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Blame (2006 b by Arch x Liable, by Seeking the Gold)

Claiborne $35,000

With his first two mares covered confirmed in foal this week, Blame is continuing his new career with the quiet and untroubled success he demonstrated during his seasons on the track.

Neither a star at 2 nor a Triple Crown colt at 3, Blame did not catch the headlines of many in his age group until his continued victories propelled him to be one of the contenders in the division among older horses last year. Then victory in the Whitney over Quality Road put the bay son of Arch at the top of the tree.

Blame stubbed his toe in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, when Haynesfield got awful brave on the lead, and Blame didn’t manage to run down the chestnut son of Distorted Humor Speightstown.

That set the stage for Blame to be almost overlooked in the buildup to the BC Classic, when all eyes and news outlets were focused on Zenyatta. So Blame earned more fame in the last two minutes of his racing career than he found in the preceding two years. No fault of his; that’s just how it worked out.

A really handsome horse, Blame is the type to be of great interest to breeders. The son of Arch stands over a lot of ground, has plenty of bone with well-defined tendons, is neither coarse nor gross in body type, and has the scope that made him a natural 10-furlong horse.

In physical type, he shows much more the influence of Buckpasser through his broodmare sire Seeking the Gold, a son of Mr Prospector out of Buckpasser mare Con Game.

I was expecting more evidence of Kris S and Hail to Reason in the horse’s physique, judging from the power Blame showed on the racetrack, but he is much more finesse and finely tuned precision in the flesh. He has a very good head with a game, bold eye, and the quality from Seeking the Gold and Buckpasser shines through.

Also, Blame has a great pedigree. On top, the family is the great Helen Alexander/King Ranch female line from Courtly Dee (by Never Bend) through her champion daughter Althea (by Alydar). Seeking the Gold comes from one of the several great Phipps families, this through Broadway, dam also of champion Queen of the Stage and her very high-class brother Reviewer (both by Bold Ruler). And the bottom line is Claiborne’s own Rough Shod through Thong, Special, Bound, and Liable.


Since standing Thong’s full brother Ridan in the mid-1960s, Claiborne has stood only one stallion from this family: the Northern Dancer horse Topsider from the branch of Rough Shod through her daughter Gambetta.

In selecting mares for Blame, he will move up mares needing quality. He would be assisted by mares with more speed, which never goes out of fashion, and lines complimentary to the families above (say Forty Niner, Northern Dancer, Caro) could add some spark to the resulting offspring.