Posts Tagged ‘American Ideal’

Thanks to all of you who joined in this K Nora discussion and several who provided very interesting examples from their own breeding decisions and research. There seems to be a lot of agreement that this is a family that is travelling really well into the modern era.

It would be great if someone in Australia can have a look at what the APG yearling sales 2016 offer in this regard or what is showing up at races with this line breeding to a great maternal family branch.

I had a look through the PGG Sales of the Stars (both Australasian and Premier) and there are several lots who have the K Nora branch in their veins. (I have put in brackets the number of strains of K Nora branch I can spot in the yearling, but I might have missed some, and of course American Ideal will automatically bring in 2).
Remember this whole discussion kicked off with my blog about three of them here, as they are ones who have gone to American Ideal to increase the number of crosses.

I’m noting the fillies, in particular, as buyers may be interested in some of these for the longer term prospect they offer to breed on this cross with a sire like American Ideal or He’s Watching. And perhaps sometime in the future with Canadian horse Control the Moment, as one blog reader suggested, if he keeps on winning and ends up at stud.

NZ Sale yearling fillies:

Lot 67, by Rocknroll Hanover, dam is by Life Sign from Aberfeldy family (2); Lot 138, by Bettor’s Delight, dam an American Ideal mare (2); Lot 144, by American Ideal, grandam is by Life Sign (3); Lot 167, by Always A Virgin, grandam is by Life Sign (2); Lot 219, by Betterthancheddar, grandam is by Life Sign, from family of Changeover (1); Lot 235, by Shadow Play, dam is by Life Sign from good family (1); Lot 273, by Bettor’s Delight, dam is by Life Sign (1); Lot 315, by Changeover, dam is a Life Sign mare from family of Live Or Die and I will do a blog on her next week or so (1); Lot 353, by American Ideal, dam is by Life Sign (3); Lot 481, by Artsplace, dam is by Western Ideal (1); Lot 495, by Bettor’s Delight, dam is by American Ideal (2); Lot 502 by Gotta Go Cullect, dam is by Life Sign, family of Courage Under Fire (1).

NZ Sale yearling colts:

Lot 121, by American Ideal, dam is by Real Desire (3); Lot 125, by Sir Lincoln, dam is by Real Desire (1); Lot 241 by Stunin Cullen, dam is by Life Sign (1); Lot 301, by Well Said, dam is by Real Desire (1); Lot 487 by American Ideal, dam is by Life Sign (3).

Read Full Post »

He's Watching, Alabar stallion parade October 2015

He’s Watching, Alabar stallion parade October 2015. Photo: Bee Pears

When I wrote the previous blog on the sales yearlings bred on the American Ideal x Life Sign cross, I got diverted into seeing how other double ups with important mares from the K Nora line could happen, and what had already been tried here with our limited resources.

I edited much of that out, and it is now part of this extended blog looking at our potential downunder to dip into the K Nora/Adora pool in a number of different ways. Please comment if you find other options of interest, particularly in Australia where timings and numbers, siring and even Adora descendant options might be different.

As Australian blog reader C Rookwood notes in his comment on the last blog:  Another way to get the Three Diamonds double up is American Ideal/Real Desire mare. Yes, absolutely, and in his case an American Ideal colt foal from a dam by Real Desire out of a Panorama mare, so in his mare he already has a duplication to another very good maternal line, aka Golden Miss. That is impressive. It is the same other strong maternal line that He’s Watching brings of course, via Real Desire. You also find a mix of the K Nora and Golden Miss families in $3.7m earner Mr Feelgood.

Mr Feelgood in the winners circle 2006

Mr Feelgood in the winners circle, 2006 Little Brown Jug
Photo: Bee Pears

Just before I go into some of these other cross options, I did take a look at the closer Australian crosses with American Ideal x Life Sign mares – in total 12 to date, and about half of those are 2yos or younger, so it’s really hard to get a line on anything from small numbers. So far the best performers are Life’s Just Magic (49 starts, 9 wins) and Spinner’s Boy (15 starts, 6 wins).

So let’s have a look at what other crosses deliver crosses to Three Diamonds or the K Nora/Adora line. Here’s part 2 of the blog:

American Ideal is offering more opportunities to achieve multiple influences of the Adora/K Nora family, and his coming of age as a sire is also well timed to catch breeding mares not just from Life Sign himself, but also from some of his sons – Day In A Life, I Am A Fool, Island Fantasy and (like He’s Watching) Real Desire.

