Other Pedigree Thoughts

I have a few other pedigree thoughts about yesterday’s Kentucky Derby. The first involves Overanalyze (Dixie Union out of Unacloud, by Unaccounted For).

Overanalyze is 5x5x5 to Gold Digger and hence a poster boy for the Rasmussen Factor. Since I have ridiculed the Rasumussen Factor frequently in this space over the past few years, needless to say that demoted Overanalyze in my estimates. I am pleased to report that he finished 11th at 16-1.

Two of those three duplications of Gold Digger come through Mr. Prospector, not surprisingly. I am not exactly a fan of inbreeding, but inbreeding to Mr. Prospector is something of the exception to the rule. It actually seems to work, as far as I can statistically tell.

The third source of Gold Digger in the pedigree of Overanalyze is through Yukon. Why anyone would possibly think that Yukon is a source of anything POSITIVE in a pedigree totally escapes me. Especially Yukon in the FOURTH generation. But DOGMA has little correlation with REALITY, as I have frequently observed.

Revolutionary is the next nag about whom I have some pedigree thoughts. I was extremely impressed with Revolutionary when I saw him win the Withers Stakes a few months ago, overcoming all kinds of traffic troubles.

I did not know his pedigree when I saw that race. I looked up his pedigree the next morning. I was DISCONCERTED when I saw his pedigree. I loved the fact that he was out of Alabama Stakes (G1) winner Runup the Colors, by A.P. Indy. I was far less enthusiastic to learn that his sire was War Pass.

Nevertheless, I liked Revolutionary a lot at that point (this was before I saw Orb win the Fountain of Youth Stakes). Then a few weeks later I noticed something else about the pedigree of Revolutionary. He traces to La Troienne in the female line: Runup the Flag, Up the Flagpole, The Garden Club, Fashion Verdict, So Chic, Striking, Baby League, La Troienne. So LT is the eighth dam of Revolutionary.

When I saw that my ardor for Revolutionary immediately cooled. I have spent a good portion of the past few years making fun of the adulation of LT that passes for pedigree “expertise” in almost all other quarters. The LAST thing I wanted to see was Revolutionary win the Derby and give those idiots more ammunition for their irrational WORSHIP of LT.

So I was pleased that Revolutionary did NOT win yesterday. I was not surprised that he ran well (third) though. Revolutionary was the one nag I feared the most yesterday, especially with Calvin Borel in the saddle.

So don’t get me wrong. I do NOT dislike Revolutionary. I think he is a pretty good colt. He will win some races in the future. He may turn out to be a classic winner yet. I like his pedigree (the fact that he is out of a G1 winner by A.P. Indy anyway).

But Orb was clearly a better horse than Revolutionary yesterday. Several things jump out at me about the pedigree of Orb (Malibu Moon out of Lady Liberty, by Unbridled). Being out of a mare by Unbridled (1990 Kentucky Derby winner and champion three-year-old) certainly does not hurt.

Not just any Unbridled mare either. Lady Liberty was a pretty good racemare. She posted a record of 23-4-4-4 for earnings of $202,045 and an SSI of 3.72. Lady Liberty earned no black type, but she did compete in stakes races and twice finished fourth in G3 races. She she was more than just an “ordinary winner.”

And Orb, like Revolutionary, comes from a very distinguished female family. His fifth dam is Shenanigans (dam of Ruffian, Icecapade, and Buckfinder). I should not need to elaborate on the exploits of this female family. The difference in this regard between Orb and Revolutionary is propinquity. Better Shenanigans as a fifth dam (the former) than La Troienne as an eighth dam (the latter).

Orb and Revolutionary have something else in common. Something about their pedigrees that the other 17 starters yesterday did NOT have. It is pretty obscure. Anyone care to take a guess??????

Lauren Hillenbrand of Seabiscuit fame wrote in “Waiting for the Next Secretariat”:

“Deserving horses have lost the Triple Crown, but no undeserving horse has ever won it, and none ever will.”

I think pretty highly of Orb. I think he might just be deserving. I like his Triple Crown chances better than any other nag who had a shot at it since Silver Charm in 1997. Time will tell. “Only my opinion; I could be right or wrong.”

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