In a 2011 freshman crop that included many of the superstars of 2007, multiple names were put in the hat for top freshman sire. From Street Sense to Any Given Saturday, all the horses came with dreams of monumental success in the shed.
However, in the discussions, few people remembered one of the original superstars of that year, G1 Florida Derby winner Scat Daddy. The son of Johannesburg never returned to the track after his disappointing 18th place finish in the G1 Kentucky Derby and was overshadowed by thoughts of other horses in that crop.
Scat Daddy retired with a record of 9-5-1-1 and earnings of $1,334,300, but in a year that included Curlin, Rags to Riches and others, he was shoved to the back of many minds.
But last year, Scat Daddy returned to the forefront when his foals burst onto the scene and earned him the Leading Freshman Sire title. The stallion ended the year with 29 winners from 63 starters, five stakes wins and three graded stakes wins for a win percentage of 46 percent. Out of the 101 foals he had in his first crop, 63 hit the track, not only giving him a 62 percent starter percentage but earnings of $1,698,560 in his freshman year.
Scat Daddy's first crop of two-year-olds gave him three more winners and $1,058 more in progeny earnings than second place Hard Spun. It should also be noted that this was done with ten less foals hitting the track and 79 less foals in his first crop. Both sires beat out third place Corinthian by over $680,000.
Over half way into 2012, Scat Daddy once has his name on top, this time on the Second Crop Sires list. He has had 78 starters so far this year with 38 winners, four stakes wins, and three graded stakes wins, including Daddy Long Legs victory in the U.A.E. Derby on Dubai World Cup day. Scat Daddy's earnings have also gone up from $1.6 million to $3,419,183 in only a little over six months.
For one final touch, Scat Daddy also had two Kentucky Derby runners in Daddy Long Legs and Daddy Nose Best, finishing 20th and 10th respectively. Daddy Nose Best also made an appearance in the Preakness Stakes, finishing ninth.
Scat Daddy's record of siring successful racehorses isn't the only the only thing the young stallion has going for him. He is by the Hennessy stallion Johannesburg, who was the Leading North American General Sire and 2-Year-Olds in 2010 by number of winners and like his son, the Leading Freshman Sire of his year.
According to the Blood Horse, when Johannesburg was sold to Japan interests in 2009, he had 26 Stakes winners and progeny earnings of over $19 million with stakes winners all over the world.
If that's not enough, Johannesburg's dam is half sister to Tale of the Cat and Spunoutacontrol (dam of Spun Silk). In addition, they are from the female family of Preach, dam of Pulpit.
Scat Daddy's dam, the unraced Love Style, has had three foals to race with her 2010 filly by A.P. Indy currently working towards a debut. The A.P. Indy filly, named Antipathy, last put in a bullet over three furlongs at Saratoga on July 4th.
While Love Style's first foal, a 2003 filly by Hennessy, didn't land in the money in her two starts, Scat Daddy's full brother earned over $150,000. Grand Daddy was stakes placed as a three-year-old, placing second in the 2010 Forego Stakes but finally broke the stakes winning barrier in January of this year when winning the same stakes in his third try (he also finished 4th in the 2011 edition of the race).
The farther one goes into Scat Daddy's female family, the more recognizable his page becomes. His granddam, Likeable Style, was a multiple graded stakes winner including a win in the the G1 Las Virgenes Stakes. She is also the dam of Grats (A.P. Indy), winner of the 2007 Glendale Handicap and Special Times, a stakes placed son of Seeking the Gold.
And finally, Scat Daddy's third dam is the multiple stakes winner, and earner of $227,971, Personable Lady. Her son West Coast Warrior never won a stakes race during his career but was seen on the board in multiple stakes attempts for earnings of over $336,000 in 44 starts.
If someone would have said Scat Daddy would be the best sire of the 2007 retirees, it's highly unlikely more than a few would have agreed with them. But a year and a half into his career, it looks like Scat Daddy will make an impact on the sport for years to come.
Scat Daddy stands at Coolmore's Ashford Stud in Kentucky for a fee of $17,500 in 2012, up from $10,000 last year, his first increase since he initially stood for $30,000 in 2008.