Frankel and Big Brown Patterns–Conclusion

A few months ago I commented about Frankel’s pedigree in Questions About Frankel, as well as the pedigree of Big Brown. Big Brown and Frankel are similar in that their pedigrees both feature SLBMSL (sire line-broodmare sire line) inbreeding to Northern Dancer. Big Brown is by Boundary (by Danzig, by ND) out of Mien, by Nureyev (by ND). So he is 3×3 to ND in the SLBMSL pattern. Frankel is by Galileo (by Sadler’s Wells, by ND) out of Kind (by Danehill, by Danzig, by ND). So he is 3×4 to ND in the SLBMSL pattern.

Over the course of five previous posts I have now listed all the sales foals of 2003-2007 inbred in these two patterns. For lagniappe I have included all the foals inbred 4×3 to ND in this pattern as well on the theory that if 3×4 is good, 4×3 might be good as well.

First let us review the prices for these three groups.

Category       Foals       Gross           Average           Maverage        Price Index

3×3                  189     $8,787,283     $46,494              144.37              0.89

3×4                  369    $20,943,466   $56,757              158.39               0.97

4×3                  410    $22,690,410   $55,342             173.20               1.06

Totals              968   $52,421,159     $54,154             161.92               0.99

The overall average for all 70,714 foals was $54,140. The 3×3 group was below that average, but both 3×4 and 4×3 were slightly above it. All 968 foals were just a hair below it at $54,154.

The overall maverage for all 70,714 foals was 163.11. Both 3×3 and 3×4 were below that figure, but 4×3 was above it. All 968 foals were just below it at 161.92 for a Price Index of 0.99. So all 968 foals sold for prices just about 1% below average, and hence their racetrack results should have been just about average as well (or slightly below average).

Listed below are the 27 stakes winners among these 968 foals (seven of them 3×3, nine of them 3×4, and 11 of them 4×3). They are listed in descending order of Performance Points (best stakes winners first). Discussion resumes at the end of these three short lists.

3×3 Northern Dancer SLBMSL—Big Brown (5,315), Jambalaya (3,043), Most Distinguished (601), Marie Soleil (311), Cat Quatorze (244), Yaqeen (151), Abby Road (141).

3×4 Northern Dancer SLBMSL—Soldier’s Dancer (2,825), Arson Squad (2,690), Nothing But Fun (956), Flashing Numbers (530), Guiding Hand (510), Polish Warrior (341), Marianita (333), Dancing Abbie (217), Banishment (183).

4×3 Northern Dancer SLBMSL—Diamondrella (1,926), Dream Empress (1,163), Polynesian Kitty (789), Meriwether Jessica (621), My Three Sisters (621), Torquay (561), Mr. Shadar (499), Cohiba Miss (241), Victorianna (237), Pistol Creek (210), American Prize (184).

The racetrack results for the three groups are summarized below. APPPSW stands for average Performance Points per stakes winner (a measure of quality of stakes winners, the overall average being 615).

Category        Foals      Stakes Winners      %        APPPSW          PPI

3×3                   189                   7                  3.70          1,401           2.48

3×4                    369                  9                 2.44              954           1.11

4×3                    410                 11                2.68               641           0.82

Totals                968                 27                2.79               942           1.25

Now let us compare prices to results.

Category            Price Index                PPI

3×3                           0.89                       2.48

3×4                           0.97                        1.11

4×3                           1.06                        0.82

Totals                       0.99                       1.25

So 3×3 was by far the best of the three groups. Those 189 foals sold for prices about 11% BELOW average and achieved results about 148% ABOVE average. That is an excellent result which should be taken with a grain of salt, the grain of salt being that its PPI is only 1.13 without Big Brown (who helped originate this study in the first place).

The 3×4 group was also pretty good. Those 369 foals sold for prices about 3% BELOW average and achieved results about 11% ABOVE average (thanks to the quality of its stakes winners, 954 average Performance Points, not the quantity of its stakes winners, an anemic 2.44% from foals).

The 4×3 group was not particularly good. Those 410 foals sold for prices about 6% ABOVE average and achieved results about 18% BELOW average, not a good result at all.

The three groups together (all 968 foals) sold for prices about 1% BELOW average and achieved results about 25% ABOVE average. That is a very good result with the same Big Brown grain of salt. Without Big Brown its PPI is 0.99. Guess what????? That is exactly the same as its Price Index, exactly what its results were expected to be.

I commented in my last post: “I have heard it said that inbreeding (particularly close inbreeding) produces better stakes winners overall but fewer stakes winners overall. In baseball terms, more home runs but a lower overall batting average. Might be some truth to that.”

These 968 foals were good only because of Big Brown, who helped them to achieve 942 average Performance Points per stakes winner (the overall average being 615). Their overall percentage of stakes winners from foals (27 from 968, 2.79%, compared to the norm of 3.41%), was not good at all.

“Effective inbreeding programs must involve very large starting populations which are screened for inferior and superior traits through mating full and half sibs, and parent to offspring, etc. Inbreeding in subsequent generations will identify resistance to inbreeding depression and to stack favorable genes. The King Ranch used inbreeding successfully, but everything about equines militates against the method, including reproductive math and especially the disposal of culls.”

That is a comment I received on my last post. I did not respond to it because I do not disagree with it at all. It lays out the reasons why inbreeding does not particularly work with Thoroughbreds (at least in one man’s opinion).

Personally I am not much interested in the reasons WHY. I see it as my duty to assemble and recite the facts proving that it does NOT work generally speaking. If I do that often enough, maybe someone somewhere will actually get that message.

On the other hand, some inbreeding schemes are worse than others. If some actually appear to work, I need to say so with the appropriate qualifiers. So to summarize my evaluation of SLBMSL inbreeding to Northern Dancer, let us just say that there are far WORSE inbreeding schemes out there.

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