Archive for April, 2012

Ray and Sam have added their selections, so we have three very different and interesting ‘stables’ from the 2012 NZ standardbred yearling sales. Mine are based on appealing types on the day and I haven’t put the same emphasis on ‘go early’ that I did last year. None were top lots, some very cheap! Sam has put heaps of thought into his and done a fair bit of close up inspection as he was in the market as a genuine buyer at the sales. Ray has gone for quality families that have been previously successful. A great mix.

Anyone else want to join in?

Just add your selections with reasons to the Comments on my previous Virtual yearling stable blog.

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One of my ‘virtual stable’ of yearlings from the sales was Lot 119, Delia, American Ideal – Merrily Merrily (Life Sign) and I promised in my blog on my virtual stable to check if that American Ideal-Life Sign cross had been successful to date in North America. It gives a 3×3 to the very good mare Three Diamonds, and therefore plenty of other multiples including no less than 10 crosses to Adios across the Delia’s 6th, 7th and 8th generations!

And yes, American Ideal has been matched to Life Sign mares in America and according to the USTA crosses of gold information the result to date is 11 foals for 10 starters (91%) and 8 winners (73%) with 4 of those winning as 2yos; 5 of his starters have won in 1.55 and 2 of them have gained over $100k so far. 

These statistics may well have developed since Delia’s breeder Geoff Elton made his decision to double up to Three Diamonds, but they certainly reinforce the choice he made. Whether Delia herself will underscore it with performance is all in the future, of course, and there are other factors in the pot apart from pedigree – but I’ll keep an eye on her. And what an interesting platform she has herself as a future broodmare.

While ‘doubling up’ often focuses on sires and broodmare sires, it is less common (but pleasing) to see such a close up cross of a strong mare. With American Ideal showing up well as a sire, and with a small number but reasonable quality of Life Sign mares in New Zealand, this could be a match we see more of.

Another example of the American Ideal/Three Diamonds connection is the top (“world champion”) young filly American Jewel, who has won over $677,116 to date in North America. More of that story on theredmile.com website .  American Jewel’s damsire is Camluck, but her dam Trim Hanover is the great grand-daughter of Three Diamonds.

Delia’s dam Merrily Merrily has a maternal line which I am not at all familiar with – and I see it includes Thunder On an imported sire who is a son of Scotland out of Spinster. (Delia is Merrily Merrily’s  fifth foal – a half sister by Bettor’s Delight called Double Happy is running into a bit of form lately in the South Island.)

The following information about Three Diamonds is sourced from the harnessmuseum.com website

2010 Inductee – Three Diamonds

 A foal of 1979, Three Diamonds, p,3,1:53.1 ($735,759) was bred by Kentuckiana Farms and purchased by George Segal at the first Kentucky Standardbred Sale in 1980. Trained by Gene Riegle and driven by Bruce Riegle, Three Diamonds took victories in nine of her ten freshman year starts, including the Debutante Stake, the Sweetheart Consolation, the John Chapman Memorial and the Countess Adios, during which she set a world record for two-year-old pacing fillies of 1:56 . She closed the season with total earnings of $233,489 and the title of Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year.

Three Diamonds’s sophomore year was even more successful with sixteen wins out of twenty-one starts, fifteen of which were under
1:58. Her victories included the Jugette, the Mistletoe Shalee, the Tarport Hap, the Adioo Volo, and a division of the Bluegrass Stake, during which she set a world record for pacing fillies on a mile track of 1:53.1.

She amassed a total of $502,270, bringing her lifetime earnings to $735,759, and was named Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year. At the time of her retirement she held or shared world records on all three size tracks for three-year-old filly pacers, as well as having matched Niatross’ all-age-two-heat record of 3:47.3.

As a broodmare, she produced ten foals, including Life Sign p,3,1:50.3 ($1,912,454), the 1993 Little Brown Jug winner and sire of 2002 Horse of the Year Real Desire p,4,1:48.2 ($3,159,814). She is also the dam of Threefold p,3,1:51.1 ($634,004). Three Diamonds is the granddam of American Ideal p,3,1:47.4 ($786,055) and the great-granddam of Eternal Camnation p,5,1:49.2 ($3,748,574), the richest pacing mare in Standardbred history.

Three Diamonds passed away March 13, 1995 at Brittany Farms in Versailles , KY ; however, her daughters, granddaughters and great-granddaughters are among the most valued pacing mares in the breed today and they carry her influence forward.

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I’ve had a closer look at the information sent by NZ Standardbred Breeders Assn on the new The Breeders “Golden Girls” Series.

This is an excellent initiative because it gives 4yo and older mares some real opportunities to get form, earn stakes and post decent times competing against a similar class of their own sex.

Kiely Buttell, executive manager for the NZSBA says she’s delighted at how clubs, HRNZ and others have come to the party and got the series up and running for this season. It’s a huge achievement given the structure of our industry!

Now it is up to trainers and owners to grab the opportunity and make it a success. It must be so frustrating when the calls for more like-against-like races are answered, only to struggle for nominations.

The great thing about this series is that it gives dates that trainers can plan for – and an aim for the latter part of the season which is a great way to keep owners interested. Owners will also get sufficient time for their mares to compete in the series and then let down ready for the breeding season – hopefully with a few more credentials. Fillies usually take longer to mature than the colts, and many are only showing their true worth at 4 or 5 years old. Although a series like this may delay the retirement-to-breed of some fillies at the end of their 3yo season, it will add to their value as broodmares in the longer term. It makes those 4yo and 5yo seasons more viable for owners who enjoy racing fillies and mares and are willing to give them time to mature.

The series spreads $217,500 in stakes across 27 races at shorter distances (from 1 mile, through 1700, 1950 and 2000 metres) and programmed from late May through to late July. The series is made up of 6 finals with regionally based heats – usually 3 heats but in some cases 4 heats. There are 3 series for 0-1 win mares and 3 series for 2-4 win mares. Only one of the series is in the North Island, however, and that’s for the 0-1 win mares with all heats at Cambridge.

This regional approach gives local clubs more involvement, and also recognises that transport costs away from your region can be a real disincentive when horses are only an outside chance to bring home a winner’s cheque. So it is a smart idea to run regional finals – ease the costs and spread the kudos around.

Being labelled a ‘Breeders’ series, I asked Kiely if there was going to be recognition for the original breeders of the competing mares, and the answer is ‘yes’ – in the final of each series, the first mare home that was bred by a member of the NZSBA will earn a ‘breeders bonus’ for that breeder. So that’s an incentive to join the NZSBA as well as encouraging support for the series overall!

This is a very positive response to the issue of maintaining the quantity and quality of our racing mares who then become our future broodmares.

Use it or lose it!

There’ll be details on the NZSBA website and HRNZ I’m sure, or contact your local club or Kiely Buttell at kiely.buttell@vodafone.co.nz for a leaflet.

Congratulations to all involved in this initiative.

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