Today we are going to look at the report of mares bred to for 2017 and determine if we can learn any breeding trends which the SIM trainer should be aware. The most important influence this trend will have for SIM breeders is that it tells which stallions will have no chance to breakout and which are being given every opportunity. A stallion can’t get winners if he doesn’t have runners on the track. We are going to start at the bottom and work our way up. There are some sad stories on this list, some surprising ones and some solid speculation we as breeders should look into.
Beginning at the lowest of the low, we can write off Ready’s Image who with only 4 breedings is not going to be producing anything his dad’s image. Remember Derby favorite Point Given? Only 7 for him. Nostalgia breedings? Pity? Game AP has made quite a splash in the SIM but he only has 6 in real life. I kind of liked the speedy son of Street Boss, Capo Bastone though breeders don’t with only 10. American Pharoah has done nothing for Yankee Gentleman, he only has 11. This surprises me. No one wants a Yankee Gentleman? Pioneerof the Nile did all the work? That is the same number of breedings that someone named Pataky Kid received. Petionville whom I talked up a bit in my Maryland local breeding analysis only has 12. Sometimes I wonder why don’t these farms market their stallions better? Unraced Tapit son Heaven’s Glory did get 13 breedings in Maryland. V.E. Day wasn’t attracting anyone with only 14 breedings. Frost Giant gets 15. That’s a semi-prominent son of Giant’s Causeway. Perhaps the most depressing piece of trivia in this under 20 breedings section is from Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus. He only gets 17. Not even Coolmore is supporting him anymore. Stormy Atlantic barely beats him with 18. Stormy Atlantic is a son of the great Storm Cat who has produced some really good horses! No takers.
A stallion will need to be incredibly lucky to have any shot with under 20 breedings. If one gets to 20 I believe they at least have a ghost of a chance. Ruler of the World got a G1 winner from an extremely small group. By the way this list only covers North American sires. I’m not being biased against overseas stallions, I just don’t have the information. In any event, if you can get to 20 you always have a chance to achieve the impossible. Perfect Soul is somehow still in Kentucky and he put out 21. Those have to be farm mares and they must just really like the horse. Lane’s End keeps Langfuhr around and he still gets to the breeding barn 24 times. Awesome of Course actually got some horses on the fringes of the Derby trail but alas it wasn’t enough as he only pulls in 27. Birdstone, the villain of the Smarty Jones story, has never quite been forgiven and a part of me believes that is part of what sticks him down at 27. I Want Revenge also at 27 likely won’t be in Kentucky much longer. Tale of the Cat gets 31 as does Giant’s Causeway. Yes the stallion who has an absurdly ridiculous 300+ runners in this SIM in 2017 has 31 in real life. Elusive Quality had 32 in his last class of runners. Two Triple Crown heroes Smarty Jones and Afleet Alex toil along at 35 and 34 respectively. That’s the same number as Milwaukee Brew by the way. Include who has a whole basketball team of G1 winners only gets 36 which I think is the biggest oversight thus far on this list. Then again, he doesn’t throw good looking horses and if you are buying at the auction you want a looker. Tamarkuz got up to 38 in his first year at stud. That is likely going to decline for the next two years so he had better get some black type horses in that group of 38. A lot of pressure don’t you think. Of course the horse isn’t aware of the pressure but the farm and stallion manager certainly will be sweating. Poseidon’s Warrior, who moves to Kentucky this year, also had 38. He got that one big horse with his small numbers and now gets a long look. I’d expect his book to got up toward a 100 now especially with his attractive price point. Rounding out the bottom 40, Bluegrass Cat recorded 39 out in California. Breeders are not show much nostalgia for Storm Cat sons are they?
As we move up into the the 40-60 zone we are talking about stallions who, while they will have far less runners than popular stallions they are still at least getting some support. One that surprised me with Limehouse with 40. I sort of liked him back in the day, I thought he was a tough, hard working horse who even managed to finish 4th in the Kentucky Derby despite 10f being far beyond his comfort zone. He gets 40 in West Virginia indicating to me that he has found something of a niche there. Northern Afleet always did strong work with his relatively small numbers and he too pulled in 40. Square Eddie has seen his stud fee climb to $25,000 yet he only has 49. That is a rather strange relationship. Blame gets 48 so we have to like his performance he is getting a lot of bang with not many bullets. Girolamo made some waves a couple years ago but he seems to have settled in at 52. Social Inclusion is fairly popular in Florida with 55. Midnight Lute just can’t seem to get into the higher echelons of numbers despite putting out some really impressive horses. He is at 56.
Inside the 60-80 zone I would call you almost commercial. You are getting enough breedings where you can make your mark. You must be selling and producing good looking horses or your pedigree is draft sexy. Or you are son of a really big sire such as Curlin sons Ride on Curlin and Curlin into Mischief who both are at 60. Galileo sons over here are drawing some interest as Magician has 60 and Treasure Beach has 69. Revolutionary with his studly female family drew 61. Bellamy Road and his ability to throw occasional freakish speed is still noted with 63. Broken Vow and his classic pedigree still gets 62. Awesome Again had 69. Lion Heart son Bourbon Courage is quite popular in Maryland with 68. A.P. Indy son Raison d’etat was a real surprise at 71, almost the same as Jump Start at 72. The Big Beast is highly popular in Florida with 72 as is Dixie Union son Gone Astray with the same number. Fast Anna rounds out the list with 78. Despite his rather silly name he apparently throws some seriously good looking horses.
