Having been admonished not to be afraid of repeating myself, I will start with Charles Hatton’s description of Nearctic while discussing Northern Dancer in the 1965 American Racing Manual.
Nearctic was an untried sire when Northern Dancer was conceived. The stallion is by Nearco from the 100 per cent producer Lady Angela, by Hyperion, and he was imported in utero. He comes of the burgeoning family founded by Pretty Polly.
Nearctic is a 16 hands brown with white heels behind and is very typical of Nearco in conformation, color and markings. He won 21 races including the Saratoga Special and Michigan Mile and One-Sixteenth campaigning from two to five and was a Canadian Horse of the Year. He was meant to be one of the topnotchers in this country, but so much use was made of his gift of sheer zip before he came under the care of Senor Luro that he became impetuous and could not be rated properly.
That has happened to a lot of horses, including even mighty Domino.
Now let us fast-forward about 40 years and turn our attention to Nearctic as a name in more current pedigrees, specifically all weanlings, yearlings, and two-year-olds sold at public auction in North America in 1999-2002.
Nearctic shows up 15,883 times in the fourth generation among these 54,000+ foals, more than any other sire except Northern Dancer himself (21,402) and Raise a Native (21,307). Almost half (7,238) of those 15,883 occurrences are in the male line (P1 in the fourth generation), more than any other sire at that position except Raise a Native (7,796).
Included among those 7,238 foals are 252 stakes winners (3.48%), including 12 stakes winners with 2,000+ Performance Points: Xtra Heat (6,790), Artie Schiller (3,989), Adoration (3,951), Stellar Jayne (3,435), Strut the Stage (3,369), Lost in the Fog (3,078), Hollywood Story (2,471), Repent (2,256), Imperial Gesture (2,219), Judiths Wild Rush (2,162), Pomeroy (2,145), and Ocean Drive (2,004).
Stellar Jayne, Hollywood Story, and Judiths Wild Rush were all by Wild Rush, by Wild Again, by Icecapade, by Nearctic. The other nine were by nine different paternal grandsons of Northern Dancer.
Despite these dozen high-class representatives, Nearctic was not particularly good at P1 in the fourth generation. He had a Price Index of 0.97 there (sixth among all 20 sires) and a PPI (result) of 0.91 (12th). He was slightly overpriced.
Nearctic was virtually nonexistent at P2 in the fourth generation. He had five foals there and zero stakes winners.
At P3 in the fourth generation Nearctic had a Price Index of 0.87 (15th) and a PPI (result) of 1.10 (fourth). So he was a lot better at P3 than at P1. He had 1,486 foals at P3, including 62 stakes winners (4.17%), including four stakes winners with 2,000+ Performance Points: Got Koko (2,361), Financingavailable (2,258), Imperial Gesture (2,219), and Coach Jimi Lee (2,072).
Got Koko (by Signal Tap) and Coach Jimi Lee (by Roar) were by sires out of Northern Dancer mares. Financingavailable (by Kiridashi) and Imperial Gesture (by Langfuhr) were by sires out of mares by Briartic, another son of Nearctic.
At P4 in the fourth generation Nearctic had a Price Index of 1.14 (4th) and a PPI (result) of 1.16 (sixth). So he was moderately good at this position and correctly recognized as such by the markets. He had 647 foals at P4, including 30 stakes winners (4.64%), including Barbeau Ruckus (2,189 Performance Points).
Barbeau Ruckus was by Barbeau, who was by Mr. Prospector out of 1987 Canadian Broodmare of the Year Arctic Vixen, by Victoria Park out of Arctic Fancy, by Nearctic. So Nearctic is the sire of the second dam of Barbeau, the sire of Barbeau Ruckus. Red Ransom and Quiet American are more well-known sires who also have second dams by Nearctic.
At P5 in the fourth generation Nearctic has a Price Index of 1.15 (second) and a PPI (result) of 1.04 (ninth), a somewhat disappointing result. He had 5,170 foals at P5, including 201 stakes winners (3.89%), including 17 stakes winners with 2,000+ Performance Points: Ashado (7,931), Commentator (3,650), Voodoo Dancer (3,628), Russian Rhythm (3,361), Southern Image (3,144), Lady Tak (2,861), Whipper (2,790), Mystic Lady (2,670), Monarchos (2,521), Got Koko (2,361), Limehouse (2,310), Champali (2,274), The Cliff’s Edge (2,165), Smokey Glacken (2,057), Kela (2,023), Freefourinternet (2,006), and Ocean Drive (2,004).
Ocean Drive was out of a mare by Clever Trick, by Icecapade. The other 16 were all out of mares by assorted sons of Northern Dancer, the most popular one being Dixieland Band. Southern Image, Monarchos, Limehouse, Champali, and Freefourinternet were all out of Dixieland Band mares.
At P6 in the fourth generation Nearctic had a Price Index of 0.73 (19th) and a PPI (result) of 0.97 (tenth). So he was better than expected at this position. He had 92 foals at P6 in the fourth generation, incuding five minor stakes winners (5.43%, which is good) who averaged only 414 Performance Points each (which is not good).
At P7 in the fourth generation Nearctic had a Price Index of 1.25 (second) and a PPI (result) of 1.55 (third). So he was even better at this position than his high prices said he should be. He had 338 foals at P7, including 19 stakes winners (5.62%), the best being Burning Roma (3,300) and Snow Dance (2,239), both of whom had second dams by Northern Dancer.
At P8 in the fourth generation Nearctic had a Price Index of 1.09 (12th) and a PPI (result) of 1.77 (first). It does not get much better than that. He had 338 foals at P8, including 19 stakes winners (5.62%), but no stakes winners with 2,000+ Performance Points.
Overall, including all eight positions in the fourth generation, Nearctic had a Price Index of 1.04 (sixth) and a PPI (result) of 1.04 (tenth). You get (PPI, result, 1.04) what you pay for (Price Index, 1.04).
Of those 15,883 Nearctics in the fourth generation, only 1,082 were females in the third generation. The other 14,801 (more than 93%) were all males. That is not the least bit surprising. Those 1,082 females had a Price Index of 1.08 and a PPI (result) of 1.33. Those 14,801 males had a price Index of 1.04 and a PPI (result) of 1.01. That is somewhat surprising, that Nearctic in the fourth generation was a better sire of females than of males in the third generation.
Of those 15,883 Nearctics in the fourth generation, 12,342 (about 78%) were Northern Dancers in the third generation. The remaining 3,541 (not Northern Dancer in the third generation) had a Price Index of 0.98 and a PPI (result) of 1.10. The 12,342 Northern Dancers in the third generation had a Price Index of 1.06 and a PPI (result) of 1.02. The former group is considerably better than the latter group, which is also somewhat surprising.
To recapitulate, Nearctic in the fourth generation was a better sire of females than of males in the third generation. His non-Northern Dancers in the third generation were also better than his Northern Dancers in the third generation. That is probably about exactly the opposite of what most people would have expected.
What I find most interesting is that Nearctic had an identical Price Index and PPI (result) of 1.04 in the fourth generation overall. After four generations, that is pretty much par for the course. You will find lots of individual variations (both good and bad), but overall everything tends to converge on the norm of 1.00 after four generations.