Posts Tagged ‘Cam Fella’

2012 Little Brown Jug winner Michaels Power had all the racing and pedigree credentials to win the Little Brown Jug but flew a little under the radar, mainly I think because he has predominantly raced in Canada and therefore has not been in the face of the US fans (particularly the New Jersey/New York scene)  in the same way that Rocknroll Dance and Bolt The Duer were. Likewise for me it was Michaels who? and quite a bit of googling to find out more.

Taking nothing away from the horse, he made the most of great draws in both heats and used his great early speed to get and keep the lead in the final, while Rocknroll Dance, for example, was parked out (as we call it) by Sweet Lou on that 25.5 blistering first quarter, and then caught three back on the rail for much of the rest of the race. Others were forced to come wide – Bettor’s Edge showing guts to move up wide to take third. Bolt The Duer was scratched from the final.

Michaels Power was a bit of a “dark horse”, accumulating reputation and money mainly in Canada’s top age races and outside the main limelight, but proving to be consistent and very, very smart. As trainer  Casie Coleman is quoted as saying:

“Up until we won the Confederation Cup and entered the Jug, this horse got absolutely no press whatsoever,” said Coleman. “I have never seen a horse make a million dollars so quietly.”

Of most interest to me was discovering that Michaels Power’s grandam Jef’s Magic Trick is the dam of Cam’s Card Shark. What a family this is turning out to be!

Michaels Power’s dam is the Artsplace mare Michelles Jackpot who won $695,439, and is a half sister to Cam’s Card Shark. She’s a 100 per cent producer, including two other $500,000-plus winners — American-bred Michaels Marvel, who banked $810,412, and Camluck daughter Michelles Power, who earned $1.38 million in her career. So Michaels Power is not flash in the pan.

Jef’s Magic Trick is setting up a very nice reputation:

JEFS MAGIC TRICK p, 2, 2:02f -’81 ($28,340) 2 wins, by B GS BUNNY p, 3, 1:54. From 14 foals, dam of 10 winners(3 in 1:53, 5 in 1:55, 8 in 1:57, 9 in 1:59) including-
CAMS CARD SHARK (h, Cam Fella) p, 2, 1:55.2, 3, 1:50 -’94 ($2,498,204) 20 wins.
MICHELLES JACKPOT (m, Artsplace) p, 2, 1:54.4f -’96 ($695,439) 9 wins. Winner of 1996 HTA Nova Award for Two Year Old Pacing Fillies and 1996 USHWA Dan Patch Award for Two Year Old Pacing Fillies. At 2, winner of Breeders Crown elim at Mohawk, Int’l Stallion S. div at The Red Mile, Lou Babic Memorial final at Freehold, Molly Pitcher S. div at Freehold, Three Diamonds S. elim at Garden State Park, final at Garden State Park; second in Breeders Crown final at Mohawk, Sweetheart Pace elim at The Meadowlands; third in Bluegrass S. at The Red Mile, La Paloma S. final at Yonkers, Lou Babic Memorial elim at Freehold. At 3, winner of NJSS div at Freehold, div at The Meadowlands; second in Lady Maud S. elim at Yonkers, Miss NJ S. elim at The Meadowlands, final at The Meadowlands; third in Nadia Lobell S. elim at Garden State Park, NJSS div at Freehold, final at The Meadowlands, Tarport Hap S. leg at The Meadowlands. Dam of-

  • MICHELLES POWER p, 2, 1:52.2s, 3, 1:50.1s -’07 ($1,287,400).
  • MICHAELS POWER p, 2, 1:55.2s, 3, 1:49.2s -’12 ($1,196,056).
  • MICHAELS MARVEL p, 2, 1:53.1, 3, 1:52.2, 1:49.3f -’07 ($794,068).
  • MILLIONAIRE CAM p, 2, 1:51.2s -’08 ($177,494).
  • LUCKY JACKPOT p, 2, 1:57.2s, 3, 1:55s -’04 ($146,573).
  • ROCKNROLL JACKPOT p, 3, 1:56.4h, 4, 1:54.4h -’11 ($53,524).
  • BIGTIME JACKPOT p, 2, 2:00.1f, 1:59.4f -’09 ($31,148).
  • MICHELLES PRAYER p, 2, 1:57s -’07 ($28,518).
  • MIKES JACKPOT p, 3, Q1:57.4s -’03 ($19,204).
  • MICHELLES LOVE p, 2, 2:03h, 3, 1:57.2f -’02 ($17,602).
  • Alexas Jackpot. Now 2.

