Oxbow’s color discussed on Byk show

Frances J. Karon, editor of North American Trainer and blogger at Running Rough Shod, brought to my attention Preakness winner Oxbow’s interesting coat color (to the naked eye “roan,” but officially registered as “bay”) as she photographed him during Derby week (see her photo below).  As it relates to heritability, his is a curious case. For the Jockey Club to register a grey or roan thoroughbred, one of its parents must also be of the same color. This is not the case with Oxbow. His sire, Awesome Again, is a bay, while his dam, Tizamazing, is a dark bay. However, Oxbow was listed as a “grey or roan” yearling in the Keeneland sales catalog, but his papers reflect the rules of science.

Food for thought: What happens if he starts siring grey foals in the future?

Listen to my discussion of Oxbow’s pedigree and color on Steve Byk’s show from Thursday, May 23 (first hour).

oxbow 26apr13

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7 thoughts on “Oxbow’s color discussed on Byk show”

  1. As you know Sid the gray and roan genes are two different alleles, which is why the Jockey Club’s “gray or roan” designation is so totally wrong and misleading. If Oxbow is gray (theoretically impossible), he’ll get whiter as he ages. If he has a stray roan gene (possible) or just some white hairs mixed in (some kind of blending gene?) his coloring will not change with age.

  2. This is fascinating because to the eye, Oxbow is “gray” as we know it in Thoroughbreds and should get lighter, as John said. This was observable to the eyes of the Keeneland inspectors for the yearling sales, who obviously marked him as such. Could he have been misregistered as a foal who was extremely dark but then began graying out?
    Frank

    http://fmitchell07.wordpress.com

  3. What I suspect happened on his catalogue page, Frank, is that the consignor who sold him as a yearling changed his color on the proof from bay to gray or roan. There’s no correction on his TJC registration, completed when he was a weanling, because TJC would have never registered him as a gr/ro. I imagine young Oxbow caused a stir on the sales grounds with the team who checks all the horses against their papers. Secondary, of course, to the hullaballoo created when we had a “colt” who turned out to be a filly, contrary to registration papers, one Keeneland November sale.

  4. Oxbow is not a grey, that is clear. The consigner probably just assumed he was greying out and changed the page info. He has always been that color. Except for some Catch A Bird daughters and their progeny in Australia true “roan” does not exist in the American TB and neither parent is a true roan in any case so that is also impossible. What displays is roaning or ticking which could be related to rabicano but he lacks the flank concentration and skunk tail pattern typical of that pattern. So what he has to be is one of the many gene mutations that we used to call “sabino” and have now been classified by their different mutations. Normally horses with this pattern have more white markings (like his dam) but some horses only have roaning. His sire has body ticking and his dam is quite flashy so it may be possible the two combined boosted his color expression. A new true roan mutation is technically possible but would be very rare. It would be interesting if one of the genetic labs doing Dominant White research would do a DNA profile on him.

  5. Interesting to know what the 2013 colt by the grey Unbridled’s Song looks like. The dam is by Cee’s Tizzy (registered grey/roan), so maybe she was mis-registered.

    Both the sire and the dam have War Relic, and his background produced some interesting color schemes. I’ve got a rabicano riding horse here out of a Cox’s Ridge mare. Cox’s Ridge got a lot of those color schemes. His granddam, Corday, is by Carrier Pigeon (registered as chestnut roan), and she has Friar Rock and Man o’War combined – duplicating Rock Sand/Fairy Gold – as does War Relic, I think Eight Thirty, by Pilate (a son of Friar Rock, out of a mare by the oddly-colored “spotted wonder”, The Tetrarch) with a second dam by Man o’War, might have been chestnut with black spots.

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