Friday, December 31, 2010

Count Fleet, Tropical Park Derby Roundup

The Count Fleet Stakes at Aqueduct and the Tropical Park Derby at Calder highlight Saturday’s stakes racing action and kicks off the 3-year-old thoroughbred racing season.

Horses that used these races in the past as prep races en route to a win in the Kentucky Derby include Smarty Jones (2004 Count Fleet) and Barbaro (2006 Tropical Park Derby).

Overall, the field in both of these contests appears to be pretty evenly matched and it’s hard to get excited about any one horse in particular.

Pants On Fire heads a field of seven horses as the lukewarm 5-2 morning line favorite in the $65,000 Count Fleet Stakes. His best dirt speed is fastest among this group of starters and his 102 Brisnet Speed Figure is the highest at one mile and 70 yards.

Pants On Fire likes to go to the lead and if he gets a clean break he could be a factor in the race.

Two long shots I like are Tap Star (10-1) and Arthur’s Tale (4-1).

Tap Star has never ran in a route race and he’s stepping up into stakes action for the first time. However, with his breeding, I believe that he will like the extra distance.

On October 31, Tap Star narrowly lost a 6 ½ - furlong maiden race at Philadelphia Park but came back on December 10 at the same track and distance to win and finally break his maiden, after four previous starts, by an easy 5 ¼ - lengths.

In his maiden win, Tap Star trimmed almost two full seconds off of his previous time and appears to be improving with each performance. A bullet work out on December 26 indicates that he could be ready to run another good race.

Of all the horses in this race, I like the pedigree of Arthur’s Tale the most and if he lives up to his breeding, I believe that he has the most room for improvement.

Despite being carried wide in the first turn of his last race, Arthur’s Tale finally broke his maiden, by 2 – lengths on his fourth try, going a mile at Aqueduct on December 2.

Tropical Park Derby

The $100,000 Tropical Park Derby (G3) appears that it might be the better betting race as there are no solid favorites entered in the field.

Swift Warrior heads a full field of 12 as the lukewarm 7-2 favorite and if he runs true to his recent form, he could be a factor.

In addition, three other horses I like are Beachcombing (6-1), Racing Aptitude (4-1) and Ribo Bobo (12-1).

Lightly raced Beachcombing comes into the race off of a 2 ¾ - length maiden win October 17 at Belmont. Beachcombing steps up into stakes competition for the first time but I like his pedigree and think that, although he is lightly raced, he has a lot of upside. At 6-1 or higher, I'm willing to give him a shot.

Racing Aptitude is the morning line second choice and comes into the Derby with back-to-back wins over the Calder turf course. His pedigree is well suited for the turf and if he runs near his recent form he will be tough in the Derby.

Ribo Bobo also has a nice pedigree and he’s only missed hitting the board twice in six starts. Ribo Bobo comes into the Derby with a first-place and two second-place finishes in stakes competition. Five of his six starts have been at Calder but this is his first attempt on the turf.

I believe that he will run well on the turf and a bullet work out December 18 indicates that he could be ready to run a good race.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

2011 Kentucky Derby Outlook

Now that graded stakes racing for 2-year-old thoroughbreds is over, this is the time of year when I like to review their pedigrees and past performances to see if I can spot any that may have the potential to become a factor on the Triple Crown trail.

It’s a daunting task but I try to review as many as possible and narrow my list down to three or four I believe may have exceptional talent. Three horses I especially liked at this time last year were Eskendereya, Winslow Homer and Super Saver.

Eskendereya and Winslow Homer proved to be exceptional but, unfortunately, were taken off the trail due to injury. Super Saver was descent but did not fully live up to my expectations until turning things around by winning the Kentucky Derby (G1). Super Saver and Ice Box, along with Lookin At Lucky and Mission Impazible, were my Derby picks.

Uncle Mo, undefeated in three starts, most likely will top everyone’s top ten. He’s already proven to be exceptional with a combined 23 ¼ - length margin of victory in previous starts and two grade one wins in the Champagne Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He probably will be selected as the juvenile Eclipse winner and the early 2011 Derby favorite.

I have no doubt that Uncle Mo will probably be a fierce competitor up to 9-furlongs. However, it remains to be seen how competitive he will be racing beyond that distance.

Indian Charlie, Uncle Mo’s sire, was a fierce competitor and winner of the 1998 Santa Anita Derby but could only manage a third-place finish in the Kentucky Derby. Conveyance, a brilliant Indian Charlie colt on last year’s trail, was competitive up to 8 ½ to 9-furlongs.

To his advantage, Uncle Mo gets some stamina from In Excess, his grandsire, who was a good middle-distance runner that was able to stretch out and set a new track record in the 10-furlong Suburban Handicap. Arch, his damsire, won the 10-furlong Super Derby and sired Blame – recent winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic and leading candidate, along with Zenyatta, for Horse of The Year honors. (Coincidentally, Zenyatta’s damsire line is the same as Blame’s sire line.) Dixieland Band, the sire of Uncle Mo’s second dam Dixie Slippers, is the damsire of Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense.

So, I will be watching, with great interest, to see how well Uncle Mo performs at 9-furlongs.

