The chestnut California Chrome took the Preakness Stakes in a similar style to the Kentucky Derby. The son of Lucky Pulpit now faces the toughest of challenges – to succeed in the Belmont Stakes which would win him a place alongside the eleven Triple Crown winners, himself being the first winner after thirty-six years since Affirmed took it in 1978. His pedigree has been widely discussed, we would like to look at the dam side of it, namely to the mare which you will find twice in the pedigree of his dam — the excellent mare Numbered Account.
Numbered Account, photo Jim Raftery
You will not find many mares in the history of the thoroughbred who have played such an important role as La Troienne. The maiden mare, sired by the excellent Teddy, was bought at the 1930 December Sale at Newmarket by Colonel E. R. Bradley for 1,250 guineas. In foal by Gainsborough, the mare was sent to Idle Hour Farm, Kentucky. It was there that the mare launched a career which significantly influenced the U.S. breeding. Her successful progeny later brought back her blood to Europe and spread it all over the world. To name all the successful thoroughbreds of her family would make a lengthy article indeed, or rather a book, so let us mention a few names such as Buckpasser, Busher, Caerleon, Easy Goer, Go For Gin, Mr Busher, Sea Hero, Smarty Jones or Woodman.
Successful products of the family established by La Troienne included her great great great great granddaughter Numbered Account. She was the daughter of the legendary Buckpasser who himself comes from the La Troienne family is thus 4x5 inbred to La Troienne. Sometimes I hear an opinion that inbreeding to successful mares, the so-called Rasmussen factor, is more influential for the career at stud than at the racecourse. In any case, Numbered Account was successful both on the racecourse and at stud.
Representing the silks of his breeder, Ogden Phipps, Numbered Account won fourteen of her twenty-two races, including the Fashion, Schuylerville, Spinaway, Matron, Frizette, Selima or the Gardenia Stakes. She won the Frizette Stakes by seventh lengths from the future champion Susan's Girl whom she beat in the Gardenia Stakes as well. In the Fashion Stakes she broke the Aqueduct’s record as a two-year-old when she run 5 furlongs at 0:57 ⅖, in the Spinster Stakes at Keeneland she equalled the 9 furlong record at 1:47 ⅖ - the record was set in 1957 by Round Table. When she left for stud in 1974, after three seasons on the racecourse, her winnings amounted to USD 607,048.
As the sister to Playmate, a dam of a three-million-dollar yearling Woodman, who later became the champion among the two-year-olds in Ireland and yet later a successful sire, Numbered Account produced two Gr.1 winners. The first of them was Private Account, born 1976, sired by Damascus and the winner of the Gulfstream Park Handicap or Widener Handicap (both Gr.1). Later he went to stud at Claiborne Farm and of his fifty-seven black-type winners (9% from foals of racing age) we should mention the unbeaten in thirteen races Personal Ensign, the champion of older fillies and the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, or the excellent European couple of Gr.1 winners East of the Moon (Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, Gr.1) and Chimes of Freedom (Moyglare Stud Stakes, Gr.1, and Coronation Stakes, Gr.1). The second Gr. 1 winner produced by Numbered Account was the winner of the Gr.1 Beldame Stakes, Dance Number, later to become the dam of the two-year-old champion and the winner of the Travers Stakes, Rhythm. Dance Number was worthy of her family whose branch is still active as can be seen on the examples of the 2010 Kentucky Derby winner, Super Saver, the winner of the Gr. 1 2008 Suburban Handicap, Frost Giant, or this year’s winner of the Man O’War Stakes, Imagining. Besides Rhythm, two sons of Numbered Account went to stud: Personal Escort, based in New Zealand, and a brother of Rhythm, black-type placed Not For Love, the sire of seventy-three (8%) black-type winners and the damsire of another fifteen black-type winners, including California Chrome.
Despite the lack of the black-type victory on the racecourse and premature death caused by an injury sustained in a paddock at fifteen, the stakes-placed Polish Numbers, another horse out of Numbered Account, fared excellently at stud, being the sire of forty-nine black-type (9%) winners and damsire of another twenty-five black-type winners. His non-black-type winners include the maiden winner at Charles Town, Chase It Down, who was covered by the above mentioned Not For Love in 2005. This combination – marked by 3x3 inbreeding to Numbered Account through 3/4 siblings Dance Number and Polish Numbers, and 3x4 inbreeding to Northern Dancer – produced Love The Chase, the dam of California Chrome.