CAMS MAGIC TRICK (h, Cam Fella) p, 2, 1:55f, 3, 1:52.4f -’93 ($469,899) 13 wins.
DIRECT CURRENT (h, Direct Scooter) p, 2, 1:58.1, 3, 1:57f, 1:54.2 -’90 ($378,403) 32 wins. Exported to Ireland.
BRITTS BEST (g, Troublemaker) p, 3, Q1:56.1f -’89 ($221,381) 17 wins.
CAMS TRICKSTER (h, Cam Fella) p, 2, 1:56.3, 3, 1:52.2 ($59,350) 8 wins. At 3, winner of Trendsetter II Series div at The Meadowlands.
MAGIC OF MICHELLE (m, Presidential Ball) p, 3, 1:56f -’02 ($17,514) 4 wins. As Above.
TWIST IN THE WIND (h, Storm Damage) p, 3, 2:00h, 4, 1:57.3f -’96 ($16,584) 9 wins.
Colonels Orderly (h, Direct Scooter) p, ($9,927).
ARTS CARD TRICK (h, Artsplace) p, 2, Q2:04.1h, 3, 1:56.2 -’04 ($5,657) 3 wins.
Cam Magic (m, Cam Fella) p, 2, 2:06.2h, 3, 2:04.1h ($3,639) 2 wins.
Michelles Destiny (m, Artsplace) p, ($408).
Carta Final (m, Camluck)
Feel The Wind (g, Storm Damage) p, 2, 1:54.3. At 2, second in NY Fair S. div at The Syracuse Mile; third in NYSS div at Monticello. At 3, third in NYSS div at Monticello.

In his chapter on Cam’s Card Shark, John Bradley (Modern Pacing Sire Lines, 1999) has this to say about Jef’s Magic Trick and her maternal line:

Cam’s Card Shark comes from the maternal family known as Macketta or Maud (by Trombone). This family has several major branches and they seem to be improving over time, especially in this one particular branch that includes Cam’s Card Shark. …The B.G.’s Bunny mare Jef’s Magic Trick….has been an incredible producer with six sub-1.55 performers and five $200,000 winners among her nine winners from 10 foals.

Bradley goes on to point out three of her top sons were by Cam Fella

But this mare has also proved she can do it without Cam Fella, which means, to me, that she is a very prepotent mare.

Bradley notes that

The stallion Overtrick may be playing a significant part in the success of this cross [with Cam Fella]. His daughters proved to be outstanding broodmares and were particularly effective when bred to Albatross. Jef’s Magic Trick is the result of a son of Albatross [B.G.’s Bunny] being crossed with an Overtrick mare. Another interesting example of crossing Cam Fella with mares carrying Overtrick blood is the fastest Standardbred ever, Cambest… whose third dam is by Overtrick.

Michaels Power is a son of Camluck, so the family’s successful link with the Cam Fella line continues. Camluck (a Canadian based sire) also brings to the match a very strong  maternal line, with a dam who was a very tough fast race mare and a forgotten grandamsire Truluck who was a very successful 2yo star himself.

For those readers who have kept with me on this rather long analysis of this Little Brown Jug winner, you may well be thinking – ah yes, but what about the failure at stud of Cam’s Card Shark’s brother, Cam’s Trickster, who stood at stud in New Zealand from 1993 to 2000 for the final tally of 164 winners from over 600 foals as a sire, (but perhaps a little more impressively can claim 77 winners to date as a damsire, seeing many owners would not have kept or bred his mares to top stallions).

Yes, it is another example of excellent families with brothers or half brothers that perform so well on the track but where perhaps only one can make the transition as a successful sire in his own right. Check out the articles Ray Chaplin and I wrote about Rich N Elegant’s famous sons at stud as another example. The transition depends on many factors, including the broodmare gene pool the stud can access – and maybe in the era that Cam’s Trickster stood here he did not have access to the number of quality mares that his brother (in fact brothers) did in North America. Looking at the list of broodmare sires of Cam Trickster’s progeny, we may still have been putting our tough, heavier built mares to him when, as I have said previously Cam Fella line sires need constant injection of speed genes.  But more likely, it is also a fact that a prepotent sire is a rare beast, and full brothers do not share identical genetic, temperamental or physical attributes – they are not clones.

So Cam’s Trickster’s failure at stud is neither exceptional nor unexpected (in hindsight).  And it appears some of his mares are proving reasonable broodmares when given a chance with quality compatible sires.

However Cam’s Trickster’s full brother Cam’s Card Shark is, of course, a different story. His success as a sire of racehorses and in future as a sire of sires is gathering momentum.

Check out his impressive list of $1million plus progeny: (currently)

SHARK GESTURE $2,818,021
ROLL WITH JOE $1,805,102
VILLAGE JOLT $1,634,220
SHARKY SPUR $1,004,618

Some are already making it as sires. Shark Gesture was available in New Zealand last season (2012) at Wai Eyre Farm and served 57 mares but isn’t back again this year – his early crops are showing signs of success. Four Starzzz Shark has been available here as frozen semen for a few years but only had a very small number of foals and is doing ok in the US but also with small numbers; Riverboat King stood here for some years and is a sire that probably was oversold on the speed he had himself and therefore may have fallen into the same trap as other sires who attracted mares who were not contributing much in that department themselves – he is now standing in Australia and has produced some very nice performers, and in the US where his foals include the $1.8million mare Anndrovette.

But really the star for Cam’s Card Shark is Bettor’s Delight – an exceptional sire. Roll With Joe and Classic Card Shark ( classy racehorses and BD’s full brothers) are being given the opportunity to prove they can match the family credentials as sires.

Michaels Power, however, won’t have the opportunity at stud that his ‘uncle’ Cam’s Card Shark has had – because Michaels Power is a gelding.

