No Magical Results

Listed below are the prices of sales foals of 2008-2111 by the sires of their broodmare sires (P3 in the third generation).

Sire of BM Sire                    Foals          Average          Maverage          Price Index

Mr. Prospector                     4,900        $51,617             165.64                     1.08

Storm Cat                              2,380         $51,867            166.71                     1.08

Danzig                                     1,691         $45,099            151.71                     0.99

Northern Dancer                  1,643         $52,142            164.69                     1.07

Seattle Slew                            1,596         $60,104           176.22                     1.14

Deputy Minister                    1,592          $48,281           161.06                     1.05

Fappiano                                 1,158           $61,197           175.59                      1.14

Gone West                               1,015          $47,859          159.45                      1.04

Totals                                      12,159          $51,437          164.70                      1.07

Eight sires qualified with 1,000 or more foals. The next three were Forty Niner (994), Roberto (932), and Halo (867). The top eight are the usual suspects (no great surprises). They are arranged by their number of foals, and Mr. Prospector (4,900) has a commanding lead over Storm Cat (2,380). For more current pedigrees those roles could very well be reversed.

The overall average for all 45,562 foals was $46,418. All eight were above that figure except for Danzig ($45,099). Only Deputy Minister ($48,281) and Gone West ($47,859) were below $50,000. Only Fappiano ($61,197) and Seattle Slew ($60,104) were above $60,000. The other three were all clustered just above $50,000: Northern Dancer ($52,142), Storm Cat ($51,867), and Mr. Prospector ($51,617).

These eight sires accounted for almost 27% of all foals (12,159 of 45,562). The overall average for all 12,159 foals was $51,437, not quite 11% above the overall average for all 45,562 foals of $46,418.

The maverages and Price Indexes followed the same pattern. In terms of the latter, only Danzig (0.99) was below the benchmark of 1.00. The other seven ranged from 1.04 to 1.14, with the Price Index for all 12,159 foals being 1.07.

Basically these 12,159 foals sold for prices only slightly above average and should have achieved results slightly above average as well. The chart below shows the actual results. APPPSW stands for average Performance Points per stakes winner, a measure of the quality of stakes winners, involved, the overall average now being 691.

Sire of BM Sire                     Foals          SWs          %          APPPSW          PPI (Result)

Mr. Prospector                      4,900         166         3.39              664                    0.97

Storm Cat                                2,380           82        3.45              689                    1.02

Danzig                                      1,691             64        3.78             665                     1.08

Northern Dancer                    1,643            56         3.41             730                     1.07

Seattle Slew                              1,596            72         4.51             727                      1.41

Deputy Minister                      1,592             65        4.08             662                     1.16

Fappiano                                   1,158              41         3.54             688                    1.05

Gone West                                 1,015              28        2.76             693                    0.82

Totals                                         12,159            449       3.69            678                     1.08

Without going into too much detail, the results are not very different from the prices. The chart below compares prices and results.

Sire of BM Sire                         Foals          Price Index          PPI (Result)          Difference

Mr. Prospector                          4,900                1.08                     0.97                        –0.11

Storm Cat                                    2,380                1.08                     1.02                       –0.06

Danzig                                          1,691                  0.99                    1.08                        +0.09

Northern Dancer                        1,643                 1.07                     1.07                              0

Seattle Slew                                  1,596                 1.14                      1.41                         +0.27

Deputy Minister                           1,592                 1.05                     1.16                          +0.11

Fappiano                                        1,158                  1.14                     1.05                         –0.09

Gone West                                     1,015                  1.04                     0.82                        –0.22

Totals                                            12,159                  1.07                     1.08                         +0.01

As you can see in the chart above, these eight sires posted four negative differences (prices higher than results), three positive differences (prices lower than results), and Northern Dancer was right on the money (both price and results being 1.07).

The four worst sires in this position were Gone West (–0.22), Mr. Prospector (–0.11), Fappiano (–0.09), and Storm Cat (–0.06). The three best sires in this position were Seattle Slew (+0.27), Deputy Minister (+0.11), and Danzig (+0.09).

Danzig was the only one on these eight sires with a price below 1.00 (0.99), but his results were actually positive at 1.08. Lookin At Lucky (6,207 Performance Points) was largely responsible for this positive difference. Without Lookin At Lucky Danzig’s PPI drops to 0.92, more in line with his price of 0.99.

The biggest winner in the chart above was Seattle Slew (price of 1.14, result of 1.41, difference of +0.27). My first thought was that A.P. Indy as a broodmare sire was largely responsible for this. Of Seattle Slew’s 1,596 foals, 385 were out of mares by A.P. Indy.

Those 385 foals had a price of 1.73 and a result of 2.18. The remaining 1,211 foals had a price of 0.96 and a result 1.17, still a difference of +0.21. So Seattle Slew did pretty well at P3 in the third generation even without A.P. Indy (thanks mainly to Doneraile Court).

Seven of the eight sires listed were from either the Northern Dancer male line (Northern Dancer himself, Storm Cat, Danzig, and Deputy Minister) or the Mr. Prospector male line (Mr. Prospector himself, Fappiano, and Gone West). Seattle Slew was the only outlier in this respect, and perhaps it is not coincidental that he had the best results.

Storm Cat was the original focus of this study (appearing at the same position, P3 in the third generation, in the pedigrees of both American Pharoah and Nyquist). With a price of 1.08, a result of 1.02, and a difference of –0.06, obviously there is nothing “magical” about Storm Cat in this position. He does appear in the pedigrees of lots of good horses in this position. That is because he appears in the pedigrees of lots of horses (good, bad, and indifferent) in this position period.

The same could be said for Mr. Prospector (price of 1.08, result of 0.97, difference of –0.11). He does appear in the pedigrees of lots of good horses in this and all other positions. That is because he appears in the pedigrees of lots of horses (good, bad, and indifferent) in this and all other positions period. Do not confuse quantity with quality.

All 12,159 foals representing these eight sires posted a collective price of 1.07 and a collective result of 1.08. They sold for prices about 7% above average and achieved results about 8% above average. That about sums it up. You pretty much got the value for which you paid.

The larger the quantity of foals, the more likely it is that the results will be close to the norms. Take Mr. Prospector, for example. Sure, he has a number of sons who are pretty good broodmare sires. He also has a larger number of sons who are not very good as broodmare sires. Take them all together, and you get a difference of –0.11.

That is simply the way the Thoroughbred population works. It is also the reason that “names in pedigrees” produce no magical results.

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