Monday, February 27, 2017

Sires to Watch: Interesting Fasig-Tipton Florida Sale Sires

Spring is in the air and 2-year-old breeze up sales are kicking into gear with everyone flocking to Florida to add some horses to their stables. This week the fun kicks off with Fasig-Tipton’s The Florida Sale taking place on March 1 at Gulfstream Park.

When the catalog was released, 162 hips were cataloged for the sale with 44 declared out as of the evening of Feb. 27. That same day, those still in the sale took part in the under tack show, giving buyers a preview of the sale's offerings. No one broke the 10 second barrier at the show, though five tied for the bullet time of 10 seconds flat on Monday.

Here are just a few sires (other than the typical Uncle Mos and Tapits) who look like they may be interesting when their 2-year-olds go through the ring on Wednesday night.

Candy Ride’s (Ride the Rails) 2-year-olds didn’t miss any time grabbing attention this sales season. While none of his five sale horses in the under tack show clocked the bullet, one clocked in at :10.1, three others at :10.2 and his fifth at :10.3. Of his Florida Sale entries, one is out of a Grade 3 winning dam, one out of a graded stakes producer and two others are out of stakes winners. The only 2-year-old with non-black type included with the first dam is Hip 84, a colt whose third dam is Number (Nijinsky II) so he definitely has class behind him too. Candy Ride was hot at the sales and on the track in late 2015 and 2016 and is currently No. 8 on the General Sires list so he could make some noise at Gulfstream this week.

Gun Runner is one of Candy Ride's top runners this year

At a sale like this, it can be hard to stand out when you aren’t a big sire but Custom for Carlos (More Than Ready) took the right step at the breeze show. His only entry (Hip 157) breezed in :10.1 to put his sire in lights next to some of the top Kentucky stallions. A Florida stallion, Custom for Carlos has three crops on the ground with 40 winners from 66 starters, including three stakes winners. This colt is a full brother to the best of Custom For Carlos’ runners in Grade 3 and multiple stakes winner Big World, who has won five of her nine career starts so far. Custom for Carlos did have a horse in this sale last year, a colt who sold for $50,000 who has won both his starts this year. Custom for Carlos may not have a sales topper here but a horse with a good breeze is a good start to getting buyers’ attention.

A horse that got better as he got older, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Flat Out (Flatter) produced later maturing runners. But if the breeze show is any indication, they may come out firing sooner than expected. His Hip 150 was one of the fastest breezers by a freshman sire when clocking in at :10.1, with only Paynter (Awesome Again) joining him as a freshman with a time that fast (no freshman had a horse breeze :10.0). Both Flat Out and Paynter have two horses each entered with Flat Out’s other entry clocking in at :10.2 and Paynter’s at :10.3. That :10.1 breezer for Flat Out (Hip 150) is a half-brother to Grade 3 winner Arella Rockstar (Astrology) while Paynter’s :10.1 breezer (Hip 117) is a half-brother to multiple stakes winner La Rocca (Toccet). It’s always a little hard to figure out how buyers will like freshman sires as they hit new markets but these two at least got started the right way here.

Hip 150 as a foal
Looking at the catalog before outs were published, Into Mischief (Into Mischief) seemed to be everywhere with 11 entries. That number dropped down to eight in the days before the sale but those eight didn't disappoint. One of those eight, a filly (Hip 66) split the bullet on Monday with her :10.0 breeze while three others were just a tick behind her at :10.2 and another three right behind them at :10.3. This crop is the first conceived after Goldencents’ first Breeders’ Cup victory so it should be Into Mischief’s best group to hit the track yet. Based on catalog page, it’s looking good with every entry being either a sibling to a multiple graded stakes winner or out of a half or full sibling to stakes winners. Last year, Into Mischief’s most expensive horse from this sale was a $280,000 colt.

Life can’t get much better for Pioneerof the Nile (Empire Maker) right now but his connections he takes another big leap at the 2-year-old sales. Siring a champion three of the four years he’s had runners (two of those championships coming from the same horse), this group of 2-year-olds was bred the year after American Pharoah was named champion 2-year-old and should be his best crop yet. One of his fillies (Hip 126) was one of five horses to capture the bullet while three others clocked in at :10.2 from five to breeze. Pioneerof the Nile’s five entries include a colt (Hip 51) out of a half-sister to European champion St Nicholas Abbey (Montjeu), a son (Hip 86) of multiple graded stakes winner Katz Me If You Can (Storm Cat), a filly (Hip 126) out of a half-sister to a stakes winner and multiple stakes placed horses and Hip 132, a half-sister to a stakes winner. Pioneerof the Nile had a colt sell at this sale for $1-million last year, who broke his maiden in his second start a few weeks ago.