But in many of these cases, the double ups are moving back in the pedigree and may not be situated in particularly influential positions. For example their influence is going through two males (e.g. Three Diamonds to Life Sign to Real Desire), rather than what seems to be a more influential female-to-male-to-female or female-to-female relationship. What we might call the “x factor” line. The numbers are so small here, that drawing conclusions is impossible. But it is still worth taking a look – and a punt that quality + quality will result in better quality. In New Zealand and Australia to date there is just a scattering of these sons of Life Sign mares going to American Ideal and it would be foolish to try to draw conclusions one way or another. You can check out the NZ ones on the HRNZ Info Horse website by filtering American Ideal progeny on damsire. My own view is that each of these sons of Life Sign is a different package in terms of pedigree and in their ability to pass quality genes and other attributes as a damsire, and for some of them the drivers may be less Life Sign/Three Diamonds, and more influences from their own maternal lines. Both Real Desire (via Whispering Sands, a daughter of Shifting Sands) and Day In A Life (via Strike Out, a half brother to Shifting Sands) bring in the Golden Miss family which, as noted above, may complement  the K Nora family.

In future there may be a reverse way of getting these strong female double ups, and that is through American Ideal as a damsire. In New Zealand he has 11 damsire credits to date, none of the mares going to sires with K Nora influence in their pedigree. Of potential sires, only Mr Feelgood and sons of Western Ideal meet the criteria at the moment as far as I can see, with He’s Watching being too close, Mr Feelgood not getting much traction here unfortunately, and sons of Western Ideal (like sons of Life Sign) really putting the Leah Almahurst factor in a position where it may not be particularly influential.  So a sire with perhaps Life Sign as his damsire or grandamsire is what we are looking for.

What about the Leah Almahurst branch of K Nora?

Leah Almahurst

Leah Almahurst. Photo from Gene Riegle Memorial website

Going back to the American Ideal x Life Sign cross offspring in New Zealand…. Remember there are 8 produced on that direct cross. Included in the 8 is Ideal Romance a mare who is bred and owned by Brisbane Pastoral Company Ltd and was exported to Australia in July this year but not yet sighted racing. Perhaps is going straight into breeding? She is of interest because (like He’s Watching), her maternal line adds two K Nora strands, one from Life Sign and the other via Angel Hair, who is Leah Almahurst’s grandam. Pedigree link here. Ideal Romance is from the American-bred mare Ashley’s Romance imported downunder and bred by Bromac Lodge and Cee Bee Holdings Ltd before selling her to Brisbane Pastoral Company Ltd.

As well as some imported mares, we are getting to a stage when Leah Almahurst will start appearing in the maternal pedigrees, through Make A Deal mares (so far only one bred on the American Ideal cross), Western Ideal mares (perhaps too inbred to go to American Ideal although Charlie Roberts has not shied away from it), and eventually Mr Feelgood, Rob Roy Mattgregor and He’s Watching mares. In Australia there may be other, different possibilities as well with Leah Almahurst or other descendants from Adora – let me know. I see Mr Feelgood has just had his first damsire credit in Australia – a colt foal born in October 2015 by, yes you guessed it, American Ideal.

In New Zealand we have only about 16 fillies or mares by Western Ideal, and the 3 ones doing most of the breeding so far are Lisconnie, Western Starr, and San Rafaella. Lisconnie, bred and owned by Charlie Roberts of Woodlands Stud, has gone 3 times to American Ideal (the 2yo and yearling already exported to Australia), but the others have made different choices, mainly to Artplace or one of his sons, or to Bettor’s Delight.

And another branch of K Nora – Halo

Tas Man Bromac

Tas Man Bromac and driver Nathan Williams. Photo Otago Daily Times.

There is another good horse bred here with a different K Nora cross, the 4yo American Ideal gelding Tas Man Bromac (15 starts, 8 wins, 2 seconds, 3 thirds, Lt $64,363). This time there is no additional presence of Three Diamonds or Leah Almahurst, but his bottom line is also descended from Angel Hair, via a different branch – Halo. Pedigree link here. Again, the family was brought to New Zealand through Bromac Lodge importing the gelding’s dam Tasmcmanian. Interestingly, her latest breeding is to Western Ideal. (I should note that the mare has a yearling filly by Auckland Reactor in the 2016 sale at Christchurch Lot 424 Tempest Bromac. The pedigree page gives a nice summary of the recent descendants from this Angel Hair line, in this case the No Nukes mare Shy Devil.)


