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Investigating Position 12


By Roger Lyons

       The inner workings of the CompuSire program depend on sequentially numbering the positions in a pedigree in such a way that enables the program to calculate the specific pedigree array items that correspond with the sire, dam, and immediate offspring for the ancestor in any pedigree position. It happens that the broodmare sire of the sire is assigned the number 12. Thus, the term "position 12" as a designation for the broodmare sire of the sire, is derived from CompuSire's highly efficient program structure.
       Attention to position 12 leads to the observation that certain stallions work exceptionally well there while others - and sometimes surprisingly - do not. As a matter of fact, some of the most notable contemporary sire lines in the breed, most of them excellent broodmare sires of runners, have functioned far below expectation in position 12. This is certainly true of Bold Ruler, Hail to Reason, Northern Dancer, and Mr. Prospector even though they are the most important sires of the breed's contemporary sires and sires of sires.
       There does seem to be a pattern, though, that is shared by the three oldest of these sires. While they have not performed especially well in position 12 themselves, Bold Ruler, Hail to Reason, and Northern Dancer all have sons who have already become successful position-12 sires or are showing considerable promise. Mr. Prospector, born in 1970, is a late started in this group and, in fact, may yet make his own mark in position 12.
       Bold Ruler is the sire most notably of Secretariat, who was a highly successful sire. While he was disappointing as a sire of sires, he has become a stellar broodmare sire, as well as a broodmare sire of sires. Cornish Prince is another son of Bold Ruler who has made his mark as a broodmare sire of sires, his daughters often producing stallions who are better than would be expected of their sires. He is the broodmare sire of leading Freshman sire Diablo, Carr de Naskra, Moscow Ballet, Gold Stage, and Murrtheblurr.
       Sons of Hail to Reason's daughters have had plenty of opportunity to make good at stud, and some of them have been useful, such as Metfield, who is inbred to Hail to Reason. But Hail to Reason has not been the broodmare sire of a single highly successful stallion. Even so, the daughters of his son Halo are turning out one very good stallion after another. So far, they have produced Demons Begone, Pine Bluff, Rahy, Machiavellian, Exit to Nowhere, and the promising Harlan.
       Certain sons of Northern Dancer have already overshadowed his performance as a position-12 sire. Lyphard, Nureyev, and Vice Regent will almost surely surpass him before long, and there are others waiting in the wings. Lyphard daughters have sired Bering, Groom Dancer, Lycius, Common Grounds, and young stallions Tight Spot, Valiant Nature, and Thunder Rumble. Nureyev is the broodmare sire of the commercial sensation Kingmambo.
       Incidentally, Nijinsky, who is turning out to be a better sire of sires than has previously been indicated, has not tended to improve the chances of stallions out of his daughters, relative to their sires. It would seem that, at least in these cases, sires of sires do not necessarily make good broodmare sires of sires. Yet Green Dancer is showing promise as the maternal grandsire of Quest For Fame and Septieme Ciel. Look out for newly retired Peaks and Valleys and Halling.
       Mr. Prospector, even though born in the same year as Secretariat, is the position-12 sire of but a few stallions so far. He has had a boost from Dayjur, who has nonetheless been slow to start, and Deposit Ticket is a leading 1996 Freshman sire. Will Mr. Prospector, as one of the great sires of sires, be exceptional as a position-12 sire? If not, what sons might emerge to sire stallion-producing daughters? Miswaki perhaps.
       CompuSire provides a very handy way of investigating the merits of sires in position 12. The optional FamilyTables module can list the offspring of a given sire's daughters, including stallions who have been produced by them. This feature helps make the FamilyTables module a useful tool in assessing a stallion prospect.
       The FamilyTables module also does direct male-line searches, direct female-line searches, and progeny tables consisting of all names in the database with a certain ancestor in their pedigrees. These features make the FamilyTables module useful for evaluating sires of sires or for identifying male sources of a given sire line. It can also be used to evaluate a female family, to identify the most useful branches of a female line, or to assess the potential of a certain family to produce a stallion.

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