nasrullah: key to nyquist’s male line?

Champion juvenile Nyquist established himself as the hot favorite for the Kentucky Derby with his victory in the Grade 1 Florida Derby April 2 at Gulfstream Park, and when his racing days are done, the bold-looking son of top young sire Uncle Mo (by Indian Charlie) will take a place at Darley’s stallion complex at Jonabell in Lexington, Ky.

Nyquist and his sire are the best representatives of a stallion line that until the 1980s was scarcely represented here in the States. This is the sub-branch of Nasrullah through Grey Sovereign and his sons.

For so long, there was no reason to look around for Nasrullah stallions to import. The tempestuous son of Nearco was a hot ticket for the classics in 1943, but his attitude about racing and gadding about on Newmarket Heath got the better of the dark brown horse.

Phil Bull, in the 1943 Timeform annual, variously described Nasrullah with terms like “bad temper,” “mulish antics,” “wayward,” and so forth. Nasrullah deserved them because the striking colt would show exceptional ability, then throw away the race because he could.

Winner of the Champion Stakes in his final start, Nasrullah went to stud in 1944, had his first foals in 1945, and 70 years ago had the first yearlings available that would revolutionize racing in America and, to a lesser extent, in Europe.

Nasrullah sired top-class horses from the start, and when A.B. “Bull” Hancock put together a syndicate to purchase Nasrullah in 1950 and bring him to Claiborne Farm in Kentucky, he scored a massive coup for American breeding.

In the stallion’s first crop came Horse of the Year, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes winner Nashua and in the third came Horse of the Year and Preakness winner Bold Ruler. There were scores of other top sons and daughters, as well.

At stud, Bold Ruler outperformed Nashua, as well as every other stallion in the world. With Bold Ruler, his numerous sons, Nashua and a few of his good sons, Never Bend, Jaipur, and others, there was no rush to add to the Nasrullah sons and strains already available to American breeders.

Then the unthinkable happened, and the great majority of the Nasrullah lines died out. This is the norm with stallion lines, but the pervasiveness of Nasrullah had made him seem unshakeable from his peerless perch in the breeding hierarchy.

Even now, the premier male-line branch of Nasrullah comes through Bold Ruler and is best seen today in Triple Crown Seattle Slew, his champion son A.P. Indy, sons of his such as Malibu Moon, Mineshaft, and Pulpit, and through the latter’s son, leading sire Tapit.

There are other branches, including the Red God twig that comes to us through Blushing Groom. This group of sires continues to be available, if not pervasive in the breed.

And the other increasingly important branch of Nasrullah comes to us through Grey Sovereign, a gray horse born in 1948 from one of the latter crops by his sire overseas. A talented racehorse, Grey Sovereign won the Richmond Stakes, was second in the Nunthorpe, third in the Breeders’ Produce Stakes.

The colt indicated that he had considerable ability, more than he was willing to show consistently, and Timeform marked him with its dreaded squiggle as an unreliable proposition for the betting man.

The world did not beat a path to his stud barn, but Grey Sovereign proved a good sire from the beginning. His offspring had speed, they were more reliable than their sire, and some of them stayed a mile or a bit more.

Grey Sovereign was the leading sire of 2-year-olds in England in 1959 and 1961, the leader in France in 1967. One of his leading representatives was another gray, the quick colt Fortino, who won the Prix de l’Abbaye in a display of speed and class.

Fortino did not make an immediate mark as a sire, was exported to Japan in 1969, and left behind a 2-year-old Irish-bred gray colt who became famous as a racer and a sire known as Caro.

Caro won a half-dozen races, including the Poule d’Essai des Poulains (on the disqualification of Faraway Son), Prix Ganay, Prix d’Ispahan, Prix Dollar, was second in the Eclipse Stakes, third in the Prix du Jockey Club, fourth in the Arc. A very high-class performer from eight to 12 furlongs, Caro was not the greatest racehorse of his time, which would have been either Mill Reef or Brigadier Gerard, but Caro proved himself an exceptional stallion.

