Friday, August 30, 2013

After the Auction: Strong Mandate

As an avid fan of sales with possible aspirations to become an adviser/bloodstock agent, auctions are one of my favorite topics to write about on Past the Grandstand. “After the Auctions” feature horses I selected in sales that have found success after the sale. *Note: If an “After the Auction” features a two-year-old, it will also be listed as a “Juvenile Spotlight.”

UPDATE 9/2/13: Congratulations to Strong Mandate on becoming my first grade one-winning sale selection with his 9 ¾-length victory in the Hopeful Stakes (GI)!
UPDATE 11/2/13: Congratulations to Strong Mandate on his respectable third place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (GI)!

Winner of four-time Eclipse Awards, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has found great success at Saratoga, especially with two-year-olds. With an astounding total of thirty-nine victories in Saratoga’s various graded stakes for two-year-olds, it is undeniable that Lukas is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to juvenile races at the Spa.

On July 22, Lukas unveiled a two-year-old named Strong Mandate, one of my selections from the first session of the 2012 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. That day, the colt finished a disappointing fifth, but redeemed himself in his second career start, adding not only a furlong to the distance of his debut, but also blinkers.

Facing seven others in a six and one-half-furlong maiden special weight, Strong Mandate led from start to finish, always holding a generous advantage over his rivals. His easy lead left him with excess energy in the stretch, allowing him to draw away to an easy 4 ½-length win under a hand ride from Jose Ortiz, escaping from the betting public at 16-1 odds.

Could this visually impressive debut be a good omen for Strong Mandate's future?

Pedigree Analysis

Strong Mandate is a son of Tiznow, the two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) winner who has ranked among the top thirty sires in North America for the past six years, ranking among the top five sires in 2008 and 2009. Among his offspring are the grade one winners Bullsbay, Colonel John, Da’ Tara, Folklore, Gemologist, Morning Line, Tiz Miz Sue, Tizway, Tough Tiz’s Sis, and Well Armed, as well as the grade one-winning steeplechaser Mr. Hot Stuff.

Strong Mandate’s dam, who tragically died eleven days after foaling him, was the multiple grade one-winning millionaire Clear Mandate. A half-sister to the graded stakes winner Dream Scheme and the stakes winner A Diehl, Clear Mandate is also the dam of the multiple graded stakes-winning Newfoundland, the stakes-winning Full Mandate – who is the sire of the multiple grade one-winning Ron the Greek – and the group stakes-placed The Mighty Tiger.

This is an immensely strong female family, as Clear Mandate’s grade one-winning dam is a daughter of the grade one-winning Reine De Course mare Likely Exchange, who yielded Crème Fraiche – an earner of $4,024,727 that won seven grade ones. She is one of many Reine De Course mares in Strong Mandate’s tail female line, with the next being the stakes-winning Strange Device, who is the dam of the multiple stakes-winning Abstract. Strange Device is a daughter of the Alabama Stakes (GI) victress Escutcheon, who produced an astounding 14 winners, including Bourtai, who produced six black-type runners, including two Broodmare of the Years and the champion Bayou. Escutcheon’s own dam, Affection, is also a Reine De Course mare and in addition to Escutcheon, the French import begat the black-type winners Flat Iron and Sanford. The next Reine De Course mare in this colt’s pedigree is The Apple, the foundation mare of a strong female family that produced the likes of the champions Bold Forbes, Forego, Mar-Kell, Nellie Flag, and Nellie Morse. The earliest Reine De Course mare in Strong Mandate’s tail female line is Maid of Masham, a multiple stakes-winning mare. Other descendants of the Likely Exchange branch of this family include the group one winner To the Victory and the group stakes winner Headliner.

The maternal grandsire of Strong Mandate is the Canadian Hall of Famer Deputy Minister. This is incredibly beneficial, as Deputy Minister was the leading broodmare sire of 2007 and has served as the damsire of a multitude of grade one winners, including Curlin, Jazil, Magistretti, Redattore, Sarava, Tapizar, Telling, and To Honor and Serve.

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