Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup 2010


Wow, this year's Cup is in the books and it was a clean sweep for descendants of Northern Dancer taking top 3 honours in all 4 races adding another 60 million HK$'s to the earnings of our little Dancer's offspring.

It was the three-year-old British filly Snow Fairy coming from second to last at the top of the stretch to win over Irian and Packing Winner in the Cup. That meant the four races were won by four different geographic regions Britain, Hong Kong, South Africa and the UAE. What can we say - Northern Dancer got around.

Snow Fairy - great great great granddaughter x2
Irian - great great great great grandson x2
Packing Winner - great great grandson x2

thanks to CXHKIR for the photos and great coverage - click on any of the beautiful photos to enlarge them.

video of the race

Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile 2010


It's been a pretty good day for Northern Dancer descendants with another 1-2-3 finish in the Mile. Favourite Able One was a late scratch but it was another New Zealand bred - the handsome chestnut Beauty Flash winning the Mile with Gerald Bosse aboard.

Beauty Flash - great great great grandson x4
Royal Bench - great great great grandson x2
Sahpresa - great great granddaughter

video of the race

Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Vase 2010


Just another 1-2-3 finish for the Dancer's lines. Frankie Dettori rode the Godolpin Colt Mastery to an easy victory in this year's Vase with Redwood second and Melbourne Cup winner Americain third.

Mastery - great great great grandson x4
Redwood - great grandson x2
Americain - great great great grandson x2

video of the race

Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint 2010


It was a 1-2-3 finish for descendants of Northern Dancer in an exciting Sprint this year featuring the fastest horses on the planet. South African bred JJ The Jet Planet nosed out Rocket Man at the wire with Sacred Kingdom a game third.

JJ The Jet Plane - great great grandson x2
Rocket Man - great great great great grandson
Sacred Kingdom - great grandson

video of the race

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hong Kong Internationals 2010 go Sunday


Usually great coverage from the Hong Kong Jockey Club. Here is Rocket Man warming up Friday morning. This Australian bred great-great-great-great grandson of Northen Dancer will be running in the Hong Kong Sprint - the first of four classic races.
The top photo is Hong Kong Sprint favourite Sacred Kingdom warming up on Saturday, he is a great grandson of the Dancer. Thanks to Hong Kong Jockey Club for pics. (click on photos to enlarge).

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Japan Cup 2010 1-2 or 2-1 finish for the Grandkids


It was a controversial 30th running of the Japan Cup with descendants of our hero finishing 1-2 (or 2-1 after the stewards ruling). Winner Buena Vista came from way off the pace to clearly win the race but was demoted to second after stewards ruled her jockey interfered with runner-up Rose Kingdom. So Rose Kingdom was handed the 250,000,000 yen first place money.

Rose Kingdom - great great great grandson x3
Buena Vista - great great grandaughter x2
Victoire Pisa

That's the jockey aboard Buena Vista celebrating after the win but before the stewards took him down. Photos from AP and yahoo sports.

English video of the race

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Breeders Cup 2010 - In the books


Well the 2010 Breeders Cup is in the books and it was a great 2 days of thoroughbred racing and drama. I am hoping our deer friend Ted Beare made it down to Louisville for his annual adventure. ESPN did an outstanding job with the coverage. There were plenty of highlights you can read about below or on any of the sports pages. Europe and the rest of the world certainly took a back seat to the Americans this year running on the two surfaces at Churchill Downs but once again it didn’t alter the performance of our little Dancer’s descendants. They won over 20 million in purses and had 35 of the 42 top 3 finishers in the 14 races. You can start to see AP Indy and Mr Prospector having a bigger presence but Northern Dancer remains the most influential sire over the past century. His offsprings’ earnings on and off the track are in the billions and all this from the little runt of a thoroughbred nobody wanted in 1962 for $25,000 with his crooked white star, three white legs and oversized heart. I am just as proud of what he has accomplished this weekend as I was that first Saturday in May of 1964. It is getting a little harder to do this research as I had to dig down 7 generations to determine the Juvenile runner-up Boys at Tosconova was a descendant of the Dancer.

The individual race results and video links follow.

That's the climax of the two days with Blame holding off the hard charging Zenyatta in the dramatic Breeders Cup Classic 2010. Thanks to Getty Images, AP and yahoo sports for the images.

Breeders Cup 2010 - Day 2 - The Classic


What is there left to say, everyones heroine came up a nose short on her bid to end her career undefeated. It was the toughest field of males she had ever faced and she gave them a 20 length head start. She ran out of track (distance and room) or she could have put a punctuation mark on one of the greatest thoroughbred stories of all time. We were all rooting for her (I think even our little hero would have been rooting for her to beat his great-grandson Blame). She gave us a thrill as promised and as always but it wasn't meant to be. She was beaten by a great horse and probable Eclipse winner in Blame (not his fault he was just doing his job) but there were 114,000 sad (not disappointed) people in the stands at Churchill this Saturday evening. From the time she left barn #41 until she came through the tunnel to enter the paddock, thousands of people greeted her while she did her usual Zenyatta dance (what a ham). I think she will miss the stage she has made for herself over the past two years and thoroughbred racing will certainly miss her. Farewell Zenyatta it has been an incredible run.

1) Blame - great-great grandson (x2)
2) Zenyatta
3) Fly Down

No one felt worse than jockey Mike Smith who had been with his best friend for her entire 19-1 career but like he said before the race "she is the only girl in my life who has never disappointed me" and she didn't again Mike. Thanks to Getty Images and yahoo sports for the photo).

Video Link to race

Breeders Cup 2010 - Day 2 - The Turf


It was not the European everyone expected to win this race. Behkabad finished third to the upset winner Dangerous Midge with Champ Pegasus wedged between them. All three were great-grandsons of our little Dancer.

1) Dangerous Midge - great-great-great grandson
2) Champ Pegasus - great-great grandson (x2)
3) Behkabad - great-great grandson

That's Lanfranco Dettori in the saddle of Dangerous Midge winning the Breeders Cup Turf (photo from Getty Images and yahoo sports).

