Ingenious nick for Spend a Buck = Einstein (Brz)


Brazilian-bred Einstein’s Big Cap win Saturday (click here for the chart) was a reminder of his late sire’s incredible turnaround at stud once he was sent to Brazil. Actually, Kentucky Derby winner and Horse of the Year Spend a Buck was shuttled to Brazil for the 1997 and 1998 Southern Hemisphere seasons, and he was sold for good in 2001. Spend a Buck died at age 20 in Brazil in 2002, the year Einstein was foaled.  He’s represented by a remarkable 12 Group 1 winners — each one of them with a South American connection. Four of them won Grade 1 races in the US.

Before his forays into Brazil, Spend a Buck, a son of the Buckpasser stallion Buckaroo, started off with great promise at Lane’s End in 1986. His first crop was foaled in 1987 and got to the races in 1989. What he didn’t have was the requisite Grade 1 winner off the bat — actually, he didn’t get one for a long time — and after a few years it became obvious that he was moderate. For the 1995 season, he was sent packing to McDermott Ranch in Texas, where he covered mares through the 1998 season — including the two Southern Hemisphere seasons in Brazil.

For the 1999 season, Spend a Buck was on the move again like an aging minor leaguer, this time to Red River Farms in Louisiana, where he covered mares through the 2001 season. He was then sold to stand at Haras Bage do Sul in Brazil, where he covered mares on Southern Hemisphere time in 2001. It was then that Einstein was conceived — in his penultimate crop — and the genius of this move was about to be discovered.

Spend a Buck, it turns out, had a thing for the South American fillies, and you can say it was in his genes. His Buckpasser sire line was on its deathbed here — the mare population didn’t seem to fit the line — but it was alive down south, especially in Argentina, through Logical and Egg Toss.

Spend a Buck’s first Group 1 winner, the 1990 US-bred Clausen Export, came in Brazil, and his second, the 1993 US-bred and raced Antespend, was produced from an Argentine-bred mare. Spend a Buck’s only other US-bred Group 1 winner was the 1995 Black Coffey, a Group 1 winner in Peru.

Now here’s the remarkable part: Spend a Buck sired 9 Group 1 winners in Brazil from four crops, and 6 of the 9, including Einstein, were produced from Ghadeer (Fr) mares. Ghadeer is a son of Lyphard and was a dominant stallion in Brazil for almost two decades at Fazenda Mondesir — the breeder of Einstein. There are, of course, many other Group 2, 3, and Listed winners from Ghadeer mares, but I’m including only the Group 1 winners. You can click on each horse to view the pedigree, and you’ll note that another Fazenda Mondesir stallion, Waldmeister, is frequently featured on the bottom of the Ghadeer mares:

Irish Lover


Jockey’s Dream

L’Amico Steve

Forever Buck

Investors Dream

US Grade 1 winners Pico Central and Hard Buck and Brazilian Group 1 winner Hatif are his only Brazilian-bred Group 1 winners from non-Ghadeer mares.

Click here to see another post with a photo of Ghadeer.

Ingenious nick for Spend a Buck = Einstein (Brz)

12 thoughts on “Ingenious nick for Spend a Buck = Einstein (Brz)

  1. This does illustrate how difficult it is to define a stallion as
    “good” or “bad” without reference to the quality of his mares, and to what degree the mares bred to him have an affinity.

    From a statistical viewpoint, it’s extremely difficult to seperate the two. A stallion may have a lower percentage of stakes with his mares than all the other stallions those mares have been bred to, but to what degree that reflects the a stallion being “good” or “bad” and to what degree it reflects his affinity to the mares he has covered is hard to determine.

    What we call a “good” stallion is really one that has an affinity with a high proportion of mares to which he is bred (or a very strong affinity with a smaller proportion of mares, so tending to get “the big horse” but be less consistent) – although I’d admit that the terms “good” and “having a high affinity for a wide range of mares” are effectively the same if view subjectively by the breeder or owner.

    In isolation, “good” would really refer to a set of desirable characteristics for which the sire is dominant and passes on consistently, irrespective of his mare.

    One has to wonder how often a stallion has been negatively impacted by a wrong perception of his likely affinitis. One example might be Forestry, who on paper, looked a very good cross for Mr. Prospector line mares, but who’se proved, Fappiano line apart, not to be well-suited by the cross in general.

    All of this is one reason, why I strove to create something that would examine a cross relative to how a sire did with all other mares, as wells as how his mares did with all other stallions – it does at least look at the situation from two different perspectives.

    In the case of Spend A Buck, it’s not surprising that his strike rate has been helped by the good runners he has had out of Ghadeer mares – the cross had a very modest strike rate (Spend a Buck with all other mares) to improve on, but we can also confirm that the cross has substantial improved on what one imagines were a good group of Ghadeer mares (they’ve done 3.5 times as well when bred to Spend a Buck as with all other stallions). So, we can confirm it’s benefit from both viewpoints. It does also show that a cross can be tried numerous times (27 starters, I think) without necessarily loosing its effectiveness in statistical terms.

    Ironically, had fashion caused Spend A Buck to be exported to South America at the start of his stud career (a la Sunday Silence to Japan), he might have enjoyed great success, with some of his runners coming up to win big races in the U.S. He’d have then been imported with great fanfare (like Roy, Southern Halo, Candy Stripes, Hussonet, etc.), only to disappoint. “Good” stallions, “Bad” stallions, or stallions that suited specific genetic/geographic environments?

    Incidentally, Spend a Buck had a somewhat recessive pedigree, and he might have done better in the U.S. with matings that reinforced some of his genetic strengths. We actually planned the mating for his first graded winner, Worth Avenue, who had strong reinforcement of the background of Buckaroo (sire of Spend a Buck)….or maybe we just got lucky!

  2. There are many examples of stallions that needed the right racing enviornment and the right types of mares by pedigree and physical type to succeed — as well as the reverse. Zamindar stood for $3,000 in Florida and did nothing, but in Europe he was the leading sire in France in 2008 and the sire of the Arc winner Zarkava; the opposite is Forty Niner, successful in the US but not effective in Japan.

  3. D. Masters says:

    Wow! Some excellent posts about breeding and utilization. I have always believed that the heart of a magnificent horse can be read in competent hands and be mishandled or abused in very many famous hands. The gift of the horse and it’s potential is, unfortunately in the hands of the humans. They (horses) don’t fail us…the humans that are in charge of them do.

    Look at how many broodmares have little to no race record or sires that came from nowhere and have winners. A good horse, a special horse in the right hands will do right.

    Stop the cheap, quick race game…focus and train with committment. You’ll find them. They are there with patience and dedication. Give them time!

  4. joe says:

    I would like to know what current american broodmare lines Einstein might match with? It seems to me that his well published “versitility” could be attractive but how do you capture his brilliance in the offspring? Would he be better appreciated and represented in South America, like his sire, or in the US or Europe?

  5. joe, that’s a question that would require a lot of research and I’d hate to say something off the top of my head….the Buckpasser sire line is dead here, but who’s to say Einstein couldn’t bring it back? On the other hand, he’d probably have commercial problems here and he’d be up against it in Europe.

  6. jake says:

    i have a spend a buck mare (buckpasser close up in the female line as well). she was a moderate winner at fair grounds and would love to hear recommendations for an american stallion for her.

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