Keeping It In the Family: American Bloodlines in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

If there’s one thing racing fans can count on in this world, it’s that a big race will have multiple horses who trace back to 1964 Kentucky Derby winner Northern Dancer.

This Sunday’s 5-million ($5,621,000) Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe is no exception to that rule with 11 horses tracing back to the stallion through their sire or broodmare sire. But with Northern Dancer multiple generations back in all the runners’ pedigrees (the closest he is found in an Arc runner's pedigree is three generations back), it’s worth focusing on his sons and grandsons who make his appearance possible.

Not surprisingly, Sadler’s Wells is a popular line in this race even though the stallion isn’t the sire of any of the runners.

Medaglia d'Oro
His son Galileo has three runners, all from the Coolmore stable, with two more sires carrying Sadler's Wells blood. U.S. stallion Medaglia d’Oro could continue his hot streak if his runner Talismanic wins the race. A son of El Prado, Medaglia d’Oro is coming off of an outstanding last weekend where his runners won five stakes including another Grade 1 win by Songbird in North America. Talismanic has a tough task ahead to continue his sire’s roll, as the 3-year-old colt has yet to win a group stakes but the weight allowance given to 3-year-olds may help him out here.

German sire Adlerflug comes through the In the Wing branch of Sadler’s Wells family and interestingly is also from Galileo’s female family with Urban Sea’s dam being a full sister to Adlerflug’s second dam. Adlerflug’s runner Savoir Vivre also brings in unique blood on his dam’s side with his broodmare sire Monsun the only stallion to bring the Konigsstuhl line into this year’s Arc. Adlerflug doesn’t have that distinction with In the Wings however, as his son Songspiel is the broodmare sire of Left Hand, who is one of four runners in the race by Dubawi.

Highland Reel
Northern Dancer’s son Danzig also plays a major part in this year’s Arc through two sons. Danehill is not just responsible for the sire of an Arc runner in Fastnet Rock, he is also the grandsire of Mastercraftsman, who is the sire of The Grey Gatsby. Danehill himself is the broodmare sire of the front runner Highland Reel, who is from the extremely successful Galileo/Danehill cross. While Highland Reel isn’t in this field to play “rabbit” for his stablemates Order of St. George and Found, his front running style definitely won’t hurt their chances in the race.

Danzig also plays a part in the Urban Sea story as he is the grandsire of Sea the Stars, who is also known as Galileo’s half-brother. Sea the Stars has two runners in Migwar and Harzand and is the only stallion from Danzig’s Green Desert line with runners in this race as a son of the recently pensioned Cape Cross. Sea the Stars has upset his brother a few times this year with Harzand winning both the Epsom and Irish Derbies. Harzand is looking to add a third Group 1 and better Taghrooda’s third place finish in the Arc for their sire on Sunday. Migwar looks like he may be outmatched here but if the turf gets a decent amount of rain, could give his sire another placing in the race.

Hail to Reason can be found on both sides of pedigrees of runners in this race with Deep Impact’s Makahiki having him four generations back as the Sunday Silence's grandsire. He is also six generations back on Makahiki’s damside with his grandson Southern Halo the broodmare of Makahiki’s second dam Real Number.

Makahiki provides a little more support to Hail to Reason than Found, whose Hail to Reason blood comes from Roberto’s branch. The Breeders’ Cup winning filly, who is by Galileo, doubles up on the Northern Dancer with that stallion four generations back on her damside and also has a double dose of Mr. Prospector, although that cross is four and five generations back.

The broodmare sire side of the Arc field is quite Mr. Prospector heavy with six horses following their broodmare sire family tree right to the stallion. New Bay and Postponed get a double dose of Mr. Prospect through their sires and their broodmare sires with the stallion four generations back in the cross on both horses.

U.S. sires Gone West and Kingmambo are the main horses responsible for bringing so much Mr. Prospector blood into the field with both sires playing the part of broodmare sire to one runner a piece. In addition, Kingmambo is the sire of Postponed’s broodmare sire Dubai Destination. Gone West plays an even bigger part in the Mr. Prospector story with the stallion siring New Bay’s broodmare sire Zamindar and Harzand’s broodmare sire Xaar.

Talismanic, who was talked about earlier in this blog also comes from that Mr. Prospector line through his broodmare sire Machiavellian. Though Talismanic was born in Great Britain, the colt has North America to thank for a lot of his pedigree. Already covered is that he comes from the Northern Dancer sireline but he also leads to Northern Dancer through Danzig as his second dam’s sire. In his first four generations 24 of the 31 horses present were bred in North America.

As with the sires, only a few runners step out of the normal mold when it comes to their broodmare sire lines. Outside of the aforementioned Savoir Vivre with Monsun, Siljan’s Saga is alone in bringing the Kiairon line to the Arc while Silverware goes back to Riverman through River Mist.

Since 2000, Danehill is the only broodmare sire who also sired an Arc winner during that time period. On Sunday, he can become one of three stallions whose daughters have produced three Arc winners. Dubai Destination could also join that club if Postponed wins the Arc. Surprisingly, if any of their seven combined entries win the Arc, it will be a first win for Galileo or Dubawi.


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