2018 SIM Stallion Review

 Posted by at 10:03 pm  Breeding
Dec 062018

The 2018 SIM racing season has drawn to a close and it is time to take a look at which stallions rose to the top and brought a trophy case of rewards and fame to their trainers. Data for general sires is taken from the 2017 pool so it grabs the full campaign of the three year old class, active sires only are included.

Top Ten by SIM ranking:

  1. Giant’s Causeway
  2. Tapit
  3. Distorted Humor
  4. Frankel
  5. Uncle Mo
  6. Awesome Again
  7. Oasis Dream
  8. American Pharoah
  9. Galileo
  10. War Front

Top Ten by Stakes Win %

  1. Giant’s Causeway
  2. Oasis Dream
  3. Frankel
  4. Sea the Stars
  5. Exaggerator
  6. Distorted Humor
  7. Dubawi
  8. More Than Ready
  9. Galileo
  10. Dansili

Top Ten by Graded Wins

  1. Galileo – 10
  2. Tapit/Frankel – 9
  3. Giant’s Causeway – 8
  4. Oasis Dream/Uncle Mo/Sea the Stars/American Pharoah – 7
  5. Ghostzapper/Dubawi/Exaggerator – 6

Top Ten by Win %

  1. Stormy Atlantic
  2. Tapit
  3. Oasis Dream
  4. War Front
  5. Trippi
  6. Speightstown
  7. Johannesburg
  8. Mission Impazible
  9. Noble Mission
  10. Giant’s Causeway

It is good to see Galileo finally get back into the top ten he was languishing down near 20 for quite some time. I’ve already written previously (several times) about the absurdity of the mass produced Giant’s Causeways on the track in the SIM so I won’t touch on him again although when you factor in 3yo breedings next year he has a real shot of getting 400 runners in his last class. That aside, the list is still weighed down by 30% with stallions who don’t belong there, namely Distorted Humor and Awesome Again on the dirt side and Oasis Dream on the turf. These stallions are far over performing in the SIM in relation to real life. This really presented a devil’s bargain for the dirt SIM player, for the list has 5 dirt stallions on it in Tapit, Uncle Mo, American Pharoah, Awesome Again and Distorted Humor but two really don’t belong there. Three Turf stallions are represented in Oasis Dream, Frankel (whom I will avoid bashing today) and Galileo. Both Giant’s Causeway and War Front can be considered true dual surface sires. American Pharoah is the only stallion on the list without runners in real life. 

When we start to break things down further and look at the stallions by stakes win % we find that Tapit, Uncle Mo, American Pharoah, Awesome Again and War Front drop out while Exaggerator, More Than Ready, Dubawi, Sea the Stars and Dansili show up. Suddenly the numbers of dirt to turf stallions drastically reverses doesn’t it? There are only two fully fledged dirt stallions here in the over-rated Distorted Humor and the surprising Exaggerator, the rest are either turf stallions or dual surface stallions (More Than Ready). This more than likely is because there are not enough dirt stakes races in the game and they draw larger fields allowing for more chance in the outcomes and disbursement in stallions picking up those wins. Since there are many more turf stakes with smaller fields the higher end stallions have a higher chance to dominate. This is not all that different from what we see in Europe versus America. The American Derby Preps and Classics tend to have a large diversity of sires winning them because a lot of stallions can sire winners in these races. The longer Euro races are flooded with Galileo’s, his sons and a Dubawi or two simply because there are not many sires there who can get 10f + runners. Adding around 50 new graded dirt stakes to the SIM calendar would be a much needed quality of life improvement in the SIM.

Breaking things down just by graded wins the great Galileo at last rises to the top and locks down the top spot with 10. Tapit and Frankel are second with 9 each. Giant’s Causeway has 8 which is good, but then again he has 115 more runners than Galileo so….Can you believe that? The SIM has compelled its players to use GC 115 more times than a perhaps legendary sire. The other two things that stand out are the 6 by Ghostzapper which tells me he is ranked about just right being capable of throwing a big horse and once again the surprising Exaggerator. His prowess was by far the most illuminating thing I found in this survey. Does Exaggerator have a sneaky good SIM rating or did people just send him really good mares? Keep in mind he only has 89 runners or about 230 less than Giant’s Causeway.

Now clearly there isn’t much, if any value on this list nor would you expect there be. Everyone on this list is well known and well used in the SIM. Exaggerator is the one exception and he does potentially represent great value right now while breeders wait and see how he proceeds (he only has 1 2yo stakes winner but does have a 44% win rate). However, when we look at the top by win % there is value and while these horses might not get you the stakes winners that the top ten list does you have an excellent chance of getting a winning horse for a discount race. Stormy Atlantic leads this list and others who are cheap(er) here are Trippi, Johannesburg, Mission Impazible and Noble Mission. That’s half the list where you can get a 89% and above win rate with Stormy Atlantic posting a dazzling 94% win rate (and 9% stakes wins).

