Saturday, September 10, 2011
The pedigree is the most important tool I use to determine if a young colt or filly has star potential. Kerry studies the behavior of the horse and that analysis results in an Emotional Conformation Profile which is a measurement of that horses potential.
Physical conformation only gives one a partial glance at the ability of an individual horse. Emotional Conformation can reveal if it has the heart and mind of a potential champion.
The Emotional Conformation of the Thoroughbred racehorses Seabiscuit and Zenyatta, and the mental fortitude of basketball star Michael Jordan propelled them to greatness. Their mental aptitude, combined with their physical talent, set them apart and made them a success.
Federico Tesio knew about the importance of studying horse behavior.
Of all the renowned breeders and trainers of thoroughbred racehorses, Tesio was one of the greatest. Tesio spent a lifetime researching and studying the horse. He knew pedigrees inside and out and was keenly aware of the importance of selecting the right bloodlines.
In addition to his knowledge of pedigrees and bloodlines, one of the keys for his success was due to his study of horse behavior or, stated differently, Tesio studied the Emotional Conformation of the horse.
Indeed, Tesio knew that a horse “wins with his character” and that, in addition to pedigrees and bloodlines, Emotional Conformation is the final piece of the breeding puzzle needed to produce a champion.
And Tesio was good at that. He bred and trained and incredible 22 Italiano Derby winners. His champions Nearco and Ribot are legends of the turf.
Franco Varola, a noted writer and author instrumental in the development of Dosage, knew Tesio and he, too, knew the importance of horse behavior. His Dosage (not the one commonly used today) consisted of five “aptitudinal” groups and Varola was more interested in the behavioral traits and characteristics that each sire transmitted to its offspring.
“The differences between the five aptitudinal groups are of essence or character,” noted Varola in his book Typology of the Racehorse. “It matters very little whether a racehorse is 16 hands or 16.2, or whether it is chestnut or brown; but it does matter a lot the way he behaves in actual racing, whether he is consistent or erratic, brilliant or slow, bellicose or resigned, in other words which pattern or mode of being is he expressing. …It is of great utility to be able to distinguish between these various aptitudes, this being something that plays an effective part in mating.”
Any breeder will tell you that you can breed a high standing sire to a wonderful, proven mare and, yet, two of their full-blood offspring, seemingly equal in physical stature and racing ability, will often have vast differences in performance levels on the racetrack. One horse may be an excellent runner while the other is a mediocre or poor runner.
At stud, the excellent runner may have offspring that are less talented than the sire while the mediocre horse produces offspring that excel at the racetrack. Both horses have the same genetic origin and, yet, their history and the history of their offspring can be vastly different.
Indeed, genetics, alone, is not the determining factor for success or failure. But, rather, it is the mind of the horse that is in complete control of the will and, thus, performance, on and off the racetrack.
That makes it very clear that while physical ability is important, the mental capacity of the equine controls the physical output of the athlete.
And Kerry is good at studying the mental capacity of the equine. His Emotional Conformation Profile of Animal kingdom for Kentucky Confidential online magazine picked the lightly-raced colt as a good choice to win the Kentucky Derby.
“He has a very high herd dynamic in that he is always in self-control…This horse’s mental capacity rises to the occasion, and he doesn’t miss a step…He remains controlled in any circumstance.”
I have a good record of picking Classic Champion Thoroughbreds too:
“Readers who follow my blog know that Animal Kingdom has been my favorite since I wrote about him in my 2011 Kentucky Derby Outlook last December. …Animal Kingdom has always reigned supreme on my list. He has the breeding and mental toughness to easily handle the demanding 10-furlongs of the Kentucky Derby.” – Kentucky Derby blog
“The type of breeding pattern in the pedigree of Pour Moi where all the stallions on the tail-female line, the damsire line, and the sire line forms what I refer to as a “W” pattern and it’s a powerful influence I look for in the pedigree. Treasure Beach has the same “W” pattern in his pedigree and he’s the only horse that has raced 12-furlongs.” – Epsom Derby blog
“Super Saver, along with Eskendereya and Winslow Homer were three key horses on my watch last January because I really liked their pedigrees. …Super Saver has the “will to win” and so does Borel – that’s a good combination.” – Kentucky Derby blog
“Lookin At Lucky, in my opinion, is all heart and I like the jockey switch to Martin Garcia. Going into the the Kentucky Derby, I thought that Super Saver and Lookin At Lucky were the two best horses and I believe they are the two best in the Preakness field.” – Preakness blog
“Summer Bird…was my favorite for the Kentucky Derby. I also backed him in the Belmont and Travers. Every now and then when I’m studying pedigrees I have a “Wow” moment. In 2009 my “Wow” moment occurred in March while studying the pedigree of Summer Bird. …I was so impressed with the pedigree of Summer Bird that I thought he had the potential to become a Classic Champion Thoroughbred.” – Summer Bird blog
Kerry and I are staying at the Pineknoll Center For Integrated Horsemanship and if you would like an Emotional Conformation Profile or pedigree report (or both) of Keeneland yearlings you can reach us at (859) 253-6838.
