If you know or have read pedigree researcher and blogger Roger Lyons, you’ll already know how intelligent and painstakingly detailed he is. If you don’t know him, take my word for it: he’s one smart mudgafudga. I’ve known Roger for years, and his history in the business dates from the Stone Ages, from his work with pedigree guru Bill Oppenheim at Racing Update and the “APEX” ratings, to his research and development with Jack Werk at WTC, Inc., of the Werk Nick Rating. These days Roger’s busy on something called the “Lyons Score,” which I believe, after having reviewed it over a span of months, is an innovative tool for analyzing the types of mares that best fit particular stallions, on pedigree.
The Lyons Score is an important piece in the puzzle because it quantitatively measures the ancestors—male and female—that appear in the pedigrees of a stallion’s racing-age progeny (through six generations, an arbitrary generational distance chosen by Roger as practical for his study but deep enough to be meaningful). As a result, Roger can then calculate by simple arithmetic the most successful individual ancestors in the pedigrees of the mares that produced superior runners by a particular stallion, as well as the inverse: the most notable failures. Lately, mild-mannered Roger has turned into a gunfighter and has dueled the pedigree traditionalists that unequivocally worship the concept of linebreeding, and he’s used his numbers, like a pearl-handled Colt .45, to shatter anecdotal evidence about linebreeding to certain ancestors. He can tell you, for instance, that for a given sire, say, La Troienne’s blood may work through her daughters but not through her famous son and that, No, in this particular case sex-balanced linebreeding was not the cause for this sire’s success, as the traditionalists would have had you believe.
The beauty of Roger’s approach is its relative simplicity. The stallion, in effect, is the control for the study of all mares bred to him; therefore, the Lyons Score can effectively highlight at a glance which ancestors—no matter where they appear in the pedigree—work best with any given sire, provided that horse has had several crops to race.
As an example of how the Lyons Score works, refer to a recent post titled “Galileo and the sons of Doubly Sure“ that Roger penned at his blog “Pedigree Matters” recently. Doubly Sure was a daughter of Reliance who produced the top-class Sharpen Up brothers Kris and Diesis, as well as several other lesser stallions sons including Presidium, a son of General Assembly. Roger has discovered through his Lyons Score analysis that the Sadler’s Wells sire Galileo has an astonishing affinity with the mare Doubly Sure, something that would not have been readily apparent without his switching the light on.
(At the moment, Roger does not offer this tool to outside clients.)