Dams Are More Important Than Sires????–Part 3

As promised, below are the results for the various groups discussed in my previous post. Just to review, A sires are G1 winners, B sires are all others, A dams are graded stakes winners (G1-G2-G3), and B dams are nongraded stakes winners. APPPSSW stands for average Performance Points per stakes winner, a measure of the quality of stakes winners involved (665 being average).

Group          Foals          Stakes Winners          %          APPPSW          PPI (Result)

A Sires         3,971                    207                    5.21             944                     2.25

B Sires          1,596                     76                    4.76             699                     1.52

A Dams        1,500                     78                    5.20             981                     2.33

B Dams        4.067                   205                    5.04            840                    1.94

Totals            5,567                   283                   5.08            879                     2.05

There is not much difference among the four groups by percentage of stakes winners from foals. APPPSW (quality of stakes winners) does show some significant differences, with A dams being first at 981 (665 being average), followed by A sires at 944, B dams at 840, and B sires at 699. PPIs (results) follow suit, with A dams being best at 2.33, followed by A sires at 2.25, B dams at 1.94, and B sires at 1.52.

Group          Foals          Stakes Winners          %          APPPSW          PPI (Result)

AA                1,140                     55                      4.82           1,063                   2.35

AB                2,831                    152                     5.37              902                   2.22

BA                   360                     23                     6.39              784                   2.29

BB                 1,236                    53                     4.29               663                   1.30

BA is best by percentage of stakes winners from foals at 6.39, followed by AB at 5.37, AA at 4.82, and BB at 4.29. AA is best by APPPSW at 1,063, followed by AB at 902, BA at 784, and BB at 663. Taking both factors into account, AA is best by PPI (results) at 2.35, closely followed by BA at 2.29 and AB at 2.22, with BB a distant trailer at 1.30.

These are the absolute results. What is more important is the results versus the prices, which are summarized in the charts below.

Group          Foals          Price Index          PPI (Result)          Difference

A Sires         3,971                 1.70                      2.25                        +0.55

B Sires         1,596                 1.47                      1.52                         +0.05

A Dams       1,500                2.04                      2.33                        +0.29

B Dams       4,067                1.49                      1.94                         +0.45

Totals          5,567                 1.64                      2.05                        +0.41

All four groups have positive results (PPI higher than Price Index), which is what you want to see. This is because all foals above are out of stakes winners, and such foals collectively had better results than warranted by their prices. A sires are best at +0.55, followed by B dams at +0.45, A dams at +0.29, and B sires at +0.05.

Group          Foals          Price Index          PPI (Result)          Difference

AA                1,140                  2.06                    2.35                        +0.29

AB                2,831                  1.56                     2.22                        +0.66

BA                   360                  1.95                     2.29                        +0.34

BB                1,236                  1.33                     1.30                        –0.03

AA is logically expected to be much better than BB. That is indeed the case in absolute terms (2.35 to 1.30). It is also the case in terms of prices versus results (AA +0.29, BB –0.03). Note that BB was the only one of the four groups which had a negative result relative to its prices.

This whole study was constructed in order to examine AB versus BA. To review, AB involves a better sire with a good mare. BA involves a good sire with a better mare. If BA produces better results than AB, the theory that dams might be more important than sires is supported.

BA did produce slightly better results than AB (2.29 to 2.22). But considering the prices involved (1.95 for BA and 1.56 for BA), that is a Pyrrhic victory. In terms of prices versus results, AB was by far the best at +0.66, BA was second at +0.34, followed closely by AA at +0.29. BB had a negative result (–0.03).

Considering the prices involved, BA was NOT any better than AB. The opposite was true. AB was considerably better than BA. This does NOT support the theory that dams are more important than sires.

I mentioned before that this whole project was “quick and dirty.” Therefore, it should be taken with a few grains of salt. Perhaps I should think of a better approach to this whole concept, one that incorporates all foals, not just foals out of stakes winners.

I mentioned in my previous post that interpretation plays a big role in this game. Using G1 winners as the “better” sires has a lot to do with these results. The fact of the matter is that many of the best sires of these sales foals of 2008-2011 were NOT G1 winners. Most of them were, but many of them were not. Some of the ones who were NOT G1 winners include Distorted Humor, Dynaformer, and Pulpit (all G2 winners), as well as Malibu Moon (merely a winner, not even a stakes winner).

I think the problem with the original scientific treatise and the reason it came to the erroneous conclusion that dams might be more important than sires is its definition of an “elite” sire. It ranked the sires based on their race records. The sires with the best race records were considered “elite” sires. All others were considered “nonelite.”

Now it is true that the best racehorses generally make the best sires. Emphasis on the generally. It is also true that many of the best racehorses turn out to be indifferent sires or worse. And a very few racehorses who were not G1 winners turn out to be excellent sires.

I think the original scientific treatise should have used a different criterion for separating “elite” from “nonelite” sires, something more to do with their actual sire records and nothing to do with their race records. Something like AEI or percentage of stakes winners from foals or even the prices of their foals sold at public auction. If they had used a different criterion more related to actual sire success (and having nothing to do do with race records), I think they might have come up with a very different result.

Perhaps I will try to explain this in general statistical terms. The correlation between a sire’s race record and his success as a sire is positive but weak. That is because, as Byron correctly pointed out, you almost have to be a G1 winner in the first place to have a decent shot at stud. Therefore, the supply of sires who are G1 winners is plentiful. Which makes them relatively cheap (except of course for the few who are actually any good at stud).