You can also reach us during the sale, and after, for a pedigree report and an Emotional Conformation Profile at our email address:
Calvin L. Carter – firstname.lastname@example.org
Kerry M. Thomas – email@example.com
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Trained by Mike Harrington, Creative Cause is undefeated in two starts and comes into the race with a 1¾-length victory in the Best Pal Stakes (G2) at Del Mar on August 7.
Prior to that effort, Creative Cause cruised to an easy 4¾-length win in his maiden debut at Hollywood Park on July 16 and earned a top 107 Brisnet Speed Figure for that performance.
I believe that Creative Cause is the deserving favorite and that he will like the stretch out to 7-furlongs.
Giant’s Causeway, the sire of Creative Cause, was undefeated in three starts as a two-year-old in Europe including a 2-length win in both the 7-furlong Futurity Stakes (Group 3) and the 7-furlong Prix de la Salamandre (Group 1).
Storm Cat, the grandsire of Creative Cause, is well known for siring precocious two-year-olds and he is the grandsire of Georgie Boy – winner of the 2007 Del Mar Futurity Stakes (G1). Storm Cat is also the damsire of 2006 Futurity winner Horse Greeley.
Dream Of Summer, the dam of Creative Cause, was a multiple graded stakes winner who was competitive in sprint and route races up to 8½-furlongs and earned over $1 million during her racing career.
Majestic City is the 5-2 morning line second choice and in three starts he also undefeated.
Trained by Peter Miller, Majestic City has earned all of his victories at Hollywood Park and he comes into the race with a 2¼-length win in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes (G3) on July 17. Prior to that, Majestic City won the Willard L. Proctor Memorial Stakes by 3½-lengths on June 12 and he earned a 104 speed figure in his maiden debut win on May 21.
City Zip, the sire of Majestic City, was a precious two-year-old winner of the Hopeful Stakes (G1), Saratoga Special Stakes (G2), Sanford Stakes (G2) and Tremont Stakes (G3) and he is well known for getting precocious two-year-olds.
City Zip is ranked 12th on the Thoroughbred Times Juvenile Sire List with seven winners in 16 starters for a 44% strike rate.
Majestic City is a descendant of the Mr. Prospector sire line and that line has produced five five Futurity winners since 1990: Lookin At Lucky (2009), Midshipman (2008), Horse Greeley (2006), Souvenir Copy (1997) and On Target (1994).
Hall of Fame Trainer Bob Baffert has won the Futurity a record nine times and he will send Drill (7-2) and Gun Boat (8-1) to the post. Of the two, I like Drill the most.
Drill is stepping up in class and comes into the race off a maiden win at Del Mar on August 13. The time of 1:16.56 for the 6½-furlongs was pretty decent and a sharp bullet work out on September 3 may indicate that Drill in ready for a career best.
Lawyer Ron, the sire of Drill, won three races in 10 starts as a two-year-old including a 10-length romp in an one mile, 70-yard allowance race at Louisiana Downs and an 8½-length romp in the one mile Diamond Joe Stakes at Evangeline Downs.
The dam and grand dam of Drill were not that productive on the racetrack, but the third dam Water Dance won the Twilight Tear Stakes and placed in the Long Look Handicap (G2), Beaugay Handicap, Hannah Dustin Handicap and Miss Liberty Handicap.
Luiana, the fourth dam of Drill, was a Reine-de-Course producer of seven winners including Prayers'N Promises, winner of the Matron Stakes (G1) and Spinaway Stakes (G1), as well as the Preakness Stakes (G1) and Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Little Current.
Banquet Bell, the fifth dam of Drill, was a Matriarch of the Turf and the dam Chateaugay, winner of the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Belmont Stakes (G1).
