Pedigree Analysis: Runaway Wave

A queen accepts her crown.

Q-Racing Journal

All-time leading broodmare Runaway Wave. PHOTO: Probity Photography

In this week’s Pedigree Analysis, I am going to pause to acknowledge the cumulative body of work of Lucas Racing Inc.’s Runaway Wave. On Sunday, her Corona Cartel colt The Ocean King notched his first career stakes win in The Signature Stakes at Hialeah, becoming her seventh stakes winner.

The Ocean King is owned by a syndicate, and his work helps enhance the reputation of his dam, who only a few weeks earlier became American Quarter Horse racing’s all-time leading broodmare by money earned. Runaway Wave steps ahead of 2015 American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame inductee Corona Chick, who held the title for 13 years.

Runaway Wave was bred by Dan and Allison Lucas and is by Runaway Winner and out of the Thoroughbred mare In The Curl, a daughter of Shelter Half. She is a dam of distinction and was the broodmare of the year in 2005.

Her runners are led by champion Ocean Runaway ($1,642,498), world champion Wave Carver ($1,005,946), Grade 1 winner Trisk ($254,233); Grade 1-placed Sir Runaway Dash ($120,706); stakes winners Little Surfer ($102,749), Aquafina ($184,788), The Ocean King ($41,000) and Whip Curl ($24,853); and stakes-placed runners Bring The Bling ($67,320), Seaside ($37,996) and Surf Dog ($37,013).

Her sire, Runaway Winner (Beduino (TB)-Miss Fast Chic by Fast Jet), was bred by Chris Cox and was owned since his yearling year by AQHA Past President Jerry Windham. A two-time Grade 1 winner, Runaway Winner sired the earners of more than $13.7 million. It is notable that of the top four all-time leading broodmares, two of them – Runaway Wave and Veva Jean – are sired by Runaway Winner. Corona Chick is also sired by a Beduino son (Chicks Beduino), and the fourth, One Sweet Dash, is out of a Beduino mare.

Runaway Wave’s dam, In The Curl, is Lucas’ foundation dam. She made an astounding 85 starts on the racetrack, running on the Mid-Atlantic circuit, and won 26 of them, including eight stakes wins. Lucas snapped her up at the conclusion of her race career, and she has produced quite a legacy in Quarter Horse racing.

In addition to producing the sport’s all-time leading dam, In The Curl also foaled All American Futurity-placed runner First Down N Surfin ($290,681), Harbor Beach ($129,371) and the Thoroughbred Igofast ($105,689).

Her daughters and their families have produced the likes of Open Me A Corona ($525,298), Regal Eagle ($467,790), Stel My Corona ($187,768), Ocean Cartel ($186,103), Corona Deluxe ($168,135), Country Boy Deluxe ($157,636) and Feature Mr Lucky ($113,904), among many others.

In The Curl’s immediate family is also sprinkled with runners in the Thoroughbred world. Among them are Grade 3-winner Praying For Cash ($429,260), and stakes-placed runners Credit Report ($292,461) and Red Bengal ($110,518).

Lucas also acquired a full sister to In The Curl named Pernilla (TB), who would produce stakes winner Streakin Kilobyte ($294,431) and was the second dam to Grade 1-placed runner Bikers Bono ($118,030).

So congratulations go out to the connections of Runaway Wave and her tremendous family. In honor of this rare occasion and the fact that a new breeding season is upon us, I am including here a few excerpts from a previous interview I did with Dan Lucas, whose Lucas Racing Inc. was the sport’s champion breeder in 2004. The interview, published in 2006, explored some thoughts on breeding and pedigrees, and was published in the American Quarter Horse Racing Journal.

QRJ: What do you shop for when you pick a broodmare?

DL: I try to breed my own, so it takes me longer. Basically, I start with a Thoroughbred mare that I think has the potential to cross with Quarter Horses, pick the right Quarter Horse (stallion) that fits that mare, then take those daughters and cross them back again. It takes at least two generations, and it’s hard to do. But if everything goes right, you come up with what you’re looking for. I’m trying to find a Thoroughbred with speed but that also has soundness.

QRJ: What bloodlines are desirable to you in a Thoroughbred pedigree?

DL: In the modern day, we have Raise A Native through Raise Your Glass to Special Effort. You have to be very careful with the Raise A Native line because of bad ankles. But he’s certainly a source of speed.

There has been some Nasrullah and Bold Ruler blood that worked. Generally, they were pretty sound and pretty fast, but they were just too bulky and never really panned out. I went more toward Intentionally, Intent (sire of Intentionally) and Tentam (a son of Intentionally). Tentam’s son Shelter Half is the sire of In The Curl. The reason is there is a lot of speed there and they are really sound. The have a very high percentage of runners from foals and winners from runners along the sire line. Aforethought, a son of Intentionally, produced a couple of All American winners (Timeto Thinkrich and Hot Idea). That breeding seemed to die out, but it has worked for me.

I also don’t mind having the Hyperion line in there.

QRJ: If you had to sacrifice something, what would it be?

DL: Believe it or not, I’d probably sacrifice speed first, because I am breeding for the second generation. I’m not worried about speed, I can always put it back in them. What I’m trying to get is the courage, heart and soundness. One of the things I’m most proud of is how sound our babies are and how many races they get. Ocean Runaway and Wave Carver were never operated on during their racing careers.

QRJ: What happens when a Thoroughbred doesn’t cross?

DL: Most crosses don’t work. (Horses like) Three Bars (TB) and Top Deck (TB), where everything seemed to work, are rare. With most of them, the flaws come out. The babies don’t come out looking right, and they fall to the wayside. Beduino (TB) bred hundreds of mares and many didn’t work, but a few hit right on, like (sons) Runaway Winner and Chicks Beduino. In the second generation, there’s Corona Chick (by Chicks Beduino) and the produce of the Beduino mares out of Ought To Go (blue hens Bedawee and Fishers Favorite). You take a lot of risk with trying it, knowing that most times it just isn’t going to work. But then you get a super individual and boom, there’s the next influential line.

I look at the tremendously influential breeders that have succeeded in doing this. The Vessels family brought us Beduino, Phillips Ranch brought us Dash For Cash, who was out of a To Market Thoroughbred mare; Walter Merrick brought us Three Bars. There are a lot more examples, but these are folks who tried things. It’s easy to go popular horse to popular horse, but they tried to pull from the Thoroughbred business, took huge risks and had a lot of it not succeed. But in the end, they came up with the things that were most important to the breed long-term, and I respect that tremendously.

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