The latest Housatonic Recommended Mating of the Not For Love mare No More Excuses to Imagining features 3×2 inbreeding to full-siblings out of the “Blue Hen” Phipps mare Dance Number, with a cross that has already produced a stakes winner and another winner from Imagining’s first crop of 2YOs in 2019.
When we prepared Mating Recommendations for Imagining in 2018 prior to his first crop reaching the races the following year, we led off by discussing the potential that Not For Love mares held with Imagining, given that he is a full-brother to Imagining’s 2nd dam, Get Lucky (both by Mr. Prospector out of Dance Number):
Several of those names above are worth noting given that inbreeding within four generations to Dance Number (Imagining’s third dam, who will appear in the fourth generation of his foals) has been an extremely successful strategy, with three stakes winners already from just 37 foals aged 3-and-up bred on that pattern, including two sired by Imagining’s close relative Bluegrass Cat (who is by Imagining’s grandsire Storm Cat, out of a full-sister to Imagining’s dam), and another by Giant’s Causeway’s son Frost Giant (who also shares his third dam with Imagining).
Two of those three stakes winners inbred to Dance Number are out of mares by Not For Love, whose daughters are an extremely enticing proposition for Imagining, given not just the success of the “Rasmussen Factor” inbreeding to Dance Number, but also the fact that Not For Love is already the broodmare sire of three stakes winners from just 39 foals of racing age sired by sons of Giant’s Causeway, one of them a Graded winner (and Giant’s Causeway himself has sired a Graded winner out of a Not For Love mare, from just four foals bred on that cross).
Since we wrote that, three of the four foals in Imagining’s first crop out of Not For Love dams reached the races and two of them are already winners — including two of Imagining’s three highest earners so far in stakes winner Monday Morning QB (on the Triple Crown trail this spring) and Dreaming of Love.
As also noted in the above quote, Giant’s Causeway and his sons have had additional success with Not For Love mares (even without the presence of inbreeding to Dance Number), with five stakes winners from just 50 foals bred on this cross overall.
All of which makes Imagining a perfect choice for No More Excuses’s first mate.
That’s not all, though — No More Excuses also happens to have a stakes winner under her second dam by a son of Storm Cat (grandsire of Imagining) who is bred on this same Storm Cat/Mr. Prospector cross, while her own broodmare sire (Kafwain, by Cherokee Run) and second dam’s sire Sword Dance[IRE] (by Nijinsky II) also both rate very highly as crosses for Imagining and his sire-line.
Physically, we love this pairing as well — Imagining and No More Excuses are both 16.2+ hands, with plenty of leg and length, and very correct, so this is very much a case of like-to-like. And with Imagining already having proven to be a much more versatile influence as a sire than his own exclusively turf career would suggest, No More Excuses’s speed and surface versatility should be a perfect complement for Imagining’s more classic traits.
Monday Morning QB, by Imagining out of a Not For Love mare, wins the Heft Stakes at 2YO
Imagining wins the G1 Man o’ War
No More Excuses wins her 14th career race, a 5-1/2 furlong allowance race at Laurel
No More Excuses wins a 5-1/2 furlong turf race at Laurel