“Breed Shapers”????

La Troienne (LT) is a lot more pervasive in modern pedigrees than you probably think. I took a simple survey of sales foals of 2008-2111 and classified them by the total numbers of crosses (presences) of LT anywhere in their pedigrees. Here are the raw results.

LT Presences          Foals

0                                2,388

1                                5,808

2                                7,885

3                                8,527

4                                7,339

5                                5,789

6                                3,577

7                                2,368

8+                              1,881

The average is 3.02 presences of LT per foal. The median is three. The mode (number which appears most often) is also three.

Only 5.2% of the population (2,388 foals) has no LT at all. Which means that 94.8% of the population has at least one cross of LT in its pedigrees.

Of the 45,562 total foals, 37,366 (82%) have at least two LTs; 29,481 (64.7%) have at least three LTs; 20,954 (45.9%) have at least four LTs. And that is for sales foals of 2008-2111. For more current pedigrees, the numbers are even higher.

No wonder you see such babble that horse X is a good horse because it has four crosses of LT. Four crosses of LT is only slightly above the norm. Of the entire population, 45.9% has at least four crosses of LT.

How did we reach this level of saturation? Mainly through some of the most popular sires in modern pedigrees. The three main sources of this buildup of LT are Seattle Slew, Buckpasser, and Dr. Fager.

Seattle Slew is not inbred to LT. Neither is his dam, My Charmer. But My Charmer is inbred 4×4 to Baby League, a daughter of LT. So Seattle Slew carries two crosses of LT whenever and wherever he appears in pedigrees.

Buckpasser is the most closely related of the three. LT is his third dam.

The connection to Dr. Fager is a bit more convoluted. LT is the dam of Bimelech (her only sire son of any note). Bimelech sired Better Self, who in turn sired Aspidistra, the dam of Dr. Fager.

A.P. Indy is by Seattle Slew out of a second dam by Buckpasser. Hence A.P. Indy carries three crosses of LT wherever and whenever he appears in pedigrees (and he appears a lot).

Unbridled is inbred 4×4 to Aspidistra (on the bottom through Magic, a daughter of Buckpasser). Hence Unbridled carries three crosses of LT wherever and whenever he appears in pedigrees (and he appears a lot).

The two grandsires of Tapit are A.P. Indy and Unbridled. That is six crosses of LT right there. And there is a seventh cross elsewhere in his pedigree (which you can find for yourself if you are so inclined). So Tapit carries seven crosses of LT wherever and whenever he appears in pedigrees (and he is appearing more and more frequently as time goes by).

Bernardini is by A.P. Indy out of a mare by Quiet American (who is inbred 4×3 to Dr. Fager). That is five crosses of LT right there. And there are two other crosses elsewhere in his pedigree ((which you can find for yourself if you are so inclined). So Bernardini carries seven crosses of LT wherever and whenever he appears in pedigrees (and he is appearing more and more frequently as time goes by).

Empire Maker is by Unbridled out of mare by El Gran Senor. The latter has two crosses of LT through Buckpasser and Best in Show (a renowned and familiar name in female lines). So Empire Maker carries five crosses of LT wherever and whenever he appears in pedigrees.

You get the general idea. Deputy Minister has one cross of LT ((which you can find for yourself if you are so inclined). El Prado/Sadler’s Wells/Never Bend all have the same cross of LT. The list goes on and on.

Many of the most popular names in pedigrees have at least one cross of LT. Combine them in any fashion, and the number of LT crosses grows and grows over time. Since no limitations have been placed on how far back LT appears in a pedigree, the number of crosses just keeps growing and growing. It never gets smaller.

Listed below are the prices for sales foals of 2008-2111 by number of LT crosses (presences). I have classified them only three ways: 0, 1-7, and 8+.

LT Presences          Foals          Average          Maverage          Price Index

0                                2,388         $33,367             131.55                    0.86

1-7                           41,293         $48,609            153.30                    1.00

8+                              1,881          $64,835            198.03                    1.29

I will not belabor these numbers. They clearly show that the higher the number of crosses of LT, the higher the prices.

Listed below are the racetrack results for these same three categories. APPPSW stands for average Performance Points per stakes winner, a measure of the quality of stakes winners involved, the benchmark now being 694.

LT Presences          Foals          Stakes Winners          %          APPPSW          PPI (Result)

0                                2,388                   76                     3.18             881                    1.19

1-7                            41,293                1,387                  3.36            678                    0.97

8+                               1,881                   80                    4.25             787                    1.42

The first thing you notice in the chart above is that the zero group actually performed quite well, especially relative to its low prices. Included among the stakes winners in the zero group was Animal Kingdom (9,388 Performance Points). Without Animal Kingdom that PPI falls to 1.03, still above average.

Also among the stakes winners in the zero group was Blind Luck (6,880). Without Animal Kingdom and Blind Luck that PPI falls to 0.90, but 0.90 is still higher than the Price Index for that group of 0.86. From which I conclude that a total lack of LT in a pedigree does NOT make it a BAD pedigree.

The relationship between prices and results is the most important thing and is summarized in the chart below.

LT Presences          Foals          Price Index          PPI (Result)          Difference

0                               2,388                0.86                      1.19                        +0.33

1-7                           41,293               1.00                      0.97                       –0.03

8+                              1,881                1.29                      1.42                        +0.13

Yes, the 8+ group did have a positive relationship (price of 1.29, result of 1.42, difference of +0.13). Those who claim that the more LT you have in a pedigree, the better that pedigree is are slightly vindicated.

