Broad Brush


Ellen Parker


In a Thoroughbred world dominated by the get of two sires – Mr. Prospector/Raise a Native and Northern Dancer – two uniquely American sire lines stand nearly alone as the spice in an increasingly flavorless stew of bloodlines.  They are King James via Rough’n Tumble (Holy Bull) and Domino via Ack Ack (Broad Brush).  Amazingly enough, both of these sire lines have managed to stay alive via just one major progenitor whenever one is needed in order to keep the line going, something that speaks not only to their resilience but to the purity of their blood.

The main concern at the moment for both these sires is that they get the right son to carry on the male line.  It is all very well and good for Broad Brush to have been an excellent sire of runners, but now that he is gone it is up to his best son, Include, to carry on. The problem to date is that Include (who will be 20 in 2017) is best known as a filly sire.  His ‘sire blood’ comes from Hidden Talent to which he is inbred via Broad Brush and Baldski.

Though he has gotten 6% stakes winners in North America, and a meager 2% in the southern hemisphere, 18 of his top 25 are females.  Of his sons at stud, which are few indeed only Redeemed in Maryland looks like he has a chance.  A G2 winner, he traces to Ruddy Light via the Tartan Farms branch of Minnetonka.  His first foals are two-year-olds in 2016.

Holy Bull, by the way, seems secure for the moment thanks to his champion two-year-old son Macho Uno, sire of Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Mucho Macho Man.  Both stand at Adena Springs.  Sadly, his  Kentucky Derby winner with Giacomo has not been well supported and has been moved from Kentucky to California to Pennsylvania and now to Oregon.  This is a real tragedy, as he is a perfect ‘mirror’ for successful sire Too Much Bling, creating a Rough‘n Tumble/Aspidistra/Intentionally/The Axe II/Barbarosa nexus – quite a rare thing yet here they are!

Returning to Broad Brush/Include consider how fortunate Battle Joined was when he was bred to Fast Turn to get Ack Ack.  Fast Turn is from the great sire family of *The Squaw II, which also produced Tom Rolfe, Sham and Chieftain.  Then Ack Ack was bred to Hay Patcher to get Broad Brush.  This mating not only effected inbreeding to *The Squaw II, but Hay Patcher descended from another good sire producing family, that of Hidden Talent (Capote, Exceller, Baldski, etc.)

It has always been our observation that the majority of mares bred to Broad Brush, while very competent racehorses, were not necessarily from the best families, and certainly were not from the best sire families.  As a result, he has only a handful of sons listed at stud.  The best of these were undoubtedly Best of Luck, Include and Mongoose.  All were good racehorses.

Best of Luck earned over $600,000 in wins like the G2 Peter Pan Stakes.  He is from Storm Cat’s family and looks like his broodmare sire, Chief’s Crown.  He had virtually no support at stud and the only thing we could find about him after an extensive search was that he ‘might’ be in Morocco!

Include is a full or three-quarter brother to a bunch of other Broad Brush get and this is logical, as he is inbred to Hidden Talent via Turn To Talent/Too Bald on a 3 x 4 cross.  His tail-female line, Trustful – Family 19 – is not a hotbed of sire production but it has gotten Rambunctious, the great German Surumu, King’s Troop, Solazo, and the California kingpin Pirate’s Bounty.

He doesn’t look much like Broad Brush either, favoring his broodmare sire Stop The Music.  He has the advantage of standing in Kentucky at Airdrie Stud which gives their sires every chance.

Include has sired 1007 foals and there is a chance that somewhere, even in South America, he might still get that vital, all-important son.  He moves hismares up and has sired 42 stakes winners, though most of them are fillies

It is undoubtedly a real problem that the majority of Ack Ack/Broad Brush/Include types are little brown horses that are not huge, flashy or precocious.  However they do represent sound speed.  Too bad that doesn’t seem to impress the market!

