Pulses are quickening in Kentucky and elsewhere around the country because now and in the near future, farms are being blessed with the births of the first foals by top young sire prospects like classic winner and Horse of the Year California Chrome (by Lucky Pulpit), 2015 champion 2-year-old colt and 2016 Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist (Uncle Mo), 2016 Preakness Stakes Exaggerator (Curlin), champion European 2-year-old Air Force Blue (War Front), champion turf horse Flintshire (Dansili), champion sprinter Runhappy (Super Saver), and multiple G1 winner Frosted (Tapit), who had the highest entering stud fee of any sire in 2017.
Of those seven, two descend from Raise a Native / Native Dancer in male line: Exaggerator (Curlin – Smart Strike – Mr. Prospector) and Runhappy (Super Saver – Maria’s Mon – Wavering Monarch – Majestic Light – Majestic Prince). Two descend from the Danzig branch of the Northern Dancer male line: Air Force Blue and Flintshire.
And the especially intriguing factor is that the other three come from the Nasrullah line. California Chrome and Frosted hail from the A.P. Indy branch of this fabled sire line through different sons of Pulpit, and the third is Nyquist, who is the latest premium performer in an outlier male line descending through Caro and his high-class juvenile son Siberian Express to the superb older horse In Excess, his best son Indian Charlie, and leading sire Uncle Mo.
A principal reason that the rising fortune of the Nasrullah line is of interest lies in the fact that a generation ago, more than a few observers would have consigned the line to the scrap heap.
The line was striving to find a place in Europe through the good services of Blushing Groom, but in the States, the Bold Ruler tribe, which had held sway through the 1960s and much of the 1970s, had experienced a precipitate decline and was generally considered “yesterday’s news” in breeding circles.
The development of Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew as a premier sire, although many thought he was not the most likely candidate for such honors, breathed life and sustenance into the line through those lean years when everything Raise a Native and Northern Dancer was the rage.
Seattle Slew’s best son A.P. Indy added further stature to the line with his own successes on the racetrack and as a leading sire. Stallion sons of A.P. Indy became almost commonplace, and his high-class son Pulpit guaranteed the line further glory with three-time leading sire Tapit, as well as two-time classic winner California Chrome, who is a grandson of Pulpit.
In addition, leading sires like Bernardini, Congrats, Flatter, Malibu Moon, and Mineshaft continue to spread A.P. Indy’s influence through the breed to good effect. And the young sire Honor Code is one of the country’s most promising stallions, with his first crop now being yearlings.
This line’s beneficial qualities for speed and stamina, classic quality and soundness, as well as a hearty appreciation for racing on dirt courses, all appear factors that will help its future grow bright and continue as a primary factor in American breeding.