The dams’ side of the equation is quite different. The correlation between a dam’s race record and her success as a broodmare is both positive and strong, much stronger than in the case of sires. That is because the supply of broodmares who are graded winners (or any other definition of excellence you choose) will always be low. Low supply, good results, high demand.

Perhaps the safest thing to say about all of this is that a sire is still 50% and a dam is still 50% of a foal’s genetic inheritance. As far as we know the two are still equally important.

Because the general consensus seems to be that sires are more important than dams, believing the opposite and placing more emphasis on dams than sires might not be a bad idea. Iconoclasm is its own reward.

Reminds me of a story about the late Alfred G. Vanderbilt. Someone asked him what was his breeding strategy. “My strategy is to breed my Discovery mares to something,” he supposedly replied. Perhaps a little oversimplified, but you get the general idea.

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Dams Are More Important Than Sires????–Part 2

My previous post speculated on the theory that dams might actually be more important than sires in determining the racetrack success of foals. The original scientific treatise which proposed this theory based it on the race records of sires and dams. It termed the sires with the best race records “elite” and all the rest “nonelite.” Ditto for dams.

It concluded that the correlation between racetrack performances of dams and their foals was much higher than the correlation between racetrack performances of sires and their foals. It additionally concluded from this that dams might be more important than sires in determining the racetrack success of foals.

I started thinking about ways in which I could do something along the same lines with my own population, sales foals of 2008-2011. A passage from Byron Rogers’s post gave me the idea for sires. Here is the pertinent paragraph:

“That is, with large books and better veterinary practice, the bar to become a stallion has probably moved up a little too high (you are just about required to be a GI winner now to have any chance) while because of the same quest for large stallion books, the bar for a mare to enter the breeding shed has slipped to the extraordinary low (basically two functional ovaries gets you in).”

The part of that paragraph that grabbed my attention was: “you are just about required to be a G1 winner now to have any chance” at becoming a successful stallion. There is a certain amount of truth to that statement, although numerous successful stallions were NOT G1 winners, and I will name some names later.

So I decided for purposes of my own study to specify that G1 winners would be classified as “elite” sires and all others as “nonelite” sires. Actually, I decided to call the former “A” sires and the latter “B” sires.

For mares I decided to examine only stakes winners and to classify graded stakes winners as “elite” or “A” mares and nongraded stakes winners as “nonelite” or “B” mares. Admittedly this is a “quick and dirty” method of achieving the goal, which is to classify sires and dams into two groups each, a “good” group (“B” sires and dams) and a better group (“A” sires and dams). Then compare the prices and results for the four possible combinations, AA (better-better), AB (better-good), BA (good-better), and BB (good-good).

Of the 45,562 sales foals of 2008-2011, 6,659 were out of stakes winners. For purposes of this study I considered only 5,567 of them (83.6% of the total). I should probably explain that.

In examining sales foals of 2008-2011 I use auction supplements from both Thoroughbred Times and The Bland-Horse. The former lists all foals. The latter lists only foals by the most “commercially viable” sires. The latter designates which mares were stakes winners. The former does not. So I used the latter exclusively for this particular study, which explains why it includes only 5,567 of the 6,659 foals out of stakes winners. Those 5,567 foals are generally by better sires and out of better mares than the missing 1,092 foals (confirmed by their prices).

Having explained the “quick and dirty” aspect of this particular study, let us examine the prices for the four main groups.

Group          Foals          Average          Maverage          Price Index

A Sires         3,971          $107,831            262.28                  1.70

B Sires         1,596           $80,091            225.97                   1.47

A Dams       1,500          $154,383           313.46                   2.04

B Dams       4,067           $79,775            229.16                    1.49

Totals          5,567           $99,878            251.87                    1.64

Not surprisingly, there were significant differences in prices between A sires and B sires and A dams and B dams. In terms of averages, A sires ($108,831) were higher than B sires ($80,091), and A dams ($154,383) were much higher than B dams ($79,775).

The maverages and Price Indexes followed suit. In terms of the latter, A sires (1.70) were higher than B sires (1.47), and A dams (2.04) were much higher than B dams (1.49).

What I find most interesting here is that the differences between A dams and B dams were much more dramatic than the differences between A sires and B sires. So a superior race record does not make an A sire much more expensive than a B sire. But a superior race record does make an A dam (graded stakes winner) much more expensive than a B dam (nongraded stakes winner).

Now let us examine the prices for the four possible combinations.

Group          Foals          Average          Maverage          Price Index

AA                1,140          $158,610            317.75                    2.06

AB                2,831           $87,383            239.95                    1.56

BA                   360          $140,999           299.88                   1.95

BB                1,236           $62,351             204.45                   1.33

Without belaboring the numbers, AA is much higher than BB (exactly as expected). AA is also much higher than AB (also exactly as expected). BA is much higher than BB (also exactly as expected).

Theoretically anyway, I would have expected AB and BA to have been roughly the same. Somewhat surprisingly, BA is much higher than AB. This is partially a function of A dams (Price Index of 2.04) being so much higher than A sires (Price Index of 1.70).

The implications of BA being so much higher than AB are pretty interesting. BA combines a good sire with a better dam. AB combines a better sire with a good dam. The former is much more expensive than the latter.

That the former is much more expensive than the latter shows that the market does value a superior race record in mares much more than a superior race record in sires. As Byron hinted, this is a simple function of supply and demand.

A sires outnumbered B sires 3,971 to 1,596 in this study. But B dams outnumbered A dams 4,067 to 1,500. There was a high supply of A sires and therefore lower demand for them. There was a much lower supply of A dams and therefore a higher demand for them.

