The Breeding Corner is back again and this time with an update on the retired bargain mares project. To recap, the first article written on the subject took place about four years ago in 2007. I had selected eight mares to experiment with and actually added a couple to the experimental broodmare band since then. I set out to show that bargain type pedigreed mares with solid to good race records could produce good offspring.
In approaching my sire choices for these mares I looked at using mostly mid tier sires priced between 175 points and 75 points at the end of the week. In 2007 I felt like a top sire or bargain sire would not be ideal for this type of pedigree. I tried a few top sires anyway and a couple of bargain sires along the way. Some sires when I used them in were mid tier sires and now they are bargain types or became top level sires. So while mostly mid tier sires were used there are some samples from all ends of the sire spectrum.
The mares themselves where successful on the track and are what most would call bargain mares. I use the word bargain here not in the literal sense, although several of the mares are bargain breds. A few of the mares would have cost between 100 and 200 bps if bred from scratch at the end of any week. None of these mares would ever be confused with blue blood in any way shape or form. In this first article I will take a look at the least productive mares in the experiment but first how are we determining success?
It is interesting to look back at my 2007 article to see what I expected from these mares.
An excerpt from the 2007 article.“What should we expect from these type mares? Most in this bunch won at least one stakes race or were stakes placed. I am trying to go into this with an open mind but really I have lower expectations looking for these mares to produce useful BP earners. I hope to find good producers that produce those solid allowance horses.”
Ultimately success is in the eye of the beholder but I wanted to come up with some statistics I could quantify to help determine a successful breeding. A majority of the bargain mares in this experiment fall in the E and F rankings. So I went and looked at a small sample of E and F rated mares sired by A.P. Indy, Storm Cat, Cryptoclearance, Cozzene, and Holy Bull (grades C –F). I wanted a bit of a cross section of really good sires with solid mid tier sires.
From the sample set I came away with some numbers I think do a solid job identifying a successful offspring even though some trainers might disagree. The sample set averaged just over 2 allowance wins, averaging 3.5 wins overall, had an average in the money percentage of 45% and averaged earnings around $110k. A runner of this type is one that is competitive over a few racing seasons bringing with them a good level of bp earning potential. Now that we have something to help judge whether the offspring of these mares were successful or not let us take another look at the mares and their offspring.
Jens Ocean Day – (Tide Haven x Plugged Nickle x Taylor’s Falls)
I failed this mare. I would rank her as the worst of the mares in the experiment but I cannot really lay all the blame on her inability to produce a good runner. She did her damage, as a runner, on the turf but had several solid runs on the dirt. She won a stakes race and had a couple of 100+ speed figures on the turf so I looked for more turf influence in sire choices. In retrospect my first sire choice was not all that good. I chose Lit de Justice who I like as a bargain sire but looking back I should not have gone with a bargain sire. He was slightly better on dirt. He broke his maiden but could not compete in non winners of two races in the low claiming ranks.
For sire two I stuck with the turf angle and thought I made a solid choice with Cape Cross. I had her for twelve races and she was just awful. Her best speed figure was a 62 and she was never closer than three lengths to the winner. She was two and three years old for those races but just had nothing.
For some reason I skipped her the next breeding season. I guess I looked at her production and decided not to use her. In 2008 I decided to give her another try. Based on the first two offspring I was not touching the Northern Dancer line. I still wanted a sire that could produce on turf so I went with Numerous. She really developed nicely as a two year old breaking her maiden in her third start and in her fourth start ran an 85 speed figure, more than 20 points faster than the two previous offspring, while finishing third in an allowance race. Then like a moron , in a rush to breed one last time to Dixieland Band, I entered the wrong horse ID number and bred over the good looking two year old.
After the last folly I decided to stick with the Mr. Prospector line and chose Jade Hunter with her forth offspring. The colt was winless in nine starts. He was only marginally better speed figure wise than the first two runners.
Her pedigree is free and clear of any Northern Dancer or Mr. Prospector lines opening her up to a ton of potential sires. I am not sure I will breed back to her in coming seasons but if I do I will probably stay away from turf sires as her offspring seem to prefer dirt. None of her runners met the criteria for a successful offspring although I may have robbed her of one with my absent mindedness.
Green for Deed – (Green Applause x Shadeed x Forli)
This mare ran fifty times racking up a whopping fifteen wins. She was in the money twenty-eight times while placing in two stakes races and earning $208k. She had five owners so traded hands often. She only had three speed figures over 90 with her top being 94. She won all on the turf at long distances and that sort of explains her lack of good speed figures.
