Pedigree authority Lauren Stich at Grade One Racing has written a couple of nice profiles about two horses I like - Brethren and her Kentucky Derby favorite To Honor And Serve (See my December 23 blog).
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Not only does To Honor And Serve have excellent breeding on his sire line with Bernardini, A.P. Indy and Seattle Slew, but the dam line which descends from Golden Trail, the 5th dam of To Honor And Serve, is also very powerful.
Stich noted that Golden Trail is the ancestral dam of multiple graded stakes winners Brian’s Time, Sunshine Forever and Memories of Silver. Golden Trail is also the fifth dam of 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos and she is the third dam of Dynaformer.
I’m keenly aware of the importance of sire lines but dam lines are also important when it comes to producing a Classic Champion Thoroughbred.
Golden Trail is an important broodmare that Edward L. Bowen wrote about in his book Matriarchs Volume II: More Great Mares of Modern Times.
Golden Trail is also ranked 34th on Roger Lyons of Pedigree Matters Top 40 Dam Lines of SW’s, 1995 to Present. Another important appealing aspect of Golden Trail is that when she is found in the pedigree there are three generations of strong female influence. Sunny Vale, the dam of Golden Trail, is ranked 32nd on Lyons' list and her dam, Sun Mixa, is ranked 21st.
To Honor And Serve is a descendant of Family Number 4-r which traces back to Cub Mare. Family 4 descends from the Foundation Mare Layton Barb Mare and has produced the most Kentucky Derby winners with 17 in the winners circle. Family 4-r produced the Derby winners Monarchos (2001), Black Gold (1924), Donau (1910), Manuel (1899) and Halma (1895).
Brethren is a descendant of Family 1 Foundation Mare Tregonwell’s Natural Barb Mare. Family 1 ranks second with 14 Kentucky Derby winners.
Brethren’s dam line is descended from the legendary La Troienne (Family 1-x) and she tops Lyons’ Top 40 Dam Line list at number one. When La Troienne is found in the pedigree there are four generations of strong female influence with Striking, Baby League, La Troienne and Helene de Troie.
Striking is the seventh dam of Brethren and she is ranked 9th on Lyons list. Baby League is ranked 14th. La Troienne is number one and Helene de Troie is ranked 6th. Striking, Baby League and La Troienne are Reines-de-Course (Queen of the Turf) mares. Glamour in the 6th generation, Intriguing in the 5th and Numbered Account in the 4th generation are all Reines-de-Course mares. Six generations of Reines-de-Course mares in the pedigree is an extremely powerful influence and in addition to the dam line, Brethren has three more strains of La Troienne in his pedigree.
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.
To Honor and Serve has three strains of La Troienne in his pedigree and I believe that he and Brethren will do well on the Derby trail. In addition to La Troienne, the pedigree of To Honor And Serve and Brethren are both rich with the influence of several other outstanding female lines which are so important in the development of a Classic Champion Thoroughbred.
Here’s a look at the Kentucky Derby winners and their female family:
T = Triple Crown winner
Family 1: Tregonwell’s Natural Barb Mare – 1-x = Super Saver (2010). 1-x = Smarty Jones (2004). 1-c = Grindstone (1996). 1-x = Go For Gin (1994). 1-x = Sea Hero (1993). 1-r = Unbridled (1990). 1-s = Spend A Buck (1985). 1-n = Swale (1984).1-n = Genuine Risk (1980). 1-k = Riva Ridge (1972). 1-t = Proud Clarion (1967). 1-n = Tomy Lee (1959). 1-p = Pensive (1944). 1-o = Morvich (1922). (14).
Family 2: Burton’s Barb Mare – 2-d = Giacomo (2005). 2-d = Spectacular Bid (1979). 2-d = Cannonade (1974). 2-s = Secretariat-T (1973). 2-d = Northern Dancer (1964). 2-e = Reigh Count (1928). 2-c = Buchanan (1884). (7).
Family 3: Dam of Two True Blues – 3-l = Silver Charm (1997). 3-e = Sunday Silence (1989). 3-j = Dust Commander (1970). 3-d = Lucky Debonair (1965). 3-n = Dark Star (1953). 3-l = Citation-T (1948). (6).
