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The winner of last weekend’s Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont was Alternation (b c 2008 by Distorted Humor x Alternate, by Seattle Slew). The promising colt is the fourth generation of this family to race for Josephine Abercrombie’s Pin Oak Stud.

That in itself is uncommon these days. The great breeder operations who produced generations of racers have mostly been lost to the sport. But Pin Oak is one of those that has stayed the course … and reaped the harvest.

Alternation is the third foal and second highly talented athlete out of Alternate, one of the later stakes winners by the great Seattle Slew. Alternate is also one of handful of grays by Seattle Slew, all out of gray mares of course. In Alternate’s case, the color comes from her dam Strike a Balance (by Green Dancer) and second dam Strike a Pose, a daughter of the gray stallion Iron Ruler.

This is one of the best producing families at Pin Oak, and Alternate is one of four daughters of Strike a Balance who has produced a graded stakes winner.

Alternate’s produce record follows:

1st Dam: ALTERNATE, gr/ro, 1999. Bred by Pin Oak Stud, LLC (KY). Raced 3 yrs in NA, 23 sts, 6 wins, $550,695 (ssi = 9.85). Won Go For Wand S., Robert G. Dick Mem Breeders’ Cup H., Robert G. Dick Memorial B C Hcp.; 2nd Monmouth Breeders’ Cup Oaks (gr. 2), Bewitch S. (gr. 3), Delaware Oaks (gr. 3), New Castle Handicap, Susan’s Girl Breeders’ Cup S.; 3rd Glens Falls Handicap (gr. 3), Hillsborough S. (gr. 3).

2006: Elision, b f, by Elusive Quality. Raced 3 yrs in NA, 14 sts, 4 wins, $203,651 (ssi = 4.42).
2007: Take Turns, gr/ro c, by Seeking The Gold. Raced 3 yrs in NA, 5 sts, 1 win, $30,060 (ssi = 1.68).
2008: ALTERNATION.
At 3: Won Peter Pan S. (gr. 2).
2009: Quick Change, b c, by Awesome Again. Unraced in NA, Eng, and Fr.
2010: Unnamed foal, dk b/ f, by Giant’s Causeway.
2011: Unnamed foal, f, by Broken Vow.

In foal to Candy Ride.

Broodmare sire: SEATTLE SLEW, dkbbr, 1974-2002. Sire of 485 dams of 2802 foals, 2144 rnrs (77%), 1464 wnrs (52%), 419 2yo wnrs (15%), 208 sw (7%).

2nd Dam: Strike A Balance, gr/ro, 1983. Bred by Pin Oak Farm (KY). Raced 1 yr in NA, 3 sts, 2 wins, $30,720 (ssi = 10.11). Dam of PEAKS AND VALLEYS (c, Mt. Livermore. $1,589,270, Champion 3yo colt in Canada, Horse of the Year In Canada. Won Meadowlands Cup (gr. 1), Molson Export Million (gr. 1), Illinois Derby (gr. 2), Derby Trial (gr. 3), Cradle Stakes; 2nd Lafayette S. (gr. 3), Saratoga Cup (gr. 3), Col. R. S. McLaughlin S.; 3rd Whitney Handicap (gr. 1), Kentucky Jockey Club S. (gr. 3)).

With earnings of more than a half-million and a standard starts index of nearly 10, Alternate is one of the best mares not to win a graded stakes. She’s on her way to proving it as a producer.

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