I already know that I am opening a huge can of worms here, and let’s just consider this piece more opinion than fact because everybody is going to have different ideas about pedigrees. I have opinions a little bit counter to what some other folks believe, and that is fine, we can discuss that at some point. For now though I am talking to the novice player that wants to learn more about pedigrees specific to horses that run in the United States and where to find specific sire lines in today’s studs.
I am going to break down what are currently the surviving male lines that dominate American racing. So there will be some obvious exclusions that simply have not survived over recent years. Unfortunately the nature of the business is win now, and soundness has given way to precociousness and brilliance. I believe this has severely damaged the breed, but that is real world, and we are talking about Sim world for now.
Here are the most common sire lines found in America Today:
Northern Dancer lines are broken down into branches due to diversity and sheer numbers.
Storm Cat: Let’s face it, Storm Cat is one of the most influential sires in history, he is both a sire of sires and also one of the best broodmare sires ever, you simply can’t go wrong including Storm Cat in your breeding. He brings a balance of both speed and endurance to the table. Many of his sons produce precocious 2 year old sprinters and classic winners as well. He produces both dirt and turf winners, although he is most known for producing horses suited for dirt. Giant’s Causeway, Freud, Harlan’s Holiday, Frost Giant, First Samurai, Majestic Perfection, Wildcat Heir, Creative Cause, Get Stormy, Gio Ponti, Tale of the Cat, Overdriven, Stormy Atlantic are some of his direct male descendants currently at stud.
Vice Regent: The Vice Regent line is basically the Deputy Minister line for all intents and purposes. Deputy Minister was known for producing precocious champion 2 and 3 year olds mainly on dirt, and is very much a high cruising speed influence. Many of his progeny were successful at classic distances. Awesome Again, Ghostzapper, Spring at Last, Kurofune, Posse, Touch Gold, Paynter, Oxbow are direct male descendants.
Danzig: Danzig was a blazing fast 2 year old that was injured at an early age and we never got to see his real greatness on the track. In the breeding shed though, he stamped his offspring with his blazing speed and classic distance stamina and versatility. War Front, US Ranger, Bellamy Road, Exchange Rate, Hard Spun and The Factor are all representatives of the Danzig line.
Sadler’s Wells: Sadler’s Wells is more know for being a top European Influence on the turf, he has however made his mark on American racing through El Prado and to a lesser extent Galileo. El Prado is sire to Paddy O Prado, Kitten’s Joy and Madaglia d’ Oro. They in turn have produced Champions like Rachel Alexandra, Big Blue Kitten, Stephanie’s Kitten and others. Meanwhile Galileo is represented in the states by his son Cape Blanco.
Dixieland Band: Dixieland Band is represented by his son Dixie Union who in turn sired High Cotton, Union Rags, and Gone Astray. This line is most known for its brilliance and blazing speed.
Nureyev: For the most part the Nureyev line in the United States is represented by his son Unusual Heat and his progeny, mostly in California and the western states. These horses tended to be very versatile and well suited to the Poly tracks that dominated California racing until recent years.
Nijinsky: The Nijinsky line is rarely found anymore in American breeding.
Mr. Prospector: Mr. Prospector is on level terms with Northern Dancer when it comes to influence on American Breeding. In fact the combined male progeny of Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector represent a full 60% of all foals born in the United States. Mr. Prospector himself is a speed influence, he was a sprinter through and through, although he proved to be versatile as a sire, this also had a lot to do with the mares he was paired with. What you really get is blazing fast turn of foot when it comes to Mr. P. Here is a list of current stallions at stud that are direct descendants of Mr. Prospector: Bodemeister, Midnight Lute, Pioneerof the Nile, Candy Ride, Twirling Candy, Sidney’s Candy, Quality Road, Regal Ransom, Smart Strike, Lemon Drop Kid, Elusive Quality, Court Vision, Speightstown, Maclean’s Music, Drosslemeyer, Broken Vow, Proud Citizen, City Zip, First Defence, Street Cry, Songandaprayer, Distorted Humor, Old Fashioned, Street Boss, English Channel and more.
Bold Ruler: For the most part, the Bold Ruler line is passed on via Seattle Slew through A.P. Indy. About 15% of all foals born in the US are from the line of Bold Ruler. He was known for his blazing speed and had an amazing stud record unlike any other sire, he dominated the 60′s and 70′s as leading sire. With the exception of his male line via Seattle Slew however those lines have pretty much vanished in recent years. Descendants of Bold Ruler include: Majestic Warrior, Wilburn, Malibu Moon, First Dude, Tapit, Hansen, Tapizar, Bernardini, Stay Thirsty, To Honor and Serve, Trappe Shot, Algorythyms, Astrology, Congrats, Biondetti, Discreetly Mine and Ice Box.
In Reality: The In Reality line is very important on the dam side, but do not overlook his male line when choosing a sire. He is one of the last remaining lines from the great Man O’ War, and was a winner at 2,3 and 4 years old. He often raced against Damascus and Dr. Fager and held his own with those two legendary horses. His line in mainly represented by Tiznow, and his sons Gemologist, Tizway, Tiz Wonderful and Colonel John.
Caro: The Caro line is carried via Cozzene to Mizzen Mast, while In Excess carries that line to Notional, and Indian Charlie. Indian Charlie in turn is sire to Adios Charlie and leading first crop sire Uncle Mo.
Roberto: Roberto is well known for his stamina and late kick. His line is carried on through Arch, Blame, Point of Entry and Archarcharch.
Halo: The Halo line pretty much dominate Japanese racing through Sunday Silence. Halo lines produce versatile runners on all surfaces. Typical examples of this line in the United States are more of the speedy variety. More Than Ready and Hat Trick are current studs that represent this line.
Blushing Groom: This line rests on Leroidesanimeaux and Animal Kingdom.
Rough’N Tumble (let’s just call it Holy Bull) This line of brilliance is well represented with Macho Uno, Macho Again, Mucho Macho Man, and Giacomo.
Sir Ivor: The great line of the versatile Sir Ivor rests solely on the shoulders of Lonrho. He has shown the potential early in his stud career to be a promising sire to carry on the line.
Neartic (non Northern Dancer) Bayern is probably the last hope for this line, and only time will tell how that will work out.
Raise A Native (non Mr. Prospector), Ribot, Damascus, Buckpasser: These sire lines are still in the game but nearly gone at this point in time. None have a leading sire to carry on their blood in the United States, one can only hope that this trend does not continue.
Broad Brush: Sadly Include is the last of the Broad Brush sires at stud. It only takes one they say, but it looks like the long line of Domino champions is coming to an end.
In the game we have the advantage of picking and choosing sires from all over the world and combining them, in the real world though, the diversity of lineage is quickly dying. Try breeding a horse that isn’t inbred to some degree in the game and its more difficult than you realize. Try doing this only using sires from a specific region and it gets even harder. It’s a problem that needs to be addressed soon.
Off my soapbox now and I hope this helps some of the newer folks with their breeding efforts.