Saturday brings us another race in the URC stallion spotlight series, this time featuring sires who have the legendary Sadler’s Wells as their dam sire. It could be argued that the Sadler’s Wells sire line is the most influential in European racing today as his genes are carried on through Galileo the Great and the gone too soon Montjeu. American racing too has been effected by SW as he is the grandfather of major US stallion Medaglia d’Oro. Some stallions excel at becoming a “sire of sires” and some have a greater influence in the female line. A quick survey of SW seems to indicate he was of the former. There is currently only one stallion with SW as his DS who has a stud fee over $15,000 and that is the recently retired Flintshire, who while being an outstanding horse on the track, is no sure thing at stud. This then has presented a unique challenge for the URC members, get a good horse from a famous name DS who doesn’t present all that many options.
I have given up trying to speculate upon how unraced 2yos are going to perform so today we are going to be speaking in more general terms about the sires the URC decided to select for this contest. Fifteen horses were entered in this New Jersey event. The above mentioned Flintshire was selected twice. Henrythenavigator, Pathfork and Conduit were each chosen three times. And Hit it a Bomb, Sleeping Indian, Youmzain, and Workforce all got one. The entries break down like this:
Henrythenavigator: Tragiverse (Sea the Stars), Check the Wind (Sea the Stars), Paint Ya Face (Deep Impact). Legions said, “I chose Henrythenavigator cause it’s a nice cheaper top 100 sire that I haven’t used much. Bred it to my best Sea the Stars mare named Wind Rose. Hence the name, Check the Wind.”
Pathfork: Pathfork Fast (Fastnet Rock), Runaways (Deep Impact), Walk the Path (George Vancouver).
Conduit: Duit for Fun (Nureyev), Water Bong (Smart Strike), Conway House (Danehill Dancer). Chris explained, “I chose 2 X Breeder’s Cup Turf Champion (2008, 2009) Conduit. Who amassed $5.3 Million. He has also won 5 G1′s. An Eclipse winner Turf male in 2008. He was a beast coming from behind. He reminded me of Zenyatta coming from the back and winning w/ ease in 2009 BC Turf. The name came from conduit a channel for conveying water or other fluid.. So I thought it would be funny and name him WATER BONG!!! CHEECH AND CHONG WOULD BE PROUD!!!”
Flintshire: Dania Flintstone (Zabeel), King of Thieves (Sea the Stars). Both URC trainers who entered Flintshire sons had thoughts to share. Chad says, “I Picked flintshire since he won 5 G1 races and finished with 9.5 million in lifetime earnings. He was a Well traveled horse who won races in multiple countries. He also raced at the age of six which is almost unheard of now days with talented horses. I’m a gamer, so his name King of Theives is a spin off of an Xbox game called Sea of Thieves.” Kimugle adds, “I have used FLINTSHIRE as my sire, used him with one of my mares (ZABEEL X MISWAKI). I am not sure how well he will do in the race, since i think he will best at 9-10f. I hopes he will do good. He is the 4th offspring of ZARAHBELLA, 2 have won allow. level races, and 2 have been bad. ZARAHBELLA was not at great runner her self, but her offspring looks ok.”
Workforce: Castle Hill Cat (Dylan Thomas), Youmzain: Tapazain (Tapit).
Sleeping Indian: Shes a Trix Rabbit (Storm Cat). Vette explained “I used SLEEPING INDIAN(GB) because he was cheap and his babies like to win. I used one of my mares (Storm Cat x Thatching) well.. Because she’s 20. Her name .. SHES A TRIX RABBIT .. Has something to do with her dam and I’m always funnier than Chris.”
