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Posts Tagged ‘Bettorthancheddar’

Top sires usually become top damsires – and for a mix of reasons.  Often they have very well structured pedigrees and so can pass on quality genes from both their top and bottom lines. To be top racehorses, it’s likely that they have good conformation or exceptional gait which they can also pass on to their foals. Mostly they had access to greater numbers and better quality mares when they went to stud, so their daughters are also contributing some great genes to any future progeny. And if they were at the higher end of the price range as sires, it is more likely that their daughters were well cared for and commercial propositions as broodmares – and so the foals of those mares may have a better start in life and be by more commercial sires.

But this doesn’t mean a breeder should give up if their mare is by a less successful sire.

There are plenty of examples of top horses who have a damsire that is much less fashionable than Artsplace or In The Pocket or Christian Cullen.

And some names crop up consistently enough that they earn respect as a damsire that eluded them as a sire.

Out of interest, I checked through the damsires of the fields in the main pacing races on Meadowlands Pace day 2013.

  • In the New Jersey SS fillies final the damsires were: Direct Scooter, Western Hanover (2), Artsplace (2), Presidential Ball, No Nukes, Jenna’s Beach Boy, The Panderosa, and Camluck.
  • In the New Jersey SS colts and geldings final the damsires were: Western Ideal, Art Major, Artsplace (2), Red River Hanover, Western Hanover, Life Sign, Camluck, Arturo.
  • In the Free For All Pace the damsires were: Nobleland Sam, Apaches Fame, Falcon’s Future, Towner’s Big Guy, Artsplace (3), Camluck, Pacific Rocket.
  • And in the Meadlowlands Pace Final the damsires were: Jenna’s Beach Boy, Artsplace (2), Camluck, CamFella, Art Major, Allamerican Ingot, Western Ideal, Die Laughing, and Real Artist.

Generally there are no surprises. But from our New Zealand perspective it is interesting to see Jenna’s Beach Boy there. He didn’t get much chance at all as a sire here, and didn’t do a lot what the little chance he got. But he has had 12 NZ bred damsire winner credits from 30 foals of racing age so far, the best being Twist and Twirl, but also Auditor General and Charge Forward.

Pacific Rocket is another who has lovely breeding and was a great race horse, but got little traction as a sire in the USA or New Zealand. However he  is being fairly well tried as a damsire in New Zealand (many of his mares foals are not yet of racing age). At Meadlowlands he was the damsire of Up The Credit ($1.6m) WesternTerror-Cantbuymehappiness-Pacific Rocket. Cantbuymehappiness is a great producer of quality foals, so the success of Up The Credit lies as much with what this mare brings to the equation as it does with Western Terror.

Red River Hanover was pretty much a flop at stud, and yet from such a beautiful maternal family and by a great sire, it would not be a surprise to see him starting to show up as a damsire in future years. He currently has 33 damsire credits of 2yo or less in New Zealand, so has a reasonable chance that some of those will become winners. At the Meadlowland he was the damsire of Caviart Chase (came third) a Tell All colt who is the first foal out of Caviart Cimarron ( a mare from a good family and a full sister to a $200,000 plus winner by Red River Hanover).

My point is that if a sire comes from a good family and is well structured genetically, he can sometimes make more of a contribution as a damsire than he could ever do as a sire. If you follow the x factor “heart size carried on the x chromosone” theory, this makes a lot of sense as a sire’s big heart can only be carried through his daughters, not his sons.

It can also be a matter of timing. For example, Camtastic stood here at a time when he has little access to In The Pocket mares (only four Camtastic foals from In The Pocket mares) but he has been clicking well with sons of In the Pocket including Tinted Cloud (for Smoken Up), Courage Under Fire (Beyond The Silence, Choice Achiever, Rowan the Brave), Christian Cullen (Temudgin, Sloane Square, Alexander The Great), and many other successes by Direct Scooter line sires like Mach Three (Mysta Magical Mach, Weasel, Icarus).

Although Camtastic wasn’t represented in the top Meadowlands fields this year, he is the damsire of the top racehorse Bettorthancheddar, the son of Bettor’s Delight just announced as standing in the southern hemisphere at Alabar Farms.

As a son of champion sire Bettor’s Delight from the Camtastic mare Lady Ashlee Ann, Betterthancheddar boasts the rare distinction of having both his sire and his dam in the Hall Of Fame. Lady Ashlee Ann was voted into the USTA Broodmare Hall Of Fame earlier this year. From 12 foals of racing age she has produced 10 winners (all in 2:00), 8 in 1:55 and 2 with sub 1:50 records and combined earnings of over $3.9 million.

I’ve written about this before, re the sons of Life Sign and their disappointing performance at stud, but their potential as broodmare sires, including Island Fantasy (who incidentally is the full brother of Orchid Island, the dam of In The Clear, the Western Ideal gelding who came 2nd in the New Jersey SS Final 2013.)

It’s something I come back to now and again, partly to assure breeders that having a mare by a less commercial or unfashionable sire is not something to worry about, so long as the overall family has ability, the individual mare is a good type, and that you do your best to choose a sire that will work well with her. Many of these less fashionable damsires are building a reputation in their own right, and should not be discounted as a contributor to the engine room of a pedigree.

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