Thursday, February 25, 2016

New Stallion: Honor Code

Honor Code
One of the best-bred stallions to retire to stud anywhere in the world in 2016, Honor Code made A.P. Indy’s (Seattle Slew) final crop a truly memorable one. 

Racing for the partnership of Lane’s End Racing and Dell Ridge Farm, Honor Code made his debut at Saratoga in late August of his 2-year-old year. Racing from what would become his customary back-of-the-pack position, he made easy work of the field when winning by 4 ½ lengths for trainer Shug McGaughey with John Velazquez aboard. 

Honor Code earned a Grade 1 placing in his second start finishing only a neck behind Havana (Dunkirk) in the Grade 1 Foxwoods Champagne Stakes with Javier Castellano, who would become his regular jockey, aboard. The Grade 2 Remsen really showed Honor Code’s mettle when the colt went head-to-head with Cairo Prince (Pioneerof the Nile) in the stretch, who passed him at one point. Honor Code battled back to win by a nose to put both horses in Kentucky Derby conversations.

But McGaughey’s chance of winning the Kentucky Derby for a second straight year went out the window in March of 2014 after Honor Code was beaten 10 lengths by Social Inclusion (Pioneerof the Nile) in an allowance race and was injured a few weeks later.  Instead of his connections pulling the plug and retiring him off the injury, Honor Code returned to the track on Nov. 22, 2014 at Aqueduct against eight horses. While not a tough field, it was a good place for the colt to get his hooves back in the game and he won by a length to show he was back on track. 

Three and a half months later, Honor Code returned to the graded stakes level at Gulfstream to start his 4-year-old season. Running in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap, Honor Code took on a group that included Private Zone (Macho Uno), Valid (Medaglia d’Oro) and Wicked Strong (Hard Spun). By the time the field had gotten to the second call, Honor Code was 15 lengths behind the leading Private Zone. Honor Code still had to make up five lengths on Private Zone in the stretch but with Castellano urging him on, he was able to get up and win his second Grade 2 by half-length.

Honor Code threw in the first bad race of his career in his next start, the Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes on Kentucky Oaks day, when finishing fifth but he was back to the winner’s circle a month later. 
Before the Alysheba
In what was probably the strongest race on the Belmont Stakes card, 10 horses entered the Grade 1 NYRA.com Metropolitan Handicap. With all but one horse in the race having at least one graded stakes win and four winning at the Grade 1 level it was Honor Code’s toughest task yet. He made it even tougher on himself when he dropped 14 lengths back after the first quarter but he steadily made up ground until he was second by half-length at the stretch call. In a strong performance, Honor Code passed Private Zone for the second time that year and kept rolling to win by 3 ¾ lengths.

Notching his first Grade 1 victory was a big deal for Honor Code’s future stallion career but it got better from there in the Grade 1 Whitney Stakes. With future Lane's End stablemate Liam’s Map (Unbridled’s Song) setting fast fractions on the lead, the race set up perfectly for Honor Code. While it was a challenge to catch Liam’s Map, he was able to beat him by a neck with another strong field behind him.

Honor Code suffered a surprise defeat in his final Breeders’ Cup prep, the Grade 2 Kelso Stakes when going off as the 3-to-5 favorite and losing to Appealing Tale (Tale of the Cat) by 3 ¾ lengths. But while he finished in the same position in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic, it was a big performance to end his career on with the horse closing impressively on most of the field in the stretch.



Honor Code retired to Lane’s End at the end of 2015 with six wins in 11 starts, only finishing off the board once in his career for $2,518,260 (approx. €2,285,068/£1,807,990) in earnings. At the end of the year, he was named the Eclipse champion older male as well.

His pedigree is where Honor Code’s stud potential gets even more exciting.

Honor Code is by sire-of-sires A.P. Indy, who lives in the stall next to Honor Code and across from another champion son in Mineshaft at the Lane’s End stallion complex. A.P. Indy is the grandsire of top sire Tapit (Pulpit) and the sire of top stallions Bernardini, Congrats and Malibu Moon. As of Jan. 7, A.P. Indy had 155 stakes winners and 11 champions in addition to being a top five broodmare sire, making him a premier sire for both racehorses and producers.

Honor Code’s female family is equally as deep as his sire.

Honor Code is out of the stakes winning Storm Cat mare Serena’s Cat. Still a young mare at 13 years old, Serena’s Cat has produced three winners from four foals to race and has six foals on the ground as of Feb. 24, 2016. In addition to Honor Code, her first foal was the multiple graded stakes winner Noble Tune (Unbridled’s Song) who currently stands in South Africa. Honor Code was her second foal and her third is the Bernardini filly Lady Serena. Lady Serena is a two-time winner from five races and is currently preparing for her 2016 debut for owner-breeder Dell Ridge Farm. 

Lane’s End Racing is the sole owner of Honor Code’s 3-year-old Tapit half-brother Morse Code, who showed talent when finishing second in his debut. Trained by McGaughey, Morse Code is currently sidelined but expected to return later this year. Honor Code’s 2-year-old half-sister is where the family's commercial value gets really interesting for Serena’s Cat.

Named Serena’s Harmony, the 2-year-old full sister to Morse Code was sold as a weanling at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. Only the second Serena’s Cat offspring to go through the sales ring, Serena’s Harmony broke the North American weanling record when Bridlewood Farm paid $3-million for the filly.  

“We were at the max, but Mr. Malone’s a strong guy," said Bridlewood's General Manager George Isaacs at the time. "He gave me the green light to $2 [-million]; I had him on the phone. I said, 'Look, I’m good to call it quits here at $2.5 [-million],' and he said, 'No, keep going.' At $2.8 [-million], they bid $2.9 [-million], and he said, 'Well, bid $3 [-million]; go ahead.'”


Honor Code
Serena’s Cat hit another home run in 2015 when her weanling War Front colt sold at the same sale for $2.6-million to M.V. Magnier for the Coolmore partnership. The price was the second highest at the sale for a weanling behind the new record holder, a Take Charge Lady filly by War Front who sold for $3.2-million. Serena’s Cat is bred to Tapit again for 2016 and is due later this year.

Serena’s Cat is out of the Mr. Prospector mare Serena’s Tune. A stakes winner herself, Serena’s Tune has produced three winners. Included in that group is the aforementioned Serena’s Cat and the multiple Group 3 winner Vocalised (Vindication). Unfortunately, Serena’s Tune died after having only four foals with her only maiden unplaced in four starts.

