Horse running through field

Notable Broodmare Sires of Sires

by Roger Lyons

Predictions about the potential of a newly retired stallion focus on three main pedigree topics–his racing career, the reputation of his sire, and the reputation of his female family. True, highly successful stallions do tend to represent excellence in these three areas. The problem is that most highly qualified stallions do not become highly successful sires.

Clearly, other important variables, either unrecognized or neglected, separate sires that become highly successful from other stallion prospects. One ancestor that does not get the attention he deserves is the stallion’s brodmare sire. The sire of a stallion’s dam is the second-most important sire in his ancestry, and the possibility that this ancestor could have an important, even a decisive, role is worth considering.

Position 12

The diagram below locates the sire’s broodmare sire in position 12 of an ancestry tree, as I number the positions:

This method of numbering the positions of an ancestry might seem idiosyncratic at first glance, but, if you put yourself in the place of a computer, which lacks your intuitive sense that an ancestry represents a series of genetic relationships, then its advantages become apparent. This numbering method reduces the genetic relationships in the ancestry to a small set of arithmetic functions that are constant throughout the ancestries of sire and dam, respectively. This means that the location of all genetic relations to a given node of the tree (the parent with which it is associated, its gender, its sire, dam, and immediate offspring) can be deduced arithmetically from the number of that node. For this reason, 12 is the natural number for the broodmare sire of the sire–at least, as far as a computer is concerned.

Another value of numbering the positions is that it provides a convenient shorthand reference, in this case position 12, or p12.

The tables accompanying this article list 58 notable sires, selected by means of a measure of their effectiveness as p12 sires. A p12 sire’s broodmare-sire-of-sires index (BSSI), featured in the tables, is obtained by surveying stakes winners by the individual sires representing a given p12 sire. For example, Great Above is the p12 ancestor of sires Housebuster, Myfavorite Place, Friendly Lover, Frisco View, and My Favorite Dream. These five stallions have sired an aggregate of 45 stakes winners. Since our index is intended to measure the effectiveness of the p12 ancestor, it is less concerned about the individual merit of those five sires than about their central tendency as a group. So, we divide the aggregate number of stakes winners accountable to them by the number of sires to get the average stakes output per sire, which in the case of Great Above is 9.0. That’s his BSSI.

The p12 tables

The notable p12 sires listed in the two tables, one table in alphabetical order and the other in rank order by BSSI, 1) were born during the period 1965-1985, 2) sired the dams of at least five stakes-siring stallions, and 3) have a BSSI of at least 9.0. We stipulate, first of all, that, while the BSSI is an efficient way of compiling a list of notable p12 sires, it is not a particularly precise measure of their effectivness as such because it is so readily subject to distortion.

For example, the sire Miswaki is p12 to major sires Galileo, Hernando, Dr. Fong, and 17 other sires of stakes winners. Those 20 sires are accountable for an aggregate of 362 stakes winners, yielding a BSSI of 18.1 for Miswaki. Top Ville, by comparison, has the higher BSSI of 20.56, based on six stakes-siring p12 descendants, including deceased world-class sire Montjeu, whose 113 stakes winners to date unwarrantably inflate Top Ville’s BSSI. Clearly, after considering the facts in the case, any reasonable observer would conclude that Miswaki is the better p12 sire. A practical assessment of a p12 sire requires a consideration of those facts.

This is why for each p12 sire listed in our tables, we show the number of stakes-siring p12 descendants, their aggregate number of stakes winners, and the names of those p12 descendant sires, listed in order of their contribution to aggregate stakes production. Keep in mind, though, that, because we are technically limited to a field width of only 254 characters, the list of sires out of daughters of some of the more prolific p12 sires must be left incomplete.

Notwithstanding our demurrer about the accuracty of the BSSI itself, the whole contents of the tables provide a template for your own assessment of the possible p12 effect relating to young, unproven stallions. And we would hasten to point out that the most current information is available at any time by reasonably priced subscription to our eCompuSire facility, which is accessible at our website. One of its featured search functions lists stakes winners with up to four ancestors in specific pedigree positions. All of the information shown in the tables, and more, can be obtained for a p12 sire by entering his name in position 12 of the ancestry template.

Position 12 and position 5

In the diagram above, the broodmare sire of the new individual is located at p5. It is reasonable to ask whether or not there is any real difference between an ancestor’s function at p5 and his function at p12. In other words, wouldn’t the best broodmare sires also be the best broodmare sires of sires? Does p12 really have a specialized function of its own? The answer, emphatically, is that, while good p12 sires do in fact rise from the ranks of the good p5 sires, only certain of those p5 sires also function well at p12.

The sire Key to the Mint provides especially convincing evidence of this. He was good enough as a broodmare sire (p5) to have been represented by 30 stakes-siring p12 descendants. Nevertheless, given all of that opportunity, he is represented by not a single major sire, and, accordingly, his BSSI is only 4.53. Success as a p5 influence does not assure success as a p12 influence.

Career factors

A correct assessment of p12 influence also depends upon a consideration of a sire’s long-term, career trajectory. Keep in mind that it might take 30 years, or more, from a sire’s birth for his p12 expression to peak. Our tables list sires born no later than 1985, but in certain cases even 30 years might not be long enough. Ahonoora, born in 1976 and p12 to important sires Cape Cross, Danasinga, Bletchley Park, Acclamation, Shinko Forest, New Approach, and Leroidesanimaux, is clearly an important p12 sire, but he might have gone unnoticed as such even as late as 2005 because he was not highly respected at stud until his early crops had raced. Mr. Prospector, at first standing in Florida, also had to prove himself worthy in order to attract mares whose daughters could be good enough to make him an important p12 sire. Sires that lack the advantage of a fast start take longer to express their p12 influence.

So much the worse is it for sires that have become important p5 sires only in recent years. A.P. Indy, born in 1989, is p12 to seven stakes-siring sires so far. The prospect of his ample opportunity as a p12 influence is assured by his overall reputation as a sire and his excellent performance thus far as a p5 sire (broodmare sire of 14 G1 winners). At this point, with Super Saver, Brethren, Morning Line, Dunkirk, and others waiting to make their mark, it would be a mistake to judge young, unproven sires out of his daughters on the basis of his current BSSI of only 5.0.

While there is much to consider when assessing p12 influence, in some cases the answer is simple. When a young, unproven stallion qualifies in other respects for success at stud–at whatever level–and is out of a mare whose sire is already p12 to at least one major, world-class sire, that stallion has an edge over many others you might choose for your mare.

Finally, though, so as not to overplay this factor, p12 influence is only one of four important factors. Many stallions with inferior p12 influence find a level of utility that is acceptable to a sufficient number of breeders, just as do stallions with superior p12 influence. Nevertheless, breeders would not consider a young, unproven sire for their mares or purchase his offspring without good reason to think he will sustain or rise above the level of anticipated utility at which he begins his stud career. That’s where the p12 factor comes into play.

Comments are closed.

« Previous post Next post »