Overall, I believe that this year’s group of juveniles is better than last year’s group. I’m still reviewing them, but so far there are five that I am especially interested in: To Honor And Serve (Bernardini-Pilfer by Deputy Minister), Brethren (Distorted Humor-Supercharger by A.P. Indy), Cal Nation (Distorted Humor-She’s A Winner by A.P. Indy), Premier Pegasus (Fusaichi Pegasus-Squall Linda by Summer Squall) and Animal Kingdom (Leroidesanimaux-Dalicia by Acatenango).

To Honor And Serve has been on my watch list for quite some time and I was not surprised to see him win the Nashua (G2) and Remsen Stakes (G2).

His sire, Bernardini, was an outstanding racehorse and winner of the 2006 Preakness Stakes (G1). At stud, I believe that Bernardini will have a good career. So far, he’s off to a good start and he’s been battling all year with Congrats and Bluegrass Cat for leading Freshman Sire honors. Currently, Bernardini is ranked second.

To Honor and Serve’s grandsire is the outstanding sire and 1992 Belmont Stakes (G1) winner A.P. Indy who also sired Rags To Riches – winner of the 2007 Belmont. To Honor And Serve’s great-grandsire is Triple Crown winner and outstanding sire Seattle Slew. In addition to A.P. Indy, Seattle Slew sired the 1984 Kentucky Derby and Belmont winner Swale.

To Honor and Serve’s damsire is the Canadian Hall of Fame thoroughbred Deputy Minister – Canadian and U.S. Champion 2-Year-Old Colt (1981) and Canadian Horse of the Year (1981).

Deputy Minister was the leading North American sire in 1997, 1998 and leading broodmare sire in 2007. He sired the Classic Champion Thoroughbreds Awesome Again (Queen’s Plate Stakes 1997) and Touch Gold (Belmont Stakes 1997). Deputy Minister is the damsire of Classic Champion Thoroughbreds Sarava (Belmont Stakes 2002), Jazil (Belmont Stakes 2006), Curlin (Preakness Stakes 2007) and Rags To Riches (Belmont Stakes 2007).

Deputy Minister is also the grandsire of the outstanding thoroughbreds Silverbulletday and Ghostzapper.

Miswaki, the sire of To Honor and Serve’s second dam Misty Hour, sired the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Urban Sea. English Triple Crown winner and outstanding sire Nijinsky is the sire of To Honor and Serve’s third dam Our Tina Marie.

So, as you can see, To Honor and Serve has some nice breeding.

Brethren is undefeated in two starts but has yet to run in a stakes race. If he lives up to his breeding, I believe he has the potential to be a factor on the Triple Crown trail.

Brethren’s sire is Distorted Humor, sire of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Funny Cide and Belmont Stakes winner Drosselmeyer.

Brethren’s dam line is descended from the legendary La Troienne. Roger Lyons at Pedigree Matters has been keeping records of the top 40 dam lines that have produced the most stakes winners and since 1995 the La Troienne line tops the list at number one.

Brethren’s dam, Supercharger, is the dam of Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver and his second dam, Get Lucky, is also the second dam of Bluegrass Cat.

Cal Nation is unraced and has some catching up to do. However, he has been working out regularly since November 13 and if he lives up to his breeding, I believe he can be a factor too. In addition to having the same sire as Brethren, Cal Nation’s dam, She’s A Winner, is the dam of Bluegrass Cat and a full-sister to Supercharger – the dam of Brethren and Super Saver.

Undefeated in three starts, Premier Pegasus is a descendant of Mr. Prospector and he recently won the 7-furlong Hollywood Prevue Stakes (G3). He has a nice pedigree and with Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus as his sire and Preakness winner Summer Squall as the damsire, Premier Pegasus should continue to improve in his 3-year-old season.

I’m very interested Animal Kingdom and tempted to put him at the top of my list. However, it is a bit too early. Animal Kingdom has yet to run in a stakes race but both of his previous two starts have been route races.

In his 8 ½ - furlong maiden debut, Animal Kingdom finished second to Willcox Inn who went on to finish third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. Animal Kingdom broke his maiden in his second start by an easy 3 ¼ - lengths. Animal Kingdom covered the 9-furlongs in 1:49.01 and should be able to trim one or, maybe, two seconds off that time as a 3-year-old and that would make him extremely competitive.

Animal Kingdom’s pedigree is as close to WOW as you can get. His sire, Leroidesanimaux, was bred in Brazil but was a multiple graded-stakes champion in North America at the age of four and five and the 2005 Champion Male Turf Horse. Candy Stripes, his grandsire, is the sire of Invasor - the Uruguayan Triple Crown Champion, North American Horse of the Year and Champion Older Male. Leroidesanimaux’ second dam, Kerali, is the dam of super broodmare Hasili - dam of champions Intercontental, Banks Hill, Dansili, Champs Elysees, Cacique and Heat Haze.

Animal Kingdom’s damsire is the legendary Classic Champion Thoroughbred and German Derby winner Acatenango – three-time Horse of The Year in Germany and champion sire in 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2001. All of the stallions on the damsire line going back six generations are Classic Champion Thoroughbreds and German Derby winners.

