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What Might Have Been: Stallions

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  • What Might Have Been: Stallions

    Was just watching the 1984 Derby from my collection of horse videos over lunch. Got to thinking about Swale and what he might have been as a sire. He was so similar to Slew, and Slew did have other successful sons. I've always been curious how Swale would have done. Huge blow for Claiborne with his loss.

    Who are some others you have always been curious about, horses who never got a chance at stud but who you think could have made worthwhile contributions to the breed?

    Starting with the obvious: Barbaro.

  • #2
    The most disappointing (not the saddest, that would be Barbaro or Swale, but the most shockingly disappointing from a pure breeding standpoint) is Cigar. I've always wondered what his babies would have been.

    Then there are the geldings I wish weren't. John Henry. The Tin Man. Lava Man.

    In jumpers, Gem Twist...hands down. Id love his bloodlines!
    Mighty Thoroughbred Clique
    Racing Enthusiast Clique
    Careful, you might end up in my novel!


    • #3
      Aw...you just had to mention Swale I was 14 and absolutely in love with him when he died.


      • #4
        Lost in the Fog


        • #5
          St. Liam... I know he covered mares before his accident, such a shame... we have a filly by his half brother...


          • #6
            Funny Cide
            It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati


            • #7
              Dubai Millenium and Forego


              • #8
                Kelso & John Henry, too. (Can you imagine advertising John Henry as a stallion, off those homely bloodlines?)
                It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati


                • #9
                  Not to steal the thread -- but some of the fabulous fillies that didn't produce (or produce much) --
                  Ruffian (no brainer)
                  Genuine Risk (only 1 or 2)
                  Lambchop (anyone remember her?)

                  others of the male persuasion:

                  Precisionist (not very fertile -- few foals)
                  War Emblem (has he gotten any mares in foal?)
                  Exterminator -- another plebian pedigree that just defied the odds
                  Shergar (just a few -- sadly missed)
                  Arkle (great steeplechaser)
                  Twenty Grand (sterile)
                  Capot (sterile)
                  Black Gold



                  • #10
                    Phar Lap
                    Jay Trump
                    Desert Orchid
                    Golden Miller
                    Red Rum
                    Starts with an 'S,' ends with a 'T.' You figure it out.

                    "Houston, Tranquility Base here, picking up where we left off ..."


                    • #11
                      Triple Crown winner Assault

                      War Emblem has some foals but he didn't get any mares in foal this year.
                      It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati


                      • #12


                        • #13
                          Keen and Big Ben
                          The Equine Wellness and Nutrition FB Group - Come join us!!


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by skatepixie View Post
                            Then there are the geldings I wish weren't. John Henry.
                            Though with a horse like that, it's kind of a Catch-22. Would John Henry have run like John Henry if he'd been left entire? No way to know.

                            "The present tense of regret is indecision."
                            - Welcome to Night Vale


                            • #15
                              Based on pedigree and any offfspring that did exist for stallions that died young, Swale is atop my list for recent vintage. By Slew, from a great female family he'd likely have been a nice sire. Lure is another. He was seriously sub fertile but sired some nice horses. In the history of the breed though, the top spot has to go to Domino. He sired only about 20 foals and yet his sireline still exists today, over a hundred years beyond his death. Imagine his influence had he lived longer.

                              The Dubai Millenium babies were an overall flop so in retrospect (judging by what he left behind) his death is not as huge a loss to the breed as thought.

                              Most of the great geldings would have been flops as colts so they never would have gotten the mares needed to succeed.
                              F O.B
                              Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                              Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique


                              • #16
                                I have the one stallion promotion video for Cigar (that I got for 25 cents at a thrift store in Cedar Rapids, Iowa of all places).

                                They have him stood up and mention "perfect conformation" and you look at him... and damnit, they're right. A LOVELY horse.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Tucked_Away View Post
                                  Though with a horse like that, it's kind of a Catch-22. Would John Henry have run like John Henry if he'd been left entire? No way to know.
                                  From everything I know and have read about him, probably not. He wasn't focused enough as a colt... so... Snip, snip!

                                  As for the "what ifs":
                                  John Henry
                                  Black Gold
                                  Phar Lap
                                  Cigar (lovely horse with a lovely personality)

                                  BUT, let's be honest, generally the very best racehorses don't/ didn't make the best daddies... If I knew why, I'd be rich!
                                  View my photographs at www.horsephotoguy.zenfolio.com


                                  • #18
                                    I believe E. P. Taylor once remarked that if he'd gelded all his stallions only Northern Dancer would have been a mistake.
                                    Starts with an 'S,' ends with a 'T.' You figure it out.

                                    "Houston, Tranquility Base here, picking up where we left off ..."


                                    • #19
                                      It was Vanderbilt who said it. Had he gelded all his colts he'd have made only one mistake, Native Dancer. (But what a terrible mistake it would have been!)

                                      IMO, the biggest losses to the breed were the few exceptionally bred and conformed animals who died very young. As great as Cigar was, he was really not that well bred for a sire. Most breeders will tell you that sires should have talent and even more importantly, FAMILY. There is also some merit to the "sire of sires" argument. Northern Dancer and Bold Ruler come to mind as sires of sires As good as Barbaro was, what has Dynaformer sired that sired anything good? Barbaro at least had great family. I read a great article on breeding featuring interviews with top breeders, Seth Hancock, Alice Chandler etc. They mentioned that certain female families seem to produce sires while others produce top RUNNERS, the colts from these families are rarely good sires. An example given was the foundation mare Bourtai. She has about 50 stakes winners under her but not a top level sire among them. Turkoman was from this family. He was a top class racer but a modest sire, though his fillies have been nice producers, again a testament to the strength of the female line.

                                      I have to go back and get some stats on Domino, his influence is unreal considering how few foals he got.
                                      F O.B
                                      Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                                      Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique


                                      • #20
                                        If memory serves..

                                        And it might- Domino's influence is even more fascinating, because most of it comes through his son- Commando. It isn't even like the rest had a high percentage of influence compared to him- if I remember right.

                                        Please let me know what you find out- I'd love to hear!
                                        When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou