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Monday, September 25, 2017

First Crop Sires

First Crop Sires in 2017

This year's yearling sales feature the first yearlings by some stellar racehorses. Captaintreacherous and Trixton are the ones most people are looking forward to buying, if they can afford them that is. In addition to Captaintreacherous the pacing yearlings will also have first offerings from other sons of Somebeachsomewhere such as Sunshine Beach, and from great performers like Sweet Lou. The trotting sires joining Trixton as first timers include other sons of Muscle Hill like E L Titan,  plus Father Patrick, Royalty For Life, and Uncle Peter.

Established sires have all shown, through their sire profiles, the type of mare with which they succeed. Even the second crop sires such as A Rocknroll Dance and Archangel have developed a pattern of success that can now be used to separate the few with a reasonable chance of success from the many that do not. But how do you know what kind of mares the first crop sires will succeed with?  The answer most likely is to be found in the profiles of similar sires, especially those with similar maternal lines.

The maternal lines of Captaintreacherous are Artsplace and Nihilator and he has a very strong maternal family that includes successful and would be sires such as Art Major, Real Artist, Perfect Art, Panspacificflight, World Of Rocknroll, Beachtrea and Wake Up Peter, in addition to several world champion performers on the track.

On the surface this appears to be a cant-miss sire but there are some question marks. In addition to World of Rocknroll, from a full sister to the dam of Captaintreacherous, there is Kenneth J who has the same maternal combination of Artsplace and Nihilator. Both have horses of racing age and neither has so far shown any great or consistent siring ability. Kenneth J's best from 247 of racing age is Murder She Wrote with $192K made and he has now left the North America stallion ranks. Even in failure, however, we can pick up some useful information. Of his 8 winners of over $100K five are from mares by sons of Abercrombie or Artsplace, and two others have Abercrombie or a son maternally. The lone exception is from a Jennas Beach Boy mare that is both line bred and inbred to the Meadow Skipper line. This inbreeding to the Meadow Skipper line occurs in all eight of Kenneth J's best and features a maternal line mare by Meadow Skipper, a son or an Albatross line as one or both of the inbred lines.

World Of Rocknroll also has eight winners of over $100K and although the Abercrombie connection is not as prominent with five such mares, the Meadow Skipper connection through mares line bred or inbred is also present in all eight.

Looking at the broader context of sires with Artsplace dams we find a strikingly similar situation especially with regard to the presence of Albatross in the dams of the best performers. There are 23 such sires with foals of racing age and the best in terms of top performers is Western Terror with a success rate of 18.2%. The overall success rate for sires with Artsplace dams, however, is just 10.2% and considerably shy of the 15% level for "just average" sires. Artsplace was a 24.4% sire and is 19.6% as a broodmare sire but those stats do not necessarily carry on to the next generation. Other current sires with Artsplace dams and several crops racing include Canyon Wind (13.4%),  Well Said (12.1%), Rock N Roll Heaven (11.3%), Metropolitan (11.7%), If I Can Dream (9.4%), Artistic Fella (9.1%), Big Bad John (5.4%), P Forty Seven (7.2%), Vintage Master (2.6%), Kenneth J (5.5%), World Of Rocknroll (6.7%).

None of these sires, however, are by the great Somebeachsomewhere and that may make a difference but then again maybe it will not. His first two sons with progeny racing are So Surreal and Net Ten Eom. So Surreal was a fast but unsound son of the great Artsplace mare Must See, dam of Well Said. He has one decent one from his first crop of 52 two year olds that has made just over $85K in Azreal As It Gets and true to form this one is from a mare linebred to Meadow Skipper. Net Ten Eom is from an equally well respected Artsplace mare in Glowing Report, but like So Surreal was unsound as a racehorse and is struggling in his first crop of 72 with the best earning just $14,560 so far. His profile also is showing a preference for mares line bred or inbred to Meadow Skipper.

There is an old theory first written about in the original Care And Training of the Trotter And Pacer published by the USTA. In the chapter on breeding the author, James C Harrison, wrote "All of 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 families of their own"  Does this mean that stallions from top quality mares such as Must See and Glowing Report, are doomed to failure?  The family of Somebeachsomewhere is nowhere to be found in the top 300 maternal families. His maternal line goes back to Rosa (1868) and it took 100 years before Lil Miss Thompson was born and subsequently produced the first $100K winner , Jambooger by Albatross, in 1974. Researching the descendents of Lil Miss Thompson shows just 38 winners of over $100K before Somebeachsomewhere came along. The best one was Giveittoemstraight ($613K) from a 3/4 sister to the second dam of Somebeachsomewhere.

If I was buying a yearling by Captaintreacherous it looks like I should focus on the mares line bred or inbred to the Meadow Skipper line that have Albatross and Abercrombie maternally through sons or daughters. That still leaves you with a lot to choose from. In Harrisburg my top pick would be Flameproof Hanover 124 - 1.48.2, and in Lexington it would be the filly Treacherous Trails 129 - 1.48.1.