When Tom Bowling was a foal in 1870, a visitor remarked the colt would never stay a mile. Brilliant, quirky, and downright dangerous, he grew into one of the greatest runners ever bred in America.
The obvious question is whether American Pharoah, a colt gifted with excellent speed, has the stamina to master the "Test of the Champion," the 12-furlong Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Lovely Maria does have some of that old-fashioned classic stamina on her dam's side, as she's out of Thundercup, an unraced daughter of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Thunder Gulch.
American Pharoah's roots are steeped in Hyperion blood, put together by Florida horseman Fred Hooper.
The second weekend in April saw a career high for veteran sire Exchange Rate, as his daughters Ball Dancing and Miss Ella both won graded stakes.
Fifteen years after Dubai Millennium won the Dubai World Cup, his son sired both Dubai World Cup winner Prince Bishop and UAE Derby winner Mubtaahij.
In America, Glencoe was the leading sire eight times between 1847 and 1858. His best runners included the champions Peytona, Charmer, and Reel, all great fillies, winning at upward of four-mile heats.
Line of David is off to a promising start to his stud career -- he is near the top of the 2015 second-crop sire list. So far he has been represented by two stakes winners: Firing Line and Cross the Line.
Group III-placed at 3 in France and stakes-placed at 4 in the United States, Pompoes went on to become a successful broodmare and a reminder that class can emerge from unlikely places.
Blushing Groom was brilliant on the track and one of the greatest international sires ever brought to America.
Three of Smart Strike's best sons-who retired to stud in the space of four years-are shaping up as if they have the potential to make their way to the upper echelons of the North American stallion colony.
Although Upstart has a better pedigree for getting a distance than many of his contemporaries, there is reason to think he might be better suited to intermediate distances.
Racing lore says that a good, big horse can beat a good, little horse, or wait, is it the other way around?
Far From Over stems from one of the most prolific branches of the Betty Derr family, that of his fourth dam, the 1983 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year, Courtly Dee.
Even though Final Chapter isn't a 'typical' Nerud, he may yet prove a fitting epilogue to the story of one of the great figures of the American turf.
Cinderella became a mother to two great American sire lines through her sons Hastings (1893) and Plaudit (1895).
Silverbulletday winner I'm a Chatterbox was the first stakes winner of 2015 for Munnings, who was one of the leading freshman sires of 2014.
Wildcat Heir's hallmarks were consistency and the ability to transmit precocious speed, characteristics that made him highly desirable to Florida breeders.
The Mr. Prospector sire line has been an American institution since his first runners hit the races in 1978. Those descending from his son Gone West have remained relatively true to Mr. Prospector's gift of brilliant speed.
Dortmund is the second Big Brown stakes winner to feature inbreeding to Boundary's sire, Danzig.
It's a little early to proclaim a Cinderella story in the making, but Old English Rancho does appear to have a nice colt in its homebred Acceptance.
Foaled in 1835, Grey Eagle helped establish Kentucky's reputation as a premier source of great horses, but his influence on the American Thoroughbred went far beyond racing.
Remsen winner Leave the Light On is one of many stakes winners to be inbred to Storm Cat, with both duplications within the first four generations.
Milwaukee Brew's turf heritage has probably been an advantage in Canada, as the country's richest races are conducted on Polytrack and turf at Woodbine.
There are 175 stallions, give or take, standing in Kentucky at a fee of $5,000 or more. The dominant sire lines are very evenly represented, with 53 from the Northern Dancer line and 52 from the Mr. Prospector line.
As 2014 enters the home stretch, the freshman sire title seems to have boiled down to a three-way race.
Preparation for the breeding season always begins with an honest assessment of the mare -- not just her pedigree, conformation, and race record, but her status as an individual.
Thirty years after winning the first Breeders' Cup Classic, Wild Again is still relevant, counting high-profile runners Bayern, Just a Way, Fed Biz, and Vicar's in Trouble among his headlining descendants in 2014.
Often the best winner by a sire is the result of what appears to be a very deliberately and cleverly constructed pedigree.
Among the great sires in Kentucky, outcrosses also dominate. In 2014, 16 stallions stood for a fee of $50,000 or more. Of those, 13, or 81.3%, were the result of outcross matings, a serious majority.
Pivotal has enjoyed a level of success that could not have been predicted from his race record and pedigree.
Street Cry deserves to be remembered for his ability as a racehorse and for his part in developing a uniquely international branch of the Mr. Prospector male line.
Although too early for objective conclusions, we can say subjectively with some confidence that Pioneerof the Nile is well on his way to an important career as a stallion.
One of the few mares to produce four grade/group I winners, Urban Sea is now in position to become one of the great foundation mares of all time
Inbreeding is used to concentrate the genes of a top ancestor in hopes that more of its superior genes will be expressed, to 'fix the type.'
Myboycharlie, already sire of a group I winner in the Southern Hemisphere, matched that feat with a member of his first European crop when 3-year-old filly Euro Charline won the Beverly D.
The biggest surprises for City Zip offspring may be the improvement of most of his runners with maturity and the affinity many seem to have for turf.
Lemon Drop Kid was the complete package when he went to stud in 2001 with an impeccable pedigree, top-of-his-class ability all three years racing, and dashing good looks.
By a 10-furlong grade I winner out of a mare by a Derby and Belmont Stakes winner, with a second dam who was a graded stakes winner at 10 furlongs, Bayern illustrates the difficulties of interpreting modern U.S. pedigrees.
Mucho Macho Man will become the fifth Breeders' Cup Classic winner on Adena Springs' Kentucky stallion roster.
Bred by Daniel Swigert and foaled at his Elmendorf Stud April 30, 1886, Salvator was a splendid animal and sold for $4,500 as a yearling to James Ben Ali Haggin.
Shared Belief has a couple of parallels with his sire Candy Ride: an undefeated race-record and spectacular performances in California.
Scat Daddy is on quite a roll in Chile, having sired seven Chilean group winners (including two group I winners) since the beginning of 2014.
The common link between this year's Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist and third-place finisher Medal Count is His Majesty.
It's rather rare for a mare in a major racing jurisdiction to throw Derby-winning brothers. It's probably even rarer for both siblings to go on to sire classic winners themselves.
This year Pleasant Colony's maternal grandson Tonalist, wearing the colors of Thomas Evans' son Robert 'Shel' Evans, played the role of Summing to deny California Chrome a Triple Crown.
Buckpasser is one of the most revered names in American racing and breeding. Besides being a beloved racehorse, his influence on the breed has been enormous.
With no suitable male heir, Swaps has faded from the breeding headlines, but his daughters left a more important legacy.
Just more than 60 years ago a trim California-bred with unorthodox connections came East to shock the racing establishment by scoring an upset win in the 1955 Kentucky Derby.
It's time to remind breeders and broadcasters alike that stamina still exists in America and remains an essential part of breeding classic winners.
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