Secretariat, Fourth Generation

For the past two weeks 1972-1973 Horse of the Year Secretariat has been discussed. This week we will examine Secretariat as a name in more current pedigrees, specifically in the fourth generation of all weanlings, yearlings, or two-year-olds sold at public auction in North America in 1999-2002.

Secretariat showed up 6,439 times in the fourth generation of these 54,000+ foals. That ranks him ninth among these top 20 sires.

Secretariat had zero foals at P1 in the fourth generation (the male line). Not too surprising. He is not exactly renowned as a “sire of sires.”

At P2 in the fourth generation Secretariat had a Price Index of 1.22 (fifth among these 20 sires) and a PPI (result) of 1.32 (sixth), a mixed result. He had 4,956 foals at P2, about 77% of his total of 6,439 foals and ranking him second at P2 (Nashua was the leader with 5,803).

Included among those 4,956 foals were 241 stakes winners (4.86%), 17 of which earned 2,000+ Performance Points: Harlan’s Holiday (5,533), Essence of Dubai (3,101), Johannesburg (3,015), Madcap Escapade (2,653), Lion Heart (2,591), Western Pride (2,390), Harmony Lodge (2,351), Maryfield (2,334), Limehouse (2,310), Raylene (2,276), Cajun Beat (2,259), Snow Dance (2,239), Snow Ridge (2,112), Sweet Talker (2,099), Smokey Glacken (2,057), Freefourinternet (2,006), and My Trusty Cat (2,003).

All of the above were by sons of Storm Cat except for Western Pride, Maryfield, Limehouse, and Cajun Beat (all by sons of Gone West) and Essence of Dubai (by Pulpit, by A.P. Indy).

At P3 in the fourth generation Secretariat had a Price Index of 1.09 (third) and a PPI (result) of 0.66 (17th), a very disappointing result He had 201 foals at P3, including six stakes winners (2.99%), none with 2,000+ Performance Points.

At P4 in the fourth generation Secretariat had a Price Index of 0.52 (14th) and a PPI (result) of 2.99 (first), a tremendous result. He had 99 foals at P4, including five stakes winners (5.05%), including Honey Ryder (5,384 Performance Points).

Secretariat sired Lady Winborne, the second dam of Lasting Approval, sire of Honey Ryder. Lasting Approval was not exactly a fashionable sire, and Honey Ryder was far and away the best horse he ever sired. Without Honey Ryder Secretariat had a PPI (result) of 0.65 at P4. So that PPI of 2.99 should be taken with a grain of salt.

At P5 in the fourth generation Secretariat had a Price Index of 0.55 (20th) and a PPI (result) of 1.63 (second), another tremendous result. He had 29 foals at P5, including two stakes winners (6.90%), none with 2,000+ Performance Points (the two stakes winners averaged 550). This result should also be taken with a grain of salt since it was based on only 29 foals.

At P6 in the fourth generation Secretariat had a Price Index of 1.52 (first) and a PPI (result) of 1.72 (second), a good result in absolute terms but not in relative terms. He had 797 foals at P6, including 48 stakes winners (6.02%), including Speightstown (2,658), Healthy Addiction (2,633), and Eddington (2,117). Speightstown was out of a mare by Storm Cat, Healthy Addiction out of a mare by Gone West, and Eddington out of a mare by Chief’s Crown.

At P7 in the fourth generation Secretariat had a Price Index of 0.62 (20th) and a PPI (result) of 1.15 (eighth), another very good result. He had 155 foals at P7, including seven stakes winners (4.52%), but no stakes winners with 2,000+ Performance Points (the seven stakes winners averaged 591).

At P8 in the fourth generation Secretariat had a Price Index of 1.14 (ninth) and a PPI (result) of 1.55 (fifth), another very good result. He had 112 foals at P8, including five stakes winners (4.46%), including Honor in War (2,265). The third dam of Honor in War was the aforementioned Lady Winborne, by Secretariat.

Overall, counting all eight positions in the fourth generation, Secretariat had a Price Index of 1.21 (first) and a PPI (result) of 1.36 (first). He had 6,439 foals overall, including 314 stakes winners (4.88%). So he had the highest prices of all 20 sires in the fourth generation, was expected to have the best results, and did have the best results overall. And his results (1.36) were even higher than his prices (1.21).

About 6% (385) of those 6,439 foals involved sons of Secretariat in the third generation. Those 385 foals had a Price Index of 0.86 and a PPI (result) of 0.93, a good result in relative terms although not in absolute terms. The remaining 6,054 foals involved daughters of Secretariat in the third generation. Those 6,054 foals had a Price Index of 1.23 and a PPI (result) of 1.38 (both just a tad higher than the overall prices and results).

About 71% (4,577) of these 6,439 foals were by sons of Storm Cat or Gone West. Those 4,577 foals had a Price Index of 1.22 and a PPI (result) of 1.24, just about right on the money. The remaining 1,862 foals (not by sons of Storm Cat or Gone West) had a Price Index of 1.18 and a PPI (result) of 1.65, a really good result.

That might be somewhat surprising. “Sires of sires” become victims of their own popularity. There were many good sons of Storm Cat and Gone West including in the numbers above. Also many sons of Storm Cat and Gone West who were not very good at all.

Ditto for A.P. Indy as his sons have become more popular in the years since this study (A.P. Indy did not qualify among the top 20 as a sire of sires in this earlier population). I will not venture a guess as to how good or bad those sons of A.P. Indy have been in the intervening years. I prefer to wait and see what the numbers actually are, and I should have some numbers on foals sold at public auction in 2003-2007 in North America eventually (sooner rather than later, I hope).

To recapitulate, Secretariat had the highest prices of all 20 sires in the fourth generation, was expected to have the best results, and did have the best results overall. And his results (1.36) were even higher than his prices (1.21). His daughters were better than his sons (no surprise at all there), but his sons were not bad. Foals by sons of Storm Cat and Gone West were only a tad better than their prices (1.24 to 1.22). That might surprise some people, mainly those who have not yet come to realize how much “sires of sires” become victims of their own popularity.

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3 Responses to Secretariat, Fourth Generation

  1. Pingback: was secretariat the most important sire of the last 40 years? | bloodstock in the bluegrass

  2. Lance Schulz says:

    One potential issue is that you aren’t adjusting for multiple occurrences. So, for example, a horse that has Secretariat 4X4 gets counted twice. There probably should be some kind of covariance adjustment to correct for that. It also seems that you should look at generations 4 or closer, rather than just focus on one generation.

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