Horse running through field

Stallion Selection Matters

by Roger Lyons

Bethany (Dayjur-Willamae, by Tentam), the dam of Met Mile (G1) winner Tizway, had good reasons for failing to produce a foal of any merit until her sixth season as a broodmare–I mean, besides her body refusing to cooperate in her fourth and fifth seasons. Or maybe she was trying to say she didn’t like the stallions she’d been bred to previously.

In retrospect, it’s clear she was bred beneath her station in 1998 when she conceived a foal by Benny the Dip. Seeking the Gold, sire of her 2000 and 2001 foals was her equal, more or less, but he lacked the commitment she required. Bethany is by Dayjur, whose broodmare sire is Mr. Prospector, and Seeking the Gold really didn’t want a foal inbred to his sire. Of the 24 mares he’d tried that with lifetime, only two produced stakes winners by him.

Finally, when bred to Capote, she had a chance with a sire that could have some affection for her. He didn’t like Danzig line much, but he was 3/8 with Tentam, sire of her dam, and 4/27 with Hoist the Flag, sire of her second dam. Not only did Bethany produce listed stakes winner Ticket to Seattle by Capote, but so did her half-sister, Ms. Teak Wood, the dam of Acceptable (G3). Bethany wasn’t the girl of his dreams, but Capote liked her well enough.

Tiznow, sire of Tizway, went downright goofy over her, and it was her speed. Her sire, Dayjur, was a Champion sprinter, and her broodmare sire Tentam was out of Tamerett, the second dam of Gone West. If a mare contributes the speed required to control or press the pace, then Tiznow will contribute the ability to carry that speed as far as it deserves to go. Tizway resulted from a match made in heaven.

Then Bethany went stone cold the next two years when bred to Gulch in 2005 and then to Aldebaran the next year. Lifetime, Gulch went 0/5 with Dayjur, 0/6 with Tentam, and only 1/48 with Mr. Prospector. Seeking the Gold, Gulch, Aldebaran–what difference could it possibly make? They’re all by Mr. Prospector!

Then, after a 2008 unraced foal by Vindication, she slipped in 2009, produced a 2010 foal by Elusive Quality, and that year went back to Tiznow. The good news, besides her second chance with Tiznow, is that Elusive Quality, by Gone West, by Mr. Prospector, is 3/10 with Dayjur–3/8 with daughters of Dayjur, including G1 winner Elusive City.

I’ve written in the past about how well daughters of Dayjur buffer inbreeding to Mr. Prospector, but every good thing has its limits. The lesson here is that, if the inbreeding notation on your pedigree printout says 2 x whatever, then just try something else.

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