Unknown Quantities Produce Grade 1 Winner Masochistic

Pretty_Polly

If not unique, then the breeding of last month’s impressive Triple Bend Stakes winner Masochistic is unusual to say the very least. But what makes the Santa Anita Grade 1 winner’s origins of note are not what they feature but what they lack.

The ‘missing’ elements in Masochistic’s make-up are the racing careers of both his sire and dam. His sire Sought After never ran and his dam Trotinette was likewise unraced. Not only that, his grandam and great grandam were also unraced. That’s a lot of blanks. Breeders normally like to know what they are working with to eliminate as much risk as possible but it’s almost as though Masochistic’s breeders were trying to make things as hard as possible for themselves – maybe that was how he got his name.

But despite being a product of parents who never reached the racecourse, Masochistic has won six of his eight starts to date, is a Grade 1 winner, and has earned more than half a million dollars.

Of course, plenty of top horses have been bred out of unraced dams, the latest Derby winner Golden Horn being a good example. But the selection process for sires is that much stricter, which makes the horse who becomes a stallion without a racing record to boast about a rare creature. Sought After, who stands in California at a fee of $2,000 is just such an animal.

Some other successful stallions who were unraced are mentioned in this article by Tony Morris, including Alibhai who sired the 1954 Kentucky Derby winner Determine.

It almost goes without saying that to be given a chance at stud Sought After had to have a desirable pedigree to mitigate his non-existent racing record. Sought After is by one of Mr Prospector’s best stallion sons, Seeking The Gold, out of the Danzig mare Smolensk. Her name may resonate more in Europe than in the US as she was a very good miler in France when trained by Andre Fabre. Her biggest win came in what was then the Group 2 Prix d’Astarte at Deauville which has since become the Group 1 Prix Rothschild. In Britain, she finished second in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot behind the future Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Ridgewood Pearl.

Another plus point in Sought After’s pedigree is that he’s bred on similar lines to the Belmont Stakes winner Jazil. They share the same sire and are from the same family, Smolensk being a half-sister to Jazil’s dam Better Than Honour. Jazil won the Belmont in 2006, the year before his half-sister, Kentucky Oaks winner Rags To Riches, became the first filly to win the Belmont for more than a hundred years. Despite having better opportunities at stud, at least initially, than his near relative Sought After, Jazil had only modest success as a stallion prior to his death following a paddock accident in October 2014; his only G1 winners have come in India and Venezuela.

As we said, all of the first three dams on Masochistic’s bottom line were unraced. His dam Trotinette is by the Nureyev stallion Unusual Heat who won three listed races among four successes in Ireland for Dermot Weld before adding a couple of claiming wins at Hollywood on transfer to the States. Pick of his offspring at stud is champion US older male Acclamation who won the Charles Whittingham Handicap three times, the Eddie Read Stakes twice (a race also won by another of Unusual Heat’s best sons, The Usual Q.T.) and the Pacific Classic.

Masochistic’s fourth dam Truffles was a minor stakes winner whose female line traces back to Pretty Polly (pictured).

Footnote: It turned out that Masochistic had been in the headlines long before he became a Grade 1 winner. The reasons why are detailed by Ray Paulick here and here. Thankfully, the experience of his debut has evidently had no long-term effects and he is no longer with his original trainer.