By Frances J. Karon
In a conversation with Steve Byk on Byk’s radio show At the Races last Wednesday, Werk Thoroughbred Consultants’ Sid Fernando touched on the pedigree of Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider’s homebred three-year-old colt Mucho, who was entered in a Gulfstream Park allowance on March 1st. That allowance/optional claimer was Mucho’s first race since September 3rd, when trainer Bill Mott sent him out to run second in the G1 Hopeful.
Mucho, it was mentioned on air, represents the type of breeding that many people who are into pedigrees were excited about before his sire Blame even had foals on the ground: Mucho is inbred 3×3 to SW Bound (by Nijinsky out of Special, a granddaughter of the blue hen mare Rough Shod II), so he has duplicate strains of one of the best female families in the history of the breed.
There are many ways in which Rough Shod continues to make a significant impact 60+ years after she was born, but I’ll just point out here that among her direct descendants through the Special branch are Special’s son Nureyev (Northern Dancer) and grandsons Sadler’s Wells and Fairy King (full brothers by Northern Dancer).
Claiborne and Dilschneider’s homebred Blame, too, is a direct descendant of Special: his stakes-winning dam Liable (by Seeking the Gold), 2010’s Broodmare of the Year, was a granddaughter of that mare. So when Blame, the 2010 champion older male in the U.S., joined his sire Arch on the Claiborne stallion roster, he brought along some heavy artillery to complement his racing success (G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic, G1 Whitney H., G1 Stephen Foster H., etc.).
In 2011, on the day the first mares were declared in foal to him, I tweeted, “I’m very pleased that both foals due to arrive in 2012 out of the mares mares confirmed i/f to BLAME will double up on Rough Shod family!!”
A Twitter follower replied, asking, “Is that a good thing?”
Well, only one of those two mares, Promptly, produced a foal. Ganesh won a couple of races but was nothing special. If that result were the norm for this pedigree pattern, then the person who asked me that question would have been right to wonder if sending mares with Rough Shod in their pedigrees was the best way to go with Blame.
Now, with his sixth crop of foals having turned two in 2019, we know that Blame is doing rather well as a sire. He has 11 GSWs, including a French classic winner (Senga, 2017 Prix de Diane), among his 25 SWs (5% to foals), and we also know that his success has not depended exclusively on additional strains of Rough Shod. But has more Rough Shod been “a good thing” for Blame?
Here are the SWs that duplication has resulted in:
~Fault-G1 (dam by Horse Chestnut, by Sadler’s Wells);
~March-G2 (third dam by Cutlass, a female-line descendant of Rough Shod);
~Daisy-G3 (dam by Flower Alley, whose second dam is by Sadler’s Wells);
~Mrs. Sippy (dam by Encosta de Lago, by Fairy King);
~Ms Bad Behavior (dam by Stormy Atlantic, a female-line descendant of Rough Shod);
~Randonnee (third dam by Nureyev); and
~Sweet Victory (from the direct female family of Rough Shod; coincidentally, her second dam is a half-sister to Stormy Atlantic, broodmare sire of a Blame SW).
Should Mucho — who won that allowance on Friday, by the way — deliver on the promise he showed as a two-year-old, he will become Blame’s eighth stakes winner with ancestors of Rough Shod on both sides of their pedigree.
Seems like a pretty good thing indeed.