Video Link to race

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Breeders Cup 2010 - Day 2 - The Dirt Mile


Dakota Phone came from far off the pace to just nose out Morning Line to win the dirt mile making it a 1-2 finish for the Dancer's grandsons.

1) Dakota Phone - great-great grandson
2) Morning Line - great-great-fgreat grandson
3) Gayego

That's Dakota Phone on the outside with Joel Rosario in the irons nosing out Morning Line with Javier Castellano up. (thanks to AP and yahoo sports for the image).

Video Link to race

Breeders Cup 2010 - Day 2 - The Mile


The incredible mare Goldikova became the first ever three-time winner of a Breeders Cup race beating the best boys again (shades of Makybe Diva). It was yet another 1-2-3 for the Dancer's descendants.

1) Goldikova - great granddaughter (x2)
2) Gio Ponti - great-great grandson (x2)
3) The Usual Q T - great grandson (x2)

That's Olivier Peslier celebrating aboard the amazing mare Goldikova after she wins her 3rd Breeders Cup mile in three years (thaks again to AP and yahoo sports for the pic).

Video Link to race

Breeders Cup 2010 - Day 2 - The Juvenile


Uncle Mo automatically becomes the favorite for next year's Kentucky Derby by winning the Breeders Cup Juvenile convincingly and it's another 1-2-3 finish for our Dancer's grandsons.

1) Uncle Mo - great-great grandson (x2)
2) Boys At Tosconova - great-great-great-great-great grandson
3) Rogue Romance - great-great-great grandson (x2)

That's John Velazquez aboard Uncle Mo winning the Juvenile (thanks to Getty Images and yahoo sports for the pic).

Video Link to race

Breeders Cup 2010 - Day 2 - The Turf Sprint


It was Chamberlain Bridge winning the Turf Sprint and a 1-2-3 finish for the grandkids.

1) Chamberlain Bridge - great grandson (x2)
2) Central City - great-great grandson (x2)
3) Unzip Me - great-great granddaughter (x3)

That's Chamberlain Bridge with Jamie Theriot aboard winning the Turf Sprint (thanks to Getty Images and yahoo sports for the pic).

Video Link to race

Breeders Cup 2010 - Day 2 - The Sprint


It was Big Drama winning the exciting Sprint and a 2-3 finish for Northern Dancer's grandsons.

1) Big Drama
2) Hamazing Destiny - great-great grandson
3) Smiling Tiger - great-great grandson

That's Big Drama with Eibar Coa in the saddle winning the Sprint. (thanks AP and yahoo sports for the image)

Video Link to race

Breeders Cup 2010 - Day 2 - The Juvenile Turf


Pluck went from last to first to win the Juvenile Turf. It was another 1-2-3 for the Dancer's grandsons.

1) Pluck - great-great grandson (x3)
2) Soldat - great grandson (x2)
3) Willcox Inn - great-great-great grandson (x2)

That's Pluck with jockey Garrett Gomez on board. Gomez was injured in a spill on Thursday but wouldn't give up his Breeders Cup mounts. He wasn't finished yet. (thanks to Getty Images and yahoo sports for the pic)

Video Link to race

Breeders Cup 2010 - Day 1 - Ladies' Classic


Day 1 wrapped up with the Ladies' Classic. It was just another 2-3 finish for the Dancer's granddaughters but after the first 6 races of Breeders Cup 2010 it was 15 out of 18 top 3 finishes for Northern Dancer descendants.

1) Unrivaled Belle
2) Blind Luck - great-great granddaughter (x3)
3) Havre de Grace - great-great granddaughter (x3)

That's Unrivaled Belle with Kent Desormeaux aboard winning the Ladies' Classic (photo from Getty and yahoo sports)

Video Link to race

Breeders Cup 2010 - Day 1 - Filly and Mare Turf


It was the first ever Breeders Cup under the lights but not the first ever 1-2-3 finish for Northern Dancer granddaughters. Winner Shared Account is owned by another relative newcomer in Kevin Plank of Under Armour fame.

1) Shared Account - great-great granddaughter (x2)
2) Midday - great-great granddaughter (x3)
3) Keertana - great-great granddaughter

That's Edgar Prado and Shared Account upsetting last year's winner Midday in the Filly and Mare Turf (photo from AP and yahoo sports)

Video Link for race

Breeders Cup 2010 - Day 1 - Juvenile Fillies


Could this be the next Zenyatta? Awesome Feather remains undefeated to take the Juvenile Fillies and it's a 1-2-3 finish for our Dancer's granddaughters.

1) Awesome Feather - great-great granddaughter (x2)
2) R Heat Lightning - great-great-great granddaughter
3) Delightful Mary - great-great granddaughter (x3)

That's Jeffrey Sanchez riding Awesome Feather to victory in the Juvenile Fillies (photo from Andy Lyons/Getty Images and yahoo sports)

Video Link for Race

Breeders Cup 2010 - Day 1 - Filly and Mare Sprint


Finally things are settling down. This time it's only a 2-3 finish for the Dancer's granddaughters as the non-descendant Dubai Majesty pulls off the victory.

1) Dubai Majesty
2) Switch - great-great granddaughter
3) Evening Jewel - great-great granddaughter (x3)

That's Switch chasing Dubai Majesty in the stretch of the Filly and Mare Sprint (courtesy of AP and yahoo sports)

Video Link for Race

Breeders Cup 2010 - Day 1 - Juvenile Fillies Turf


Day 1 continued with some unusual happenings as the horses were loaded in the wrong gate positions and all had to be reloaded but it was a 1-2-3 finish this time for Northern Dancer granddaughters. The winner More Than Real is owned by celebrity chef Bobby Flay.

