Thursday, January 28, 2010

Speedy Somolli versus Florestan

The entries for the Prix D'Amerique have been declared. Eighteen horses will go to the post in search of winning the most prestigious race for trotters in Europe. Will the winner have Speedy Somolli in his/her pedigree or Florestan. Here are the entries

1. Quaker Jet
2. Oasis Gede
3. Paris Haufor
4. Rolling d'Heripe
5. Quarla
6. Oyonnax
7. Return Money
8. Orlando Sport
9. Perlando
10. Ghiaccio del Nord
11. Premiere Speed
12. Ready Cash
13. Russel November
14. Nouba du Saptel
15. Olga du Biwetz
16. One du Rib
15. Opal Viking
16. Meaulnes du Corta

Post positions in French racing are determined by the earnings so last year's winner, Meaulnes du Corta draws the outside post with his highest earnings status. Since this is not a mobile start and is at a distance greater than a mile then the post is not really a factor. The Prix typically sees horses three wide and sitting, satisfied to be in a position to move around rather than getting locked in.

Meaulnes du Corta has a dam by Florestan but this year he meets a formidable rival in the speedy Ready Cash, the only horse in the field to have Florestan on both sides of his pedigree, 4x4 maternally in fact. His sire, Indy de Vie has a second dam by Florestan and third dam by Seddouk while his dam has a grandsire by Florestan whose dam is also by Seddouk.

Leaving on the rail is Quaker Jet who figures to be a rank longshot but , like Ready Cash, has a 4x4 maternal cross, in this case to Speedy Somolli not Florestan. His sire has a second dam by Speedy Somolli while his third dam is by a son of Speedy Somolli. Adding to the intrigue is a sibling cross 2x2 of Coktail Jet to his sister Delmonica Jet.

One of the favorites will be Opal Viking whose sire is out of a mare by Speedy Somolli and his dam is by a full brother to Speedy Somolli. Remember Cr Kay Suzie ?

There are a couple of others to consider. Oyonnax has a third dam by Florestan and his sire has a dam by Speedy Somolli, and Nouba du Saptel's dam is by Florestan. That gives us seven horses in the field to consider based on Rainer Engelkes predictions of the importance of Speedy Somolli and Florestan.

Who do you think will win ? My own prediction is

1. Ready Cash
2. Meaulnes du Corta
3, Quaker Jet
4. Nouba du Saptel
5. Oyonnax

The race goes Sunday around noon Eastern time.

First Year Pacing Stallions

There are two interesting new stallions that will serve their first books this year both in North America and in Australia/New Zealand.

Mister Big

This is a unique horse in more ways than one. An outstanding race horse he certainly was and his chances of carrying his success into his stallion career are excellent since his maternal pedigree allows him to connect to the principal sire lines of today.

The first priority is to find mares that fit Mister Big’s maternal lines of Jate Lobell and Cam Fella in particular. Having a dam that is line bred through Most Happy Fella is another of his unique characteristics since there is no other stallion currently standing that is bred that way. There are several that have double Meadow Skipper dams i.e. first and second dams both go through Meadow Skipper, but they all have one of those dams go through a son of Meadow Skipper other than Most Happy Fella.

A review of the sires which are similar in pedigree, although not exactly the same, shows that Real Desire is the best model for success for a sire such as Mister Big. Like Mister Big, Real Desire is by an Abercrombie line sire, albeit through Life Sign, not Artsplace. Real Desire’s maternal lines are Troublemaker (Most Happy Fella) and Trenton (Meadow Skipper). His profile shows, like all of the other sires with double Meadow Skipper dams, a preference for mares that are also double Meadow Skipper. In fact of his top 16 performers there are 12 that are bred this way including his top 4. The remaining four are from non Meadow Skipper line dams that have a second dam through Most Happy Fella and three of those have a broodmare sire with a dam by Meadow Skipper or Albatross.

Many of the mares that have been successful with Real Desire are in fact very good matches to Mister Big including the dams of Tell All, Carnivore and Cabana Fever to name a few.

Being an Abercrombie line sire he is unlikely to have consistent success with mares of the same sire line but there will be exceptions. It is not, however, a high percentage play.

His dam is by Jate Lobell and that brings into play the many broodmares with No Nukes sire lines including those by Western Hanover and his sons. Mister Big’s second dam is by Cam Fella which makes mares by Camluck, Cams Card Shark etc., especially those that carry the No Nukes line, high priorities as well.

Cams Card Shark and No Nukes was a very good cross and a mare like Card Trick Hanover would be ideal as would a Camluck mare such as Chancey Lady or Remember When, both with No Nukes maternally, the latter through Jate Lobell.

The sire profile for the group of sires that Mister Big belongs to is as follows:

Double Meadow Skipper line dams with the exception of dams with a Meadow Skipper, a son, or an Albatross line 2nd dam or dams with no Meadow Skipper maternally.

In summary I would look primarily for mares that are line bred through Meadow Skipper and that carry combinations of Cam Fella, No Nukes and/or Albatross maternally. It would probably be helpful to find mares that have maternal dams by Abercrombie or one of his sons if possible.

Art Director

Like Mister Big, this sire has an unusual maternal combination, in his case it is of Falcon Seelster – Safe Arrival. This combination of an Adios and a Volomite line is shared with only five other active sires including Village Jolt and Western Maverick, the only ones to have foals racing. These others, however, are all Meadow Skipper line sires making Art Official the only Abercrombie line sire in existence with such a maternal package.

Looking at the profiles of Village Jolt and Western Maverick to date there is little to help us since neither sire has really hit with any consistency. As is typical in cases where there is an unusual maternal combination the mares that will work will often throw back to the grandsire rather than the sire. Such was very much the case for Camluck whose maternal lines of Striking Image (Adios line) and Truluck (Knight Dream) were only to be found in Abercrombie mares. That was actually one of his best crosses but the majority of his best returned to the Bret Hanover – Dale Frost combination in the maternal line of Camluck’s sire Cam Fella.

Art Major’s maternal lines are Nihilator (Albatross line) and Big Towner. Albatross and Big Towner have been key factors in the profile of Art Major although neither featured in Art Official’s pedigree. Like many of the great ones his pedigree, similar to that of Somebeachsomewhere, is a strong outcross due to the two Volomite lines he has maternally. This hybridization in a pedigree very often results in something special but is a rare occurrence. You can make use of the Volomite connection, however, by going to Mach Three mares which would give you a direct maternal connection to both Volomite and Adios since Mach Three is by a Volomite line sire out of an Adios line dam. For instance a mare like Mach You And me, who also carries Albatross maternally, would be a good choice while an even better one would be Stabilo.