Both at stud in France and in Kentucky, Caro sired oceans of class and classic ability on turf and dirt. His best-known performer was doubtless Kentucky Derby winner Winning Colors, but he also sired Madelia (Prix de Diane), Crystal Palace (Prix du Jockey Club), Cozzene (Breeders’ Cup Mile), With Approval (Queen’s Plate), Golden Pheasant (Arlington Million), Tejano (Hollywood Futurity), Dr. Carter (Remsen), and Siberian Express (Prix Morny at 2, Poule d’Essai des Poulains at 3).

The latter became the sire of In Excess, a horse of razor-sharp speed over dirt tracks who went on a tear of major victories that included the Metropolitan Handicap, Suburban, Whitney, and Woodward. A horse of exceptional ability, In Excess went to stud in California and stood for a fee of $5,000.

By far the greatest of his offspring was the towering bay Indian Charlie, who was unbeaten till finishing third in the Kentucky Derby and never ran again. From the first crop of In Excess, Indian Charlie was a major talent, and he sired numerous top performers. His stock could be good juveniles or good older horses.

And the best of Indian Charlie’s sons at stud is clearly champion Uncle Mo. He is writing a new chapter in the book of the Nasrullah line, and we get to watch it unfold page by page.

a.p. indy effect at the 2yo sales

A top-class racehorse who began life with a first-rate pedigree and an imposing physique, A.P. Indy has piled honors upon honors through a long and uncommonly successful tenure at stud. Still residing in the stallion barn at Lane’s End Farm, where he is the most distinguished of pensioners, the big bay with the great history is treated with the respect that he has earned.

In every sphere of the sport, the impact of A.P. Indy – through his sons and daughters, and especially through his grandson, leading sire Tapit – is shaping the breed. They tend to be well-balanced, strong-bodied horses with medium or larger size, and they tend to possess an athleticism that allows this enlarging family of horses to succeed in differing situations.

At the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s April sale of 2-yearolds in training last, the effect of A.P. Indy was noteworthy. And yet, who would claim that 2-year-old precocity or effectiveness in sprints is the first thing to cross one’s mind in regard to the Horse of the Year who clinched his title with a victory in the 10-furlong Breeders’ Cup Classic?


But the versatility so fascinating in this line of horses allows some of them to prosper in early training, and some of these quick and early prospects may well develop through this season to become even better late this year or at 3. Among the vast offerings of 2-year-olds in training at the April sale were sons and daughters of top sons of A.P. Indy like Bernardini, Congrats, Flatter, Malibu Moon, and Mineshaft. In addition, Tapit and his sons presented a fleet of young prospects who were popular with breeders, trainers, and buyers at sales of horses in training.

Two sons of Tapit, in particular, are generating interest. Tapizar, who stands at Gainesway in Kentucky, had nine juveniles cataloged in the April sale. A bigger and scopier type of horse than many of the Tapits, Tapizar has passed on size to many of his offspring, and they have proven quite popular, with a filly at Gulfstream bringing $800,000 earlier this year.

Another Tapit son of note is champion juvenile Hansen, sold after a single season at Ashford and now standing in Korea. The typey gray Hansen is getting stock that are quick, medium-sized, and quite athletic. They have brought good prices at preceding sales and have gone into solid racing programs. With 18 cataloged at the April sale, these horses proved very popular and fit into many buyers’ budgets.

Nor is Tapit the only branch of A.P. Indy fizzing up interest for consignors and buyers. Sons of champion Bernardini are getting attention from breeze watchers, as well. Sons of Bernardini with pricier fees, such as To Honor and Serve (Gainesway) and Stay Thirsty (Ashford), had several nice prospects available at OBS, but lesser-priced sons of Bernardini such as Algorithms (Claiborne) and Biondetti (Woodford Stallions) are getting some good-moving, quick-working young athletes who look pretty serious.

