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Rommy Faversham on the Rasmussen Factor

Published in the Thoroughbred Record on April 7, 2001

INBREEDING TO SUPERIOR FEMALE LINES

THE PERFORMANCE OF THE RASMUSSEN FACTOR IN 2000

by Rommy Faversham

For a method to be beneficial, it must lead to the desired condition more often than when it is not applied. For Thoroughbred breeders and their associates in the business mainly to sell, the priority of breeding to fashionable stallions is one rather obvious way to generate higher financial profits. Here, though, the goal of maximizing market value can sometimes supersede the objective of issuing the highest possible rate of superior individuals. For those who breed to race, there is no such paradox. Any method that increases the likelihood of getting superior racehorses and producers should well be considered. The issue, then, is really what systems are truly valid. This can only be determined by a sufficient analysis of the appropriate data. Breeding theories that are supported by no more than some hand-picked anecdotal evidence are very questionable in their future predictive value. Some of these have even become popular within the industry despite being inconsistent with proven and basic principles of Mendelian genetics. Still other approaches fail to appreciate that their nuance has become virtually ubiquitous throughout the breed and, therefore, of no particular merit as well.

The most valuable breeding strategies are those that have been properly tested over time and have, indeed, shown to outperform their collective opportunities. One such method that has demonstrated a unique proficiency across the entire spectrum of Thoroughbred lines since the origin of the breed is female family inbreeding (FFI). This has all been documented in our book, Inbreeding to Superior Females, by this author and Leon Rasmussen, published in 1999.

To evaluate this distinct pattern, the extended pedigrees of a large sampling of the collective and contemporary American Th oroughbred population were examined. The results showed that only about 4.0% are inbred to a female ancestor through different individuals within the first five generations (through the cross of full or half siblings within the first four generations of the pedigree). This assignment of inbreeding has come to be known as the Rasmussen Factor (RF). The 4% figure serves as a baseline to help judge the value of the RF.

Previously in this column (Bloodstock Topics, THOROUGHBRED TIMES, August 14, 1999), we surveyed U.S. graded stakes winner during the first half of 1999 and found that 11% demonstrated female family inbreeding (FFI) within five generations. This represented a significant share when compared to the 4% for the general population of runners. These articles update the book's basic premise that FFI outperforms its opportunities in the production of superior individuals.

This past year has been another completed time window that illustrates the advantages of inbreeding to female families. Table I is a list of the U.S. Graded Stakes Winners demonstrating the Rasmussen Factor in 2000. Over this period, there were 320 total individual graded stakes winners. As shown in Table 2, the 25 individuals with the RF represented 7.8% of the total number of graded stakes winners, almost twice the 4% of the general population. At the same time, there were 79 individual Grade 1 winners in 2000 and 8 of these (10.1%) demonstrated female family inbreeding within five generations.

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TABLE 1

2000 U.S GRADED STAKES WINNERS DEMONSTRATING
FEMALE FAMILY INBREEDING WITHIN FIVE GENERATIONS

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Graded Stakes Winner           Sire-Dam                   Inbreeding Pattern     2000 Graded Stakes Victories

ALLEN'S OOP    Nines Wild-Silhouette My Dear Girl 5X4         New Orleans H. {G3}
CAFFE LATTE     Seattle Dancer-Debbie's Next    Almahmoud 5X4       Ramona H. {G1T}
Santa Barbara H. {G2T}
CASH RUN  Seeking The Gold-Shared Interest  Sequence 4X4  Davona Dale S . {G2}
Bonnie Miss S. {G2}
DEPLOY VENTURE Deploy-Tasseled  Lalun 5X5         Golden Gate H.{G3T }
EUCHRE  Personal Flag-Solid Eight Pocahontas 5X4    Bel Air H. {G2}
FANTASTIC LIGHT Rahy-Jood Almahmoud 5X5  Man O' War S. {G1T}
FICTITIOUS   Machiavellian-Trying For Gold  Natalma 4X4 De La Rose H. {G3}
GAVIOLA  Cozzene-Forest Key     Blue Canoe 4X4  Garden City B.C. H. {G1T}
Lake Placid H. {G2T}
Herecomesthebride S. {G3T}
Sands Point S. {G3T}
GOLDEN MISSILE  A.P. Indy-Santa Catalina Imperatrice 5X5    Pimlico Special {G1 }
Stephen Foster H. (G2)
 HOPE  Jolie's Halo-Mia's Hope Cosmah 3X5    Florida Derby {G1}
Holy Bull S. {G3}
HERITAGE OF GOLD  Gold Legend-Lyphard Gal  Glamour 5X5  Apple Blossom H. {G1}
Go For Wand H. {G 1}
Louisville Breeders' Cup H.{G2}
Oaklawn Breeders' Cup S. {G3}
Fleur de Lis H. (G3}
HYMN     Fairy King-Handsewn Thong 4X2  Hawthorne Derby {G3T}
LICENSE FEE Black Tie Affair-Star Deputy  High Voltage 5X4  Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup H.{G3}
MR. LIVINGSTON El Prado-Vienna Knickers Gaga 5X5       Palm Beach S. {G3T}
PEACH FLAT Cari Jill Hajji-Unsaddled   Nasco & Bold Ruler 4X4  All American H. (G3)
PENNY BLUES  Pentelicus-Milagro Blue  Aspidistra 5X4X5    Santa Ynez S. {G2}
RIZE  Theatrical-Capagnarde    Ruta 4X5      Iselin H. {G2}
SHOW ME THE STAGE  Slew the Surgeon-Showtime   Lady Albany Isle 5X4  Las Flores H. {G3}
& Count Fleet Sprint H. {G3}
SON OF A PISTOL Big Pistol-Mood Swing  Traffic Court 5X5   San Carlos H. {G2}
STARTAC     Theatrical-Tenga  Pange 4X4 Generous S. {G3T}
TIPPITY WITCH Affirmed-Senora Tippy  Exclusive 3X4   Martha Washington S. {G3T}
TRANQUILITY LAKE Rahy-Winters' Love   Almahmoud 5X5   Yellow Ribbon S. {G1T}
Palomar H. {G3T}
UNITE'S BIG RED Unite-Tropical Royalty Plum Cake 4X4 Mac Diarmida H. (G3T)
WADE FOR ME Western Playboy-Waders Summer Hut 4X4   Modesty H. {G3T}
WHITE HEART Green Desert-Barari   Almahmoud 5X5   Charlie Whittingham H. {G1T}

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TABLE 2

Total number of of U.S. Graded Stakes Winners in 2000: 320

U.S. Graded Stakes Winners with FFI within 5 generations: 25 (7.8%)

Total number of U.S. Grade One Stakes Winners in 2000: 79

U.S. Grade One Stakes Winners with FFI within 5 generations: 8 (10.1%)

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One of the key features of Table I is the wide array of inbreeding patterns demonstrated by these successful individuals. In fact, during the course of our studies, we have never come across a consistently reproducible female family inbreeding pattern that was not deemed successful. In 2000, the 25 U.S. graded stakes winners with the RF were inbred to 20 different families. The only family represented by a multiple number was that of Almahmoud and her daughters, Natalma and Cosmah.

It's also worth noting that a number of these horses are quite modestly bred with their sire's stud fee falling well below $10,000. Additionally, the above table, and our overall work in general, fail to show any propensity toward any particular sex, distance or track surface.

           
        Nasrullah   Nearco-Mumtaz Begum
      Red God    
        Spring Run Menow-Boola Brook
    Blushing Groom      
        Wild Risk   Rialto-Wild Violet
      Runaway Bride    
        Aimee       Tudor Minstrel-Emali
  Rahy        
        Hail To Reason   Turn-to-Nothirdchance
      Halo    
        Cosmah Cosmic Bomb-Almahmoud
    Glorious Song      
        Herbager   Vandale-Flagette
      Ballade    
        Miss Swapsco   Cohoes-Soaring
FANTASTIC LIGHT          
        Nearctic   Nearco-Lady Angela
      Northern Dancer    
        Natalma  Native Dancer-Almahmoud
    Nijinsky II      
        Bull Page Bull Lea-Our Page
      Flaming Page    
        Flaring Top  Menow-Flaming Top
  Jood        
        Graustark      Ribot-Flower Bowl
      Key to the Mint    
        Key Bridge  Princequillo-Blue Banner
    Kamar      
        Quadrangle Cohoes-Tap Day
      Square Angel    

 

 

 

 

Nangela      

Nearctic-Angela's Niece

Another way to study the effect of female family inbreeding is to look at a sire's progeny as a whole. Rahy's latest stakes star is Fantastic Light who recently captured the second annual Emirates World Series Racing Championship and a million dollar bonus when annexing the Hong Kong Cup (HK-1).

It's probably more than a coincidence that, so far, four of Rahy's five Grade I Winners have demonstrated the RF. Rahy's broodmare sire was Halo who shared the same grand-dam as Northern Dancer. When Rahy has been sent mares out of sons of Northern Dancer, the result has been inbreeding 5X5 to the great matriarch, Almahmoud. Serena's Song, Fantastic Light, Tranquility Lake and Exotic Wood, all multiple Grade/Group 1 winners, were out of mares by Northfields, Nijinsky II, Danzig and Dixieland Band, respectively (all sons of Northern Dancer). Many of Rahy's other top stakes winners were out of Northern Dancer-line broodmares.

It is, in fact, rather common to observe a disproportionate number of a sire's best (and richest) offspring demonstrating female family inbreeding. For example, in the 2001 Thoroughbred Times Stallion Directory, there are a total of 117 studs that have sired at least 10 stakes winners. Twelve of these (more than 10%) are represented by their richest stakes winner who demonstrates FFI within five generations. They are listed in Table 3. Again we see a broad spectrum of patterns that transcend sireline and stud fee. Many others with the RF are amongst their sire's top five earners.

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TABLE 3

STALLIONS WHOSE RICHEST STAKES WINNER DEMONSTRATES

FEMALE FAMILY INBREEDING WITHIN FIVE GENERATIONS

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Stallion                                       Sire's Richest Stakes Winner         Inbreeding Pattern

A. P. INDY

Golden Missile  

 Imperatrice 5X5

CAHILL ROAD

Mi Vereda                                             

 My Dear Girl 5X3

DEPOSIT TICKET

Swearingen     

 Almahmoud 5X5

KINGMAMBO

El Condor Pasa  

 Special & Lisadell 4X4X3

LEO CASTELLI     

Da Devil  

 Almahmoud 5X4

NOTEBOOK

Three Rings  

Cap and Bells & Dunce     3X4

OUT OF PLACE

Certain    

 Exclusive 5X5

POLISH NAVY                            

Sea Hero 

 La Troienne 5X5

RAHY     

Serena's Song 

 Almahmoud 5X5

STALWART  

Stalwars    

 Pocahontas 4X4

SUMMER SQUALL 

Charismatic  

 Somethingroyal 4X4

WOODMAN   

Hishi Akebono    

 Glamour 4X5

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TABLE 4

2000 EUROPEAN GROUP STAKES WINNERS DEMONSTRATING
FEMALE FAMILY INBREEDING WITHIN FIVE GENERATIONS

Group SW                 Sire-Dam                                              Inbreeding Pattern             2000 Group Stakes Victories

BARATHEA GUEST 

Barathea-Western Heights

Lalun 5X5

Greenham S. { G3}

BEAT HOLLOW

Sadler's Wells-Wemyss Bight

Lalun 4X5 

Grand Prix De Paris {G1}

BEST OF THE BESTS

Machiavellian-Sueboog  

Natalma 4X5 

 Prix Guillaume D”Ornano {G2}

BLUEMAMBA

Kingmambo-Black Penny 

Natalma 5X4 

 Poule D'Essai Des Pouliches {G1}

COUNT DUBOIS  

Zafonic-Madame Dubois

Somethingroyal 5X5 

 Gran Criterium {G1}

CRIMPLENE

Lion Cavern-Crimson Conquest 

Mixed Marriage 4X5

Irish 1,000 Guineas {G1}
Coronation S. {G1}
Nassau S. {G1}  
Hen Lkel-Rennen {G2}

DALIAPOUR   

Sadler's Wells-Dalara

Lalun 4X5

Coronation Cup {G1}
Ormonde S. {G3}

DANEHURST

Danehill-Miswaki Belle   

Natalma 4X4X5 

Cornwallis S. {G3}

ENDLESS HALL 

Saddlers' Hall-Endless Joy

Special & Lisadell 4X4

Gran Premio Di Milano {G1}
Scottish Classic { G3}

GREEN MINSTREL  

Green Tune-Shy Minstrel 

Flaming Page 4X4 

Prix D'Aumale {G3}

HIDALGUIA 

Barathea-Halesia

Somethingroyal 5X5 

Prix de Psyche {G3}

INDIAN DANEHILL 

Danehill-Danse Indienne

Natalma 4X4X5 

Prix Ganay {G1}
Prix D’Harcourt {G3}

INDIAN LODGE  

Grand Lodge-Repetitious 

Little Hut 4X3

Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (G1)
Prix De La Foret {G1}
Earl of Sefton S. {G3}
KLM UK Mile {G2}

KING CHARLEMAGNE

Nureyev-Race The Wild Wind 

Almahmoud 4X5   

Somerville Tattersall S. {G3}

MEDICEAN 

Machiavellian A-Mystic Goddess 

Natalma 4X4

Celebration Mile {G2}

MINARDI      

Boundary-Yarn   

Round Table & Monarchy 4X4

 Phoenix S. {G1}
Middle Park S. {G1}

NO EXCUSE NEEDED   

Machiavellian-Nawajet

Natalma 4X5

Vintage S. {G3}

NOVERRE

Rahy-Danseur Fabuleux

Almahmoud 5X4

Champagne S. {G2}
July S. (G3}

PROUDWINGS 

Dashing Blade-Peraja   

Women's Legion 5X5

Premio Sergio Cumani {G3}

PUNTILLA 

Acatenango-Prada

Aggravate 2X5 

 Preis Der Diana {G2}

ROMANTIC MYTH

Mind Games- My First Romance 

Natalma 5X5X5  

Queen Mary S. {G3}

ROYAL REBEL  

Robellino-Greenvera 

Monarchy & Round Table 4X4 

Goodwood Cup {G2}
Lonsdale S. {G2}

SAKHEE

Riverman-Thawakib

Lalun 3X5 

Dante S. {G2}
Thresher Classic Trial {G3}

SAYEDAH    

 Darshaan-Balaabel   

Lalun 5X5

Rockfel S. {G2}

SEQUOYAH   

Sadler's Wells-Brigid   

Lalun 4X5

Moy Ěglare Stud S. {G1}

SUBTLE POWER 

Sadler's Wells-Mosaique Bleue  

Lalun 4X5

King Edward VII S. {G2}

TOBOUGG 

Barathea-Lacovia     

Somethingroyal 5X4

Prix De La Salamandre {G1}
Dewhurst S. {G1}

WELLBEING   

Sadler's Wells-Charming Life           

Special 3X4  

St. Simon S. {G3}

WINS FICTION

Platini-Win Hands Down  

Little Hut 5X4

Betty Barclay Rennen {G3}

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TABLE 5

Total number of of European Group Stakes Winners in 2000: 240

European Group Stakes Winners with FFI within 5 generations: 29 (12.1%)

Total number of European Group One Winners in 2000: 56

European Group One Winners with FFI within 5 generations: 11 (19.6%)

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Thoroughbreds demonstrating female family inbreeding were also very well represented in Europe last year. Table 4 is a list of European Group Stakes Winners demonstrating the Rasmussen Factor in 2000. Over this period, there were 240 total individual Group winners. As shown in Table 5, the 29 individuals with the RF represented 12.1% of the total. At the same time, there were 56 individual Group 1 winners in 2000 and 11 of these (19.6%) demonstrated female family inbreeding within five generations. í

These 29 European Group winners were inbred to a total of 10 different families. Nine individuals were inbred to Almahmoud or her daughter, Natalma. Another seven were inbred to the matriarch, Lalun. This latter pattern is becoming increasingly prominent as the male lines of Sadler's Wells and Never Bend are crossed. This inbreeding is generated since Lalun is the dam of both Never Bend and Bold Reason, the broodmare sire of Sadler's Wells. This is demonstrated in the pedigree of Group b 1 winner, Daliapour.

 

 

 

 

Nearco   

Pharos-Nogara

 

 

 

Nearctic

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lady Angela

Hyperion-Sister Sarah

 

 

Northern Dancer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Native Dancer  

Polynesian-Geisha

 

 

 

Natalma

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almahmoud 

 Mahmoud-Arbitrator

 

Sadler's Wells

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hail To Reason   

Turn-to-Nothirdchance

 

 

 

Bold Reason

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lalun 

Djeddah-Be Faithful Fairy Bridge

 

 

Fairy Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forli   

Aristophanes-Trevisa

 

 

 

Special

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thong   

Nantallah-Rough Shod II

DALIAPOUR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Never Bend

Nasrullah-Lalun

 

 

 

Mill Reef

 

 

 

 

 

 

Milan Mill 

Princequillo-Virginia Water

 

 

Doyoun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kashmir II 

Tudor Melody-Queen of Speed

 

 

 

Dumka

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faizebad 

Prince Taj-Floralie

 

Dalara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arbar 

Djebel-Astronomie

 

 

 

Abdos

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pretty Lady 

Umidwar-La Moquese

 

 

Delsy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Venture 

Relic-Rose O'Lynn

 

 

 

Kelty

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marilla 

Marsyas II-Albanilla

Finally, in Japan, there were a total of 85 individual Group winners in 2000. Ten of these, or 11.8% demonstrated female family inbreeding within five generations. The majority were the offspring of Sunday Silence (a son of Halo) out of Northern Dancer-line mares.

Throughout much of Thoroughbred history, the development of superior male and female lines have followed pathways in which complementary family strains have been crossed.

This has often gone unrecognized as most individuals in our many racing and breeding environments have lacked such inbreeding patterns.

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Rommy Faversham is a pedigree writer and analyst living in Los Angeles. He is co-author of the recently published book, Inbreeding to Superior Females. His Web site is located at http://www.equicross.com

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The Book which is a joint project of Leon Rasmussen and Rommy Faversham is required reading for anyone who enjoys studying about breeding thoroughbred horses.