This despite the fact that A sires (G1 winners) had to pass a higher bar than A dams (graded stakes winners, including G2 and G3). And if you extended this study to include all foals, not just foals out of stakes winners, the demand for dams who were graded stakes winners is even higher.

That original scientific treatise will be buttressed if BA produces better racetrack results than AB. In other words, if the combination of a good sire and better dam produces better results than the combination of a better sire and good dam.

“Better results” not just in absolute terms but in relation to their respective prices. In my next post I will examine those racetrack results.

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Dams Are More Important Than Sires????

“The present pedigree analysis study provides evidence suggesting
that maternal heritability of athletic performance may be a
stronger contributor than paternal heritability to race ability.”

So concludes a scientific paper titled “Potential role of maternal lineage in the thoroughbred breeding strategy.” By clicking on the link above, you may read a post by Byron Rogers which summarizes the conclusions of the original scientific treatise and links back to it. Byron adds some statistics and conclusions of his own. Be forewarned, however, that if you think my statistics are difficult to understand, the statistics presented therein are even more abstruse.

Be that as it may, the conclusions may be summarized thusly in a nutshell: Dams may be more important than sires in predicting racetrack success from pedigrees.

That is an intriguing idea and has lots of emotional appeal to a lot of people, mainly because it is so far the opposite of the general consensus that sires are more important than dams.

I can think of some examples that support this hypothesis. Perhaps the clearest example is Jonesboro (2002 colt by Sefapiano out of Mom’s Command, by Top Command). Jonesboro was a G2 winner and an earner of $1,550,685 (3,051 Performance Points).

Sefapiano was not a very good sire (albeit somewhat underrated). Mom’s Command was 1985 champion three-year-old filly. In this case the combination of a bad sire with an excellent (in terms of racing class) dam worked out quite well. Mom’s Command was 20 years old when she produced Jonesboro, which is one reason Jonesboro sold for only $27,000 as a yearling. That was the highest price for any yearling by Sefapiano in 2003. The other five sold for $19,700, $7,500, $7,200, $4,000, and $2,500.

A more recent example might be 2011 Kentucky Derby winner and champion three-year-old Animal Kingdom (Leroidesanimaux out of Dalicia, by Acatenango). Lersoidesanimauc was not a very good sire (other than Animal Kingdom). Animal Kingdom sold for $100,000 as a yearling in 2009, but the 20 yearlings by Leroidesanimaux sold in 2009 averaged only $21,717 and had a median of $6,062.

Dalicia, on the other hand, was a G3 winner in Germany and was by a very good sire (Acatenango). So you could interpret that to mean that Animal Kingdom was by a poor sire out of a very good dam, the same pattern as Jonesboro.

Actually, that is a matter of interpretation. Leroidesanimaux was a very good racehorse (2005 champion turf horse), a much better racehorse than Sefapiano (record of 4-2-2-0 for earnings of $37,793). If you look at it that way, you could also say that Animal Kingdom was by a very good racehorse (but indifferent sire) out of a very good dam. Animal Kingdom might not be the best of examples, therefore, except that he illustrates that interpretation plays a big role in this game.

The most obvious counter example is Triple Crown winner American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile out of Littleprincessemma, by Yankee Gentleman). Pioneerof the Nile is a pretty good sire. Littleprincessemma was unplaced in two starts. Yankee Gentleman is no great shakes as a broodmare sire (other than American Pharoah).

The second dam is the Ecliptical mare Exclusive Rosette, a very minor restricted stakes winner with a record of 17-3-0-3 for earnings of $27,281 (a good example of black type being misleading). The third dam (Zetta Jet) was unplaced in five starts. The fourth dam (Queen Zetta) was unplaced in six starts. Exclusive Rosette did produce G2 winner Stormin Wolf and G3 winner Misty Rosette (both by Stormin Fever).

So the female line of American Pharoah is not particularly impressive. On a scale of ten (ten being best), I would have to give it about a five. You look at his pedigree and conclude that he must have gotten his talent from his sire, not his dam or female line.

Which is not at all unusual. Many of the best racehorses are by good sires out of undistinguished dams (although as Byron correctly points out, that is mainly because very little selection is evident among dams; if she has a pair of ovaries, she is qualified to be a broodmare).

So you can find plenty of examples to support or negate the theory that dams are more important than sires. I started to write “prove or disprove,” but that would have been wrong. Examples prove nothing. Nevertheless, this is an intriguing area of possible research.


While we are on the subject of American Pharoah, his connections have indicated that he will race again this year. That is good. But it is also the LEAST they can do, considering that he will not race again next year.

There seems to be some sentiment out there that American Pharoah now “has little left to prove.” It is true that he has little left to prove with regard to his own crop, of which he is clearly by far the best.

Secretariat raced quite successfully against older horses after his Triple Crown at three. Seattle Slew and Affirmed both raced at four. Both were champion older horses. Affirmed was Horse of the Year again at four as well. (All three were Horses of the Year at three.)

I suggest that American Pharoah needs to race successfully against older horses (and there are some pretty good older horses out there) before we even start to compare him to the likes of Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and Affirmed. Sadly, I am not optimistic that will actually happen.

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Storm Cat Male Line, Kentucky Derby (continued)

If you have followed this blog from the beginning, you know that I usually post something about the Storm Cat male line in the Kentucky Derby shortly after the race each year. Here is how his male line fared in yesterday’s race.

Only two of the 18 starters in yesterday’s Kentucky Derby hailed from the Storm Cat male line (down from six of 19 last year). Firing Line finished second at 9-1. Carpe Diem finished tenth at 7-1. Firing Line is by Line of David, by Lion Heart, by Tale of the Cat, by Storm Cat. Carpe Diem is by Giant’s Causeway, by Storm Cat.

So the Storm Cat male line did not fare too badly yesterday. Overall though, its record in the Kentucky Derby now stands at 46 starts, ZERO wins, four seconds, and two thirds. Needless to say, that is NOT a particularly good record.

Last year’s post on this subject matter is hereby linked.

Storm Cat was by Storm Bird, by Northern Dancer. The Northern Dancer male line has not fared well at all in the Kentucky Derby in recent years. Since 2000 it has been represented by only one Kentucky Derby winner, Big Brown (sire of Dortmund, who finished third yesterday at 4-1) in 2008. I don’t know how many starters the Northern Dancer male line had in this time period, but it was more than a few.

American Pharoah is out of a mare by Yankee Gentleman, by Storm Cat. That is the broodmare sire line, NOT the male line. Storm Cat himself is renowned as a pretty decent broodmare sire. I would not be surprised if he fares pretty well in the broodmare sire line, perhaps even better than in the male line, where he is overrated, in my humble opinion. Perhaps that might be a topic for further research and discussion, Storm Cat in the broodmare sire line.

Dosage is pretty much a dead horse, but in all good conscience I am going to beat it with a stick one more time. American Pharoah has a dosage index (DI) of 4.33. Supposedly that means he is not genetically equipped to win the Kentucky Derby.

American Pharoah (like all horses) has 30 ancestors in his first four generations. His DI of 4.33 is based on only three of those 30 ancestors, Unbridled in the third generation and Fappiano and Exclusive Native in the fourth generation. How ridiculous is that????????

But wait, it gets even better. Mubtaahij has a DI of 1.00 and a CD (center of distribution) of 0.00. Those are the “ideal” dosage numbers and supposedly mean that Mubtaahij was eminently qualified to win the race yesterday. He finished eighth at 14-1.

Mubtaahij’s dosage numbers are based on only two of his 30 ancestors within four generations (Mr. Prospector and Shirley Heights, both in the fourth generation, both in his sire’s half of the pedigree). How ridiculous is that????????

I suppose that is the beauty of writing about pedigrees. Ridiculous theories abound. Poking fun at them is almost too easy. Sort of like taking candy from a baby.

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Most Unlikely Places

Three posts ago I demonstrated that the female line of La Troienne (LT) is vastly overrated. Two posts ago I demonstrated that the female lines of Almahmoud, Best in Show, Bourtai, Courtly Dee, Grey Flight, Knight’s Daughter, Missy Baba, and Rough Shod II are collectively overrated.

Today I present some statistics on 28 other popular female lines. In choosing which female lines to study I tried to select those which had the best chance of selling for high prices and/or producing good results. For this group I placed a little more emphasis on female lines with lots of foals. And also those about whom I was frankly curious.

Originally I set out to study almost 50 female lines, but I narrowed them down to the 28 below who had at least 100 foals each among sales foals of 2008-2111. Among the female lines eliminated because they did not produce at least 100 foals were Aspidistra, Courtesy, Ghazni, Happy Mood, Iltis, Kerala, Lady Pitt, Monade, Natasha, Native Partner, Old Bess, Pat’s Irish, Prayer Bell, Quillopoly, Quite Honestly, Romanita, Scotch Verdict, South Ocean, Stick to Beauty, and T. C. Kitten.

Betty Derr is the third dam of Courtly Dee (already studied). The 166 foals I list below under Betty Derr do NOT include any Courtly Dee. They include everything else NOT through Courtly Dee. They are the same female line, but I treated them separately because I suspected that they might have very different results.

The same is true of the mother-daughter combinations Escutcheon-Bourtai (already studied) and Good Example-Exclusive. Escutcheon below does NOT include any Bourtai. It includes everything else that is NOT Bourtai. Good Example below does NOT include any Exclusive. It includes everything else that is NOT Exclusive. They are the same female lines, but I treated them separately because I suspected that they might have very different results.

For each mare below I have listed her number of foals, average price, maverage, and Price Index. They are listed by descending order of maverage (most expensive ones first).

Usually I do a separate table to show racetrack results. Today I am skipping a few steps and showing PPI (result) right next to Price Index. That way you can see at a glance which female lines outperformed their prices and which underperformed their prices. For example, Bold Irish has a Price Index of 1.44 and a PPI (result) of 1.50, a very slightly positive result relative to her prices. Discussion resumes at the end of the table below.

Mare                    Foals          Average          Maverage          Price Index      PPI (Result)

Bold Irish               111           $94,385             221.26                   1.44                   1.50

Lady Be Good        133           $92,852            220.56                    1.43                   1.78

Queen Nasra         102          $64,864           202.57                    1.32                    1.32

Nangela                  153          $75,171            200.92                    1.30                    1.19

Self Control           160         $68,979            198.03                    1.29                    0.46

Ole Liz                    103         $67,932            197.83                     1.28                    0.52

Patelin                    139         $65,596            196.32                     1.27                    3.82

Golden Trail          169         $69,121             195.84                     1.27                    1.58

Real Delight          184         $62,447            194.04                     1.26                    0.73

Nato II                   145          $66,167            191.92                      1.25                    1.38

Miss Carmie         118          $59,284           191.92                       1.25                   0.84

Nellie Flag            140         $64,219             184.79                      1.20                   1.18

Pandora                122         $61,276             181.16                       1.18                    3.13

Lea Lark               308        $58,774             179.17                        1.16                    1.90

Rare Perfume      113         $50,766             173.15                        1.12                    0.26

Soaring                 199         $56,762            172.88                        1.12                    0.92

Exclusive              143         $48,133            171.67                         1.11                     1.18

Legendra              175         $78,429            162.15                        1.05                     0.87

Albany Isle           113         $49,758            162.07                        1.05                     2.56

Beaver Street       143         $49,447            161.13                         1.05                     1.23

Betty Derr            166         $48,427            158.40                        1.03                     0.73

Alablue                 166         $45,023            154.13                         1.00                     2.85

Boudoir II            223         $44,449            150.32                       0.98                     0.37

Portage                 231         $41,840            147.20                        0.96                     0.94

Escutcheon         198          $40,961            146.89                        0.95                     0.98

Bloodroot            173          $35,946 2         141.28                        0.92                      1.03

Imperatrice         123         $36,381             136.02                       0.88                      0.69

Good Example    115          $33,089            130.30                       0.85                      4.39

Of the 28 female lines listed, 22 have Price Indexes of 1.00 (average) or higher. Six have Price Indexes below 1.00 (Boudoir II, Portage, Escutcheon, Bloodroot, Imperatrice, and Good Example). Those six names are not exactly unknowns in pedigree circles.

Twelve of the 28 have PPIs (results) below 1.00. Sixteen have PPIs (results) above 1.00.

Fourteen of the 28 have higher PPIs than Price Indexes (the desired result). Thirteen have PPIs lower than their Price Indexes (the undesired result). Queen Nasra was 1.32 on both scores.

I do not wish to belabor these individual results too much. I am more interested in the collective results for all 28 female lines. Their collective prices are listed below.

Female Lines                    Foals          Average          Maverage          Price Index

Alablue . . . Soaring         4,368         $57,339             173.99                    1.13

The average for these 4,368 foals ($57,339) is well above the overall average of $46,418). Ditto for the maverage (173.99, compared to 154.0). Their Price Index of 1.13 is slightly below that of La Troienne (1.15) and of the ABBCGKMR group (1.25).

Below are the collective results for these 4,368 foals. APPPSW stands for average Performance Points per stakes winner (665 now being average).

Female Lines                     Foals          SWs          %          APPPSW          PPI (Result)

Alablue . . . Soaring          4,368          144         3.30            911                      1.39

So these 4,368 foals have a Price Index of 1.13 and a PPI (result) of 1.39. They sold for prices about 13% above average and achieved results about 39% above average. That is an excellent result. Let us compare it to the previous two groups studied.

Female Lines                    Foals          Price Index          PPI (Result)

La Troienne                       1,108                 1.15                       0.96

ABBCGKMR                      1,400                1.25                       1.06

Alablue . . . Soaring          4,368                1.13                        1.39

To recapitulate, the previous two groups had results well below their prices (LT price of 1,15 and result of 0.96; ABBCGKMR price of 1.25 and result of 1.06). These 28 mares did exactly the opposite (price of 1.13 and result of 1.39). These 28 mares kicked the shit out of LT and ABBCGKMR.

It is important to understand WHY these 28 mares achieved such good results. Their 3.30% stakes winners from foals is barely above average (now 3.25%). Their APPPSW of 911 was 37% above the overall average of 665. So their excellent results are attributable not to the quantity of their stakes winners, but to their quality. They hit quite a few home runs.

Fourteen of their 144 stakes winners had 2,000+ Performance Points, and they are listed below in descending order (best ones first).

Lookin At Lucky (Smart Strike–Private Feeling, Belong to Me), 6th dam Pandora, 09T475,000, 6,207 Performance Points.

Beholder (Henny Hughes–Leslie’s Lady, Tricky Creek), 5th dam Patelin, 11Y180,000, 6,068.

Secret Circle (Eddington–Ragtime Hope, Dixieland Band), 6th dam Lea Lark, 11T165,000, 5,171.

I’ll Have Another (Flower Alley–Arch’s Gal Edith, Arch), 5th dam Patelin, 10Y11,000, 4,194.

To Honor and Serve (Bernardini–Pilfer, Deputy Minister), 5th dam Golden Trail, 08W250,000, 3,699.

Musical Romance (Concorde’s Tune–Candlelight Dinner, Slew Gin Fizz), 7th dam Good Example, 09T22,000, 3,582.

Turbulent Descent (Congrats–Roger’s Sue, Forestry), 6th dam Nangela, 10T160,000, 3,312.

Grace Hall (Empire Maker–Season’s Greetings, Ezzoud), 7th dam Nellie Flag, 10Y95,000, 2,946.

Evening Jewel (Northern Afleet–Jewel of the Night, Giant’s Causeway), 8th dam Lea Lark, 08Y8,000, 2,821.

Regal Ransom (Distorted Humor–Kelli’s Ransom, Red Ransom), 6th dam Alablue, 8T675,000, 2,495.

Lady of Shamrock (Scat Daddy–Blushing Issue, Blushing John), 5th dam Legendra, 10Y80,000, 2,450.

Twilight Eclipse (Purim–My Twilight Dancer, Twilight Agenda), 5th dam Alablue, 10Y1,000, 2,448.

Dance to Bristol (Speightstown–Dance to Dawn, Louis Quatorze), 4th dam Exclusive, 11T42,000, 2,281.

Devil May Care (Malibu Moon–Kelli’s Ransom, Red Ransom), 6th dam Alablue, 08Y110,000, 2,224.

