Broodmares could wear the same warning as mutual funds: past performance is not an indicator of future results. Several top-selling broodmares that had produced multiple graded stakes winners before being sold never repeated their success for their new owners.
Crowded House raised his profile as a contender in next year's European classics when he won the Racing Post Trophy (Eng-I) on Oct. 25. The question is whether his sire Rainbow Quest can add distance to the colt's speed-oriented female side.
Kingmambo excelled at a mile on the track but his offspring have shown a mix of speed and stamina. Henrythenavigator, a three-time group I winner, is among Europe's leading milers this year. He is the sixth group winner and third classic winner produced from the cross of Kingmambo with Sadler's Wells daughters.
Mr. Nightlinger picked a good year for a strong improvement in form. The son of Indian Charlie could soon find himself in the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred championship, contesting the inaugural Turf Sprint.
Whobegotyou is the best runner to date by Street Cry, who shuttled for four years to Australia. The top-notch sprinter performed like a superstar in The Age Caulfield Guineas (Aus-I) is now poised to show what he can do at distances longer than a mile. Whobegotyou is inbred to Mr. Prospector and Riverman, both within four generations.
It's a bit of a guess who will handle Santa Anita's Pro-Ride surface the best on Breeders' Cup World Championship Day. Dream Empress seems in a good position heading into the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) because she has won over a synthetic track and has won at 8 1/2 furlongs. And, she is by Bernstein, who is proving to be a talented sire on two continents.
Dynaformer has sired grade I winners on dirt and turf, classic winners on both sides of the Atlantic, and produced a three-time steeplechase champion. The son of Roberto now expands the bounds of his proven versatility further with Rainbow View, a juvenile filly who could become a champion on two continents.
Four of Starsburg's top progeny were sired by Mr. Prospector-line stallions, so going back to this sire line when choosing a mate for Starsburg's unraced daughter Our Seattle Slew seemed like the right move. It was, having produced Seattle Smooth, who beat the top-rated sophomore filly Proud Spell in the Fitz Dixon Cotillion Stakes (gr. II).
The classic American cross is speed over stamina, but Charitable Man has a pedigree that flips this model upside down. The son of Lemon Drop Kid is still getting the job done, having just won the grade II Futurity Stakes. If he keeps improving, Charitable Man could become his sire's first male grade I winner.
Hobeau Farm owner Jack Dreyfus as been three-times blessed with Delightful Kiss, recent winner of the Turfway Park Championship Stakes (gr. III). The colt is a fourth generation homebred, a graded stakes winner, and now a Breeders' Cup Marathon contender.
First Defence is one of those horses whose pedigrees scream speed. The son of Unbridled's Song began displaying that potential with a 6 3/4-length romp in the Forego Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 30. After surviving an early speed duel with opening fractions of :22.53 and :44.61, he pulled away in the stretch to win in a final time of 1:21.55.
Magical Fantasy chose a big race to break into stakes company in North America. After two modest showings in graded stakes at Hollywood Park, the daughter of Diesis rolled to a two-length victory at odds of over 42-1 in the Del Mar Oaks (gr. I). No one has to look too deep in her pedigree to see her affinity for the grass.
Winchester, winner of the Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) is part of an exceptionally strong contingent of European turf runners this year. The son of Theatrical may be headed for the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT). If he wins, Theatrical will become the first Turf winner to sire a Turf winner.
Sky Mom is perpetuating the momentum that's been building steadily for the progeny by the late Maria's Mon. Recently the winner of the grade III Arlington Oaks, Sky Mom is also proving that highly fashionable pedigrees are required to produce top-class runners.
A family full of consistent winners, albeit not terribly flashy, is propelling Tin Cup Chalice toward a shot at the Big Apple Triple, a series for New York-breds that offers a $250,000 to the horse that sweeps it. The son of Crusader Sword is out of the female family that produce Silky Sullivan.
MAHUBAH'S CORNER, by Avalyn Hunter
Duke of Marmalade carries a high concentration of the Thoroughbred's best blood, with inbreeding to Native Dancer, Northern Dancer, and Buckpasser. All this potential broke through on the racetrack recently when the Irish-bred son of Danehill won the Prince of Wales's Stakes (Eng-I).
Ocean Colors has the potential to put some shine on the otherwise lackluster broodmare career of Winning Colors. The daughter of Orientate broke her maiden by 5 1/4 lengths at Churchill Downs on June 13 and seems ready for more.
The Juddmonte Epsom Oaks (Eng-I) victory of Look Here (GB) may have been a surprise to the bettors, but her staying ability should have been no surprise. In the male line, she is the fourth generation to prove able to win at 12 furlongs or better in group I-quality company.
No one has to look very deep in Acoma's pedigree to see broodmare potential in spades. Helen Alexander's and Helen Groves' daughter of Empire Maker recently won the Dogwood Stakes (gr. III) is now bucking for broodmare prospect of the year honors.
Already a graded stakes winner, Lattice showed he continues to belong among the top turf runners with a win May 25 in the Louisville Handicap (gr. IIIT). His pedigree, however, indicates he could be capable of still more, of eventually joining the country's turf elite.
Roshani is one of only three graded stakes winners produced by crossing a sire from the Nijinsky II line with daughters of Deputy Minister. Clearly, Roshani inherited the best from the paternal and maternal sides of her pedigree. The daughter of Fantastic Light was sold for $135,000 as a racing/broodmare prospect at the 2007 Keeneland January mixed sale. She has now earned $320,550.
