A great-granddaughter of 1959 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year Knight's Daughter and a granddaughter of the great Round Table's stakes-winning full sister Monarchy, Narrate proved a good but not stellar race mare, winning the 1983 Falls City Handicap (USA-G3). She produced two important daughters. One, Preach, showed ability on the track with a win in the 1991 Frizette Stakes (USA-G1) before producing Pulpit to a cover by A.P. Indy. A multiple Grade 2 winner whose racing career was cut short by injury, Pulpit became a valuable stallion at Claiborne and sired a still better stallion in three-time American champion sire Tapit, now the primary conduit for the Seattle Slew/A.P. Indy male line.
The other of Narrate's important daughters was Yarn, a full sister to Preach. Not nearly as able as Preach on the track, Yarn improved on her sister's record as a producer, throwing 2000 English and Irish champion 2-year-old male Minardi (by Boundary) and Grade 2 winner Tale of the Cat (by Storm Cat), a prolific sire at Ashford Stud. Yarn also produced Myth (by Ogygian), whose son Johannesburg (by Hennessy) was the champion juvenile of 2001 in both Europe and the United States. Johannesburg, in turn, is the sire of Scat Daddy, who was a two-time champion sire in Chile and well on his way to superstardom as a stallion in North America when he died unexpectedly in December 2015.
Justify's inbreeding to Narrate comes by way of his second dam Magical Illusion, who was sired by Pulpit, and is reinforced by inbreeding to two Claiborne stallions who crossed fruitfully with Narrate's family. One is Mr. Prospector, who sired Preach and Yarn and is also the sire of Scat Daddy's dam, Love Style. The other is Nijinsky II, who sired both State, the dam of Narrate, and Scat Daddy's second dam, Likeable Style, and whose son Baldski sired Justify's third dam, Voodoo Lily.
Likewise, Sanenus shows inbreeding to Narrate's family buttressed by inbreeding to a stallion that had crossed well with that family. In her case, both the Narrate crosses come through Yarn, as Sanenus is a maternal granddaughter of Tale of the Cat. As Scat Daddy and Tale of the Cat are both male-line descendants of Storm Cat, Sanenus is inbred to that stallion as well, in her case 4x3.
While it is interesting to note the common elements in the pedigrees of Justify and Sanenus, it is also worth noting important differences that have been reflected in racing performance. Inbred to the stamina influence Nijinsky II and with 2004 Breeders' Cup Classic (USA-G1) winner Ghostzapper as his broodmare sire, Justify was less precocious than Sanenus but stayed much better, well enough to sweep the American Triple Crown series. Sanenus' record to date is that of a sprinter-miler, and the 8.5 furlong La Canada is the longest stakes race she has won. In her case, the speedy tendencies bequeathed by Monarchy have been reinforced by the doubling of Storm Cat, and the background of her second dam Hay Lauren contains more speed in the forms of her ancestors Hagley, Olden Times, and Dangerous Dame.
No form of inbreeding or line breeding is ever a ticket to racing glory in and of itself; no matter how clever a pedigree may be, it needs to be supported by careful selection of the individuals involved for compatibility in their physical and mental traits and for avoidance of doubling down on problem areas. Nonetheless, when patterns repeat themselves in the breeding of top racehorses, they are worth studying and, if suitable opportunities present themselves, imitating.