1) More Than Real - great-great granddaughter (x2)
2) Winter Memories - great grandaughter
3) Kathmanblu - great-great granddaughter (x2)

That's More Than Real with Garrett Gomez on board - well back early in the race and then crossing the finish line (photos from Getty Images and yahoo sports)

Video Link

Breeders Cup 2010 - Day 1 - The Marathon


The Breeders Cup got off to a rowdy start with a DQ and a jockey brawl but it was a typical 1-2 finish for grandkids of our Dancer.

1) Eldaafer - great-great-great grandson
2) Gabriel's Hill - great grandson
3) A U Miner

That's Eldaafer with John Velasquez aboard after crossing the finish line in the Breeders Cup Marathon. (phoyo from Gette images and Yahoo sports)

Video link for the race

Melbourne Cup 2010


It was another 1-2-3 finish for descendants of Northern Dancer in this year's 150 th running of Australia's Melbourne Cup.

1) Americain great-great grandson (x2)
2) Maluckyday great-great grandson
3) So You Think great-grandson

Gerrald Mosse abaord Americain celebrates crossing the finish line.

Link to the race video

Thursday, July 8, 2010

It truly was a Queen's Plate


.... with her majesty Queen Elizabeth II on hand to give away the winner's trophy to the connections of Big Red Mike. It was another 1-2-3 finish for descendants of Northern Dancer - more specifically Vice Regent with Big Red Mike, Hotep and Roan Irish finishing in that order.

Great Great Grandson X3 Drosselmeyer wins Belmont


Sorry, I have been out of touch for a while. Drosselmeyer took this year's Belmont. His sire Distorted Humor is out of the Danzig mare Danzig's Beauty and his dam Golden Ballet was California horse-of-the-year in 2001 out of Nijinsky's son Moscow Ballet. There was also some Storm Bird blood on the dam's side. Second place finisher Fly Down and third place First Dude are not descendants of our Dancer.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Two out of three ain't bad


Lookin at Lucky wins the 2010 Preakness over First Dude. Jackson Bend finished third. Lookin at Lucky is a great-great-grandson of the Dancer through his dam Private Feeling a daughter of a son of Danzig, Belong To Me. Private Feeling's fourth dam was Northern Dancer's daughter Sleek Dancer from his third crop of foals in 1968. First Dude was not a descendant of Northern Dancer but he does have some Nearco blood to go along with some Native Dancer. Jackson Bend is a great-great-great grandson through his dam Sexy Stockings (Storm Cat and Storm Bird line). That's a Reuters image above.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Kentucky Derby 2010 Descendants 1-2-3


It was another 1-2-3 finish for descendants of our little Dancer. Before I hear it from someone else - yes probably more than 75% of the entries were descendants - I didn't check them all this year. The winner, Super Saver was a Great-Great Grandson through the Dancer's amazing daughter Dance Number who has done a lot to carry on the Dancer's lines. Second place finisher, Ice Box was a Great-Grandson through Sadler's Wells and the third place finisher, Paddy O'Prado was a Great-Great-Great Grandson through Storm Cat and Storm Bird. The emotion of this race is still there for me and I too thought Calvin Borel was crying along with me when the band struck up "My Old Kentucky Home". The photo is from AP.

The mare Dance Number made the title in chapter 27 of my book. She was the leading money winner of the Dancer's 1979 crop of foals and set track records at Belmont and Aqueduct when she won stakes there. She only produced 6 foals before her death in 1991 but they were all winners including the 1989 Eclipse Champion two-year-old Rhythm. Dance Number's daughter Get Lucky (1988) was a full sister to Rhythm and the grand-dam of Super Saver through daughter Supercharger. There are descendants of those 6 foals of Dance Number having success all around the world and now there is a Kentucky derby winner in their midst.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ajdal influences in 2010 out of just 35 foals in 1989

From just 35 foals in 1989 Ajdal is still having an influence on today's international racing scene. Sir Percy's first crop of foals have just gone to market with a lot of fan fair and anticipation. I don't think we have heard the last of the 2007 pensioned Mark of Esteem and Daggers Drawn is still producing. The world number 10 ranked runner Youmzain is the grandson of another Ajdal mare in Anima through her winning daughter Sadima (1998) who has produced 3 winners out of her first 4 foals. Youmzain was the winner of almost 3 million pounds and had three second place finishes in the Prix de L'arc behind three pretty good horses in Sea the Stars (2009) Zarkava (2008) and Dylan Thomas (2007). It will be interesting to follow his career as a stallion.

Something I just found out about Ajdal this week was that he held the record for highest price paid for a buy back at the Keeneland Sales for 23 years. Ralph Wilson (Buffalo Bills owner) declined a 7.4 million bid for him in 1985 and opted to buy him back for 7.5 million. That record was broken in 2008 by the Allen E Paulson estate for their yearling Vallenzeri out AP Indy and the 2002 horse of the year in the Dancer's great great granddaughter Azeri. Vallenzeri was later sold for 1.9 million as a two-year-old in training and just won his debut race at Santa Anita on Dec 30, 2009 under his new name Take Control.

Youmzain's gutsy second place finish to Dylan Thomas in the 2007 Prix de L'arc

Youmzain's second place finish to Zarkava in 2008

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Chapter 34


What Might Have Been ... Ajdal

Chapel of Dreams led the 1984 crop in earnings and possibly in extending the Dancer’s lines. She was a 3/4 sister to Storm Cat. As a three year old she only managed to place in 4 stakes but as a four year old she won several including the Palomar and Wilshire Handicaps (G2s).

She produced six winners in all but none of them had any stakes success. Seeking The Dream (1995) ($201,034 37-6-5-2), If Angels Sang (1994) ($108,715 20-4-1-3) and Goldkeeper (1990) ($75,916 13-4-2-1) were her best runners. Neither Seeking The Dream nor If Angels Sang had any significant offspring but Goldkeeper stands at stud in South Africa where he was ranked 4th on the general list of sires for 2006 thanks in large part to his stakes winning, gelding son Goldsmith (2001) ($70,000 22-6-9-0). His Zimbabwe bred daughter Battle Maiden was named Champion South African Older Filly in 2004 after winning the 2004 Garden Province Stakes. Goldkeeper had to be moved from Zimbabwe to South Africa in 2000 because of the political unrest at the time.