What is clear, is the strength of this K Nora maternal line, and nothing illustrates that better than how Three Diamonds and Leah Almahurst have kicked it into another gear in more recent times.

Just part of the K Nora descendants tree in Classic Families

Just a section of the K Nora descendants tree in Classic Families


Three Diamonds

Three Diamonds. Photo from Gene Riegle Memorial website

You only have to look in Classic Families “Descendents” category for Three Diamonds and click through to see the male and female descendent results are simply stunning. There is a significant return on extended family matches with Western Ideal and American Ideal, but not solely. Do the same for the whole K Nora branches and it is fascinating how very good performers keep occurring. Again, some crosses with sires from other branches from the wider family work – but probably some haven’t and don’t even appear on the Classic Families radar. I have only shown a fraction of it in the clipping above. It’s worth taking a look yourself; many of you will already be familiar with it.

In summary then, the numbers are too small to draw any real conclusions. However the K Nora/Adora family is probably one of the top 3 of the modern pacing era and is driven currently by two extremely potent mares – Three Diamonds and Leah Almahurst. Linking back to their influence is not going to give you certain success. It won’t work miracles. But is is definitely likely to add value and quality to a pedigree.

I’ve blogged about this a number of times. Use my blog search on “K Nora” and “Three Diamonds” to find some earlier musings and information.

Read Full Post »

Back in 2012 I picked Charlie Chuckles (Grinfromeartoear x Charioteer) and Delia (American Ideal x Merrily Merrily) as part of my “2012 virtual yearling stable“.

They both qualified and showed enough ability that I was hopeful to get some satisfaction watching them race. Charlie Chuckles had just one race for a win, and Delia won her qualifying trial by about 2 lengths. That was in early 2014.

Then they both dropped out of sight.

Coincidence is a great thing, and this week I noticed (1) Charlie Chuckles was back at the races, at Methven on the grass today, Race 7, and (2) He’s trained by John Hay, who also trained Delia when she was in work. Another coincidence with Delia is that new sire He’s Watching led us to once again consider pedigrees that cross back to Three Diamonds or other parts of the K Nora/Adora family. And of course the 3×3 cross to Three Diamonds was one of the things that had originally caught my eye with Delia.

Check other blogs on this topic:

So a phone call to John Hay was essential, and he kindly caught me up with what had happened to Charlie Chuckles and Delia.

Charlie Chuckles had a troublesome foot problem that they couldn’t get to the bottom of. In the end it was only the use of a heat scanner that pinpointed a hairline fracture where the cannon bone meets the fetlock, which could never mend while he was in work. Treatment and plenty of time, and now Charlie Chuckles is back at the races, although John Hay warns he will need the run today and may even be scratched if the track is too wet. One to follow over the next few months.

[Update: Charlie Chuckles first up run today 20 September was a good one, finishing on well for fifth after having to sit parked and wide. Same day, different race track – in Invercargill today his younger half brother Only In Rome by Bettor’s Delight had his first race win from 5 starts. Tip o’ the hat to their dam Charioteer. Her American Ideal foal Ideal Roman had his first win, also from 5 starts, in June this year as a 2yo. Three nice foals from the Christian Cullen mare who comes from the family of Adios Dream, OK Deb, Courage Under Fire, Advance Attack et al.]

Delia is also a story of a niggling injury that is hard to pinpoint. John says she always seemed a bit sore in her back end, right from when they got her, but she was a horse with plenty of ability – John thinks she had at least 4 or 5 wins in her – and her win at the Chertsy qualifying trial is worth a look. Again a heat scan showed the soreness was going to be an ongoing issue, and the call was made to put her in foal instead. Owner Brian Davidson sent her to Changeover and the foal is due on 11 November this year. Here’s hoping it is a lovely foal and a boost for Brian who had an accident while loading cattle and has only just got out of hospital after three months, and is facing rehabilitation for a head injury.