Dancing Brave, the sire of Animal Kingdom’s second dam Dynamis, is a Classic Champion Thoroughbred and the 1986 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner.

If Animal Kingdom continues to improve and move forward as a 3-year-old, he will be tough on the Triple Crown trail.

Only time will tell.

Other horses I’m watching to round out a top ten include:

Astrology (A.P. Indy-Quiet Eclipse by Quiet American) – winner of the Iroquois Stakes (G3), runner-up in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) and third-place finisher in the Garden State Stakes;

Shadow Warrior (A.P. Indy-Victory Ride by Seeking The Gold);

Sway Away (Afleet Alex-Seattle Shimmer by Seattle Slew) – runner-up in the Best Pal Stakes (G2);

Cozy Kitten (Kitten’s Joy-Caterette by Cozzene).


Friday, December 17, 2010

CashCall Futurity Stakes Racing Roundup

The 30th running Saturday of the $750,000 CashCall Futurity (G1) at Hollywood Park closes the graded stakes racing season for 2-year-old thoroughbreds and could establish one of the 10 horses entered as the early West Coast favorite for the 2011 racing season.

Bob Baffert, who won the race last year with Lookin At Lucky and Pioneerof The Nile the year before that, does not have a horse in this race. Instead, favoritism goes to trainer Peter Miller’s Comma To The Top who heads the field as the 3-1 morning line favorite.

Comma To The Top has been on a roll, reeling off four wins since the first of October, and comes into the race with back-to-back stakes wins in the Real Quiet Stakes and Generous Stakes (G3).

In his previous four victories, Comma To The Top won going gate-to-wire. His win in the Real Quiet Stakes was also at Hollywood Park covering the same distance of 8 ½ - furlongs – which is probably the limit of his racing ability. Comma To The Top has decent speed. If he can break clean from post 10 and get the lead he should be competitive.

Comma To The Top is a descendant of the Nasrullah sire line and the last horse from that line to win the CashCall was River Special in 1992.

Two long shots that I like are Rustler Hustler (9-2) and Slammer Time (20-1).

Rustler Hustler will make his second start for trainer Rick Dutrow who ships him in for the race from Gulfstream Park. Rustler Hustler also comes into the race with back-to-back stakes wins – both of them on the turf.

In August, Rustler Hustler won the Continental Mile Stakes at Monmouth Park, defeating Pluck by a neck. Pluck was disqualified in that race for interference but came back in November to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs.

In October, Rustler Hustler won the Gnome’s Gold Stakes at Belmont Park by 1 ¾ - lengths.

Ecton Park, Rustler Hustler’s sire, was a multiple graded stakes winner and a decent middle distance runner who stretched out to win the 10-furlong Super Derby. His grandsire, Forty Niner, also was a multiple graded stakes winner and a good middle distance runner who finished second in the Kentucky Derby (G1).

Rustler Hustler’s damsire, Cozzene, was a multiple graded stakes winner who was competitive at a mile up to 9-furlongs. Danzig Connection, the sire of Rustler Hustler’s second dam, won the Belmont Stakes (G1) and Ribot, the sire of his third dam, was a back-to-back Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner.

Rustler Hustler is a descendant of the Mr. Prospector sire line and since 1990 there have been four horses from that line to win the CashCall: Lookin At Lucky (2009), Pioneerof The Nile (2008), Point Given (2000) and Real Quiet (1997). (All of those horses were trained by Bob Baffert.)

Slammer Time, another descendant of the Mr. Prospector sire line, comes into the race off of a narrow victory in the 8 ½ - furlong Bob Benoit California Cup Juvenile Stakes at the Oak Tree meet at Hollywood Park.

His sire, Grand Slam, brings speed to the pedigree of Slammer Time but his damsire, In Excess, was a multiple graded stakes winner and a good middle distance runner who stretched out to set a new course record in the 10-furlong Suburban Handicap.

Grand Slam has 21 winners in 47 juvenile starters for 45 percent.

Industry Leader (7-2) is the morning line second choice and he comes into the race off a second-place finish to Premier Pegasus in the Hollywood Prevue Stakes (G3).

Industry Leader is a descendant of Nasrullah and the Cherokee Run sire line which in recent years has produced War Pass, Musket Man and The Pamplemousse.

I always like to keep an eye on Cherokee Run sire line descendants when they stretch out to a route race and at 7-2 morning line odds, I’ll use Industry Leader in some of my exotic wagers.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hollywood Prevue Stakes Roundup

High Level Jeff ships in from Calder Casino & Race Course and makes his first start for trainer Doug O’Neill today as the 2-1 morning line favorite of the $100,000 Hollywood Prevue Stakes (G3) at Hollywood Park.

Undefeated in two starts, High Level Jeff heads a field of six 2-year-olds and has already shown an affinity for the track with a sharp 6-furlong work out on November 15.

High Level Jeff is a descendant of the Bold Ruler sire line and since 1990 there have been three horses that have won the Prevue Stakes: Jack O’Lantern (2008), Declan’s Moon (2004) and Corba King (1995).