I say “slightly” because the converse is NOT true. The zero group had a much more positive relationship (price of 0.86, result of 1.19, difference of +0.33) than the 8+ group.

What is most interesting, however, is the vast middle group (1-7), which is why I classified these groups the way I did. This group had a price of 1.00 (actually just over 0.995), a result of 0.97, and a difference of –0.03.

That difference of –0.03 might not seem like much, but is is based on 41,293 foals (more than 90% of the entire population). For the vast middle (90+%) of the population, the number of crosses of LT seems to have no effect at all (or perhaps a slightly negative effect). The zero and 8+ groups were both positive, with the former more positive than the latter.

Add it all up, and it is not exactly a ringing endorsement of the notion that the more LT you have in a pedigree, the better that pedigree is. That appears to be true only for the top 4% of all foals (the 1,881 foals in the 8+ group), while the lowest 5% of all foals (the 2,388 foals in the zero group) actually outperformed the top 4% in terms of prices versus results.

I thought that a comparison of Phalaris and LT would be pertinent at this time. Accordingly, I repeat below my final chart on Phalaris from my previous post.

Phalaris

Presences          Foals            Price Index           PPI (Result)           Difference

1-4                        422                   0.83                       0.64                       –0.19

5-8                     14,524                 0.91                       0.77                       –0.14

9-10                   16,465                0.99                       0.92                       –0.07

11-16                  14,151                 1.11                       1.35                        +0.24

Note that in the case of Phalaris the lowest three groups had negative differences (1-4 at –0.19, 5-8 at –0.14, and 9-10 at –0.07). In other words, a low number of Phalaris in pedigrees did correspond with poor racetrack results. Not so with LT. The lack of LT did not hinder the zero group at all.

The highest groups for both LT and Phalaris had positive differences. The 8+ group for LT had a price of 1,29, a result of 1.42, and a difference of +0.13. The 11-16 group for Phalaris had a price of 1.11, a result of 1.35, and a difference of +0.24.

So the highest group for Phalaris (11-16) was better than the highest group for LT (8+) by a margin of +0.24 to +0.13.

Furthermore, those results for LT applied only to the top 4% of the population (1,881 foals). The top group for Phalaris (11-16) consisted of 14,151 foals (the top 31% of the population). That makes Phalaris’s performance all the more impressive than LT’s. The larger the number of foals, the more difficult it is to achieve results better than average.

You probably have heard the term “breed shaper” bandied about, usually in an advertising (total BS) context. The number of actual “breed shapers” in the history of the breed is extremely low. Phalaris might just be one of them. La Troienne is NOT.

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Phalaris the Pervasive

After Conquistador Cielo won the 1982 Belmont Stakes, I remember reading a story on his pedigree. The author noted that the four sires in his third generation (Native Dancer, Nashua, Bold Ruler, and Turn-to) were all representatives of the Phalaris male line.

The author asserted that this was a first in the history of North American classic pedigrees. He was correct. I checked back to 1970 and did not find another North American classic winner fitting that description. Although interestingly all of those pedigrees (even the most obscure ones) had at least one of the four sires in their third generations tracing to Phalaris in the male line.

Thirty-plus years have passed since then, and nowadays it is commonplace to see pedigrees with all four sires in the third generation tracing to Phalaris in the male line. I performed a little survey on this a few years ago using sales foals of 2003-2007. A little over 35% (24,968) of those 70,714 foals had all four sires in the third generation tracing to Phalaris in the male line. It could easily be over 50% by now.

You sometimes see pedigrees with all eight sires in the fourth generation tracing to Phalaris in the male line. All 16 sires in the fifth generation????

These thoughts led me to devise the following survey of North American sales foals of 2008-2111, which I undertook strictly for grins. I decided to look at the 16 sires in the fifth generation of all such sales foals and classify them by how many of those 16 sires traced to Phalaris in the male line.

This survey does not purport to be all inclusive. Phalaris could also appear in the pedigrees of the 16 dams in the fifth generation. But Phalaris was almost exclusively a “sire of sires.” He was a leading broodmare sire three times in England, but over the long run his daughters were not nearly as influential as his sons.

I am pretty sure that by concentrating on the Phalaris male line in the 16 sires in the fifth generation I have captured a clear majority of his overall contribution. It is a bit of a shortcut but a justifiable one given the unique character of Phalaris.

There are 17 possibilities (zero through 16) in terms of this survey. I did not find a single foal with zero Phalarises among the 16 sires in the fifth generation. I found only one foal with only one Phalaris among the 16 sires in the fifth generation.

On the opposite end of the scale, I found only 18 foals with all 16 sires in the fifth generation tracing to Phalaris in the male line.

The average for all 45,562 sales foals of 2008-2111 was 9.42. The two most frequent results were ten (8,339 foals) and nine (8,126 foals). Hence the mode (number appearing most often) was ten. Slightly over half (23,072) of the 45,562 foals were nine or fewer. Hence the median was nine.

Of course the whole point of this survey was to determine if Phalaris (a foal of 1913) has any tangible effect on pedigrees today, either through prices or results. Let us begin with the former.

