Monday, November 9, 2015

Bargain Sire City Zip

City Zip at Lane's End in 2014
Retiring in late 2001 as a 3-year-old after winning nine of his 23 starts, including the 2000 Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes, City Zip was the first notable racehorse out of stakes winner Baby Zip. That mare would go on to produce two more graded stakes winners in addition to being the second dam of three others.

The third foal out of Baby Zip, City Zip retired to Contemporary Stakes in New York as only the fourth horse to sweep the Hopeful, Saratoga Special and Sanford. The stallion would start his career at a modest stud fee of $7,500.

City Zip held his own during his few years in New York, breeding a combined 305 mares between 2002 and 2004 with Grade 1 winner Bustin Stones, Grade 2 winner With a City and multiple Grade 3 winner Get Serious leading the 13 stakes winners produced from those crops. But the best was yet to come when his younger half-brother Ghostzapper burst onto the scene in 2004, winning Horse of the Year honors and convincing Lane's End Farm in Kentucky to purchase the unproven City Zip from New York.

City Zip's fee rose to $15,000 for 2005, a risky move for a stallion whose first foals had just turned two that year. But with 20 winners from 39 runners in his first New York crop, the leader of all first year sires that year, that fee would soon prove to be worth it.
Breeders' Cup winner and champion Work All Week

City Zip bred 80 mares during his first year in Kentucky with 63 live foals born in 2006, including Puerto Rico champion filly Dana My Love and multiple graded stakes winners Run Away and Hide and Unzip Me.

His second Kentucky Crop jumped up to 112 live foals from 145 mares bred with 10 stakes winners coming from that crop. Since that second Kentucky crop, City Zip has bred an average of 120 mares a year, siring horses such as Breeders' Cup winners Dayatthespa, Work All Week and Catch a Glimpse in addition to multiple Grade 1 winner Palace for a total of 56 stakes winners (6 percent stakes winners from horses of racing age) and 59 other stakes horses with every one of his crops producing at least two stakes winners.
Dayatthespa winning the 2014 First Lady
But perhaps more impressive than his numbers is his versatility as a sire.

Last year, the diversity of his offspring was on full display at the Breeders' Cup in late October when five-year-old filly Dayatthespa won the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at 1 1/4 miles and Work All Week won the Breeders' Cup Sprint going six furlongs on dirt. Both horses would be crowned the champion of their respective divisions at the end of the year. This year's Breeders' Cup winner Catch a Glimpse was another turf filly for the sire while Ready for Rye was a graded stakes winner going seven furlongs on dirt with four others winning graded stakes over varying surfaces and distances. 

However, City Zip is still an affordable option for many breeders.  

The stallion was standing for $25,000 in 2014 and had only a $15,000 raise in his stud fee in 2015 to $40,000, even with 17 stakes winners and four Grade 1 winners that year, according to Blood-Horse Stallion Register. The stallion has 11 stakes winners and six graded stakes winners in 2015 to rank eleventh nationally but Lane's End recently announced that his fee will stay at $40,000 in 2016.
Catch a Glimpse after winning the 2015 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf
For those who are concerned about results in the ring as well as on the track, City Zip has held his own there as well. The stallion's top yearling colt was sold for $300,000 this year while his top filly brought $250,000 according to Thoroughbred Daily News. The 46 City Zip yearlings to sell in 2015 brought an average of $89,532 and a median of $72,500, three times the $25,000 stud fee they were bred on in 2013.

The hardest part of the decision on who to breed City Zip to will almost certainly be in Lane's End's hands this season as it is likely they will have more submissions than they know what to do with when the breeding season starts in early February.

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