A. B. “Bull” Hancock of Claiborne Farm was a great proponent of the international outcross, believing that bloodlines were rejuvenated and strengthened by bringing together high-quality breeding stock from widely separated geographic regions. That being the case, he probably would have loved the pedigree of recent Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) winner Golden Doc A, whose ancestry literally spans the globe.
Golden Doc A is by Kentucky-bred Unusual Heat, a three-time stakes winner in Ireland. He is by Northern Dancer’s champion son Nureyev, an excellent sire but not a horse with a great reputation as a sire of sires. Still, Nureyev’s son Theatrical (IRE) has been a good stallion by almost anyone’s standards, and other sons of Nureyev that have had some measure of success include Stravinsky, Fasliyev, and Soviet Star.
Unusual Heat’s background on the dam’s side is still more atypical for a rising sire, for it is seldom indeed that a Thoroughbred bred and raced in Scandinavia proves to have much of an impact outside that region. Yet such is the case for Unusual Heat’s dam Rossard, a Danish-bred who earned champion 3-year-old filly honors in both Sweden and Denmark and Horse of the Year honors in Sweden in 1983. Unusual Heat was her only stakes winner from 13 foals, but she is also the dam of the stallion’s unraced full sister Dot Dot Dash, dam in turn of listed stakes winner Dash of Humor (by Distorted Humor ). Rossard is by the Danish and Swedish stakes winner Glacial out of the English-bred mare Peas-Blossom
Many of Unusual Heat’s best runners are clustered in sibling groups, suggesting that the stallion may have fairly specific pedigree or conformational requirements in his mates. For example, multiple stakes winner Thermal Ablasion, 2005 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) winner Tucked Away, and stakes-placed Add Heat are full siblings out of the Be a Native mare Chemolo. Multiple restricted stakes winner Lennyfromalibu is a full brother to stakes-placed Orbits World, both produced from the Half a Year mare Style of the Year. Listed stakes winner Juliesugardaddy is a full brother to Spencer’s Magic, an earner of $236,932, both produced from the Tiffany Ice mare Silverstrike. The Dynaformer mare Andover the Money is the dam of the stakes-winning full sisters Spenditallbaby and Runforthemoneybaby. And Golden Doc A herself is a full sister to Unusual Suspect, winner of the 2007 Hollywood Turf Express Handicap (gr. IIIT). Overall, Unusual Heat has sired 123 winners (40.7%) -- 11 of them stakes winners (3.6%) -- from his first seven crops of racing age, totaling 302 foals.
Penpont (NZ), the dam of Golden Doc A and Unusual Suspect, won one of 17 starts in New Zealand and North America. She has been bred continuously to Unusual Heat since starting her broodmare career and to date has five winners from as many starters produced by this cross. An unraced 2-year-old filly, Mama Rosa, and a yearling colt are waiting in the wings.
Penpont is by the American-bred stallion Crested Wave, a son of Fred Hooper’s good runner and sire Crozier out of a mare by the Argentine import Quibu. Winner of the 1978 Futurity Stakes (gr. I), Crested Wave raced in the United States under the name Crest of the Wave but had his name changed following export to New Zealand to avoid confusion with another animal named Crest of the Wave. Under his new moniker, Crested Wave (who is from the same immediate female family as another of Hooper’s good stallions, Tri Jet), did very well in his adoptive country, leading the New Zealand general sire list during the 1990/1991 Southern Hemisphere season. He died in 2006.
Penpont was produced from Imposing Star, a winning daughter of the multiple Australian group I winner Imposing (AUS). Imposing, in turn, was sired by Todman (AUS), a champion full brother to Noholme II, who became a successful sire following his importation to the United States and begot two-time champion older male and 1981 leading sire Nodouble.
Todman himself did very well, siring 22 stakes winners and heading the Australian juvenile sire list twice. He and Noholme II were among the most successful sire sons of Star Kingdom (by Stardust (GB), by the great English sire Hyperion) who led the Australian general sire list five times and the corresponding juvenile sire list seven times.
Imposing Star was a well-bred mare on both sides, for her dam, Black Willow, was rated the champion juvenile filly in New Zealand in the 1973/1974 racing season. Black Willow was produced from the unraced Bellborough (IRE) mare Kathleigh (NZ), and by the good racehorse and sire Sobig (NZ).
As might be expected for a Thoroughbred with such an international pedigree, Golden Doc A is a complete outcross; the closest duplication in her pedigree is 6x5 to the French-bred champion and important stallion Djebel. Further back, Golden Doc A is heavily line-bred to Hyperion, a great international influence. Whether this is the source of her own high quality or not, Golden Doc A has proved by the test of racing performance that she belongs among the elite of her breed, and she will undoubtedly get good opportunities to pass her unusual heritage on when the time comes.