Did you ever have a dream in which you heard the voice of God? I had such a dream a couple months ago. But the voice in the dream was not God. More likely it was someone along the lines of Uncle Joe Estes.
In this dream I had I was onstage, and the voice was offstage. I could hear the voice but I could not see its source. “You have to write something about racing class versus pedigree,” the voice was telling me.
“I did exactly that 25 years ago,” I replied and explained how I used broodmare sires to do so.
“That’s a good plan. Broodmare sires are good. Do it all over again,” the voice enjoined me.
Then WHUFF, in a puff of smoke the voice disappeared (as Phil Ochs might say), and I woke up thinking about how to go about formulating the following post.
The basic idea was to identify the best broodmare sires among these sales foals of 2008-2111. Not exactly the BEST though. More like those PERCEIVED to be the best. Namely, those whose progeny as broodmare sires sold for the highest prices.
I set some parameters for this study. I specified a minimum of 100 foals and a minimum maverage of 200 (with an overall maverage of 154.0, that corresponds to a Price Index of 1.30.). Below are the 15 broodmare sires who qualified.
Broodmare Sire Foals Average Maverage Price Index PPI (Result)
Storm Cat 521 $141,120 297.54 1.93 1.40
Mr. Prospector 184 $144,587 280.02 1.82 0.59
A.P. Indy 385 $116,446 266.45 1.73 2.18
Giant’s Causeway 135 $99,388 250.21 1.62 3.46
Deputy Minister 466 $94,598 243.15 1.58 2.00
Seeking the Gold 292 $93,394 242.53 1.57 1.17
Unbridled 305 $95,177 231.93 1.51 0.56
Smart Strike 142 $86,656 223.86 1.45 3.70
Dehere 190 $86,735 219.52 1.43 2.77
Seattle Slew 241 $81,570 218.17 1.42 1.16
Unbridled’s Song 375 $76,535 214.62 1.39 1.28
Kingmambo 183 $74,652 213.79 1.39 1.39
Gone West 284 $73,488 212.05 1.38 1.30
Kris S. 199 $79,503 204.56 1.33 2.28
Elusive Quality 147 $83,037 200.14 1.30 1.26
Totals 4,049 $98,410 240.50 1.56 1.64
No huge surprises on this list. Some notable broodmare sires who did not have prices high enough to make this list included Saint Ballado, Carson City, Storm Bird, Cozzene, Danzig, Nureyev, Dixieland Band, Dynaformer, and Broad Brush. Sadler’s Wells was the most notable broodmare sire who did not have enough foals (85) to make this list. His prices were plenty high enough.
Aside from the prices listed above, I also listed their PPIs (results) in the very last column on the right. I did so for comparison purposes, but I do not wish to place too much emphasis on those results. The results are partial, based only on a small portion of their overall total of foals as broodmare sires. Therefore, some of them were better than their prices and some of them worse than their prices.
The most notable example of the latter was Mr. Prospector (price of 1.82 and result of 0.59; only three stakes winners from those 184 foals). Mr. Prospector (a foal of 1970) was by far the oldest broodmare sire on this list.
The best results were turned in by Smart Strike (price of 1.45 and result of 3.70) and Giant’s Causeway (price of 1.62 and result of 3.46). Giant’s Causeway (a foal of 1996) was the youngest sire on this list. Smart Strike (a foal of 1992) was also relatively young.
But I was more interested in the overall (composite) prices and results for these 15 broodmare sires than their individual numbers. Those overall numbers are shown in the totals line at the bottom of the list. These 15 broodmare sires had a total of 4,049 foals that sold for an average of $98,410 (more than twice the overall average of $46,418), a maverage of 240.50 (well above the overall maverage of 154.0), a Price Index of 1.56, and a PPI (result) of 1.64.
So these 4,049 foals sold for prices about 56% above average and achieved results about 64% above average. The higher the Price Index, the more difficult it is for the PPI to exceed it. So this is an excellent result.
Of those 4,o49 foals, 367 were out of stakes winners. Naturally, those 367 foals sold for even higher prices and achieved even better results. They sold for an average of $218,194, a maverage of 374.03, a Price Index of 2.44, and achieved a PPI (result) of 3.56 (based on 28 stakes winners from 367 foals).
So they sold for prices about 144% above average and achieved results about 256% above average. The higher the Price Index, the more difficult it is for the PPI to exceed it. Keeping that in mind, this is a fantastic result. It confirms the obvious, that it is best to have both pedigree (really good broodmare sire) and racing class (stakes winner) in a broodmare.
But as I stated before, most people can not afford both pedigree and racing class and have to choose one over the other. Some people say it is best to choose pedigree. Some people say it is best to choose racing class. I hope to illuminate this choice a little bit.
Since 367 of the 4,049 foals were out of stakes winners, the remaining 3,682 foals were NOT out of stakes winners. They had pedigree (really good broodmare sires) going for them but not racing class (not stakes winners).
Of the 45,562 total sales foals of 2008-2011, 6,659 were out of stakes winners. Of those 6,659 foals, 367 were by mares by these 15 “elite” broodmare sires. The remaining 6,292 foals were out of mares by broodmare sires a cut or more below the top. They had racing class (stakes winners) going for them but not as much pedigree (broodmare sires not as good) as the 3,682 foals.
I thought it would be interesting to compare the 3,682 foals (the pedigree group) to the 6,292 foals (the racing class group). Here we go.
Category Foals Average Maverage Price Index PPI (Result)
Pedigree Group 3,682 $86,471 227.09 1.47 1.45
Racing Class Group 6,292 $77,284 213.77 1.39 1.63
As you can see, the pedigree group performed just about as expected (price of 1.47 and result of 1.45). The racing class group exceeded expectations (price of 1.39 and result of 1.63). So the pedigree group sold for more money than the racing class group and achieved lesser results.
I will give the PPI details below. APPPSW stands for average Performance Points per stakes winner, a measure of the quality of stakes winners involved (662 being average).
Category Foals Stakes Winners % APPPSW PPI (Result)
Pedigree Group 3,682 148 4.02 771 1.45
Racing Class Group 6,292 270 4.29 810 1.63
So the racing class group was better than the pedigree group by both percentage pf stakes winners from foals (4.29% to 4.02%) and APPPSW (810 to 771). Their overall PPI was also obviously better (1.63 to 1.45) despite lower prices (1.39 to 1.47).
You might want to consider those figures the next time you hear a pedigree “expert” proclaim that pedigree is by far the most important element in broodmare selection. The truth is that racing class is at least as important as pedigree, if not more so.