Chapel of Dreams’ daughter Bridal Tea (1991) managed only one win on the track but she produced Postponed (1997) ($312,332 22-4-5-2) a G2 stakes winner at Belmont. Postponed is now standing at stud in New Zealand where he was the number one sire of second crop foals in 2006. His daughter Dorabella (2003) won the New Zealand classic One Thousand Guineas. He has a few other stakes winners to his credit also in just his first 2 crops of foals.

Chapel of Dreams’ winless daughter Weiner Wald (1992) produced the French stakes winner On Reflection (1999) ($110,805 35-4-6-6) who in turn produced the winless mare Agent Du Bois (1996), dam of Ticker Tape (2001) ($1,452,396 31-8-9-5). Ticker Tape was born in Great Britain but raced in the U.S. winning the American Oaks at Hollywood Park and the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland amongst her many stakes wins.

Chapel Of Dreams’ bloodlines are extending widely in terms of generations and geography and like fine wine they seem to be improving with age.


Northern Dancer’s son Ajdal did not earn as much money as Chapel Of Dreams but he had a much more successful career on the track racing in Europe. As a two year old he won the William Dewhurst Stakes. At three he won the William Hill Sprint Championship and Norcros July Cup both G1s amongst his stakes victories. He was Europe’s Champion Sprinter in 1987.

Ajdal would stand at owner Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Dalham Hall Stud for his one and only season. His story could be one of the most tragic of all the Dancer’s direct offspring. On August 8, 1988 at the end of his first season in the breeding shed, Ajdal had to be put down after fracturing a hind leg. In just one crop of foals, let’s see what he produced.

Cezanne (1989) ($311,593 14-5-3-3) won the Spreti-Rennen in Germany before winning the Champion stakes in Ireland. Little Bean (1989) ($200,000 13-4-4-0) won the Suffolk Stakes, Tnt Aviation Handicap and Schweppes Golden Mile. Both Cezanne and Little Bean were geldings. Little Bean’s racing career ended when he fractured a coffin bone but it didn’t end his life. With a Canadian twist to his story “Beanie” was sent to the University of Guelph where they repaired the bone and he started a new career in hunting, jumping and dressage.

Garah (1989) ($68,951 16-4-3-3) was the third leading money winner of Ajdal’s only crop. She placed in several stakes before retiring to produce Olden Times (1998) ($350,000 13-3-0-3) winner of the Prix Jean Prat. He also finished third in the Lockinge and St James’s Palace Stakes.

Ajdal’s daughter Ahbab was a winner on the track before she retired to produce the gelding New Seeker (2000) ($313,031 13-3-3-2), winner of the Brittania Handicap at Royal Ascot.

Ajdal’s unraced daughter Homage perhaps had the biggest impact on the sport and emphasizes the tragic loss of her sire at such a young age. Homage produced 6 foals of which 2 were winners. One winner was Mark Of Esteem (1994) ($564,007 7-4-1-0) out of Darshaan. He was declared European Champion Miler in 1997 after winning the Two Thousand Guineas and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and earning a Timeform rating of 137. Mark of Esteem had already proven himself as a very capable sire when he suffered the loss of a testicle following colic surgery in 2004. He still covered over 90 mares in the 2005/6 seasons before being pensioned in 2007 due to low fertility. He produced over 500 foals with 75% runners and 53% winners and of those, a respectable 7% stakes winners. His most successful runner was the 2006 Epsom Derby winner and Two Thousand Guineas runner up, Sir Percy (2003) ($1,874,096 7-5-1-0) who was Champion Two Year Old of England after he also won the Darley Dewhurst Stakes. Sir Percy’s acceleration in the Derby was described as “Swashbuckling” (we haven’t seen that one before). He will be an outstanding stallion prospect when he does retire from racing. Mark Of Esteem’s gelding son Reverence (2001) was European Champion Sprinter in 2006 after winning the Northorpe Stakes and Sprint Cup despite suffering a broken pelvis at a young age while daughter Ameerat (1998) ($324,192 7-2-2-1) won the One Thousand Guineas. The list of Mark Of Esteem’s stakes winners is long and it is not complete yet.

Ajdal’s daughter Sun And Shade managed 4 wins before retiring to produce 7 winners including multiple stakes winner Daggers Drawn (1995) ($141,057 6-3-0-0) who is off to a great start as a young stallion in Ireland.

It would be difficult to find another Northern Dancer son who has had as much impact with such few foals as Ajdal. What a tragic loss for the sport.

Getting back to the rest of Northern Dancer’s 1984 crop, we have Rambo Dancer, winner of the Red Smith Handicap (G2) at Belmont Park. The race is named in honor of the Pulitzer Prize winning sports columnist. Rambo Dancer had a fairly successful career as a stallion that started in the U.S. before moving to England in 1990 and South Africa in 1997 where he had been a perennial top 10 sire until his death. He died after covering a mare in 2004, how appropriate. Among his best runners was Ramooz (1993) ($585,000 52-10-10-7), winner of the G3 Minstrel and Criterion Stakes. He has retired to stud in Cyprus.

Rambo Dancer’s daughter Lambent (1991) ($80,287 23-3-3-3) won in England and the U.S. finishing third in the Songstress Breeders Cup Stakes. She produced 2 stakes winners out of 3 foals. The gelding Cozy Guy (2001) ($418,104 18-7-3-3) won the Cal Cup Classic and Crystal Water Handicap at Santa Anita before being euthanized June 28, 2006 due to a myriad of illnesses (his Pedigree Online epitaph reads “Rest in Peace Cozy Guy, you were truly loved”. Lambent’s daughter Soup N Crackers (1999) ($114,373 33-9-0-1) was a three-time stakes winner.

