Sport Horse Pedigrees 7—Outcross Lines, Princequillo, Tom Fool, Forli, Others

Outcross lines that are so far back in time as to rarely be seen in modern pedigrees are basically irrelevant to 2011 breeders, it strikes me. So, in a stroke of genius, I looked at Zenyatta`s pedigree, as she`s both a “now” horse, and a great horse, and sure enough, there was the old standby, Princequillo, a foal of 1940, and the stallion that was so commonly found on the broodmare side of pedigrees that there was even a saying about him, that “Nasrullah and Princequillo go together like ham and eggs.” The most famous example of this “nick” is Somethingroyal, Princequillo`s daughter, who, bred to Nasrullah`s son, Bold Ruler, produced Secretariat.

Princequillo holds the Saratoga record for a mile and three quarters, an unheard of distance in modern times. It was said of him that he could correct a mare`s unsoundness or crooked legs in the foal. His great son, Round Table, carried on his sterling qualities, but he`s mainly remembered for being a broodmare sire. He was eight times Leading  Broodmare Sire in North America.

Tom Fool, 1949, was a gutsy, tough horse who won the Handicap Triple Crown, proving he could carry weight over a distance. One son, Tim Tam, won the KY Derby, but it`s through his champion son, Buckpasser, that Tom Fool`s name mainly survives into modern times. Buckpasser was Horse of the Year, twice Handicap Horse of the Year, and was Leading Broodmare Sire four years. Tom Fool and Buckpasser keep showing up in modern pedigrees, despite the overwhelming flood of Nearco and Native Dancer line horses that are shrinking the diversity of the thoroughbred gene pool.

Forli, foaled in Argentina in 1963, a grandson of Hyperion, could run “forever”, winning at distances up to 3,000 meters, almost 2 miles. He sired three time Horse of the Year,  and four time Champion Handicap Horse,Forego, and he was the broodmare sire of KY Derby winner Swale, Nureyev, sire of 131 stakes winners, and Precisionist, to name a few.

So there are still old distance and stamina lines out there. Zenyatta also traced back twice to Tom Rolfe`s son, Hoist the Flag, Ribot lines we discussed in an earlier outcross section.

There are others. Damascus, Dr. Fager, Khaled, Double Jay, Mahmoud, Herbager, Relic, Le Fableux, and In Reality are some of the stallions whose names still appear with some frequency, although some are getting pretty far back in pedigrees of the twenty first century. Will there be strong outcrosses in times to come, to prevent the thoroughbred from being trapped in a downward cycle of fragility and loss of stamina and just plain toughness? That`s a question being asked in the racing industry, and there doesn`t appear to be a solid answer.


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