You should also look for broodmare sires with Volomite line dams such as Rustler Hanover, Rocknroll Hanover, Cambest, Beach Towel, etc. The good mare Draconian Promise would be worthy of an invitation with her second dam by Falcon Seelster. The same applies to Red In The Face, Literacy and several others with similar pedigrees. Perhaps you can convince Shacked Up to retire

Art Official will be a difficult sire to fit to but if you can get enough of the right ones to him the first year then he will have a chance to prove what he really works with.

His prospects in New Zealand and Australia will likely be better because of the influence of the Volomite line sire In The Pocket and his sons at stud providing daughters with the right connections for Art Official. There are also several Albatross line stallions there bred to several different Volomite lines that have produced suitable daughters. Also worth looking for are daughters of Falcon Seelster.

His sire profile is listed as: Non Meadow Skipper line dams except for double Meadow Skipper line dams or Meadow Skipper line dams with a Volomite line 2nd or 3rd dam.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Two-Year-Olds and Yearling Sales

It is always a bit of an eye opener to check out the results of the major Standardbred yearling sales after the end of the two-year-old year and this year is no exception. Lets look at the pacers first that went through the major North American sales in 2008.

To put the stats into context there were about 9500 yearlings in 2008 by new sires or by sires that have produced a significant performer, i.e. a winner of $100,000 or more, in previous years. There were around 5900 pacers in this total and 1,528 of those were entered into the five major sales at Harrisburg (665), Lexington (445), Forest City (150), New Jersey (147) and the Canadian Open (121).

There were just 78 pacing two-year-olds that made over $100,000 in the past year and 51 of those were available for sale, the other 27 being privately held. The ones that sold were split as you might expect, primarily by Harrisburg (25) and Lexington (16). The percentage of $100,000 winners versus the yearlings sold was 3.7% in both cases. There were 8 on the roster in Forest City that made the top performer list for an average of 5.3% on the pacers entered in that sale. There was one each in the New Jersey and Canadian Open sales

What was really interesting were the prices paid for the top performers. The most expensive one was sold in Forest City, a real surprise, at $110,000. He was Code Word by Western Terror and he won $201,090, all of it in Ontario. The cheapest one was also sold in Forest City, that being the filly Bay Girl by Royal Mattjesty, and a filly I had identified on my best in sale list as having a special pedigree. Six of the eight $100K plus winners from the Forest City sale, in fact, sold for $12,000 or less making that sale the bargain hunter’s best venue.

The top ten two-year-old pacers from last year’s sales were Sportswriter, Fancy Filly, Put On A Show, Rock N Roll Heaven, All Speed Hanover, Fbs Terror, Malicious, Western Moonlight and Western Silk and Tiz To Dream. Eight of these were among my sale recommendations as were the 11th and 12th best, Wellthereyougo and Casino Nights.

Another interesting observation is that the good ones did not come predominantly from the early sessions of the sales as most would expect. Despite the practise of the sales companies in putting what they perceive as the best individuals at the front of the sale, there were clearly a lot of people who paid out big money for one of these early selling yearlings that were to say the least disappointed.

Harrisburg had three sessions and their 25 top performers were distributed as follows: Session One 1-380 (11). Session Two 385-759 (7) Session Three 765-1137 (7)

Lexington held five sessions. Session One 1-100 (4), Session Two 101-245 (4), Session Three 246-407 (2), Session Four 408-572 (3) and Session Five 573-824 (3).

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Prix d'Amerique

The Prix d'Amerique will race in a couple of weeks time. The starters are not known yet but here is an interesting article from the Prix site about last year's race. I have translated from French but hopefully it reads correctly. I have inserted a few comments in italics.

It’s afternoon at Vincennes, for the greatest race program of the year and Rainer Engelke is the breeder of two horses racing today, Othello Bourbon, and in particular, Qualita Bourbon, in the Prix d”Amerique Marionnaud. Although Rainer Engelke sold his interest in the racemare to Jean-Pierre Dubois last year, the mother of Qualita remains his at his farm in Saint Martin. She is one of only four broodmares there and they are in foal to the likes of Love You, Cezio Josselyn or Goetmals Wood. We met up with Rainer Engelke at Petit Riche, the restaurant located at Drouot Auctioneers, two hours before a major auction of equestrian art. But we were there not to speak about equestrian art, but rather, with twenty fours hours to go till the Prix d’Amerique, to talk about the history of his farm, his business philosophy and methods, and perhaps his secrets.

JDT – How did you get into the breeding business?

Nicolas Roussel said to me one day, “All breeding farms are built upon just one mare.” He made sense. With one mare you can build a great breeding operation. It is rare to have two great mares to start, unless you are Jean-Pierre Dubois, who did have two. As for me, I had Etta Extra by Florestan who has had four major stakes winners. That’s not too bad, is it ?

What was the first mare that you bought ?

My first filly was called Star de Corneville. She was by Jorky. At the time, I knew nothing other than names like Nordin, Verroken and Gougeaon, all top trainers. I watched the first foals of Jorky go through the yearling sales. Ulf Nordin bought lots of Jorkys, and since I knew nothing and thought a lot of Ulf Nordin, I said to my business partner “Lets buy a Jorky”. As a result we bought Star de Corneville for $30,000. We gave her to Ulf to train and he won with her at Vincennes. Afterwards, however, he told us that her racing future was limited. He offered the following advice “I know a man in France. Give her to him and he may be able to do something with her.” That man was Jean-Pierre Dubois. He trained her for two months and then told me “ You will have to make a broodmare out of her, she cannot go enough” I was cheap, you can write it, stingy. I said to my partner I would agree to breed her but not if the cost was expensive. He called me several days later to tell me that there was a stallion that had won the Prix d’Amerique, High Echelon, whose stud fee was $1,600. I said OK, that was not too expensive. The breeding of Star de Corneville to High Echelon produced Best Bourbon (5,1:58.2) in 1989, and he won six stakes events, three in harness and three under saddle. That’s a unique record. But I did not have a farm at the time. I had no intentions at that time of being a breeder.

What was the first broodmare that you bought specifically for breeding?

Her name was Sabriza, a half sister to Passionnant. She was a catastrophe. She produced nothing but donkeys. She was by Tabriz. I didn’t have a chance. Another half sister to Passionnant, Josubie, produced Vikings Way (sire of Jag de Bellouet)! After that I bought a half sister to Uno Atout, by Hadol du Vivier. No good either. Then I bought Ankylotie, a Chambon P mare. That was a good one. She had won both in the sulky and under saddle and made over $160,000. I bought her for $64,000, the sales topper. She gave me five winners then her sixth foal, Roc Bourbon by Love You, he was a major stakes winner at four. She also foaled a filly by Workaholic called My Lady Bourbon, who raced and has produced Showtime Bourbon. Now we have a filly by Love You.

How did you choose your mares?

I did not choose them. I took what was for sale. In France you cannot buy what you want to have. People don’t sell broodmares. In the United States, if you have the money, you can buy anything. In Normandy it is difficult to buy broodmares. You just have to be ready when the opportunity arises.

