Thorn Apple Female Line

I’ll Have Another is now poised to become the twelfth Triple Crown winner and the first since Affirmed in 1978. That of course is great for the industry, and I will not even bother to enumerate all the obvious reasons why.

Just do not lose sight of the fact that 11 others since Affirmed have won the Derby and Preakness and failed in the Belmont: Spectacular Bid (1979), Pleasant Colony (1981), Alysheba (1987), Sunday Silence (1989), Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), Charismatic (1999), War Emblem (2002), Funny Cide (2003), Smarty Jones (2004), and Big Brown (2008).

Perhaps the twelfth time will be the charm. Perhaps not. There are no “foregone conclusions” in this game.

Perhaps I will comment on the 11 failed Triple Crown bids listed above and speculate on how I’ll Have Another appears to fit in with that group (or not). But it would be premature to do so right now. If I do so at all, it will be closer to the Belmont itself.

In the meantime let us consider the pedigree of I’ll Have Another in a little more detail. You all well know that I’ll Have Another is by Flower Alley out of Arch’s Gal Edith, by Arch. Let us delve a little more deeply into his female line.

Arch’s Gal Edith was out of Force Five Gal, by Pleasant Tap out of Last Cause, by Caucasus out of Last Bird, by Sea-Bird out of Patelin, by Cornish Prince out of Pontivy, by Battlefield out of Mahari, by Mahmoud out of Golden Apple, by Eight Thirty out of Thorn Apple. The female family of Thorn Apple is the subject of this post. Listed below are the 15 stakes winners among sales foals of 2003-2007 tracing to Thorn Apple in their female lines. I trust the format is familiar to you. Discussion resumes at the end of this list.

Dubai Escapade (1,427, Awesome Again–Sassy Pants, Saratoga Six, 7th, Datura). $75,000 as a yearling in 2003 and $2,000,000 as a two-year-old in 2004.

Into Mischief (1,097, Harlan’s Holiday–Leslie’s Lady, Tricky Creek, 9th, Golden Apple). $80,000 as a yearling in 2006 and $180,000 as a two-year-old in 2007.

Mi Sueno (888, Pulpit–Madcap Escapade, Hennessy, 8th, Datura). $1,700,000 as a weanling in 2007.

The Pamplemousse (609, Kafwain–Comfort Zone, Rubiano, 9th, Golden Apple). $80,000 as a yearling in 2007 and $150,000 as a two-year-old in 2008.

Dream On Dream On (549, Untuttable–Dance With Carol, Sword Dance, 7th, Datura). $50,000 as a two-year-old in 2004.

Arthurlooksgood (397, Regal Intention–Articulation, Verbatim, 5th, Datura). $7,492 as a yearling in 2003.

Vicarino (380, Vicar–September Passion, Wolf Power, 6th, Golden Apple). $38,500 as a yearling in 2005 and $150,000 as a two-year-old in 2006.

Hotlantic (375, Stormy Atlantic–Chinook Gale, Crafty Prospector, 7th, Datura). $40,000 as a yearling in 2005.

Safe Play (350, Belong to Me–Special Moves, Forty Niner, 7th, Datura). $120,000 as a yearling in 2003.

Smoke Mountain (282, Smoke Glacken–Venting the Blues, Cure the Blues, 7th, Golden Apple). $100,000 as a yearling in 2004.

Reform Act (249, Lemon Drop Kid–Solar Colony, Pleasant Colony, 8th, Golden Apple). $130,000 as a yearling in 2004.

Stylish Citizen (249, Proud Citizen–Informative Style, Dayjur, 8th, Golden Apple). $35,000 as a yearling in 2007 and $20,000 as a two-year-old in 2008.

Appealing Spring (223, Successful Appeal–Pretty Springs, Wekiva Springs, 7th, Datura). $62,000 as a weanling in 2004 and $130,000 as a yearling in 2005.

D J Lightning (172, Doneraile Court–Cozy Lady, Grindstone, 7th, Datura). $22,000 as a yearling in 2006 and $60,000 as a two-year-old in 2007.

Goodbye Quaker (110, Quaker Ridge–It’s Goodbye, Future Storm, 6th, Motor Crane). $1,300 as a yearling in 2006 and $6,000 as a two-year-old in 2006.

The subject of this post should not be confused with the fourth dam of Hansen, last year’s champion two-year-old. That Thorn Apple was a 1980 filly by Stevward out of Simply Elegant, by Ambehaving. She finished third in her only start and did not exactly distinguish herself as a broodmare.

Thorn Apple, the subject of this post, was a 1937 filly by Jamestown out of Last Straw, by Ultimus. She posted a record of 38-7-6-10 and earned $8,660. Thorn Apple placed in two stakes at two, including a third in the Matron Stakes.

At stud Thorn Apple produced nine foals, all starters, and six winners, including Churchill Downs Handicap winner Scrutinized (1950 colt by Third Degree).

Thorn Apple is the ninth dam of I’ll Have Another. The eighth dam was Golden Apple, a 1945 filly by Eight Thirty. Golden Apple posted a record of 15-2-2-2 and earned $7,875. At stud she produced 11 foals, five starters, and three winners, including Jester (1955 colt by Tom Fool).

Jester was the first stakes winner sired by Tom Fool. He won the National Stallion and Futurity Stakes at two and sired 18 stakes winners, including Reflected Glory, sire of 1986 Preakness Stakes winner and champion three-year-old Snow Chief. Golden Apple is the ancestress of six of the 15 stakes winners listed above.