The Dancer’s son, Alwasmi placed in several European stakes and won the G3 Lanes End John Porter Stakes. He had some modest success as a sire and broodmare sire in the U.S. and eventually West Germany. Daughter Bursting Forth (1994) ($524,474 26-10-3-4) was a multiple G3 stakes winner in the US. Alwasmi has strong Canadian connections, his Canadian bred daughter Easy Lover (1994) ($110,000 24-13-6-1) won the Premio Dorama in Chile and placed in several Chilean stakes before retiring to Japan where she is being bred to some quality stallions. Alwasmi’s daughters Oh Tee and Ivastar (1994) were both stakes winners in Canada; Ivastar won the Flaming Page Stakes. Many of Alwasmi’s daughters were producers but one in particular was Promiseville (1991), herself a stakes winner, produced Small Promises (1998) ($361,456 15-7-0-1) the Champion Older Female in Canada in 2002 and winner of the Shady Well and Algoma Stakes at Woodbine. Promiseville is also the grand dam of another Canadian stakes winner, Dancer’s Bajan (2004) through her daughter Thoughtful Deed (1996).

Sense Of Unity was another daughter of the Dancer who had some success as a broodmare. Her top runner was Family Calling (1994) ($250,297 32-7-4-7) who won the Edmond Handicap at Remington Park. He now stands at stud in West Virginia where he has already had some early success. In his first 4 crops he has produced 94 winners (3 stakes winners) of over $4,000,000 and the Champion Imported Mare of the Dominican Republic in No More Drinks (2002).

Northern Dancer had two more French stakes winners in the colt Manshood, winner of the Prix du Petit Tellier Saint-Cloud and the mare, Arctic Eclipse, winner of the Prix le Fabuleux. Neither had much of an impact in the breeding shed.

Incinderator on the other hand could only manage a second in the Feilden Stakes in England but he had a decent career as a stallion in the US. His leading money winner was the gelding Adminniestrator (1997) ($762,061 43-9-9-4) winner of the Quicken and Sunshine Million Turf Stakes. Daughter, Watch Rachel (1990) ($419,750 47-12-12-10) won the Pacific Heights Handicap among her stakes wins. Gelding son, Smoky Cinder (1994) ($389,472 57-18-10-11) won the Canadian Derby among his many stakes wins. Son, Renteria (1994) ($296,225 21-3-6-3) won the Carry Back Stakes and is off to a fairly good start to his career as a stallion producing Idaho’s Horse of The Year in Free Rent (2001) ($150,070 32-5-5-5) among his stakes winners. Incinderator’s daughter Native Wind Dancer managed to place in 4 of her 5 starts before retiring to produce among others, Summer Wind Dancer (2000) ($898,762 18-5-5-4) a multiple stakes winner in California.

The mare Yaqut produced some interesting grandchildren for the Dancer. The gelding Harik (1994) has earned in excess of 100,000 pounds with his record of 16-18-13 in 103 starts on the flat and over hurdles. Full sister to Harik, Anam (1992) has produced Annosh (2003) ($190,000 13-2-5-2) a stakes winner in Turkey and Yaqut’s son Asakir (1995) finished second in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud in France before starting his career as a stallion in Turkey.

The last member of the 1984 crop of foals we will examine is the mare Kamkova. She was lightly raced before retiring as a broodmare and producing Kirkwall (1994) ($633,356 22-8-0-2). A multiple stakes winner in France at three, he was shipped to the U.S. where he was a multiple stakes winner at five. He is standing at stud in Europe, where his first crop of foals are just starting to show some promise. Most of Kamkova’s daughters are producers but nothing of significance yet.


Great site from Lanwades Stud featuring Sir Percy and these videos - have a look at the promo video and the Epsom Derby - swashbuckling performance by Sir Percy

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Gloria De Campeo wins Al Maktoum Challenge Rd 1


This seven-year-old Brazilian-bred great, great, great grandson of our Dancer winning the G1 in Dubai last week is not the main story here. It was the first big race at the $2 billion Meydan Racecourse in Dubai. The official opening is scheduled for March during their International Racing Carnival featuring the Dubai World Cup. The country that now boasts the world's tallest building is about to claim the world's newest, state-of-the-art and most extravagant racecourse. To call it impressive would be an understatement. Have a look for yourself.

Video of the race

Meydan Racecourse web page

Picture above and article from Thoroughbred Times

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Let's not forget Yeats - perhaps the last great son of Sadler's Wells


Yeats was ranked #25 on the world rankings for 2009 when he finally retired to stud at Coolmore at the age of eight. Some call him the greatest stayer of all time. He made my chart back in 2006 when he won his first Ascot Gold Cup. He would repeat that feat in each of the next three years to capture the hearts of many UK race fans. In addition to his record four Ascot Gold Cups he was Europe's Cartier Champion Stayer in 2006 and 2007. This photo and following article are from the telegraph. What a beautiful animal. Have a look at this video tribute as well - you can feel the emotion of Johnny Murtagh and the Yeats' connections after the fourth Ascot Gold Cup.

Article from the telegraph after Yeats' fourth straight Ascot Gold Cup

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Lines of the 1981 crop in 2010

Sadler's Wells descendants represent four of the top ten in world rankings including two direct male descendants in number 3 ranked Rip Van Winkle and number 4 ranked Fame and Glory. Number 7 ranked Conduit won back to back Breeders Cup Turfs in 2008 and 2009 and the St Leger in 2008 and is a great grandson of Sadler's Wells. Number 9 ranked Rachel Alexandra (also 2009 Eclipse Horse of the Year) is not only a descendant of Sadler's Wells, her maternal great grandmother was Wild Applause from this same 1981 crop.

Four of Sadler's Wells descendants had top three finishes in the 2009 Breeders Cup while three could be traced back to El Gran Senor. Solar City is still having an impact thanks to his grandson Cloudy's Knight. The great gelding was just nosed out of the Breeders Cup Marathon at 9 years of age after a gutsy stretch drive. As a 7 year-old Cloudy's Knight was Champion Turf Horse in Canada after winning the Canadian International.

