Tom Rolfe, Fourth Generation

Last week featured Charles Hatton’s description of 1965 champion three-year-old Tom Rolfe from the 1966 American Racing Manual. Now let us turn our attention to Tom Rolfe as a name in more current pedigrees, specifically in the fourth generation of all weanlings, yearlings, and two-year-olds sold at public auction in North America in 1999-2002.

Tom Rolfe appeared 4,961 times (the same as his sire Ribot) among these 54,000+ foals, ranking him 15th (tied with Ribot) among these 20 sires in overall popularity.

At P1 in the fourth generation (the male line) Tom Rolfe had a Price Index of 0.32 (19th among these 20 sires) and a PPI (result) of 0.24 (17th), a mixed but not good result. He had 156 foals at P1, including three stakes winners (1.92%), none with 2,000+ Performance Points.

At P2 in the fourth generation Tom Rolfe had a Price Index of 0.95 (seventh) and a PPI (result) of 1.40 (third), an excellent improvement on both scores. He had 2,144 foals at P2, including 77 stakes winners (3.59%, below average).

The reason his results at P2 were so good was because those stakes winners were so good, including ten with 2,000+ Performance Points: Funny Cide (5,529), Peace Rules (5,484), Flower Alley (3,734), Commentator (3,650), A Bit O’Gold (3,088), Swept Overboard (2,538), Randaroo (2,173), Coach Jimi Lee (2,072), Trippi (2,066), and Two Item Limit (2,061).

Note that all ten were by assorted sons of Forty Niner (Mr. Prospector out of a Tom Rolfe mare). Three out of the first four (Funny Cide, Flower Alley, and Commentator) were by Distorted Humor. Swept Overboard and Trippi were by End Sweep. Peace Rules was by Jules. A Bit O’Gold was by Gold Fever. Randaroo was by Gold Case. Coach Jimi Lee was by Roar. Two Item Limit was by Twining.

At P3 in the fourth generation Tom Rolfe had a Price Index of 0.93 (ninth) and a PPI (result) of 0.98 (eighth), a slight improvement on both scores. He had 762 foals at P3, including 31 stakes winners (4.07%), including Farda Amiga (2,082) and Proud Man (2,035). Farda Amiga was by Broad Brush (Ack Ack out of Hay Patcher, by Hoist the Flag, by Tom Rolfe). Proud Man was by Manlove (Mr. Prospector out of Thirty Flags, by Hoist the Flag).

At P4 in the fourth generation Tom Rolfe had a Price Index of 0.37 (19th) and a PPI (result) of 0.86 (11th), a pretty good improvement on both scores. He had 73 foals at P4, including five stakes winners (6.85%) with an anemic average of 294 Performance Points.

At P5 in the fourth generation Tom Rolfe had a Price Index of 0.93 (11th) and a PPI (result) of 0.88 (13th), a slight regression on both scores. He had 921 foals at P5, including 37 stakes winners (4.02%), including Sweet Talker (2,099). Sweet Talker was by Stormin fever out of Another Vegetarian, by Stalwart, by Hoist the Flag.

At P6 in the fourth generation Tom Rolfe had a Price Index of 1.45 (second) and a PPI (result) of 2.37 (first), an excellent result on both scores. He had 294 foals at P6, including 21 stakes winners (7.14%), including Alkaased (3,999). Alkaased was out of a mare by Niniski (by Nijinsky II out of Virginia Hills, by Tom Rolfe).

At P7 in the fourth generation Tom Rolfe had a Price Index of 1.21 (third) and a PPI (result) of 0.63 (18th), a very poor result on both scores. He had 455 foals at P7, including 13 stakes winners (2.86%), none with 2,000+ Performance Points

At P8 in the fourth generation Tom Rolfe had a Prince Index of 0.91 (20th) and a PPI (result) of 0.67 (18th), a mixed result. He had 156 foals at P8, including five stakes winners (3.21%), none with 2,000+ Performance Points.

Overall, taking all eight positions into account, Tom Rolfe had a Price Index of 0.97 (14th) and a PPI (result) of 1.15 (fourth), an excellent improvement on both scores. He had 4,961 foals overall, including 192 stakes winners (3.87%).

Tom Rolfe was pretty evenly balanced between the sexes in terms of popularity. About 46% (2,294) of these 4,961 foals involved sons of Tom Rolfe in the third generation. Those 2,294 foals had a Price Index of 0.94 and a PPI (result) of 0.82 (not good at all). The remaining 2,667 foals involving daughters of Tom Rolfe in the third generation had a Price Index of 0.99 and a PPI (result) of 1.43 (excellent).

About 43% (2,111) of these 4,961 foals were sired by sons of Forty Niner. Those 2,111 foals had a Price Index of 0.98 and a PPI (result) of 1.40 (excellent). The other 2,850 foals had a Price Index of 0.96 and a PPI (result) of 0.96 (right on the money, fairly valued).

Of the 2,294 foals involving sons of Tom Rolfe in the third generation, about 85% (1,955) were Hoist the Flags. Those 1,955 foals had a Price Index of 0.97 and a PPI (result) of 0.80 (not good at all). The remaining 339 foals had a Price Index of 0.78 and a PPI (result) of 0.95 (a good improvement).

To recapitulate, Hoist the Flag in the third generation was a drag on Tom Rolfe’s results in the fourth generation (as demonstrated above). The Tom Rolfe males in the third generation were priced about the same as his females (0.94 to 0.99), but the females had much better results (1.43 to 0.82).

This was largely a function of those 2,111 foals sired by sons of Forty Niner. Those 2,111 foals had excellent results (a Price Index of 0.98 and a PPI of 1.40). The remaining 2,850 foals were almost exactly as to be expected (Price Index of 0.96 and PPI of 0.96).

The funny thing about these results is that yes, sons of Forty Niner were very popular about ten years ago. Since then all the sons of Forty Niner have been repudiated by the marketplace. All except Distorted Humor of course (and rightfully so).

Markets are quick to jump on fads and just as quick to jump off of them. I wonder how much longer the fad for the Storm Cat male line is going to last (Shackleford notwithstanding).

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