Behindatthebar's owners bypassed the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and aimed instead at the Preakness. The son of Forest Wildcat will need every bit of his sire's speed and stamina from his broodmare sire Runaway Groom to take on the Derby winner Big Brown.
Sebring, who is being called the best Austrailian juvenile in many years, is keeping the momentum rolling for sire More Than Ready. The Vinery stallion is proving to be a solid sire in both Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
Gayego's victory in the grade II Arkansas Derby proved he deserves a chance in the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). With a pedigree rich in eight to nine furlong influences, the question remains whether the Derby distance of 10 furlongs is a bit too far.
Bred with an abundance of speed, Bustin Stones is expected to be a top contender for the title of top sprinter throughout the year. Not only is the son of City Zip fast, showing great courage and grit in battling off a Executive Fleet virtually gate to wire in the Carter Handicap (gr. I), he is also tough. Bustin Stones is back in the racing game after having surgery on both knees.
Honour and Glory had modest success in the Northern Hemisphere with 4% stakes winners from 773 foals and even less success in Australia. But the son of Relaunch is enjoying a stud career revival in South America, where his first Argentinian crop has already yielded seven stakes winners (7.4%) and the racing year isn't over.
Racing for Fox Hill Farms, Eight Belles has three consecutive impressive wins under her belt and will now be the likely favorite for Oaklawn's major Oaks prep, the Fantasy Stakes (gr. II),on April 6. She is the third graded winner by Unbridled's Song to feature inbreeding to Mr. Prospector.
Proud Spell stamped herself as a top contender for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) by winning the 8.5-furlong Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) in 1:44.01, a shade faster than the 1:44.44 that Pyro ran in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II). She is the leading runner to date for the second-crop sire Proud Citizen. Considering Proud Citizen ran better at 3, more of his runners are expected to blossom this year. Keep an eye in particular on those horses whose dams have Northern Dancer blood.
Absolutely Cindy is an improving stakes winner who has shown a particular fondness for the turf and synthetics surfaces. This isn't too surprising since she is a daugher of Arch and a granddaughter of Kris S., sires that have both shown an ability to get top runners on dirt and turf. As for stamina and distance, Absolutely Cindy looks primed to run all day.
Einstein, the winner of three graded turf stakes, is from the second-to-last crop of 1985 Horse of the Year Spend a Buck, whose dominant stud career in South America is in sharp contrast to his performance in the United States. And though the 6-year-old horse is the only winner out of his dam Gay Charm, her sire is Ghadeer, whose daughters also produced grade I winners Investor's Dream, Irish Lover, and Forever Buck (all by Spend a Buck).
With only 16 starts under his belt as a 6-year-old, Surf Cat is far from the most durable runner in North America. But when he is right, there are few with more sheer talent. Having run down grade I winner Greg's Gold in the San Carlos Handicap (gr. II) Feb. 16, Surf Cat has now recorded his fifth win in a grade II race.
MAHUBAH'S CORNER, by Avalyn Hunter Dynaformer had his first graded stakes winner as a broodmare sire in 2001. Since then, he has been represented by 13 more graded or group stakes winners. From 752 foals of racing age, Dynaformer has 42 stakes winners as a maternal grandsire, and his numbers should improve as daughters from his better-bred later crops continue coming into the broodmare ranks.
Gibson County was a total outcross when mated to Young American, a mare inbred to In Reality and Rough'n Tumble. The result was the star runner American County, who won the Sunshine Millions Oaks on Jan. 26. She is the sixth foal and first stakes winner produced from Young American, a daughter of the late Florida-based sire Pentelicus.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's latest star, U.S. Cavalry, showed maturity and grit when capturing the Turfway Prevue Stakes on Jan. 5. The gelded son of Officer has yet prove whether he can handle longer distances, but his pedigree suggests the potential is there.
Matching North American and South American bloodlines has always been a tricky business. Different racing conditions have helped to develop distinct Thoroughbred populations that do not always blend smoothly. One horse in whom north and south have met successfully is Argentine-bred Latency, champion miler and champion older male in Argentina in 2006 and the impressive winner of the prestigious Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini (Arg-I) Dec. 15.
MAHUBAH'S CORNER, by Avalyn Hunter. Given the generally stout character of his female line, which includes Calumet Farm-bred Real Delight, Check It Twice should appreciate the longer distances ahead and may be one to watch on the Triple Crown trail if he improves with increasing maturity.
By Avalyn Hunter
To sire a national Derby winner in the first crop is always a notable feat for a young stallion. Getting a Derby winner in each of the first two crops is still more impressive, but getting that second Derby winner before the second crop has even turned 3? Tomcito, a 3-year-old on Southern Hemisphere time, accomplished this feat for his sire Street Cry by winning the Peruvian Derby (Per-I) on Nov. 17.
The Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) can be a big temptation for the owner of a promising colt that has not yet proven himself to rank with the best. Some yield; others, usually proving wiser, aim for lesser targets, allowing their youngsters to continue their development under less pressure. The latter strategy paid off nicely when Sierra Sunset picked up his third victory and second straight stakes score in the California Cup Juvenile Nov. 3.
With 11 stakes winners and over $7 million in earnings from his first crop, Darley's Street Cry is the proverbial country mile out in front as the leading sire among North American stallions that stood their first seasons in 2003. Too hot not to cool off? Maybe, but while Street Cry's second crop may or may not match up to the standards set by his first, it already contains at least one star.