Inbreeding Female-Female to Secretariat and Others

“As I have been watching the Royal Ascot races I have noticed many other horses, besides Frankel, are also by Galileo. I can’t wait to see them stretch Frankel out in distance. He reminded me of that Big Red horse pulling away from the pack so effortlessly, a different class of horse than the rest. I hope I have not made a sacrilegious comment in that very premature comparison. But he sure is exciting to watch!”

The Big Red horse referred to above is of course Secretariat (although originally that title was reserved exclusively for Man o’ War). Secretariat was a far better broodmare sire than he was a sire. So much so that he daughters became far more prized than his sons (a lot like Buckpasser in that regard). The inevitable inbreeding to Secretariat focused far more on his daughters than his sons (unlike Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector and most other sires).

Of the 70,714 sales foals of 2003-2007, 1,857 (about 2.6%) are inbred sire to dam in some fashion to Secretariat. Of those 1,857 foals, 1,389 (almost 75%, not counting multiples) are inbred through two daughters.

The three best stakes winners inbred to Secretariat in this fashion were Game Face (2,399 Performance Points), Master Command (2,337), and Careless Jewel (2,013).

Game Face was by Menifee out of Galleon of Gold, by Gone West, and was inbred 5×4 through Terlingua and Secrettame. She was sold for $280,000 as a two-year-old in 2007.

Master Command was by A.P. Indy out of Lady Lochinvar, by Lord At War, and was inbred 3×3 through Weekend Surprise and Lady Winborne. He was sold for $650,000 as a yearling in 2003.

Careless Jewel was by Tapit out of Sweet and Careless, by Hennessy, and was inbred 5×5 through Weekend Surprise and Terlingua. She was sold for $40,000 as a yearling in 2007.

Terlinga was the dam of Storm Cat, Weekend Surprise the dam of A.P. Indy, and Secrettame the dam of Gone West. Storm Cat, A.P. Indy, and Gone West were three of the most revered sires among sales foals of 2003-2007. The best foals inbred to Secretariat in the female-female fashion usually involved these three sires and were not cheap.

The 1,389 foals inbred female-female to Secretariat sold for a gross of $184,644,855, an average of $132,934 (more than twice the overall average of $54,140), a maverage of 252.06 (well above the overall maverage of 163.11), and a Price Index of 1.55.

So these 1,389 foals sold for some whopping prices and should have achieved some whoppingly good results. They did achieve good results, but not whoppingly good results, and nowhere near the results indicated by their prices.

Included among these 1,389 foals were a total of 57 stakes winners (4.1%, well above the overall figure of 3.4%). These 57 stakes winners averaged 605 Performance Points apiece, just below the overall average of 610.

So taking both quantity and quality of stakes winners into account, these 1,389 foals had a PPI (result) of 1.20, which does not compare favorably at all with their Price Index of 1.55. They sold for prices about 55% above average and achieved results only about 20% above average. I would have to be charitable to give that result a “D” in terms of a letter grade.

Most other sires (except for Buckpasser) do not have such a high ratio of female-female to total inbreds. Of 16,698 total foals inbred to Northern Dancer, only 162 (less than 1%) were female-female. Of 5,825 total foals inbred to Mr. Prospector, only 218 (about 3.7%) were female-female. Of 2,096 totals foals inbred to Hail to Reason, only 116 (about 5.5%) were female-female.

The 162 foals inbred female-female to Northern Dancer were pretty cheap. They sold for an average of $29,165, a maverage of 122.56, and a Price Index of 0.75.

The 218 foals inbred female-female to Mr. Prospector and 116 foals inbred female-female to Hail to Reason were NOT cheap. The former group sold for an average of $120,334 , a maverage of 256.64, and a Price Index of 1.57. The latter group sold for an average of $74,247, a maverage of 162.75, and a Price Index of 1.00.

Because so few foals were involved in these three groups, I am going to combine their results. The 496 foals inbred female-female to these three sires sold for a gross of $39,570,261, an average of $79,779, a maverage of 190.89, and a Price Index of 1.17.

The two best stakes winners inbred in this fashion were Ravalo (2,756 Performance Points) and the aforementioned Master Command (2,337). Ravalo was by Mutakddim out of Momentary Hope, by Southern Halo, and was inbred 4×4 to Northern Dancer through Dance Number and Northern Sea. He was sold for $30,000 as a yearling in 2005.

In addition to being 3×3 to Secretariat (as detailed above), Master Command was also inbred 5×4 to Hail to Reason through Reason to Earn and Priceless Gem.

Including Ravalo and Master Command, this group produced 19 stakes winners from 496 foals (3.83%, above the overall figure of 3.4%). And they were pretty good stakes winners too, averaging 700 Performance Points apiece (well above the overall average of 610).

So these 496 foals had a PPI (result) of 1.29, which does compare favorably with their Price Index of 1.17. In terms of a letter grade, that is a solid “B.”

To recapitulate, inbreeding female-female to Secretariat posted very disappointing results relative to its high prices. Inbreeding female-female to Northern Dancer, Mr. Prospector, and Hail to Reason produced pretty good results. Overall, I can not say much about inbreeding female-female in general except, “It depends on the sire.”

Inbreeding to Secretariat overall was not much better than inbreeding to him female-female (more about that later). Some folks might be surprised with these results. Some folks will not. Sires become victims of their own popularity, and I think this is what happened to Secretariat. He was still a very good broodmare sire, just not as superlative as indicated by his prices.

Secretariat shows up almost 4,000 times among sales foals of 2003-2007 as part of a duplication. Preliminary data indicate that he shows up another 22,000+ times among sales foals of 2003-2007 (NOT duplicated from sire to dam, anywhere from the second through the fifth generations).

I am thinking that I might have to compare those 22,000+ foals (NOT duplicated) to the 1,857 foals (duplicated). That will give me some idea of whether duplicating the name of Secretariat in pedigrees actually helped or hurt results. Wouldn’t that be interesting???? That is another project many months down the road. Stay tuned. Don’t touch that dial.

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One Response to Inbreeding Female-Female to Secretariat and Others

  1. Pingback: Totals–Cut to the Chase | Boojum's Bonanza

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