Speedy Premier Pegasus (5-2) is also undefeated in two starts and most likely will go to the lead making High Level Jeff and the other horses work to earn the victory.

Premier Pegasus, the only stakes winner in the race, comes into today’s race off of a 1 ¾ - length victory in the Jack Goodman Stakes at Oaktree at Hollywood on October 23. The time for the 6-furlong sprint was 1:09.62 and he should be able to easily handle the stretch out to 7-furlongs.

Premier Pegasus has a nice pedigree with Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Fusaichi Pegaus as his sire and Preakness (G1) winner Summer Squall as the damsire.

Premier Pegasus is a descendant of the Mr. Prospector sire line and since 1990 there have been two horses from that line to win the Prevue: Belgravia (2006) and Stuka (1992).

Another Bold Ruler descendant and a long shot I like is Northern Indy (12-1) who, in his second start, broke his maiden in an 8-furlong route race by an impressive five lengths at Golden Gate Fields October 28 – his first race on the turf was off the board. The time for the mile was a mediocre 1:39 but jockey Russell Baze had a snug hold on Northern Indy who took the lead at the half and was not pressured the rest of the way to the finish.

Jockey Mike Smith picks up the mount on Northern Indy and at 12-1 odds or better, I’m will to give him a chance.

Industry Leader (5-2) is another horse to keep an eye on and if he looks good in the post parade, you may want to use him in some wagers.

Industry leader comes into to the race off a 2 ¼ - length maiden win but, with Cherokee Run as his sire and Seeking The Gold as the damsire, he has the breeding to easily get the distance. With the success in recent years of The Pamplemousse and Musket Man, I especially like to keep an eye on Cherokee Run descendents when they stretch out to longer distances.

Industry Leader is a descendant of the Nasrullah sire line and since 1990 there have been five horses from that line to win the Prevue: Massive Drama (2007), Proud Tower (2000), Grey Memo (1999), In Excessive Bull (1996) and Olympio.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes Roundup

Selected as the 3-1 morning line favorite, Blue Laser heads a field of 10 thoroughbreds entered in Saturday’s eighth running of the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes (G3) for 2-year-olds at Delta Downs.

Blue Laser, the only graded-stakes winner in the field, comes into the race with a half-length victory in the Grey Stakes (G3) at Woodbine on October 10 and looks like the horse to beat. He and is trained by Mark Casse who tied for the win in the 2007 Jackpot when his horse Turf War dead-heated with Z Humor.

I like Blue Laser’s pedigree. His sire, Bluegrass Cat, won the Remsen Stakes (G2) and Nashua Stakes (G3) as a 2-year-old and, as a 3-year-old, finished second in the Kentucky Derby (G1), Belmont Stakes (G1) and Travers Stakes (G1). Blue Laser’s damsire is the 1989 Canadian Triple Crown winner With Approval.

Blue Laser is a descendant of the Northern Dancer sire line and four horses from that line have won in the last seven editions of the Delta Downs Jackpot: Turf War, Birdbirdistheword (2006), Mr. Jester (2003) and Outa Here (2002).

A couple of long shots I like are Classic Legacy (6-1) and Bug Juice (8-1).

In his last race, the Grey Stakes (G3), Classic Legacy made a nice run from dead last at the half, sweeping six-wide past the field of nine-horses, to lead a the top of the stretch. However, despite the nice run, Classic Legacy could not keep the lead and finished third to Blue Laser – beaten by only three-quarters of a length.

Since then, Classic Legacy has been moved to the barn of trainer Bob Baffert and adds blinkers for the Jackpot. Jockey Joe Talamo gets the mount on Classic Legacy and I look for the pair to be closer to the pace.

Classic Legacy’s sire Macho Uno has 10 juvenile winners in 18 starters for 56 percent.

The Jackpot will be a big test for Bug Juice who has never run in a route race and steps up into graded stakes competition for the first-time. Bug Juice was very impressive in winning the Aspirant Stakes and New York Breeders’ Futurity, both at 6-furlongs, and it remains to be seen just how far he wants to run.

But, Bug Juice has the breeding to get the distance of the Jackpot. His sire, Mingun, was a graded stakes champion at a mile to 10-furlongs and his damsire, Twilight Agenda, won several 9-furlong graded stakes races.

A recent bullet work out over the Delta Downs track indicates that Bug Juice should be ready to run a good race.

In four starts, Sweet Ducky (4-1) has only been off the board once and comes into the Jackpot with three wins including a first-place finish in the Garden State Stakes and Seton Hall University Stakes – both were run at a mile at Monmouth Park.

A recent bullet work out November 13 at Delta Downs and Sweet Ducky should be ready to run a good race.

Classic Legacy is a descendant of the Holy Bull sire line, Bug Juice and Sweet Ducky are descendants of the Bold Ruler sire line and no runners from either of those lines have won during the short history of the Delta Downs Jackpot.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Breeders' Cup Pedigree Plays

A Look at the Breeders’ Cup Through Sire Lines

Next to the Triple Crown, the Breeders’ Cup offers horseracing fans and handicappers an exciting venue of racing with many opportunities to view some good racing and make money in the process. However, with fourteen competitive races and well more than a hundred horses entered in the two-day event (November 5-6 at Churchill Downs), handicapping the Breeders’ Cup can be a challenge.

