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Breeders' Cup 2017

Remembering Pulpit Through His Progeny

December 6, 2012 marked a day of sadness in the Thoroughbred world. With the sudden, unexpected death of the grand Pulpit, the breeding industry suffered a huge loss. A perennial leading sire, the son of the great A.P. Indy will be greatly missed in the industry, but his offspring provide us with a chance to savor his legacy.



Sons of Pulpit, such as Tapit and Sky Mesa, will allow for his blood to continue flowing in the gene pool of American racehorses, but racing fans can also still enjoy performances from his offspring that continue to race. Among his progeny are several rising stars that are soon to become sophomores, perhaps thrilling us along the Triple Crown trail and even the prestigious three-race series. Four talented juveniles that will soon be three-year-olds come to mind, bringing to life the hope that these young athletes can shine in the first year since 1998 that Pulpit will not be standing at stud.

Power Broker: With five starts under his belt, Power Broker only has one victory to his credit. However, that triumph occurred in grade one company when the Bob Baffert trainee took the FrontRunner Stakes (gr. I) in his fourth outing. Pressing the pace to the outside, the chestnut drew clear in the homestretch to score an impressive 6 ½-length victory. Sent off as the second choice in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I), Power Broker finished a disappointing fifth, but was likely harmed by the speed bias while attempting to close from near the rear of the field. Clearly a still maturing colt, the future is bright for him.

Of course, Power Broker has the benefit of being a son of Pulpit to his credit, but he also gains strength from his dam. Out of the black-type-winning Shop Again, Power Broker is provided with the inaugural winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I), Wild Again, as his broodmare sire. This is certainly an advantage, as Wild Again has produced many successful broodmares, including the dams of the grade/group one winners Cheiron, Emma’s Encore, Macho Again, Mea Domina, Pyro, and Wild Spirit. With a dam side abounding with the names of some of the finest mares of the breed, the Reine de Course mares – or mares that have a tremendous influence on the Thoroughbred – Shenanigans and Numbered Account can be traced through Power Broker, as can Lady Be Good, his fourth dam. Lady Be Good, who is also labeled as a Reine de Course mare, produced the likes of the stakes winners Disciplinarian, Discipline, Full of Hope, and In Hot Pursuit.

Sign: This filly has only started twice, but she has been nothing short of brilliant. Unbeaten in her brief career so far, Sign brings to the table a combined winning margin of 15 ¾ lengths, having effortlessly won her debut at Saratoga prior to capturing the Pocahontas Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs. With little experience beneath her, Sign is radiating with potential.

A homebred for Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider, this daughter of Pulpit is out of the stakes-winning mare Cross, who is a half-sister to the multiple graded stakes winner Lattice. Notably, Sign’s female family is swarming with Reine de Course mares, including Alluvial – a daughter of the champion Bayou who produced the classic winners Coastal and Slew o’ Gold.

Super Ninety Nine:
Another offspring of Pulpit with little experience, Super Ninety Nine has only gone to post twice so far. However, he has exhibited undeniable potential, having impressively won his debut at Santa Anita prior to entering the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint. However, Super Ninety Nine was withdrawn from the first Breeders’ Cup race of 2012 due to being cast in his stall and rather contested in the Hollywood Prevue Stakes (gr. III) on Thanksgiving Day. Racing wide, the chestnut colt – another Bob Baffert trainee – finished a game second, beaten just a half-length.

Exogenetic, the dam of Super Ninety Nine, adds to the pedigree strength Super Ninety Nine has. A three-quarters sister to the ill-fated, multiple grade one-winning Exogenous, Exogenetic provides Super Ninety Nine with a female family similar to that of two-time Horse of the Year, Curlin, as Super Ninety’s fourth dam – War Exchange – is Curlin’s third dam. Super Ninety Nine will also likely benefit from Unbridled’s Song as his broodmare sire, as he therefore shares his damsire with the likes of Better Than Ever, Etched, Hold Me Back, and Out of Bounds.

Title Contender: Following a third-place finish in his career debut, in which he defeated stablemate Power Broker, this lightly-raced colt was remarkable in his maiden victory, easily winning a maiden special weight at Santa Anita by 2 ¾ lengths. Taking a chance, Title Contender contested in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, but after setting the pace, the Bob Baffert trainee faded to finish eighth in a field of nine. However, the striking dark bay/brown may have an opportunity to redeem himself in the upcoming CashCall Futurity (gr. I).

In comparison to the aforementioned horses, the bottom side of Title Contender's pedigree is perhaps not quite as breathtaking. Nonetheless, quality remains evident throughout his dam’s side. A son of the multiple graded stakes-winning Winter Garden, Title Contender’s broodmare sire is Roy, a top sire in South America. Possessing a female family largely influenced by Canadian heritage, Title Contender is a direct descendant of Flaring Top, a Reine de Course mare responsible for producing four stakes winners that is also the granddam of the English Triple Crown winner Nijinsky II.

As the Thoroughbred world mourns the loss of Pulpit, we can find brightness in the potential these young progeny of the excellent sire present. The anticipation of the spring classics is one of the most exciting times in racing and these four could certainly provide a great way of remembering the outstanding Pulpit. 

Photo courtesy of Terri Cage 


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Older Comments about Remembering Pulpit Through His Progeny...

Pulpit's influence will be seen on the 2013 Derby trail - perhaps one of his sons will do what he couldn't :)

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