Our #Pedigeek “Term of the Week” is:
The basic Merriam-Webster definition:
- a strong liking for or attraction to someone or something
In horse breeding, we hope to pair a stallion with a mare whose pedigrees “like” each other. If a sire or his sire-line produces consistent quality offspring paired with the sire or sire-line a mare brings to a table, we recognize that as having an affinity. With first-time starters lacking past performances to assess potential, being able to recognize a proven, potent cross can give one an edge.
A wonderful example of a first-time starter representing such credentials is found in Saturday’s first race at Saratoga. #7 H P Moon is a son of Malibu Moon out of Fun Affair, by Distorted Humor (a paternal grandson of Mr. Prospector).
H P Moon was a $100,000 yearling and it makes sense, as he has a pedigree that has a lot of consistent black type. First of all, his maternal grandmother is Caressing, who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies in 2000 and champion 2-year-old filly honors. While her daughter Fun Affair didn’t do much on the track, her son, 2017 champion 3-year-old male West Coast, did.
That’s right, H P Moon’s dam (mom) is a half-sister to multi-millionaire West Coast, who counts among his wins Saratoga’s prestigious Travers Stakes. What’s even more intriguing is that West Coast, like H P Moon, is by a son of A.P. Indy, who happens to also be out of a daughter of Mr. Prospector.
West Coast is by Flatter (A.P. Indy x Praise, Mr. Prospector) and H P Moon is, again, by Malibu Moon (A.P. Indy x Macoumba, Mr. Prospector). If you wanted to take it even further, the maternal second dams (grandmothers) of both Flatter and Malibu Moon are daughters of Northern Dancer-line stallions. Flatter’s maternal grandmother is Wild Applause, of daughter of Northern Dancer himself, while Malibu Moon’s maternal grandmother is Maximova, a daughter of Green Dancer, whose sire, Nijinsky II, is by Northern Dancer.
So, Malibu Moon and Flatter are not only sons of A.P. Indy, who, crossed with Mr. Prospector and his sons has already proved potent enough, themselves being examples, but they are so similarly bred that it makes H P Moon being out of a half-sister to West Coast all the more exciting. To bolster the argument even further, consider the following:
- 2003 Horse of the Year Mineshaft is a son of A.P. Indy out of the Mr. Prospector mare Prospectors Delite.
- 2001 champion 2-year-old filly and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Tempera is a daughter of A.P. Indy out of the Mr. Prospector mare Colour Chart.
- Bernardini, the champion 3-year old male of 2006 (himself a son of A.P. Indy out of Cara Rafaela, whose father, Quiet American, was a paternal grandson of Mr. Prospector) sired the scorching fast Takaful, winner of the Grade 1 Vosburgh, when crossed with a daughter of Distorted Humor.
- Millionaire Stanford is a son of Malibu Moon out of a Distorted Humor mare as well.
Affinity has been consistently shown with this cross. It has been specifically shown with H P Moon’s female family (West Coast being a half-brother to Fun Affair and a son of Flatter) and specifically with a sire bred, himself, on a cross showing the same affinity (Flatter and Malibu Moon both being sons of A.P. Indy out of Mr. Prospector mares, both with second dams hailing from Northern Dancer sire-lines).
Couple the pedigree argument with a sizzling workout tab at Delaware Park, and the understanding that it’s expensive to ship a horse. If you go to Saratoga Race Course, you go to win. With all that in mind, there are plenty of reasons, despite his reserve not being attained at $385,000 at auction at 2 years old, to think H P Moon can shine on debut.
Saturday, July 31
Saratoga Race Course, Race 1, maiden special weight race, 2-year-olds, 5 1/2 furlongs, 1:05 p.m. ET
#7 H P MOON (5-1 morning-line odds)
Trainer: Lacey Gaudet
Jockey: Manny Franco