Mongoose looked more like Broad Brush than the others.  He initially stood in Florida.  A winner of almost $700,000 and his victories included the G1 Donn Handicap.  From the Agrippine (2-G) family that gave us Cigar, this gorgeous dark bay has three crosses of *The Squaw II via How x2/Cherokee Rose.  Keep in mind that his foundation mare, Agrippine, is inbred to Foxlaw, a full brother to Aloe, so send him some Round Table/Monarchy blood and keep it coming.  He’ll like Gone West too (the Aroma branch of Aloe, and Sharpen Up).  And where do we find Mongoose these days?  Try Peru.

The majority of stakes winners by Broad Brush have not been bred on any particular pattern, though several have keyed off his *Turn-to double.  Because both of his *Turn-to lines are daughters, he is relatively easy to balance in this regard.  Products of balanced *Turn-to inbreeding among Broad Brush’s top runners include Mongoose and Include as well as Sticks And Bricks, Bristling, Brushed Halory and Merengue.

Hot Brush (*Ambiorix) and Tookin Down and Tough Broad (*My Babu) have played off the bottom half of Broad Brush’s *Turn-to double, affecting inbreeding to Lavendula.  And from time to time, another line of *The Squaw II has been added with success.

Stakes winners bred along these lines include Shashoebegon (x3 *The Squaw II via Ack Ack, Tom Rolfe and Chieftain); Bristling (x3 The Squaw II via Tom Rofle x2/Ack Ack); One Bold Stroke (x3 (*The Squaw II via Ack Ack, Tom Rolfe and Chieftain) and Mongoose (Tom Rolfe x2/Ack Ack).

With the exception of Include and his siblings, the majority of Broad Brush’s other top winners have patterns which are either too common to count (i.e. ‘standard patterns’) or they are carried only by the mare (i.e. the mare Halory, dam of Brushed Halory, who is inbred to Almahmoud).

The result of this lack of inbreeding (why not more Hidden Talent-line mares which gave us Include?) causes us to believe that we might never have seen the best of Broad Brush.  This is borne out by how few G1 winners he sired (just five, unless you count a Japanese G1 winner, then six).

Include’s patterns have been similar, but via Turn-to line Hail to Reason and even Ack Ack adding more Turn-to, plus adding more Ribot to his own double, something that seems counter productive, due to temperament issues.  Given his age, someone might want to try something different so we can at least have a glimmer of hope he will get an important son.

The lack of quality in the tail-female lines of Broad Brush horses overall is also reflected in his lack of throwing sparks as a broodmare sire.  Through never a leading broodmare sire, he is represented by three very nice horses at stud:  Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Fort Larned, out of Bayakoa’s daughter Alucrea; Lewis Michael from Kitten’s Joy’s family and Richard’s kid from the Dustwhirl line.

Include’s daughters have no sire sons at stud as of 2016.  That will probably change since the ‘filly sire’ label is both a blessing and a curse with a male line that needs sons to carry on more than they need daughters.

Until he was pensioned in 2006, Broad Brush’s stud fee had risen steadily, but he was never a truly commercial horse.  As a result, the best mare he probably ever saw, Winning Colors, had a beautiful son by him named Dr. Litin.  He brought $2.5 million at auction and never won a dime.  Banished to stud in Oregon, he was barely advertised.

We’re very worried about this sire line.  It is a favorite and not only Broad Brush, but Ack Ack as well was as lovely a physical horse and as determined a runner as one is likely to see.  To watch them in action, or to see their best foals, was to know the Domino line had been held safe for another generation.  At first, we thought Include was the right horse to get the job done – and indeed there is still a little time.  But in all honesty, it just doesn’t look good.

Having seen almost all our beloved Round Table gone, as well as so many others like *Gallant Man and Hyperion and *The Axe II and *Herbager, we know how quickly these sire lines slip from grasp.  We hope and pray with every fiber of our being that this does not happen to Broad Brush.

Ellen Parker’s Broad Brush story originally appeared in Pedlines #63, March 2001

and has been updated for the website