There have been several informative and interesting articles on the pedigree of the Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, notably Frank Mitchell’s piece in his new column at Paulick Report, Andrew Caulfield’s column in today’s TDN (free subscription to read; see sidebar ad to subscribe), and Roger Lyons’s blog post in Pedigree Matters. Each examines this pedigree, which traces to blue hen La Troienne, with a unique slant: Mitchell, in broad painterly strokes, reveals the essence of its history; Caulfield, with a magnifying glass, delves into the nooks and crannies, including La Troienne’s multiple lines, with an assist from Alan Porter; and Lyons, unsentimentally, adds up the real numbers behind the ancestors—including La Troienne’s flock—with his calculator.
By Maria’s Mon from Supercharger, by A.P. Indy, Super Saver is officially a homebred for WinStar Farm, which purchased Supercharger at auction for $160,000, carrying the future Derby winner. The main reason for this: WinStar owned her sister She’s a Winner, the dam of WinStar homebred and resident sire Bluegrass Cat. The latter, a son of Storm Cat, was a Grade 1 winner who was second in the 2006 Derby and Belmont, the same year Supercharger was purchased at auction. But as Frank Mitchell noted, the mating of the Derby winner was planned by Ogden Mills Phipps, who sold the mare in foal to Maria’s Mon but had a rich relationship with her extended family that spanned many generations of his.
The irony, of course, is that the Phipps family (including Mr. Phipps’s father, Ogden Phipps, and grandmother Gladys Phipps, who raced as Wheatley Stable with her brother Ogden Mills) has been continually breeding and racing high-quality horses longer than any other family in this country, save for perhaps the Hancocks of Claiborne Farm (which boards the Phipps mares), but hasn’t had a Derby winner yet. That’s a bitter pill, but perhaps it goes down easier with the knowledge that seven continuous generations of Super Saver’s female family were bred by the Phippses—an outstanding and unprecedented achievement these days.
Odgen Phipps got into this family from Col. E.R. Bradley’s Idle Hour Stock Farm, after the colonel’s death. The same female line was responsible for Ogden Phipps’s Easy Goer through another branch of La Troienne. The breeding path from La Troienne to Super Saver through the Phippses goes like this, starting with a simple nick between a La Troienne daughter and War Admiral and ending with seven lines of La Troienne in Super Saver:
Baby League (1935): Bubbling Over—La Troienne, by Teddy. Inbred 5×5 to Hampton. Bred by Idle Hour Stock Farm.
Striking (1947): War Admiral—Baby League, by Bubbling Over. Inbred 3×4 to Sweep. Bred by Ogden Phipps.
Glamour (1953): Nasrullah—Striking, by War Admiral. No inbreeding. Bred by Ogden Phipps and Wheatley Stable.
Intriguing (1964): Swaps–Glamour, by Nasrullah. Inbred 4×3 to War Admiral, 5×5 to The Tetrarch. Bred by Ogden Phipps.
Numbered Account (1969): Buckpasser—Intriguing, by Swaps. Inbred 3x5x4 War Admiral, 4×5 La Troienne, 5×5 Selene. Bred by Ogden Phipps.
Dance Number (1979): Northern Dancer—Numbered Account, by Buckpasser. Inbred 3×5 Nearco, 4×5 Hyperion. Bred by Ogden Phipps.
Get Lucky (1988): Mr. Prospector—Dance Number, by Northern Dancer. Inbred 3×4 Native Dancer, 4×5 Nasrullah, 5×4 Nearco. Bred by Odgen Mills Phipps.
Supercharger (1995): A.P. Indy—Get Lucky, by Mr. Prospector. Inbred 4×4 Buckpasser, 5×5 Glamour, 5×5 Nasrullah. Bred by Ogden Mills Phipps.
Super Saver (2007): Maria’s Mon—Supercharger, by A.P. Indy. Inbred 4x5x5 to Buckpasser, 5×4 Raise a Native. Bred by WinStar Farms LLC.