In addition to studying the past performances, I like to study the sire lines of each divisional winner. Knowing the sire line that has produced the most winners is an important tool in the handicapper’s arsenal, and I have found that to be valuable in spotting potential handicapping angles as well as keeping up with historical trends.

In order to put the Breeders’ Cup races into perspective, an overview of American horseracing is necessary. A vast majority of thoroughbred champions in the last half of the twentieth century trace back to the sire line of Darley Arabian through his descendants Whalebone, Stockwell, Phalaris, Native Dancer, and Nearco.

Modern-day horseracing as we know it would not exist if it was not for Phalaris and his three sons—Sickle, Pharos, and Pharamond II. Born in 1913, Phalaris was a champion sprinter in 1917 and 1918, with a career record of 24: 16-2-1. However, Phalaris’ greatest contribution to horseracing was as a sire, and he was selected by Timeform as the sire of the twentieth century.

The greatest impact Phalaris and his sire line have had on horseracing has been by his great-great grandson Native Dancer and grandson Nearco.

Native Dancer, an outstanding champion—with a record of 22: 21-1-0—was sired by Polynesian out of the line of Sickle, and that line produced Mr. Prospector, which is one of the leading sire lines in the industry today.

Nearco, a champion racehorse who was undefeated in fourteen starts, was sired by Pharos, and the line of Nearco has given us most of our modern-day thoroughbred champions. Nearco’s greatest contribution comes from his two sons—Nasrullah and Royal Charger—and his two grandsons: Northern Dancer and Bold Ruler.

There are five sire lines descended from Phalaris that have had a major impact on the Breeders’ Cup races. Those sire lines are: Mr. Prospector, who is a descendent of the Native Dancer line. Nasrullah, Royal Charger, Northern Dancer, and Bold Ruler, who are descendents of the Nearco sire line.

Since 1984, a total of 208 Breeders’ Cup races have been run, and 174 (86 percent) of them have been won by horses out of the sire line of Phalaris and his descendants. Of those 208 Breeders’ Cup races, 127 (61 percent) of them have been won by horses out of the sire line of Phalaris’ grandson Nearco and his descendants, which breaks down as follows: 64 winners are out of the line of Nearco’s grandson Northern Dancer; 43 winners are out of the line of his son Nasrullah (with 19 of those out of the line of Nasrullah’s son Bold Ruler); 15 winners are out of the line of Nearco’s son Royal Charger (with 10 of those winners out of the sire line of Royal Charger’s grandson Hail To Reason); 5 winners are out of the line of Nearco’s son Nearctic.

The Mr. Prospector line has produced a total of 43 Breeders’ Cup winners. Of those 43 winners, 10 (23 percent) are from the line of his son Fappiano, and 8 (19 percent) are from the line of his son Gone West.

In all of the divisional races, the Northern Dancer sire line has the most winners in five divisions: Mile (15), Turf (10), Filly & Mare Turf (9), Ladies’ Classic (7), and Juvenile Fillies (7).

The Mr. Prospector sire line has the most winners in the Sprint (8), Juvenile (7), and Classic (6) divisions.


The Northern Dancer line has dominated the Mile with 15 winners (58 percent):

Horse, Sire

Goldikova (2009 and 2008), Anabaa
Artie Schiller (2005), El Prado
Val Royal (2001), Royal Academy

War Chant (2000), Danzig
Spinning World (1997), Nureyev
Barathea (1994), Sadler’s Wells
Lure (1993 and 1992), Danzig
Opening Verse (1991), The Minstrel
Royal Academy (1990), Nijinsky
Miesque (1988 and 1987), Nureyev
Last Tycoon (1986), Try My Best
Royal Heroine (1984), Lypheor

The Mr. Prospector line has produced five winners:

Horse, Sire

Kip Deville (2007), Kipling
Miesque’s Approval (2006), Miesque’s Son
Six Perfections (2003), Celtic Swing
Da Hoss (1998 and 1996), Gone West


The Northern Dancer line leads the Turf division with a total of 10 winners:

Horse, Sire

Red Rocks (2006), Galileo
High Chaparral (2003 and 2002), Sadler’s Wells
Chief Bearhart (1997), Chief’s Crown
Pilsudski (1996), Polish Precedent
Northern Spur (1995), Sadler’s Wells
Fraise (1992), Strawberry Road
In The Wings (1990), Sadler’s Wells
Theatrical (1987), Nureyev
Manila (1986), Lyphard

The Nasrullah line produced nine winners:

Horse, Sire

Conduit (2009 and 2008), Dalakhani
Better Talk Now (2004), Talkin Man
Fantastic Light (2001), Rahy
Kalanisi (2000), Doyoun
Daylami (1999), Doyoun
Tikkanen (1994), Cozzene
Kotashaan (1993), Darshaan
Lashkari (1984), Mill Reef


The Filly & Mare Turf was inaugurated in 1999, and in the past eleven years, the Northern Dancer sire line has produced nine winners:

Horse, Sire

Midday (2009), Oasis Dream
Forever Together (2008), Belong To Me
Lahudood (2007), Singspiel
Ouija Board (2006 and 2004), Cape Cross
Intercontinental (2005), Danehill
Islington (2003), Sadler’s Wells
Starine (2002), Mendocino
Banks Hill (2001), Danehill

The Royal Charger line produced the two remaining winners:

Horse, Sire

Perfect Sting (2000), Red Ransom
Soaring Softly (1999), Kris S.