Hit it a Bomb: Brooklyn Bomber (Theatrical). This is my entry. Hit it a Bomb won the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Turf during a season in which he went 3/3. He was then awful as a 3yo going 0-4. He is a son of War Front whose has a bevy of fast, young, cheap sons in the SIM which I feel can get good runners. I considered Flintshire whom I have tried to support with not much success but I was intrigued by the undefeated Hit it a Bomb delivered as a 2yo so I took a chance that he has precocity programmed in. Bronx Bomber was taken so this colt became the Brooklyn Bomber, hey they did have a team back in the day. He was bred into my premier bloodline, his mom, Elizabeth Gloriana is a daughter of foundation mare The White Witch. Elizabeth produced a stakes winner with her first runner but has since had a slump with Mastercraftsman, Vancouver and Jess’s Dream. This is a good chance for both sire and mare to do something special.
URC members really brought some juice in the DS they paired their stallion choices with. Sea the Stars proved extremely popular being chosen three times. Deep Impact was used twice. Conduit got a Nureyev x Alydar scratch breeding – talk about going all in! Tapit and Storm Cat show up from American lines providing plenty of pedigree star power in this race despite the limited stallion choices. Speaking of the stallions, let’s look how they perform in the SIM so far:
Conduit is something of an oddity in the SIM. He got a G1 winner and multiple G3 winners which means he stays somewhat expensive never dropping below 222. This likely has led to him not being used much as he only had 7 runners last year and 5 the year before that. 27 in 2016 and 42 in 2015 makes him really lightly visited. His career numbers are (win %/sw %/gw %) 83.5/6.3/2.1
Flintshire drops down into the 100s zone now as breeders haven’t been thrilled with his very low career winning %. In short he throws a lot of bad horses. Or maybe they will get better as 5yos for those who have the patience. He does have two G3 winners in the SIM but for someone who was a legitimate Turf All Star in America for about an 8 month span his stud results have been slow thus far to say the least. 54.3/2.4/1.0
Pathfork falls under 100 which represents some value since he does have a G1 winner in the SIM and this combination made him attractive to URC members who used him three times. Only 9 runners last year and 20 then 22 the previous two he isn’t exactly he hot priority but his stats aren’t bad. His pedigree, a son of Distorted Humor over a heavy turf female family presents intriguing possibilities. 71.8/2.1/0.5
Henrythenavigator is the most well used stallion of this group. Henry as was pointed out, is a top 100 sire who can be had for mid-200s. He wasn’t all that good in real life breeding, which allows him to fly under the radar in the SIM where he overperforms producing many G1 winners and striking at an almost 10% stakes win rate. He has a perfect pedigree and generally saw 100 breedings a year until he dropped off last year to 47. He hasn’t had a stakes winner of any kind in his last two full classes so its possible he was stealth nerfed. 83.2/9.8/3.2
Sleeping Indian can be had for 12 BPs right now and while he doesn’t get many matches, he almost always gets a winner lately. 3-3 in 2018, 4-5 in 2017, 4-5 in 2016. He is a son of Indian Ridge who in turn is a son of Ahonoora who shows up in many pedigrees presenting some inbreeding opportunities for those who want to look into him. 64.9/1.3/0.0
Youmzain bottoms out at 93, has a FR tag, gets about 20 breedings per season and can get open stakes winners. 66.2/3.5/0.0
Workforce is a really strange horse. He won the English Derby (in record time) and the Arc. But other than a maiden those were the only races he ever won. He didn’t succeed at stud but he came into the SIM well ranked and used to throw graded winners (which means he stays expensive) so he only goes down to 253. This steers most breeders away as he has averaged only 20 pairings the last three seasons. He has gotten stakes winners in two of those seasons so there is clearly still some juice in him. Produces a ton of winners. 85.3/7.4/2.2
Hit it a Bomb saw 58 breedings his first year then it jumped to 87 last season. He and Flintshire are both from the same stallion class. Why the large increase? He got a stakes winner in his first class and some stakes quality horses but his numbers don’t blow you away by any means. Was he riding the War Front wave? Do breeders see potential in him? He costs mid-50s. 51.3/0.6/0.0
I hope everyone has enjoyed this survey of how the URC tackled the challenge of getting a winner in this Sadler’s Wells inspired event. These races are exciting and unpredictable and realistically anyone can step up and win. It is always interesting to see how a diverse group of breeders tackle a challenge and one of them will be feeling very good about themselves Saturday afternoon.