If Drill repeats the form of his last race, he should be competitive.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
So far, Labor Day weekend has been very rewarding for the stallion Henny Hughes, whose two-year-old colt She Digs Me cruised to 6¼-length victory Saturday in the 78th running of the Sapling Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park.
The win vaulted Henny Hughes from fifth-place to second on the Thoroughbred Times 2011 Juvenile Sire List and he stands poised to take the lead on Monday with a victory by his two-year-old colt J C’s Pride who will go to the post as the 5-2 morning line favorite of the $250,000 Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course.
J C’s Pride earned a 104 Brisnet Speed figure for that performance and followed that up 26 days later with a 107 speed figure he earned cruising to a 3¼-length win in a 5-furlong sprint at Saratoga on July 27.
His sire, Henny Hughes, was a precocious two-year-old who won the Saratoga Special Stakes (G2) and Tremont Stakes and finished second in the Hopeful Stakes (G1), Champagne Stakes (G1) and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Stakes (G1). Hennessy, the grandsire of J C’s Pride, also won the Hopeful Stakes (G1), Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes (G2) and the Sapling Stakes (G3).
Henny Hughes has 11 juvenile winners in 27 starters for a 41% strike rate. If J C’s Pride repeats the form of his maiden win he will be competitive.
Currency Swap, the 3-1 morning line second-choice, should also be competitive. He comes into the race with a 108 speed figure he earned while cruising to a 6-length romp in a 6½-furlong sprint race at Saratoga on August 6.
High Cotton, the sire of Currency Swap, finished second in the Iroquois Stakes (G3) and Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) as a two-year-old and at stud, he is ranked 10th on the Thoroughbred Times 2011 Freshman Sire list with six juvenile winners in 21 starters for a 29% strike rate.
Currency Swap also gets some good influence from his damsire Pine Bluff who at the age of two won the Remsen Stakes (G2) and Nashua Stakes (G3) and finished third in the Champagne Stakes (G1) and Futurity Stakes (G1). At the age of three, Pine Bluff won the Rebel Stakes (G3), Arkansas Derby (G2) and Preakness Stakes (G1). Pine Bluff finished second in the Southwest Stakes and third in the Belmont Stakes (G1).
Currency Swap is a descendant of the Northern Dancer sire line and since 1989 that line has produced eight Hopeful winners: First Samurai (2005), High Yield (1999), Lucky Roberto (1998), Hennessy (1995), Dehere (1993), Salt Lake (1991), Deposit Ticket (1990) and Summer Squall (1989).
Trainer Doug O’Neill ships I’ll Have Another in from the west coast where in his last race he was a 1¾-length runner-up to the speedy Creative Cause in the Best Pal Stakes (G2) at Del Mar Racetrack on August 7. Prior to that, I’ll Have Another won his maiden debut at Hollywood Park on July 3.
Flower Alley, the sire of I’ll Have Another, finished third in his only start as a two-year-old but at the age of three, he won Lane's End Stakes (G2), Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) and Travers Stakes (G1) and finished second in the Arkansas Derby (G2), Dwyer Stakes (G2) and Breeders' Cup Classic Stakes (G1).
I’ll Have Another is a descendant of the Mr. Prospector sire line and since 1989 that line has produced nine Hopeful winners: Dublin (2009), Vineyard Haven (2008), Circular Quay (2006), Afleet Alex (2004), Silver Wagon (2003), Came Home (2001), City Zip (2000, dead-heated with Yonaguska), Smoke Glacken (1996) and Great Navigator (1992).
Power World, also a sire line descendant of Mr. Prospector, has never finished worse than second in three starts and comes into the Hopeful with two second-place finishes in the Bashford Manor Stakes (G3) and Sanford Stakes (G2).
In his last race, Power World was a 4-length runner-up to the speedy Overdriven in the 6-furlong Sanford Stakes (G2). Power World will probably do better as the races get longer and I think he’ll like the stretch out to 7-furlongs.
Distorted Humor, the sire of Power World, is well known for getting precocious two-year-old sprinters and middle-distance runners as well as the occasional classic winner. Distorted Humor is the sire of Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide and Belmont Winner Drosselmeyer.
Storm Cat, the damsire of Power World, is also well known for getting precocious two-year-olds. He is the sire of Hopeful winner High Yield (1999) and the great grandsire of First Samurai, winner of the 2005 Hopeful.