The seventh dam of I’ll Have Another is Mahari, an unraced 1954 filly by Mahmoud. Mahari produced no stakes winners herself, but her female family produced them by the dozens. See below.

The fifth dam of I’ll Have Another is Pontivy, a 1959 filly by Battlefield. Pontivy posted a record of 21-4-4-6, placed in four stakes, and earned $50,484. She produced five foals, four starters, all winners, and three stakes winners: Jaikyl (1965 colt by Jaipur), Pontifex (1967 colt by Jaipur), and Patelin (1968 filly by Cornish Prince).

Patelin is the fifth dam of I’ll Have Another. She posted a record of 19-5-5-4 and earned $203,794, winning the Selima, Schuylerville, and Alcibiades Stakes. She produced three stakes winners: Northern Meteor (1975 filly by Northern Dancer), Middle Stage (1979 filly by Stage Door Johnny), and Pleasant Line (1986 colt by Pleasant Colony).

Both Middle Stage and Northern Meteor produced stakes winners, the latter a pair of G1 winners in A Phenomenon (colt by Tentam) and Seattle Meteor (filly by Seattle Slew). Northern Meteor is also the second dam of 1991 champion two-year-old filly Pleasant Stage.

Last Bird, a 1973 filly by Sea-Bird, is the fourth dam of I’ll Have Another. She posted a record of 22-2-6-4 for earnings of $24,250. Last Bird produced G1 winner Roanoke, a 1987 colt by Pleasant Colony and an earner of $535,160.

The third dam of I’ll Have Another is Last Cause, a 1985 filly by Caucasus. She posted a record of 14-4-0-1 and earned $59,506, finishing third in the Miss Grillo Stakes (G3). She has produced ten foals, all starters, and eight winners.

The second dam of I’ll Have Another is Force Five Gal, a 1994 filly by Pleasant Tap. She posted a record of 27-3-5-6 for earnings of $103,365 and finished second in the restricted Border Cup Stakes. She has produced seven foals, six starters, and four winners. Arch’s Gal Edith, the dam of I’ll Have Another, was discussed in a previous post.

I mentioned that six of the 15 stakes winners listed above trace to Golden Apple in the female line. The leader in that category though is Datura, with eight of those 15 stakes winners.

A 1943 filly by Eight Thirty out of Thorn Apple, Datura posted a record of 33-5-7-7, finished third in the Fashion Stakes, and earned $18,320. She produced 15 foals, 13 starters, and ten winners, including stakes winner and sire Guerrero (1952 colt by Fighting Don).

All eight of these stakes winners descend through Datura’s daughter Solidity, and six of them descend through Solidity’s daughter Piece of Pie. A 1957 filly by Solidarity, Solidity posted a record of 17-1-1-0 for earnings of $2,935. She did much better at stud though, producing nine foals, five starters, four winners, and three stakes winners: Fleet Treat (1963 filly by Fleet Nasrullah), Chief Hawk Ear (1968 colt by Victory Morn), and Impressive Style (1969 filly by Ready Say Go).

A 1964 filly by The Pie King, Piece of Pie was unplaced in all three of her starts. She likewise did much better at stud though, producing ten foals, eight starters, six winners, and three stakes winners: Generous Portion (1968 filly by California Kid), Special Warmth (1974 filly by Lucky Mike), and Marketti (1976 colt by Rising Market).

The Special Warmth branch of this family has particularly prospered. She is the second dam of Marlin (1993 colt by Sword Dance), who won four G1 races and earned $2,448,880, among many others.

Goodbye Quaker is the only one of the 15 stakes winners listed above not descended through either Datura or Golden Apple. His sixth dam was Motor Crane, a 1952 filly by Spy Song. Motor Crane posted a record of 13-0-4-0 for earnings of $1,305. Motor Crane produced ten foals, all starters, and nine winners, including West Virginia Derby winner Chargertown (1965 colt by Royal Dorimar).

So the female family of Thorn Apple (particularly through Patelin and Solidity) has been extremely popular and productive over the years, culminating with I’ll Have Another.

I found 333 foals among these sales foals of 2003-2007 tracing to Thorn Apple in their female lines. They range from the fourth through the ninth generations. The 15 stakes winners ranged from the fifth through the ninth generations.

These 333 foals were moderately expensive, selling for a gross of $23,621,841, an average of $70,036 (above the overall average of $54,140), a maverage of 189.78 (above the overall maverage of 163.11), and a Price Index of 1.16 (1.00 being average). So they sold for prices above average, and hence their racetrack results should have been above average as well.

Fifteen stakes winners from 333 foals is 4.50% (well above the overall figure of 3.39%). These 15 stakes winners were not a very good bunch though, collectively averaging only 490 Performance Points apiece (well below the overall average of 608). Taking both quantity and quality of stakes winners into account, these 333 foals had a PPI (result) of 1.07, which does not compare favorably with their Price Index of 1.16. So they sold for prices about 16% above average and achieved results only about 7% above average. In terms of a letter grade, I would give that a “B–” at best.

Of course these results do not include I’ll Have Another, a foal of 2009 who has accumulated 4,192 Performance Points himself at this point. All 15 stakes winners above accumulated only 7,357 Performance Points. So by the time I get around to assessing sales foals of 2008-2012 (or whatever group I choose next), Thorn Apple will look a lot better.

Only time will tell how MUCH better. Only time will tell whether I’ll Have Another joins the ranks of the 11 Triple Crown winners or the ranks of the 11 since Affirmed who failed in their Triple Crown bids.

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