Horse running through field

Pedigree Profile: Super Saver

by Roger Lyons

Super Saver is not the first runner his dam, Supercharger, has had by Maria’s Mon. There was a 2003 gelding named Hedge Fund that ran 48 times, won four races, was second 13 times, and was third four times. He won just over $144,000–a useful runner, effective only as a sprinter.

My point in mentioning Hedge Fund is this. My statistical profiles at this time of year take into account the dams of foals by a stallion through last year’s three-year-old crop (2006). I add the dams of current-year three-year-olds as a group around mid-year because by then many of the offspring have had a chance to race. However, Super Saver’s dam is included as the producer of a superior runner even though Super Saver is a current three-year-old. That’s because Supercharger is represented by a runner born prior to 2007.

Super Saver’s dam takes Maria’s Mon to a record of 2/4 with A.P. Indy mares. Forget about how many foals there were. It’s the number of mares that matters. No matter how many foals a mare produced by Maria’s Mon, the question is whether or not at least one of them was a superior runner, and Super Saver certainly is. The other A.P. Indy mare that produced a superior runner by Maria’s Mon is Flirtatious, dam of Wait a While, which won three G1 stakes and five G2 stakes. You could safely say it’s the nick.

You could say it’s linebreeding involving the genetic relationships organized by Raise a Native and Buckpasser, but not as safely. Maria’s Mon’s sire is by Wavering Monarch, bred on a Raise a Native-Buckpasser cross. Supercharger is inbred to Buckpasser and is out of a mare by Mr. Prospector. That’s definitely linebreeding, but the numbers say Maria’s Mon is only 5/66 with mares that cross Raise a Native and Buckpasser, and that is just average for Maria’s Mon.

Besides, Maria’s Mon’s numbers with both Raise a Native (16/256 through males) and Buckpasser (7/97 through females) lack lustre. He does much better with Northern Dancer through females, at 5/27, and Supercharger’s second dam is by Northern Dancer. That could be an important factor, but it doesn’t point to the linebreeding.

On that basis, Supercharger ranks at the 93rd percentile of mares that had foals by Maria’s Mon through his 2006 crop, as determined by a formula that evaluates strike rates with the individual mares’ ancestors. Indpendently of the Buckpasser thing, it’s a good profile. But there is also a blip in the numbers relating to the position of Buckpasser as the sire of her third dam, Numbered Account.

Maria’s Mon sired foals out of nine Buckpasser-line mares, and not a single one produced a superior runner. and the same goes for the 13 mares whose dams were from Buckpasser line. However, two of the ten mares whose second dams were by Buckpasser mares produced superior runners–that is, foals inbred to Buckpasser 4×4 through their third dams, including Latent Heat, winner of the Malibu S (G1). Then there is Supercharger herself, which is one of eight mares that produced foals inbred to Buckpasser 4×5 through their fourth dams, including Super Saver. These two positions of Buckpasser as a sire in the female line have a combined strike rate of 3/18 for Maria’s Mon, against a strike rate of 5/103 in all other positions combined (including the multiple occurrences through mares inbred to Buckpasser, as in the case of Supercharger).

For Maria’s Mon, no other placement of Buckpasser in the ancestry of his mates comes close to this, and overall Buckpasser has a strike rate at the low end of Maria’s Mon’s average. Nevertheless, the numbers suggest Buckpasser could be a highly favorable factor for Maria’s Mon as the sire of the third or fourth dam of a mare. In fact, both Super Saver and his dam are inbred to Buckpasser through their female line.

Sometimes it’s the nick. Often it’s an ancestor with no special genetic relation to the sire. Sometimes it’s a very discretely defined method of inbreeding. Sometimes it’s even linebreeding, but, frankly, not very often.

3 comments to “Pedigree Profile: Super Saver”

  • Greg writes:

    This is a fascinating analysis–and proved pretty timely.

  • Roger Lyons writes:

    Well, you know that my purpose in this blog is to try to deflate some of the overblown ideas about breeding, such as linebreeding, which is about the most overblown of them all, and I was just trying to pick out the pedigrees that present an interesting angle on that. I picked out Devil May Care as an example of an individual that’s exceptional for her breeding. I don’t know how well my comments about her actually proved out, other than that she truly is exceptional, and, to me, she ran a big race. In some sense, all of these horses are exceptional. It appears that Super Saver is nothing like his full brother. So, for me, it’s not about trying to predict outcomes. It’s more about just trying to find ways to render pedigree intelligible–very often in spite of the exceptional expressions of it.

  • The Phipps’s took the path from La Troienne to Super Saver « Sid Fernando + Observations writes:

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