Read Full Post »

A couple of trials and a non-tote heat for 2yo trotters were of interest at Cambridge today, although a major highlight was seeing The Orange Agent, Democrat Party, Supersonic Miss and Joanne’s A Delight battling it out in a four-horse heat of the 3yo Nevele R Series, and finishing in that order. The speed came on from the second quarter of the last mile, with The Orange Agent holding the lead throughout and eventually pulling away from a brave Democrat Party who was parked for the last half. The time was a cracking 2-38.3 for the 2200m trip, and although the winner was never seriously challenged for the lead, the manner of the win was all class. Both the Orange Agent and Democrat Party are American Ideal fillies from strong families. The Orange Agent has Artiscape as her damsire – he’s done an okay job as a damsire with 40 NZ bred winners to date, and just over half of those going 2-00 or under.

The Orange Agent

Down the home straight and The Orange Agent pulls away to win the Nevele R Series heat for 3yo fillies at Cambridge 15 March 2015. Photo: Bee Pears


In the non-tote Sires Stakes 2yo Trotters Prelude it was a huge contest between the talented Gershwin (from the outstanding mare Allegro Agitato) and the Muscle Yankee filly High Gait who is bred by Breckon Bloodstock (the mare Regal Volo was bought by Ken Breckon off the Feiss’s) and so the filly is a full sister to Twentyten (racing well in Australia as Ourtwentyten).

The tussle up the home straight was sensational, with the filly just getting the better on the line, and a course record to boot.
Gershwin is a truly talented trotter. He was withdrawn from the yearling sales after an injury, but has bounced back from that to give his breeders the Laurens and now co-owner local vet Ian MacKay something special to take to the races.

I doubt if this is the last time these two trotters will battle up the home straight!

High Gait 2yo trotter

2yo trotting filly High Gait (Muscle Yankee x Regal Volo) returns to the stabling area after winning the non-tote Prelude.  Photo:Bee Pears.


Finally, I was keen to see how the 3yo gelding by Shadow Play called Back The Black managed his qualifying race. I’m keen on Shadow Play’s potential as a sire, as blog readers will know. So I like to keep an eye on what is popping up.

Back The Black, bred by W H Fleming and owned by the Flemings with  D L Hopkins, did the job very nicely for trainer Nicky Chilcott and driver Peter Ferguson. It was not a quick time, a dawdle and a sprint, but the gelding looks like he has ability and controlled the race in front.

His pedigree is worth looking at – there are some elements I’ve flagged up as being potentially good clicks for Shadow Play. but also the maternal line is a lesser known branch of the Rosehaven family (the dam of Black Watch and one of New Zealand’s all-time great maternal families). Interestingly it is the same branch that produced Hot Shoe Shuffle(by Falcon Seelster as is Back The Black’s mare Drums Of Time). The link back to Warm Breeze in Shadow Play’s maternal line creates a Rasmussen Factor of sorts.
This is early days for the gelding of course, but he will be worth tracking as he learns and develops.

Back The Black home straight winning

Back The Black holding his front running position easily and winning the qualifying trial at Cambridge today. Photo: Bee Pears.


Read Full Post »

There are 3 lots I want to look at because of a double up to quality females, all at the Premier sale in Christchurch – Lot 39, 45 and 231, and the double ups concerned are, respectively, Three Diamonds, Roydon Gal and Rich N Elegant.

Six Diamonds yearling colt

Lot 39 Christchurch yearling sale 2014, Six Diamonds (Photo Tuapeka Lodge)

I’m going to start with Lot 39 is a lovely long barrelled type of colt called Six Diamonds, which immediately acknowledges the 3×3 to Three Diamonds in his pedigree. He’s from a Life Sign mare (Three Diamonds was Life Sign’s dam) and is by American Ideal whose dam is from a daughter of Three Diamonds (Matt’s Scooter x Three Diamonds). check out his video on the Tuapeka Lodge website.

This cross has occurred before in New Zealand, including a current 3yo filly and 2yo colt from the nice mare Imprint, who is the dam of the good filly (Am)Opulent now in Australia. Neither have shown up yet but will be interested to keep an eye on them.

