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06 May 2016 @ 04:23 pm
Kentucky Derby Bloodlines  
Derby Day is tomorrow and I've been immersing myself in the Daily Racing Form and the Unlocking Winners blog at the Bloodhorse. It's a blast.

Way back in the mid-70s, my grampa bought me one of the greatest Christmas gifts ever - a copy of Richard Stone Reeves book "Classic Lines". The book traced how the 'modern' (aka 1950-70) Classic winners on both sides of the pond almost all traced back to five sires: Hyperion, Nearco, Native Dancer, Ribot and Man O' War. Since that time, Hyperion's tail male line is virtually extinct, but the other 4 lines are still going strong - all having at least one representative in this year's Derby.

Nearco's line is the most robust, carrying on through several different branches:

  • grandson Northern Dancer

    • via Storm Cat through Giant's Causeway (Brody's Cause, Destin) to Eskenderya (Mor Spirit)

    • via Sadler's Wells (who is preeminent in Europe with Galileo et al) to Kitten's Joy (Oscar Nominated)

  • grandson Bold Ruler, whose once dominant line was within one horse of dying out. Fortunately, that one horse was Seattle Slew's AP Indy, who has founded a modern dynasty, including previous Derby winners Orb and California Chrome. This year, the line is carried on by:

    • Mineshaft (Suddenbreakingnews)

    • Bernardini (Shagaf)

    • via Pulpit to Tapit (Creator, Lani and Mohaymen) to Trappe Shot (My Man Sam)

  • eight generations later via a sequence of moderately successful sires comes Uncle Mo (Nyquist, Outwork, Mo Tom)

  • and via the Halo branch (which also gave us Sunday Silence) comes More than Ready (Tom's Ready)

Native Dancer's line carries on mostly through grandson Mr. Prospector, whose descendants include:

  • via Fappiano down to Candy Ride (Gun Runner) to Twirling Candy (Danzing Candy)

  • via Smart Strike to Curlin (Exaggerator)

  • via grandson Street Cry (Trojan Nation)

This is an unusually low year for Mr P's tail male representatives, though he appears in the majority of pedigrees in other positions

Ribot's line has never been dominant, but is known for stamina. The line continues via dual classic winner Pleasant Colony to Pleasantly Perfect (Whitmore)

Man O' War's sire line trembled on the brink of extinction until In Reality (inbred 3X3 to Man O' War's son War Relic) came along. From In Reality descends Tiznow (Majesto).

Sorry this was so long but updating my sire line charts has been a long-standing tradtion at this time of year.
gyrigyri on May 8th, 2016 02:49 am (UTC)
That's so neat you can do that; it is fascinating!
Jenjlvsclrk on May 13th, 2016 05:03 am (UTC)
I spend more time than I like to admit tracing pedigrees. You should see the mess I've made of some of my horse books, updating the begats.