For Akasha’s 2018 mate, we are going in a different direction than we did for her first two matings, when we targeted the Danzig sire line and bred her to War Front’s sons Data Link in 2016 and Hit It A Bomb in 2017. Instead of a fast, precocious, turf-oriented stallion whose offspring have yet to reach the races, Akasha will be bred in 2018 to the classically-inclined and highly-proven veteran sire, Include.
Crossing Include with Akasha creates some fascinating inbreeding and line-breeding to stouter influences than those typically found in modern pedigrees – i.e., Mr. Prospector and Northern Dancer. While each of those two scions will appear just once in the pedigree of the foal resulting from this mating, Include has three crosses of Turn-To and he is also inbred to 5×5 to the unbeaten Ribot, while Akasha contributes one line of Turn-To and one of Ribot – meaning that their foal will be inbred 5x5x5x5 to Turn-To (“a strain that has been synonymous with honest durability for decades”) and line-bred 6x6x5 to Ribot. Tom Fool, a Horse of the Year before becoming the sire of Buckpasser and the broodmare sire of Stop the Music, will appear 5×6 in this foal’s pedigree.
Mares with more of this blood have already had success when mated to Include: his Grade 1 winner Panty Raid and her Grade 2-winning full-sister St. John’s River both have another cross of each of Tom Fool and Turn-To’s son Hail To Reason; his Grade 1 winner Her Smile has another cross of each of Ribot and Hail To Reason; his Grade 1 winner Include Betty has two more crosses of Turn-To; his Grade 2 winner Redeemed (out of a Pleasant Tap mare like Akasha) has two more crosses of Ribot and one of Hail To Reason; while his Grade 3 winner She’s All In has another cross of Turn-To.
In addition, Include’s sire, Broad Brush, got Eclipse Champion Farda Amiga out of a Pleasant Colony mare (Akasha is by Pleasant Tap, a son of Pleasant Colony), and Grade 1 winner Mongoose out of a daughter of Cox’s Ridge (the sire of Akasha’s dam, Good Opportunity).
The nicking systems like this match, with TrueNicks giving it an “A++”, eNicks giving it an “A+”, and G1 Goldmine calling it a “20/20 Mating.”
And, importantly for us, Akasha’s dam, Good Opportunity, is a half-sister to the multiple stakes-placed winner Looking Afar, by Include’s sire Broad Brush, so this is a sire-line that has already worked with Akasha’s female family. (It is also worth noting that, in addition to her racing accomplishments, Looking Afar is the dam of Grade 2 winner Nefertini and 2018 stakes winner In the Navy Now.)
Include’s credentials as a runner and sire are also fantastic, independent of how well his pedigree meshes with Akasha’s. A homebred Maryland product by 1994’s leading sire, Broad Brush, who was also bred by and raced for Robert Meyerhoff, Include was stakes winner at 3, a Grade 1 winner of the Pimlico Special and four other stakes at 4, and a stakes winner at 5. In total, he won ten of twenty starts, including seven stakes, for earnings of $1,659,560. He put up thirteen triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures, including back-to-back performances of 117 as a 4-year-old.
In the breeding shed, Include has a reputation as a bit of a “filly sire,” as the females Panty Raid, Include Me Out, Include Betty, Her Smile, and Cash Included account for his North American Grade 1 victories. (In the Southern Hemisphere, where he was the leading Argentine sire of 2015, Include has produced an additional four Grade 1 winners, one of them being the colt Don Inc. Another of those Argentinian Group 1 winners is Samba Inc, who is now with trainer Bob Baffert in California. Incidentally, she is another successful Include offspring with an additional cross of Hail To Reason in the bottom side of her pedigree.) Include’s best racing son in the U.S. is Grade 2 winner Redeemed, who took the Brooklyn Handicap and currently stands at stud at Maryland’s Northview Stallion Station (where he is the only current hope of continuing the “all American” Domino sire-line, as Broad Brush’s other highly-accomplished racing son, Concern, did not breed on). Mostly known for runners who improve with age and distance, it is worth noting that Cash Included won her Grade 1 at 2, Her Smile was a Grade 1 winner at 6 furlongs, and Riker was the champion 2-year-old colt in Canada in 2015, so Include can get a precocious runner (not that we’re expecting that out of Akasha).
Regardless of gender, Include has produced a total of 40 Northern Hemisphere stakes winners (overall, he reached 50 career black-type winners in October ’17), good for 6% of his foals, and his AEI of 1.51 is well above his 1.34 CI, meaning that he moves his mares way up. These statistics make him an excellent mate for a young broodmare like Akasha.
Physically, Include and Akasha will make a great, like-to-like pairing as they are both tall, rangy horses with short cannons and strong bone, and we look for them to produce a sturdy, sound foal that will run all day, and for a long time, racking up Maryland-bred bonuses.
Include wins the G1 Pimlico Special
Include wins the G2 Mass Cap
Include’s daughter Include Betty wins the G1 Mother Goose
Include’s daughter Panty Raid wins the G1 Spinster
Include’s daughter Her Smile wins the G1 Prioress
Include’s son Redeemed wins the G2 Brooklyn