Thursday, December 17, 2009

Chapter 14

Lyphard and a South American Hero

... Invasor

Invasor (from

(as always click on charts to enlarge them)

Lyphard was considered by many to be the first “great” sire of Northern Dancer’s sons and in similar fashion to the Dancer he was passed over as a yearling by of all people, Vincent O’Brien. O’Brien thought the colt was too small. He was the “spitting image” of his sire. Lyphard won a handful of significant stake races in France before retiring to stud in 1973.

Lyphard was the Leading sire in North America in 1986, the Leading Sire in France in 1978, 1979 and the Leading Broodmare Sire in France in 1985,1986. He sired 9 Champions in his 115 stakes winners (or14% of his 800 plus foals). Here is a brief summary of some of Lyphard’s best runners. The Champion Grass Horse, Manila (1983) ($2,692,799 18-12-5-0) who won the Breeders Cup Turf and Arlington Million. England’s Champion Three-Year-Old, Dancing Brave (1983) ($1,776,723 10-8-1-0) won the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe. The filly, Three Troikas (1976) (3,540,000 francs) was Champion Horse of the Year in France and also won the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe. Rainbows For Life (1988) ($1,105,926 36-15-7-7) was Champion Two-Year-Old, Champion Older Horse and Champion Grass horse in Canada, winning the Coronation Futurity and Cup and Saucer amongst his stakes victories. Rainbows For Life was also the Champion Sire of the Czech Republic in 1999, 2004 and 2005.

Lyphard was the broodmare sire of 11 Champions and 205 stakes winners. Here is a brief summary of some of those champion grand children and their dams out of Lyphard. The filly Hatoof (1989) ($1,841,063 21-9-4-1) was the Eclipse Champion Turf Mare counting The Thousand Guineas, The Beverly D and the E.P. Taylor Stakes amongst her wins. She was the daughter of Cadeaux D’Amie (1984) who was also the dam of Irish Prize (1996) ($1,242,380 27-10-4-2). Tight Spot (1987) ($1,556,500 21-12-3-1) was the Champion Grass Horse winning the Arlington Million. Tight Spot was out of the dam Premium Win (1981) who was also the dam of Valiant Nature (1991) ($466,500 8-2-1-3).

Perhaps the most significant broodmare from Lyphard was Bubble Company (1977). She was the dam of Bubble Gum Fellow (1993) (554,430,000 yen 13-7-2-3), Champion Two-Year-Old Colt in Japan, winning several stake races and finishing third in the Japan Cup. She was also the dam of Intimiste (1987) ($256,628) and Air Notorious (1995) but her most famous son was the lightly raced Candy Stripes (1982) ($41,738 6-2-1-0).

Candy Stripes was out of Blushing Groom (1974), bred in Kentucky by Allen Cowen, he raced in France winning two of his six starts and finishing second in the Poule d’Essaie des Poulains. He returned to the U.S. for stallion duty before being shipped off
to Argentina in 1988 where he became an International star as a stallion and Argentina’s leading sire twice. From 1,010 foals of racing age, he has produced 465 winners and 59 stakes winners of almost $30,000,000 and ten Champions in Argentina, Canada, United States and South Africa. Two of his most famous sons are Leroidesanimaux (2000) ($1,658,377 13-9-2-0), Champion Turf Male and winner of 8 consecutive races including the Frank E Kilroe Mile, Atto Mile and Citation Handicap and the very special Invasor (2002) ($4,204,070 11-10-0-0).