The sire line of Northern Dancer has produced the most winners with a total of seven:

Horse, Sire

Life Is Sweet (2009), Storm Cat
Ginger Punch (2007), Awesome Again
Round Pond (2006), Awesome Again
Adoration (2003), Honor Grades
Escena (1998), Strawberry Road
Ajina (1997), Strawberry Road
Dance Smartly (1991), Danzig

The sire line of Mr. Prospector has produced five winners:

Horse, Sire

Zenyatta (2008), Street Cry
Pleasant Home (2005), Seeking The Gold
Azeri (2002), Jade Hunter
Unbridled Elaine (2001), Unbridled’s Song
Spain (2000), Thunder Gulch

The Bold Ruler line has also produced five winners:

Horse, Sire

Beautiful Pleasure (1999), Maudlin
Bayakoa (1990 and 1989), Consultant’s Bid
Sacahuista (1987), Raja Baba
Lady’s Secret (1986), Secretariat


The Northern Dancer sire line has the most winners with a total of seven:

Horse, Sire

Sweet Catomine (2004), Storm Cat
Storm Flag Flying (2002), Storm Cat
Silverbulletday (1998), Silver Deputy
Countess Diana (1997), Deerhound
Storm Song (1996), Summer Squall
Go For Wand (1989), Deputy Minister
Open Mind (1988), Deputy Minister

The Nasrullah line produced four winners:

Horse, Sire

Indian Blessing (2007), Indian Charlie
Dreaming Of Anna (2006), Rahy
Eliza (1992), Mt. Livermore
Brave Raj (1986), Rajab

The Mr. Prospector line produced three winners:

Horse, Sire

Halfbridled (2003), Unbridled
Cash Run (1999), Seeking The Gold
Flanders (1994), Seeking The Gold


The Mr. Prospector line leads the Sprint division with a total of eight winners:

Horse, Sire

Midnight Lute (2008 and 2007), Real Quiet
Speightstown (2004), Gone West
Cajun Beat (2003), Grand Slam
Squirtle Squirt (2001), Marquetry
Artax (1999), Marquetry
Gulch (1988), Mr. Prospector
Eillo (1984), Mr. Prospector

The Northern Dancer line produced six winners:

Horse, Sire

Dancing In Silks (2009), Black Minnaloushe
Reraise (1998), Danzatore
Lit de Justice (1996), El Gran Senor
Desert Stormer (1995), Storm Cat
Sheikh Albadou (1991), Green Desert
Dancing Spree (1989), Nijinsky


The Mr. Prospector sire line leads the Juvenile division with a total of seven winners:

Horse, Sire

Midshipman (2008), Unbridled’s Song
Street Sense (2006), Street Cry
Anees (1999), Unbridled
Unbridled’s Song (1995), Unbridled
Timber Country (1994), Woodman
Rhythm (1989), Mr. Prospector
Tasso (1985), Fappiano

The Bold Ruler line produced five winners:

Horse, Sire

Stevie Wonderboy (2005), Stephen Got Even
Vindication (2002), Seattle Slew
Boston Harbor (1996), Capote
Is It True (1988), Raja Baba
Capote (1986), Seattle Slew

The Northern Dancer line has produced four winners:

Horse, Sire

Vale Of York (2009), Invincible Spirit
Wilko (2004), Awesome Again
Johannesburg (2001), Hennessy
Chief’s Crown (1984), Danzig

The Royal Charger line has also produced three winners:

Horse, Sire

Action This Day (2003), Kris S.
Answer Lively (1998), Lively One
Brocco (1993), Kris S.


The sire line of Mr. Prospector has produced six winners:

Horse, Sire

Zenyatta (2009), Street Cry
Raven’s Pass (2008), Elusive Quality
Curlin (2007), Smart Strike
Volponi (2002), Cryptoclearance
Black Tie Affair (1991), Miswaki
Unbridled (1990), Fappiano

The sire line of Northern Dancer has produced five winners:

Horse, Sire

Ghostzapper (2004), Awesome Again
Cat Thief (1999), Storm Cat
Awesome Again (1998), Deputy Minister
Cigar (1995), Palace Music
Ferdinand (1987), Nijinsky

In 2007, the Breeders’ Cup committee added the Filly & Mare Sprint, Juvenile Turf, and Dirt Mile to the roster of Breeders’ Cup races. In 2008, the Marathon, Juvenile Fillies Turf, and Turf Sprint were also added to the roster for a total of fourteen races.

Descendants of the Mr. Prospector sire line have won seven of those races. Bold Ruler descendants have won three races. Northern Dancer and Nasrullah descendants have won one race each.