Alablue had three of these 14 stakes winners (Twilight Eclipse, Regal Ransom, and Devil May Care, the latter two out of the same mare). Those three contributed heavily to Alablue’s PPI of 2.85.

Patelin had two of these 14 stakes winners (champions Beholder and I’ll Have Another, both with Last Bird as their fourth dam and Patelin as their fifth dam). Those two contributed heavily to Patelin’s PPI of 3.82.

Lea Lark had two of these 14 stakes winners (Secret Circle and Evening Jewel). Those two contributed heavily to Lea Lark’s PPI of 1.90.

With an average of only $33,089 and maverage of only 130.30 (Price Index of 0.85), Good Example was the cheapest of these 28 mares. She also had the highest PPI (4.39). Musical Romance (3,582 Performance Points) contributed to this result. But even without Musical Romance, Good Example still has a PPI of 2.95. Not just a one-hit wonder.

Frankly, I do not know what to make of these results. If some female lines do produce superior results, I suspect it is because of quality of stakes winners, not quantity. They hit a lot more home runs than they should.

If some female lines do produce superior results, you will not find them in the most obvious places (La Troienne, etc.). You might find them in the most unlikely places (Good Example, etc.). If you find them at all, you will have to spend a lot of time “Dark as a Dungeon” in order to do so.

Posted in La Troienne | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

An Obituary and an Odd Friendship

I was saddened to read a few days ago of the death of Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens. Of all the upsets he engineered in his long and illustrative career, the 1973 Woodward Stakes stands out in my mind. It was one of my favorite races of all time.

I was a freshman at Kenyon College (Gambier, Ohio) in late September of 1973. I moseyed over to the commons late one Saturday afternoon to watch this race on television. There I was joined by Tim Blowhard (not his real name, but the name says it all; you know the type). We both lived in the same dorm (Norton Zoo) freshman year and eventually pledged to the same frat (Assholes, Derelicts, and Perverts).

TB turned out to be a BIG fan of Secretariat. Me, not so much. Secretariat was 2-5 or 3-10 (can’t remember which) that day in the 1973 Woodward. Among his foes was Prove Out, a son of Graustark (of whom I was somewhat fond) trained by H. Allen Jerkens.

I opined that Secretariat was an underlay at the odds. TB disagreed. The usual negotiations followed. I offered to book him at those odds. He demurred, saying “I don’t want to take your money” or some such bullshit.

Prove Out absolutely loved the sloppy going that day. The distance (a mile and a half) was right up his alley as well. He won by four lengths over an undertrained Secretariat. TB stormed off. I laughed and giggled.

“Too bad he didn’t take that wager,” I heard a voice behind me.

“Ah, he’s the kind of asshole who wouldn’t have paid up anyway,” I replied before even checking out the owner of this voice.

The owner of this voice turned out to be a reasonably attractive female. She was skinny as a rake and not very well endowed on top, but I kinda like them that way. “More than a mouthful is too much.”

We watched the recap of the race and chatted for a bit. Turned out her name was Amy, and she was a senior from Newton, Massa-Two-Shits. We went downstairs to dinner together and continued babbling on racing topics.

If this were a fairy tale, we fell in love and eventually got married and lived happily ever after, progeny and all. Life is usually a bit more complicated than fairy tales. No such fairy tale ensued.

It was the beginning of a somewhat odd friendship though. Odd mainly because she was a senior and I was a lowly freshman.

The thing that fueled the friendship was the nags of course. Turned out that she was a Bland-Horse subscriber. I preferred the Thoroughbred Rectum myself. So naturally we had to meet once a week and exchange magazines and opinions about the contents thereof. As well as the relative merits and deficits of the two magazines. There were not many people around the campus at that time (or any other time) who were as intensely interested in the nags as we were. Maybe it was only ONE THING we had in common, but it was the MOST IMPORTANT thing.

This did not lead to any ROMANCE, however. She made her opinion on that pretty clear from the start. She was a senior. I was a freshman. She was Jewish. I was Catholic. And never the twain shall meet (nor kiss nor whatever comes after that). I accepted her terms of friendship.

Come spring of the next year (1974) she started dragging me out to the tennis court with her. She was a decent player (varsity at a small high school). I had never played before at all. She did not exactly offer me any instructions. She explained the rules. She hit a ball at me. I tried to hit it back. It took me awhile to be able to hit it back with any consistency at all.

Of course she beat me mercilessly the first few times we played (and she insisted on keeping score). But I gradually got better. I never did develop a backhand that spring, but I was young and could still run like a deer, and so I ran around the court and hit everything with my forehand.

I gradually got better. The scores got closer. She had to expend more energy to beat me. I actually beat her the last time we played that spring (one set only; one set was usually all we could manage; and this set I won took a LONG time to be resolved).

It was near the end of the school year. She was graduating in a week or two. I had to go home for the summer before graduation. We went to several parties together that night (after I finally beat her at tennis). She got a little more inebriated than usual (I got WASTED as usual).

To make a long story short, she relieved me of my virginity that night. I was never much of a lady’s man. It came as pretty much a surprise to me. I was not complaining. I hope she had no cause for complaint either.

She graduated. I went home to Cincinnati for the summer. I wrote her a few times and vice versa. The last I heard she was getting married. I sent her a subscription to the Thoroughbred Rectum as a wedding present.

This story has come a long way from the death of H. Allen Jerkens. He was renowned for all the major upsets that he pulled (though he was a GREAT trainer even without all those upsets).

But when I think of H. Allen Jerkens, I think about Prove Out and Secretariat in the 1973 Woodward. And about the odd friendship of Amy and Davey in the fall of 1973 and spring of 1974.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Almahmoud, Best in Show, Bourtai, Courtly Dee, Grey Flight, Knight’s Daughter, Missy Baba, Rough Shod II

The La Troienne (LT) female line came up with an other stakes winner recently. That is Fair Grounds Handicap (G3) winner Chocolate Ride (Candy Ride–Heatherdoesntbluff, Old Trieste, sold for $260,000 as a yearling in 2011, 362 Performance Points).

That does not change the prices, but it does change the results (PPI) a little. The PPI (result) for the 1,108 foals with LT in the female line increases from 0.94 to 0.96 (0.944 to 0.958, if you want to get technical). All my previous posts on the LT female line among sales foal of 2008-2111 have been updated accordingly.

I came across Chocolate Ride as I was preparing some statistics on the female lines of the eight broodmares named in the title above (Almahmoud, Best in Show, Bourtai, Courtly Dee, Grey Flight, Knight’s Daughter, Missy Baba, and Rough Shod II, hereafter to be referred to as the ABBCGKMR group).

I chose these eight mares for examination because I thought their female lines had the best chance of selling for high prices and/or producing good results. These eight mares are renowned for their female lines and should be familiar to all readers. Listed below are the individual prices for this group.

Female Line           Foals          Average          Maverage          Price Index

Almahmoud             182            $50,592            165.53                  1.07

Best in Show            104            $68,089            194.61                 1.26

Bourtai                     363             $69,108            190.21                 1.24

Courtly Dee               81             $133,090          263.74                 1.71

Grey Flight              230            $64,399            187.42                 1.22

Knight’s Daughter  135             $67,539            187.57                 1.22

Missy Baba              139             $106,360         250.34                1.63

Rough Shod II        166             $44,028           153.34                1.00

Totals                      1,400           $70,128            192.47               1.25

The overall average for all 45,562 sales foals of 2008-2111 was $46,418. All eight mares exceeded that figure except for Rough Shod II ($44,028). The overall maverage for all sales foals of 2008-2111 was 154.0. All eight mares exceeded that figure except for Rough Shod II (153.34).

In my last post I speculated why most people accept the rise and fall of male lines but not of female lines. It appears to me that most buyers are giving up on the Rough Shod II female line, accepting that its time has come and gone.

Listed below are the 46 stakes winners in this ABBCGKMR group. Listed for each stakes winner are its name, pedigree (sire–dam, broodmare sire), sales information, and number of Performance Points it earned. They are listed in descending order of Performance Points under their individual female lines. Discussion resumes after the list below.


Eskendereya (Giant’s Causeway–Aldebaran Light, Seattle Slew), 08Y250,000, 1,526 Performance Points.

Calgary Cat (Cowtown Cat–Big Sink Star, A.P. Indy), 11Y40,000, 922.

Centralinteligence (Smarty Jones–Shootforthestars, Seattle Slew), 09Y90,000, 709.

Free World (Stormy Atlantic–Welcometotheworld, Woodman), 11Y35,000, 511.

Bond James Bond (Old Topper–Excitations, Jolie’s Halo), 09Y3,196, 506.

Awesome Act (Awesome Again–Houdini’s Honey, Mr. Prospector), 08Y240,000, 501.

Trac N Jam (El Corredor–Swan River, Hennessy), 09Y4,500, 260.

Up Jumps a Monster (Proud Citizen–Hail the Flag, Devils’ Bag), 11T25,000, 224.

Dr John’s (Consolidator–Well At the Top, Sadler’s Wells), 10Y5,000, 200.


Estrela Monarchos (Monarchos–Dance Fever, Fusaichi Pegasus), 11Y20,000, 1,100.

Pathfork (Distorted Humor–Visions of Clarity, Sadler’s Wells), 09Y230,000, 938.

Sensational Slam (Grand Slam–Roman Romance, San Romano), 09Y80,000, 954.

Can the Man (Into Mischief–Smolensk, Danzig), 11W40,000, 526.


Jack Milton (War Front–Preserver, Forty Niner), 11Y100,000, 971.

Hoosier Kingdom (Repent–Aunt Pansy, Quiet American), 08T22,000, 758.

Peace Preserver (War Front–Preserver, Forty Niner), 10Y120,000, 682.

Millionresonswhy (Grand Slam–In Secure, A.P. Indy), 10Y115,000, 623.

Modern Cowboy (Tiznow–Western Woman, West by West), 08Y200,000, 589.

Giants Play (Giant’s Causeway–Playful Act, Sadler’s Wells), 08Y850,000, 459.


Bet Seattle (Seattle Fitz–Second Bet, Belong to Me), 10Y1,500, 701.

Kindergarden Kid (Dynaformer–Amelia, Dixieland Band), 08Y500,000, 639.

Super Espresso (Medaglia d’Oro–Amizette, Forty Niner), 08Y1,100,000, 576.


Integrity (Hard Spun–Generosity, Unbridled’s Song), 11Y320,000, 346.

Verso a Verso (Circular Quay–Folk Art, Bertrando), 11Y4,000, 308.


Fed Biz (Giant’s Causeway–Spunoutacontrol, Wild Again), 10Y950,000, 1,770.

Macias (Purge–Azelna, Tropular), 08Y170,000, 625.

Nana Knows (Bold Tribute–Bold Threat, Bold Ruckus), 08Y2,000, 347.

Endless Chatter (First Samurai–Orate, A.P. Indy), 11Y77,000, 322.