Looking at the first year sires we will notice the strange case of Game A.P., a stallion of little not in real life who has an extraordinary 80% win rate in the SIM (and over 100 runners). Sorting first year sires can be problematic so I am just going to list them by number of runners then break out their win rate and stakes winners (stakes rates will be low since they only have 2yos)

  1. Arrogate – 142 runners 48.6%, 3 SW
  2. Gun Runner – 126 runners 38.9%, 1 SW
  3. Lord Nelson – 114 runners 54.4%, 4 SW
  4. Game A.P. – 102 runners 80.4%, 6 SW
  5. Churchill – 86 runners 31.4%, 2 SW
  6. Caravaggio – 85 runners 48.2%, 4 SW
  7. Classic Empire – 82 runners 46.3%, 2 SW
  8. Cupid – 73 runners, 31.5%, 1 SW
  9. Highland Reel – 73 runners, 35.6%, 0 SW
  10. Ribchester – 73 runners, 39.7%, 1 SW

Now it unfair to read too much into the initial season of these stallions as there is a high probability that several of them will produce horses whose performance improves as they get older. In fact, because of this I have enormous expectations for Arrogate. He was a horse who didn’t come into his own until after the Triple Crown was over so if he is already producing almost 50% winners from 2 year olds it is tantalizing to imagine what he will be with a full season under his belt. I am obviously not the only one to speculate on this as evidence by his 142 runners. I have commented on Gun Runner previously, I believe he is currently a points sink as a stallion for what he is going for but let’s see how his horses turn out next year. Lord Nelson is obviously a gem and if you didn’t already know about him get on the bandwagon. He looks like a top end dirt sire. Note – He is an anomaly because he was allowed breedings last season even though this was his first year at stud so I believe he has been eligible for 3yo breedings. Game A.P. is perplexing to say the least. He now goes for top end points/credits. I’m at a loss, maybe someone broke the Da Vinci Code here. Both Churchill and Ribchester appear to be disappointing when you consider they should be throwing precocious horses. Caravaggio might be a true stud in the making, Classic Empire has shown enough potential to follow. The Cupids and Highland Reels should both excel as they get older and have attracted strong support.

Those are the SIM breeding lists. There is quite a bit of diversity in them and there should be a stallion or two that you like represented here.

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  9 Responses to “2018 SIM Stallion Review”

  1. Thanks.

  2. wonderful article. I just want to point out IMO that Game A.P. is totally bogus here.
    Almost all his offspring were bred by one trainer and more importantly almost all his stellar
    stats were accomplished in Hot Races…


    • All of this is true but it does illustrate what can be accomplished by an industrious breeder. I am curious if he/she has some connection to the horse or just liked the pedigree. Or considering he did race 19 times, maybe they saw him race many times trying to get that 2nd win.

  3. An interesting read for sure….but I must take issue with a couple of points. It’s a little unfair to class Oasis Dream as ‘underperforming’ in real life- he’s in the top five active European based stallions by SW GW and G1 winners and supplied yet another two G1 winners in Polydream and Pretty Pollyanna this year- he may be getting on in years but still his £30,000 fee will see plenty of breeders still keen to use a top class stallion who produces a healthy 11% SW to runners (lifetime stats). His stallion sons are also cutting the mustard (headed by Showcasing, sire of G1 winners Quiet Reflection and Advertise) and his daughters have already shown immense promise as broodmares and producers. In addition, I think we can safely say that the phenomenal sire Galileo is actually a legendary stallion already, no ‘perhaps’ about it!

    • Oasis Dream is quite a good value at 30K and I would compare him to another stallion in that class – Mineshaft. Both are capable of getting G1 horses but they are not considered elite stallions. Mineshaft at one time was also a top 10 sire in the SIM before adjustments were made to more accurately represent his prowess. Mineshaft and Oasis Dream also compare favorably to their sons at stud – with each being represented by a sole stallion who shows promise, Showcasing and Dialed In.

      I don’t have a problem with anyone dropping the perhaps before legendary in regards to Galileo. My only qualifier on the term is in regard to him producing a stallion who can carry on for him. Clearly on the basis of his on track performers he has reached legendary status.

  4. Well done Ser War Emblem

  5. Great job an enjoyable read!

  6. Before people start going crazy on Game A.P. A closer look at his stakes winners shows that all of them were in restricted races and 5 of them by the same trainer in restricted local races. I’m guessing they were all entries by the same owner from looking at the names.

  7. Great read, I really enjoyed that and found it interesting