Sire and Pedigree Notes - Breeders' Cup 2009
By Alan Porter
With the all-weather track favoring turf horses, it was no surprise to see the Northern Dancer line emerge on top for the day, with Storm Cat’s branch getting three winners (Dancing in Silks, Life Is Sweet, and Man of Iron), and the Danzig branch matching that effort (courtesy of Vale of York, Midday, and Goldikova). The Mr. Prospector and Seattle Slew lines had two winners apiece, Zenyatta and Furthest Land for the former, and California Flag and Tapitsfly for the latter. The other sire lines to tally were Never Bend/Mill Reef (Conduit); Icecapade (Offlee Wild ); Majestic Prince (Informed Decision); and Blushing Groom (FR) (Pounced).
From the TrueNicks standpoint, 11 of the 14 runners were rated A or better, with six A++, two A+, and three A. Two were C+, and only Goldikova, who benefits from a very specific pattern, was a D.
The historic victory of Zenyatta in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) completed a great week for sire Street Cry (IRE), who a few days earlier had been represented by the Emirates Melbourne Cup (Aus-I) winner Shocking (AUS). We wonder how often a sire gets the winners of two of the greatest races in two different continents within a week. We should also note that with the Melbourne Cup being at two miles, Street Cry already has winners of group/grade I events at just about every commonly run distance from six furlong to two miles.
Coincidentally, Conduit, who won a second Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT), is from a branch of the same family as Street Cry. He is going to stud in Japan, and there is a precedent for a member of this family succeeding at stud there, as Neo Universe (JPN), who shares the same third dam as Street Cry, sired the winners of the Satsuki Sho and Tokyo Yushun in his first crop this year. Conduit’s second dam, River Dancer (IRE), is also dam of Spectrum (IRE) and granddam of Petrushka (IRE), both winners of Irish classic races. Conduit is one of five stakes winners from the first two crops of Dalakhani (IRE) to be produced by a daughter of Sadler’s Wells, this being a reverse of the hugely successful Sadler’s Wells/Shirley Heights cross.
Another English classic performer that scored in this year’s Breeders’ Cup was the 3-year-old Midday, who was runner-up in the Investec Epsom Oaks (Eng-I) and third in the Darley Irish Oaks (Ire-I). Midday is a daughter of the top-class 2-year-old and sprinter Oasis Dream (GB), who this year has emerged as one of Europe’s best stallions. Despite being a speedster by Green Desert, Oasis Dream is out of a sister to an Irish Oaks winner, and he’s proved able to get middle-distance runners when bred to suitable mares. Midday is out of the stakes-placed Kingmambo mare Midsummer, a daughter of the great Juddmonte Farm matron Modena. Middsummer is half-sister to seven stakes winners, the others including Oaks winner Reams of Verse and Coral-Eclipse (Eng-I) and Phoenix Champion Stakes (Ire-I) winner Elmaamul.
Another Green Desert stallion to be represented was Invincible Spirit (IRE), whose son Vale of York has an intriguing pedigree as his dam is by Halling, whose sire Diesis (GB) is a brother to Kris (GB), the broodmare sire of Invincible Spirit.
The other Danzig-line winner was the magnificent Goldikova, a daughter of Anabaa out of the Blushing Groom mare Born Gold, a sister to the Coronation Stakes (Eng-I) victress Gold Splash. The granddam, Riviere d’Or, won the Prix Saint-Alary (Fr-I) and is by Lyphard out of Gold River (FR), winner of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I).
The Blushing Groom line through Rahy also made its presence felt here. The now-retired veteran was represented by a winning son in Pounced, who is out of the stakes-placed Storm Cat mare Golden Cat. She is out of the Irish classic winner Eurobird, also dam of three stakes winners, one of which, Eurostorm, was by Storm Cat’s sire Storm Bird. Eurobird, a daughter of Ela-Mana-Mou (IRE), is herself half-sister to the multiple group I winner Assert (IRE) and Prix du Jockey Club (Fr-I) winner Bikala (IRE).
Bred on the reverse of the cross that produced Pounced is Giant’s Causeway (by Storm Cat out of a Rahy mare), sire of the Marathon victor Man of Iron. A half-brother to Rags to Riches, Jazil, and Casino Drive, Man of Iron is out of that great mare Better Than Honour. This is a "Parallel Pattern" pedigree as both sire and dam are Northern Dancer/Blushing Groom crosses.
Rahy also appeared as the broodmare sire of upset winner Furthest Land. He is by Smart Strike out of a Rahy mare, and is the second stakes winner from only six starters bred on this cross.
In a frantic finish, the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) went to the California-bred gelding Dancing in Silks. He is by Storm Cat’s Irish classic winner Black Minnaloushe, out of a Royal and Regal mare. Lemhi Love won nine relatively minor stakes and has produced 13 winners from 14 starters. We can note that Black Minnaloushe is inbred to Northern Dancer, where Royal and Regal is by Vaguely Noble (reverse Hyperion (GB)/Nearco (ITY) cross to Northern Dancer’s sire Nearctic), out of a mare by Northern Dancer’s broodmare sire Native Dancer.
Another Cal-bred gelding, California Flag is by Seattle Slew’s son Avenue of Flags, who carved out a very respectable stud career in the state-bred program. The dam, Ultrafleet, is a daughter of Afleet and previously produced California’s Flag’s graded-winning sister Cambiocorsa.
Informed Decision become the first grade I winner for her sire, Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos. Informed Decision owns an intriguing pedigree pattern: the third dam of Monarchos is by Graustark, and Informed Decision is out of a mare by His Majesty, a brother to Graustark. To complete the story, Monarchos is a great-grandson of Majestic Light, a genetic relative to Graustark and His Majesty.
On the subject of Monarchos, his third dam Regal Road is by Graustark out of foundation mare On the Trail. That makes her a genetic sister to Andover Way (by His Majesty out of On the Trail), who is not only dam of Dynaformer, but also granddam of surprise package Offlee Wild, who went to the top of the freshman sire list following the victory of She Be Wild.She Be Wild is out of a mare by Seeking the Gold, and is one of two stakes winners from two starters by Offlee Wild out of Seeking the Gold-line mares.
Life is Sweet, who has spent much of the year in the shadow of stable-companion Zenyatta, took advantage of the superstar’s absence to capture the Ladies’ Classic (gr. I). A daughter of Storm Cat and sister to champion 2-year-old filly Sweet Catomine, Life is Sweet is -- like her nemesis -- out of a mare by Kris S. The dam, Sweet Life, was a stakes winner and grade I-placed, and is a half-sister to the Milady Handicap (gr. I) victress Pirate’s Revenge.
In last year’s Breeders’ Cup, Tapit’s first crop gave us a winner (Stardom Bound) and a good runner-up (Laragh). From his second crop comes Tapitsfly. She is the first black type winner to appear in the first two generations of her family, but the third dam, Pink Dove, is a half-sister to Japan Cup (Jpn-I) and Arlington Million (gr. I) winner Golden Pheasant. Tapitsfly has Nijinsky II 6 x 4 x 4, and is the second Tapit stakes winner out of a Nijinsky II-line mare. Tapit actually is inbred to both Mr. Prospector and Nijinsky II, and his dam is a Mr. Prospector/Nijinsky II cross. Tapitsfly’s dam, by Flying Marlin out of a Fortunate Prospect mare, is a product of the same cross, with Fortunate Prospect’s sire, Northern Prospect, also being Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer. Tapitsfly is also linebred to Round Table and his sister Monarchy.
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