Monday, October 12, 2015

Yearling Sales Final Crop Sire: Unbridled's Song

When looking at stallions who have influenced the U.S. Thoroughbred breed the most in the early 21st century, Unbridled’s Song (Unbridled) has to be near the top of the list.

The gray stallion, who was born in 1993, was a well-known racehorse before he became an influential sire. He went off as the favorite in the 1996 Kentucky Derby after winning three graded races before the first Saturday in May, including the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He was retired to Taylor Made Farm, where he stood his whole career, after an injury early in his 4-year-old year.

Will Take Charge
Overall, Unbridled’s Song retired to the shed with five wins and four seconds in 12 career starts for $1,311,800 in earnings. While he did more than enough on the track to cement his place in the history books, his true calling came in the breeding shed.

The stallion has sired three champions so far, with the latest of those three coming with Will Take Charge’s Eclipse award in 2013 as a 3-year-old. But while those three champions represent a small percentage of his foals to race, his foals have also won over 2,400 races (as of Oct. 12 according to Equineline) and more than $106-million in earnings with that stallion breaking the century mark of stakes winners with 107.

If one were to look at Unbridled’s Song’s Breeders’ Cup stats, they would see three winners with two in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff and one in the Juvenile. Represented 21 times in Breeders’ Cup races, both on the dirt and turf and at sprint and marathon distances, Unbridled’s Song’s runners have done decently well at the meet over the past 13 years with a record of 3-4-2 from those 21 races.

In 2015, Unbridled’s Song has been represented on the top level by horses like Grade 1 winners Liam’s Map and Unbridled Forever in addition to Grade 3 winner Misconnect and graded stakes placed My Miss Sophia (G1), Tara’s Tango (G2) and Cat Burglar (G3) among others. But unfortunately for those who love racing Unbridled’s Song offspring, their chance to get their hands on more of his racehorses is coming to an end.
Liam's Map working at Keeneland in preparation for the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.
Unbridled’s Song died in the summer of 2013 at 20 years of age, covering 113 mares in his final season for 80 live foals at a fee of $60,000. Of those 80, 47 have went through the ring this yearling sales season with a median of $230,000 and his top priced colt bringing $700,000 according to Thoroughbred Daily News. Keeneland had the biggest single sale showing of Unbridled’s Songs yearlings going through the ring this year with 40 entering the pavilion.

The $700,000 colt was sold in the first book of this sale and is out of a half-sister to Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Tapizar (Tapit) while Unbridled’s Song’s highest priced filly, out of stakes winning Spring Awakening’s full sister, was also a product of this sale at $360,000. Unbridled’s Song’s last yearling to go through the ring at Keeneland was a half-brother to multiple stakes winner Gallon (Victory Gallop) but didn’t find a new home while under the hammer, RNAing for $60,000.
The final Unbridled's Song yearling to go through the ring
at Keeneland. (Photo courtesy of Joe Nevills)

But those searching for Unbridled’s Song yearlings still have one major sale to visit before they have to wait until the horses turn two.

The four day Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Yearlings sale on Oct. 19 through 22 has 11 Unbridled’s Song yearlings scheduled to go through the ring as of Oct. 12 with six colts and five fillies. That group includes three who are half-siblings to stakes winners with one’s half sibling being a Canadian champion. There is a little bit for everyone when it comes to the Unbridled’s Song options here with owners looking for state or providence-bred race eligible horses having the options of purchasing horses bred in Florida, Kentucky, Ontario and Pennsylvania.

For those looking to pinhook their purchases in 2-year-old sales next year, the 12 Unbridled’s Song 2-year-olds to sell (from 16 through the ring) this year brought a median of $150,000 (ranking him 15th according to TDN) with the top colt bringing $450,000 and $500,000 for the top filly.

As for owners looking longer term, Unbridled’s Song’s influence on the breeding industry is still climbing toward its peak.

The stallion’s son First Defence was the sire of last year’s U.S. champion older female Close Hatches while another son, Even the Score, is the sire of multiple Grade 1 winners Dullahan and Take the Points. In addition to those two proven stallions, Unbridled’s Song is the sire of Midshipman, who has Kentucky Derby runner Frammento in his first crop; Old Fashioned, who has Grade 3 winner Sweet Whiskey; and young stallions Cross Traffic, Graydar and Will Take Charge coming up the ranks.

While his best days as a sire-of-sire look to be in the near future, Unbridled’s Song has proven himself as a top notch broodmare sire over the past few years. Currently sitting third in the Blood-Horse’s Stallion Register’s Broodmare Sire rankings, he hasn’t been outside of the top 20 since 2011 with recently retired Carpe Diem (Giant’s Causeway) leading his charge in the past two years.

This year, Unbridled’s Song is even beating international sire Sadler’s Wells, who has constantly been in the top five since 2004 and Danehill, who has been in the top 10 since 2009. In early November, buyers will also have a chance to pick up Unbridled’s Song daughters from Kentucky breeding stock sales with Fasig-Tipton currently having three cataloged for their Nov. 1 November Sale and Keeneland having 26 broodmare or broodmare prospects cataloged for their November Breeding Stock Sale.

While Unbridled’s Song’s reign as a racehorse sire is entering its final chapter, all systems look to be in order for the stallion’s line to flourish for many years to come through both his sons and his daughters.