We are moving west from Florida this week and taking a look at the Southwestern US moving through SEC football country, picking up the Sooners in Oklahoma and ending at Sunland Park in New Mexico. Primarily our prospective stallions enjoy the sunshine and good weather of Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. These states might not immediately spring to mind as a mecca of thoroughbred breeding but we are able to find some intriguing prospects that may be worth our time. Our top eleven from the 2018 sire list (I include 11 so New Mexico gets a stallion as their top one ranks at, you guessed it, 11th) include Wilburn (Bernardini) $3500 OK 146 runners, Court Vision (Gulch) $3500 LA 120 runners, Astrology (AP Indy) $4000 LA 100 runners, Star Guitar (Quiet American) $7500 LA 65 runners, Liaison (Indian Charlie) $2500 OK 80 runners, Half Ours (Unbridled’s Song) $5000 LA 95 runners, Too Much Bling (Rubiano) $6500 TX 78 runners, Custom For Carlos (More Than Ready) $3500 LA 76 runners, Pollard’s Vision (Carson City) $2500 OK 57 runners, D’Wildcat (Forest Wildcat) $2500 LA 79 runners, Attila’s Storm (Forest Wildcat) $4000 NM 87 runners.
What immediately stands out to me is that all of them have a healthy number of runners. Slot money at the Fairgrounds, Lone Star Park, Oaklawn and Sunland have increased the purse size in these states creating a vibrant local breeding industry. Court Vision, Wilburn and Pollard’s Vision all have a graded winner this year. In the SIM they are going for; Wilburn 71, Court Vision 162, Astrology 119, Star Guitar 125, Liaison 58 (he has actually been moved to KY now due to Indian Charlie’s son Uncle Mo blowing up) Half Ours 237, Too Much Bling 127, Custom for Carlos 129, Pollard’s Vision 134, D’Wildcat 93, Attila’s Storm 12. Most of these sires are going for over 100 which means they have a steady stream of breeders who use them and have produced some stakes results. I’m going to point out some others worth looking at who aren’t in this group.
Beginning in New Mexico, I find Abstraction an intriguing prospect, he is Pulpit x Quiet American x Nureyev for 65 who has 66% winners and 2.1% SW. Diabolical has 72% winners and 21.% SW for 72. He is a son of the fast sprinter Artax with Roberto as his DDS. He finished 2nd a couple G1s, was a millionaire and very sound starting 29 times. I think he represents an intriguing option to use speed over stamina if you reinforce the Roberto line. His DS is a son of Danzig. Embrace the Storm is a son of Storm Cat to a Saint Ballado x Mr. P mare. He has 64% winners and one stakes winner in virtually no breedings getting 8,7,9 and 5 in the last four years. I don’t know if he will be great but he is certainly worth taking a chance with. High Octane is a son of AP Indy at 44 points that has produced 65% winners and 2.4% SW along with one graded winner.
Moving over to Oklahoma you can find a surprising number of stallions who you might recognize. American Lion, Read the Footnotes, Pollard’s Vision, Magna Graduate and Dramedy are all almost famous horses that you may recognize now making their home in the Sooner state. American Lion has a crop of 4 in 2018 with one of them a stakes winner, and two others with 3 wins each. He is from a Storm Cat x Carson City mare and will cost you 87. With results like this in such a small sample size he is practically begging for your mares. Looking at Magna Graduate we see that while he looks like he can get you an honest horse he has been unable to sire a stakes winner in the SIM. He only costs 19 if you want to try your luck. He is 1/1 on the year and perhaps if you are feeling sorry for the poor guy who only has one runner in 2018 you might throw him a breeding. Dramedy is the sire of my successful young filly Blake Lively. He has also has sired a nice collection of stakes winners in the SIM. He gets a fair amount of breedings every year due to his salty back end of AP Indy x Mr. P. More of the hit or miss type for you gamblers as he can get an above average horse but also throws some rather poor ones. Still, he remains dirt cheap at 71 for his pedigree and track record. Pollard’s Vision was mentioned above, what you may not know is that he has sired three G1 winners in the SIM. Runners this year are 7/9 so he certainly has some SIM juice that is there for the taking. I really liked Read the Footnotes on the track, his pedigree is nothing to write home about and he only gets on average 10 breedings a year but he could fill a role for you as an out cross sire.
Crossing the Red River and heading down into Texas there are plenty of options for those looking for a stallion. AP Indy sons AP Valentine and Class Warfare are giving winner rates of 75% and 69% respectively. Participant of the second fastest Derby ever Congaree can be found here still plugging along. He has never been a good stakes sire in the SIM or real life but he does put out 71% winners for those feeling nostalgic. Dixie Union son Grasshopper is semi-popular because of his Mr P x Nijinsky pedigree. 34 gets you that blue blood along with 68% wins. For the Halloween inspired there is Grave Digger who is pricey at 174 but is producing 77% winner and Evil Minister a son of Deputy Minister for 56 also hitting the winner’s circle at over 70%. Both of these spooky name offspring possibilities also ring up stakes winners, Grave Digger being fairly fearsome on the local track circuit, he has a 4% stakes strike rate. Giant’s Causeway son Preferred Issue is worth mentioning as well having sired a G1 winner, having Mr. P as his broodmare sire and being quite affordable at 62.
Finally let’s head over to Louisiana and conclude our tour of the American Southwest. Awesome Again was a prominent and popular sire in the SIM for a long time and two of his sons can be found here in Awesome Bet (46 though not great numbers) and freshman sire Awesome Intime. All of the sires listed in the original breakdown are viable bets here. There are a couple interesting turf options in Lewis Michael a son of Rahy posting rather large numbers with 73% winners and 4% stakes winners and the extremely legit Neko Bay who has a couple G1 winners 78% winners and 5% stakes winners. He is a son of Giant’s Causeway who should excel with any mares by Galileo or his sons or any of the Danzig turf branches. My Pal Charlie offers an Indian Charlie option and while he isn’t always consistent with only 61% winners he does have 3% stakes winners presenting a boom or bust option. For the American Pharoah fan there is Yankee Gentleman for 108. Despite his AP connection he hasn’t seen an uptick in his breedings getting only 9, 16 and 20 the last three years. I suppose he did get 20 in AP’s first year in the SIM, or maybe people have just forgotten who the DS of AP happens to be. Look he is no good, but Warp Speed Scottie is just an awesome name and only 10 points for someone who wants to run with it.
There is a lot of stallions to explore here, you could quite literally spend the better part of a week picking out stallions and breedings and taking a shot at some of that money in the Southwest. Good luck.