for granted that everyone on this blog has the intellectual capacity to fend for himself or herself. That includes correcting their misstatements.

That is how I always treated my students.

22 Nov 2012 8:20 AM

Curlin was a good two year old he won his FIRST RACE BY more than 10 lengths and was undeafeated heading into the Derby.

22 Nov 2012 9:41 AM

Anyone willing to share their singles for the massive Hollywood Park P6 today?  I'm playing Churchill Downs early P4 right now and talk about tough.  The 2nd race is a 2F race for 3 yr olds and up, then the 3rd is 5.5F for 2 yr olds and there's 16 of them!  I'm thinking if I get lucky and got the these first 3 legs, I need to ALL the last leg, it would kill me to lose it again on the damn post time favorite.

Anyway, it's thanksgiving day.  Let's all be thankful, first and foremost to Bloodhorse and to Pete for continuing to have this blog where we can ALL express our thougths and opinions whether we agree or disagree with them.  For me, it's always a pleasure to read the posts.

Also thankful for my family, and my little girl who's the most precious person in the world to me.

Good luck to all betting the races today!

22 Nov 2012 10:19 AM

Correction on my post... way too early for me to be betting and blogging I think.  The 2nd race at CD is 2M, not 2F lol.  I have 32 minutes before the 1st, going to go do this the proper way and drink my coffee first.

22 Nov 2012 10:58 AM
Scott's Rail

I'll tread lightly here...Over the years from my modest observations of horses on the Classic campaign trail I'll take Raise a Native on top, Turn-to on dam sire line, Buckpasser on maternal bottom, and throw in a grass stayer for good measure.  Sounds simple enough....Here's to a great TGiving and a bang-up 2013...

22 Nov 2012 11:02 AM


It is well known that you have labeled horses from the A P Indy sire line as being affected by Late Development Syndrome (LDS). After consuming portions of the rather large bird that is featured on the tables of each household on TG day. Try to digest the fact that a Bernardini colt will romp in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes and in so doing will remain undefeated in 3 starts.

Dewey Square did not meet his reserve in the Select 2YO sale in which he was entered. His breeders refused $575K suggesting he is considered to be something special. Bernardini’s stud fee is $140K and therefore $435K should have been sufficient to all costs with plenty left for a significant profit.

His connections should have been charged with a crime for his 11 3/4L thrashing of the 1-2 favorite in his debut at Hoosier Park. He was then entered in an Optional Claiming race at CD and won under minimum urging.

This colt covers ground effortlessly just like his sire. I am aware the Uncaptured will be the overwhelming favorite but I suspect Dewey Square will be asked to run on Saturday and I am looking forward to an impressive performance that will launch him as one watch on the Derby trail.

NB: 3-1 or 4-1 will not be available on this colt after Saturday.

Happy TG

22 Nov 2012 11:16 AM


Curlin never raced at two.  That better than 10 length win was early in his three year old year and was so impressive that he was then sold for $3.7M.

22 Nov 2012 1:26 PM
Karen in Texas

I posted an earlier comment this A.M.--not sure why it isn't here.

Coldfacts---I did not "applaud" Mr. Ervin's (Irwin's?) remarks to you. That was someone else. It can be checked/verified. Sorry, thanks.

22 Nov 2012 1:53 PM

Sceptre,Coldfacts: I will not argue with neither of you cause of my lack of knowledge on the subject. Trying to be brief i failed to state my point. Well here it is: I have only one mare. If i could i would breed her to Curlins' dad cause of Curlin. If i had 10 mares i would breed 2-3 of them to Curlin as a well calculated risk. And a prediction from an emotional young breeder who never followed the known path and was always right at the end: Bullet Train will be a better stallion than Frankel. See you in 3.5 years.

22 Nov 2012 3:46 PM

Laz you are right as far as excepted ages for racehorses, all the two year olds turn three on January 1.Curlin was born March 25 so he got his first win at two technically.BTW I made a mistake while typing and you were the only one that caught it.

22 Nov 2012 6:45 PM


I believe that you are mistaken about Karen in Texas. She generally comes across as quite dignified, smart and an astute fact checker (she'll keep you honest seven days a week and twice on Sundays, like it or not).

I'll be keeing an eye on the Bernardini colt Dewey Square (remembering how promising another Bernardini progeny, Algorithms looked last year). I have to tell you though that no Bernardini colt is likely to be on my shot list for next year's Derby however.  I am convinced that they are more suited to the Midsummer and Fall races.

The 2YOs so far have not impressed much but I am paying attenion to developments. I now have three on my watch list: Darwin, Overanalyzed and Shakin it Up.  The latter, a Baffert trainee, is looking very good indeed for next year. Happy Thanksiving to you too Bro. More anon.  

22 Nov 2012 8:35 PM

Chief I guess when you look at his birthday we're both right.  Hope you had a great thnksgiving.

22 Nov 2012 10:36 PM


I have no quarrel with Karen in Texas. I do not expect every contributor to view me favorably. I thanked her for pointing out my error.

Why am I not surprised that two of the colts comprising your list are trained by the Todd Pletcher.  In spite of my best efforts in trying to convince you that Mr. Pletcher and the Derby and sworn enemies, you continue to hope. Those that live in hope invariably die in despair.  Of all the files containing historic data that I lost, the one containing Mr. Pletcher’s dismal Derby and Triple Crown record is the one I regret the most. Neither Darwin nor Overanalyzed will distinguish themselves on the Derby trail. Micromanage will turn out to be better than both.

