Thursday, July 6, 2017

Keeping It In the Family: Patriotic Day at Belmont Headlined By U.S Connections

A month after the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park, another top day of racing takes place at the track on Saturday with the Stars and Stripes festival. With five graded stakes being run for a combined $3.7-million in purses, including two $1-million+ races, it has attracted horses from both sides of the Atlantic.

Before you sit back and enjoy the show, here are some facts to enjoy as you warm up (or cool off for those of you in hot areas) for the races.

By the Numbers – Forty-one horses are entered to run in Belmont Park’s five graded stakes on Saturday with three of the races open only to 3-year-olds and the biggest purses offered to 3-year-old turf horses with the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks and Grade 1 Belmont Derby. Thirty-nine different stallions have runners with Claiborne’s War Front having the most at three. Thirty-eight different damsires will have runners as well with three having two entries each.

Northern Dancer leads all sirelines with 17 stallions siring runners here with Mr. Prospector’s line second with seven, A.P. Indy third with six and Hail to Reason with five. Other lines with runners are In Reality (through Tiznow’s son Tizway) with one runner and Holy Bull and Macho Uno keeping the Rough’n Tumble sireline active with two.

In Reality’s line is also active through the bottom side of a pedigree with his great-grandson Tiznow siring the dam of one runner. Sword Dancer is one with a runner coming from the damsire side of pedigrees while the Never Bend line has two runners. Northern Dancer just beats out the Raise a Native/Mr. Prospector line with 13 damsires from the line compared to that line’s 12 (Mr. Prospector’s branch of the Raise a Native line is responsible for all but one of those stallions). A.P. Indy and sons account for seven broodmares with runners here (through six stallions including A.P. Indy) with Hail to Reason’s line having three broodmares with runners.

Sires and Damsires – Four different stallions are both the sire of one runner and the damsire of another in the five graded stakes races on the card. Those four account for nine of the 41 runners (22 percent) in those races with Awesome Again contributing the most runners at three with two out of his daughters. He is joined by Bernardini, Galileo and Tapit.

Damsires With Runners
Name
Sire
Sire Line
Branch
# Rnrs
A.P. Indy
Seattle Slew
Seattle Slew
Seattle Slew
2
Awesome Again
Deputy Minister
Northern Dancer
Vice Regent
2
Bernardini
A.P. Indy
Seattle Slew
A.P. Indy
1
Brahms
Danzig
Northern Dancer
Danzig
1
Came Home
Gone West
Raise a Native
Mr. Prospector
1
Canadian Frontier
Gone West
Raise a Native
Mr. Prospector
1
Dansili
Danehill
Northern Dancer
Danzig
1
Dare and Go
Alydar
Raise a Native
Alydar
1
Demidoff
Mr. Prospector
Raise a Native
Mr. Prospector
1
Deputy Commander
Deputy Minister
Northern Dancer
Vice Regent
1
Distorted Humor
Forty Niner
Raise a Native
Mr. Prospector
2
Dixie Union
Dixieland Band
Northern Dancer
Dixieland Band
1
Dubai Millennium
Seeking the Gold
Raise a Native
Mr. Prospector
1
Dynaformer
Roberto
Hail to Reason
Roberto
1
Empire Maker
Unbridled
Raise a Native
Mr. Prospector
1
Forestry
Storm Cat
Northern Dancer
Storm Bird
1
Galileo
Sadler's Wells
Northern Dancer
Sadler's Wells
1
Gilded Time
Timeless Moment
Sword Dancer
Damascus
1
Great Commotion
Nureyev
Northern Dancer
Nureyev
1
Houston
Seattle Slew
Seattle Slew
Seattle Slew
1
Johar
Gone West
Raise a Native
Mr. Prospector
1
Malibu Moon
A.P. Indy
Seattle Slew
A.P. Indy
1
Mark of Esteem
Darshaan
Never Bend
Mill Reef
1
Mr. Prospector
Raise a Native
Raise a Native
Raise a Native
1
Pulpit
A.P. Indy
Seattle Slew
A.P. Indy
1
Red Ransom
Roberto
Hail to Reason
Roberto
1
Regal Classic
Vice Regent
Northern Dancer
Vice Regent
1
Seeking the Gold
Mr. Prospector
Raise a Native
Mr. Prospector
1
Smart Strike
Mr. Prospector
Raise a Native
Mr. Prospector
1
Smokester
Never Tabled
Never Bend
Never Tabled
1
Songandaprayer
Unbridled's Song
Raise a Native
Mr. Prospector
1
Sunday Silence
Halo
Hail to Reason
Halo
1
Tapit
A.P. Indy
Seattle Slew
A.P. Indy
1
Theatrical
Nureyev
Northern Dancer
Nureyev
1
Tiznow
Cee's Tizzy
In Reality
Relaunch
1
Toccet
Awesome Again
Northern Dancer
Vice Regent
1
Unfuwain
Northern Dancer
Northern Dancer
Northern Dancer
1
Unusual Heat
Nureyev
Northern Dancer
Nureyev
1

Commercial Market – Twenty-seven of the horses racing in the graded stakes have gone through an auction ring at least once in their life with 25 selling at least one of the times they went through the ring. The most expensive is the Irish-bred filly Key to My Heart, by Galileo and out of U.S. Grade 1 winner A Z Warrior, who sold in Book 1 at the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale in 2015 for 1.3 million guineas ($2,067,429US, according to Equibase). The least expensive was Dynatail, by Breeders’ Cup winner Hightail and out of the Dynaformer mare Southern Dynamo, who sold for $5,000 as a 2-year-old after bringing $6,000 as a yearling.

Mind Your Biscuits, Grizzel and Follow Me Crev all tie for the most times through the ring with three each. Grizzel was the only one to sell all three times with a jump from $35,070 as a weanling to $112,132 as a 2-year-old, a 219.73 percent increase in his price in less than two years. Matt King Coal gets the award for biggest percentage jump in prices with his price jumping from $25,000 as a yearling to $250,000 as a 2-year-old for a 900 percent change.

The Belmont Derby has the highest average and median sales prices of any of the races with the six horses in the race who went through the ring bringing an average of $474,032 and a median of $482,580. The most expensive of that group was the $1.15-million Whitecliffsofdover while the least expensive was Senior Investment at $95,000. The race with the lowest average and median is the Grade 2 Belmont Sprint Championship with an average of $132,333 and median of $47,000. The most expensive in the race is Unified while the least expensive is the $25,000 Tommy Macho.

Representing Their Countries – With the races staged in the United States, it’s no surprise that U.S.-breds make up the biggest number of horses in the five races with 33 entries. Digging a little deeper, Kentucky-breds beat out all other country- and state-breds combined with 25 entries from the state compared to 16 bred everywhere else. Ireland leads the rest of the states and countries with five entries, followed by Florida with four. Perhaps the most surprising isn’t that eight countries/states are represented here but that New Jersey has more entries than England, Japan or Canada (all with one each) and ties with New York.

One country we don’t often see in U.S. entries is Japan. Belmont Derby entrant Yoshida was born in the country before he was bought by foreign interests for $765,160 at the Japan Racing Horse Association Sale of Yearlings and Weanlings as a yearling and imported to the United States. The colt, who has impressed in his early starts for WinStar Farm, Head of Plains and other partners is the second choice on the morning line.

The 34 still-active sires with runners here stood in eight different countries (Australia, France, Iran, Ireland, Japan, Russia, Uruguay, United States) and five states (Arkansas, California, Florida, Kentucky, New York) in 2017. Twenty-four of the active stallions stood in the U.S. in 2017 while Ireland has three and Uruguay has two, the rest of the countries listed above all have one each.

Locations Where Entries Were Bred
Location
Number of Runners
Kentucky
25
Ireland
5
Florida
4
New York
2
New Jersey
2
Great Britain
1
Canada
1
Japan
1

Adena – Frank Stronach’s Adena Springs’ stallion roster quietly continues to sire top class runners on big race days and this card is no exception. Three of their stallions have runners here with half-brothers Awesome Again and Macho Uno in addition to Awesome Again’s son Ghostzapper all having one runner each. It’s safe to say Stronach’s purchase of Primal Force for $95,000 in the early 1990s paid off as the mare is the dam of both Awesome Again and Macho Uno and without her, Stronach also wouldn’t have Ghostzapper. As said above, Awesome Again is also the damsire of two runners and is responsible for other sires and damsires on the card …

Fathers & Sons – … Which brings us to the next topic, fathers and sons with runners on the card.  Four stallions are the sires of both runners in the races and other sires with runners. Mineshaft leads that group with three sons (Cool Coal Man, Discreetly Mine, Hightail) with runners in addition to having a runner himself while Awesome Again has two sons (Ghostzapper, Awesome of Course) with runners. Both the late Holy Bull and late Harlan’s Holiday have one runner apiece while also having a son with a runner.

On the damsire front, five stallions both sired the dam of a runner and another damsire of a runner. Mr. Prospector leads them all with a daughter with a runner here and three sons who sired mares with runners in addition to being one of two stallions who has a son in this category as well with his son Seeking Gold siring Dubai Millennium. A.P. Indy has two sons with stakes producing daughters in at least one of the five races and his son Pulpit also sired Tapit, who is a damsire on the list. The only one who isn’t a son or sire of another stallion in this category is Awesome Again, whose Toccet is the damsire of a runner.

Holy Bull
Breeders – Forty different breeders bred or co-bred the horses in Saturday’s stakes with Calumet Farm and WinStar Farm the two breeders to have two entries apiece. Eleven of the breeders still own or co-own at least one of their entries with WinStar Farm privately selling part of Good Samaritan instead of sending him through the ring. WinStar also bred last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner New Money Honey but sold her as a yearling. Calumet’s two runners come in the Belmont Oaks and were sold for a combined $53,000 as yearlings at Keeneland’s September Yearling Sale. Both are by the farm’s stallions.

Hightail – One of those Calumet-breds is Dynatail, by Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint winner Hightail. Standing for $2,500 at Trophy Club Training Center in Arkansas for Calumet, Hightail has only sired 12 horses aged a year or older (none of his 2017 crop has yet been registered but he bred his biggest book yet at 24 mares last year) with five foals of racing age including two 2-year-olds. From his three current 3-year-olds, only one has started but that is Dynatail. Dynatail has won two stakes in her career, including the Penn Oaks last out, and was only half a length from placing in a graded stakes back in March.

While a sample size of one is too small a size to really judge a stallion’s ability to produce talented or useful horses, Hightail may deserve a spot on Calumet’s Kentucky roster if Dynatail can run well in the Belmont Oaks. While he probably wouldn’t get much outside support from Kentucky breeders, that doesn’t seem to bug Calumet much as the farm uses its own broodmare band to give a nice amount of support to its stallions.

Stud Fees & Ages – The sire list for this card provides a wide range of stallion ages from Hightail and Sir Prancealot at seven years old to the late Holy Bull at 26 with the average age being 15.8 years old and the median trending a bit older than usual at 16. Of the 39 stallions with runners, 22 are over 15 years old.

The least expensive of all the stallions with runners here is Hightail at a fee of $2,500 with the highest advertised fee being Tapit at $300,000. Twenty seven of the 34 active stallions had advertised fees that I could find with an average fee of $62,908 and a median of $35,000.  Most were in the $35,000 or less range with 14 while another group of seven was between that fee and $99,999 and the final six were at $100,000 or more. There were large gaps in the stud fee ranges with no horses between $35,001 and $55,000 and none between $75,001 and $99,999.

Two stallions were listed as private (Galileo and Awesome Again) while five others didn’t have a 2017 fee that I could find (Henrythenavigator, Posse, Here’s Zealous, Discreetly Mine, Cool Coal Man).

Coolmore stood the most active stallions with runners of any farm in 2017 with five. Four stand at its U.S. branch while Galileo stands at its main farm in Ireland. Adena Springs and Lane’s End Farm come in with the second most stallions at three apiece while Darley, Spendthrift and Tally-Ho both stood two apiece. Twenty-four different farms stand active stallions with runners.

Coolmore resident Tale of the Cat

Hail to Reason - The Hail to Reason sireline is alive and well through multiple different lines on this card in both the sire and damsire categories. Five different stallions with runners are from the line thanks to the Roberto and Halo branches with two of the Roberto representatives being Dynaformer sons and a third being the late Arch.

Roberto and Halo again play top fiddle on the damsire side with Sunday Silence making a rare appearance on an American card thanks to Yoshida, Dynaformer siring both stallions and mares with runners and Red Ransom also playing his part. It’s not abnormal to see Hail to Reason with a runner or two when I’m doing these blogs but he seems to have more representatives than normal here.

Active Damsires – These stallions may average 24.6 years of age and have grandkids (or even great grandkids) running but 15 of the 38 damsires still stood at stud during the 2017 breeding season. The oldest active damsire is Distorted Humor at 24 years old, who stands for $80,000, while the youngest is the $100,000 Bernardini at 14 years old. While there are some more modest stud fees on a few of the stallions with Brahms standing for $2,000 in Arkansas, Came Home standing for $4,422 in Japan and Songandaprayer standing for $4,500 in Louisiana, the majority of the still-active stallions stand on the higher end of the stud fee range with an average of $79,497 and median of $77,500. As is often the case, Tapit is the most expensive stallion with an advertised fee at $300,000 while the six other stallions with advertised fees stand for $60,000 or more. Two stallions stand for a private fee while I couldn’t find advertised fees for three other active stallions.

The still active stallions stand in a wide range of places from the United States to Japan to Brazil to Saudi Arabia. In all, the 15 different stallions stand in six different countries and three different states. Six are from the Northern Dancer sire line while four are from the Mr. Prospector line, three are from the A.P. Indy line and one is from the In Reality line. WinStar Farm and Gaineswaty Farm stand the most active damsires of any farms with two apiece.

Sires With Runners in Graded Stakes at Belmont
Name
Sire
Sire Line
Branch
# Runners
Americain
Dynaformer
Hail to Reason
Roberto
1
Arch
Kris S
Hail to Reason
Roberto
1
Awesome Again
Deputy Minister
Northern Dancer
Vice Regent
1
Awesome of Course
Awesome Again
Northern Dancer
Vice Regent
1
Bernardini
A.P. Indy
Seattle Slew
A.P. Indy
1
Candy Ride
Ride the Rails
Mr. Prospector
Fappiano
1
City Place
Storm Cat
Northern Dancer
Storm Bird
1
Cool Coal Man
Mineshaft
Seattle Slew
A.P. Indy
1
Curlin
Smart Strike
Mr. Prospector
Smart Strike
1
Discreetly Mine
Mineshaft
Seattle Slew
A.P. Indy
1
Galileo
Sadler's Wells
Northern Dancer
Sadler's Wells
1
Get Stormy
Stormy Atlantic
Northern Dancer
Storm Bird
1
Ghostzapper
Awesome Again
Northern Dancer
Vice Regent
1
Giant's Causeway
Storm Cat
Northern Dancer
Storm Bird
1
Harlan's Holiday
Harlan
Northern Dancer
Storm Bird
1
Heart's Cry
Sunday Silence
Hail to Reason
Halo
1
Henrythenavigator
Kingmambo
Mr. Prospector
Kingmambo
1
Here's Zealous
Dehere
Northern Dancer
Vice Regent
1
Hightail
Mineshaft
Seattle Slew
A.P. Indy
1
Holy Bull
Great Above
Rough'n Tumble
Great Above
1
Into Mischief
Harlan's Holiday
Northern Dancer
Storm Bird
1
Kitten's Joy
El Prado
Northern Dancer
Sadler's Wells
1
Kodiac
Danehill
Northern Dancer
Danzig
1
Lookin At Lucky
Smart Strike
Mr. Prospector
Smart Strike
1
Macho Uno
Holy Bull
Rough'n Tumble
Great Above
1
Medaglia d'Oro
El Prado
Northern Dancer
Sadler's Wells
1
Mineshaft
A.P. Indy
Seattle Slew
A.P. Indy
1
More Than Ready
Southern Halo
Hail to Reason
Halo
1
Mr. Big
Dynaformer
Hail to Reason
Roberto
1
Myboycharlie
Danetime
Northern Dancer
Danzig
1
Posse
Silver Deputy
Northern Dancer
Vice Regent
1
Quality Road
Elusive Quality
Mr. Prospector
Gone West
1
Scat Daddy
Johannesburg
Northern Dancer
Storm Bird
1
Sir Prancealot
Tamayuz
Mr. Prospector
Gulch
1
Tale of the Cat
Storm Cat
Northern Dancer
Storm Bird
1
Tapit
Pulpit
Seattle Slew
A.P. Indy
1
Tizway
Tiznow
In Reality
Relaunch
1
Unbridled's Song
Unbridled
Mr. Prospector
Fappiano
1
War Front
Danzig
Northern Dancer
Danzig
3



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