06/05/2015 2:27PM

Triple Crown winners left legacy in bloodlines

Barbara D. Livingston
Secretariat left a mark on the Thoroughbred industry as a broodmare sire, with his daughters producing breed-shaping sires Storm Cat, above, and A.P. Indy.

While many of the Triple Crown winners made at least a dent at stud with their first generations, their names can still be found in the pedigrees of today’s notable runners – some of them front and center, and others buried deep within the bloodlines.

American Pharoah, who was seeking to sweep the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday at Belmont Park, represents four of the 11 prior Triple Crown winners: Secretariat, Count Fleet, War Admiral, and Gallant Fox. California Chrome, last year’s Horse of the Year, has Seattle Slew, Secretariat, and Count Fleet within his first six generations, while two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan has Secretariat and Affirmed in his recent generations.

Secretariat’s résumé as a sire was a bit underwhelming, but he left an indelible mark as a broodmare sire. Leading the way was Weekend Surprise, the dam of both A.P. Indy, the 1992 Horse of the Year and one of his generation’s cornerstone sires, and Preakness Stakes winner Summer Squall, the sire of dual classic winner Charismatic. A.P. Indy’s success in 1992 helped make Weekend Surprise the Broodmare of the Year and put Secretariat at the top of the North American broodmare sire list.

:: READ MORE: Ranking the Triple Crown winners as sires ::

Secretariat also was the grandfather of top commercial sire Storm Cat through his daughter Terlingua.

Other notable horses with Secretariat as a broodmare sire include Atticus, Chief’s Crown, Classic Crown, Dare and Go, Dehere, Gone West, Holy Roman Emperor, and Perfect Soul.

While Secretariat was responsible for some of the breed’s top sires of the past 25 years through his daughters, his sons were not as impactful at stud.

Seattle Slew proved capable of siring an elite breeding prospect of either sex, on top of his sterling ontrack résumé. His prominent sons at stud included A.P. Indy, Capote, Slewacide, Slew City Slew, and Slew o’ Gold.

As a broodmare sire, Seattle Slew was responsible for two-time Horse of the Year Cigar, out of Solar Slew, who propelled him to the top of the broodmare sire list in 1995 and 1996. His daughter Seaside Attraction was arguably the best Kentucky Oaks winner as a broodmare, producing champion Golden Attraction, Grade 1 winner and sire Cape Town, Grade 3 winner Cape Canaveral, and longtime Ohio sire Mercer Mill.

Seattle Slew’s daughters also produced Lemon Drop Kid, Stormy Atlantic, Offlee Wild, First Defence, Eskendereya, Agnes World, and Hishi Akebono, among many others.

Count Fleet was the broodmare sire of Prince John, who followed his grandfather’s reign at the top of the broodmare sire list in 1963 by leading the category four times. Perhaps Count Fleet’s greatest contribution to the breed, though, comes through his daughter Sequence, whose daughter Gold Digger is the dam of breed-shaping stallion Mr. Prospector.

War Admiral is another Triple Crown winner whose legacy was largely carried on by his daughters. Among the two-time leading broodmare sire’s best grandsons was champion Hoist the Flag, who helped jump-start the vaunted Phipps family breeding program as the sire of 1988 Broodmare of the Year Grecian Banner, the dam of champion and Broodmare of the Year Personal Ensign.

Another prominent daughter of War Admiral was seven-time stakes winner Busanda, whose produce was led by 1966 Horse of the Year Buckpasser, himself a four-time leading broodmare sire.