The story of Invasor sends shivers down my spine and has some interesting similarities to the story of his great, great grandfather (our Dancer). Invasor was bred in Argentina by Haras Clausan. He is described as a black-pointed bay with a small white star. He was bought as a two year old by two brothers and a friend from Uruguay. Jaun Luis and Luis Alberto Vio Bado along with Pablo Hernandez flew to Argentina to see some horses. When a smaller plane had engine failure they were forced to visit some local farms near Buenos Aires by car. Eighty colts and fillies later they were “hit with Cupid’s arrow” when they saw Invasor. The asking price was $25,000 (sound familiar) but they were able to negotiate that down to $20,000 before they closed the deal and shipped him home to Uruguay. Invasor won his maiden race by over 6 lengths in February 2005 but fractured his right hind sesamoid bone and needed surgery. He reappeared in August 2005 to win the Ensayo stakes by over 7 lengths. What Invasor accomplished after that was truly incredible. He won the first leg of Uruguay’s Triple Crown, the Gran Premio Polla de Potrillos in September 2005 by almost 6 lengths. In October he won the second leg, the Gran Premio Jockey Club by over 3 lengths before completing the Triple Crown with a 6-length victory in the Gran Premio Nacional.

It was at that point Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum made the brothers and Pablo an offer they couldn’t refuse … $1,400,000. Invasor had only won the equivalent of $113,866 in winning the Uruguay Triple Crown. Invasor was on his way to Dubai via Florida for some training. His next start in the UAE Derby was Invasor’s only loss in his career. He was caught in traffic but still managed a respectable fourth only a half-length out of second but well behind the winner, Discreet Cat. Invasor went back to the U.S. where he won his next three starts, the Pimlico Special, Suburban and Whitney Handicaps. He developed a fever that took him out of the Jockey Club Gold Cup but his next start would be the Breeders Cup Classic.

Invasor had become a National hero in Uruguay, despite being sold to the Sheikh and racing in the U.S. he had a following that ranked him with Uruguay’s National soccer team. The simulcast locations in Uruguay are packed whenever Invasor is racing. On November 4, 2006 Invasor sent the Uruguayans into a frenzy upsetting Bernardini, Lava Man and European Champion George Washington to win the Breeders Cup Classic with 18-year-old jockey Fernando Jara in the irons. Invasor was named the Eclipse Horse of the Year for 2006. From those humble beginnings in Argentina, Invasor had risen to the pinnacle of his sport, carrying the weight of three Nations on his back. Invasor has already won his first start in 2007 and may never see Uruguay or Argentina again. It will be fun to watch his career as a stallion unfold. Leroisdesanimaux is already standing at stud at Stonewall Farm in Kentucky.

Candy Stripes died Feb 28, 2007 at Haras Carampagne in San Antonio de Areco, Argentina because of colic; his dam Bubble Company passed away May 24, 1996. This chapter in Northern dancer’s history is a long way from over.

Lyphard’s foals were spread over 23 crops from 1974 to 1996. He lived to the ripe old age of 36 and was euthanized June 10, 2005. Lyphard’s most successful sons to carry on his and the Dancer’s line were Lypheor (1975), Bellypha (1976), Lyphard’s Wish (1976) and Pharly (1974)

Lypheor only produced 8 crops, he had to be euthanized in 1985 at the young age of eleven but in that short span he was one of the leading sires in Japan with 3 Champions and 24 stakes winners. Lypheor was the sire of broodmares who produced 20 stakes winners.

Bellypha sired many stakes winners but the one who is most responsible for carrying on his and the Dancer’s male line is the French bred Mendez (1981) who is the sire of Linamix (1987) (543,705 pounds 10-4-4-0), the beautiful gray French bred who was the Leading Sire in France 1998 and 2004. Linamix has sired 20 winners of more than 200,000 British pounds already since his first crop in 1992 and 18 of those 20 are males. The future of this branch of the Dancer’s male line looks very safe. Lyphard’s Wish on the other hand produced several good runners but it seems to be the mares who had the most success in the breeding shed.

Pharly had a short but outstanding racing career (1,547,500 francs 13-5-5-1) winning 3 Grade 1 stakes in France. Pharly fractured his pelvis and was euthanized in 2002 after siring 44 stakes winners in 22 crops of foals.

The above chart summarizes Lyphard’s principal runners.