Tributes to Rachel Alexandra

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Chapter 29


Sadler's Wells

The 1981 crop of foals provides lots of stories and perhaps the most prolific sire of the sons of Northern Dancer.

Sadler’s Wells raced entirely in Europe and retired to stud at Robert Sangster’s Coolmore Stud in Ireland but he was bred and born in the United States to Sangster’s mare Fairy Bridge out of Bold Reason. While Sadler’s Wells was the leading money winner from the 1981 crop his racing performance was overshadowed slightly by two other 1981 sons of the Dancer in El Gran Senor and Secreto. El Gran Senor was the two-year-old Champion and winner of the Two Thousand Guineas and Irish Derby. Secreto won the 1984 Epsom Derby edging out El Gran Senor. Meanwhile Sadler’s Wells had 6 wins and 4 seconds in his 11 starts winning the Irish Two Thousand Guineas, Eclipse Stakes and Phoenix Champion Stakes. He finished second in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes as well as the Prix du Jockey Club and was the French Champion miler in 1984.

After an impressive racing career Sadler’s Wells retired to stud where he became the foundation of the Coolmore breeding empire. Sadler’s Wells numbers as a sire are staggering and could fill a book on their own. Leading General Sire in Britain in 1990 and from 1992-2004 when, he was finally dethroned by Danehill. He is still going strong covering almost 200 mares per year. He has sired 895 winners (65%), 253 stakes winners (18.4%) of more than $100 million. His offspring have dominated the European classics where his strength seems to lie in middle distance and beyond on the turf but he is second to Storm Cat in all time Breeders Cup earnings ($6,982,900 38-6-2-5-2-4-3).

A chart of Sadler’s Wells’ principal runners will follow but let’s examine one of them here. Montjeu ($2,062,822 16-11-2-0) came from the 1996 crop of foals. His victories included the 1999 Irish Derby, Prix du Jockey Club, L’Arc de Triomphe and the 2000 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Tattersalls Gold Cup and Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud. He was 1999 International 3 year-old Champion and Champion European Colt and top International 4 year-old in 2000 and earned a speed rating of 137 putting him in an elite class of runners.

Montjeu now stands at Coolmore stud beside his father. Here are some of the stars coming from Montjeu’s first crop of foals in 2002 ... Hurricane Run ($4,155,280 14-8-3-1) World Champion of 2005 and winner of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe … Epsom Derby winner, Motivator ($2,152,000 7-4-2-0) and St Leger winner, Scorpion ($1,175,116 9-3-3-0).

Let’s take a look at a few of the other sons of Sadler’s Wells and how they are influencing the sport around the world. We will start with In The Wings who passed away in 2004 at the fairly young age of 16. In The Wings was ranked in the top 21 of European Sires for 7 of the past 9 years. His leading runner was the Eclipse Champion Singspiel (1992) ($5,952,825 20-9-8-0), winner of the Japan Cup, Dubai World Cup and Canadian International to name a few. Singspiel was ranked in the top 5 of young European sires with his 2nd and 3rd crops; his leading money earner so far is Asakusa Denen (1999) ($3,001,082 26-8-3-5), winner of the Yasuda Kinen in Japan.

El Prado (1989) was a top 5 sire in the USA from 2002 to 2005 and sired 20 or more stakes horses for 6 consecutive years. His leading money earner so far is Medaglia d’Ora (1999) ($5,754,720 17-8-7-0) winner of the Travers stakes and runner up in the Belmont Stakes, Dubai World Cup and the Breeders Cup Classic twice.

Galileo was the leading 2nd crop sire of Europe in 2006. Among his young superstars is the top 2 year old in the world for 2006, Teofilo (2004) ($645,596 5-5-0-0). The undefeated colt won the Dewhurst, Futurity, National and Tyros stakes. Galileo has already produced a Breeders Cup Turf winner in Red Rocks (2003) ($2,042,018 10-3-4-2), a St Leger winner in Sixties Icon (2003) ($608,158 7-3-0-1) and an Irish One Thousand Guineas winner in Nightime (2003) ($304,301 3-2-0-0). Five of Galileo’s yearlings sold for over 500,000 pounds in 2006.

Opera House is a classic sire in Japan. His son T M Opera O (1996) ($14,100,000 26-14-6-3) is now considered the world’s all-time career money earner. He won the Japan Cup in 2000 and was runner up in 2001. He also won the Tenno Sho three times (two springs and one autumn) and the 1999 Satsuki Sho (Two Thousand Guineas).
Scenic (1986) was a top ten sire in Australia on several occasions, his top two performers, Universal Prince (1997) ($2,978,291 30-7-7-3) and Blevic (1991) ($1,364,360 26-8-2-10) are now carrying on Northern Dancer’s genes through Sadler’s Wells and Scenic. Scenic died of a heart attack in 2005.

Carnegie is one of the leading young sires shuttling between Japan and Australia. King of Kings has had success shuttling between New Zealand, Australia, Japan and the USA. Victoria Dance has had success as a sire in New Zealand while Fort Wood and Braashee have been impact sires in South Africa.

As a broodmare sire, Sadler’s Wells has been at or near the top of the European list for the past decade, leading in 2006, 2005 and 2001. Here are just some of his daughters’ most notable runners. Sakhee (1997) ($3,253,253 14-8-3-1) was winner of l’Arc de Triomphe. He was out of the mare, Thawakib (1990). El Condor Pasa (1995) ($3,567,444 11-8-3-0) was Japan’s Horse of the Year in 1998 winning the Japan Cup and as a 4 year old winning the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud and runner up in l’Arc de Triomphe, he was out of the mare Sadler’s Gal (1989). Silic (1995) ($1,422,299 15-8-2-0) was the winner of the 1999 Breeders Cup Mile out of the mare Balletomane (1988). The brilliant European champion filly (twice), Divine Proportions (2002) ($1,553,790 10-9-0-0) won 5 G1 stakes in France including the Prix de Diane before suffering an injury in the Prix Jaques Le Marois as a 4 year old, her only career defeat, she finished fourth. Divine Proportions was bred to Giant’s Causeway in 2006. She was out of the mare Myth To Reality (1986) who was also the dam of 9 other winners including French G1 winner, Whipper (2001) ($1,190,292 19-6-2-2). American Post (2001) ($826,417 9-6-1-0) had 3 G1 stakes victories in his 6 wins including the Grand Criterium; he was out of the mare, Wells Fargo (1996). The list of quality broodmares produced by Sadler’s Wells goes on and on and we probably have not come close to hearing the end of that story.