Honor Code’s third dam is a mare almost everyone in racing in familiar with. The 1995 champion 3-year-old filly Serena’s Song (Rahy) was a superstar during her racing career, beating males before going on to produce 10 winners in her broodmare career.

The most accomplished of those on the track is Group 1 Coronation winner Sophisticat (Storm Cat), who has started her own successful European branch of the family with stakes winner Sefroua (Kingmambo). Serena’s Song also produced sons to carry on her legacy on a wider note with Grade 2 winners Grand Reward (Storm Cat) and Harlington (Unbridled) and Schramsberg (Storm Cat). All have gone on to stud careers.

In all, six of Serena Song’s 10 winners won at least one stakes race in their career with the latest being the 6-year-old Serene Melody (Street Cry). Serena’s Song has one final foal to hit the track, a 2-year-old Medaglia d’Oro filly named Golden Serenade. The 24-year-old mare was pensioned at the end of 2014 after losing that year's pregnancy.


Honor Code at Churchill Downs
A.P. Indy had a lot of success with the Mr. Prospector line during his career, which could be a strong cross for Honor Code as well. While the stallion’s granddam is by Mr. Prospector, he only has one cross to the stallion in his first five generations and that moves to the fourth generation on his side for any resulting foals. Honor Code also only has one line of Northern Dancer in his first four generations (running through Serena’s Cat’s sire Storm Cat) and that will be pushed to the fifth generation in his foals, leaving him a bit more leeway with that cross in his mates. A.P. Indy himself is clear of both Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector, bringing in an outcross factor on Honor Code’s top side. 

A popular young broodmare sire in the breed is Medaglia d’Oro and any of his daughters who are bred to Honor Code will bring in one more strain of Northern Dancer in the fifth generation through their sire. Otherwise, any of his daughters won't bring in any more inbreeding in the first five generations through their sire. A similar cross to this worked well in 2015 when Medaglia d’Oro’s daughter Rachel Alexandra produced a Grade 1 winner by Bernardini (A.P. Indy). According to Equineline, the Bernardini over Medaglia d’Oro cross has been done four times but only one of those has started (the aforementioned Grade 1 winner). A.P. Indy’s grandson Tapit has also seen four Medaglia d’Oro mares with one of the two foals to start winning a race.
Medaglia d'Oro
Broodmare sire Unbridled’s Song brings absolutely no inbreeding into the pedigree in the first five generations and adds both Fappiano and Caro to the fifth generation, two influential sires that Honor Code doesn’t have in his pedigree. Three of the five foals by A.P. Indy out of Unbridled’s Song daughters have won at least one race and four of the eight starters by Bernardini out of his daughters have won with $560,867 in earnings although none have won a stakes race.

With the Danzig sire line having strong representation with War Front and Hard Spun among others in North America, there’s no doubt that Honor Code will have mares from that line visit his court. Danzig daughters will give the foal Northern Dancer in the third generation in addition to the fifth from Honor Code with daughters by his sons pushing the cross back one more generation on the foal's bottom side. The A.P. Indy x Danzig cross has been a fruitful one with 25 winners from 37 starters and three stakes winners to date for over $4.6-million in earnings. A.P. Indy’s success with Danehill (Danzig) mares isn’t as flashy but the cross does have three winners from four starters and one stakes winner for $370,255 in earnings to date.
War Front
One final, interesting inbreeding cross would be to send Rahy daughters and granddaughters to the stallion as that would give the resulting foal Rahy in both the second and fifth generations. The cross with Honor Code’s sire has been fairly successful with five winners from six starters for over $885,000 in earnings but that obviously doesn’t include the Rahy inbreeding factor Honor Code brings in.

With a strong pedigree and race record Honor Code has been a popular new stallion this year. The stallion’s $40,000 (approx. €36,276/£28,718) fee doesn’t seem to be a deterrent with his name thrown around by many breeders going into the height of the 2016 breeding season.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Bargain Sire: Congrats

Congrats
A well-bred Grade 2 winner by mega-sire A.P. Indy, Congrats was well received when he retired to Cloverleaf Farms in Florida in 2007. Standing for a stud fee of $12,500, Congrats covered 172 mares that year with 107 live foals, setting him up for success when his first foals hit the track in 2010.

Congrats had 61 2-year-olds run that first year and had 25 winners including three graded stakes winners and 12 other stakes horses. His results were good enough to top the First-Crop Sire list over a generation that included the high profile Bernardini (A.P. Indy) and future top sire War Front (Danzig). It was the first time since Valid Expectations led the First-Crop Sires list in 2001 that a stallion standing outside of Kentucky during his first season at stud led the list.

Congrats had moved to Vinery Farm’s Florida division in 2008 after Cloverleaf Farms closed at the end of 2007, which made a move to Kentucky after his first 2-year-olds’ success easier. He was transferred to Vinery’s Kentucky farm late in 2010 and his fee raised to $15,000 for 2011 from the $4,500 he had stood for in 2010.

Over the next three years, Congrats’ Florida crops continued to keep him near the top of his generation’s leading sire lists with five stakes winners in 2011 to finish fourth on the second crop sire list, and six stakes winners to finish ninth on the third crop list in 2012.

While his Florida crops yielded his best runner in $1.2-million earner Turbulent Descent and Grade 1 winners Wickedly Perfect and Emma’s Encore, he was about to take another step up when his first Kentucky-bred runners turned two in 2014.

Congrats had bred 205 mares in his first Kentucky season for 162 live foals with 72 of them making their debuts during their 2-year-old season. Eighteen of those won that year with two stakes winners including Grade 1 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies runner-up Top Decile. At the end of the year Congrats beat out stallions such as Super Saver (Maria’s Mon), Kitten’s Joy (El Prado), Scat Daddy (Johannesburg), Tapit (Pulpit) and War Front (Danzig) on the 2-year-old sires list.

In 2015, Congrats’ 2-year-olds produced 16 winners from 47 starters for a 34 percent strike rate, although none of the 47 won a stakes race. However, the stallion fared better on the General Sires list with 146 winners for a 57 percent strike rate including four stakes winners. While the stallion didn’t have a big horse with his top earner being the $224,116 earner Temper Mint Patty, his runners earned $6,721,323 spreading the wealth around with average earnings of $27,153 per starter.

