Questions about Big Brown

“I am interested in a little more information on Big Brown. He is 3×3 to Northern Dancer in a sire line-broodmare sire line pattern. He is by Boundary (by Danzig, by ND) out of Mien, by Nureyev. A kind of double whammy, top and bottom. Does this sire line and broodmare sire line combo produce good results? Is it better than other types of sire line patterns (male-male duplications)?

“Also does that type of close inbreeding, 3×3 or closer, like in Big Brown, produce good results?”

I received these questions in response to my last post and will attempt to answer them.

Yes, Big Brown raises some interesting questions. He was the only one of the 15 stakes winners with 2,000+ Performance Points listed in my last post inbred 3×3 or closer to Northern Dancer.

I have been thinking about doing a comprehensive survey of sales foals of 2003-2007 by degree of closest inbreeding. If I do so I will list every single sales foal of 2003-2007 inbred 3×3 or closer. That should be about 3% of the population, or a little over 2,000 foals. You will be able to see for yourself just how good such close inbreeding (“incest is best”) really is. That will be several months down the road though.

For the sake of discussion, let us call the Big Brown pattern of inbreeding to Northern Dancer SLBMSL (for sire line-broodmare sire line). It is pretty common with major “sires of sires” such as Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector. It is not very common with all other sires. I did track this pattern for Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector but not for Hail to Reason or Secretariat.

Of 3,119 foals inbred male-male to Mr. Prospector, over half (1,614) adhered to this SLBMSL pattern. Of 10,936 foals inbred male-male to Northern Dancer, only about 21% (2,277) adhered to this SLBMSL pattern.

I think this might be a function of chronology. Northern Dancer (1961) is nine years older than Mr. Prospector (1970). Therefore the former has permeated pedigrees a lot more thoroughly than the latter. And the former is farther back in in pedigrees than the latter. And the farther back in pedigrees you go, the more different positions you can occupy (the more widely dispersed you are). Northern Dancer is more widely dispersed in pedigrees than Mr. Prospector. The latter is still heavily concentrated in the male-line and broodmare-sire-line positions.

I don’t really know though if chronology accounts for this discrepancy between Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector. It could be that breeders are trying much more consciously to achieve this SLBMSL pattern with the latter than the former.

The 2,277 foals inbred in the SLMBSL pattern to ND were not nearly as expensive as the 8,659 foals inbred to ND in all other male-male patterns. The former group sold for a gross of $129,198,607, an average of $56,741 (just above the overall average of $54,140), a maverage of 167.60 (just above the overall maverage of 163.11), and a Price Index of 1.03. The latter group sold for a gross of $662,654,126, an average of $76,528 (well above the overall average of $54,140), a maverage of 192.60 (well above the overall maverage of 163.11), and a Price Index of 1.18.

So the 8,659 foals inbred to ND in all other combinations of the male-male pattern should have had better results than the 2,277 foals inbred to ND in the SLBMSL pattern. They did, but just barely.

Big Brown (5,315 Performance Points), Solider’s Dancer (2,825), and Arson Squad (2,690) all adhered to the SLBMSL pattern. The other dozen stakes winners with 2,000+ Performance Points listed in my last post were inbred to ND in all other male-male patterns. That 4-1 ratio is about the same as the ratio of the foals (8,659 to 2,277). So not much difference by number of best stakes winners produced by each group.

The former group had 363 stakes winners from 8,659 foals (4.19%, well above the overall figure of 3.4%). These 363 stakes winners averaged only 556 Performance Points apiece though, well below the overall average of 610. So these 8,659 foals had a PPI (result) of 1.12, which does not compare favorably with their Price Index of 1.18.

The latter group had 86 stakes winners from 2,277 foals (3.78%, above the overall figure of 3.4%). These 86 stakes winners averaged 609 Performance Points apiece, just below the overall average of 610. So these 2,277 foals had a PPI (result) of 1.11, which does compare favorably with their Price Index of 1.03.

So the 8,659 foals sold for prices about 18% above average and produced results only about 12% above average. The 2,277 foals sold for prices about 3% above average and produced results about 11% above average. The former group did not justify their prices (were slightly overpriced). The latter group did justify their prices (were slightly underpriced).

So the SLBMSL group did achieve better results than the all other male-male group in relative terms. In absolute terms there was very little difference in their results. Taking prices into account, that means the SLBMSL group was a better value than the all other male-male group.

Moving on to Mr. Prospector, prices were not much different for the two groups. The 1,614 foals with the SLBMSL pattern sold for a gross of $86,816,273, an average of $53,790 (just below the overall average of $54,140), a maverage of 160.59 (just below the overall maverage of 163.11), and a Price Index of 0.985. The 1,505 foals inbred to Mr. P in all other male-male patterns sold for a gross of $81,064,599, an average of $53,864 (just below the overall average of $54,140), a maverage of 167.15 (just above the overall maverage of 163.11), and a Price Index of 1.025.

So based on prices, the results for the two groups should have been approximately the same. They were not, as shall be demonstrated.

Mine That Bird (3,029 Performance Points) was inbred to Mr P in the SLBMSL pattern. Pussycat Doll (2,297) was inbred to Mr. P in an other male-male pattern (in her case male line to paternal grandsire of the second dam). Not much difference between the two groups in producing the best stakes winners.

The MLBMSL group produced 47 stakes winners from 1,614 foals (2.91%, well below the overall figure of 3.4%). Those 47 stakes winners averaged only 555 Performance Points apiece (well below the overall average of 610). So these 1,614 foals had a PPI (result) of 0.78, which compares quite unfavorably with their Price Index of 0.985.

The all other male-male group produced 65 stakes winners from 1,505 foals (4.32%, well above the overall figure of 3.4%). These 65 stakes winners averaged only 580 Performance Points apiece (just below the overall average of 610). So these 1,505 foals had a PPI (result) of 1.21, which compares quite favorably with their Price Index of 1.025.

So the SLBMSL group sold for prices about 1.5% below average and produced results about 22% below average. Obviously not a very good result at all. The latter group (all other male-male) sold for prices about 2.5% above average and produced results about 21% above average. Obviously a much better result than the former group and a pretty good result in its own right.

So SLBMSL worked moderately well with ND but abysmally with Mr. P. All other male-male was moderately unsuccessful with ND but very successful with Mr P.

You could call this a draw between the two groups. I am more inclined to say that SLBMSL did not work as well overall as all other male-male because of the wider discrepancy in the Mr. P. foals than in the ND foals. If you are looking for evidence that SLBMSL does indeed produce good results and is a worthwhile pattern to follow, you will have to look elsewhere.

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