Fifty-six winners of Breeders’ Cup races have been produced by the sire line of Northern Dancer’s descendants Danzig, Sadler’s Wells, Storm Cat, Deputy Minister, Nijinsky, and Nureyev.

Of all the descendents of Northern Dancer, the sire line of his son Danzig (sire of War Chant, Lure, Dance Smartly, and Chief’s Crown) has produced the most Breeders’ Cup winners with a total of 19:

Ladies’ Classic – Adoration (2004), Dance Smartly (1991)
Juvenile – Vale Of York (2009), Chief’s Crown (1984)
Juvenile Fillies – Countess Diana (1997)
Turf – Chief Bearhart (1997), Pilsudski (1996)
Filly & Mare Turf – Midday (2009), Forever Together (2008), Ouija Board (2006 and 2004), Intercontinental (2005), Banks Hill (2001)
Sprint – Sheikh Albadou (1991)
Mile – Goldikova (2009 and 2008), War Chant (2000), Lure (1993 and 1992)

The Sadler’s Wells sire line produced nine winners—six were sired by Sadler’s Wells:

Turf – High Chaparral (2003 and 2002), Northern Spur (1995), In The Wings (1990)
Fillies & Mare Turf – Islington (2003)
Mile – Barathea (1994)

Sadler’s Wells’ son Galileo sired 2006 Turf winner Red Rocks, and another son, El Prado, sired 2005 Mile winner Artie Schiller. Sadler’s Wells’ grandson Singspiel sired 2007 Fillies & Mare Turf winner Lahudood.

The Storm Cat sire line produced eight winners—five were sired by Storm Cat:

Classic – Cat Thief (1999)
Ladies’ Classic – Life Is Sweet (2009)
Juvenile Fillies – Sweet Catomine (2004) and Storm Flag Flying (2002)
Sprint – Desert Stormer (1995)

Storm Cat’s son Giant’s Causeway sired 2009 Marathon winner Man Of Iron; another son, Black Minnaloushe, sired 2009 Sprint winner Dancing In Silks; and still another son, Hennessy, sired 2001 Juvenile winner Johannesburg.

The Deputy Minister sire line produced eight winners. His son Awesome Again sired four winners:

Classic – Ghostzapper (2004)
Ladies’ Classic – Ginger Punch (2007), Round Pond (2006)
Juvenile – Wilko (2004)

Deputy Minister sired three winners:
Classic – Awesome Again (1998)
Juvenile Fillies – Go For Wand (1989) and Open Mind (1988)

Deputy Minister’s son Silver Deputy sired 1998 Juvenile Fillies winner Silverbulletday.

The Nijinsky sire line produced seven winners. Nijinsky sired three winners:
Classic – Ferdinand (1987)
Sprint – Dancing Spree (1989)
Mile – Royal Academy (1990)

His grandson Strawberry Road sired three winners:
Ladies’ Classic – Escena (1998), Ajina (1997)
Turf – Fraise (1992)

His son Royal Academy sired 2001 Mile winner Val Royal.

The Nureyev sire line produced five winners—four were sired by Nureyev:
Mile – Spinning World (1997), Miesque (1987 and 1988)
Turf – Theatrical (1987)

His grandson Mendocino sired the 2002 Filly & Mare Turf winner Starine.


Eighteen winners of Breeders’ Cup races have been produced by the sire line of Mr. Prospector’s sons Fappiano and Gone West.

The sire line of Mr. Prospector’s son Fappiano produced 10 winners:
– Volponi (2002) and Unbridled (1990)
Ladies’ Classic – Unbridled Elaine (2001)
Juvenile – Midshipman (2008), Anees (1999), Unbridled’s Song (1995), and Tasso (1985)
Juvenile Fillies – Halfbridled (2003)
Sprint – Midnight Lute (2008 and 2007)

Fappiano sired Tasso and Unbridled, who sired Anees, Unbridled’s Song, and Halfbridled.

The sire line of Mr. Prospector’s son Gone West produced 8 winners:
Classic – Raven’s Pass (2008)
Turf – Johar (2003)
Sprint – Speightstown (2004), Cajun Beat (2003)
Mile – Da Hoss (1998 and 1996)
Filly & Mare Sprint – Maryfield (2007)
Juvenile Turf – Nownownow (2007)

Gone West sired Speightstown, Johar, and Da Hoss.


Excluding Nasrullah’s son Bold Ruler, 17 winners of Breeders’ Cup races have been produced by the sire line of Nasrullah’s descendants Blushing Groom and Never Bend.

The sire line of his grandson Blushing Groom produced 10 winners:
Juvenile Turf – Pounced (2009)
Classic – Invasor (2006)
Juvenile – War Pass (2007), Arazi (1991)
Juvenile Fillies – Dreaming Of Anna (2006), Eliza (1992)
Turf – Fantastic Light (2001)
Sprint – Orientate (2002), Cherokee Run (1994)
Mile – Silic (1999)

Blushing Groom’s son Rahy sired three winners (Pounced, Dreaming Of Anna, and Fantastic Light). Blushing Groom’s Son Mt. Livermore sired two winners (Eliza and Orientate).

