Pedigree Fun Facts from the 2016 U.S. Triple Crown Trail
The 2016 U.S. Triple Crown season is rapidly disappearing in the rearview mirror, along with the northern hemisphere breeding season. But even though the Triple Crown preps don’t hit high gear until the middle of the breeding season, every result can impact the breeding industry for seasons to come. From first crop sire Uncle Mo making waves with his runners to stalwart stallions having their say in the Triple Crown races, read on to learn about some of the more interesting pedigree notes that came out of this year’s Road to the Triple Crown.
Seventeen stallions sired Kentucky Derby prep race winners – Eight of those sired one winner on the Road to the Kentucky Derby while Tapit led all sires with six prep winners followed by Uncle Mo with five.
The average stud fees of the stallions in 2012 when this crop of 3-year-old were conceived was $43,088 – The lowest stud fee was Holy Bull at $10,000 and the highest was Bernardini at $150,000.
The average age of the stallions with prep winners is 14.3 years old – Uncle Mo was the youngest of all stallions at eight and the pensioned Holy Bull the oldest at 25.
Curlin is the only stallion to sire four classic placers in four straight years – Since 2000, multiple stallions have had classic placed horses two years running but only Curlin has had a classic placed horse in four consecutive years. Tapit is the only other one who has kept the streak alive for more than two years - he’s currently at three years.
Curlin and Tapit are the only two stallions to sire two different classic winners since 2010 – Curlin sired this year’s Preakness winner and the 2013 Belmont winner (Palace Malice). Tapit sired this year’s Belmont winner and sired 2014 Belmont winner Tapit.
Twenty-two different broodmare sires were represented by prep winners – Of those 22, eight are still active breeding stallions in the U.S. and stand for fees ranging from $4,500 to $100,000.
Twenty-five third dams had prep winners – Every prep winner had a different third dam. While not unusual, it's notable because it means none of the winners were closely related through their dams (multiple winners shared sires).
Giant’s Causeway is the only stallion who sired a winner and is the broodmare sire of another – Giant’s Causeway sired two Kentucky Derby runners and was also the damsire of one other with all three runners winning at least one prep race.
Two U.S. classic winners sired prep winners – Interestingly, both Curlin and Bernardini won the Preakness Stakes. Their victories came in back-to-back years.
Three broodmare sires won U.S. classics – All three Triple Crown races were represented with one dual classic winner (Sunday Silence) and two Belmont winners (Afleet Alex and Empire Maker) siring daughters who produced winners on the road to the Triple Crown.
The youngest broodmare sire is 11 years younger than the oldest sire – Holy Bull sired Withers winner Sunny Ridge when he was 22. Afleet Alex’s daughter produced Southwest Stakes winner Suddenbreakingnews when he was 11. Suddenbreakingnew’s dam Uchitel was from Afleet Alex’s first crop and produced Suddenbreakingnews when she was six. Overall, fourteen of the broodmare sires are younger than Holy Bull.
Three broodmare sires also produced sires of prep winners – Possibly the most versatile of all the stallions on the various lists is Giant’s Causeway. He was not only the sire of multiple prep winners, he was also the broodmare sire of one runner and his son Eskendereya sired multiple prep winner Mor Spirit.
Three sires of prep winners do not stand in Kentucky – Fourteen of the sires of prep winners currently stand in Kentucky. Of the three that don’t, Holy Bull was pensioned in 2012 and currently lives at Darley’s Jonabell in Lexington, Ky.; Eskendereya is standing his first season outside of Kentucky this year and Bluegrass Cat is finishing up his second season in California. Of the seven broodmare sires who still stand in the U.S., five of them stand in Kentucky.