Nice Dancer was the second leading money winner from the Dancer’s crop of 1969. He was the Champion Three-Year-Old in Canada, winning the Manitoba Derby and Breeder’s Stakes amongst his stakes victories. He was also a fairly successful sire in Canada before moving to Japan in 1979. He sired 1981 Queen’s Plate winner Fiddle Dancer Boy and several solid broodmares including Jolly Polka, the dam of Glide Path, winner of Sweden’s biggest race, The Stockholm Cup. The jewel of Nice Dancer’s family was the lightly raced mare Lonely Dancer, a prolific Canadian bred mare who produced 11 winners out of her 15 foals including Cee’s Song. Cee’s Song was the dam of the 2000 Eclipse Champion Three-Year-Old Colt and Horse of the Year, Tiznow (1997) ($6,427,830 15-8-4-2) and the rags to riches gelding Budroyale who was claimed for $50,000 before going on to win $2,840,810. While Lyphard was considered the first great sire of the Dancer’s sons, it might be Nice Dancer through his female line who has the best chance of extending the Dancer’s line. Tiznow topped off a brilliant racing career with one of the greatest stretch battles in Breeders Cup history, winning the 2000 Classic over another Northern Dancer great-grandson in Giant’s Causeway. Now those two descendants of our Dancer (Giant’s Causeway through male lines) are “duking it out” for young sire honours in 2005. Tiznow was the leading sire of first crop sires while Giant’s Causeway was the leading sire of second crop sires and they were first and third in leading sires of two-year-olds with Giant’s Causeway on top.

Barachois was the third leading money winner from the Dancer’s 1969 crop. His record did not look that impressive with only 4 wins and 2 seconds but one of those wins was in the Queen’s Plate Trials and he finished second in the Queen’s Plate. Barachois was fairly successful as a sire with his leading money winner Win (1980) ($1,407,210 44-14-10-3) another rags to riches gelding. He won many stakes including the Man ‘O War Stakes at the age of five and the Manhattan Handicap twice. He was purchased for $8,000 in 1982 and Win was the first NY bred millionaire. He retired at the age of five and came out of retirement to race at the age of nine when he had a first and third in five starts. Barachois’s next group of money earners were all durable runners, racking up almost 400 starts between the five of them. They were Bara Lass (1979) ($542,362 60-17-9-11), Georgie’s Doctor (1986) ($205,181 37-5-8-4), Gallery Miss (1974) ($198,754 124-16-22-17), Fort Prevel (1974) ($198,327 83-8-14-13) and Casino Action (1984) ($106,358 89-21-17-11), a pretty strong statement about durability.

Gay Northerner was an outstanding broodmare producing 10 winners out of 12 foals.

The Dancer’s lightly raced daughter Royal Statute is a key to future generations and was an outstanding broodmare. She was the dam of Akureyri (1978) ($226,668 12-5-4-1), a stakes winner with a second in the Florida Derby and a respectable sire in his own rite.

Royal Statute’s daughter, Awaasif (1979) was the Champion Three-Year-Old in Britain, winning stakes in England, Italy and finished 3rd in the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe. Awaasif was the dam of a few good runners including the mare Snow Bride (1986) (170,881 pounds 7-5-0-0), winner of the Oaks amongst other stakes and the dam of several great runners including the incredible, undefeated Lammtarra (1992) ($1,983,527 4-4-0-0) out of distant cousin Nijinsky. We talked about him earlier.

The Dancer’s 1969 crop of foals was certainly an interesting one and one that looks like it has secured his bloodlines for a very long time but it may not have been his best.

Great article from Steve Haskins about Invasor
Breeders Cup 2006 - Invasor
Dubai World Cup 2007 - Invasor
The Donn Handicap - impressive performance

Tiznow in a great stretch battle with Giant's Causeway - Breeders Cup Classic 2000


Tiznow winning Breeders Cup Classic 2001 (only double winner)

No comments:

Post a Comment