Dream Nettie (Dixie Union–Tell It, Storm Cat), 08Y130,000, 246.

Hoarding (Elusive Quality–What a Treasure, Cadeaux Genereux), 11Y150,000, 170.


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

Pleasant Prince (Indy King–Archduchess, Pleasant Tap), 08Y30,000, 1,096.

Bouquet Booth (Flower Alley–Toll Order, Loup Sauvage), 10T30,000, 827.

Sky Kingdom (Empire Maker–Sky Beam, Kingmambo), 09W180,000, 712.

Hot Summer (Malibu Moon–Summer Delight, Quiet American), 09Y180,000, 699.

Moon Philly (Malibu Moon–Astor Place, Deputy Minister), 10Y25,000, 655.

Lady Cohiba (Broken Vow–Cohiba Miss, Cat Thief), 10Y240,000, 632.

Otero (Honour and Glory–Divot Doll, Dance Brightly), 08Y14,000, 205.

Lord Sinclair (Mizzen Mast–Great Connection, Dayjur), 10Y52,000, 151.


Effie Trinket (Freud–Maya’s Note, Editor’s Note), 11Y4,000, 985.

I Think So (Proud Citizen–Steve’s Little Girl, Catienus), 10W7,000, 453.

Millennia (Milwaukee Brew–Sararegal, Regal Classic), 08Y70,000, 440.

Musical Flair (Songandaprayer–Highwaytohappiness, Catienus), 11T47,000, 428.

Fusa Code (Fusaichi Pegasus–Lasting Code, Lost Code), 09Y55,000, 288.

Galloping Giraffe (Tapit–Fountain Square, Danzig Connection), 11Y130,000, 268.

Jubliant Girl (Henrythenavigator–Gamely Girl, Arch), 11Y270,000, 207.

Rough Shod II has a Price Index of 1.00 and a PPI (result) of 0.86 (see its seven stakes winners listed above from 166 foals). It appears that buyers were correct in giving up on Rough Shod II. Those 166 foals sold for prices very close to average and produced results about 14% below average.

The most expensive of the eight mares was Courtly Dee (average of $133.090, maverage of 263.74, and Price Index of 1.71). Based on its three stakes winners (listed above) from 81 foals, that works out to a PPI of 1.10, which does NOT compare favorably to its price of 1.71. Those 81 foals sold for prices about 71% above average and achieved results about 10% above average.

Missy Baba was not far behind Courtly Dee in terms of prices, and the other six were well behind those two. Missy Baba had an average of $106,360, a maverage of 250.34, and a Price Index of 1.63. Based on its nine stakes winners (listed above) from 139 foals, that works out to a PPI (result) of 3.21, which compares very favorably to its price of 1.63. These 139 foals sold for prices about 63% above average and achieved results about 221% above average.

Among those nine stakes winners was Horse of the Year Havre de Grace (4,586 Performance Points), which is the main reason Missy Baba fared so well. Without Havre de Grace this group’s PPI drops to 1.70, much more in line with its price of 1.63.

The third dam of Havre de Grace is Toll Booth. Five of the nine stakes winners listed under Missy Baba trace to Toll Booth. So does Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist (who is not part of this study group; he was a $195,000 RNA as a yearling in 2012). Most people think of Weekend Surprise as the best scion of Missy Baba in the female line. It appears that momentum has shifted in favor of Toll Booth over Weekend Surprise.

I did not list the individual results for the eight mares. You have their number of foals and their stakes winners listed. You can work it out from there if you are so inclined. I was more interested in the composite results for these eight mares than their individual results.

Listed below are the composite prices for these eight mares.

Mare                        Foals           Average          Maverage     Price Index

Totals                      1,400           $70,128            192.47               1.25

Listed below are the composite results for these eight mares. APPPSW stands for average Performance Points per stakes winner, a measure of the quality of stakes winners involved (661 being average).

Foals          Stakes Winners          %          APPPSW          PPI (Result)

1,400                   46                       3.29             688                   1.06

The overall percentage of stakes winners from foals for all sales foals of 2008-2111 was 3.24%. This group is slightly better at 3.29%. It is also slightly better by APPPSW (688 to 661). So its overall PPI (result) is 1.06. That is not bad in absolute terms, but it is not good relative to its price of 1.25.

Let us compare this group to LT in terms of prices versus results.

Group               Foals          Price Index          PPI (Result)

LT                      1,108                 1.15                      0.96

ABBCGKMR    1,400                1.25                      1.06

See the similarity???? ABBCGKMR has prices 0.10 higher than LT (1.25 to 1.15). It also has results 0.10 higher than LT (1.06 to 0.96). In both cases the difference between prices and results is 0.19. That is an approximate measure of how much each group was similarly overvalued.

SO LT is not the only female line that the market overvalues. The same is true of ABBCGKMR collectively. From which one might tentatively conclude that the market pays more attention to female lines than they really deserve.

A few more observations are in order. You see these eight names duplicated in pedigrees (Rasumussen Factor) rather frequently (particularly Almahmoud). One reason RF does not work is because you are duplicating names that have no positive value to them (at last not relative to their prices).

And at the risk of being repetitious, I will say again that female lines are purely a play on names in pedigrees. They have nothing to do with the racing/producing class of the sires and dams involved. This is what happens when you concentrate on names in pedigrees. You pay more than you should for the results you actually receive.

I am working on some other female lines as well. Perhaps I will post on them at a later date (unless you readers want to persuade me that enough is enough, that I have made my case against the obsession with female lines quite convincingly already).

Posted in La Troienne, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments