Breeding Watch: Maryland Chrome

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A lot has been made of the fact that California Chrome is a California-bred by a non-descript, California-based son of Pulpit. Much less talked about is the bottom of his pedigree that features major Maryland and Phipps family influences.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes hero’s dam is a daughter of the Maryland stalwart stallion Not For Love and his second dam is by Not For Love’s former Northview Stallion barn mate Polish Numbers. Both are closely related products of the famed Phipps-family breeding program based at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky.

Polish Numbers is by Danzig out of the famed Buckpasser mare Numbered Account while Not For Love is by Mr. Prospector out of Polish Number’s three-quarter sister Dance Number. This gives California Chrome’s dam, Love the Chase, a double of Numbered Account at 3×3.

A similar pattern exists in at least two more stakes winners produced by daughters of Not For Love.

Multiple stakes winner Great Love is out of a dam bred with Not For Love over Polish Numbers. The second dam of Starship Truffles shows Numbered Account at 3×4 as her second dam is by a son of Private Account, Numbered Account’s hugely successful sire son. That Ghostzapper filly became the first Grade 1 winner out of a Not For Love mare when she won last year’s Princess Rooney Stakes at Calder Race Course. Great Love is by another Northview stallion, Great Notion, a son of Elusive Quality.

That “house cross” was on display during Preakness weekend when Our Epiphany made her stakes debut a winning one in the Hilltop Stakes on the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes undercard. It’s worth noting that there is another stakes winner, the four-time stakes winner Starfish Bay, by Great Notion’s sire Elusive Quality out of a daughter of Not For Love.

Great Notion is inbred to Mr. Prospector at 3×4 and Not For Love mares are doing very well with a return of Mr. Prospector overall. Eight of the nine unrestricted stakes winners out of his daughters are by stallions that carry at least one strain of Mr. Prospector.

The A.P. Indy influence is also prominent. Aside from California Chrome, Not For Love mares have produced stakes winners by Flatter who, like Pulpit, is bred on the A.P. Indy-Mr. Prospector cross. Another stakes winner is by Bluegrass Cat, who is out of the A.P. Indy mare She’s a Winner, a great-granddaughter of Numbered Account.

Daughters of Forestry were also responsible for a pair of stakes winners last weekend.

Shock Hazard was best in the Gray’s Lake Stakes at Prairie Meadows Saturday night, while earlier that afternoon, Green Mask took down the Paradise Creek Stakes at Belmont Park. Those stakes wins were the first for both and they make it an even 10 stakes winners for Forestry as broodmare sire.

Green Mask is the 33rd stakes winner for Juddmonte Farms’ very solid Cozzene stallion Mizzen Mast. Gray’s Lake is the fourth stakes winner for second-crop sire Dunkirk, a son of Unbridled’s Song who stands at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud. That’s also the latest strike for the Fappiano-Forestry combination that has been effective on both sides of the pedigree in recent years – including 2011 Preakness winner Shackleford.

Stallion of the Week

Lane’s End Farm’s Smart Strike was a big factor in the Preakness Day stakes at Pimlico.

The well-traveled Utley, a 6-year-old son of Smart Strike, broke through with his first stakes score in the Grade 2 Dixie Stakes. Another son of Smart Strike, the 2013 multiple stakes winner Chamois, picked up the show money in that event while making his seasonal debut.

Earlier on the card, the rising 3-year-old Class Leader earned his first stakes victory in the Sir Barton for the Farish family’s Lane’s End Racing. And for good measure, the Smart Strike 5-year-old Smoking Sun was runner-up in the Group 1 Singapore Airlines International Cup the following day.

Utley is the latest success on the Smart Strike-Nureyev sire-line cross.

Smart Strike is the sire of two more listed winners out of daughters of Nureyev, from nine starters. He has also sired the multiple Grade 1 winner and champion English Channel out of a daughter of Nureyev’s successful sire son Theatrical.

Another Smart Strike son, Curlin, is also getting in on the act. Curlin’s leading runner so far is 2013 Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice, who is out of a mare by the Theatrical stallion Royal Anthem.

Class Leader is Smart Strike’s first stakes winner from six starters out of daughters of the Roberto stallion Kris S. However, Smart Strike has sired stakes winners out of mares by other Roberto sons, namely Silver Hawk and Red Ransom.

Matt O’Neil is a freelance writer and pedigree consultant based in Chicago. A former editor of Owner-Breeder International, his work has also appeared in numerous publications that include The Blood-Horse MarketWatch, The Florida Horse and Keeneland Magazine. He is currently marketing and social media coordinator for Adena Springs Farm and a partner in the fantasy horse racing game