Sadler’s Wells probably comes closest to all of the sons of Northern Dancer to having a similar impact on the sport as did his sire but when you couple the career of Sadler’s Wells with the likes of Danzig, Storm Cat, Nijinsky, Nureyev and the rest of his sons, there is no argument on who had the greatest impact … it was dad.

‘El Gran Senor’

El Gran Senor was the nickname of Northern Dancer’s trainer Huratio Luro, hence the name of this colt out of the mare, Sex Appeal (1970) by Buckpasser. E.P. Taylor and Robert Sangster jointly owned the mare so for the record El Gran Senor was bred by Windfields (Maryland) but raced for the partnership of Taylor, Sangster, Magnier and Vincent O’Brien with O’Brien doing the training. El Gran Senor was undefeated as a two-year-old winning the Dewhurst, National and Railway Stakes and was declared Ireland and United Kingdom Two Year Old Champion. He was also declared Champion Three Year Old the following year. He won the Two Thousand Guineas (first of the Triple Crown races) before the only loss of his career in the Epsom Derby. El Gran Senor was the odds on favorite but with a quarter mile to go he failed to accelerate in his usual fashion and lost a stretch battle by a nose to his old paddock mate (and son of Northern Dancer), Secreto (trained by Vincent O’Brien’s son, David). El Gran Senor redeemed himself in the Irish Derby showing he could go the distance of 12 furlongs. After suffering a career ending injury in 1984 he was retired to stud.

El Gran Senor had a fertility problem that prevented him from siring more than 40 foals per year. He sired less than 400 foals in his 14 crops of foals but produced 55 stakes winners for a very impressive 14% ratio. El Gran Senor was euthanized on October 18, 2006 due to old age. As a sire of sire he was not spectacular but some of his sons have had success in the breeding shed. His son Helmsman (1992) has already sired 14 stakes winners of almost $9,000,000. George Agustus (1988) was the Leading sire in Venezuela 2001, 2002 and 2003.

El Gran Senor’s biggest success came as a Broodmare sire with already over 40 stakes winners of $40,000,000. His daughter Toussaud (1989) has already foaled 4 G1 winners of $6,000,000 including Chester House (1995) ($1,944,545 21-6-4-4), winner of the Arlington Million and Empire Maker (2000) ($1,985,800 8-4-3-1) winner of the 2003 Belmont Stakes. Escrow Agent (1986) was the dam of 4 stakes winners including Florida Derby winner Vicar (1996) ($835,142 17-4-2-3). Italian Champions Le Vie Dei Colori (2000) ($781,362 15-12-2-1) and Ramonti (2002) ($900,000 9-5-2-1) are out of Senor’s daughters Mystic Tempo (1993) and Fosca (1995) respectively. Gran Premio Jockey Club (Argentina) winner Ice Point (1998) was out of daughter, Ice the Champagne (1989) and Grand Slam (1995) ($901,292 15-4-5-2) was out of Bright Candles (1987). The genes of El Gran Senor and Northern Dancer are being passed on very successfully through the daughters of the Senor from Australia (Ice Point) to South Korea (Vicar) and in the U.S. where Grand Slam has been a top 25 sire since 2003.

A list of El Gran Senor’s first generation of principal runners follows.

… the rest of the class of ‘81’

Secreto was the third in the triumvirate of Northern Dancer sons from 1981 who had an impact. Upsetting El Gran Senor in the 1984 Epsom Derby was his main claim to fame but he also won the Tetrarch Stakes in Ireland and finished 3rd in the Irish Derby, his only defeat in four starts. He was forced to retire after an injury in 2004 and never had much of an impact in the breeding shed although he did sire the Two Thousand Guineas winner from 1991, Mystiko (1988) ($311,914 9-4-2-1).

Northern Trick was another outstanding racing daughter of Northern Dancer. In just 6 starts she managed 4 wins including Le Prix de Diane and Prix Vermeille (G1s) and 2nd in Le Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and Saint-Alary (G1s). As a broodmare she was the dam of 7 winners but her most significant breeding progeny was the filly Lingerie (1988) who placed in stakes at 2 and 3. She was the dam of 7 winners including Shiva (1995 Japan) who won the 1999 Tattersalls Gold Cup defeating Daylami and was 2nd in the Dubai Champion Stakes and Limnos (1994 Japan) ($185,000 9-4-3-0) a multiple stakes winner in France before retiring to a successful career as a stallion. He was France’s leading sire of 3 year olds over jump in 2004.

The Dancer’s daughter Wild Applause had a so-so career as a runner winning the Diana Handicap (G2) and Comely Stakes (G3) but she had a great career as a broodmare. She produced 9 winners out of 10 foals including Roar (1993) ($487,507 12-4-1-4) who won the Jim Beam Stakes (G2) before retiring to what looks like a promising career as a stallion.

In 2005 Roar was the leading sire of Argentina and the leading sire of stakes winners in California for 2004 and 2005. In 6 racing crops he has produced 7 champions and 42 stakes winners of over $18,000,000. Among Roar’s progeny are two Argentinean breds, Little Jim (2000) ($472,793 14-4-2-3) and the undefeated two-year-old Forty Greeta (2001) ($169,200 4-4-0-0). Both were purchased by Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed al Maktoum of Dubai. Little Jim was Champion 2 year old and Champion horse of Argentina winning the UAE Two Thousand Guineas. Forty Greeta was Champion 2-year old filly of Argentina before heading off to Dubai.

