Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Sires to Watch: Interesting OBS March Stallions

Candy Ride
Tuesday marks the start of the second major 2-year-old sale of the year and with 521 2-year-olds slated to go through the ring at OBS's March Sale as of Sunday morning, buyers have a variety of horses to choose from. While buyers have long been doing their homework for this sale, they got their first glimpse of the potential the horses show on the track last week when the 2-year-olds put in their only public breeze before going through the ring at the breeze show. 

With bullets of :9.3 for a furlong and :20.2 over a quarter mile, the 2-year-olds were motoring over the synthetic surface at OBS with 48 horses working under 10 seconds during the three-day preview last week. While buyers can always expect stallions like Tapit (Pulpit), Scat Daddy (Johannesburg), Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie) and War Front (Danzig) to be popular, the breeze show highlighted a few others that may be worth a second look before they enter the ring over the next few days. 

Here are eight stallions whose 2-year-olds caught my eye going into this sale.

It’s no surprise that the Bodemeister (Empire Maker) 2-year-olds are horses to watch. He’s been the most hyped horse of the 2013 freshman sires crop since he retired and if he didn’t get the best book of mares of any of the new stallions in North America that year, it was close. Bodemeister’s highest priced horse at the Fasig-Tipton Florida Sale two weeks ago was a $650,000 colt and at OBS he had two fillies work in :9.4 with a pair of colts hitting the :10.0 mark as well. His horses didn’t work as well at a quarter mile but that can be semi-forgiven in many cases at a sale this early since a lot of horses aren’t ready for that distance. Overall, Bodemeister currently has 12 horses left in this sale with his first horse through the ring being Hip 27. At Fasig-Tipton, Bodemeister was beat out by Union Rags (Dixie Union) as the sire to throw the the highest priced first-crop sire 2-year-old and they may battle it out again here but Union Rags’ fastest workers went :10.0, which may give Bodemeister an advantage.

There may not be a hotter stallion out there not named Tapit or Uncle Mo for American buyers than Candy Ride (Ride the Rails) right now. It seems like everywhere you look, Candy Ride is in the news and this is buyers’ first opportunity to get their hands on one of his 2-year-olds. He didn’t have any horse break that magical :10.0 mark but between his reputation and having multiple horses go :10.1 and :10.2 with none going slower than :10.4, it won’t be surprising to see some of his 2-year-olds bringing enough money to put him near the top of the leaderboard.

Candy Ride
Talk about a consistent group of horses for Gemologist (Tiznow). He had one 2-year-old go just a tick off the :9.3 bullet and seven of his 14 others to breeze a furlong went in :10.0 with four others going in :10.1. He’s one of those first crop sires who leaves a little mystery as to what he’s going to throw racehorse-wise but his breezes look promising so far. He didn’t have much luck at the Fasig-Tipton sale with both his horses RNAing but there seems to be a lot more talk about him this week, which should bode well for him. As of right now, he has 16 horses still scheduled to go through the ring.

Sent to South Korea after just one year at stud, Hansen (Tapit) will only have one U.S.-bred crop unless his first crop of 2-year-olds hit the track running and earn him a ticket back to Kentucky. Obviously breeze shows aren’t a promise that a sire’s horses will blow up the track when they get into a competitive situation but it does show that the horses have at least some speed and talent. It seems like Hansen definitely gave his foals some speed as two of them worked in :9.4 with his three others to work a furlong going in :10.0 and :10.1 (two of them), respectively. Hansen did well at the Fasig-Tipton sale a few weeks ago with his only horse selling for $225,000, which makes it look like this will be a promising sale for him as well.

Hansen winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile
There’s not much to say about Into Mischief (Harlan’s Holiday) that hasn’t been said before. The stallion has surprised almost everyone with the early success he’s had with 13 of his 147 foals winning stakes races and another six placing in stakes according to Equineline. The crop of 2-year-olds hitting the track this year may be his best so far with 166 just waiting for 2-year-old races to start. Of those 166, 18 are entered in this sale and they’re showing that this may be a banner crop for the stallion. Five of his 2-year-olds to breeze last week worked in :9.4 with a further six working in :10.0 and no one working slower than :10.2. His three to work a quarter weren’t standouts but like mentioned earlier, a lot of these horses just aren’t ready to go that far. Into Mischief had a bit of a tough sale at Fasig-Tipton but I expect him to have a solid, if not great, sale this week.

A stallion whose horses came out running at the breeze show was Mineshaft (A.P. Indy). The stallion's two offerings who worked a furlong went in :9.4, putting him firmly in the top group of stallions at this sale. Mineshaft is the sire of one champion, 15 graded stakes winners and 36 stakes winners from 488 starters but his median for 2-year-olds last year was $65,000 so it’s hard to predict exactly how this will go (especially without knowing how the horses are vetting). However, his only horse to go through the ring at the Fasig-Tipton sale brought $600,000 at the beginning of the month so buyers are obviously receptive to him.
After last year’s 2-year-old sales, Twirling Candy (Candy Ride) was the talk of the town. The stallion’s first crop did well with 25 winners but he didn’t get that all important stakes winner and his reputation was was penalized a bit for it. But it turns out his foals just needed to turn three to really start running with the sire have 15 winners and three stakes winners so far this year. His two foals to work a furlong didn’t break the 10 second barrier but his filly who worked a quarter went in a bullet of :20.2 and one of his furlong workers did stop the clock in :10.1 so it should be a good sale for him. Combine the bullet work at a quarter with him having a Kentucky Derby contender in last weekend’s Grade 2 San Felipe winner Danzing Candy and you couldn’t find a much better time to sell the three he has going through the ring this week.

A dominant sire in Florida in the early 2010s, the death of Wildcat Heir (Forest Wildcat) early last year was a big loss to the Florida breeding industry. The stallion’s penultimate crop will be going through the ring at OBS this week and it looks like it will be a good sale for him. In addition to being at a location where there are a lot of Florida buyers in attendance (all of his horses in the sale are Florida-breds), he also had two offerings work :9.4 and another handful work :10.0 and :10.1 with his slowest at the distance going :10.2 (he also had one work a quarter in :21.3). Wildcat Heir probably won’t bring the flashy numbers of some of the other stallions but the sale is in the perfect location to capitalize on the big works from his horses in the breeze show. 

Honorable mentions needs to go out to two other Florida stallions in Adios Charlie (Indian Charlie) and Kantharos (Lion Heart). Last year, Adios Charlie had a colt and a filly sell for $600,000 or more and this year had a horse breeze the co-bullet at a furlong. Kantharos has had a lot of luck with his first three crops and shares the bullet with Adios Charlie and popular Kentucky sire City Zip (Carson City). Both stand at Ocala Stud for $5,000 or less and as long as their bullet workers vet, they should bring a decent amount over the stud fee. New York stallion Frost Giant (Giant’s Causeway) also held his own at the top of the quarter mile works with his filly sharing the :20.2 bullet with The Factor (War Front) and Twirling Candy.

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