Now then as we go from 80-100 we are dealing with stallions just under the 100 mark. These are ones who are going to review your mare application with a bit more scrutiny. Some are surprises – Strong Mandate with 88, Danza with 84, Texas Red 81. All of these are getting far more chances in real life than in the SIM. English Channel still gets 84 and Mizzen Mast 88. Those are really high numbers and should, along with the support of the Galileo sons, dispel the notion that American breeders won’t use a turfy sire. Big Blue Kitten got 93 which is outstanding for an older turf horse who likely will not produce 2yo speed. Race Day had 96 dwarfing his SIM support. Point of Entry another in the turf group, had a robust 97. First Samurai continues to get strong support with 97.
We are now in the 100 zone. These guys are making regular trips to the breeding shed and have a lot of chances on the track. All the big names will be here so I’m going to just make some quick comments and won’t be able to hit everyone. Of course you knew I would talk up my guy War Dancer, he has 102. Nepotism and advertising has done wonders for him. Mosler another War Front son also is over a hundred with 102. War Front himself has 106 as they limit his book size. Frankel brother Noble Mission has gotten a ton of support with 110. It is not a surprise to see More than Ready with 118 but perhaps it is to see his son Daredevil logging 113. Two breaking 120 that will shock you are Overanalyze and Laoban. Jess’s Dream at 122 is as popular in real life as he is in the SIM. Tapit, Bernardini, Runhappy, Empire Maker and Pioneerof the Nile are all in this 120ish zone. Another turf stallion getting excellent support is Flintshire with 121. Again, that is serious support for a turf horse who wasn’t good until he was older. I don’t know who Champ Pegasus is but he is getting 128 breedings. Looks like I have to look into him.
Entering the 130 and above zone we are in elite company. Malibu Moon and Ghostzapper along with MdO are the main guys here but also sitting at the blue blood table is Tiznow son and Breeders Cup winner Tourist with 132. Goldencents is also extremely popular with 135. Wicked Strong gets 139. You wouldn’t have guessed that right? Lion Heart sons are extremely popular as Uncaptured has an astronomical 140 while Kantharos has 155. Constitution is proving popular with breeders at 147. Curlin longs in here at 143 and if you multiple that by $175K that is a lot of money. I was wrong about California Chrome, he is getting a lot of support with 145. Emerging sires Cairo Prince 149 and Twirling Candy 152 are well worth keeping an eye on. If their offspring excel look for upgrades in the SIM. Mineshaft continues to be well used at 147 and I think he is great value for $25K. Why is Verazano failing with 159? My guy Honor Code got 153 where we also find Nyquist and Quality Road.
Here than is at long last the top 20:
- Into Mischief 235 – the most popular sire in North America and, in 2018, the #4 sire in the world. Needs a massive SIM upgrade
- Dialed In 231 – would you have guessed he was #2? He won the Florida Derby which is a sire making racing in America, has the pedigree and early results. His ceiling is a six figure stallion in 2-4 years.
- American Pharoah 214 – not a surprise that he is extremely popular but 200 breedings at his price point with no track record is a bit eye opening. Everyone loves a Triple Crown winner.
- Uncle Mo 204 – the last member of the 200 club came out with a blazing start and has the numbers to sustain it
- Bodemeister 192 – with this much support he better start producing more consistent black type winners, and soon
- Oxbow 187 – this one surprises me to be honest. What is the appeal? I’m not saying he can’t be a good stallion, I’m just slightly shocked he is this attractive
- Violence 187 – he is sort of a poor man’s Uncle Mo. His early runners were impressive which more than doubled his 2019 stud fee.
- Temple City 186 – another big disparity stallion between SIM and real life on this list. He benefits from a combination of solid early success, a good pedigree and sharp looking horses
- Maclean’s Music 181 – he oozes speed and that has breeders drooling
- Flat Out 178 – won G1 races at 5,6 and 7. I’m perplexed by his mass appeal. I would suspect Oxbow and he and being strongly supported by their farms.
- Munnings 178 – he has consistently been well supported for his ability to produce fast, good looking 2yos. Another big disparity stallion
- Kitten’s Joy 177 – his breedings have exploded under new management and with a potential sire title in the works for 2018 this will not be slowing down anytime soon. Even more proof of his prowess is the winners he is getting Europe
- Speightster 174 – potential heir to Speightstown, more fast 2yo speed is the goal here. Most prolific first year stallion in 2017
- Outwork 168 – like Speightser a WinStar stallion getting a load of support. Both his and Speightsters numbers are worth tracking to see if this support holds up, if it does they will have a slew of runners to win first year sire titles
- Vancouver 166 – at long last MdO is getting some stallions who may have chance to replicate him
- Tapiture 165 – holds down the title of most popular son of Tapit at stud
- Exaggerator 162 – most popular son of Curlin, until perhaps Good Magic next season
- Shackleford 162 – the faith the breeders placed in him was rewarded this year with the brilliant Promises Fulfilled
- Candy Ride 160 – much has been said about real life Candy vs SIM candy already. A top stallion with robust support
- Union Rags 160 – classic pedigree, looks and throws Derby Trail horses. Another future six figure stallion candidate
I hope this has given you some ideas on which stallions to take a look at if you find yourself stuck on a breeding. At the very least, we know who will have the best shot at getting winners in the near future.