Tell us the story of Etta Extra.

You want stories ? I went to the farm where she was raised. She was bred by someone from Sweden. The farm was located at Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives and was run by a Swede, Davidsson. I went to see the mare with my wife and while we were walking through the field we found a five cent coin dated 1910. Right there on the ground. I said to my wife “This good luck - We can’t stop now” Actually since I had received the catalogue and saw she was for sale I was not about to wait. I wanted her. I had spent $500,000 to buy my farm and build a house and I didn’t have any horses to put on it. I told myself if I spent $500,000 on the property I would have to spend at least $150,000 on horses to get established.

Thierry Vilault, the day of that same sale at Deauville, bought Enfilade, the dam of Offshore Dream. He said that the reason you did not buy Enfilade was that you had already bought Etta Extra.

That’s true. But things happened a little differently from that. If I had not bought Etta Extra I might have settled for Enfilade. But I did not like Tarass Boulba, sire of Enfilade. To me Florestan against Tarass Boulba was like a Rolls Royce against a bicycle. I did not want a bicycle. For Etta Extra I had a price in mind of $50,000. At $50,500 I began to shake. At $55,000 I kept going and I had her at $70,000. Jean-Pierre Dubois and Pierre-Desire Allaire were the under bidders. She did not go higher because she was not in the best of shape, ugly in fact.

Ugly ? What do you mean. She stood badly, she had a big head ?

What can I say ? She was not pretty. She was not well prepared for sale. They had done nothing to her to get her ready. I knew why because I had been to the farm to see her. It was just the way she was. Anyway the press came to see me to get a picture. I refused. “You paid a lot for that mare” they said. I was so pissed off I told them I would have gone to $170,000 to buy her. That shut them up. And then along came Enfilade who sold for $75,000. She was the sale topper.

Do you regret not having bought both mares ?

If I had bought Enfilade France would never have had Offshore Dream. I would never have bred Enfilade to Reve d’Udon. No, I do not regret it. My mare was twice as good, in my opinion. With the pedigree she had ! Jean-Pierre Dubois always told me : “Florestan as a broodmare sire, just like gold.” As a racehorse he was not that great but I watched the mare Roquepine in New York and never forgot that. At the time you would never have thought that Florestan would become such a great sire. Today he is the best. You have to inbreed to Florestan 3x3. Showtime Bourbon is bred that way. Believe me, in the years to come, you will see many successful horses inbred to Florestan.

Is that what you look for then ?

At every opportunity I try to create that in my breedings. I can’t find it anywhere, it does not exist. Now that I have had several years of breeding experience I can tell you what to do. It is very simple. You have to double up on the best American blood with the best French blood. That is to say double up on Florestan, double up on Speedy Crown, as well as Fandango and Chambon P. Double up in the mare and also with the stallion. If you do that you have a chance to have, from time to time, a good horse. Trotters are hybrids and Mendel, before anyone else, recognized the effect of skip-generation as one of the basic laws of genetics.

That is the accepted path for excellence : the best to the best. But you have preferences, particular things you look for.

As for myself I always liked stallions that won under saddle. I find that is a plus. I always liked Kaisy Dream for that reason.

But Florestan never raced under saddle.

No, he didn’t, but he was a Stars Pride, the Tallyrand of America. There were none better. What I find interesting with Etta Extra is that her fifth dam is Anna Maloney (actually eighth dam), an American mare bought in Belgium and imported to France. She produced Amazone B, a winner of the Prix d’Amerique. Anna Maloney’s second dam (actually third dam) is Nancy Hanks, one of the greatest race mares in North America in the 1890’s with world records pulling big wheeled sulkies and wagons. She was by Peter The Great (actually by Happy Medium). That is a bit like Fandango and Roquepine. But then we are talking about the ninth generation. (Ed. Note - I’m not sure what the connection is here – certainly not to Nancy Hanks. Interestingly Anna Maloney’s dam is inbred 3x2 maternally to Nancy Hanks. Fandango and Roquepine are in fact inbred maternally to the French equivalent to Miss Russell, a mare called Belle Poule. Roquepine’s dam is similarily inbred to Belle Poule).

Do you always go back that far ?

Myself, I believe it is necessary to look at the sixth – seventh generation. Jean-Pierre Dubois says you have to stop at the third. But for me I don’t think that is enough. If the pedigree is well filled throughout, you increase your chances. If there is a hole you take the risk of falling through it.

What was it that attracted you to Etta Extra ?

The pedigree. I ignore the individual, the way it looks, the way it moves, all of that is totally unimportant to me. I will buy a good pedigree even if the horse has only three legs.

What pedigree are you looking for?

In plain English, I look for waterproof pedigrees. No holes. If there is one on the maternal side I am not interested.

Does the mare have to be a race winner?

No. If she is just a sister to a major stakes winner that is fine with me.

Black type in all generations ?

That increases your chances. But it is important to look at what the black type means. If the black type is for racing at Vincennes for instance it could be for finishing fifth in any stakes race with seven starters and two of them disqualified. That has no value. You have to be there to see it.

Etta Extra, is that the perfect cross?

It was the best available on the market for several reasons. She was by Florestan. At the time you got a breeding to that stallion through the National Stud by luck of the draw. There were ten thousand requests for sixty four breedings (slight exaggeration no doubt). Levesque got $15,000 for each breeding he sold himself and he had ten of his own. The mother of Etta Extra was by Speedy Crown. The stud fee for Speedy Crown was $30,000 in the United States. I could have that for $70,000 with Etta Extra or for the same breeding I would have to go to the United States, buy the breeding to Speedy Crown, have a filly and then breed her to Florestan. And then the second dam of Etta is Dimitria, one of the greatest European Champions. Etta Extra’s owner was Swedish and that is why she never raced in France. Her pedigree appeared weak as seen here in France but I knew there was a sister, Ma Crown, that had raced well and was by a grandson of Florestan. With Jazz Bourbon and Sam Bourbon I have created the best performing lines in Europe (another slight exaggeration, one is now a gelding, the other has yet to race.) It is important to create a line. If you cannot buy them you have to create them, but it takes twenty years.

What mare would you like to have today ?

In my opinion you cannot have a good pedigree without Speedy Somolli. I’m interested in mares that have Speedy Somolli in both the sire and the dam. But it seems there are none for sale. So that is just a dream. Jean-Pierre Dubois told me one day “We are dream merchants” He is right because we sell horses based on dreams with the hope of reality – a horse that makes money. It makes me think of Stendhal “After all, the only truly passionate things in life are dreams.”