Wild Applause also produced the filly Yell (2000) ($598,903 17-4-3-3) a multiple stakes winner who is just launching her broodmare career and the undefeated Futurity Stakes winner Eastern Echo (1988) ($93,960 3-3-0-0). Wild Applause died giving birth to Hurrah in 2003 and even he managed to go on and win a race.

Concordene had 6 wins in 15 starts before being shipped off to India.

Lucky North raced in the UK as a 2 year old with 2 wins. He won the Hot Springs and Phoenix Handicaps back in the U.S. as a 5 year old. He stands at stud in Manitoba where he has sired 16 crops of 390 foals, 241 winners and 17 stakes winners. Some of his mares carry on the Dancer’s genes with the most significant descendant, Lady Tak (2000) ($1,160,782 19-10-4-2) out of Star Of My Eye (1990) a winner of some G1 stakes.

South Sea Dancer is an interesting story. She was a full sister to Northernette and Storm Bird and as a result set a then world record price of $1,800,000 at the 1982 Keeneland Yearling Sales. Her racing career was unspectacular, just placing in a couple of stakes. She produced 16 foals, nine of them winners but they fetched over $5,000,000 at auction. The only significant runner she produced was Signal Tap (1991) ($429,108 24-7-5-6) a G3 winner. That doesn’t sound like a spectacular broodmare career, considering the money that was involved but if you look at her next generation, things are looking up.

Signal Tap got off to a solid start to his breeding career before being shipped off to Brazil in 2005. His daughter Got Koko (1999) ($939,946 14-7-1-3), raced in California where she swept the La Canada Series before defeating Champion Azeri in the Lady’s Secret Handicap (G1). Daughter Kate Winslet (not the actress, the filly) (2001) ($249,554 24-5-2-2) was a stakes winner in Italy at two and a stakes winner in France at three.

Destiny Calls (2000) ($634,620 23-14-4-2) out of South Sea Dancer’s daughter Longue Vue (1994) was a multiple stakes winner in California where she was still winning stakes at the age of six.

South sea Dancer’s son Sijjaal (1988) only had a maiden win in 6 starts but he has had a modestly successful career as a stallion in Venezuela. Most of South Sea Dancer’s offspring are breeding despite some poor performances on the track. The thin line of Northern Dancer through South Sea Dancer may live on for quite a while.

There is nothing spectacular about Ragtime from the Dancer’s 1981 crop but she produced several mares who have gone on to produce more mares and the beat goes on. While there have been no notable descendants yet, the female lines continue.

Nordico never got to show much on the track but he went on to a decent career as a broodmare sire. He has been a regular in the top 100 of broodmare sires in Great Britain and Ireland since 2001. Two of his notable grandchildren were Imperial Dancer (1998) ($781,356 62-11-5-12) out of Gorgeous Dancer (1989), winner of the Premio Roma and Red Evie (2003) ($367,685 9-7-0-0) out of Malafemmena (1992) winner of the Matron Stakes.

Ballet De France produced 7 winners out of 10 foals including the Irish and Italian Champion Muhtarram (1989) ($858,038 20-8-3-2), winner of the Irish Champion Stakes over Opera House, the Premio Presidente della Republica and twice winner of the Prince of Wales Stakes. Muhtarram has shown some promise as a young stallion in Britain where he has already sired winners of over 300 races and $5,000,000. Ballet De France’s daughter Profit Column (1993) ($148,957 11-6-0-1) has already produced a stakes winner in Final Round (2000) ($385,512 17-5-3-5) in her young career as a broodmare.

Carnivalay deserves some mention. He broke his maiden in his last of 4 starts before retiring to be one of Maryland’s leading sires through the 90’s. Mike Pons of Country Life Farm where Carnivalay stood from 1985 to 2003 called him “ a poor man’s Danzig … Carnivalay provided a genetic bank whose offspring helped Maryland horsemen step up to the plate in a big way and have a little fun.” He sired 38 stakes winners of upwards of $30,000,000. Eighty-one percent of his foals started and 65% were winners. Josh Pons described him as “the spitting image of his daddy”. Among his top performers were Aggadan (1999) ($860,306 42-12-14-5), Valay Maid (1989) ($641,442 20-9-4-3) and Ameri Valay (1989) ($742,779 68-16-10-10). Ameri Valay is showing promise as a young stallion and could be another extension of the Dancer’s male line. Among Ameri Valay’s early success stories was the gelding Magic Weisner (1999) ($888,830 15-7-4-0), runner up in the 2002 Preakness. West Nile Virus shortened Magic Weisner’s racing career. Carnivalay died in January 2007.

Jugah did not show much on the track nor did his offspring show much in Australia with one notable exception. The gelding Juggler (1991) ($2,442,088 59-15-16-10) had a reputation as a “Giant Killer” upsetting favorites to win several graded stakes. As a broodmare sire Jugah’s daughter Bright Gleam (1993) produced Innovation Girl (1999) ($500,000 15-10-3-1).

Solar City had a mediocre career as a stallion but did produce some decent broodmares, most notably Cloudy Spot (1987) who produced 5 winners out of her 7 foals including Stormy Impact (1999) ($405,631 47-8-10-10) and Cloudy’s Knight (2000) ($317,635 24-7-5-4).

Northern Legend in Venezuela, Pink in France and Tridessus in the U.S. all sired some runners but nothing very notable in their lines to this point.
Sadler's Wells winning 2000 Guineas in 1984 over Secreto
Sadler's Wells winning Phoenix Champion Stakes in 1984

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Danzig and Nureyev Lines in 2009

These two continue to have an influence on the elite of the sport in 2009. Danzig lines contributed to seven of the top 3 finishers in the Breeders Cup while Nureyev contributed four.

In the world rankings there are 4 direct male descendants of Danzig in the top 10 males in the world including number one ranked Sea The Stars. The number one ranked female (second overall) Goldikova is a also great-granddaughter of Danzig. Nureyev has two descendants in the top 13 in the world rankings including number 3 ranked Rip Van Winkle and a direct male descendant in Presious Passion.