What’s the fun in following the crowd and producing the same group of sires’ progeny? MEH, I can do better! Let’s play bloodstock expert for a second here with Rachel Alexandra, seeing as she’s due to foal her Bernardini filly in the coming weeks.
The tough part about nicking good matches with a horse like Rachel Alexandra is finding proven horses that equate well with her pedigree as well as her natural ability. Her sire Medaglia d’Oro was an accomplished classic horse on dirt, but is by El Prado [IRE], who is synonymous with top grass horses. Being that Rachel has wins going long but could easily pass as a gifted miler to boot further complicates things, as she tosses her head to what her ancestry suggests about her on paper. If you look on TrueNicks, a lot of the “suggested” picks for Rachel that have high ratings are horses that I know would not work with the goals of what Stonestreet has in mind, nor likely what would mesh with Rachel’s own record: grass/classic sire Street Cry [IRE], Street Cry’s speedy son Street Boss, and grass champ Midshipman.
This particular genetic puzzle is probably more soluable from the conformation approach than going by bloodline statistics, so we ought to ignore the grass and try to reinforce the mighty prowess, or complement it further with long-distance genes:
- Tizway – One of the most fantastic modern milers, Tizway was untested classic potential with distance-getter Tiznow on top and esteemed sprinter Dayjur on the bottom. He’s similar to Rachel in this regard and also has Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector. I’m a bit of a fan of the Danzig in this largely unproven cross. (Fee: $25,000, No rating)
- Eskendereya – Much like Rachel herself, “Esky” was a freakish success at three and looked every bit the champion had he been able to continue on to the Triple Crown. A big, well-built character, it’s hard to nitpick his bloodlines which are largely Euro-influenced: by European champion and prolific sire Giant’s Causeway and out of the Seattle Slew mare Aldebaran Light. Esky would tack on some considerable size, scope, and promise of speed. (Fee: $17,500, Rated B+)
- Hard Spun – A throwback to really good classic pedigree, while I don’t consider him a perfect specimen it’s hard to argue that the first few rounds of Hard Spuns racing haven’t been anything less than nice. Heavy on the Native Dancer is probably my biggest complaint, but it would be an interesting gamble. (Fee: $60,000, Rated D)
- Speightstown – A sire with some appeal but largely ignored due to the pileup of trendy stallions, Speightstown was a career miler/sprinter but throws a ton of variety in his progeny with G1 winners sprinting and going the classic distance. His conformation is excellent and similar crosses have done very well including Kentucky Oaks winner Believe You Can (by Gone West son Proud Citizen out of an El Prado [IRE] mare) and Ballerina Stakes (I) winner Hilda’s Passion (by Gone West son Canadian Frontier and out of an El Prado daughter [IRE]). Rachel was always on the cusp of being a phenomenal speed horse and router, so it would be all the more interesting to see this pan out. (Fee: $60,000, Rating A++)
- Drosselmeyer – I like what I’ve seen already in Drosselmeyer’s first foals, and the Belmont-Breeders’ Cup Classic double is appealing should the desired result be a foal that can carry speed and last. Nijinsky and Danzig make him an attractive option with two G1 winners as his parents. (Fee: $17,500, Rating: A++)