For her first offspring I sent her to Slew City Slew. The mare ran thirty-five times winning three times and placing or showing another eleven times earning $83k over her career. She did manage two allowance wins in her career, one at ten furlongs and the other at eleven furlongs. She was like her mom running competitive speed figures but had no wow factor. She hit the board eight races in a row as a three year old and was a lot of fun to run back then. As she got older the speed figures did not get better and she was not as consistent. She was a solid runner but not a successful offspring.
Green for Deed’s next runner was by Black Sam Bellamy. This runner was also much like his mom. Not a ton of speed figure but placed properly earned nine wins, five places and eight shows in forty-four starts. Won mostly on the turf but hit the board a few times on dirt. He was a long distance runner and earned $64k in his career. Solid bp earner however I would not consider this one a successful offspring despite the nine wins.
For her third sire I chose Tiznow. I wanted a little better sire for her and was interested to see if a sire with more dirt influence would work. Well it didn’t, the runner was winless in thirteen starts. He posted an 80 speed figure as a two year old and I thought maybe he has something and then he only ran over a 70 speed figure one time after that.
Her fourth runner I chose Southern Halo. This runner managed to get two wins in fourteen starts. She did not like long distances and that spells failure with this Green for Deed’s offspring because none of her runners produced speed figures in the 90’s consistently.
While her first two runners were solid she has not produced a successful offspring. It almost seems like you need to get a runner with her that can run long distances and when you do that runner can be competitive. I am not sure I will breed back to her but I do find it interesting how her offspring seem to be similar to her.
No Class Ted – (Hishi Akebono x Blushing John x Northern Baby)
No Class Ted was a solid runner on the turf winning five allowance races, with three 100+ speed figures over a forty-seven race career. I have bred her with turf in mind using sires that seem heavy on turf influence. Her first runner was a success by Trempolino. Two allowance wins, a 42% in the money percentage over $100k in earnings. He slowed down as he got older but was a solid runner over long distances. He was successful but not an outstanding runner by any means still he was a solid BP earner.
The next runner was by Victory Moon, which in retrospect was not a great choice. Victory Moon is a bargain sire and while the runner broke his maiden he did not do much past that. For the next two choices I went with the Northern Dancer line with Oratorio, and Ballingarry and those two runners are winless. Each runner ran better on the turf so with that in mind next time out I think I will look for a runner that might have more dirt influence.
She produced one solid runner and three very bad runners so far. I did choose relatively new sires in Victory Moon, Oratorio and Ballingarry which in hind sight might not have been the best of choices. I did not breed her last year and may not breed to her this year but maybe the sire choices for her have not been ideal and I would be interested to see what happens if I send her back to Trempolino. She has not earned the label of a producer thus far.
Project Rallying – (Bionic Prospect x Foolish Pleasure x Prince John)
Project Rallying had 10 career wins from 46 career starts, all the wins coming on the dirt. She was stakes placed 5 times and won two stakes. The stakes wins came at 14f and 8f however her best speed figures were in sprints with a top speed figure of 109. She had earned $257K on the track. This mare was all over the place racing wise running at different distances on turf and dirt, with large gaps of time off. So I looked at her as a mare with miler type speed and bred to her mostly classic distance horses. In retrospect perhaps pairing her with known speed sires looking at producing a sprinter might be an angle worth playing.
Her first offspring was Outlaw Promise by Monarchos. In a way I wish I had waited a few months before breeding him, he was a late October three year old and I think I could have gotten more out of him had I bred him as an early three year old or two year old. None the less when he broke his maiden in his second start and was hitting 90’s speed figures in his third and fourth starts so I was excited. He won from 6.5f up to 9f winning four times from 43 starts. He has 6 places and 4 shows to go along with that for a 32.5% in the money percentage. One win was an allowance win but he only earned $71k on the track, useful but not quite a success. He was really consistent in the beginning and faded as he was older and I was a little reluctant to drop him in claimers where he was eventually claimed from me. He ran a few 95+ speed figures but was pretty consistent in the 88-92 range.
Her second offspring was Project Skip by Skip Away. Only one win from 32 starts, finishing in the money 9 times. He would occasionally run a mid to upper 80’s speed figure but never really developed.
Project Rallying’s third offspring was Detached by Tiznow. I went with a higher rated sire after two lower mid tier choices. Detached only managed one win but like Outlaw Promise started off really consistently. He only broke the 90 speed figure mark once and was fairly competitive with 6 places and 4 shows. So he was in the money 11 times from 24 starts.
