|Bayern in 2015|
Making his mark on the 3-year-old division in 2014, Bayern (Offlee Wild) won from seven furlongs to 1 ¼ miles during his career with graded stakes victories coming at four different distances.
The son of Offlee Wild made his debut on Jan. 4, 2014 by 3 ¼ lengths at Santa Anita and followed that up with a 15 length victory in an allowance a little over a month later. His first loss came in the Arkansas Derby in April, his first attempt at stretching past a mile, but the ridgling didn’t disgrace himself when finishing third.
Three starts later he got his first graded stakes victory in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens when winning by 7 1/2 lengths and followed that up with a Grade 1 victory in the Haskell Invitational to give trainer Bob Baffert his seventh victory in the race. After a bad run in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes, Bayern faced a tough field of 3-year-olds including dual-classic winner California Chrome (Lucky Pulpit) in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby. One of the horses to help build that race’s reputation, Bayern cruised to a 5 ¾ length victory in a track record time of 1:46.96 for nine furlongs in his final prep for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Bayern’s biggest accomplishment was his most controversial race when he came in at the break of the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He cruised on the lead after that and showed guts when he was confronted by both Toast of New York (Thewayyouare) and California Chrome in the final strides of the race. The top three horses were only a neck apart with Bayern then having to survive an inquiry for his win.
Bayern ended his year with a record of six wins, one second and one third in 10 starts for $4,389,680 in earnings. While he didn’t take home any year-end awards with California Chrome locking those up with his Kentucky Derby and Preakness victories, Bayern was a finalist for both the Eclipse 3-year-old male a Horse of the Year awards.
In 2015, Bayern returned to the track but didn’t have the same kick as before, running four times and finishing third twice for only $65,260 earned this year. After a distant third place finish in the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes in September, Bayern was retired to Hill ‘n’ Dale in Kentucky.
Born in 2011 Bayern is by Grade 1 winner Offlee Wild (Wild Again), who moved to Pin Oak Lane in Pennsylvania from Darley in Lexington, Ky. the same year Bayern was born. Less than a month before Bayern won the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Offlee Wild was sold to stand at the Jockey Club of Turkey in Turkey.
As of Dec. 7, Offlee Wild is the sire of 236 winners and 17 stakes winners from 331 foals to race according to Equineline. That charge is led by United States champion and Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner She Be Wild and Bayern. While he has two Grade 1 winners, most of Offlee Wild’s winners are at the lower graded stakes level.
Bayern’s female family is strong, tracing back to bluehen mare Courtly Dee (Never Bend).
His first dam is an unraced daughter of Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner Thunder Gulch named Alittlebitearly. Now 13 years old, Alittlebitearly has six foals with all three foals over two years of age winning. Alittlebitearly is also the dam of this year’s Fasig-Tipton Florida Sale sales topper, a $1.4 million Scat Daddy colt.
Alittlebitearly’s dam is the multiple graded stakes winner Aquilegia (Alydar), the dam of three stakes winners. While her dam Courtly Dee is one of the best mares in the stud book, Aquilegia has held her own as well.
In addition to Alittlebitearly producing Bayern, Aquilegia’s daughter Amelia (Dixieland Band) is the dam of graded stakes winners Assateague (Stormy Atlantic), Kindergarden Kid (Dynaformer) and Rainha Da Bateria (Broken Vow) in addition to Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile runner-up He’s Had Enough (Tapit). Amelia has already started making her mark as a producer-of-producers with her daughter Acadiana (Tiznow) throwing Grade 2 placed Duff One (Harlan’s Holiday) as her third foal.
Broodmare of the Year Courtly Dee is the anchor of the immediate family and makes Bayern a very attractively bred colt.
Courtly Dee produced 10 stakes winners including 2-year-old champion filly and Arkansas Derby winner Althea (Alydar). But if her 15 winners wasn’t enough, she is the granddam, great-granddam or third dam of at least 55 stakes winners. Among the horses in the Courtly Dee with Bayern are leading sires Green Desert (Danzig) and Arch (Kris. S), Group 1 winner Azzaam (Chief’s Crown) and Grade 1 winner Balletto (UAE) (Timber Country).
While Bayern’s career was overshadowed by the Breeders’ Cup Classic and a less-than-stellar 4-year-old year, his ability to go both short and long plus a strong pedigree should be major attractions for breeders in the United States in 2016.
Bayern will stand for $15,000 in 2016, one of seven new stallions standing in Kentucky for between $10,000 and $20,000 next year.