Nickname another Success for Scat Daddy

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Nickname | Chelsea Durand

By Andrew Caulfield

Breeding’s superpowers were much in evidence towards the end of last week, when the emphasis was very much on quality on both sides of the Atlantic. Darley, for its part, added the majestic Arc winner Golden Horn to a roster which already features his sire Cape Cross. In addition they enjoyed Grade/Group 1 2-year-old success with Bernardini (Champagne S. winner Greenpointcrusader) and Manduro (Ultra, a game winner of the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere).

Far from being outdone, the Coolmore-Ashford squad enjoyed Group 1 success via the progeny of the retired Danehill Dancer (Esoterique), Galileo (Ballydoyle), Giant’s Causeway (Brody’s Cause), Scat Daddy (Nickname) and the rising star Uncle Mo (Gomo). There was also graded success for Tale of the Cat and Munnings, with the latter reminding us once again that he has been widely underrated).

It’s hard to pick just one of these, but I will admit to having a soft spot for Scat Daddy–and my liking for him isn’t just sentimental. I believe he has a very bright future, based on his established ability to upgrade his mares. The Blood-Horse lists his Average Earnings Index as 1.77, with his mares’ Comparable Index lagging behind at 1.54.

It is also essential to mention that his five crops of racing age were sired at fees of $30,000, $22,500, $15,000, $10,000 and $17,500, so this certainly isn’t a story of a stallion who has enjoyed every advantage. Indeed the tendency for breeders to desert young stallions after their first year or two left Scat Daddy with a second crop of 62 named foals and a third containing only 54.

He therefore has no more than 483 foals in his first five crops, with 154 of these belonging to his current crop of 2-year-olds. Nearly 100 of these 2-year-olds have yet to race, and Scat Daddy has so far had 360 lifetime starters. This makes his total of 16 North American-bred graded winners highly respectable (there is a 17th graded winner, the GII Ballston Spa S. winner Dacita, but she is one of Scat Daddy’s South American foals).

My interest in Scat Daddy is also sparked partly by his apparent versatility, with 16 different broodmare sires being responsible for his 17 graded winners in the Northern Hemisphere. The only name which appears more than once belongs to Thunder Gulch, whose daughters produced this year’s GII Summer S. winner Conquest Daddyo and the multiple Grade III winner Daddy Nose Best. In view of the fact that Scat Daddy is inbred 4×2 to Mr. Prospector, it is interesting that as many as nine of his graded winners are out of Mr. Prospector-line mares. One of them, the explosively fast juvenile filly Acapulco, has a dam inbred 3×4 to Mr. Prospector, so has four lines in five generations. The same applies to Azar, another of Scat Daddy’s smart 2015 juveniles. This Grade II turf winner isn’t out of a mare from the Mr. Prospector-male line but the mare is inbred 3×3 to Mr. Prospector, giving Azar 5x3x4x4 inbreeding.

The latest addition to the list of broodmare sires is Borrego, who sired the dam of Scat Daddy’s progressive daughter Nickname, winner of the GI Frizette S. Borrego is hardly a household name, even though he ranked alongside Medaglia d’Oro, Kitten’s Joy, Artie Schiller and Paddy O’Prado as one of El Prado’s Grade I-winning sons in the U.S. Borrego earned that status as a 4-year-old in 2005, when he won the GI Pacific Classic and the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup.

Unfortunately Borrego never made it to the races when kept in training as a 5-year-old, which is never helpful to a young stallion’s career. The end result was that Borrego has only 247 foals of racing age and none of them became a graded winner, though three of them were second at that level. Nickname’s dam, the six-time winner Nina Fever, was runner-up in a couple of sprint stakes races at Woodbine. Nickname is one of only two runners so far out of Borrego mares.

Nickname’s second dam, the minor winner Impact Now, is also a daughter of a comparatively little known stallion in Major Impact. This well-bred son of Roberto won only one stakes race, on turf, but stayed a mile and a quarter well enough to finish third in a trio of Grade I races over a mile and a quarter on dirt. Major Impact was relatively lightly used and had just a couple of Grade III winners among his 275 foals.

There was nothing obscure, though, about Nickname’s third dam, Good Potential. She earned a figure of 116 on the 1990 Experimental Free Handicap, which placed her only seven pounds below champion Meadow Star. Good Potential had won the GIII Sorority S., as well as finishing second at Grade II level and third in the GI Spinaway S. She also did well at three.

Nor was there anything obscure about Good Potential’s sire Relaunch, who enjoyed Breeders’ Cup success with his son Skywalker and daughter One Dreamer. There was further Breeders’ Cup success in store for Relaunch via his broodmare daughters, who produced Ghostzapper and Forever Together.

Even taking into account Relaunch’s prowess as a sire and broodmare sire, it is surely fair to say that Scat Daddy has elevated this family in siring a filly as good as Nickname.

Scat Daddy first made his mark in 2011, when he narrowly defeated Hard Spun to take the title of champion first-crop sire. So here we have another example of success breeding success. The revived interest in Scat Daddy in 2012 is responsible for his large crop of 2015 2-year-olds. Although he has had “only” 57 runners so far from this crop, he already has six stakes winners and nine stakes horses in all. Nickname is the fifth graded winner, following Acapulco, Azar, Pretty N Cool and Conquest Daddyo. Not bad for a crop sired at $17,500.

It is going to be fascinating to see whether he can do even better over the next few years, when he will be represented by crops sired at $30,000 and $35,000. I’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t.

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