It looks like the dreams of Rainer Engelke with respect to the future of Florestan’s impact on the maternal lines in France are coming to pass. The top three finishers in the 2009 Prix d’Amerique are all out of mares by Florestan, son of Roquepine, a mare inbred maternally to Belle Poule, from a dam also inbred maternally to Belle Poule. Qualita Borbon, daughter of Etta Extra finished third. She is inbred maternally to Speedy Crown and Volomite. Her dam goes back to Nancy Hanks. Her sire, Love You, is from the maternal family of another famous American mare, Jenny Lind. ---------

It will be interesting to see if Florestan will again dominate the pedigrees of the best horses in the 2010 race

PedigreeGuru Website

This worldwide database and its internet pedigree browser gives you access to the largest online database in the world for standardbred horses. Search this international database for horses in 28 different countries where standardbreds are bred and raced. Search for and create pedigrees, sales catalog pages, progeny reports, hypothetical matings, and find information on stallions, breeding farms and much more.

Pedigree Service is a subscription based service that gives you online access to all of the tools and data you need to make pedigree decisions and create reports from anywhere that you have access to the internet and from any computer. Take a two-day free trial to see what PedigreeGuru has to offer.

Subscription Rates - Annual $200 Can Monthly $20 Can

Sign up now to open a two-day trial account or to renew your subscription at

Website Services

For users with their own websites we can provide links to our website that will give other subscribers and your website visitors the ability to directly create hypothetical matings to your stallions through StudGuru . You can also subscribe to SalesGuru to display sales catalog pages for yearlings or broodmares that you have listed for sale.

StudGuru and SalesGuru Features

Easy to use – Easy to install. We provide the code for your webmaster to install.
Use our online Wizard to generate the code for your website automatically
StudGuru displays a four generation pedigree of the hypothetical pedigree match
SalesGuru displays a three generation catalog style pedigree.
Edit the pedigrees of your horses to add performance or other usefull information

Subscription Rates -
StudGuru Annual $250 Can per stallion
SalesGuru Annual $250 Can per list of horses

First Year Stallions

Stallions with great racing careers are almost always very popular in their first year at stud. Two horses with very similar pedigrees will no doubt be among the favourites this year. Muscle Hill in New Jersey and Federal Flex in Ontario will face a challenge, however, in finding their niche with regards to the right kind of mares.

Both are by Muscles Yankee which may be the key to their success or failure but more on that later. Both sires are from double Stars Pride dams, an unusual occurrence. Muscle Hill is American Winner - Hickory Pride maternally and Federal Flex has S Js Photo - Joie De Vie as the principal lines in his dam. They fall into a very small group of sires listed in the 2010 Stallion Finder with the following Profile as far as the preferred sire lines in the mares.

"Non Stars Pride line broodmares with a Speedy Crown line 1st, 2nd or 3rd dam except for broodmares with no Speedy Crown maternally"

Of their sire group in North America there are only a couple with progeny racing. Incredible Abe and Amigo Hall. The top two by Incredible Abe are from Noble Victory line mares that are inbred to Speedster or Speedy Crown maternally, as the profile expects. Amigo Hall has opted for the other part of the profile since his best is from a mare with no Speedy Crown maternally with 1st and 2nd dams through Noble Victory and Super Bowl respectively.

Diesel Don, the full brother to Muscle Hill, is standing in Sweden and has a 2008 crop of 9 two year olds that will be racing this year. The broodmare sires are, as you might expect, all over the map , with Pine Chip the only broodmare sire with more than one.

Giant Chill, with maternal lines of Super Bowl - Nevele Diamond, is also in Sweden and has had a successful career that began in Finland. Being a son of Speedy Crown you would expect that he would not get many Speedy Crown line mares and that is clearly the case for his top performers. In fact 14 of his top 16 have no Speedy Crown maternally. Among these there are 8 that are from Stars Pride line broodmares and in each of these mares there is a Noble Victory line 2nd or 3rd dam.

It would appear that the options for Muscle Hill and Federal Flex boil down to the following priorities:

1. Noble Victory line dams that have a double to Speedy Crown maternally.

I would classify this as a Scenario #2 match since it returns the principle lines of the dam of Muscles Yankee i.e. Speedy Crown and Noble Victory which brings us back to Muscles Yankee as perhaps being the key to success.

2. Stars Pride line dams with no Speedy Crown line but with a Noble Victory line maternally.

This is a Scenario #1 to the extent that you can find the same individuals, namely American Winner (Super Bowl) and Hickory Pride in mares for Muscle Hill, and S Js Photo and Joie De Vie (Super Bowl) in mares for Federal Flex.

If you have any first year sires you are intertested in I would be happy to look at them and see if we can figure them out.


Queen Among Queens

Several years ago I published my thoughts on Pedigree Matching in a small booklet. Since then the use of Pedigree Matching has expanded to include the Pedigree Matching GlobeTrotter software program and an internet site called There are now hundreds of program and website users around the world and it is in response to their requests for more information on such topics as “the X Factor” and the importance of maternal connections that I have decided to self publish another book called Queen Among Queens. May I share the comments of two of my early readers.

“This is the most provocative and informative work I have ever seen. I commend you for being a modern day Wallace and Sherlock Holmes. Your software Pedigree Matching is also a wonder. As I learn to use it I am like a kid with a new toy, continually finding new things. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with all who want to improve the breed.”

– Bart Cavanagh, Media, PA

‘You’ve done a remarkable job of compiling the research for this book. I’m sure it will be a valuable reference for many breeders for decades to come. Congratulations on a magnificent effort”

– Dean Hoffman, Editor, Hoofbeats

Currently available as a download – Price $25

To order Queen Among Queens click contact me at

2010 Stallion Finder

The 2010 Stallion Finder lists all major sires in North America by Maternal Sire Line, Alphabetical and by State or Province.

Each stallion listing shows the stallion profile which indicates the type of mares the stallion has been, or can expected to be, successful with. The Stallion Finder tables are an invaluable aid to short listing stallion prospects, based on their successful offspring to date and predicting the success of new stallions based on the success of similarly bred stallions in the tables. Stallions are grouped together based on their common maternal lines and the sire lines are colour coded for ease of recognition.

This is an invaluable resource for anyone breeding to established sires, new stallions or buying yearlings. Here is what one reader said about this book.

"I am in awe of the work you've done to assemble this data. I have to spend a lot more time to be able to understand it, but what you have done is very important to the sport.’

- Dr Paul Spears, Hanover Shoe Farms

Available by download for $25. To order the 2010 Stallion Finder contact me at

Practical Pedigrees

The horse racing world is full of pedigree theories, beliefs, old wives tales and opinions when it comes to making the most important decisions that breeders or buyers must make – What to breed and what to buy with respect to pedigree. The success or failure of an investment in a race-horse hinges on these crucial decisions and a wrong decision can be at the least very expensive.

But what are the things you need to look for in the pedigree, what patterns exist that are worth repeating, and what indeed is the most practical way of making a decision based on pedigree? Is there really such a thing as the right pedigree or shall we say “the correct pedigree”? This booklet “Practical Pedigrees” is designed to give you the answers to these questions and teach the reader how to apply the answers in making correct and profitable breeding and buying decisions based on pedigree.

