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Monday, October 02, 2006

Holy Roman Emperor

- That was a nice late burst by Holy Roman Emperor to split horses and win the Grand Criterium on Arc day, I noticed that the conditions for the race are For Two Year Old Colts and Fillies. Are geldings not eligible for these races?

Score one for Coolmore and Aiden O'Brien; this is a grandly bred son of all-world sire Danehill, and what's that, like his 8,000th stakes winner? He's out of a Secretariat mare, thus the discussion on TVG of him perhaps coming here for the Juvenile; more on that below. His second dam is the grand Canadian mare Fanfreluche, who was a superstar on the racetrack and in the breeding shed. She was a champion in Canada and the U.S., and as a broodmare, produced D'Accord, and a hat trick of Canadian champions in La Voyageuse, L'Enjoleur, and Medaille D'Or. (Yes, hockey season is nigh!)

Since Franfreluche is a daughter of Northern Dancer, Holy Roman Emperor is inbred 3x3 to that stallion, (Danehill is a son of Danzig/Northern Dancer). Natalma, the dam of Northern Dancer, is also the 4th dam of Danehill, through a Buckpasser half sister to ND. So whenever a mare with an instance of Northern Dancer is mated to Danehill, you get the Northern Dancer inbreeding, plus the extra cross of Natalma.

So I was wondering what percentage of Danehill's 300+ stakes winners are out of Northern Dancer mares. No no, I didn't spend too much time thinking about it, though probably more than Matt Drudge put into coming up with these remarks.

But, y'know, I get curious about these things. So I think I'll ask the Pedigree Guru, whose blog I need to read more often, as it's extremely informative on these matters. He's been posting about Danehill a lot, and with good reason. In a post last Monday, he noted that Danehill's sons and grandsons were the sires of 13 stakes winners worldwide on the weekend. On Sunday, in addition to Holy Roman Emperor, Danehill son Dansili got the Arc winner Rail Link (out of a Northern Dancer-line mare).

Getting back to Holy Roman Emperor, it sounds as if he will not come for the Juvenile, but rather to the Darley Dewhurst Stakes on Oct 14, where he would seek revenge against Teofilo, who beat him in his prior try.


Walter said...

Just looking over the latest Arc stuff, and i came across these interesting coments from Deep Impact's trainer, Yasuo Ikee:

"On Monday morning i felt very sad and disappointed. However, it's good that Deep Impact is fine after the Arc. I also feel i shouldn't only have feelings of regret, and i don't want to give up. I haven't decided on his future plan yet, but i would like to see the next race as a challenge."

First of all, give up what? Winning the Arc, or winning a big race outside of Japan? He's already stated that he'd like to try the Arc again next year, so perhaps that's what he means. But he continued, "i'd like to see the next race as a challenge." Certainly the 2007 Arc won't be his next race. I don't know about you guys, but what i get from that quote is that Mr. Ikee feels that Deep Impact has done pretty much all he can do in Japan, and after trying the Arc (and coming so close to winning it), he's anxious to give the horse another shot at a big one. Is it possible we'll see him in the Breeders Cup? His next Japanese race, if he were to run there, would be a rematch with Heart's Cry in the Arima Kinen. That's the race he lost last year, in fact his only loss other than the Arc. But i believe he's already beaten Heart's Cry at least once, and when the trainer says he'd like to see the next race as a challenge, i don't get the impression he's talking about running in Japan again. Maybe i'm letting my imagination get the better of me, but anyway, i found those comments very interesting.

In the same article, the connections of Shirocco basically shrugged and said they had no idea why he ran so poorly, as he checked out clean after the race, and seems no worse for the wear. But they also made it a point to say that the Breeders Cup is not a done deal, far from it. A decision has yet to be made. That's a bit different from what i read yesterday, when they sufggested that he'd still be coming over for the BC Turf (not the Classic). We'll see how this thing plays out. Still no word on Hurricane Run, either. Rail Link and Pride are definitely not coming, according to their connections.

alan said...

Wasn't Shirocco hurt by the condition of the turf? He prefers the going soft.

alan said...

It sounded like Rail Link and Pride are done for this year. Hurricane Run was never a factor.

Stalusk said...

Danehill certainly continued his streak here in Australia this most recent weekend. His son Churchill Downs winning a Group 2 (via disqualification) over a mile, his grandson Court Command winning a Group 2 over 7 furlongs, and his grand daughter Whoever winning a stakes race for sprinting fillies/mares. CD and CC both heading to the Caulfield Guineas (one mile), the first major classic for 3yo's this season.

Walter said...

It's true, Shirocco prefers soft ground (that's why i liked him in the Breeders Cup last year). But the firm going yesterday doesn't do much to explain his last-place finish. He beat Ouija Board over dry ground earlier this year, and of course he beat Huricane Run and Pride in the Prix Foy over dry ground. He just flamed out, for no apparent reason. If the ground were any kind of excuse, i'm sure his connections would've mentioned it, rather than say they were "mystified" or whatever.

Pride is not necessarily done for the year. She might go in the Champion Stakes, where she'd likely run into Ouija Board. I believe there was also some talk about Hong Kong. Rail Link is done for the year. As for Hurricane Run, i'm not sure what you mean by "never a factor". Do you mean in the Arc? It's true, he never threatened for the win, but he did manage 4th after encountering some traffic problems. Fallon did also mention the ground conditions and slow pace, though i've read impartial accounts of the fractions being "moderate". If you mean he was never a factor for the Breeders Cup, i believe you're mistaken. His connections have mentioned the BC Turf several times over the last few months, and in fact they wanted to bring him over last year, until he ran into some kind of problem. I guess he didn't come out of his Arc win @ 100%. That's why it's perhaps very telling that no announcement has been made yet regarding his plans, perhaps he's not coming out 100% this time either. I'd guess we'll know something by the end of the week.

P.S. - Here's something to consider. If Shirocco & Hurricane Run both pass on the Breeders Cup, is it possible Alexandrova might contest the Turf, rather than the F&M Turf? Her trainer made mention after her loss in the Opera that she prefers 1 1/2 miles, and that 1 1/4 was probably too short for her. They may reason she'll have a better shot in the 1 1/2-mile Turf vs. the American contingent, rather than testing Ouija Board & Co. in a race that's shorter than they'd like.

Walter said...

I just read that Hurricane Run will likely go in either the Champion Stakes or the BC Turf. He won't run in both. I would guess his participation in the Champion would hinge on the ground conditions. If it comes up soft, they may give it a go. If it's dry, they'll likely pass and wait for the Breeders Cup. Just my opinion, of course.

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