Project Rallying’s fourth offspring is Rally Brewing by Milwaukee Brew. I would call this five year old mare a success. She has four wins, eight places and four shows in 31 starts with $125k in earnings. Early on she was not cracking the top three but was less than three lengths from the winner in a few races. Not until late as a three year old did she start to find some consistency. She has three 100+ speed figures and is pretty consistently in the 90’s. She has a pair of allowance wins and ran second in a stakes last year.
Next I chose Stephen Got Even as the sire for Project Rallying. This one was not good with just three places from thirteen starts. He never really developed and I lost him in a claim surprisingly.
I did not breed her last season. She produced one successful offspring and one fairly useful offspring. I will likely breed her this year and look at potential speed sires for her. Most of her off spring have been solid middle distance runners and on the dirt. Also most of her runners ran well enough to win break their maiden.
Ali Baba - (Mambo X Final Straw (GB) x Torsion)
Ali Baba had eight career wins from 49 starts. All her wins came on turf. She was stakes placed from 8f to 10f with one stakes win that came at 10f. Her career best speed figure was a 107 in an 8.5f open allowance. She had seven other 100+ speed figures running 8f-10f most of her career earning $227k.
Despite Ali Baba’s love for the turf her better offspring love the dirt. Her first offspring was by Indian Ridge. Xeno has won six times from forty four starts. He won two allowance races running well early as a two year and three year old. He posted one 100 plus speed figure during that time. He really faded after that and while still active was not very productive in the last year or two. He earned $89k thus far but has only been in the money 12 times from 46 starts for a 26% in the money percentage. This one is borderline successful. While win wise, and allowance win wise he fits the mold of a successful offspring he just was not very consistent.
Her second offspring was a colt by bargain sire Lahib. Probably not the best choice as I only ran this runner 12 times before giving up on her, she was winless. Lahib is a bargain sire with a turf influence which does not appear to be the best choice to pair with Ali Baba.
Ali Baba’s third offspring was a filly by Cryptoclearance. I decided on a better quality sire and this time things seemed to work out. The six year old mare has raced 41 times with 7 wins, 11 places, and 6 shows. Six allowance wins, three 100+ speed figures, a third place stakes finish and consistent 90’s speed figures have produced $185k in earnings and a 58% in the money percentage. By far Ali Baba’s best offspring she has done it all on dirt. She took a little while to develop as she did not break her maiden until her tenth start in June of her three year old season. This one was a success.
Well I still had it in my head that Ali Baba should be able to produce a good turf runner so for her fourth offspring I chose With Approval. A solid turfy sire and all I got was one win from eleven starts and I am still wondering how the horse won. The CPU now owns the horse.
Next I decided a more versatile sire that could produce on either surface was in order. I chose the under used Yes its True. So far he has one win, three places and a show from fifteen starts. This one prefers the turf although with low 80’s speed figures, is probably limited in doing much more. I can’t remember if he was claimed from me or I put him in the auction but his new owner ran him last month so maybe he has a chance to be a little more productive. This mare’s offspring do tend to be late developing so maybe the best is yet to come.
Her latest runner is a three year old by AP Valentine. This runner has nothing and is not even competitive at the lowest claiming levels right now.
Ali Baba produced two successful offspring one of which is pretty darn good. When I look at the failed sire choices of AP Valentine, Yes Its True, and Lahib I beat myself up a bit. It does appear she needs a sire with more talent to be successful and I chose three lower middle tier to bargain type sires for her. I will probably take a long look at the Mr. Prospector line again and chose a sire with more talent for her next time around.
Part One Conclusion
Looking at these mares I feel like a sire in his second, third or fourth sim breeding season might not be ideal for something like breeding to a bargain type brood mare. I think a sire’s freshman season is beefed up a bit and he is downgraded a little until his real life offspring start hitting the track. In my opinion that makes them less predictable in theses seasons. It is not that they cannot or will not produce it is just harder to judge whether it’s the mare or the sire that did not produce.
Look at Curlin for instance. His freshman crop produced 18 stakes winners, his sophomore class only 5 to this point. They are three year olds so that number will grow but probably not stay consistent with the 18 from his fist crop. He is probably at the top or near the top of that class so you can just imagine how a mid tier type sire might look during these years. When you look at Holy Bull or Quiet American for instance their numbers are more consistent so I think I got a better feel for the mare using these more established type sires.
As you can see even here with what I would rank as the worst of the bunch there were a couple of nice runners produced. In the next article we look at five more mares from the experimental band of mare before we move on to the conclusion of the update.