Available by download for $25. To order the Practical Pedigrees contact me at

Globetrotter Software

The Globetrotter software has been designed by horsemen and with the input of some of the best pedigree minds in the Standardbred business. Beginning in 1994 with the first version available on 12 floppy discs the program has evolved from a database of 85,000 horses to what it is today - the largest, and only truly international, Standardbred database in the world with over 1.5 million horses and counting. The original program was called PM95 and was converted to CD in 1998 and renamed PM99. Then in 2005, as a result of the input of our many users, we introduced Globetrotter as a brand new version with many added features.

We continue to develop new applications for the program and now you can get our latest innovation Pedigrees To Go, a netbook based system that is dedicated for use solely for pedigrees. No more struggling with a desktop or laptop loaded with everything you don't need getting in the way. No more waiting for access with your family members on the family computer.

The portable, lightweight (approx 4 lbs) Pedigrees To Go netbook is about the size of the Harrisburg sale catalog but many times more valuable to your purchase and breeding decisions.

You can get your copy of Globetrotter in several forms. You can download for installation on your current computer from the internet through our Pedigree Matching site, or have it sent to you on a CD-Rom or flash drive, or obtain a download link by contacting Pedigree Matching directly. Payment can be made by credit card through our secure Order page or by mailing or faxing an order form available on this site, or you can, again, call us directly and place your order for Globetrotter or any of our other products or Pedigree Matching services.

Whichever way you choose you have several days to try Globetrotter out before buying your unlock key in order to continue using the software.

Pedigree Camp Registration

2010 Pedigree Camp Schedule
June 11th – 13th, 2010
Charlottetown, PEI – The Kentucky of Canada

Friday June 11th
6.00 pm
Registration – Quality Inn On The Hill
6:30 pm
Reception and Lobster Supper

Saturday, June 12th
8:00 am – Noon
Session 1 – Practical Pedigrees - Breeding The Best
12:00 noon
Downtown walkaround and lunch
1:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Session 2 - Practical Pedigrees - Buying The Best
7:30 pm
Racing at the Charlottetown Driving Park

Sunday, June 13th
8:00 am – Noon
Session 3 – Practical Pedigrees - Doing Your Homework
12:00 noon
Working Lunch
12:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Session 4 - Review
3:00 pm
Tour of PEI North Shore
5:30 pm
Reception at Norman's cottage in Cavendish
7:30 pm
Return to Charlottetown

Registration Fee is $400 for sessions 1-4 and includes all course materials, lunches where scheduled and Lobster supper (other menu choices available). Fee for non registrant spouses or partners who wish to attend lunches, lobster supper and reception is $50. Limited to 30 participants so early advanced registration is recommended and is required no later than May 1st. All sessions are at The Quality Inn On The Hill. Registrants are responsible for own accommodations and transportation.

A block of rooms is being held for attendees to Pedigree Camp at The Quality Inn On The Hill. Room rate is $99 and must be booked by May 12th. Larger rooms and family suites are available. 1-800-466-4734. For information on other accommodation and PEI in general go to and click on Visitors Guide

E-mail to or call to register by phone or leave a message at
1-902-367-3495 or 1-902-368-2340 or fax to 902-367-3610

Pedigree Camp

2010 Pedigree Camp

The 2010 Pedigree Camp is scheduled for June 11-13th in Charlottetown, PEI, Canada. For the past five years we have welcomed up to thirty attendees from all over North America to the event. We have even had overseas interest with visitors from Denmark and Finland. Some of our regulars have been to every camp to date and make it a regular highlight of their season.

This year will feature our usual blend of working sessions and recreational activities with the latter including a welcoming lobster dinner and reception, a night at the Red Shores Casino and racetrack in Charlottetown, a Sunday afternoon tour of the Island’s North Shore beaches and gift shops, and our graduation social at Norman’s Surfside cottage in Cavendish.

Details on the Camp Agenda and the registration form are available HERE. Spouses and partners are welcome to attend the social activities.

Special guests this year will again include Dr Paul Spears of Hanover Shoe Farm as well as Dr Moira Gunn, former President of Armstrong Bros.

Registration deadline is May 1st but attendance is limited to the first thirty so don’t leave it too late.

Pedigree Links

As a customer of Pedigree Matching, PedigreeGuru or the Globetrotter software we want you to be as informed as possible of all developments in the Standardbred breeding industry. Below you will find links to pedigree resources worldwide as well as to Norman’s blog where you can ask for online advice on sire selection, and any other related matter. Here are some useful links: * Partially free **Subscription required

Norman’s Blog
*All Breed Del Mar
**Great Britain
New Zealand
**United States
Canadian Stallions
N.A. Stallions

We are always interested in your comments on, and suggestions for, our products and services and welcome your input.

Pedigree Matching Services

Our Services and Fees

Yearling and Broodmare Purchase Reports

Basic Sale Report contains list of ratings for all yearlings or broodmares within requested criteria.- Cost $2 per page reviewed plus $50/report.

Purchase Recommendation Report includes evaluation and commentary based on statistical analysis of pedigree match, cross and performance rating. - Cost $50 per specified yearling or broodmare

Broodmare Reports
Breeding Recommendation Report - $75 per mare

Other Reports
Requested opinion on any topic. - $50 per page

Retainer Fees
Annual retainer packages on per hour basis at $50/hour.
Basic 20 hours $1,000 / year
Priority 60 hours $2,500 / year
No Limit $5,000 / year

Priority and No Limit are 24 hour reply guaranteed. Basic and Priority retainer packages cover all reports based on time required and remaining retainer time available.

To request reports call Norman at (902) 367-3495 or

Pedigree Matching Works

The proof of the pudding, they say, is in the eating and if the following stories don’t whet your appetite for trying the Pedigree Matching Globetrotter program then you can’t be very hungry for success in the business.

There have been many success stories in the short 12-year history of Pedigree Matching clients and customers.

Many times the horse in question is the best that the customer has ever bred or bought. Hearing about these successes is always rewarding because it reinforces our belief that what we promote – the need to do your homework – is the path to success, in addition, of course, to using the tools and information that we can provide.

Here are just a few of the stories that we have heard from past customers:

Alan McNeill, Nova Scotia

Alan was a young trainer just starting out on his own in 2003 after working for different trainers in the United States. He was a classmate of one of my sons and they played hockey together. His father Bill and I were acquainted through work.

Bill called me in the fall of 2003 to see if I could help Alan pick out a yearling in Lexington and give him a list of affordable yearlings to look at. Now Lexington is not what I would call an affordable place to buy a yearling but Alan had a partner, Andy Willinger, another young man who lived in Kentucky. They set off on their great adventure with $10,000 and a short list of bargain possibilities. The colt they bought after checking out the list for conformation, was by Cambest. He cost $12,000 and they had to borrow the extra $2,000 from Andy’s mother to get the colt home. It was on the list because it had a great pedigree but was by a sire that had lost favour in the marketplace.

Alan broke and trained the colt and raced him through the early part of his four year old year. In the process the colt won several stakes and earned almost $400,000 for his young owners. They sold him for another $400,000 and he went on to race for one of the top trainers in North America and won over $2,270,600 lifetime with a record of 1:47.3. That colt was Lis Mara who now stands in Ontario

SSG Stables, Ontario

Just ask Ed James of Ontario

In 1993 Ed James had twenty plus racehorses in Alberta and Ontario and was not having much success. I met him by chance on a golf course on PEI and he asked me to help him clear out the horses and find him some young horses with top calibre potential. Five years later he still has a dozen horses racing but among them are two that race in the Open class at Woodbine on a regular basis plus two others that are more than paying their way on that tough circuit.

Between them they have earned over $2,210,000 and counting since they were purchased. All four were bought as green two year olds at Harrisburg and have lived up to the potential in their pedigrees despite being given up on by their first owners.

Valvec 1:53.3 by Mr Lavec was bought in 2003. Unraced at two he is now an Open class trotter on the OJC with 36 wins and $587,561 made lifetime and $95,610 made in 2008.

Hyperion Hanover p.1:49.1 by Camluck was bought in 2005 and is an Open Class winner at Woodbine with 27 wins and $861,343 in earnings and $277,550 in 2009.

Indiana Hall 1:55.3 by Striking Sahbra was bought in 2005 and has 24 wins and $505,831 made lifetime and races at the Preferred level on the OJC.

Tuck was bought privately in 2005 for $15,000 and has 16 wins and $261,542 lifetime with $58,650 in 2008.

These and other young horses and future stars developing in Ed’s stable are under the care of Rob Fellows who, largely due to the success of the SSG horses, is now one of the top conditioners on the Ontario Jockey Club circuit.

Irwin Stables, Ontario

Just ask Gord Irwin of Ontario

I first met Gord Irwin in Harrisburg in 1999 where we had our Pedigree Matching booth to demonstrate the program. He was an old-timer in the business having trained and raced horses for over thirty years, mostly on the B-circuit in Ontario. He had just got rid of all of his racing stock and invested the proceeds in one good racemare who was racing in the Preferred ranks in Toronto. As he put it he wanted to have at least one good horse in his lifetime as a trainer.

Just in case the mare did not work out he asked me which sire in Ontario to breed her to. I checked the possibilities and recommended Camluck. Gord’s first reaction was “Can’t do it – too expensive”. I told him that the stud fee of $10,000 may seem expensive but if it’s the right cross then it would be the best investment he could make. “You can’t afford not to breed to him” I told Gord.

Three and a half years later Gord called me out of the blue. “Guess what, Norm, I bred that mare to Camluck just like you said and I got a pretty nice two year old filly. She has made almost $100,000 already. You were right about the stud fee.” Not only did he accept my recommendation but he found a way to pay for the stud fee. He was one of the first to try embryo transfer in Canada and raced the mare to pay for it.

The filly was Invitro who made $2,283,947 in her career racing almost exclusively in Ontario. She is now bred to Somebeachsomewhere, again on my recommendation. Gord may just strike gold again.

Gord Irwin spent a lifetime racing cheap horses and going nowhere. On one fateful day he made two decisions that changed his life. Now he enjoys the winters in Florida and can truly say he had that one great horse that everyone dreams of.

Hollylaine Island Farms, PEI

Just ask Dr Bob Webster of Hollylaine Island Farm, PEI.

Bob Webster has owned Hollylaine for almost thirty years and has bred several hundred yearlings along the way. He used to be happy to get two or three racing out of his annual crop of 10-15 yearlings – but no longer.

I began doing Bob’s matches for him six years ago, showing him what to look for and how to do his homework on sire selection. Like many breeders he stood his own stallions and made the fatal mistake of breeding all of his mares to them. That was the biggest reason for his low success rate despite the fact that he gave them the best of care and turned out great looking yearlings for the annual sale..

Now he stands just one sire and the number of mares has dropped to a dozen or so with most having been at the farm for quite a while. He knows now that selecting the right sire for his mares, even if it means going off the farm, is the best breeding strategy for success.
He swaps breedings with the other sire owners whenever possible so there is no net cost but there definitely is a major net gain. How does he know this ?

For three consecutive crop years in 2004 through 2006, every single one of his yearlings made it to the races at two or three and his 2007 yearlings are well on their way to doing likewise with three two-year-old stakes winners and three others taking records in 2008 from just eight yearlings in 2007. The fact that he is doing this with a group of older mares and in many cases getting the best foals ever from these mares, makes his success even more remarkable.

It just goes to show its never too late to learn how to do your homework.

Joan Ellafrits, Michigan

Just ask Joan Ellafrits of Greenville, Michigan.

Joan owned one broodmare by the name of Davita Hanover. For convenience she had bred her to the sire down the road from her and had, not surprisingly, no success in four breedings.
She called me in 1997 after seeing an article on Pedigree Matching in Hoof Beats.

I recommended she breed to a Michigan sire called Super Star Ranger. The result was a colt she named Winsum Ranger. At three he was the winner of the Michigan State Championship and went on to earn over $542,000 with 38 career wins and a record of 1:56.2 taken at Woodbine.
Winsum Ranger was the first really good horse that Joan ever bred or owned.

She did it again with a full brother now with over $120,000 and still racing. She also has a filly called Keyanna Rose from a full sister to Winsum Ranger. That filly is also a winner of the Michigan Championships, and was the best of her three year old year in Michigan with over $243,000 made. Keyanna Rose is by Keystone Nordic, another Pedigree Matching sire choice.

Joan, like many others who have experienced Pedigree Matching in action, has shown that you don’t have to be a big farm to produce top horses. Anyone can produce or buy a great horse if they do their homework or at least get someone to help them with it..

Shaun MacIsaac, PEI

Just ask Shaun MacIsaac of Charlottetown, PEI.

In 1999 we attended Harrisburg as usual and again as usual we had several trainers from PEI on hand looking for bargain yearlings. Earl Smith had a couple of owners he was shopping for and he used my list to shop from. Near the top of the list was a filly by Cams Card Shark, whose first two crops were not that well thought of by the trainers, but she still figured to be expensive because of her pedigree. Earl decided to look at her anyway and came back with the report that the filly was not the greatest, conformation wise, being back on her knees. He thought she would sell cheap but was not sure if he would take a chance. My opinion was that for the quality of the pedigree she would be well worth the chance, just give her time to mature.