Another is Delia, who I noted at the 2012 New Zealand yearling sale at Karaka, in a blog: Three Diamonds and a ton of Adios – and did a tip o’ the hat to Three Diamonds who was a very classy racehorse and broodmare. I also looked at the success of that cross in America, but I haven’t updated those statistics yet. However I have updated news about Delia – she is being trained by John Hay and is due to get to the workouts any day now. He says earlier she was a bit weak, but now she’s working better and bowls around okay, and it will be just a matter of seeing how she steps up.

There are a few other unregistered young foals on this cross, and one unregistered 2yo to date, but  wouldn’t be surprised to see a few more in future. You wouldn’t expect early precocious speed – it isn’t coming from American Ideal regularly although he leaves lovely athletic types and very good 3yos, and nor did precocious speed come often from Life Sign, at least not when crossed with our New Zealand mares. But for those who are willing to let horses grow into their frame and strengthen up, the double up of Three Diamonds via Life Sign and American Ideal is a very attractive option.





Read Full Post »

Both Alabar and Nevele R have taken a punt on a son of Western Ideal for the coming breeding season – Big Jim for Alabar and Vintage Master for Nevele R.

Although very good horses in their own right, and both with solid pedigrees, I think a major influence in bringing these sires to New Zealand is also the success of American Ideal (at Woodlands) and of Rocknroll Hanover (by frozen semen) over the past couple of years.

If the Western Ideal sire line is the next big thing, then a stud needs to have one of his top sons on their books, otherwise they can’t offer what breeders appear to be looking for.

Western Ideal

But are New Zealand breeders attracted to American Ideal because of the Western Ideal factor and what is a successful trend in North America? I’m not sure. Western Ideal himself was offered here by frozen semen (via Nevele R) for a couple of years but there wasn’t a lot of interest, perhaps because of the price but also because Western Ideal is not one of those racehorses who reached globally to capture our Kiwi imagination. I would say the attitude to him is more one of huge respect but not excitement – and the lack of familiarity with Western Ideal as a racehorse or a sire (as well as the frozen semen factor) could have made breeders wonder: “Will this be a wow factor for buyers at the sales? Is it worth the price and the risk?”

However American Ideal’s growing reputation through the type of progeny he is leaving and his strike rate (23 starters for 15 winners in 2012), means a market has potentially developed for sons of Western Ideal standing here at affordable prices (compared to Rocknroll Hanover’s top priced frozen semen which is on a different tack).

So how do these two new siring sons of Western Ideal compare? I haven’t seen them in the flesh so I’m relying on photos and reports for that side of things.

They have both taken after their sire in having size (Western Ideal was over 16 hands), which is also the case with Rocknroll Hanover, although American Ideal is medium sized and is tending to leave medium sized foals. Perhaps that is the influence of American Ideal’s damline, which might also be a steer for breeders.

Both Vintage Master and Big Jim have strong maternal lines that could be complemented by broodmares here.

But as racehorses they were very different – Vintage Master tough, tractable, performed best at 3yo, kept going through to the end of the 5yo season.

Big Jim, very speedy 2yo and consistently fast in top races, mentally mature, retired due to soundness problems.

I’ll take a closer look at Vintage Master’s pedigree and what might suit him now, and turn to Big Jim in my next blog. These are, of course, just my views and based on a number of factors, research and thought – not pushing any particular barrow, sire or stud.

Vintage Master

Vintage Master took time to develop – he wasn’t a naturally early type and his fastest time 2yo was his qualifying one of 1:57.4. He matured in his 3yo season to win the Cane, Adios, Bluegrass and Tattersalls (and the bulk of his earnings), and the next couple of years he performed well as a tough pacer with enough grit and versatility to keep winning well-staked, if not top, races. I understand he wasn’t quick off the gate but had strength to hold his speed and, I would guess, the temperament to be very tractable in his racing. He accumulated over $2 million total career earnings but in terms of really top races it was that burst as a 3yo that really set him up. He retired sound after his 5yo season.

Vintage Master – strong maternal line

What I like about Vintage Master’s pedigree is his very well performed maternal line that carries proven speed performers. I think the size of Vintage Master meant he would always take time to find his speed, but it’s good for breeders to see where the speed is and figure out how they might reinforce it through mares with potentially compatible genes and/or type. Specifically Vintage Master’s dam has produced 4 winners from 5 foals and all of those winners have taken <1.55 marks. The fastest earliest is a three quarter brother (interestingly by American Ideal) who paced 1.50.4 at 2yo.