Family 4: Layton Barb Mare – 4-r = Monarchos (2001). 4-d = Real Quiet (1998). 4-m = Sunny’s Halo (1983). 4-n = Canonero (1971). 4-d = Majestic Prince (1969). 4-m = Venetian Way (1960). 4-m = Middleground (1950). 4-c = Assault-T (1946). 4-e = Gallahadion (1940). 4-m = Lawrin (1938). 4-n = Gallant Fox-T (1930). 4-r = Black Gold (1924). 4-r = Donau (1910). 4 = Wintergreen (1909). 4-r = Manuel (1899). 4-r = Halma (1895). 4-m = Day Star (1878). (17).
Family 5: The Massey Mare – 5-h = Big Brown (2008). 5-a = Pleasant Colony (1981). 5-e = Needles (1956). 5-j = Determine (1954). 5-i = Flying Ebony (1925). 5-g = Sir Huon (1906). 5-g = Elwood (1904). (7).
Family 6: Old Bald Peg – 6-d = Funny Cide (2003). 6-a = Count Fleet-T (1943). 6-a = Bold Venture (1936). 6-a = Old Rosebud (1914). 6-a = Worth (1912). (5).
Family 7: Lord Darcy’s Blacklegs – No Winners.
Family 8: Bustler Mare – 8-c = Fusaichi Pegasus (2000). 8-h = Whirlaway-T (1941). 8-h = Bubbling Over (1926). (3).
Family 9: Vinter Mare – 9-f = Bold Forbes (1976). 9-c = Forward Pass (1968). 9 = Hoop Jr. (1945). 9-g = Sir Barton-T (1919). 9-h = Omar Khayyam (1917). 9-a = Spokane (1889). (6).
Family 10: Oysterfoot Mare (Fair Helen Family) – 10-a = Charismatic (1999). 10-d = George Smith (1916). (2).
Family 11: Sedbury Royal Mare – 11-d = Thunder Gulch (1995). 11-c = Hill Gail (1952). 11-g = War Admiral-T (1937). 11 = Ben Ali (1886). (4).
Family 12: Royal Mare – 12-g = Cavalcade (1934). 12-c = Broker’s Tip (1933). 12 = His Eminence (1901). 12 = Joe Cotton (1885). 12-b = Leonatus (1883). 12-b = Baden-Baden (1877). (6).
Family 13: Sedbury Royal Mare – 13-c = Ferdinand (1986). 13-c = Seattle Slew-T (1977). 13-c = Jet Pilot (1947). (3).
Family 14: Oldfield Mare – 14b-Foolish Pleasure (1975). (1).
Family 15: Royal Mare – No Winners.
Family 16: Sister to Stripling – 16-h = Barbaro (2006). 16-c = Strike The Gold (1991). 16-h = Chateaugay (1963). 16-g = Shut Out (1942). (4).
Family 17: Byerly Turk Mare – 17-b = Decidedly (1962). Johnstown (1939). Omaha-T (1935). (3).
Family 18: Old Woodcock Mare – No Winners.
Family 19: Davill’s Woodcock Mare – No Winners.
Family 20: Daffodil’s Dam – 20-b = War Emblem (2002). 20 = Alysheba (1987). Meridian (1911). (3).
Family 21: Moonah Barb Mare – 21-a = Whiskery (1927). 21 = Stone Street (1908). 21-a = Plaudit (1898). (3).
Family 22: Belgrade Turk Mare – 22-b = Street Sense (2007). 22-b = Count Turf (1951). (2).
Family 23: Piping Peg’s Dam – 23-b = Mine That Bird (2009). 23-b = Lil E. Tee (1992). 23-b = Winning Colors (1988). 23-b = Affirmed-T (1978). 23-b = Tim Tim (1958). 23 = Ponder (1949). 23-a = Burgoo King (1932). 23-b = Zev (1923). 23-b = Kingman (1891). (9).
Family 24: Helmsley Turk Mare – 24 = Carry Back (1961). 24 = Paul Jones (1920). 24 = Agile (1905). 24 = Hindoo (1881). 24 = Fonso (1880). (5).