Earl bought the filly for $4,500 and took her back to PEI. The prospective new owner, Shaun MacIsaac, was not sure if the price for the filly, now $10,000 with transportation, exchange and finder’s fee included, was worth the risk. I gave him the same advice and he bought her. She was trained down by Earl, qualified and then turned out. Brought back at three she showed enough promise to be sent to Marcel Barrieau in Montreal. She won her first three starts then finished second in a stakes series beaten a head in a track record for three year old fillies.
She was promptly sold for six figures to a group from Toronto with Shaun keeping a share. She went on to make over $775,000 and set a World record for a four year old mare of 1:49.1 at the Meadowlands.

Another horse high on my list in the previous 1998 sale in Harrisburg was turned down by a client of mine because he was by Cams Card Shark – the reason being the client’s trainer claimed that “all the Cams Card Sharks are lame” That horse was Bettors Delight p.3,1:49.4 ($2,581,461). He sold for $65,000.

So much for the advice of trainers.

St Lads Farm, Ontario

Just ask Bob Ladouceur of St Lads Farm

He started in the Pedigree Matching program six years ago after several years breeding and raising yearlings with little success. His first fully matched crop were two year olds in 2008.
Bob came to Pedigree Camp in 2007 to find out if he was doing his homework the right way. It looks like he has from the following report by Standardbred Canada on their website on January 8th, 2009

“In the fall of 2008, Bob Ladouceur of St Lads Farm was truly excited. He had good reason to be, given the overwhelming success of juvenile Twin B Champ filly St Lads Popcorn, although the filly's success wasn't the only reason why '08 will go down as a banner season for the 65-year-old Ontario breeder. In 2007, Ladouceur's St Lads Farm sold 10 yearlings. By the fall of 2008, eight of those 10 made it to the races in their freshman campaigns.

When St Lads Bling and St Lads Nano recorded charted miles in late November and early December, respectively, all 10 of St Lads Farms 2006 foals had made it to the races in their juvenile seasons, a rarity in the business to say the least.

St Lads Popcorn led the charge in '08, assembling a slate which read 12-1-0 from 15 starts, a mark of 1:52.2 over Mohawk Racetrack and purse earnings totaling $602,669. The standout campaign made St Lads Popcorn a finalist for an O'Brien Award as Canada's top two-year-old pacing filly of 2008.

The nine other St Lads Farm two-year-olds that made it to the races in '08 were St Lads Nano, St Lads Gracie, St Lads Boomer, St Lads Supersonic, St Lads Gabby (now named Paid In Silver), St Lads Rave, St Lads He Man, St Lads Adonis and St Lads Bling.”

About Pedigree Matching

Did you ever wonder why even the best of sires have so many "ordinary" performers or why a mare of modest breeding can suddenly produce a champion? The answer may well be in the "match" of the bloodlines of the sire to those of the dam. The concept of matching bloodlines as a way to develop champions has proven it's worth over the years and serious breeders would do well to study the theory and results to see if they can improve their chances of coming up with the right match for their mares. The success of a particular mating does not have to be subject more to luck than good management.

With the growing acceptance of semen transport small breeders can aspire to breed to any active sire listed in the United States Trotting Association publication The USTA Sires and Dams. Gone are the days when breeding to the stallion up the road, because he had a couple of good ones to the races last year, was a convenient way to handle your breeding requirements. Breeders cannot afford to take a chance that such an impromptu mating will succeed. They must make informed decisions based on pedigree and like any decision the chances of being right can be greatly improved with good research and a study of past statistics.

Successful breeders will spend time to research the best matches for their mares and can get most of the information they want through computer reports from the USTA or CTA (Canadian Trotting Association). The information they receive, though, is based on established sires and may be of little help if the boundaries of time, distance and cost make the "perfect" match unavailable or if the sire of interest is a new and unproven sire.

Among small breeders who stand their own stallion there is the tendency to breed all the farm mares to that one stud regardless of the pedigree match. Such matings will, in the long run, result in low success rates and lower prices for yearlings that far offset the short term savings involved. Smart stud owners will trade breedings with other farms to get the match that gives their mares the best chance of success.

Articles on breeding tend to focus on individual sires that have played a dominant role in recent breeding history. Matings are commonly described in terms of being Meadow Skipper 3 x 4 x 3, or Speedy Crown 5 x 4 x 4 x 5, a nomenclature which serves as much to confuse as it does to edify. The numbers relate to generations in the pedigree in which the sire of note appears. We must also contend with classifications such as line bred, inbred and incestuously bred as well as the much sought after outcross.

James C Harrison in his authoritative chapter on bloodlines and breeding in the USTA's book Care And Training Of The Trotter and Pacer, noted that " All the foundation sires of the breed were relatively short bred maternally in the sense that none of the female families that produced them ever established lasting maternal lines of their own". This would seem to infer that if you want to improve on something you must focus on the weaknesses, real or perceived, and that is where "Pedigree Matching" comes into play.

Pedigree matching presents an opportunity to improve on the bloodlines of a sire where he may be perceived to be deficient, that is in his maternal line, by returning to him bloodlines from a mare of similar lineage that have shown themselves to be genetically stronger through performance.

The goal of Pedigree Matching then is to find a way to match up the bloodlines in the maternal lines of the sire with the lineage in the bloodlines of the dam. In the words of the experts this is called "Returning to the sire the best blood of his dam". Pedigree matching is not to be confused with "line breeding" which occurs when the top line of the sire matches the top line of the broodmare sire. This is a simple concept that ignores, however, the impact of the maternal line of both the sire and the dam on the mating.

Pedigree matching is new in name only as the original basis for the theory is to be found in Wallace’s American Trotting Register published in 1871, a publication that was the first attempt of its kind to document the history of the trotter in North America. Wallace was of the opinion that "like begets like" and that breeders would be wise to seek "to unite again two streams that originate in the same fountain, but that had been separated for a few generations." His theories have stood the test of time and are as valid today as they were over 130 years ago.

Successful breeders in the thoroughbred industry such as the Aga Khan and the legendary Federico Tesio derived their success from practising "balanced breeding", a concept that evolved from evidence that inbreeding and line breeding to selected ancestors through sons and daughters was far more successful than through sons alone or daughters alone. This finding confirms in a general way the basis for Wallace’s "two streams from the same fountain" theory.

The practice of Pedigree Matching or balanced breeding or whatever name you may want to give it would automatically provide the opportunity for the right genes to express themselves and result in top performers.

Breeding Or Buying the Best

The horse racing world is full of pedigree theories, beliefs, old wives tales and opinions when it comes to making the most important decisions that breeders or buyers must make – What to breed and what to buy with respect to pedigree. The success or failure of an investment in a race-horse hinges on these crucial decisions and a wrong decision can be, at the least, very expensive.