Classic Empire is one of Pioneerof the Nile's champions

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Sires to Watch: Europe's New Fathers

Every year hopes and expectations are high in breeding sheds around the world with the biggest weight placed on stallions whose first foals are arriving. While there are 11 months until breeders can first see how the foals are received by buyers at the winter breeding stock sales, how first foals look in the early months of breeding season can affect a sire’s second book.
With multiple classic winners and champions retiring in Europe last year, it was a busy season for breeders. Here are six whose first foals arriving this year should garner attention from breeders and fans.

Golden Horn has his first foals on the ground this year.
An Australian champion, Brazen Beau (I Am Invincible) nearly got a Group 1 win in Europe in his second-to-last start when finishing second to Undrafted (Purim) in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot. The stallion won four group stakes in his career including two Australian Group 1s, all at sprint distance to show he has the speed that has become increasing popular to breeders around the word. A grandson of Invincible Spirit (Green Desert) through his sire and a great grandson of Danzig (Northern Dancer) through his dam, he attracted 109 mares during his first season in England last year. He stands for £10,000 (approx. $12,468 /€11,819) in 2017.

Winning or placing in group stakes each of his three years on the track, Free Eagle (High Chaparral) won three of eight starts during his career including a Group 1 win over The Grey Gatsby (Mastercraftsman) in the Prince of Wales’s at Royal Ascot in 2015. Other horses he finished ahead of in his career included Group 1 winners Cirrus Des Aigles (Even Top), Ruler of the World (Galileo), Sheikhzayedroad (Dubawi) and Highland Reel (Galileo). His race record, conformation and family combined to attract 112 mares to his book in 2016. He stands for €20,000 (approx. $21,101/£16,921) this year.

A well-bred Thoroughbred with the pedigree to match, champion Gleneagles (Galileo) was a two-time classic winner among four Group 1 wins. In all, Gleneagles crossed the finish line first eight times (though in one race he was disqualified to second) in 11 starts. A full brother to classic winner Marvellous (Galileo) and out of a full sister to champion racehorse and sire Giant’s Causeway (Storm Cat), Gleneagles lived up to the old adage ‘breed the best to the best and hope for the best’. The 5-year-old bred 150 mares in 2016 and stands for a fee of €40,000 (approx. $42,202/£33,843) this year.

The 2015 Cartier Horse of the Year Golden Horn (Cape Cross) won seven of his nine starts including the Group 1 Investec Derby Stakes and the Group 1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe among his four Group 1 victories in nine starts. The only two losses of his career came at the hooves of fillies Arabian Queen (Dubawi) and Found (Galileo) who beat him by a combined three quarters length. Golden Horn was sent 145 mare in 2016, the same year his sire was pensioned from breeding duties. He stands for £60,000 (approx. $74,808 /€70,914) this year.
Another classic winner to retire to stud in 2016, Make Believe (Makfi) won four of his seven starts including two Group 1 races in France. Those victories showcased the stallion well with the now 5-year-old beating New Bay (Dubawi) by an easy three lengths in the Group 1 Poule D’Essai des Poulains in May of his 3-year-old year and Limato (Tagula) in October of that same year by 1 ¼ lengths in the Group 1 Qatar Prix de la Foret. Retired to Ballylinch Stud in Ireland, Make Believe covered 120 mares last year. He stands for €17,500 (approx. $18,463 /£14,806) this year.

France’s 2014 Champion 2-Year-Old Colt, The Wow Signal (Starspangledbanner) had a brief but impressive career when winning three straight as a 2-year-old. Those victories included a half-length win over subsequent Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Hootenanny (Quality Road) in the Group 1 Darley Prix Morny and a win at Royal Ascot in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes. He stands in 2017 for €8,000 (approx. $8,440/£6,768).

Thursday, February 9, 2017

New Sire Series: Pride of Dubai

Pride of Dubai (Coolmore Photo)
In an increasingly global market, finding a stallion that appeals to the worldwide breeding industry is always a coup. That is currently where Coolmore sits with new recruit Pride of Dubai, whose record and pedigree tick boxes for breeders around the world.

A son of the late Street Cry, Pride of Dubai was bred, raised and raced in Australia. He finished third in his first start before earning blacktype when second in the Group 3 Sportingbet Blue Diamond Prelude next out. Two weeks after the Prelude, he pulled off the challenging feat of breaking his maiden in a Group 1 when winning the William Hill Blue Diamond Stakes to stamp himself as a serious 2-year-old. He doubled up on Group 1s in April when winning the Inglis Sires Produce Stakes.

Injury sidelined the colt for exactly 10 months, and when he finished 10th in the Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes in early 2016 it was discovered he’d reinjured himself. He was retired soon after the race to Coolmore Australia where he stood during the southern hemisphere season for a fee of $55,000.

A few weeks before that breeding season, it was announced that Pride of Dubai would stand in Ireland for his first northern hemisphere season.

“He’s an exceptionally good-looking horse with plenty of size and strength, he was a brilliant two-year-old and his pedigree is all about speed,” said David O’Loughlin, Coolmore Ireland’s director of sales in the press release. “He’s by a top class sire in Street Cry, out of a close relative to Invincible Spirit and Kodiac who both sired major winners at Royal Ascot this year over the minimum trip. I can see him proving extremely popular with breeders here, particularly once they’ve come to see him.”


When one looks at Pride of Dubai’s pedigree, it’s easy to see why he’s a fit for Australia and even North America to an extent.

He’s the only stallion in Europe by Street Cry listed in the Weatherby’s Stallion Book, which isn’t surprising since Street Cry spent his whole northern hemisphere career in Kentucky. Street Cry doesn’t have that many “big” sons standing in the northern hemisphere but two of those, Street Sense and Street Boss, have proven that he is successful at producing sire sons.

Street Sense won the 2006 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and became the first horse to pull of the Juvenile/Derby double when winning the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby the following year. He is the sire of seven Grade 1 winners in both hemispheres, 36 stakes winners overall in the northern hemisphere and six group stakes winners in the southern hemisphere. His Australian Group 1 winning son Hallowed Crown does reverse shuttle to Europe.

Street Boss has been a quietly good sire since his foals hit the track in 2012 but 2016 was a breakout year for him. He sired the Grade 1 Longines Kentucky Oaks winner Cathryn Sophia, Grade 1 American Oaks winner Decked Out and in Australia Group 1 Lexus Newmarket Handicap winner The Quarterback throughout the year and as of Feb. 8 already has 15 winners and one stakes winner this year in North America.

Street Cry
Street Cry himself produced 18 Grade or Group 1 winners, including supermares Zenyatta and Winx, with his final crop of foals turning two this year. The interesting thing about the stallion is that he gets successful runners on both dirt and turf with horses such as Street Sense and Breeder’ Cup Juvenile winner New Year’s Day having Grade 1 success on dirt with Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup winner Shocking and Winx among those with major successes on turf. This could prove to be a good thing for Pride of Dubai if he gets a chance to show that he can also throw multi-surface runners.

Pride of Dubai is out of the Danehill mare Al Anood, who was stakes placed. The third foal out of the mare, Pride of Dubai was also the third stakes winner with his three years older brother Al Aneed (More Than Ready) winning a listed stakes and his year older brother Enaad (High Chaparral) winning the Group 2 Elan Gold Cup in South Africa. She also has a 3-year-old unnamed colt by High Chaparral and a 2-year-old filly by Medaglia d’Oro with a yearling not yet listed on Equineline.

Al Anood is a half-sister to Group 1 winner Rafha (Kris), who may be better known as the dam of Group 1 Stanley Leisure Sprint Cup winner and sire Invincible Spirit (Green Desert) and group stakes placed and successful sire Kodiac (Danehill) among her five stakes winners or placers. Her stakes winning daughter Massarra is also the dam of 2011 Italian champion 2-year-old filly Nayarra (Cape Cross) and two other stakes winners.

Both Al Anood and Rafha were produced by the winning mare Eljazzi (Ataius), who is responsible for more than 20 stakes winners as a dam, granddam or great-granddam.

Invincible Spirit (Irish National Stud photo)
Many of Eljazzi’s progeny have gone on to produce winners and producers. The more prolific is probably her son Invincible Spirit, who is the sire of 49 group stakes winners and multiple sons with a good chance to make it at stud. He is also the broodmare sire of six group winning horses, including Group 1 winner Sound of Freedom (Duke of Marmalade). 

Another encouraging factor about Pride of Dubai is that when looking at his page, something that sticks out is that six of Eljazzi’s daughters have produced at least one stakes winner with many of those stakes winners also producing stakes winners or placers in addition to Invincible Spirit and Kodiac's successes as sires.

Pride of Dubai’s third dam, Border Bounty (Bounteous) and a few of her daughters seem to have had a nick with Petingo (Petition) and Niniski (Nijinsky II) but other than a Danzig/Danehill (and the expected Northern Dancer bloodline in general) success, it looks like Eljazzi and her daughters liked a variety of stallions.

This should work well for Pride of Dubai, who only has one line of Northern Dancer in his pedigree in the fourth generation. It opens him up to go back to those Northern Dancer lined mares from lines such as Sadler’s Wells (Galileo already has a Group 3 winner from the family as does Sadler’s Wells). Even Invincible Spirit mares could be an interesting cross with Pride of Dubai as the closest inbreeding would be Eljazzi at 3 x 4, with everything else at least one generation behind her.

His lack of Northern Dancer inbreeding should also play to his favor if breeders try to copy the nick that seemed to work so well with his sire. Of Street Cry’s 38 Grade/Group 1 and 2 winners, 23 of them (60.5 percent) have Northern Dancer in the first four generations of their damsire’s line. A little surprisingly since he was a major force in Australia, only six of those graded stakes winners come through Danehill’s branch of the family. The broader Danzig family, however, is responsible for nine of the 38 horses on the list.

Street Boss is a Street Cry without Northern Dancer blood
Another Northern Dancer line that seemed to do well with Street Cry was Storm Bird’s branch of the family with five of those 38 from that line. Importantly since Pride of Dubai will be standing in Ireland is that Sadler’s Wells has nicked well with Street Cry, two of them are the broodmare sires of the Grade 1/2 winners.

Non-Northern Dancer horses who showed up in the broodmare sire’s line for more than one horse were Hail to Reason, Speak John, Sword Dancer, Mill Reef, Seattle Slew and Sir Tristram. So while Northern Dancer is the most successful nick here, those who want to go with a more proven cross that doesn’t include Northern Dancer still has a variety of options.

Pride of Dubai is standing his first season at Coolmore Ireland for €15,000 (approx. $15,992/ £12,790), putting him in the same fee range as new sires like Awtaad (Cape Cross), Bobby’s Kitten (Kitten’s Joy) and Harzand (Sea the Stars).

Friday, February 3, 2017

Sires To Watch: North America's New Fathers

Every year hopes and expectations are high in breeding sheds around the world with the biggest weight placed on stallions with first foals are arriving. While there are 11 months until breeders can first see how the foals are received by buyers at the winter breeding stock sales, how first foals look in the first few months of the year can affect a sire’s book in his second breeding season.
Over 145 stallions in North America are listed on Blood-Horse as entering stud in 2016 in a strong year of new recruits. Here are 11 stallions whose foals breeders and fans should look out for this year.

The star of the new sires this year is obviously American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile), the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years. Named Champion 3-Year-Old and Horse of the Year in 2015, American Pharoah stood his first season for $200,000 and covered a book of 208 mares that included some of the best broodmares in the sport with the foals from that first covering season starting to arrive on Jan. 2. American Pharoah will be standing his second season at Coolmore’s Kentucky branch for a private fee in 2017.
The 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic winning Bayern (Offlee Wild) joins those who have first foals this year. A dual-Grade 1 winner with his Classic and William Hill Haskell Invitational Stakes victories, Bayern won six of his 15 starts with four other on the board finishes including in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby and Grade 1 Awesome Again. Bayern bred 139 mares in 2016 at a fee of $15,000, the same fee he’ll stand at this year for his second season at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm in Lexington, Ky.
Two-time Grade 1 winner Carpe Diem (Giant’s Causeway) proved to be a popular freshman sire for WinStar Farm last year when covering 162 mares. Carpe Diem was the winner of four races in his career, including the aforementioned Grade 1s and the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby. He also finished second to Texas Red in the Grade 1 Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita in 2014. In all, he won four of six starts and finished second in another for over $1.5 million in earnings. He’ll be standing his second season at WinStar this year for $25,000.
Part of an extremely active family, Fast Anna (Medaglia d’Oro) is out of champion Dreaming of Anna, whose sire Rahy stood at the same farm as her son. One of two new stallions for Three Chimneys Farm last year, Fast Anna covered 120 mares. He won three of nine starts in his two year career, including the Sawgrass Handicap and was Grade 1 placed behind The Big Beast (Yes It's True) in the Grade 1 Ketel One King’s Bishop. He’ll be standing for $7,500 in 2017.
The Champion Older Dirt Male the year he retired, Honor Code (A.P. Indy) retired to Lane’s End Farm in 2016 with hopes of becoming his sire’s heir. Showing promise as a 2-year-old, Honor Code won the Grade 2 Remsen over Cairo Prince (Pioneerof the Nile) and was second in the Grade 1 Foxwoods Champagne Stakes to Havana that year but suffered an injury as a 3-year-old that kept him off the track most of his 3-year-old season. At four, Honor Code lived up to his 2-year-old promise when winning two Grade 1 races and one Grade 2 in addition to finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Honor Code bred 144 mares in his first season at stud when standing for $40,000, the same fee he is at this year.
Bred to appeal to a worldwide group of breeders and with a race record to match, Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Karakontie (Bernstein) bred 113 mares at Gainesway Farm in 2016.The Japanese-born Karakontie was based in France throughout his career and won five of 12 starts including the Grade 1 Qatar Prix Jean Luc Lagardere Grand Criterium and Poule d’Essai des Poulains. His third dam is the great Miesque, who has quickly developed an important pedigree branch in Thoroughbreds and his dam has followed her lead with three stakes winners, including one interestingly by Lemon Drop Kid who is by Miesque’s son Kingmambo. Karakontie enters his second season at a $15,000 fee.
One of the final big sons to hit the shed by Unbridled’s Song, Liam’s Map was one of four new stallions for Lane’s End Farm in 2016. Beginning his career at 3 years old, Liam’s Map won that year’s Harlan’s Holiday but his 4-year-old year was where he shined. The colt won the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga, finished second to fellow Lane’s End stallion Honor Code in the Grade 1 Whitney Stakes then took the smarter route at the Breeders’ Cup by going into and winning the Grade 1 Las Vegas Dirt Mile. He bred 148 mares last year at Lane’s End and currently stands for a fee of $25,000.
One of three Grade 1 Belmont Stakes winners and the first major Curlin son to retire, Palace Malice was a major coup for Three Chimney Farm when it bought into him during his racing career. Curlin’s first graded stakes winner, Palace Malice was both the Belmont and the Grade 2 Jim Dandy at three in addition to being second in two other Grade 1s that year. At four, he defeated a Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap field that included two-time Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Goldencents (Into Mischief) among three other graded stakes wins. Palace Malice proved to be popular last year when breeding 158 mares, more than the 141 his sire received (albeit at a much lower fee). He currently stands for a fee of $20,000.

A two-time Breeders’ Cup winner, Secret Circle (Eddington) stands next to fellow Breeders’ Cup winners Bayern, Curlin (Smart Strike) and New Year’s Day (Street Cry) at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm. Racing for five years, Secret Circle hit the board in 15 of 16 starts with eight victories including the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint, the Grade 1 Xpress Bet Breeders’ Cup Sprint and the Grade 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen Sponsored by Gulf News. Secret Circle bred 63 mares in 2016 and stands for a fee of $5,000 this year.

Florida-based The Big Beast only raced nine times but made the most of those starts, winning the Grade 1 Ketel One King’s Bishop and finishing second in the Grade 1 Priority One Jets Forego Stakes and Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap. One of only four Yes It’s True sons advertised on Stallion Register with 2017 stud fees, The Big Beast bred 103 mares in 2016 at Ocala Stud to be the fourth most popular in the state. This year, The Big Beast again stands in Florida for a fee of $6,000.

A winner from a mile to a mile and a half, Tonalist (Tapit) proved to be a versatile horse during his three years on the track. Perhaps the best son of Tapit to enter the shed, Tonalist was a two time winner of the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup, a winner of the Belmont Stakes and a winner of the Grade 1 Cigar Mile in addition to three other Grade 1 placings in his career. Tonalist’s second dam is Toll Fee (Topsider), the mare responsible for racehorses such as Horse of the Year Havre de Grace (Saint Liam) and multiple Grade 1 winner Riskaverse (Dynaformer). He bred 138 mares last year and again stands for a fee of $30,000 at Lane’s End in 2017.