Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Keeping It In the Family: Mr. Prospector Reigns in Preakness

Mr. Prospector (WikiMedia Commons/Pawneese photo)
It seems like it’s only been days since Always Dreaming (Bodemeister) crossed the line first in the Kentucky Derby but it’s time to get back on track for the Preakness Stakes. The field attracted 10 horses with five familiar faces from the Kentucky Derby and five fresh faces who sat out the run for the roses out.

With new horses comes a new set of pedigrees to analyze and there are a few interesting points to know as we head into the second leg of the United States’ Triple Crown.

Mr. Prospector – If you like Mr. Prospector and sons, this is the race for you. Mr. Prospector (Raise a Native) is responsible for the sire lines of five of the entries (50 percent) and three of the damsires. Recently repatriated Empire Maker is responsible for the morning line favorite and second choice with son Bodemeister siring Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming and another son, Pioneerof the Nile, siring last year’s champion 2-year-old Classic Empire. Empire Maker’s sire Unbridled's branch has three of the Mr. Prospector lined horses in the field (two sire lines, one damsire line), including being the damsire of Gunnevera. Forty Niner also gives the Mr. Prospector blood to two horses with Cloud Computing being a great-grandson and Multiplier out of a Trippi (Forty Niner grandson) daughter.

Interestingly, though Mr. Prospector’s line is found on both the top and bottom sides of pedigrees in this race not one horse doubles up on his sireline, which you don’t see often. Overall, eight of the Preakness runners (80 percent) can trace their sire or damsire line to Mr. Prospector.

In Excess – In Excess (Siberian Express) seems to always quietly pop up in stakes races and this race is no different. His grandson Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie) has spread his line far and wide the last few years and is in here with 2016 Keeneland November $8,500 purchase Conquest Mo Money. But that’s not the only place you’ll find the late In Excess. He is also the damsire of Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming, who is trying to win the second leg of the Triple Crown in this race.

Mineshaft – Horse of the Year Mineshaft may not be the first son thought of when you think of A.P. Indy (Seattle Slew), but thanks to him, the Indy sireline is alive and well at the Preakness. While A.P. Indy is the damsire of two Preakness contenders (Hence and Cloud Computing), Mineshaft is the grandsire of two Preakness contenders in Gunnevera (Dialed In) and Senior Investment (Discreetly Mine) as the only A.P. Indy son with representatives here. Mineshaft is sneakily starting to keep his branch of the Seattle Slew line’s sire-of-sires reputation going with Dialed In being the No. 1 ranked First-Crop sire by earnings in 2016 and a few other nice sons coming up over the next few years.


Stud Fees – Looking back now, the stud fees for the sires of this year’s Preakness entries probably looks like a deal. Combined, the 2013 stud fees for those stallions cost $234,000 going off of advertised fees with an average of $23,400. The least expensive was Maclean’s Music (Distorted Humor) at $6,500 while the most expensive was Tiznow at $75,000. That average has risen to $47,611 (as of the time fees were announced for 2017 this winter) for the nine stallions still standing in the U.S. with Discreetly Mine sold to Uruguay last summer when standing for a $5,000 fee in the U.S.

There have been some major price hikes since this crop was conceived in 2013 with Pioneerof the Nile rising from $15,000 to $110,000 and Uncle Mo from $35,000 to $150,000. Overall, six of the 10 stallions have had their stud fees raised from 2013 to 2017 with Bodemeister’s fee recently going private after standing for an advertised fee of $25,000 earlier this year.

Uncle Mo has had a large fee increase since 2013.
Auction Prices – All but one horse in the Preakness Stakes sold at auction as a weanling or yearling, averaging $185,333 with 2-year-old champion Classic Empire being the most expensive at $475,000 and Gunnevera the least expensive at $16,000. Only Conquest Mo Money has been through the ring since selling as a weanling or yearling, bringing $8,500 during the Conquest Stables Dispersal last November. Each of the nine horses to sell brought over two times their sire’s 2013 stud fee with every horse to sell going through the Keeneland sales pavilion (Conquest Mo Money originally sold through Fasig-Tipton as a yearling but was reoffered last year at Keeneland.) None of the horses in the Preakness went through the ring at a 2-year-old sale and Hence (Street Boss) is the only horse to be raced by his breeder (Calumet Farm).

Horse (Sire)
Sire Line
Branch of Sire Line
Always Dreaming (Bodemeister)
Mr. Prospector
Classic Empire (Pioneerof the Nile)
Mr. Prospector
Cloud Computing (Maclean’s Music)
Mr. Prospector
Forty Niner
Conquest Mo Money (Uncle Mo)
In Excess
Gunnevera (Dialed In)
A.P. Indy
Hence (Street Boss)
Mr. Prospector
Lookin at Lee (Lookin At Lucky)
Mr. Prospector
Smart Strike
Multiplier (The Factor)
Northern Dancer
Senior Investment (Discreetly Mine)
A.P. Indy
Term of Art (Tiznow)
In Reality

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