One fact that the reader should be aware of is that the pedigree of the horse, once chosen and delivered in the form of a foal, cannot be changed. The breeder can change the environment within which the foal is raised using best practices, the buyer can retain the best trainer available and protect his investment in other ways. The end result, however, if the pedigree is incorrect, is that best practices in breeding and ownership cannot reverse a bad stallion choice, making that decision the most important one a breeder can make, and the buyer recognize.

A breeder has limited opportunity to make correct stallion decisions for each mare since after several failed matings the damage to the mare and to the breeders reputation is essentially done and the future success of both is compromised. Success is the result of all of the confident decisions you make. Confidence comes from knowing the facts and being able to sort out fact from fiction.

Another fact that is indisputable is that less than 5% of the foals produced in North America will pay for themselves over their lifetime based on the ability to earn $100,000 or more. Such a return on investment is clearly inadequate to sustain the interest in both breeding and buying standardbreds. It is little wonder that we see that the number of industry participants is shrinking.

If, as someone once said, the pedigree is only 18% of what makes a great horse is true, then also consider the fact that it is the first 18% and if it is incorrect the other 82% is a waste of everyone’s time, effort and money. The most important percentage in the purchase or breeding of a top performer is the first 18%, the correct pedigree.

There are many horses that have high speed but make little or no money. Similarly there are many horses that judging by their parents should be world champions but are complete failures on the track and in the breeding shed. An examination of the pedigree will allow you to avoid such horses and focus on the ones with true earnings potential. Pedigrees can be presented in several ways and indeed can also be interpreted in different ways. Most people who attend harness racing are probably familiar with wagering on the races and the variety of ways there are to handicap the horses and try to pick the winners. Evaluating pedigrees is much the same process. Numbers, statistics and patterns are what you look at and the relative importance you put on these in combination is a very individual thing.

Patterns Of Success and Percentages

A Pattern of Success can be as simple as the position in the pedigree tree of certain ancestors or as complicated as counting up the number of times the pedigree traces back to some obscure ancestor that you consider important. In fact when you get familiar with pedigrees you will find that, just as in handicapping the races, the patterns of success inevitably have exceptions. It is important to remember, however, that success in owning Standardbreds, like all other sports, is a game of percentages and those who play the percentages in their favour will be the ones to succeed.

To play the percentages you have to know them. One key measuring stick to use in assessing pedigrees is the percentage of performers by a sire that earn $100,000 or more. Typically a successful sire or broodmare sire will average 15% or better. A yearling is clearly much more than just a combination of a sire and a broodmare sire and indeed every sire has a profile, or pattern, in relation to the mares with which he has most success.

Doing Your Homework

Like any other serious investment your chances of success are greatly improved when you understand the fundamentals of the business and make use of all the tools and information at your disposal to make the confident decisions needed to improve your percentages. The most important percentage in my mind, however, is the first 18%, the right pedigree.

The only factor that can be used with confidence is the correctness of the pedigree – does it fit the stallion’s profile - the proven or predicted pattern of success?

It is a relatively easy process to find out once you have learned how to do your homework. In today’s world of computers, high-speed communications and the Internet, we have a wealth of information upon which to make better, smarter, more confident decisions. Homework has never been easier and failing to do yours guarantees failed decisions.
I am a great fan of the great thoroughbred breeder Tesio and also of Marg Neal, a famous Canadian pedigree researcher, who was quoted in Hoofbeats as follows –

“The purpose of doing the paperwork is to produce the individual. Once the individual is on the racetrack, it doesn’t matter what the pedigree is. I’ve always talked about breeding for dominance – finding the individual that is the strongest aspect of the mare’s pedigree, then finding the stallion that has that individual in a certain place in his pedigree.”

“We have been conditioned by the restriction of catalogues and advertising to view our horses, at most, as three generation animals.There are a great many people out there today that will tell you there is no reason to look beyond the grandparents of any animal. I disagree. It is, however, a handy position to take for those unwilling to do their homework. There is a model of breeding that is like a pattern, and the pattern persists over generations, although, of course, the names change. I like to see a mare that is inbred, and a sire that is not.”
A friend of mine has won several lottery prizes while I have seldom won more than a free ticket and the occasional $5. The difference? He checks the frequency and patterns of successful numbers and buys his tickets accordingly. Even in a lottery you can improve your odds if you take the time to do your homework. The same applies to breeding and buying Standardbred horses. Then again you can sit back, play the guessing game and get what fate allows.

About Us

The PedigreeGuru website and the Pedigree Matching Globetrotter program have been developed by Norman and Chuck Hall from Prince Edward Island, Canada. We have drawn on our extensive knowledge and hands-on experience within the Standardbred industry to create these unique pedigree resources.

Norman Hall is a long time active member of the Standardbred community in Atlantic Canada. He has been involved for over thirty years in the industry and has served the industry in many capacities. He has been the manager of the Prince Edward Island (PEI) Colt Stakes for the past 27 years as well as serving in periodic appointments as a director of the PEI Standardbred Horse Owners Association, as a director, volunteer manager and President of the Charlottetown Driving Park and as a founding member of the PEI Harness Racing Industry Association. He has been honoured by the PEISHOA as Active Horseman Of The Year for his volunteer activities and by The Atlantic Standardbred Breeders Association, with the prestigious Glen Kennedy Memorial Award, for his support of the breeding industry in Atlantic Canada. Recently, in the Provincial Legislature, he was recognized by the Government of the day as well as the Opposition for his efforts in promoting Standardbred pedigree research through the development of his unique software, Pedigree Matching Globetrotter, and the PedigreeGuru website.

In addition to his involvement with breeding farms and breeders organizations in North America he has traveled extensively to give seminars on standardbred breeding throughout Europe, most recently conducting a five seminar tour in Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway, as well as seminars in Wales and Scotland. He has also traveled to Australia and New Zealand to assist breeding operations there as well as in Germany and France on several occasions. The Globetrotter breeding program is now a valuable asset to the pedigree research needs of such farms as Hanover Shoe Farms, Blue Chip Farm, Tara Hills, Alabar, and many small breeders around the world.

Mr Hall is a Professional Engineer by training and brings his analytical skills and focus on “the facts” to the vital decisions that breeders have to make in choosing sires for their mares. He is the author of two books, his original work on Pedigree Matching published in 1988, and a 2005 publication called Queen Among Queens which details the evolution of the maternal lines of the Standardbred horse. His recent endeavours include the introduction of an annual Pedigree Camp on Prince Edward Island. Details on the 2010 Pedigree Camp can be found here.

Charles Hall is a veterinarian who has worked at the prestigious Armstrong Bros. Farm and now operates Hall Equine Services in Ontario where he specializes in reproduction. He has been the sole programmer for the Pedigree Guru website as well as the Pedigree Matching Globetrotter software.

In addition to Norman and Chuck, there are over 20 pedigree experts from around the world that contribute their knowledge to the ongoing development of the database used by both PedigreeGuru and the Globetrotter software