Inbreeding to Northern Dancer is quite common today and we may be nearing a time when horses not inbred to Northern Dancer will be a minority. Inbreeding to Numbered Account, however, has several successful precedents. It may come as a surprise but it was most successful in India, mainly thanks to two stallions imported to the subcontinent in 1992. The winner of the Predominante Stakes (L) and later beaten as the favourite of the 1990 Epsom Derby, Razeen, was once stabled near to the winner of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (Gr.2), Placerville, at Henry Cecil’s Warren Place from where they both later headed for stud in India. Placerville, whose damsire was Numbered Account’s son Private Account, was based at Poonawalla Stud Farms, where he became the champion sire. Razeen, whose dam, the unraced Secret Asset was out of Numbered Account, was based at the rival Usha Stud and was even more successful than Placerville. Razeen’s daughters later proved to be suitable partners for Placerville and this combination, marked by 4x4 inbreeding to Numbered Account (but also 5x5 inbreeding to Ribot and 4x5 inbreeding to Native Dancer) produced five group winners, including the triple Gr.1 winner Spectacular Quest or the winner of the Mysore Derby (Gr.1) Field Marshal.
These, however, are not the only two Indian stallions with the influence of Numbered Account in their pedigree. Three years after Placerville and Razeen, India saw the arrival of Locked Away, a half-brother of Razeen by Damascus, bred by Odgen Phipps. The triple winner in the United States, who earned 51,148 dollars, failed at stud but his daughter Pen Lop produced, with Razeen’s son Star Supreme, the excellent International Star, inbred not to Numbered Account but to her daughter Secret Asset. International Star was a star indeed as besides the victory in the Nilgiris Derby she won all five classic races at the Chennai racecourse, the South India 1,000 Guineas, South India 2,000 Guineas, Derby, Oaks and Saint Leger!
At the turn of the millennium one more son of Numbered Account arrived in India – the winner of the Gordon Stakes (Gr.3) Warrshan, the brother of Razeen. After an average performance at stud in England he was quite successful in India and even in his case the breeders opted for the inbreeding to Numbered Account. It can be found, for example, in the pedigree of the Calcutta Derby (Gr.2) winner Argiano who is out of a dam by Placerville.
But let us leave India and return to America: to South America, to be precise, or, yet more concretely, to Argentina which saw, in 2005, the birth of Claro Oscuro, the winner of the Gr.1 Prix Felix De Alzaga Unzue. His pedigree is built on the combination of two stallions from Numbered Account’s family – the sire Mutakddim and the damsire Confidential Talk. The same connection produced the Gr.3 placed and listed-winner Chiambella. What is interesting is that a Gr.1 winner inbred to Numbered Accounts cannot be found in the United States, but besides California Chrome, one more Gr.1 winner whose dam is inbred to Numbered Accounts was born in the country. It is the winner of the Princess Rooney Handicap, Starship Truffles, whose dam, the listed winner Bobbie Use, is a daughter of Not For Love out of a dam by Private Terms who is the son of Private Account. But this holds true not just for Gr.1 winner – see, for instance, Always Love, the mare from the same combination Not For Love x Polish Numbers, who produced the double listed winner Great Love.
Despite this we will find black-type winners in the United States who are inbred to Numbered Account themselves, not just their dams. The cases in point are the listed winners Bobbie Use or Not Up for Love. And not only that. The third in the last year’s Delaware Oaks, the listed winner Tell a Great Story, is inbred not just to Numbered Account but directly to her daughter Dance Number, thanks to her sire Bluegrass Cat, Gr.1 winner and second in the Kentucky Derby, grandson of Dance Number, and her damsire Not For Love. There are many sources of Numbered Account’s blood in the United States and California Chrome may be an inspiration to use it further.
Como puede apreciarse en el pedigree de FLAVIAS CHAMP, futuro prospecto de yegua-madre que fuera seleccionada por mí en Brasil, ella cuenta -en las vías del cromosoma X- a FASCINATING TRICK y a PLAYMATE, ambas son hermanas enteras, hijas de BUCKPASSER, padrillo de la familia 1 X, y su madre INTRIGUING es una destacadísima representante de dicha tribu materna también.
Por tanto ella es portadora de duplicación en dos hermanas enteras, con el sello BUCKPASSER/INTRIGUING, entonces son a su vez también hermanas enteras de NUMBERED ACCOUNT, punto de fuerza que señala el amigo Miloslav en su interesante artículo. Me resta señalar que FLAVIAS CHAMP pasará a la reproducción en la temporada que se acerca, y no me olvido del hecho de la llegada en régimen de shuttling del padrillo BLUEGRASS CAT.