The sire line of Nasrullah’s son Never Bend produced seven winners:
Turf – Conduit (2009 and 2008), Kalanisi (2000), Daylami (1999), Kotashaan (1993), and Lashkari (1984)
Sprint – Safely Kept (1990)


The sire line of his great-grandson Seattle Slew produced 12 winners:
Classic – A. P. Indy (1992)
Juvenile – Stevie Wonderboy (2005), Vindication (2002), Boston Harbor (1996), Capote (1986)
Juvenile Fillies – Stardom Bound (2008), Tempera (2001)
Sprint – Silver Train (2005), Thirty Slews (1992)
Juvenile Fillies Turf – Tapitsfly (2009)
Turf Sprint – California Flag (2009)
Dirt Mile – Corinthian (2007)

Seattle Slew sired A. P. Indy, Vindication, and Capote.


The sire line of his grandson Hail To Reason produced 10 winners:
Classic – St. Liam (2005), Sunday Silence (1989)
Ladies’ Classic – Ashado (2004)
Juvenile – Answer Lively (1998)
Filly & Mare Turf – Perfect Sting (2000)

Hail To Reason’s grandson Kris S. sired five winners:
Ladies’ Classic – Hollywood Wildcat (1993)
Juvenile – Action This Day (2003), Brocco (1993)
Turf – Prized (1989)
Filly & Mare Turf – Soaring Softly (1999)

Three sire lines of Breeders’ Cup winners that are not descended from Northern Dancer or Mr. Prospector include: Ribot, Man o’ War, and Damascus.

The Ribot sire line has produced eight winners:
Classic – Pleasantly Perfect (2003), Proud Truth (1985)
Ladies’ Classic – Jewel Princess (1996)
Juvenile Fillies – Pleasant Stage (1991)
Turf – Miss Alleged (1991)
Sprint – Kona Gold (2000), Very Subtle (1987)
Dirt Mile – Albertus Maximus (2008)

The Man o’ War sire line has produced seven winners:
Classic – Tiznow (2001 and 2000), Skywalker (1986)
Ladies’ Classic – One Dreamer (1994)
Juvenile Fillies – Folklore (2005), Caressing (2000)
Sprint – Smile (1986)

The Damascus sire line has produced six winners:
Classic – Skip Away (1997)
Ladies’ Classic – Inside Information (1995), Personal Ensign (1988)
Juvenile – Gilded Time (1992), Fly So Free (1990)
Sprint – Thor’s Echo (2006)

Some interesting statistics of note:

Despite the fact that the sire line of Mr. Prospector has dominated the American Classics (see the May/June 2010 issue of The HorsePlayer Magazine), Nearco’s grandson Northern Dancer has dominated the Breeders’ Cup with 64 winners—especially in the Mile (15) and Turf (10) divisions.

While compiling these statistics, the biggest surprise was that of all the descendents of Northern Dancer, the Danzig sire line has been the most productive with a total of 19 winners.

The Filly & Mare Turf division was inaugurated in 1999, and in the past eleven years, 6 of those winners have been produced by the sire line of Danzig.

The Fappiano line has been the most productive Mr. Prospector sire line with 10 winners.

The sire line of Nearco’s great-grandsons Hail To Reason and Blushing Groom have also produced 10 winners each.

The sire line of Nasrullah, including Bold Ruler, has produced 43 Breeders’ Cup winners, which equals the number of winners sired by Mr. Prospector’s sire line. Twelve of the 19 Bold Ruler sire line winners are descendants of his great-grandson Seattle Slew.

Half of the Deputy Minister sire-line winners were sired by his son Awesome Again.

Sixty-seven percent of the Sadler’s Wells sire line winners were sired by Sadler’s Wells.

Here’s a look at the horses I like in the different divisions:


Division, Horse, Sire, Sire Line

Marathon (G3), A.U. Miner, Mineshaft, Bold Ruler
Juvenile Fillies Turf, Winter Memories, El Prado, Northern Dancer
Filly and Mare Sprint (G1), Rightly So, Read The Footnotes, Mr. Prospector
Juvenile Fillies (G1), Tell A Kelly, Tapit, Bold Ruler
Filly and Mare Turf (G1), Hibaayeb, Singspiel, Northern Dancer
Ladies’ Classic (G1), Life At Ten, Malibu Moon, Bold Ruler


Division, Horse, Sire, Sire Line
Juvenile Turf (G2), Air Support, Smart Strike, Mr. Prospector
Sprint (G1), Smiling Tiger, Hold That Tiger, Northern Dancer
Turf Sprint (G2), Quick Enough, High Brite, Royal Charger
Juvenile (G1), Uncle Mo, Indian Charlie, Nasrullah
Mile (G1), Goldikova, Anabaa, Northern Dancer
Dirt Mile (G1), Tizway, Tiznow, Man O’ War
Turf (G1), Workforce, King's Best, Mr. Prospector
Classic (G1), Zenyatta, Street Cry, Mr. Prospector

As you can see the Breeders’ Cup has a rich history with a wide variety of exciting races for fans and handicappers alike.

Good luck with your picks!