The key to it all, of course, is that this line continues to excel for class and for classic potential, even as they whip round a single turn at high speed.

miss temple city has upward trend in class and potential

Especially here in the States, we don’t frequently see fillies stuffing the colts in Grade 1 stakes, but Miss Temple City (by Temple City) looked pretty good doing just that in Keeneland’s Maker’s 46 Mile on April 16.

From the evidence of Tepin (Bernstein) and Miesque (Nureyev) in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, we might think that turf miles are the best distance for fillies to turn the tables on colts, but Beholder (Henny Hughes) looked awfully strong while running away with the 10-furlong Pacific Classic last summer.

Then again, Very Subtle and Safely Kept (Horatius) upset the colts in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at six furlongs; so the reality is that very good fillies are dangerous against colts, no matter the distance.

Despite winning her first G1 on Saturday, there is no doubt that Miss Temple City is a very good filly. She was second in the G1 Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup at Keeneland last fall after venturing to Ascot last summer for the G1 Coronation Stakes.

Breeder Bob Feld said, “Miss Temple City took the trip like a pro. She didn’t have any trouble shipping but ran into a super field where she gave a good account of herself. And she’s gotten better and better since.”

It is a credit to the filly’s mental and physical constitution that she took her Ascot adventure in stride and has come back better than ever.

And this is a pedigree that suggests the best is yet to come.

Miss Temple City is the first G1 winner for her sire, the Dynaformer stallion Temple City, who showed increasingly good form as he matured. The sire didn’t race until he was 3, then earned a stakes-placing at 4, but Temple City showed much the best form of his career at 5, when he won the G3 Cougar Handicap at 12 furlongs, was second in the G1 Hollywood Turf Cup at the same distance, and also finished second in the American Handicap at nine furlongs.

So how does a turf horse with his best form at 12 furlongs make any kind of showing in the U.S.? Well, you ought to blame breeder B. Wayne Hughes, who put Temple City into his Share the Upside program at Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky. With an outstanding pedigree, Temple City attracted enough breeders and enough mares to give himself a shot as a sire, and he responded by siring five stakes winners in his first crop.

Although Startup Nation was the first of them to earn graded black type, Miss Temple City has risen to the top with her G1 victory, and Bolo won the G2 Arcadia Stakes earlier this year.

A son of Dynaformer out of the Danzig mare Curriculum, Temple City has a glittering pedigree, with his second dam being G1 winner Macoumba (Mr. Prospector), third dam being G1 winner Maximova (Green Dancer), who produced five stakes winners, and so forth. At first glance, Macoumba appears to have underproduced her own exceptional class, with a pair of stakes-placed runners and a pair of daughters who have produced stakes winners.

Then you notice that one of the mare’s winners is Malibu Moon (A.P. Indy). And the penny drops.

Temple City is a good-looking son of Dynaformer (by English Derby winner Roberto), and Dynaformer earned his exalted reputation at stud in an adversarial market. Temple City has done likewise and is out of a fine female family. Clearly, Temple City deserved a shot at stud, and he has made the most of it.

A horse of deeply held opinions, Temple City is convinced that human beings are a waste of space, but he apparently likes mares. After a 2014 book of 86 (88.4 percent in foal), Temple City received 199 in 2015, following the stellar performances of his first-crop runners in 2014 that included Miss Temple City and Startup Nation. The stallion got 91.5 percent of the larger book in foal, and he is set to have another substantial book of mares this spring.

where have all the storm cats gone?

Where have all the Storm Cats gone? Just a few years ago, you couldn’t shake a stick, let alone go to a horse sale, without bumping into a horse by Storm Cat or one of his sons.

Today, that is much changed.

Most importantly, the Storm Cat stock has aged out of the population, and a good number of his sons are no longer with us either. As a result, the pedigrees of sales horses now look quite a bit different. In addition to the omnipresent A.P. Indy, there are lines of Danzig and other influences related to Storm Cat but not stemming from him.

