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The following post was published earlier this week at Paulick Report.

Everywhere you look, it’s coming up Indys. And at Gulfstream Park on Sunday, the first two places in the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes were filled by Dialed In (by Mineshaft) and Sweet Ducky (Pulpit). Both are grandsons of classic winner and champion A.P. Indy, the 22-year-old son of Seattle Slew and the Secretariat mare Weekend Surprise.

Nor are Dialed In and Sweet Ducky a rarity. Day after day and week after week, sons and grandsons of 1992 Horse of the Year A.P. Indy are filling the winner’s circles of major races across the country.

And whether we think of this as the Nasrullah/Bold Ruler line or the Bold Reasoning/Seattle Slew line through A.P. Indy, the reestablishment of this male line as a major influence has been one of the important developments in breeding over the past decade and a half.

Part of this importance comes from the fact that about the time A.P. Indy became a fledgling sire of stallions, much comment was being made about how the lines of Raise a Native (especially through Mr. Prospector and Alydar) and Northern Dancer (especially through Storm Cat) were going to swamp all their competition and about how the breed would be poorer for the lack of diversity.

Then along came the tide of success that has propelled A.P. Indy to this pinnacle today.

Part of the manner of that continuing success has come from the outstanding match that A.P. Indy proved with Mr. Prospector, who is the broodmare sire of both Mineshaft and Pulpit.

And A.P. Indy (and his sons, in particular) have proven to be excellent crosses with other important lines. For instance, Dialed In is out of the mare Miss Doolittle, who is by none other than Storm Cat.

And whereas Storm Cat’s sons ruled the waves in volume over the past decade and a half, how many are still viable at the top level? Certainly Giant’s Causeway is the heir to his sire’s legacy on many fronts. And then … there is Tale of the Cat. And without being negative about it, the Storm Cat wave of influence has followed the pattern of all those that have come before it: strengthening, cresting, then flattening out.

That is the pattern already followed by the Bold Ruler branch of the Nasrullah line. First the sire, then the son seemed all powerful. And in the 1970s, the only male line that seemed to figure was Bold Ruler, except for that little matter of Raise a Native (Mr. Prospector, Alydar, Exclusive Native, Affirmed, and so forth) and then Northern Dancer (Nijinsky, Danzig, Nureyev, and, abroad, Sadler’s Wells).

The male-line influences come and go, mostly being integrated into the inner workings of pedigrees and being none the less important for that.

But the full force of A.P. Indy’s rise is expanding. First Pulpit, then Malibu Moon, and recently Pulpit’s son Tapit have put the A.P. Indy stock at the peak of success, and only last year the top freshman sire Congrats and the impressive new sire of classic prospects, Bernardini, are both sons of A.P. Indy.

Just as he did on the racecourse, A.P. Indy has answered every challenge with greater success.

His elegant and scopy son Mineshaft was much the same. Excelling in his Horse of the Year campaign at age 4, Mineshaft has sired racehorses with classic aptitude that come to hand in the spring of their 3-year-old season.

In Mineshaft’s first crop, he had Cool Coal Man, who won the Fountain of Youth, and in his third crop was Fly Down, who won the Peter Pan and ran second in the Belmont and Travers, then was third in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. While most of Mineshaft’s stock shows its form at distances from eight to 12 furlongs, the stallion’s son Discreetly Mine won the King’s Bishop at Saratoga and has joined his sire at Lane’s End for the 2011 breeding season.

Dialed In won the Holy Bull at a mile, and the good-looking colt is out of the quick mare Miss Doolittle, a daughter of champion juvenile filly Eliza (by Mt. Livermore). Allen Paulson bred Eliza from the Bold Bidder mare Daring Bidder, who produced five other stakes horses. The mare’s other top-class performer was Santa Anita Derby winner Dinard (by Paulson’s Strawberry Road).

This family has tended toward speed, but when matched with the right balance of stamina, it can produce stock worthy to challenge for the classics.

 

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