03/31/2008 11:00PM

Jay Peg validates breeding theory


LAS VEGAS - Female family inbreeding (FFI) got another huge boost last weekend when Jay Peg won the Dubai Duty Free, followed by Sun Classique's victory in the Dubai Sheema Classic.

This inbreeding pattern has long been embraced much more by Australia, Europe, Japan, and South Africa than the United States, with great success among their many group winners. If class in the dam is the key to racing quality, then duplicating that most important part of the pedigree often results in a racehorse of higher quality. The Rasmussen Factor (RF) further defines FFI as inbreeding to a superior female within five generations through different individuals.

What makes the RF so special is the fact that while it is found in a small percentage of Thoroughbreds, runners with this type of inbreeding account for an inordinate number of stakes races.

Bred in South Africa by High Season Stud, Jay Peg is by Camden Park out of a mare by Al Mufti. While on the surface this is a pedigree unfamiliar to racegoers in this country, Jay Peg actually has an All-American pedigree. Camden Park, a son of A.P. Indy (out of a Danzig mare) who won 2 of 6 turf races before retiring to stud in South Africa, died of toxic shock last year at age 9. Camden Park descended in tail-female line to Myrtlewood, a champion sprinter and champion older female who became one of racing's great broodmares. Seattle Slew, Mr. Prospector, and Forestry all trace directly to Myrtlewood.

Jay Peg's damsire, Al Mufti, is a half-brother to Wolfhound, Deerhound, Foxhound, and Weekend Surprise, the dam of A.P. Indy, Summer Squall, Honor Grades, Welcome Surprise, Eavesdropper, Weekend in Seattle, and Tiger Ridge.

Thus, Jay Peg is an RF because he is inbred 4x3 to the influential matron Lassie Dear, through her daughter Weekend Surprise (by Secretariat) and son, Al Mufti (Roberto).

Jay Peg's victory in the Dubai Duty Free was particularly impressive, considering that he established a course record (1:46.20 for the about nine-furlong race) despite the fact that his saddle started to slip in the stretch against what was arguably the deepest of all fields on Dubai World Cup Night. Headed in the stretch, he gamely fought back and defeated champion Darjina with a hard-luck Archipenko third. Behind them were such illustrious stars as Vodka, Finsceal Beo, Literato, Creachadoir, Bullish Luck, Floral Pegasus, Majestic Roi, Lord Admiral, and Admire Aura.

Another RF runner in the Duty Free may have been best, however. Archipenko was boxed in at a crucial time during the stretch run and was a flying third. By Kingmambo out of a three-quarter sister to Nureyev, Archipenko is inbred 4x2 to the remarkable producer Special. Special is the dam of Nureyev and second dam of Sadler's Wells. Archipenko appears on the verge of having a breakout year.

Immediately following the Duty Free, Sun Classique wowed them in the 1 1/2-mile Dubai Sheema Classic, taking the lead at the head of the stretch after a ground-saving trip and holding off the highly regarded Viva Pataca and a field of accomplished males to win by 2 3/4 lengths. Her winning time of 2:27.45 was just .05 of a second off the track record.

By Fuji Kieseki, an undefeated champion in Japan by Sunday Silence, Sun Classique is out of the Last Tycoon mare Elfenjer, and her second dam, Gamine, won the Group 1 South Australian Oaks.

More importantly, Sun Classique is an RF through her 5x5 inbreeding to Milan Mill, through her daughter Millicent (Cornish Prince) and her son Mill Reef (Never Bend), a European Horse of the Year and one of Paul Mellon's greatest champions.

Asiatic Boy, who finished second to Curlin in the day's biggest event, the Dubai World Cup, is not an RF, but his dam, S.S. Asiatic, is an RF because she's inbred 3x4 to Busanda, winner of the Alabama Stakes and a two-time winner of the now-defunct Saratoga Cup against males. But Busanda's biggest contribution to racing was as a broodmare, producing Buckpasser, a Hall of Fame member and Horse of the Year.

Florida Derby winner out of RF dam

As if the results in Dubai weren't enough, Mien, the dam of Florida Derby winner Big Brown, is yet another RF, because she is inbred 4x5 to the very influential Rough Shod II, the dam of 1965 Horse of the Year and champion 2-year-old filly Moccasin. Rough Shod II also produced stakes winners Lt. Stevens, Ridan, Gambetta (the dam of champion Gamely), and stakes-placed Thong.

Thong produced Thatch, a champion 2-year-old in Ireland and champion miler in England, and a full brother to Lisadell and Special.

El Condor Pasa, one of Japan's greatest racehorses, descended from Lisadell and was exquisitely inbred to Thong.

In addition to producing champion racehorse and sire Nureyev, Special is also the dam of Fairy Bridge, the 1977 2-year-old filly highweight in Ireland who later produced champion Sadler's Wells, one of the world's most prolific stallions.