And Harlan’s Holiday and his sons, especially his heir apparent Into Mischief, are so removed from Storm Cat in type and character that it’s almost surprising to recall that Harlan’s Holiday is a grandson of the great old stallion.

A quick reference through the OBS April catalog shows that a handful of Storm Cat sons are still with us, and the most recognizable is Giant’s Causeway, Storm Cat’s best stallion son who is represented by five 2-year-olds at the sale. The sire of multiple Grade 1 and Group 1 winners, as well as some noteworthy classic prospects this year, Giant’s Causeway is a headline sire.

In addition, Tale of the Cat, a fellow stallion with Giant’s Causeway at Ashford Stud in Kentucky, is prominent among the sires of 2-year-olds in training at Ocala, and Florida-based With Distinction continues his consistent work of siring big, athletic stock that show ability and make good sales horses.

Wildcat Heir has come up with another sterling set of quick juveniles for the OBS April sale that will continue his prominence as a late and much-lamented member of the elite sires who’ve stood in Florida. Another grandson of Storm Cat is Preakness Stakes winner Shackleford, whose first crop are 2.

One of the most interesting descendants of Storm Cat is the young sire Kantharos (by Lion Heart). He is a greatgrandson of Storm Cat who was a lightning-fast 2-yearold himself; his racing career was unfortunately brief but sufficient to net a victory in the G2 Saratoga Special.

Although not a winner at the premium G1 level like Storm Cat, Kantharos has the strength, scope, bone, and natural athleticism of his male line. Now from three crops of racing age, Kantharos has gotten the G3 stakes winners Mr. Jordan and X Y Jet, as well as listed stakes winner Katie’s Kiss among his half-dozen stakes winners. With 38 winners from a relatively small sample of his offspring to date, Kantharos has total progeny earnings of nearly $3 million so far, and it is going to keep on rising.

Kantharos is out of the multiple stakes producer Contessa Halo, a top producer by the important sire and broodmare sire Southern Halo, whose best-known son in the United States is More Than Ready, who has been a top-end sire both in Kentucky and in Australia.
Bred with plenty of speed and class evident in both the top and bottom of his pedigree, Kantharos has been a welcome revelation for Florida breeding and for Storm Cat’s continuing influence.

doubling down on california chrome


, , , , ,

The chestnut son of Lucky Pulpit, better known as classic winner California Chrome, made a lot of people happy when he glided under the wire at Meydan on March 26, winner of the 2016 Dubai World Cup.

The handsome horse with all the chrome had finished second in the race last year, then had gone off the rails in an attempt at taking over the world of international racing. The grand attempt did not go unnoticed, and the Taylor brothers at Taylor Made Farm near Lexington were available to supply investors when the horse’s partnership broke up in the aftermath of his international foray.

california chrome 2016 tm photo

To that end, Taylor Made Stallions purchased the equity of California Chrome’s co-breeder, Steve Coburn, and then Taylor Made offered shares in the stallion to some owners who had expressed interest in breeding to the horse. Taylor Made and its investment shareholders have a 30 percent stake in the chestnut champion.

Initially, there was a lot of speculation that California Chrome would never return to the racetrack, and the colt did have an issue or two that sidelined him the remainder of the 2015 season, which became a glorious parade for American Pharoah, star of the 2015 Triple Crown and winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic in his final start.

Meanwhile, the 2014 Kentucky Derby winner had returned to the Bluegrass state to spend some time turned out and enjoying his inner pony. While in Kentucky, California Chrome stayed at Taylor Made, where he will enter stud.

Since he returned to training, California Chrome has made steady progress in 2016, and if the hopes of millions of fans come true, the World Cup victory will be only the first of many highlights added to the horse’s resume during the 2016 racing season.

At the very least, California Chrome’s victory in the desert has proven a stellar bit of horse trading. Sid Fernando, in his blog Sid Fernando + Observations, wrote a piece entitled “Taylor Made gamble pays off big.” In his commentary, Fernando clearly assesses the situation regarding California Chrome as a stallion prospect last year: “if he’d gone to stud in 2016 at Taylor Made off a disappointing and failed 2015 season, he’d probably have stood for $15,000 and would have compared unfavorably to a strong group of young horses that went to stud in 2016 with better pedigrees and current race records.”

