Horse running through field

Dixieland Band Delivers

by Roger Lyons

Dixieland Band ranked fifth among broodmare sires on 2010 earnings. Although that says a lot about the quality of his daughters, there’s a lot more to the story of his influence in the ancestries of producers. I can’t tell the whole story because, as anybody who reads this blog already knows, I’m not a horseman in any professional sense.

Sure, I love horses (who doesn’t?) and I’m around them every day, but that doesn’t qualify me to be an authority on exactly what it is Dixieland Band contributes through the dams of horses like Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie-Playa Maya, by Arch), whose second dam is by Dixieland Band. Yes, it’s mildly embarrassing that I’m just a numbers cruncher, but I can live with that as long as it enables me to report that something is happening, even if I can’t say exactly what it is.

So. It happens that Indian Charlie has sired foals out of only nine mares with Dixieland Band in their ancestries through his 2007 crop, and from those nine he got three superior runners, including Two Trail Sioux (G2), also out of a mare whose dam is by Dixieland Band. Uncle Mo (2008) is his fourth.

The bigger story is that Indian Charlie is not alone in having a very high strike rate with mares that have Dixieland Band in their ancestries. A survey of US sires for which I’ve kept comprehensive strike rates over the years turned up 29 that had sired foals out of at least 10 mares that had Dixieland Band in their ancestries, and 11 of those sires had superior-runner strike rates which, like that of Indian Charlie, significantly exceeded their overall records. Put another way, Dixieland Band has a 38% approval rating among contemporary sires.

But that’s not all. Dixieland Band’s disapproval rating is only 7% (55% having average strike rates). To put that in perspective, consider the record of Roberto, sire of Kris S., broodmare sire of Uncle Mo. Roberto has a 23% approval rating, which is still relatively high, but his disapproval rating is 24%. So, basically, if you pick a stallion at random, there’s a 23% chance that he’s going to manage Roberto’s influence quite favorably and a 24% chance that Roberto’s influence is going to be downright unfavorable. You can see by comparison with Roberto, then, that Dixieland Band’s influence through broodmares plays extremely well in the contemporary stallion population, with a very minimal downside risk.

As far as Indian Charlie is concerned, Roberto’s influence is innocuous from a statistical point of view, with a strike rate of 4/40 (Uncle Mo is the fifth superior runner). Yes, there are effects, no doubt, but they don’t pay off all that frequently for Indian Charlie. The numbers say Dixieland Band is probably the major player in the pedigree context of Uncle Mo’s dam, and they also say that Dixieland Band routinely contributes traits that, although quite possibly waning in the stallion population, remain highly exploitable by it.

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