The tail-female line of Power World traces back to the fourth dam Lady Be Good, a Matriarch of the turf, who also is the fourth dam of Epsom Derby winner Motivator and the second dam of Wavering Monarch, the grandsire of Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos.
Lady Be Good is also the fourth dam of the outstanding filly Goodbye Halo – winner of the Hollywood Starlet Stakes (G1), Demoiselle Stakes (G1), Coaching Club American Oaks (G1), Kentucky Oaks (G1), Mother Goose Stakes (G1) and Las Virgenes Stakes (G1).
Honorable mention goes to Laurie’s Rocket (20-1) who’s making a big step up in class but I liked what I saw when he quickened in the final furlong of his last race to break his maiden on July 23 at Saratoga.
Since then, Laurie’s Rocket has fired two bullet work outs over the Saratoga surface and if he looks good in the post parade I’ll probably use him in some wagers.
Friday, September 2, 2011
The 78th running of the Sapling Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park Saturday is shaping up to be competitive edition of the $100,000 stakes race with the potential for several of the 11 two-year-old Thoroughbreds entered in the race to earn Graded Stakes honors.
Steve Asmussen, looking for his fourth win in the Sapling, will send the 3-1 morning line favorite Voodoo Daddy and She Digs Me, the morning line third-choice, to the starting gate. Asmussen previously won with Western Smoke (2010), Lantana Mob (2007) and He’s Got Grit (2005) and I look for his two entries in Saturday’s race to be competitive.
Voodoo Daddy has a 102 Brisnet Speed Figure which is the highest of all the other horses entered in the race. He earned the speed figure winning his maiden debut by 3½-lengths in a 5-furlong sprint race at Saratoga on August 17.
City Zip, the sire of Voodoo Daddy, was a precocious two-year-old winner of the Hopeful Stakes (G1), Saratoga Special Stakes (G2), Sanford Stakes (G2) and Tremont Stakes (G3) and he is well known for siring precocious juveniles. His current leading juvenile money earner is Majestic City, winner of the Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes (G3) and the Willard L. Proctor Memorial Stakes.
City Zip is ranked 10th on the Thoroughbred Times 2011 Juvenile Sire List with seven winners in 14 starters for a 50% strike rate.
She Digs Me is the only horse in the race with a stakes win to his credit. He comes into the race with a 2-1-0 record in four starts including a 2-length win in the Tyro Stakes at Monmouth on July 24. She Digs Me earned a 96 speed figure for the stakes win and covered the 5½-furlongs in a sharp 1:03.95.
Henny Hughes, the sire of She Digs Me, was a precocious two-year-old who won the Saratoga Special Stakes (G2) and Tremont Stakes and finished second in the Hopeful Stakes (G1), Champagne Stakes (G1) and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Stakes (G1). Hennessy, the grandsire of She Digs Me, also won the Hopeful Stakes (G1), Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes (G2) and the Sapling Stakes (G3).
Henny Hughes is ranked fifth on the Thoroughbred Times 2011 Juvenile Sire List with 11 winners in 27 juvenile starters for a 41% strike rate.
High Heat finished fifth in his maiden debut on July 12, beaten 7¾-lengths by Union Rags who also was making his maiden debut. In his next race, Union Rags won the Saratoga Special Stakes (G2) in an impressive 7¼-length romp over a sloppy sealed track.
High Heat followed up his fifth-place finish three weeks later with an impressive 3¾-length win in a 6-furlong sprint at Delaware Park on August 1.
Trained by Michael Trombetta, High Heat appears to be an improving two-year-old colt out of first-crop sire Latent Heat who is ranked seventh on the Thoroughbred Times 2011 Freshman Sire List with six winners out of 18 juvenile starters for a 33% strike rate.
Jockey Jeremy Rose had the mount on High Heat in his first two races and he retains the mount in the Sapling. A sharp bullet work out on August 27, the only one High Heat has fired, could have him ready to run a good race on Saturday.
Managed Account comes into the race off of an impressive 5¼-length maiden debut win at Monmouth on August 13. If Managed Account repeats that form in the Sapling, he should be competitive.
Malibu Moon, the sire of Managed Account, is also known to sire precocious juveniles. His best two-year-old was Eclipse Champion Declan’s Moon who won the Hollywood Futurity (G1), Del Mar Futurity (G2) and the Hollywood Prevue Stakes (G3).
Ranked 22nd on the Thoroughbred Times 2011 Juvenile Sire List, Malibu Moon has a 25% strike rate with 7 winners in 28 juvenile starters.