Presences           Foals          Average          Maverage          Price Index

1-4                         422           $32,407            127.50                   0.83

5-8                      14,524         $41,757            140.47                   0.91

9-10                    16,465         $45,472            152.53                   0.99

11-16                   14,151         $52,719            170.39                   1.11

In order to simplify matters, I decided not to list prices and results for all 17 groups but to consolidate them into the four groups above. This of course helps to “rationalize” the prices and results.

If you look at the prices above, you see that they are indeed pretty rational. The overall average for all 45,562 foals was $46,418. The lowest three groups were all below that figure, with 1-4 at $32,407, 5-8 at $41,757, and 9-10 at $45,472. The highest group (11-16) was only slightly above that figure at $52,719.

The maverages and Price Indexes followed suit. In terms of the latter, 1-4 was at 0.83, 5-8 at 0.91, 9-10 at 0.99, and 11-16 at 1.11.

So if prices are any indication, Phalaris should have had some impact on results as well. The actual results are listed below. APPPSW stands for average Performance Points per stakes winner, a measure of the quality of stakes winners involved, with the overall average now being 694.

Presences          Foals          Stakes Winners          %          APPPSW          PPI (Result)

1-4                        422                       8                      1.90           788                     0.64

5-8                     14,524                  402                    2.77           653                     0.77

9-10                   16,465                  530                    3.22          668                     0.92

11-16                  14,151                  603                    4.26          742                     1.35

As you can see above, Phalaris did have a significant impact on the racetrack results as well. The results followed the same pattern as the prices, with 1-4 at 0.64, 5-8 at 0.77, 9-10 at 0.92, and 11-16 at 1.35.

As always the most important question to be answered is the relationship between prices and results, which are listed below.

Presences          Foals            Price Index           PPI (Result)           Difference

1-4                        422                   0.83                       0.64                       –0.19

5-8                     14,524                 0.91                       0.77                       –0.14

9-10                   16,465                0.99                       0.92                       –0.07

11-16                  14,151                 1.11                       1.35                        +0.24

The pattern is pretty clear. The fewer the number of Phalarises, the more negative the difference between prices and results. To wit, 1-4 was –0.19, 5-8 was –0.14, 9-10 was –0.07, and only 11-16 was positive, at +0.24.

As I said at the beginning. this survey was undertaken strictly for grins. I would not want to make too much of it. I would not exactly recommend it as a theory for breeding better horses (or for picking better horses out of the marketplace).

Nevertheless, the results are pretty clear. The more Phalaris in a pedigree, the better the results, both in absolute and relative (to prices) terms.

The only other caveat I wish to offer is that pedigrees are constantly changing. They changed a lot since 1982, when Conquistador Cielo was considered an anomaly because all four of his sires in the third generation traced to Phalaris in the male line. Now such foals are a dime a dozen (which is not necessarily a good thing).

This survey was based on sales foals of 2008-2111. Right now it is 2016. If I repeated this survey with sales foals of 2016, the results would look a lot different. Phalaris would be even more pervasive now than he was less than ten years ago.

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“Labeling” Seattle Slew

About three months ago I presented some statistics on sires of the broodmare sire (P3 in the third generation). Today I do the same for sires of sires of broodmare sires (P5 in the fourth generation), basically the same position, only one generation farther back.

I am going to condense today’s results into an abbreviated form. A dozen sires are listed, the most popular ones (ones that showed up most often) first.

Leading Sires at P5 in the Fourth Generation

Sire                                      Foals          Price Index          PPI (Result)         Difference

Northern Dancer              5,800                1.07                      1.02                       –0.05

Raise a Native                   5,767                 1.05                      0.87                       –0.18

Mr. Prospector                  4,943                0.97                      1.04                        +0.07

Storm Bird                         2,452                1.07                       0.99                       –0.08

Nearctic                              2,197                 1.04                       1.18                        +0.14

Hail to Reason                  2,026                 1.07                       1.20                       +0.13

Vice Regent                       1,610                  1.04                        1.17                        +0.13

Bold Reasoning                1,596                  1.14                        1.42                       +0.28

Damascus                            825                   0.86                       0.64                      –0.22

Bold Ruler                           785                   0.82                       0.40                      –0.42

In Reality                             779                    0.85                      1.09                       +0.24

Seattle Slew                         715                    1.09                       0.81                      –0.28

The identities of the sires listed are no great surprises. The big three (Northern Dancer, Raise a Native, and Mr. Prospector) lead the way. Then there is a gap back to a group of three (Storm Bird, Nearctic, and Hail to Reason) all in the 2,000’s. They are followed by Vice Regent and Bold Reasoning (1,610 foals and 1,596 foals respectively). The trailing group (Damascus, Bold Ruler, In Reality, and Seattle Slew) range from 825 to 715 foals.

Seven of the first eight sires have prices above the norms, ranging from Bold Reasoning (1.14) to Mr. Prospector (0.97). Three of the last four have prices below the norms, ranging from Seattle Slew (1.09) to Bold Ruler (0.82).

The 12 sires are evenly split in terms of prices versus results. Six had better results than prices (the desired pattern). Six had higher prices than results (the undesired pattern). Bold Reasoning was best at +0.28. Bold Ruler was worst at –0.42.

That positive result for Bold Reasoning is very misleading. He had 1,596 foals at P5 in the fourth generation. Seattle Slew had the same 1,596 foals at P3 in the third generation. I did not find any Bold Reasonings that were not Seattle Slews. Hence Bold Reasoning’s +0.28 at P5 in the fourth generation is all attributable to Seattle Slew at P3 in the third generation.

