Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Keeping It In the Family: Sirelines in the 2016 Preakness

Nyquist arriving at Keeneland in April
With Preakness week rolling into gear, the field is becoming clearer with 11 probables as of Monday evening. Just like the Kentucky Derby, the Uncle Mo train seems to be rolling through Baltimore, Maryland uninterrupted with the stallion having over a quarter of the entries with four of his sons looking like they’ll enter the race.

Of those four only one, the Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist, ran in the Kentucky Derby giving Uncle Mo a total of six different horses running for him in the first two legs of the Triple Crown. The champion 2-year-old of 2010, Uncle Mo never had a chance to run in a classic after scratching from the Kentucky Derby due to illness but has made a big impact on the racing scene since his first runner hit the track last year. As of May 15, he currently sits second to Tapit by stakes winners, is tied by stakes wins and leads Tapit in Grade 1 winners with 109 less runners than that leading sire.  

Uncle Mo won’t be the only stallion whose name is seen in more than one pedigree, however. Breeders’ Cup Classic victor Awesome Again has a unique distinction in this year’s Preakness. The stallion is the sire of probable Awesome Speed, who earned a spot in the Preakness with a Federico Tesio victory but he is also the grandsire of Fellowship, who is by Awesome Again’s son Awesome of Course. Awesome Again also sired the 2013 Preakness Stakes winner Oxbow.

Paddy O'Prado
While Medaglia d’Oro has been marked as the heir apparent for El Prado, he won’t be the only one representing that son of Sadler’s Wells in this year’s Preakness Stakes. First crop sire Paddy O’Prado nearly had a Kentucky Derby runner but plans were changed when Cherry Wine didn’t get the scratches he needed to get into the field and had to reroute to the Preakness. Paddy O’Prado is thought of as more of a turf horse with a Grade 1 win and placing on the surface but the stallion was also third in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby. Paddy O’Prado is out of the Prized mare Fun House, who is also the dam of Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks winner Untapable (Tapit).

Vindication died in 2008, leaving behind only five crops of racing age for 487 foals. But the stallion has left a lasting mark through his daughters, with that mark very evident this Triple Crown season. The stallion is the broodmare sire of Kentucky Derby runner-up Exaggerator (Curlin), who is set to race in the Preakness this weekend. Another 3-year-old out of one of his daughters, Dazzling Gem, was possible for the race but decided to reroute to another race on the card.

Of the 8 sires with runners in this year’s Preakness Stakes, four come from the Northern Dancer sireline and three from the Mr. Prospector line. More diversity is shown in the sirelines of the 11 broodmare sires with Northern Dancer’s line represented only twice and Mr. Prospector’s three times. Hail to Reason joins them with three broodmare sires from his line having runners while Seattle Slew has two runners in the race through Vindication and an A.P. Indy son.

Since 2000 only Unbridled has been both a sire and broodmare sire of Preakness winners while only Smart Strike (Mr. Prospector) has sired more than one Preakness winner. There are no sires or broodmare sires who can duplicate those two stallions’ feats this year. 

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