While Congrats has had solid results from his first few years in Kentucky this looks like it may be his banner year.

Continuing a role that started as soon as the year turned, the 16-year-old stallion is coming out of a weekend where he had three daughters win stakes races in North America. Led by the surprising 74.20-to-1 Grade 2 Twinspires.com Rachel Alexandra Stakes winner Venus Valentine, Haveyougoneaway and Cash Back each won their respective stakes races as well.



Video courtesy of TVG

Congrats’ first stakes win of 2016 came with Forever Darling in the Grade 2 Santa Ynez on Jan. 2 but February has been even better to him. Polar River proved she by far the best 3-year-old filly, and possibly best overall 3-year-old, in Dubai when she stayed undefeated in the UAE One Thousand Guineas Sponsored By Friday. Two days later, the 4-year-old filly Pangburn gave him his stakes second win of the month with Pangburn winning the Maryland Racing Media Stakes before the three aforementioned fillies won their stakes last weekend. 

While we are only 54 days into the year and a lot can change, Congrats looks to shake up the General Sire standings. He’s had 32 winners overall this year for a 23 percent strike rate and at least two fillies who look like they are headed to the Grade 1 Longines Kentucky Oaks in May. The stallion also has 89 2-year-olds waiting to start later this year.

Congrats had 100 live foals in 2015 (from 137 mares bred) and bred 106 mares in 2015 so his Kentucky crops should continue to stay strong in coming years. But if that isn’t enough to sell breeders on him, his pedigree give him an extra perk.

A.P. Indy as a sire doesn’t really need any introduction when it comes to being a sire-of-sires. The stallion is the sire or grandsire of five of the top 12 stallions on the General Sire list right now including the record-breaking Tapit in addition to having four of the top 10 sires on the Leading Second-Crop Sire list. His final crop included champion Honor Code and Grade 1 winner Got Lucky among others.

But no matter how good the sire of a stallion is, the female family is just as important and Congrats also has that piece of the puzzle.

Congrats is by the winning Mr. Prospector mare Praise. Now 22 years old, Praise has produced seven winners with Congrats leading her foals. Congrats’ full brother Flatter was only graded stakes placed during his career but has also turned into a good sire in his own right, led by Grade 1 winner Flat Out and Grade 2 winner Upstart. Flatter is also the sire of recent big horses Taris and Kobe’s Back to sit 10th on the General Sires list.


Flat Out

Praise’s other stakes horse is the Go for Gin gelding Gigger, whose stakes placing came over the fences at Saratoga. Praise still has young horses who are able to update the page farther with a 3-year-old War Front colt named Command, a 2-year-old War Front colt named Homage and a yearling War Front colt.

Praise is out of the Northern Dancer graded stakes winner Wild Applause who has carved out her own successful line of producers. She produced Grade 1 winner Eastern Echo (Damascus) and Grade 3 winner Blare of Trumpets (Fit to Fight) during her time in Paul Mellon’s broodmare band before adding Yell (A.P. Indy) and Roar (Forty Niner) to her resume after Claiborne bought her from the Mellon dispersal. 

After a racing career that earned her nearly $600,000, Yell retired to the shed for Claiborne and has her own stakes winning daughter in American Beauty winner Cherry (Distorted Humor). With all seven of her foals to race winning at least one race, she has also produced Grade 1-placed Chide (Blame) and stakes placed Shrill (Distorted Humor).  But it may be Wild Applause’s winning daughter Queens Wild (Spectacular Bid) who has the most impact on the family.

Queens Wild is responsible for the A.P. Indy daughter Meghan’s Joy. A stakes placed runner herself, the mare is the producer of four graded stakes winners, one stakes winner, a Grade 3-placed runner and the dam of Grade 3 winner Onus (Blame). Two other Queens Wild daughters have also produced stakes placed horses but Meghan’s Joy is the one from the family who has consistently produced stakes winners and producers. 

Wild Applause’s dam is 1993 Broodmare of the Year Glowing Tribute (Granustark). In addition to Wild Applause, the mare produced Grade 1 Kentucky Derby hero Sea Hero (Polish Navy), Grade 1 winner Hero’s Honor, Grade 2 winner Glowing Honor (Seattle Slew) and Grade 3 winners Coronation Cup (Chief’s Crown) and Mackie (Summer Squall).



Video courtesy of Kentucky Derby

Glowing Tribute is granddam of European champion sprinter Mozart (Danehill), third dam of Group 1 winner Mawingo (Tertullian) and fourth dam of Chilean champion Il Campione (Scat Daddy). 

When digging farther back in Congrats’ pedigree, you find influential bluehen mare La Troienne (Teddy) in the seventh generation of his female family to complete the big picture.

Congrats has proven to be a major sire of fillies with eight of his top performers by earnings coming from the fairer sex but he can obviously throw a good colt or gelding with the gelded I’m Steppin’ It Up his second best runner by earnings. However, if trying to get a high priced yearling to sell at auction fillies are your best bet with the sire. 

While his overall yearling average last year came in at $56,442 according to Blood-Horse, his fillies averaged $70,474 with his colts on over $20,000 lower at $48,364. The price difference was seen even more at 2-year-old auctions when Congrats daughters averaged $115,785 for 13 sold and the colts brought an average of $52,933 for 15 sold.

Five of Congrats’ top 10 earners have at least one thing in common with Storm Cat as their damsire’s sire (or grandsire in the case of one horse). The best damsire of this cross seems to be Forestry, who is the damsire of two of Congrats’ top 10 earners with nine winners from 15 starts coming from the cross. Another cross worth mentioning is Congrats with Mr. Prospector-lined mares as he can be found behind the damsire of two of the top 10 earners’ dams. In one case he is the sire of the runner’s damsire and in another the grandsire of the damsire.

In 2016, Congrats is standing for $20,000 at WinStar Farm with lifetime average earnings per runner sitting at $61,888 as of Feb. 21. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

New Stallion Lucky Speed

An Irish-bred six-year-old, Lucky Speed created a big resume for himself in a short three seasons of racing.

Making his first group stakes start in late April of his 3-year-old year, he finished second in the Group 3 Fruhjahrs – Preis des Bankhauses Metzler behind the multiple Group stakes winner Vif Monsieur (Doyen). But it didn’t take Lucky Speed long to get a stakes victory, taking home the Group 3 ONEXTWO.com Bavarian Classic in his next start. A little over a month later, he joined a list of Group 1 winners when winning this century's fastest Group 1 German Derby. While he didn't race again after that victory, his four 3-year-old races were enough to name him the Top Rated German 3-Year-Old (11-13 furlongs) that year.

Lucky Speed wasn’t seen again until June of his 4-year-old year when he finished third in the Group 2 Grosser Preis der Badischen Unternehmer. Two starts later, he again hit the board in the Group 1 124th Grosser Preis von Berlin but in four starts that year, he wasn’t able to get back to the winner’s enclosure. 

In his final season at the track, Lucky Speed spent his season in the United States.

Starting at Woodbine, he ran in the Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes against eight other horses going 1 1/8 miles on the turf. The colt barely missed hitting the board, finishing fourth by a nose. His next stop was Chicago, where he lined up in the Grade 3 American St. Leger at Arlington Park. Racing at 1 11/16 miles, he was content to sit about 10 lengths behind the leader for the first three calls before making his move. By the stretch call, he was in second behind Panama Hat (Medicean), taking over the lead and winning by ¾-length in a course record time of 2:46.50. Returning to Woodbine a month later, Lucky Speed duplicated his previous start at the track when finishing fourth in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes Presented by HPIBet.

Winning the American St. Leger 
Retired after that start, Lucky Speed ended his career with four wins and three other on-the-board finishes in 11 starts for €639,251 (approx. $710,943US/£497,563) in earnings.

Lucky Speed is by German’s high weight older horse Silvano (Lomitas). Silvano won at the same North American track his son did when winning the 2001 Grade 1 Arlington Million, one of his seven wins in 18 starts. Now standing in South Africa, Silvano has produced 10 champions and 55 stakes winners. As of Feb. 17, he has 480 winners from 739 starters for a 65 percent strike rate according to Equineline.

Lucky Speed is out of the Monsun mare Lysuna. While not a stakes winner, the mare did place in the Group 3 Grosser Jubilaumspreis Jungheinrich Gabelstapler. From her six foals to race, Lysuna has produced five winners including Lucky Speed and multiple stakes placed Lyssio (Motivator). In addition to her horses on the track, Lysuna has a 3-year-old unnamed Lando filly and an unnamed 2-year-old Scalo filly.

Lucky Speed
Lysuna is out of the winning Slip Anchor mare La Lyra. That mare produced six winners, including the stakes placed Lysuna and her half-brother Lymond (Bakharoff), who was Group 3 placed and had 13 wins during his career.

One generation farther back, Lucky Speed’s female family sees its first United States-bred with his third dam La Luna. By Lyphard, La Luna raced in France and produced eight winners. The best of those was the Spectrum mare Corrine, who won the Peugeot Pokallob Hopper before producing three winners from her five foals to race so far. A fairly young mare at 17 years old, Corrine still has a chance to update her branch of the family with an unraced 2-year-old Kyllachy colt named Prince Monolulu and an unnamed yearling Finjaan colt.

Lucky Speed after the American St. Leger
La Luna’s Group 3 placed daughter Etoile (Kris) is also the dam of winners but La Luna’s biggest success as a producer is the unraced Danehill mare Close Regards. A 15-year-old mare, Close Regards’ five foals to make it to the track so far are all winners with a gelding by Hurricane Run named Magic Hurricane winning the Group 1 McGrath Estate Agents Metropolitan and her 10-year-old daughter by Hawk Wing a stakes placed mare. Close Regards also has a 3-year-old unraced Canford Cliffs filly named Lieoftheland and an unnamed yearling colt by Camelot.

Lucky Speed’s fourth dam is the French-bred winner Belga (Le Fabuleux), who is a half-sister to leading sire *Belmont. Belga had no problem producing stakes winners with four of her eight winners winning graded or group stakes. Her Lyphard colt Bellypha was the second high weight at two on the French Free Handicap in addition to a champion sire in France while a Riverman colt was a multiple Group Stakes winner and a Danzig colt was a Group 1 winner in Peru. Her Green Dancer filly Brillante was also a stakes winner but it was three other Belga fillies who produced stakes horses. Blanche Reine gave Belga a Group 3 winner with her Kaldoun son Balleroy in addition to the stakes placed Alleged filly Maison Blanche. Two other daughter produced horses who placed in stakes, including United States runner Grey Chandon (*Grey Dawn II), who was third in the Tyro.

Lucky Speed
Free of both Sadler’s Wells and Danzig/Danehill, Lucky Speed provides a nice outcross for the mares who will be visiting him in Ireland. The stallion’s closest inbreeding is the German-bred Surumu (Literat) in the fourth generation on both sides of his pedigree with Northern Dancer in the fifth generation on both sides, pushing him completely off the page in any resulting foals.

Described by trainer Peter Schiergen as “a top class horse, with huge speed who could handle any ground,” Lucky Speed commences stud duties at Sunnyhill Stud in 2016.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Sires To Watch: Europe's Second Crop Stallions

Zoffany
With the European flat racing season starting shortly, a large group of stallions is entering its second year with runners on the track in Europe. While Zoffany (Dansili) led the charge on the First-Crop sire list last year, he’ll have competition as the 3-year-olds are allowed to stretch out and more stallions get to shine. Here are five stallions other than Zoffany who may be able to make a big impact on the European racing scene in 2016.

Playing a second fiddle of sorts to stablemate Zoffany, Canford Cliffs (Tagula) was another strong first crop stallion for Coolmore in 2015. Canford Cliffs bested that stallion by winners and had only two less stakes winners than him to tie for second in that category. Canford Cliff’s 2-year-olds were led by the Group 2 GAIN Railway Stakes winner Painted Cliffs with Most Beautiful also giving him a Group 3 win in the Grangecon Stud Balanchine Stakes. A group stakes winner at two himself, Canford Cliffs ran even better at three and four. He was rated the top 3-year-old miler in England and Ireland after winning three Group 1s including the Abu Dhabi Irish 2,000 Guineas before becoming the champion older miler in Europe the next year when winning two Group 1s including the Queen Anne over Goldikova (Anabaa) indicating that his runners should get better with age. So far this year, Canford Cliffs has three winners according to the Daily Racing Form’s SirePowered Results. He stands for €17,500 (approx. $19,509/£13,514) at Coolmore Ireland, a €5,000 raise from his 2015 fee.


 Video courtesy of Shalakhani

Now standing at the Irish National Stud, Elusive Pimpernel (Elusive Quality) had seven winners from his 18 starters last year for a 38.89 percent strike rate. While he has smaller crops than some of the other stallions he’s competing against in the rankings, the stallion did finish in the top 15 on the European First Crop Sires list last year. He didn’t have any stakes winners but Elusive Janice provided him with a listed stakes placing last year and his daughter Kabaw got 2016 off to a good start with a third place finish in the UAE 1,000 Guineas earlier this month. Elusive Pimpernel is a bargain for breeders, standing for €1,000 (approx. $1,114/£772) with average earnings per runner last year over three times that amount.

The winner of the 2010 Group 1 Sony Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Royal Ascot, Poet’s Voice (Dubawi) had 18 winners from 64 runners in 2015 with those 18 horses winning 30 races between them. Three of Poet’s Voice’s winners went on to visit the winner’s enclosure at the stakes level, tying him with Canford Cliffs for the second most stakes winners of any first crop sire. Winning two of his five starts at three, Poet’s Voice’s 3-year-old season included the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes victory in addition to a Group 2. Poet’s Voice is one of the first Dubawi sons with horses of racing age and stands beside his sire at Darley’s Dalham Hall Stud in England for a fee of £12,000 (approx. $17,321/€15,538), the same price he stood for in 2015.

Courtesy of Darley Stud

Moving to Italy in 2016, Frozen Power (Oasis Dream) did well in 2015 when standing in Ireland with strike race of 30 percent from 70 2-year-olds to race. His 21 winners provided him with 26 wins led by Madrinho, who won or placed in four of his seen starts in 2015 and Rockfield Last, who won two of his six races. A half-brother to Finsceal Beo (Mr. Greeley), Frozen Power was a three-time winner at two and after finishing second in the Group 2 UAE 2,000 Guineas at three won the Group 2 German 2,000 Guineas. The stallion remains at the €4,000 (approx. $4,459/£3,089) fee he stood at in Ireland.

While it seems weird to have a Group 1 Investec Derby Stakes winner who stands at Coolmore as a dark horse, Pour Moi (Montjeu) earns the spot. The stallion had 10 winners in 2015 with only one horse winning or placing in stakes (the listed winner Only Mine) but only 28 of his 2-year-olds started in Europe last year according to Racing Post. With the support of Coolmore behind him and presumably a large group of 3-year-olds left to start, not to mention the 114 2-year-olds Equineline lists for the stallion it shouldn’t be a huge surprise if the stallion makes a big jump in the rankings this year to possibly even challenge fellow Coolmore stallions Zoffany and Canford Cliffs, who had nearly three-times the amount of starters he had last year. Pour Moi stands for €4,000 (approx. $11,147/£7,722)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

New Stallion Conveyance

Conveyance
Residing at the historic Buck Pond Farm in Versailles, Ky., Conveyance joins the new stallion ranks this year at 9 years old. 

Sold to Legends Racing at the Keeneland September Yearling sale for $240,000 in 2008, Conveyance debuted on Halloween day in 2009 for trainer Bob Baffert. He won that first race by 1 ½ lengths, starting a four race win streak that included victories in the Grade 3 San Rafael Stakes and Grade 3 Southwest Stakes to put him on the Kentucky Derby trail. A second place finish in the Grade 3 Sunland Derby solidified his spot in the 2010 Grade 1 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands, where he finished 15th.

Conveyance took the rest of that year off and resurfaced the following March in Dubai for a new trainer. Finishing second in the Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal Sponsored by Emirates Airline, he only ran once more in 2011 with an off-the-board result in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile. Both Racing Post and Equibase have a three-year gap in Conveyance’s race record after that finish. 

But in late February of 2014, he returned to the track at Meydan again and finished third in a handicap. He ended the year in the Garhoud Sprint Sponsored by Al Tayer Motors on December 18 where he again finished on-the-board with a second place. Conveyance’s last start was in January of 2015 when he finished eighth to Reynaldothewizard (Speightstown) in the listed Dubai Stakes Sponsored by DP World UAE Region.

Conveyance retired with four wins and four other on-the-board finishes in 11 starts for $496,560 in earnings. It was announced in July that he would start his career at Buck Pond.

"Conveyance is a smashing individual with a great pedigree," said Doug Arnold, owner of Buck Pond Farm, at the time. "With Uncle Mo on top of the first-crop sire list, Adios Charlie juveniles impressing at the sales, and Liaison's exciting first foals, Indian Charlie is an emerging sire-of-sires. Holy Bull is becoming a top broodmare sire, as well.”



Conveyance is by Indian Charlie, who won the 1998 Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby and was third in that year’s Kentucky Derby. As a sire, Indian Charlie produced eight champions and 26 graded stakes winners including Uncle Mo, Indian Blessing, Fleet Indian and Liaison. Overall, Indian Charlie sired over 105 stakes winners (as of Feb. 9) during his career. Indian Charlie’s last crop is four this year.

Indian Charlie has 18 sons at stud according to Stallion Register, with 10 having foals of racing age. Uncle Mo leads those sons with last year’s first crop success while My Pal Charlie led Louisiana’s First-Crop Sires list in 2013 and Second-Crop Sires list in 2014 in addition to finishing second on the Third-Crop Sires list in 2015. In Florida, Indian Charlie was represented by Adios Charlie, who had three winners from 10 starters in 2015 (his first year at stud) and currently has two winners from seven runners so far this year.



Conveyance is out of the Holy Bull mare Emptythetill, who produced stakes winner Yukon Bull (Songandaprayer) in addition to Conveyance. She also produced the stakes placed Atlantic Bull (Stormy Atlantic) and multiple winner Tango Bravo (Speightstown). His second dam is the unraced Mr. Prospector mare In the Till. A 25-year-old mare, In the Till has 13 foals including the stakes placed Tina Dynamite (Dynaformer), Gingham and Lace (Kris S.) and Yukon Dust (Northern Baby). In addition to Emptythetill’s produce record, her daughters also produced two other stakes placed horses.

Conveyance’s third dam is where the stakes winners start to really roll in. That dam, Silent Account (Private Account), won the Grade 2 Alcibiades Stakes and the Baton Twirler Stakes in addition to finishing second in a Grade 1. She produced the multiple stakes winning sire Gold Case (Forty Niner) and stakes producer I’m a Love Bug (Lyphard) but the biggest jewel on her resume is Liszy (A.P. Indy), the dam of Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty (Medaglia d’Oro).

One more generation back is the most influential mare in his first four generations, Ciao (Silent Screen). In addition to Silent Account, she produced Grade 1 winner Secret Hello (Private Account), Group 3 winner Hadif (Clever Trick) and listed stakes winner By Your Leave (Private Account). While another daughter, Hamba (Easy Goer) didn’t win a stakes race, she is the dam of Grade 1 winner Monba (Maria’s Mon) and a stakes placed filly.  

Conveyance is one of the less expensive options of the freshman sires this year as the only new stallion in Kentucky standing for $5,000 (approx. €4,427/£3,437). He joins Fort Prado and Niagara Causeway as stallions on Buck Pond’s roster in 2016.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Sires To Watch: North America's Second Crop Stallions

Paddy O'Prado
As the racing season starts to ramp up, eyes are turning to last year’s First-Crop sires to see if their runners can continue on as 3-year-olds. There are over 300 stallions listed on Blood-Horse as having their first 3-year-olds this year but here are six in North America that the racing industry should have an eye on in 2016.

While Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie) set records in 2015 as the leading First-Crop sire and has the most 3-year-olds nominated to the Triple Crown of any sire, there are skeptics about how his 3-year-olds will train on this year. While the doubts make sense as a number of good first year sires haven’t had a lot of success in subsequent years and Uncle Mo wasn’t as brilliant as a 3-year-old as he was at 2, I personally don’t see any reason why his horses won’t step up this year. While not as brilliant as he was at 2 Uncle Mo himself was a good 3-year-old, even with his illness knocking him out for a decent chunk of the year, winning the Grade 2 Kelso and being only a nose away from winning a Grade 1 in his return to the track. As of Feb. 8, Uncle Mo leads the Second-Crop standings by earnings with $527,029, over $200,00 more than his nearest competitor, and is tied with Twirling Candy by winners with nine. In 2016, he took a large stud fee jump to $75,000 (approx. €66,844/£52,001).

Uncle Mo
Twirling Candy (Candy Ride) was one of the hot sires at the 2-year-old sales last year with an $186,000 average from 18 sold including a $630,000 filly and $500,000 colt, according to Thoroughbred Daily News. While he couldn’t keep up with Uncle Mo in the earnings department, $2.5-million behind that sire in progeny earnings, he did have only three less winners with 28 less runners so he held his own in that category. Twirling Candy did miss out on an important win category with zero stakes winners, the only stallion in the top nine not to have any stakes winners. In 2016, Twirling Candy is tied with Uncle Mo with nine winners as of Feb. 8 and has taken a $5,000 jump to a $15,000 (approx. €13,368/£10,400) stud fee for this year.

Somewhat of a surprising stallion in last year’s first crop rankings was Girolamo (A.P. Indy), who proved that he is a promising sire. The stallion, who spent his first two seasons at stud in New York, finished No. 3 on that list and had 19 winners from 44 runners (43.2 percent) with a stakes winner (who also finished third in a Grade 1) and four other stakes horses. Girolamo is a full brother to graded stakes winners Daydreaming and Accelerator and Supercharger, the dam of 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver. This year Girolamo has 150 foals of racing age with 63 2-year-olds of which 18 sold last year for an average of $68,728 and median of $67,560. That average was up over $20,000 and the median over $50,000 from his 29 yearlings sold in 2014. Girolamo stands for a stud fee of $15,000 in 2016, a $10,000 rise from his 2015 fee.

Girolamo

The sire of Kentucky Derby hopeful Cherry Wine, Paddy O’Prado (El Prado) had 15 winners in his first crop. Of that, three horses win or placed in stakes races led by Above Fashion. Paddy O’Prado himself didn’t win at two (although he did place in the Grade 2 With Anticipation) but won four graded stakes at three including a Grade 1 so it won’t be surprising to see his runners performing better this year. Paddy O’Prado has had large crops in his first two years with 106 2-year-olds last year and 123 this year so he definitely has the numbers to support him in his first years at stud. He’s standing for $5,000 (approx. €4,456/£3,466) in 2016, a drop from the $9,500 (approx. €8,467/£6,586) he was at in 2015.

A Grade 1 winner by Speightstown, Haynesfield had 11 winners last year with one of his runners winning three stakes races. While not putting up flashy numbers in 2015, the stallion is off to a solid start early this year with seven of his 24 runners (29 percent) already winning at least one race as of Feb. 8. As with all of the stallions Airdrie Stud stands, Haynesfield has the farm’s powerful broodmare band behind him to give him added support. While Haynesfield won a stakes race at 2, his best running arguably started late in his 3-year-old year and with the stallion winning his first graded stakes in late November and getting a Grade 1 win as a 4-year-old. If that’s any indication of his runners’ path of progression, the best is yet to come for him. He stands for $10,000 (approx. €8,912/£6,933) this year, the same fee he’s stood at since he retired.

Haynesfield
A dark horse this year may be Florida’s Big Drama (Montbrook), the winner of the 2010 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint. A stakes winner every year of his career, from limited foals to race he seems to be succeeding in this avenue too. Last year he finished seventh in the First-Crop rankings with 13 winners from 35 runners for $797,010 in earnings including Affirmed Stakes winner Tribal Drama. He was ranked No. 18 on both the Florida and Southeast lists and this year sits 13th on both lists as of Feb. 8. Even though the stallion only had one stakes winner last year, he had five other horses place in stakes races, giving him 15.4 percent blacktype earners from starters. He is off to a slow start this year with just one winner from 22 starters but has 41 2-year-olds revving up for their first starts later this year. At a fee of $15,000, he is currently the most expensive stallion in Florida.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

New Stallion Free Eagle

From a strong European family, Free Eagle is an exciting new stallion for the Irish National Stud in 2016 after retiring from an eight race career that was worth £592,523 (approx. €778,513/$865,024US) in earnings.

Free Eagle made his debut in August of 2013 at Leopardstown at a mile where he blew away the 10 horse field when winning by 5 ½ lengths under Pat Smullen. From there, trainer Dermot Weld and owner-breeder Moyglare Stud pointed him to the Group 3 Icon Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Trial Stakes. 


FREE EAGLE BREAKING HIS MAIDEN

Video courtesy of Racing Post

In a field that included future dual-Derby winner Australia (Galileo) and multiple Group 1-placed Kingfisher (Galileo), Free Eagle tracked pacesetting Kingfisher until two furlongs out. After taking over the lead Free Eagle then had to deal with Australia, but didn't have enough to hold off that competitor with Australia winning by six lengths. However, Free Eagle was 3 ½ lengths clear of the third place horse to earn his first group stakes placing.

Given the winter off, Free Eagle started his preparations for a classic campaign in early 2014 as the Epsom Derby third-favorite. But those plans were canceled in April when the colt suffered an injury that forced him to miss the first half of the season. The injury didn’t force him to miss the whole season however, and he was back in training in the summer for a fall campaign.

Showing the promise he had on display the previous year, Free Eagle entered the Group 3 KPMG Enterprise Stakes for his return. Smullen let him sort himself out until he was comfortable in the running then asked Free Eagle to run with the colt giving him the response he asked for, drawing away to beat the field by seven lengths.



Courtesy of At the Races

Entering a Group 1 and shipping to England for the first time, Free Eagle faced the toughest field of his career in the Group 1 QIPCO Champion Stakes. While he wasn't able to catch the leading Noble Mission (Galileo) and Al Kazeem (Dubawi) in the final two furlongs, he showed that he belonged when he finished just 1 ½ lengths behind them. Among the horses behind him were Group 1 winners Cirrus Des Aigles (Even Top), Sheikhzayedroad (Dubawi), Pether’s Moon (Dylan Thomas) and Ruler of the World (Galileo).

While that finished out his 3-year-old season, he was back fairly quickly as a 4-year-old. Making his seasonal debut in the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, Free Eagle was able to get his first Group 1 win when beating The Grey Gatsby (Mastercraftsman) by a short head at the end of 1 ¼ miles.

Taking the summer off, Free Eagle returned in September in the Group 1 QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes. Racing against Golden Horn (Cape Cross) in the final furlong, Free Eagle was part of a controversial finish with Golden Horn bumped him on the way to winning the race causing Free Eagle to finish third. The pair met again a month later in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe but Free Eagle wasn’t able to get close to Golden Horn in that contest, finishing sixth by 4 ½ lengths. Free Eagle’s career ended on a low note when he finished last in the Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Cup in December. 

Named the Irish Thoroughbred Horse Breeders’ Association’s 2015 joint-Older Horse, Free Eagle arrived at the Irish National Stud in early January, a month before breeding season began.



Free Eagle is one of two stallions by High Chaparral standing in the United Kingdom or Ireland who is advertised on Weatherbys. 

High Chaparral was the high rated 3yo in both England and Ireland over 11 to 13 furlongs in 2002 addition to being Ireland’s top rated older horse in 2003. The stallion won six Group 1 races including two editions of the Breeders’ Cup Turf and both the English and Irish Derbys. But for all he did on the track, High Chaparral was an even better sire. The stallion sired 120 stakes horses including 47 group winners, of which 14 were Group or Grade 1 winners. 

A successful sire in Europe, High Chaparral made an even bigger mark in Australasia where he was the sire of Australian and European champion So You Think and New Zealand champion Dundeel among many others. Of his 14 Grade or Group 1 winners, seven were bred in Australia or New Zealand with a farther 13 group stakes winners by the stallion bred in the southern hemisphere.


SO YOU THINK

Video courtesy of Coolmore

Free Eagle isn’t the only top horse out of his winning dam Polished Gem (Danehill). Her first foal, a filly by Medicean born in 2008, was the Group 2 QIPCO British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes winner Sapphire. 

Her next foal was the multiple Group 2 winner Custom Cut (Notnowcato), who with Free Eagle’s help provided Polished Gem a memorable day last September when he won a Group 2 on the same card Free Eagle finished third in the Irish Champion Stakes on (Custom Cut also finished fourth in a Group 3 on the same card Free Eagle made his debut on in 2013). 

While her 2010 filly Amber Romance (Bahamian Bounty) wasn’t a stakes winner, the filly did win at four with Free Eagle born the year after her. A 4-year-old gelding by Dark Angel named Valac has hit the board five times in eight starts while their 2-year-old Dubawi half-brother, Rich History, has not yet started. Polished Gem has an unnamed yearling colt by Galileo.

Free Eagle’s second dam is the 1988 Group 1 Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Trusted Partner (Affirmed). A three-time winner, she is also the dam of the Group 1 stakes winner Dress to Thrill (Danehill), who was successful in both the United States and Europe. Another half-sister is the winning Nashwan mare Trust In Luck, who has started her own successful line of stakes winners. Three of Trust In Luck’s daughters have produced stakes winners with two of them being Group winners including the Group 1 winner Vert de Grece (Verglas).

Free Eagle’s third dam will be recognizable to U.S. breeders as she is the 1973 champion 2-year-old filly Talking Picture (Speak John), who won four graded stakes as a 2-year-old including two Grade 1s. In addition to Trusted Partner, she is the dam of Ireland’s 1985 champion older stayer Easy to Copy (Affirmed), who produced stakes winners Two-Twenty-Two (Fairy King) and Desert Ease (Green Desert). Also included on her resume are two other Affirmed fillies in Grade 3 winner Low Key Affair and listed stakes winner Epicure’s Garden. 

Some other horses who trace back to Talking Picture in their immediate family are another new stallion in Amira’s Prince (Teofilo), Group 1 winner Gallante (Montjeu), steeplechase Grade 2 winner Plinth (Montjeu), Grade 2 winner Dixieland Gold (Dixieland Band) and Group 2 winner Forgotten Rules (Nayef).


Amira's Prince
With breeder Moyglare Stud involved in his syndicate in addition to multiple other shareholders and outside breeders, Free Eagle looks to have solid support in his first few books before his first foals hit the track. Standing for €20,000 (approx. £15,221/$22,178US) in 2016, he is one of two new stallions standing for that fee in Europe this year.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

European Racehorses in North America: Declaration of War

Declaration of War
From War Front’s (Danzig) second crop, Declaration of War helped to set his sire on a fast track to European success when the Coolmore partners bought into the horse after his 2-year-old season.

Declaration of War started his career in France for breeder Joseph Allen where he made two starts as a 2-year-old, winning both by a combined 11 lengths under Christophe Soumillon. It looked like he was on the fast track to classic success but Declaration of War was sidelined nearly all of his 3-year-old year with his first start of that season coming in September. When he returned back to the track, Coolmore had joined his ownership group and he was based at Ballydoyle with trainer Aidan O’Brien.

His first start back was a fourth by four lengths to Famous Name (Dansili) in the Group 3 Refuse to Bend Solonaway Stakes but he got back to his winning ways three weeks later when dropped out of the group stakes level. A run six days later in the Group 3 Diamond Stakes gave him his first group stakes and showed that he could perform off of a short turn around, an important note for the rest of his career.

While only making five starts in his first two years on the track, Declaration of War made eight as a 4-year-old.

He started the season at Leopardstown in April, winning that race by 2 ½ lengths before putting in a lackluster performance in the Group 1 JLT Lockinge Stakes when stepping up to that level of racing for the first time. But that didn’t discourage his connections from stepping him back up to Group 1 company for the rest of the summer and he annexed the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot in June. While he was winless in his next three starts, he ran credibly with a second and third, respectively in two July races before a fourth in France.

But again, a quick turnaround seemed to reinvigorate Declaration of War when he ran in the Group 1 Juddmonte International States going a little over a mile and a quarter only 10 days later. Taking on a group that included classic winner Trading Leather (Teofilo) and multiple Group 1 winners Al Kazeem (Dubawi) and Toronado (High Chaparral), Declaration of War earned his second Group 1 win by 1 ¼ lengths.



In a move made to help the horse appeal to breeders worldwide when Coolmore shipped Declaration of War to California for the 2013 Breeders’ Cup, they didn’t enter him in any of the turf races. Instead, they had their eye on the biggest race of the Breeders’ Cup card with an entry in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

In one of the most exciting Classics in recent history, Declaration of War any doubt that may have existed about his ability to run on dirt in the race.

Regular jockey Joseph O’Brien settled Declaration of War close behind the front running trio of Moreno (Ghostzapper), Game On Dude (Awesome Again) and Fort Larned (E Dubai) with Mucho Macho Man (Macho Uno) to his outside. When the race started to develop coming into the stretch, Mucho Macho Man took the lead from Fort Larned with Declaration of War in quick pursuit. Will Take Charge (Unbridled’s Song) closed in the final furlong to create a three-way photo finish for the win at the wire. Mucho Macho Man held on to the lead at the wire, passed by Will Take Charge just a few strides later with Declaration of War only a head behind the pair in third.




That was the final race for Declaration of War and although his Classic finish added to his value in North America, he spent his first season at stud in Ireland for a fee of €40,000 (approx. $43,620US/£30,244) as the first son of War Front to stand in Europe.

In 2015, Declaration of War spent his second season at stud in the United States at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud. Standing for the same $40,000US (approx. €36,682/£27,736) fee as he was in Ireland, with the exchange rate he was a little cheaper due to the move.


“Declaration of War has an incredibly similar profile to Giant’s Causeway who also joined us after standing a single season in Ireland,” said Ashford manager Dermot Ryan at the time. “Both were unbeaten at two, both won some of Britain’s key Group 1 races over a mile and a mile-and-a-quarter and both ran incredible races on their first starts on traditional dirt in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. And then of course they’re both by top sires out of daughters of Rahy from great American families. Bred by Joe Allen in whose colors he ran, Declaration of War was one of the best yearlings ever raised here on the farm and we’re delighted to be getting him back.”

Declaration of War in January of 2016
The move to North America seemed to pay off as Declaration of War bred 192 mares in 2015, the seventh most of any North American stallion.

Looking at his pedigree, it isn’t a surprise Declaration of War has been a hit in North America. The stallion was one of only three major sons of War Front to stand in Kentucky in 2015 and the only one to show the ability to successfully go a mile and a quarter on both dirt and turf.

War Front has a reputation as being mostly a turf sire, even though his son The Factor was a graded stakes winner on dirt. So showing that Declaration could compete at the top level in North America on the surface was an important test for the new stallion.

But looking at Declaration of War’s female family, it is easy to see that the horse should have dirt ability. His siblings Vertiformer (Dynaformer) and War Pact (War Front) both earned blacktype on turf with another winning races in France but his dam Tempo West (Rahy) won three races, all at dirt from seven furlongs to 1 1/16 miles.

Tempo West’s dam, Tempo (Gone West), was a winner as well but she is best known as the dam of 2012 Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags (Dixie Union). Union Rags’ first foals will be hitting the track later this year with the stallion having 108 live foals born in 2014. Tempo West is also the dam of the stakes placed Geefour (Dixie Union) and the six-time winner Miss Pauline (Cat Thief).

Union Rags
The most blacktype of Declaration of War’s first three dams can be found under Terpsichorist (Nijinsky). She is the dam of multiple stakes winner Marry Me Do (Blushing Groom) and multiple graded stakes placed Dancing Devlette (Devil’s Bag) among others. 

Dancing Devlette has produced three stakes winners, including Grade 2 winner Satan’s Quick Chick (Sky Mesa) and Grade 3 winner Pratella (Jade Hunter) in addition to multiple stakes winner Satan’s Code (Polish Numbers). Dancing Devlette is also the granddam of graded stakes winner Blue Sky Holiday (Victory Gallop) and stakes winner Angliana (Giant’s Causeway). Continuing the black type in her family Terpsichorist also has stakes producing mares Fortune (Wild Again) and Freshet (Believe It).

One generation farther back in Declaration of War’s pedigree, one can find another Belmont Stakes winner in Colonial Affair (Pleasant Colony) in addition to Grade 1 winner Ball Dancing (Exchange Rate) and Irish champion Prince of Birds (Storm Bird) in the family. It’s safe to say that his pedigree is full of both turf and dirt stars, which bodes well for his future.


Declaration of War’s first foals are yearlings this year but the stallion has already made a big splash. Last year, his weanlings had a median sales price of $103,064 according to Thoroughbred Daily News. The 13 weanlings who sold were led by an $800,000 filly out of Hanky Panky (Galileo), who sold at Keeneland November while a mare in-foal to the stallion sold for $775,000 at the same sale.

Declaration of War is standing his second season at Ashford Stud in 2016 for the same $40,000US (approx. €36,682/£27,736) fee he’s stood at his first two seasons at stud.