Vintage Master’s grandam is Napa Valley, a sister to the excellent racemare Silk Stockings – who of course appears in Live Or Die’s maternal pedigree. Napa Valley (by Most Happy Fella) was a good racemare herself, and half of her foals turned into <1.55 winners. Two of her fastest were by Storm Damage, the son of Breath O Spring and damsire of Grinfromeartoear.

So when looking for a type of mare that might suit Vintage Master, I’d look for maternal lines in particular that include some of these top quality elements – and Live Or Die and Grinfromeartoear mares would stand out for me.

I’d also look for Most Happy Fella in the maternal lines of sires that could add a bit of speed as well – so Mach Three and McArdle mares would fit that bill. Or looking back a bit, if anyone has still got Road Machine, Pacific Rocket mares around, they might be worth a try if they showed some speed themselves or come from a family that did.

Mares by In The Pocket would also help keep that ‘smaller, quicker’ type that I think this sire (and the Western Ideal line in general) will need. On type alone, many Courage Under Fire mares could suit Vintage Master.

Nevele R have positioned him in the $4000 price range which is trying to attract reasonable quality and numbers of mares. It is a tough ask at the moment for a sire we don’t know much about. But it doesn’t compete with their top line latest edition Well Said (by Western Hanover) who is priced at $8000 and will be marketed as a speed sire.

The more I look into Vintage Master’s pedigree, the more I think he could offer something here in that medium price range that would particularly suit breeders with good but not “sales” mares who are wanting a sire that will add value and are not obsessed with producing very early speed.  He’s unlikely to upgrade slow mares from poor families, and very few sires can. But he could do well with smaller or medium sized mares with the right pedigrees and type for him.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

As it turned out, my viewing of the yearlings was more erratic than previous years when I have made a point of viewing all of the parade. This time I saw most of the fillies but missed a large chunk of the colts in the middle section. So my picks are based on those I saw rather than the full catalogue.

I am still struggling to find time to ‘do the numbers’ but my impression was that there were some lovely types of fillies that went for a real bargain.  At the industry forum on the Sunday after the Karaka sales, the issue of keeping up our stock of racing and breeding fillies was well canvassed. John Mooney’s “Chairman’s Corner” in the March issue of Breeding Matters is well worth a read on this and other issues. For vendors of nicely bred fillies from very good sires but not outstandingly bred fillies from the hottest sires, the sale was mainly a pretty tough experience. Some of those breeders won’t be back. It raises alarm bells in terms of the future possibility of being able to pre-select sex of foals. Personally I am totally against this other than in exceptional circumstances (in the same way that I am not in favour of embryo transfer other than in exceptional circumstances).

I digress!

Here are my 4 selections of fillies and colts from the Karaka (Australasian Classic) Yearling Sale, using the pedigree pages and my own amateur observations on the day (no inspections).

Please give me yours! Add as “comment” to this blog.

Lot 122, Kamwood Courage, Courage Under Fire – Kamwood Lass (New York Motoring). Sold $11,000
If I’d had a spare $12,000 hanging around in my pocket I would have loved to take this one home. She stood out for me in the parade ring – not big, but good length of body and a lovely deep chest. She is a very nice speedy type and a full sister to a gelding and a filly who have both done well.

Lot 118,  Schleck, Muscle Mass – Merckx (Dream Vacation) (Sold $28,000)
A lovely athletic looking filly from a family that is full of natural talent. I really enjoy the Paynter approach to breeding, always looking ahead, tapping into European trends and contacts (will do more on this later).

Lot 74, Stolen Secret, Mach Three – Hot Secret (Beach Towel). (Buy back $25,000)
Good size, strong type. Is this a ‘golden cross’? Time and statistics will tell.

Lot 119

Lot 119 Delia with preparer Clare McGowan

Lot 119, Delia, American Ideal – Merrily Merrily (Life Sign). (Sold $7000)
I thought this was a very attractive , tall type, with a long barrel and good chest. She looked in the midst of a bit of growth spurt, but I like what I see of American Ideals on the racetrack and I like the double up of the excellent mare Three Diamonds (3×3) – it is good to see a breeder try something like this rather than the usual focus on double up of sires. I’ll have to check, but my recollection is the American Ideal has had some performers in America from Life Sign mares. Breeder Geoff Elton says he is a little disillusioned with the industry at the moment and has moved into other interests. He has quit this family now, and will probably not be selling at the sales next year. I hope this filly does really well and draws him back in! I won’t expect her to be a 2yo, she’s got growing to do.