Shakin it Up: This colt’s sire and grandsire were trained by Bob Baffert. If his dam had raced she would also have been trained by Mr. Baffert just like his second dam. They should have named him The Baffert Affair. The fact that he was bred by Mike Pegram a longtime client of Mr. Baffert and not retained for racing does not suggest the connections were impressed with him. Why should you?

If this Bernardini colt performs up to expectations you will change your tune.

22 Nov 2012 10:59 PM


You both should be able to see two of the horses whom you mentioned, those being Overanalyze and Micromanage, as they are both entered in the Remsen S. (grade 2) Aqueduct, race #7, 1 1/8 miles. This is a Derby prep race where they can earn points in.  

23 Nov 2012 2:29 AM

Should mention Remsen is on Saturday, 11-24.

23 Nov 2012 2:40 AM


The colt I like in the Remsen is Quinzieme Monarque. He caught a yielding turf in the Pilgrim and his rider at no time got over him. Why would Joel chose to stay on a colt that was beaten 12L? If he can perform favorably on dirt he is the one to beat.

23 Nov 2012 11:41 AM
Pedigree Ann

To quote Mr. Coldfacts: "[Affirmed] was a flop a stallion."

Affirmed did not sire a son who became a leading sire (except in Canada), but his sire record is far from being that of a flop.

Top runners by Affirmed:

Flawlessly, 2-times Eclipse winner

Bint Pasha, Prix Vermeille, etc.

Trusted Partner, Irish 1000 Guineas

Zoman, Washington, DC, International, etc.

Charley Barley, Summer S, etc.

Peteski, champion and sire, Queen's Plate,etc.

Affluent, QEII at Kee, etc.

Affirmed Success, Vosburgh H, etc.

The Tin Man, American H, etc.

Buy the Firm, Top Flight H, etc.

Other group/graded winners include - Easy to Copy, One from Heaven, Tibullo, Claude Monet, Regal State, Persevered, Medi Flash, Isle of Glass, Abigailthewife, All Firmed Up, Firm Dancer, Viva Zapata, Barbed Wire, Mossflower.

His son Argosy, listed winner in Ireland, became a sire of group winners in South Africa.

You may notice a tendency for turf runners among Affirmed's get, which was weird, since he himself always ran on dirt. All over the country. From 2 to 4, 5f to 12f. Champion at 2, 3, and 4. The epitome of the ideal American-style TB of the 20th Century.

Now Personality, Horse of the Year in 1970 in some polls, that was a 'flop sire.' Had all of 1 NA/Euro group/graded winner from 2/3rds of a decade at stud in the US. Got a couple of G3 winners in Japan. Quickly dropped out of sight in US pedigrees, while Affirmed has become a darn good damsire, in particular of the stallions Harlan's Holiday and Bernstein.

23 Nov 2012 1:42 PM


If I remember correctly, you were never impressed with Derby winner Super Saver (Todd Pletcher) at any point.  Its not that I'm rooting for Pletcher, two of the colts that I like just happened to be his trainees.  I believe that Mike Pegram will regret that he let Shakin it Up get away.

23 Nov 2012 1:52 PM

Betting at the casino sportsbook sucks, no machines to make my own bets.  CD is my card tomorrow, all 2 yr old races and to me that means a lot of potential value plays.  It's the best races to try and beat the favorites.


$.50 P4 ( $12.00 )

01 :  2, 4

02 :  1. 4, 6

03 :  1

04 :  1, 6, 11, 5

$.50 P4 ( $18.00 )

09 :  4, 9

10 :  5, 11, 9

11 :  4, 10

12 :  6, 11, 8


$.50 P5 ( $10.00 )

01 :  2

02 :  4

03 :  4, 6

04 :  7, 3

05 :  9, 2, 6, 8, 4

$.50 P4 ( $10.00 )

02 :  4

03 :  4, 6

04 :  7, 3

05 :  9, 2, 6, 8, 4

24 Nov 2012 3:50 AM


“you were never impressed with Derby winner Super Saver”

You are not entirely correct. I was impressed with Super Saver's win in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. His final time of 1:42.83 was the fastest of those recorded in the preceding 20 years. His Derby victory could be considered as by default was. Ice Box the runner up has got to be considered the most unfortunate finisher in that position.

“It’s not that I'm rooting for Pletcher, two of the colts that I like just happened to be his trainees”

My friend it will not harm your reputation if you are candid and own up to the fact that you worship at the altar of Pletcher. Your initial 2012 Derby top 10, were loaded with Pletcher’s charges. This was consistent with your annual trend. Neither the Delta Jackpot winner nor the impressive and expensive Giants Causeway debut winner trained by Speedy Bob made your top three. They are certainly better than Darwin and Overanalyzed.

Shakin It Up: I must correct part of the information provided in previous post. He is owned by a partnership including Mr. Pegram. It appears he sold a percentage. Another example of my providing misinformation to the vulnerable less informed.  Kindly accept my apology.

24 Nov 2012 10:06 AM

How good it feels when you are right!!!! I have NEVER been wrong in predicting the outcome of a stallion's future. Palace Malice proves Curlin as a 2nd-to-none top-class stallion. Wait for his progeny in 3-4 years when more classy mares will be bred to him. The best is yet to come... An advice to breeders: if all these breeding/nicking experts were more correct than you, they would breed for themselves. Breed only based on your opinion. Your experience and 'eye' for the good horse beats any software or 'experts' paid opinion.      

28 Jul 2013 5:19 AM

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