Quality Road – goes from $70,000 in 2018 to $150,000 in 2019. He’s been sending out G1 winner after G1 winner for several years and was considered great value to breeders at $70,000. Not much of a secret now.
Kitten’s Joy – a column was written about Kitten’s Joy this year as he is somewhat of an enigma in the game but also in real life. He has stood for as high as $100,000 during his career but his owner also threatened to sell him to European interests because North American breeders have not always supported him well. He stood in 2018 for $60,000 and is going up to $75,000 for 2019. He is currently the leading sire in North America and has sired three grade/group one winners so far this year.
Into Mischief – goes from $85,000/100,000 in 2018 to $150,000 in 2019. He was initially priced at $85,000 for the 2018 season and most of the mares bred to him at that time paid that price but as shares sold out the price went up to $100,000 for the late comers. The late comers are already late for 2019 as he is being advertised as book full for 2019.
Goldencents – the leading first crop sire of 2018 will see his fee go from $12,500 up to $20,000. The son of Into Mischief has sired 22 individual winners as of this writing, 9 more than his nearest rival. He also has two black type stakes winners and two additional stakes horses. Goldencents was not expected to sire such precocious runners and many breeders are interested in seeing how his runners progress as three year olds.
Violence – the leading second crop sire in North America makes a big jump from $25,000 to $40,000. As of this writing he has sired eight black type winners this year, more than any other sire from his crop including G3 winner Talk Veuve to Me. He started at stud with a $15,000 fee and the son of Medaglia D’oro has been hot since his first foals hit the ground.
Curlin – makes a modest jump from $150,000 to $175,000. This sire has been getting better with each crop and it is not surprising to see him move up a bit. He’s sired 8 graded stakes winners this year (as of this writing) led by last year’s 2yo champion Good Magic who won the Haskell G1 and was second to Justify in the Kentucky Derby.
Street Sense – spent a year in Japan and lost an American crop after a lukewarm beginning. His first crop post-Japan are three year olds this year and he has sired the talented colt McKinzie, a G1 winner and Avery Island who won a G2. He goes from $35,000 up to $50,000 which may look like a bargain if McKinzie goes on to win the Breeder’s Cup Classic.
Tapit – goes from $300,000 to $225,000 for 2019. He spent three years at the higher price point and is still at top 10 leading sire in North America. Tapit’s book has been limited to 125 mares a season for the last several years and will be again.
Medaglia D’oro – another of the highest priced stallions in America takes a drop. Medaglia D’oro goes from $250,000 in 2018 to a relative bargain at $200,000 for 2019. He’s had a fantastic year at stud with runners like Bolt D’oro and Wonder Gadot leading the way plus he had eight million dollar plus yearlings sell (a number not seen since Storm Cat). So why are two of the top three stallions seeing such precipitous downgrades? There is a lot of competition at the top end of the stallion market and both Tapit and Medaglia D’oro are getting older causing some speculation that their fertility has dropped.
Animal Kingdom – he drops in half from $30,000 to $15,000 for 2019. He’s done well with his Australian foals but has been cold in the USA.
Bernardini – drops to the lowest fee of his stud career, going down from $85,000 in 2018 to $50,000 for 2019. He previously dropped down to $60,000 and followed that up with one of his best seasons at stud ever. He hasn’t had a terrible year as a sire with graded stakes winners like Berned and Lewis Bay but his lack of a G1 winner this year doesn’t help him.
Orb – goes from $25,000 to $12,500. Even though the Kentucky Derby winner by Malibu Moon got his first G1 winner this season from his second crop that is his first graded winner of any type and he only has a handful of graded winners.
Speightstown – dropping 20% from $100,000 in 2018 to $80,000 for 2019. He has been at the $100,000 fee for the last several years but he has failed to make the top ten on the North American Sires List since 2015.
Bodemeister – goes from $40,000 in 2018 fresh off the success of his first crop Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming down to $25,000 for 2019. Aside from failing to produce another breakout star since Always Dreaming that son will also be taking up residence in the stallion barn at Winstar Farm so the competition is keen.
Uptowncharliebrown – one of the leading sires in the Mid-Atlantic is young sire Uptowncharliebrown. He has three crops to race which includes a grade three stakes winner. His fee is going up to $4,500 from $1,500 – a pretty substantial change for a young sire in Pennsylvania. One to watch if you like racing on local circuits.
The Factor – the son of War Front is the leading third crop sire in North America but after a lukewarm start at stud he spent 2018 in Japan. The terms of the lease were for him to stand there for just one year but he is coming back to the US with a strong reputation and seems a good value at a $15,000 fee.
More Than Ready – the sire of 2018 star runner Catholic Boy sees his fee rise from $75,000 to $80,000. Not a huge move but worth noting that a stallion of his age and reputation is making a move up at all. He also has defending Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Roy H among his many graded winners in the Northern Hemisphere this year.
Declaration of War – this stallion started his career in Ireland, moved to the US and is now headed for Japan. He is the only member of the second crop sires to get a classic winner when his daughter Olmedo won the French 1000 Guineas earlier this season. All of his stakes winners to date have come on turf which may have precipitated this move.
Kantharos – son of Lion Heart’s runners have been outrunning expectations since they first hit the track. In 2018 his six year old son X Y Jet leads the way for earnings. A G3 winner on the season he was just caught in the shadow of the wire by Mind Your Biscuits in the Golden Shaheen G1 in Dubai. Kantharos takes a small bump from $15,000 to $20,000.
A quick note – not all stallions have had their 2019 fees announced. Some farms are waiting until after the Breeder’s Cup to make those decisions and other stallions may move up again if they have a remarkable two days. An update to this article will be published later in the year.