On the track, he was a hero – the richest racehorse in North American history, earning $10 million in several big-money scores, including the Breeders’ Cup Classic and Dubai World Cup. And now, since 2009, Curlin has settled into his new duties nicely at Lane’s End, alongside his sire, Smart Strike.
Curlin was the product of Mr. Prospector, from his sire, and the Northern Dancer line, from his mother, Sherriff’s Deputy (Deputy Minister). And now that he has several crops on the ground, I’ve started to notice that the same nick that worked in creating himself is now working quite nicely for his top offspring.
Take Palace Malice, for example. Arguably the best horse in the country this year, Palace Malice not only outstayed them all to win at 12 furlongs but has the turn of foot to win a one-turn mile at Belmont. His dam, Palace Rumor, is by Theatrical and from the Nureyev branch of the Northern Dancer sireline.
Ride On Curlin was one of the more talked-about horses on the Triple Crown trail this year. Although he never really got the job done, he did manage a close second to California Chrome in the Preakness (G1). His dam is by Storm Cat, from the Storm Bird branch.
A trio of stakes winners in Japan – A Shin the Head, A Shin Epona, and Dilga – are all out of mares that trace back in the direct male line to Northern Dancer.
Diversy Harbor and the late Socialbug, the former a graded winner, are out of mares from the Storm Cat and Vice Regent branches, respectively.
An interesting twist to this nick comes in the form of Stopshoppingdebbie, an undefeated racemare who has become the pride of the Pacific Northwest. She hails from a mare that traces back to Nearctic, the sire of Northern Dancer.
Some notable exceptions to this rule include Seseri, a stakes winner in Japan, and American stakes winner Flash Forward, both of whom are out of Mr. Prospector line mares. Both are also inbred to the stallion 3×3, through their respective broodmare sires and through Curlin’s strain of Smart Strike. Also bending the Northern Dancer rule is Moulin de Mougin, who is out of Cambiocorsa, a mare by the Seattle Slew son Avenue of Flags.
This Northern Dancer trend seems to be carrying on with later crops. Two year old filly La Grange, recent winner of the Cinderella Stakes, is out of a mare that traces back to Vice Regent.
Then there’s Jess’s Dream, whose famous dam Rachel Alexandra is by Medaglia d’Oro, himself from the Sadler’s Wells branch. He’s still unraced, so it’s yet to be seen whether he does half as well as his champion parents, but, as shown above, the bloodlines are in his favor.
Curlin stands at Lane’s End Farm in Versailles, Kentucky, for a 2014 fee of $25,000 live foal.