Cam’s Card Shark himself is in his early 20’s now and in the 2012 breeding season was withdrawn from service:

“Cams Card Shark suffered a scrotal hernia. He had surgery last Tuesday (April 17) and had his right testicle and several feet of small intestine removed,” Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky explained. “He is recovering well, back to eating his full feed and we hope to bring him home to Hanover Shoe Farms tomorrow (Thursday, April 26) if he has a good night tonight.” Trot Insider has learned that Cams Card Shark will not be collected again this season, but his connections are hoping that the stud recovers completely and is able to breed in 2013.

Cam’s Card Shark is already turning up as a damsire of very good horses, including the Little Brown Jug third placegetter to Mr Feelgood, Armbro Deuce, in 2006 – now at stud.

And talking of damsires, if anyone was particularly interested in the reference to Overtrick in this blog, I am hoping to persuade New Zealand breeder Tony Dickinson to give me some of his views about this underrated damsire in a future blog.

All comments, always, welcome.

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Cam Fella 3×3

Kevin asked this question of me recently: “Could you give me your thoughts on 3 x 3 Cam Fella breeding lines, and which Grandam bloodlines would best suit this breeding.”

Well, I am definitely not a pedigree matching expert, and if the question relates to a specific mare then that involves a lot of different aspects like other influences in the pedigree, what type of mare she is physically and in temperament, and the attributes of her family, etc.

I’m not sure that I’ve got my head around the question, without actually seeing the pedigree set out. So I’ll just put down a few thoughts that keep it at a very general level i.e. what overall is Cam Fella adding to the mix, and what sort of crosses seem to bring out the best of his contribution?

In my very humble opinion, any pedigree with multiple doses of Cam Fella needs to keep getting speed inputs, at each generation. At 3 x 3 cross to Cam Fella, that is a lot of tough, courageous Cam Fella close up in the pedigree. Proven speed lines (like Direct Scooter/In The Pocket) or bloodlines that have injected speed when crossed with Cam Fella are what I would keep looking for.

I am presuming he would mainly be in 3×3 pedigrees through the male lines i.e. via his siring sons rather than as a damsire himself (which would be rare in this part of the world). So the dam would be a daughter of Armbro Operative, Presidential Ball, Fake Left etc, and on the male line it would be a sire who is the grandson of Cam Fella, perhaps Bettor’s Delight, Blissful Hall, DM Dilinger etc. That would get progeny with a 3 x 3 to Cam Fella. And then presumably it is a filly/mare that might be bred on from?

That’s a pedigree scenario which would be a lot more common in Australia than in New Zealand (see below for a recap on the different Cam Fella histories in each country), so again my knowledge is quite limited and my suggestions of a tentative and general nature.

What leaps out at me, looking at the pedigrees of many of the successful sons and grandsons of Cam Fella in Australia, is the presence of Albatross, Big Towner and Shadow Wave in the maternal lines. If you are looking for suitable grandams in potential sires, there are many that would offer the proven reputation of speed you need plus a dollop of those bloodlines. Doubling up on this blood is great – Albatross, Big Towner and Shadow Wave seem to thrive on multiple crosses of themselves and their own bloodlines. Art Major is an obvious sire who fits the bill in his maternal lines, Major In Art is another, Mach Three and Grinfromeartoear offer Shadow Wave. There will be much more choice in Australia of sires with these bloodlines.

Australia has a very different history of Cam Fella sires than New Zealand. In the mid 1990s in New Zealand we had three sons of Cam Fella standing as sires: Cameleon, Camtastic and Cam’s Trickster (who is a full brother to Cam’s Card Shark). None of them made any lasting impression, except amongst breeders and trainers that Cam Fella line horses didn’t leave speed and you have to wait for their strength to show too. Of course there were exceptions, but not many. Thus it has been a hard act for any Cam Fella sons to follow. In the early 2000s we got Presidential Ball, and we did have access to Armbro Operative in Australia sometimes. And both of these sires managed to shake off the Cam Fella association (I think it helped that they were named something other than Cam!) and leave horses that could run early as well as develop with age. Therefore we have far more Presidential Ball and Armbro Operative mares being retained to breed from. Later of course we have had Bettor’s Delight, as son of Cam’s Card Shark, and Lismara (still trying to gain a foothold), and the popular Washington VC, son of Presidential Ball. But Cam Fella’s line has had few representatives in New Zealand.

In Australia it was a different story, with numbers of siring sons of Cam Fella proving popular ( Aces and Sevens, Fake Left, Cambest, Armbro Operative and Presidential Ball) and a much larger number of  grandsons of Cam Fella taking part as well – Northern Luck, Brioso Hanover, Riverboat King, Blissful Hall, and others. Now there are great-grandsons of Cam Fella coming into the picture like Kenneth J (son of Bettor’s Delight).Camelot Hall etc.

Cam Fella was an outstanding performer and crowds loved his courage and tenacity. But his own maternal line was not outstanding, in fact it was very weak. Cam Fella has left a siring legacy that is getting better with time, rather like many of the Cam Fella line progeny.

Anyone else got thoughts on this?

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