Some other situations are similar. Storm Bird has 2,452 foals at P5 in the fourth generation; 2,380 of them were Storm Cat at P3 in the third generation; only 72 (and zero stakes winners) were NOT Storm Cat in the third generation.

Vice Regent has 1,610 foals at P5 in the fourth generation; 1,592 of them were Deputy Minister at P3 in the third generation; only 18 (and zero stakes winners) were NOT Deputy Minister in the third generation.

You might think that Northern Dancer and Nearctic would be similar, but they are not. Nearctic has 2,197 foals at P5 in the fourth generation; 1,643 of them are Northern Dancer at P3 in the third generation; 554 are Nearctic NOT though Northern Dancer.

Those 554 foals are pretty good too. They had a price of 0.97, a result of 1.49, and a difference of +0.52. That is much better than Northern Dancer’s numbers at P3 in the third generation (1.07, 1.07, 0).

You might think that Beholder had something to do with these numbers for Nearctic. Beholder is out of a mare by Tricky Creek, by Clever Trick, by Icecapade, by Nearctic. That puts Nearctic in the fifth generation and Icecapde at P5 in the fourth generation. So Beholder did not help this group at all.

The two best stakes winners for Nearctic in this group were Mizdirection (out of a Clever Trick mare, 3,820 Performance Points) and Joyful Victory (out of a Wild Again mare, 2,653).

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the case of Mr. Prospector and Raise a Native. The former has 4,900 foals at P3 in the third generation. The latter has 5,767 foals at P5 in the fourth generation. So only 867 of those 5,767 foals were NOT though Mr. Prospector in the third generation.

And those 867 foals were pretty pathetic, with a price of 0.88 and a result of 0.36, a difference of –0.52. Without Mr. Prospector, Raise a Native was pretty much a complete dud in the broodmare sire line, at least for this particular sample, sales foals of 2008-2111.

One generation can make a big difference. Seattle Slew is a good illustration of this point. He was very good at P3 in the third generation (price of 1.14, result of 1.42, difference of +0.28). He was almost equally bad one generation farther back, at P5 in the fourth generation, with a price of 1.09, a result of 0.81, and a difference of –0.28.

The explanation for this is pretty simple. Seattle Slew at P3 in the third generation includes A.P. Indy as a broodmare sire. Hence the high prices and good results. Seattle Slew at P5 in the fourth generation includes sons of A.P. Indy as broodmare sires. Prices still pretty high, results not nearly as good, at least through sales foals of 2008-2111.

Positions themselves can make a big difference. Seattle Slew is a good illustration. Consider his numbers at P5 and P6 in the fourth generation. I have just recited his numbers for the former (P5, a price of 1.09, a result of 0.81, and a difference of –0.28). At the latter (P6), his numbers are a price of 0.95, a result of 2.07, and a difference of +1.12.

So the market thought that Seattle Slew was a better influence at P5 in the fourth generation (price of 1.09) than at P6 in the fourth generation (price of 0.95). The results were quite the opposite. The two positions are right next to each other in the fourth generation. One (sire of females) had excellent results from below-average prices. The other (sire of males) had poor results from above-average prices.

The main point here is that attempting to define a sire’s “influence” (positive or negative) is a lot trickier than just pinning a convenient label on him. That “influence” can vary sharply from generation to generation and even from position to position within the same generation.

 

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Seattle Slew, Danzig, Blushing Groom

I have been trying to come up with a snappy introduction to today’s topic. Unsuccessfully. So let me just state that I find the broodmare sire of the broodmare sire (P6 in the fourth generation) a fascinating position in pedigrees.

So here are some statistics on the leading sires in that position, starting with prices. Listed below are the 14 sires who showed up most often at this position among sales foals of 2008-2111 (all of them with at least 500 foals). They are listed in descending order by number of foals.

Sire                           Foals          Average          Maverage          Price Index

Secretariat              2,144          $89,120             221.49                   1.44

Buckpasser             2,014            53,117              169.19                    1.10

Mr. Prospector       1,323            51,694             164.94                   1.07

Northern Dancer      723            36,749             140.94                   0.92

Caro                             673            65,773             192.58                    1.25

Blushing Groom       610             56,288            176.32                    1.14

In Reality                   588            32,650             138.68                   0.90

Nijinsky II                 585             38,175              137.71                    0.89

Halo                            575             45,893              156.81                   1.02

Seattle Slew               571             44,147               145.88                  0.95

Hoist the Flag           566            45,295              150.07                   0.97

Herbager                    559            55,755               178.05                   1.16

Danzig                        516            46,022              161.37                    1.05

Alydar                         513            35,199               134.77                   0.88

Totals                      11,960          55,464               171.01                    1.10

The first four names on this list are no surprises. Caro is there mainly because of Unbridled’s Song and Maria’s Mon. Blushing Groom is there mainly because of Carson City and Awesome Again. Herbager is there mainly because of Saint Ballado and Devil’s Bag. Danzig is there mainly because of Arch and Distorted Humor.

The overall average for all 45,562 foals is $46,418. Six are above that figure, led by Secretariat ($89,120) and Caro ($65,773). Eight are below that figure, the lowest being In Reality ($32,650).

