Love him for his speed, or vilify him for his tendency toward crooked legs and unsoundness, the reality is that Mr. Prospector is a huge influence on the modern thoroughbred. He was by Raise A Native x Gold Digger, (by Nashua, by Nasrullah), a foal of 1970. If you read the article by Bill Nack that I`ve posted on the Tamarack Facebook page, you`ll see that some consider him to be a key source of the increasing fragility of the modern thoroughbred, but in addition to that negative analysis, there have also been lots of sound descendants of Mr. Prospector.
He sired more than 1,000 foals, and in any population that huge, there will be lots of variation. Also, bear in mind that flat racing, in terms of limb stress, is about the hardest thing that can be asked of any horse, much less a 2 or 3 year old baby. That`s why in three day eventing, another “hard” sport, there have been plenty of sound Mr. Prospector line horses. They run, that`s true, but not at over 1,000 meters a minute, on ankles and knees that are still not fully formed.
So just because you see Raise A Native or Mr. “P” in your horse`s pedigree, don`t assume an imminent breakdown. Be diligent in your long, slow fitness work, use good horsemanship, and all should be as well as with most other lines, I suspect.
Here are just a few of the elite race horses that are first, second and third generation Mr. Prospectors: Cryptoclearance, Unbridled, Coquistador Cielo, Tank`s Prospect, Gulch, Smart Strike, Fappiano, and Zenyatta. Some great horses here, athletes with heart and drive, some that stayed sound “forever”, and some who did not.
It`s a fact of breeding that where the money goes, so the breeding decisions are apt to follow, and as racing has become more speed oriented, there`s been lots of line breeding to speed lines. When you have the same horse several times in the same pedigree, the things you want get emphasized, but so do the things you don`t want. So read Bill Nack`s article, and get an overview from various perspectives.