Damascus, Fourth Generation

Last week featured Charles Hatton’s description of 1967 Horse of the Year Damascus from the 1968 American Racing Manual. Now let us turn our attention to Damascus as a name in more current pedigrees, specifically in the fourth generation of all weanlings, yearlings, and two-year-olds sold at public auction in North America in 1999-2002.

Damascus appeared 3,679 times among these 54,000+ foals, ranking him last among these 20 sires in overall popularity (but not bad considering his youth relative to the other 19 sires, of whom only Secretariat, a foal of 1970, was younger than Damascus).

At P1 in the fourth generation (the male line) Damascus had a Price Index of 1.11 (fourth among these 20 sires) and a PPI (result) of 1.39 (first), excellent improvement on both scores. He had 203 foals at P1, including 14 stakes winners (6.9%), but none with 2,000+ Performance Points. Indeed, those 14 stakes winners averaged only 469 Performance Points.

At P2 in the fourth generation Damascus had a Price Index of 0.83 (tenth) and a PPI (result) of 0.19 (17th), not very good. He had 223 foals at P2, including four stakes winners (1.79%), none with 2,00+ Performance Points.

At P3 in the fourth generation Damascus had a Price Index of 0.74 (17th) and a PPI (result) of 0.96 (ninth), good improvement on both scores. He had 689 foals at P3, including 24 stakes winners (3.48%), including War Emblem (4,991 Performance Points) and Randaroo (2,173). War Emblem was by Our Emblem. Randaroo was by Gold Case. Both Our Emblem and Gold Case were out of mares by Private Account, by Damascus.

At P4 in the fourth generation Damascus had a Price Index of 1.20 (second) and a PPI (result) of 1.66 (second), an excellent improvement on the former score. He had 718 foals at P4, including 34 stakes winners (4.74%), including Take Charge Lady (4,980), Singletary (3,454), and A Bit O’Gold (3,088).

Take Charge Lady was by Dehere (whose second dam was Sword Game, by Damascus). Singletary was by Sultry Song (whose second dam was Sunny Dame, by Damascus). A Bit O’Gold was by Gold Fever (whose second dam was Arabian Dancer, by Damacus).

At P5 in the fourth generation Damascus had a Price Index of 0.75 (18th) and a PPI (result) of 0.86 (16th), a slight improvement on both scores. He had 666 foals at P5, including 19 stakes winners (2.85%), including the aforementioned A Bit O’Gold, who was out of a mare by Corporate Report, by Private Account

At P6 in the fourth generation Damascus had a Price Index of 0.98 (eighth) and a PPI (result) of 1.71 (third), excellent improvement on both scores. He had 297 foals at P6, including 18 stakes winners (6.06%), including Strut the Stage (3,369). Strut the Stage was by Theatrical out of Ruby Ransom, by Red Ransom (by Roberto out of Arabia, by Damascus).

At P7 in the fourth generation Damascus had a Price Index of 0.93 (17th) and a PPI (result) of 0.90 (13th), a mixed result. He had 692 foals at P7, including 27 stakes winners (3.90%), including Behaving Badly (2,149). The second dam of Behaving Badly was Pleasure Moment, by Timeless Moment, by Damascus.

At P8 in the fourth generation Damascus had a Price Index of 1.34 (first) and a PPI (result) of 1.51 (sixth), a mixed result. He had 191 foals at P8, including 17 stakes winners (8.9%), none with 2,000+ Performance Points. Indeed, those 17 stakes winners averaged only 396 Performance Points.

Overall, taking all eight positions into account, Damascus had a Price Index of 0.94 (17th) and a PPI (result) of 1.13 (fifth), pretty good improvement on both scores. He had 3,679 foals overall, including 157 stakes winners (4.27%).

About 39% (1,429) of these 3,679 foals involved daughters of Damascus in the third generation. Those 1,429 foals had a Price Index of 1.12 and a PPI (result) of 1.42 (not cheap but better than their prices). The remaining 2,250 foals involving sons of Damascus in the third generation had a Price Index of 0.83 and a PPI (result) of 0.95 (slight improvement).

To recapitulate, daughters of Damascus in the third generation (Price Index of 1.12 and PPI of 1.42) were better than sons of Damascus in the third generation (Price Index of 0.83 and PPI of 0.95). Damascus was good value for the money overall (Price Index of 0.94 and PPI of 1.13).

Only Northern Dancer (Price Index of 1.05 and PPI of 1.26) showed better overall improvement among these 20 sires. That is decidedly NOT par for the course after four generations. Chronology might have something to do with it, a point on which I will elaborate later.

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