In terms of Price Indexes, eight are above 1.00, led by Secretariat (1.44) and Caro (1.25). Six are below 1.00, the lowest being Alydar (0.88).

Listed below are the racetrack results for these same 14 sires. APPPSW stands for average Performance Points per stakes winner, a measure of the quality of stakes winners involved, the overall average now being 693.

Sire                           Foals          Stakes Winners          %          APPPSW          PPI (Result)

Secretariat              2,144                     89                     4.15             759                     1.35

Buckpasser             2,014                     73                     3.62            675                     1.05

Mr. Prospector       1,323                    50                     3.78            508                     0.82

Northern Dancer      723                    17                      2.35            569                     0.57

Caro                             673                    34                     5.05            612                     1.32

Blushing Groom       610                    33                      5.41            666                     1.54

In Reality                   588                    10                      1.70            429                     0.31

Nijinsky II                 585                     19                     3.25             802                    1.11

Halo                            575                     20                    3.48             710                    1.06

Seattle Slew               571                     33                    5.78              836                   2.07

Hoist the Flag           566                    21                     3.71               567                   0.90

Herbager                    559                    22                    3.94              582                   0.98

Danzig                        516                     25                    4.84              960                   1.99

Alydar                         513                     16                    3.12               519                    0.69

Totals                     11,960                   462                   3.86              677                    1.12

Since Secretariat had by far the highest prices, he should also have had the best results as well. He did not, however, ranking fourth at 1.35, behind Seattle Slew (2.07), Danzig (1.99), and Blushing Groom (1.54). In Reality was by far the worst at 0.31.

Of course the important point is prices versus results, and the differences are shown in the chart below.

Sire                           Foals          Price Index          PPI (Result)          Difference

Secretariat              2,144                 1.44                      1.35                       –0.09

Buckpasser             2,014                 1.10                      1.05                       –0.05

Mr. Prospector       1,323                 1.07                     0.82                      –0.25

Northern Dancer      723                 0.92                    0.57                       –0.35

Caro                             673                 1.25                     1.32                       +0.07

Blushing Groom       610                  1.14                     1.54                       +0.40

In Reality                   588                 0.90                   0.31                        –0.59

Nijinsky II                 585                 0.89                    1.11                         +0.22

Halo                            575                 1.02                    1.06                        +0.04

Seattle Slew               571                 0.95                    2.07                        +1.12

Hoist the Flag           566                0.97                    0.90                       –0.07

Herbager                    559               1.16                     0.98                       –0.18

Danzig                        516                1.05                     1.99                        +0.94

Alydar                         513                0.88                   0.69                        –0.19

Totals                      11,960               1.10                    1.12                         +0.02

The first thing that jumps out at me is that the top four by total number of foals all had negative differences: Secretarist was –0.09, Buckpasser was –0.05, Mr. Prospector was –0.25, and Northern Dancer was –0.35. So the four most popular names were all overvalued. Caro (fifth on the list) was the first sire with a positive difference (+0.07).

Only six of the 14 had positive differences. Eight had negative differences. But overall, the composite for all 14 sires shows a price of 1.10, a result of 1.12, and a difference of +0.02. So taken together, all 14 were very close to fairly valued. The individual sires varied widely, however.

On the negative side, In Reality was by far the worst at –0.59. On the positive side, Seattle Slew was by far the best at +1.12, followed by Danzig at +0.94 and Blushing Groom at +0.40.

Seattle Slew, Danzig, and Blushing Groom all benefited from some very good stakes winners (home runs). Perhaps a little more detail on their best stakes winners would be enlightening.

Listed below are the three best stakes winners by Seattle Slew in this category.

Musical Romance (Concorde’s Tune–Candlelight Dinner, Slew Gin Fizz), 09T22,000, 3,582 Performance Points.

Elusive Kate (Elusive Quality–Gout de Terroir, Lemon Drop Kid), 10Y70,000, 3,284.

Comma to the Top (Bwana Charlie–Maggies Storm, Stormy Atlantic), 08W5,000, 2,949.

The three broodmare sires listed above (Slew Gin Fizz, Lemon Drop Kid, and Stormy Atlantic) are all out of Seattle Slew mares. That Seattle Slew’s three best stakes winners involve three different broodmare sires is impressive in its own right. Not to mention that two of them were by marginal sires (Concorde’s Tune and Bwana Charlie).

Listed below are the three best stakes winners by Danzig in this category.

I’ll Have Another (Flower Alley–Arch’s Gal Edith, Arch), 10Y11,000, 4,194.

Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie–Playa Maya, Arch), 08W160,000, 2,806.

Molly Morgan (Ghostzapper–Capitulation, Distorted Humor), 10Y90,000, 2,082.

Arch and Distorted Humor are both out of Danzig mares. These three stakes winners are less impressive than Seattle Slew’s three stakes winners. Only two broodmare sires are involved. Two of the three were by very good sires (Indian Charlie and Ghostzapper). Distorted Humor is relatively young and was just getting started as a broodmare sire for sales foals of 2008-2111.

Listed below are the two best stakes winners by Blushing Groom in this category.

Havre de Grace (Saint Liam–Easter Bunnette, Carson City), 08Y380,000, 4,586.

Vyjack (Into Mischief–Life Happened, Stravinsky), 11Y45,000, 2,062.

Carson City and Stravinsky are both out of Blushing Groom mares. Stravinsky is more surprising than Carson City, although Stravinsky is also the broodmare sire of turf sensation Tepin (by Freud, not exactly a chief of the breed).

Blushing Groom has a Price Index of 1.14 in the charts above, Danzig 1.05, and Seattle Slew 0.95. So Seattle Slew achieved a very good record as a broodmare sire of broodmare sires among sales foals of 2008-2111 with BELOW-AVERAGE PRICES. Perhaps that is the most impressive point of all.

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A Comment Upon “You Learn Something New Every Day”

I received the following comment on my recent post, “You Learn Something New Every Day.”

———————————————————————————————————

David, as you know as well as anyone, genuinely positive proof of inbreeding success has long proven to be highly elusive and scant at best. Congratulation on coming up with this welcome addition to the latter.

I’ve always maintained that inbreeding should be practiced only through superior performing animals in an effort to filter out negative recessives. That’s why, despite a lack of evidence, I’ve half-heartedly clung to the notion that stakes-winning broodmares bearing the Rasmussen Factor might prove to be somewhat better producers.

Do you have any information on the quality of the inbred components of the 150 mares in your project?

Good work, as usual!
Allison

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Listed below are the dozen stakes winners out of dams who were stakes winners and also inbred 3×3 or closer. Listed for each is its name, pedigree (sire–dam, broodmare sire), the inbreeding of the dam, sales info, and number of Performance Points earned (highest, best stakes winners, listed first).

Stakes Winners out of Dams Who Were Stakes Winners and Inbred 3×3 or Closer

Alpha Bettor (Alphabet Soup–Scatter Buy, Relaunch), 2×3 In Reality, 10T27,000, 1,825.

Al Qasr (Aptitude–Majestic Dy, Dynaformer), 3×3 His Majesty, 09Y8,500, 1,439.

Sweet Lulu (Mr. Greeley–Successful Outlook, Orientate), 3×3 Blushing Groom, 11Y270,000, 1,094.

Bear No Joke (It’s No Joke–Nithi, Wolf Power), 3×3 Round Table, 09Y73,136, 978.

Caminadora (More Than Ready–Stoneway, Storm Boot), 3×3 Mr. Prospector, 08Y150,000, 354.

Madrilena (Stormy Atlantic–Brush Over, Broad Brush), 3×3 Hoist the Flag, 08Y80,000, 321.

Max Me Out (Max’s Pal–Tambien Me Voy, Orono), 3×3 Arts and Letters, 08Y5,000, 266.

Hidinginplainsight (Elusive Quality–Hot Storm, Stormy Atlantic), 3×3 Seattle Slew, 11T80,000, 253.

Xaverian (Sky Mesa–Majestic Dy, Dynaformer), 3×3 His Majesty, 11W280,000, 242.

Lemon Splendor (Lemon Drop Kid–Karakorum Splendor, A. P Jet), 3×3 Mr. Prospector, 10Y100,000, 234.

Hunt Crossing (Corinthian–Silver Lace, Silver Deputy), 3x3x3 Mr. Prospector, 09W260,000, 210.

Elusive Noise (Elusive Quality–Noisette, Broad Brush), 3×3 Hoist the Flag, 09Y110,000, 170.

The first thing you might notice is that I have listed a dozen stakes winners but reported only 11 in my previous post. That is because I noticed a new one this morning, Xaverian, winner of the Raymond Earl Stakes yesterday at Gulfstream Park. So the results for the 150 foals are even slightly better than I previously reported.

You inquired as to the quality of the inbred components. That is why I listed the details of the inbreeding of the dam.

Three of the 12 stakes winners were out of dams inbred to Mr. Prospector. That is not exactly surprising. Nor is it out of proportion to the overall population. If all 12 dams were inbred to Mr. Prospector, then you might conclude that it was inbreeding to Mr. Prospector that did the trick, not the inbreeding in general. But that is not the case here.

Actually only 11 dams account for these 12 stakes winners. Majestic Dy shows up twice, as the dam of Al Qasr and of the aforementioned Xaverian. Majestic Dy was inbred 3×3 to His Majesty.

Only one other sire showed up twice. Both Brush Over (dam of Madrilena) and Noisette (dam of Elusive Noise) were inbred 3×3 to Hoist the Flag. Both were by Broad Brush, coincidentally or not.

The remaining five stakes winners were out of dams inbred to five different sires: In Reality, Blushing Groom, Round Table, Arts and Letters, and Seattle Slew. Of those five, Arts and Letters and Round Table are the hardest to find in the overall population. Mares inbred to Seattle Slew, Blushing Groom, and In Reality are not that hard to find.

So I hope that gives you a fair idea of the quality of the inbreeding components involved. Judging by the stakes winners, it is a representative sample, not dominated by one particular name. It is not surprising that Mr. Prospector shows up most often. It is a tad surprising that Northern Dancer did not show up at all.

You mentioned “the notion that stakes-winning broodmares bearing the Rasmussen Factor might prove to be somewhat better producers.” Not one of the 11 mares listed above was inbred 3×3 or closer to a female ancestor. I do remember seeing some of that description among the 150 foals, but I really can not say how many.

Nevertheless, I think that might be a really good project for future research. Do RF mares (especially stakes winners) make better producers? I think you would have to examine their degree of inbreeding as well (3×3 or closer, 4×4 or closer, the rest).

So anyway, Allison, I hope this post helps to answer your questions. And thank you for the idea for future research.

Posted in La Troienne | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

You Learn Something New Every Day

I received the following comment on my post about racing class of dams from a little over a year ago.

“I’m quite convinced on your general refutation (or perhaps debunking) of close inbreeding generally. I do wonder if there is a case in which it might matter. Suppose you compare to individuals to have similarly elite racing class, one is an outcross and one is close inbreed. Do they differ in ability to produce foals of high class? This normalizes racing class and focuses on homogeneity. My hypothesis would be that the inbreeds outproduce but have no idea if that would be born out by the statistics.”

The above is a fair question, and I decided to explore it a bit. Of the 45,562 sales foal of 2008-2111, 6,659 were out of stakes winners. Of those 6,659 foals, only 150 (about 2.25%) were out of mares inbred 3×3 or closer. (The reader specified “close” inbreeding.)

The remaining 6,509 foals were out of mares not inbred 3×3 or closer. Call the former group DI (for dam inbred) and the latter group DNI (for dam not inbred). Below are the prices for the two groups.

Group          Foals          Average          Maverage          Price Index

DI                   150            $68,051            208.15                    1.35

DNI             6,509          $85,442            222.99                    1.45

Totals          6,659          $85,050           222.66                     1.45

As you can see, there is quite a bit of difference between the two groups in terms of prices. The DNI group was more expensive than the DI group ($85,442 to $68,051 by average, 222.99 to 208.15 by maverage, and 1.45 to 1.35 by Price Index).

Below are the racetrack results for the two groups. APPPSW stands for average Performance Points per stakes winner, a measure of the quality of stakes winners involved, with the benchmark now being 693.

Group          Foals          Stakes Winners          %          APPPSW          PPI (Result)

DI                   150                      11                       7.33            649                    2.04

DNI              6,509                  306                     4.70            849                     1.71

Totals           6,659                  317                      4.76            841                      1.71

The DI group was much better than the DNI group by percentage of stakes winners from foals (7.33% to 4.70%). But the DNI group was better than the DI group by APPPSW (849 to 649). Taking both quantity and quality of stakes winners into account, the DI group was decisively better than the NDI group (2.04 to 1.71) despite its lower prices.

So the DI group sold for prices about 35% above average and produced results about 104% above average (an improvement of 0.69). The NDI group sold for prices about 45% above average and produced results about 71% above average (an improvement of 0.26).

So, yes, the DI group was definitely better than the NDI group, lending credence to the theory that inbred (3×3 or closer) dams make better producers than dams not inbred that closely.

At least among dams who were stakes winners. Just for grins I also tracked foals out of mares inbred 3×3 or closer who were NOT stakes winners. There were 1,282 such foals, and their prices are summarized below.

Dams Inbred 3×3 or Closer

Category          Foals          Average          Maverage          Price Index

Not SWs          1,282          $43,608             145.71                    0.95

SWs                    150           $68,051             208.15                    1.35

Totals               1,432          $46,168             152.25                    0.99

The overall average for all 45,562 foals was $46,418, and the overall maverage was 154.0. The 1,432 foals out of mares inbred 3×3 or closer were just below those benchmarks by both average ($46,168) and maverage (152.25, which corresponds to a Price Index of 0.99). The prices for the 150 foals out of mares who were stakes winners and also inbred 3×3 or closer were significantly higher, of course.

Below are the results for the three groups.

Category          Foals          Stakes Winners          %          APPPSW          PPI (Result)

Not SWs          1,282                    34                      2.65%        719                      0.82

SWs                     150                     11                       7.33%        649                     2.04

Totals               1,432                    45                       3.14%        702                     0.94

The 1,432 foals (both stakes winners and not) sold for a price of 0.99 (about 1% below average) and achieved a result of 0.94 (about 6% below average). They were slight underachievers.

The 150 foals out of stakes winners sold for a price of 1.35 (about 35% above average) and achieved a result of 2.04 (about 104% above average). They were definite overachievers.

The 1,282 foals out of mares who were not stakes winners sold for a price of 0.95 (about 5% below average) and achieved a result of 0.82 (about 18% below average). They were more definite underachievers.

The point is that just because mares who were stakes winners and inbred 3×3 or closer achieved much better results than their prices warranted, be wary of theorizing too broadly from that. What works for stakes winners may not necessarily work for mares who were not stakes winners. In this case it did NOT work for mares who were NOT stakes winners. Even with the fantastic results from those 150 foals, the overall results for all 1,432 foals were still slightly negative.

The more important point could be that close inbreeding might indeed intensify the characteristics (both good and bad) of the mare in question. Inbreeding works both ways, in other words, intensifying both the good and the bad.

But it does appear that foals out of stakes winners who are inbred 3×3 or closer do outperform their prices rather significantly. I would not have believed it if I had not done all the research and number crunching myself. You learn something new every day.

Posted in La Troienne | Tagged | 11 Comments

Sires of Second Dams (Seeking the Gold)

As promised. here are some statistics on sires of second dams among sales foals of 2008-2111, starting with prices. The ten sires listed are the most popular ones (the ones who showed up most often).

Sire                               Foals          Average          Maverage          Price Index

Mr. Prospector             614           $92,899            233.24                    1.51

Deputy Minister          464           $64,156             178.12                     1.16

Secretariat                    403           $61,279             175.32                     1.14

Seattle Slew                  396           $74,404            211.02                     1.37

Storm Cat                      395           $73,460            210.38                    1.37

Danzig                            395           $72,443            202.53                    1.32

Nijinsky II                     375           $73,198             203.18                    1.32

Alydar                             354          $88,792             224.93                   1.46

Dixieland Band             314           $64,754            190.33                    1.24

Vice Regent                   308           $55,656            180.70                    1.17

Totals                            4,018          $73,461            202.69                    1.32

The overall average for all 45,562 foals was $46,418. All ten sires posted averages well above that, ranging from $92,899 for Mr. Prospector to $55,656 for Vice Regent. The maverages and Price Indexes followed suit, the latter ranging from 1.51 for Mr. Prospector to 1.14 for Secretariat.

Listed below are the racetrack results for these same ten sires. APPPSW stands for average Performance Points per stakes winner, a measure of the quality of stakes winners involved, the overall average now being 691.

Sire                                Foals          Stakes Winners         %          APPPSW          PPI (Result)

Mr. Prospector             614                     30                      4.89            799                    1.68

Deputy Minister          464                     19                       4.09          1,015                   1.79

Secretariat                    403                       7                        1.74             757                   0.56

Seattle Slew                  396                     19                        4.80            514                   1.06

Storm Cat                      395                     21                        5.32            909                  2.08

Danzig                            395                     18                        4.56            739                   1.45

Nijinsky II                     375                       8                         2.13          1,094                 1.00

Alydar                            354                      14                        3.95             756                  1.29

Dixieland Band            314                      17                         5.41             949                  2.21

Vice Regent                   308                     16                        5.19              678                  1.51

Totals                            4,018                   169                      4.21              811                   1.46

Since all ten sires posted prices well above average, their results should have been above average as well. Eight of the ten were above average. Nijinsky II was right at 1.00. Secretariat was way below at 0.56. The two best were Dixieland Band (2.21) and Storm Cat (2.08).

The most important consideration is results versus prices, which are summarized below.

Sire                                 Foals          Price Index          PPI (Result)          Difference

Mr. Prospector               614                   1.51                      1.68                        +0.17

Deputy Minister            464                   1.16                      1.79                        +0.63

Secretariat                      403                   1.14                      0.56                       –0.58

Seattle Slew                    396                   1.37                      1.06                       –0.31

Storm Cat                        395                   1.37                      2.08                       +0.71

Danzig                              395                   1.32                      1.45                       +0.13

Nijinsky II                       375                   1.32                       1.00                      –0.32

Alydar                               354                  1.46                       1.29                       –0.17

Dixieland Band               314                  1.24                       2.21                        +0.97

Vice Regent                      308                 1.17                        1.51                        +0.34

Totals                               4,018                1.32                       1.46                       +0.14

Six of the ten had positive differences, with Dixieland Band (+0.97) and Storm Cat (+0.71) leading the way. Four of the ten had negative differences, with Secretariat being by far the worst at –0.58.

The table above also shows the totals for these ten sires. They accounted for 4,018 of the 45,562 total foals (a little under 9%). The composite results for all ten sires were pretty good, with a price of 1.32 and a result of 1.46. These 4,018 foals sold for prices about 32% above average and achieved results about 46% above average (a positive difference of 0.14). They exceeded expectations, in other words.

A couple posts ago I showed statistics on the eight most popular sires of the broodmare sire (P3 in the third generation). Those eight sires accounted for a little over 12,000 foals, with a composite price of 1.07 and a composite result of 1.08. Overall, they were just slightly better than expectations.

These 4,018 foals by the top ten sires of second dams (P4) in the third generation were even more positive (price of 1.32, result of 1.46). The market had the top eight sires at P3 pretty well pegged. The top ten sires at P4 were collectively undervalued, a result I have seen over and over again.

Five of the top ten sires at P4 also appeared among the top eight at P3 (Mr. Prospector, Deputy Minister, Seattle Slew, Storm Cat, and Danzig). The other five (Secretariat, Nijinsky II, Alydar, Dixieland Band, and Vice Regent) did not. Call the former five generalists (prominent at any position in pedigrees) and the latter five specialists (prominent only at specific positions in pedigrees, usually as the sire of females, in this case as sires of second dams).

The five generalists fared much better than the five specialists, as summarized in the chart below.

Sires                              Foals          Price Index          PPI (Result)          Difference

Generalists                  2,264                 1.36                       1.62                       +0.26

Specialists                    1,754                  1.27                      1.26                       –0.01

Totals                            4,018                 1.32                      1.46                       +0.14

The five specialists posted a price of 1.27 and a result of 1.26 for a negative difference of 0.01. The just barely failed to live up to expectations. The five generalists posted a price of 1.36 and a result of 1.62 for a positive difference of 0.26. They exceeded expectations quite comfortably and are the main reason all ten sires at P4 were collectively undervalued.

I previewed this post by referring to Seeking the Gold, sire of the second dam of undefeated Nyquist. I did track Seeking the Gold as a sire of second dams among sales foals of 2008-2111, but he was nowhere near popular enough to be among the top ten. He was too young (a foal of 1985).

I am pretty sure that if and when I ever get around to examining sales foals of 2012-2015, for example, Seeking the Gold will figure prominently among sires of second dams. And with Nyquist to his credit in that category, his results will be spectacular. Even without Nyquist, I am pretty sure that Seeking the Gold already is and will continue to be an excellent sire of second dams.

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