Monday, December 10, 2012

Newcomers Series: Stay Thirsty


2011 Breeders' Cup (Melissa Bauer-Herzog)

Multiple Grade 1 winner Stay Thirsty joins four other freshmen by 2006 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Bernardini in 2013. This is the first time Bernardini will have more than one son standing in a season as sophomore stallion Wilburn stood his first year in 2012 last year.

While Stay Thirsty was eclipsed by stablemate Uncle Mo during the majority of his career, he has a successful record, especially in New York races. As a 2-year-old, Stay Thirsty finished second in the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) behind Boys At Tosconova. He ended his second with a fifth place finish in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) behind Uncle Mo.

Stay Thirsty built his resume in 2011 as a 3-year-old, starting with a win in the Gotham Stakes (gr. III) and highlighting the year with a 1 1/4 length victory in the Travers Stakes (gr. I). The colt also finished second in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) by ¾ of a length behind Ruler On Ice. He topped off his New York campaign with a third place finish in the Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes (gr. I) behind Flat Out and eventual Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Drosselmeyer. Stay Thirsty ended his 3-year-old season in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I), finishing 11th.

In 2012, he finished second in the ungraded Vanlandingham Stakes in his May debut but finished second in two graded stakes before finishing second by a head to Flat Out in the TVG Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational Stakes (gr. I). Stay Thirsty finished his career with a second grade one victory when he won the Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I) over Groupie Doll.

In total, Stay Thirsty retired with a record of five wins, five seconds, and one third in 17 starts for $1,936,000 in earnings. Of those five wins, two were Grade 1 victories, with one Grade 2 and one Grade 3. He also finished second in three Grade 1 races and third in another.

Stay Thirsty’s sire Bernardini was the Three-Year-Old Champion of 2006 and had a streak of five graded victories in a row before finishing second to Horse of the Year Invasor (ARG) in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I). Stay Thirsty was from Bernardini’s first crop and helped him rank third on the Leading First-Crop Sires list in 2010. Bernardini was the Leading Second-Crop sire in 2011.

Stay Thirsty’s dam Marozia (Storm Bird) raced in Europe, winning one race in nine starts and hitting the board three other times. She has proven to be a respectable producer with nine foals of racing age on the ground. From those foals, six have went on to race with five breaking their maidens and three winning stakes. Andromeda’s Hero and Stay Thirsty both brought home graded stakes wins for the mare with Andormeda’s Hero also finishing second in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) in 2005. Marozia only has one grandfoal of racing age, who has not yet started.

Stay Thirsty’s granddam Make Change (Roberto) was an ungraded stakes winner but hit the board in multiple graded stakes including seconds in five grade one races. In all, she won five times, finished second six times and third five times in 23 starts for $506,338 in earnings.

Make Change had eight foals with the first coming in 1991 and the last in 1999. She produced flat runners in addition to steeplechasers with two of her foals winning multiple hurdle races.  Of her flat racers, Make Change threw two winners from two to race but according to Equibase, none of her foals ever won a stakes race. Marozia was Make Change’s most successful producer but Make Change’s daughter Time Changes (Danzig) also threw the stakes placed Age of Reason (UAE).

Make Change’s dam Equal Change (Arts and Letters) won three races during her career and finished second in the 1975 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) for $47,804 in eight career starts. From nine of racing age, six of Equal Change’s foals made it to the track with five breaking their maidens, two winning stakes races and Spur Wing (Storm Bird) winning the Carousel Handicap (gr. I). Her daughters produced multiple winners on the flat and over the jumps. In addition to winning, multiple daughters threw stakes placed horses.

2010 Breeders' Cup (Melissa Bauer-Herzog)
Stay Thirsty has a cross of Northern Dancer on his pedigree through his maternal grandsire Storm Bird and his paternal granddam Cara Rafaela. The 3 x 5 Northern Dancer cross the only doubling of a horse in the first five generations. While Northern Dancer is a prominent name in thoroughbred pedigrees, the lack of doubling in any other names in the immediate pedigree leaves Stay Thirsty a lot of options for mares.

With his female family’s success with jumpers in his second and third dam, he could also bring an interesting twist to the steeplechase scene if any breeder decides to go that route. Of the six Bernardini stallions standing at stud in 2013, Stay Thirsty is the second most expensive at stud with a fee of $20,000 behind To Honor And Serve’s $30,000.

Stay Thirsty will stand at Ashford Stud in Versailles, Kentucky in 2013.

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