Though she has thus far been mated exclusively to Mr. Prospector-line stallions (save one foal by A.P. Indy’s son Take Charge Indy), we are going to take Winning Bet in a completely different direction for her 2018 cover. Instead of adding more Mr. Prospector blood (Winning Bet being inbred to him 4×2 already), we are going to send her to a mate completely free of Mr. P in the promising freshman stallion, Strong Mandate.
Not only is Strong Mandate without any Mr. Prospector blood, but his sire, Tiznow, has achieved considerable success with mates that do carry strains of the former Claiborne luminary, having sired no fewer than 53 stakes winners and 9 Grade 1 winners with at least one cross of Mr. P (not entirely shocking given the composition of the mare population in the USA, and how hard it is to find mares without either Mr. P (or Northern Dancer, for that matter) strains). Even more noteworthy for this mating is that Tiznow has also had strong results with runners carrying multiple strains of Mr. P (like Winning Bet does), as the dams of his Grade 3 winner Kentuckian and multiple Graded-placed stakes winner Donworth have Mr. P 4×3 and 3×4, respectively, while Tiznow’s sons Colonel John and Tiz Wonderful have also each sired a Graded winner from mares with two crosses of Mr. P in their first four generations.
Winning Bet is a daughter of Dixie Union, and while Tiznow doesn’t yet have a stakes winner out of a Dixie Union mare (though there are only eight Tiznow offspring from Dixie Union mares out there who are 3-years-old or older, so not a large sample size), he has had excellent results over other mares from the line of Dixie Union’s sire, Dixieland Band – having gotten Graded stakes winners Ellafitz and Golden Itiz, plus Grade 1-placed stakes winner Cash For Clunkers, all out of mares by Dixieland Band himself, and Grade 2 winner Tizdejavu out of a mare by Dixieland Band’s son Dixie Brass. And Tiz Wonderful, a son of Tiznow, has produced a pair of stakes winners out of mares by Dixie Union, which contributes to this mating receiving an “A” rating from TrueNicks. (Going much too far back to be of any practical use, but interesting nonetheless, Tiz Wonderful has sired the Graded stakes winner In Trouble, whose 7th dam is Rock Drill, and Rock Drill is Winning Bet’s 4th dam.)
Tiznow has also achieved plenty of success with his runners who are inbred to Seattle Slew (Tiznow himself being out of a mare by a son of Seattle Slew). Because Dixie Union is out of a daughter of Capote, the foal from this mating will be inbred 5×5 to the ’77 Triple Crown winner. And, in fact, Grade 1 winner My Sweet Addiction is by Tiznow out of a Boston Harbor (by Capote) mare, so that furthers the notion that Tiznow’s lack of success with Dixie Union so far is purely a function of a lack of opportunity.
Winning Bet’s female family has had very limited opportunities with Tiznow, or his sire-line more broadly, but this is not totally surprising given the relative dearth of tail-male options to In Reality. From a very small sample size, Winning Bet’s half-sister Dream Time has produced Anxious Times, by Tiznow, a winner of five races and $120,074. And their Grade 2-winning relative Dancing All Night did produce the winner Glory Dancer by Relaunch’s son Honour and Glory, and Glory Dancer, in turn, is the dam of Grade 1 winner Bigger Picture and stakes winner Gung Ho, so there are reasons to believe the female family will mesh well with this sire-line, given more opportunities.
It’s also worth noting that Strong Mandate is out of a Deputy Minister mare, and Winning Bet’s family has had some success with Deputy Minister and his male-line, including the stakes-placed winners Distinctively (by Deputy Minister’s son Awesome Again) and Puzzling (by Awesome Again’s son Ghostzapper), as well as the winner Just Reward (by Deputy Minister himself), who is the dam of Grade 1 winner Persistently. And the aforementioned Grade 1 winner Bigger Picture is by the Deputy Minister grandson Badge of Silver.
As far as Strong Mandate himself, he’s a stallion that we’ve been high on for a while, and are excited to have found a mare that fits him. A $200,000 Keeneland September yearling picked out by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, Strong Mandate broke his maiden at Saratoga in his second start at 2, going wire-to-wire at 6-1/2 furlongs by 4-1/2 lengths over subsequent Graded stakes winner Tapiture, and then came back in the G1 Hopeful to win by 9-3/4 lengths, the largest margin in the race’s long history. A disappointing 7th in the G1 Champagne, Strong Mandate bounced back with a strong 3rd in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile to close out his 2-year-old season. In his sophomore debut, Strong Mandate was a clear 2nd to Tapiture with a troubled trip in the G3 Southwest, then was an eventful 4th in the G2 Rebel and emerged from an 8th-place finish in the G1 Arkansas Derby with a knee chip which led to his retirement.
Strong Mandate’s victory in the Hopeful made him the first Grade 1-winning 2-year-old male by Tiznow, and only his second Grade 1-winning 2-year-old of either gender, following Tiznow’s first-crop Eclipse Champion 2-year-old filly, Folklore. (Sporting Chance subsequently duplicated Strong Mandate’s Hopeful win last year, so the total now stands at three.) And while Strong Mandate himself was retired in May of his sophomore season, there was every reason to think that, had his campaign been managed differently, he could have trained on at 3 and beyond to fit the more typical pattern of Tiznow and his offspring, improving with age and some distance (Tiznow himself didn’t even race at 2 before going on to win the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic twice).
In fact, Tiznow is recognized as one of the few current stateside sources of classic stamina, having overcome early doubts about his relatively unfashionable pedigree to climb to as high as a $75,000 stud fee a few years back (he’s now at $50,000), with fourteen Grade 1 winners now to his credit. Tiznow has also made an admirable start as a sire-of-sires, with his sons Tiz Wonderful, Colonel John, Gemologist and Morning Line all having various levels of success.
Strong Mandate also has great depth in his female family – his first three dams are all Grade 1 winners, and his second dam is a full-sister to Belmont Stakes winner Creme Fraiche. Strong Mandate himself is a half-brother to stakes winner Full Mandate (a $3.2 million yearling, and sire of Grade 1 winner Ron the Greek), to Grade 3 winner Newfoundland (a $3.3 million yearling, and moderate stallion), and to Graded-placed The Mighty Tiger (a $2.5 million yearling, and sire).
The precocity that Strong Mandate demonstrated at Saratoga as a 2-year-old has been on display with his first crop this spring. After achieving noteworthy results with his first sales weanlings, and then yearlings (including an $825,000 filly), Strong Mandate’s juveniles have been even more in-demand at the breeze show sales – they’ve worked quickly and sold for big money, led by a $775,000 colt at OBS March, and a $550,000 colt at OBS April. Overall, he’s had eleven of eighteen offered sell for an average of $247,000 and a median of $140,000, all off of his $10,000 stud fee. That bodes well for his chances when his first runners reach the races later this year, and we believe he’s going to end up near the top of the freshman sire table.
Physically, we love Strong Mandate for Winning Bet because he is a strong, scopey horse with a two-turn type of frame, and his foals that we’ve seen look the same. He comes by this honestly, as Tiznow is renowned as a very large stallion (WinStar’s marketing using the clever label of “The Big Horse Sire” for him). As a shorter, blocky mare, Winning Bet could stand to have an infusion of leg and length in her foal, and she should get that from this pairing.
Strong Mandate wins the G1 Hopeful
Strong Mandate breaks his maiden at Saratoga
Strong Mandate’s sire, Tiznow, wins the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2000
Strong Mandate’s sire, Tiznow, repeats in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2001