The colts I’ve picked are:

Lot 25

Lot 25 Charlie Chuckles

Lot 25, Charlie Chuckles, Grinfromeartoear – Charioteer (Christian Cullen). (Sold $34,000) 
Nice strong type, looked great.  Nice pedigree match too.

Lot 19, Derringer, Bettor’s Delight – Bury My Heart (In The Pocket). (Sold $22,500)
The full brother to Texican but Cran Dalegety didn’t want him and the price is surprisingly light. Without having inspected him, the only downside I could spot was his size – he is a small, compact type, but not the “built like a brick shithouse” round, solid and strong type that Bettor’s Delight can stamp even if they are small. He looked to me more like a smaller In The Pocket type. However the family has plenty of class and I like the breeding – I’ll take my chances.

Lot 175, Crixus Brogden, Real Desire – Swift Mirage (What’s Next) (Sold $9,000)
Sold so cheap I must have missed something!! I’m just taking a punt on this guy because he paraded so well, looked so focused.

Lot 148

Lot 148 Destination Moon

Lot 148, Destination Moon, Grinfromeartoear – Zenterfold (In The Pocket) (Sold $67,000)
Call me biased, but… I’m very happy to have him in my “virtual stable”.

Read Full Post »

As I said in my last blog, going to stallion parades and yearling parades can be a great way for breeders to see types ‘in the flesh’.

It can challenge the prejudices or misconceptions that inevitably creep in when we base our views on promotional material or a bad experience with one individual horse or what we’ve heard on the grapevine.

I like observing the yearling parade day in a state of mind that says: “Just look at each yearling coming into the parade ring – ignore the lot number, ignore any practice commentary from the PGG team and just respond to the type of yearling in front of you before your vision is clouded by too much information.” If one grabs you then check out what it is – and the results might surprise.

American Ideal

American Ideal at Woodlands Stud parade 2011, photo Bee Pears

Last year I did this at the 2011 Australasian Classic Sale at Karaka, and rediscovered American Ideal. Four of the five yearlings by American Ideal were ones that appealed strongly to me on type, enough to make me jot down comments and note their lot number – and discover their common sire.

A couple of years before that, I had been the Woodlands Stud stallion parade and saw Bettor’s Delight, Pegasus Spur and American Ideal paraded up close. Perhaps I was distracted by the strong energy of Bettor’s Delight, a sire who is not big in size but has a big personality and is built like a brick shithouse! And perhaps I was too busy admiring Pegasus Spur, who has a heap of character, stands tall and looks a bit like a Friesian horse! Anyway, I came away with the impression that American Ideal was a smaller stallion and quite plain. He hardly registered with me.

But lo and behold, a couple of years later here were three yearlings for sale that, on type, I really liked – all by American Ideal. They weren’t big, bold horses but they seemed evenly developed and strong, and what you might call go-early types. I really liked them.

Lot 41 was sold for $80,000, Lot 92 for $10,000 and Lot 93 for $60,000. The only filly sold for $7500, and I hadn’t seen her parade. I’d be interested to find out how they are getting on (note to self).

So when I went to the Woodlands Stud stallion parade again later that year, I was keen to have another fresh look at American Ideal.  Again, all three sires were paraded – Bettor’s Delight still strutting like he owns the place (he’s certainly helping to pay for it!), Pegusus Spur checking out the crowd, chewing on the grass, happy to run up and show us what a lovely mover he is. And then American Ideal – oh not as small as I remembered (15.2h), very relaxed, very professional, a lovely walker, not showy but strongly built right through the body.

He’s doing a top job so far on the track in America as well as starting to show up here – Ideal Scott, Besotted, etc.  American Ideal himself performed well at 2 years and superbly at 3 years old.

And in North America he has crossed successfully with mares we can offer here from sires like Artsplace, Falcon Seelster, Life Sign (almost inbreeding, interesting).

So although he doesn’t have the glamour profile of a Bettor’s Delight or an Art Major, American Ideal yearlings certainly opened my eyes to a very nice type of stallion who seems to be stamping his foals.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: