Many people, myself included, often extol the virtues and value of investing in regional sires. They are less expensive than the glamour destinations, I’m looking at you Ireland and Kentucky, allow breeders to experiment with mares and pedigrees and often yield a horse who can earn far more in BPs than it cost to breed. With the addition of Regional Stakes races to the SIM you can even get a black type champion. However, regional sires often end up being those stallions who couldn’t quite make it in Kentucky (or Ireland) or weren’t quite impressive enough on the track either due to their limited pedigree or limited results. How is the breeder supposed to choose which stallion will knock out some home runs for the prospecting trainer? This article will address some of the stallions which should be looked at in New York and since the Summer meet of Saratoga is right around the corner now is the perfect time don’t you think?
Here are the top ten NY sires (earnings: source Bloodhorse) along with number of runners and stud fee:
- Freud – $7500 (123)
- Frost Giant – $5000 (93)
- Bellamy Road – $6000 (130)
- Mission Impazible – $7500 (62)
- Desert Party – $2500 (85)
- Big Brown – $6000 (98)
- Courageous Cat – $6000 (74)
- Boys at Tosconova – $2500 (25)
- Bustin Stones – $5000 (57)
- Soaring Empire – $2500 (18)
As we can see no sire will cost you over $7500 in real life and most of the mares are going to a handful of stallions, after all Soaring Empire and Boys at Tosconova are making the list with a mere handful of runners. When you continue down the list no other stallion has more than 28 runners so SIM breeders might actually be using these stallions more than real life New York breeders. Mirroring real life, Freud is the most expensive and proficient NY SIM stallion. He has 74% winners and 4.3% SW in the SIM along with 3 career graded winners. He should be available for low 200s most weeks but you do have to fight for him. Frost Giant gives you most of what Freud does without any competition as he sits at 127 waiting to be selected. Frost Giant sports numbers of 70% and 3.2%. He only has one graded winner but it is a G1 winner. Bellamy Road is even cheaper stopping at 91. He carries a 74% winning rate but a lower stakes rate of 2.3%. No graded winners yet out of 307 runners so you could be the first. Mission Impazible is my favorite of the top four. He is affordable at 158 and has the highest numbers of the group with a Kentucky stallion like 77% winners and 4.6% SW. He also sports 7 graded winners for a 1.4% rate. Although his back end of Hold Your Peace x Crafty Drone doesn’t scream SIM success he was obviously rated highly as a son of Unbridled’s Song.
Desert Party combines Street Cry and Storm Cat (hello AP Indy line mares) and is available for 119. He has a solid gold strike rate of 81% winners though he doesn’t get many black types with 1.4%. No graded winners yet to date. Big Brown is well known from Triple Crown fame and was once a KY stallion before being sent to New York. As such he has been well used in the SIM and given a shot with a plethora of high end mares. Big Brown clocks in at 200 and yields an 82% win rate. He has 7.4% stakes winner and 2.2% graded winners with multiple G1 winners. Combine this with a back end of Nureyev x Lear Fan and there is a lot to like about Big Brown. In fact the only thing the breeder has to worry about is if Big Brown received an unpublished SIM downgrade. He performance is certainly top end and represents extremely good value for 200 BP/Credits. Since Big Brown has maintained his SW % the last several years (4.5, 5.3, 3.5, 5.2) I believe breeders can approach him with confidence. For Storm Cat fans like myself Courageous Cat is certainly a worthy option. He will cost you 182, give you a back end of Rahy x Danzig (after the success of Giant’s Causeway, Storm Cat was bred to many Rahy mares) for a winning rate 79% and stakes of 4.6%. He has two graded winners.
At the lower end and rounding out our top ten, Boys at Tosconova costs 108, has a 76% win rate with 3.3% SW. No graded winners as of yet from 181 runners. Bustin Stones (a son of City Zip) cost an identical 108 and has almost mirror image numbers as well. 75% wins and 3.6% SW. He does have one graded winner from 167 runners. Finally Soaring Empire, as you might guess a son of Empire Maker, costs you 104 which yields a rather poor 69% win rate (compared to the other stallions discussed here). He has 1.5% SW and no graded winners. Although he has an Empire Maker x AP Indy x Mr. Prospector monster pedigree his on track numbers in the SIM tell the Breeder that he should be approached with realistic expectations.
Of course one of the benefits the SIM breeder has that are not yet reflected in real life racing are those stallions just retired to stud who don’t have runners yet on the track. My personal NY sire favorite War Dancer falls into this category. We’ll get to him in a minute. First, looking at the third year sires (should have 2yos in real life this year) a couple to take a look at are Normandy Invasion (son of Tapit), Golden Ticket and Japan. Since these horses only have 2 1/2 crops their numbers will be lower so keep that in mind. Normandy has a 53% win rate and 1.5% SW with one GW. He only costs 58 so he really is no risk at the moment. One thing I really like about Normandy Invasion is that he has Raise a Native as his DDS allowing for rather easy 4×4 Raise a Native inbreeding, a cross I have found consistently successful in the SIM. Golden Ticket is a son of Speightstown and he is somewhat well used being 175. 59% winners and 2.9% SW. His first crop winners are up to 78% so he does look like he is going to be a consistent win producer. Japan is a son of Medaglia d’Oro who like Normandy you can get rather cheaply at 56. He gets you 63% winners and 1.2% SW.
Budding SIM hero War Dancer leads the crop of second year sires. We really only have 3yos to look at from these guys so numbers again reduced but he is flashing a 56% win rate for his 3yos and a rather amazing 40% 2yo win rate for his 2yos. All still for only 16! He isn’t going to be this cheap for long! Several other intriguing second year sires also are in his class – Scat Daddy son Scatman, Uncle Mo son Laoban (71% winners from 3yo! with a SW) and Mineshaft son Effinex (who already has a SW). Finally of the first crop NY stallions Curlin son Union Jackson is the one to take a look at.
Hopefully this extended look at NY stallions will stir up some ideas for the breeder to take a look at because they are a diverse bunch, won’t cost you much and just might get you a horse which you are proud to race.