In pedigree, California Chrome does not have a glittering female family line till the fifth generation, despite having broodmare sires in that line who are quite good. Furthermore, had he been retired last year, California Chrome would have entered stud with a long empty space between the present and a victory in a race that breeders could look to as an indicator of sire potential.

How long?

It was May 2014 in the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes. Prior to January 2016, the only race he won after the Preakness was the G1 Hollywood Derby, and looking back on it, Taylor Made was showing some serious nerve in purchasing an interest in the horse.

Then the ownership doubled down and put California Chrome back into training when the chief veterinarians gave them the all clear. There were all sorts of ways this strategy could have gone off the rails.

But it didn’t.

Now, California Chrome has three victories in a row: the G2 San Pasqual in January, then the pair of outings at Meydan that concluded on Saturday, March 26, with a victory in the World Cup.

California Chrome at Taylor Made after his return from Dubai

California Chrome at Taylor Made after his return from Dubai

The plan for California Chrome is to fly from Dubai on March 31, with his destination being Chicago. There, the horse will go through quarantine, then ship to Taylor Made to stay for about 30 days before travelling to California and rejoining trainer Art Sherman.

love’s abounding for cupid and super sire tapit


, , , , ,

Love’s abounding for Cupid (by Tapit) after his sharp-looking victory in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park on March 19. The good-looking gray won his second race and first stakes from four starts and now has earned $587,500.

This effort will be enough to propel Cupid into the talk about the Kentucky Derby, but even coming out of the Bob Baffert training barn, Cupid is clearly less experienced and less tested than many of his competitors, including class leaders Nyquist (Uncle Mo) and Mohaymen (also by Tapit).

In addition, Cupid is yet another May foal in the leading tier of this crop, along with Mohaymen, who was foaled May 2. Cupid was born on May 19 and was bred in Kentucky by JKG Thoroughbreds LLC. Consigned to the Keeneland September sale in 2014 through Van Meter Sales, agent, the colt sold for $900,000 to M.V. Magnier and races for Michael Tabor, Susan Magnier, and Derrick Smith.

In addition to the colt’s good looks and marquee sire, he was a legitimate candidate to return a major sale because he is a half-brother to three other stakes winners: G3 stakes winners Ashley’s Kitty and Heart Ashley (by Tale of the Cat and his son Lion Heart), plus stakes winner Indianapolis (Medaglia d’Oro).

Their dam is the Beau Genius mare Pretty ‘n Smart, who ran third in the G2 Railbird Stakes in 2001. As a racer, Pretty ‘n Smart was considerably better than an empty stall, but as a broodmare, she has been much more. From eight foals to race, all are winners, and half are stakes winners, three at graded level.

That’s what breeders hope for when they bring home a new mare.

Pretty ‘n Smart is a half-sister to multiple G3 winner Hostess (Chester House), whose most impressive race was probably the G3 Glens Falls Handicap, in which she set a new course record for 11 furlongs at Saratoga. Till Pretty ‘n Smart and Hostess showed up, this family had gone quiet for a generation when the third dam, the Secretariat mare Office Affair, had not produced a black-type horse among her seven winners in two hemispheres.

Office Affair’s dam, however, was a much different proposition. She is Mlle. Liebe, a daughter of Buckpasser’s half-brother Bupers (Double Jay), who produced two stakes winners and two daughters who produced stakes winners.


Gladiateur, winner of the English Triple Crown, is one of numerous classic winners in the extended pedigree of 2016 Rebel Stakes winner Cupid.


So, Cupid has an interesting family with some good relations. Looking at the big picture of his ancestors, Cupid counts 10 winners of the English Triple Crown in his pedigree and six winners of the American. The English Triple Crown winners in Cupid’s pedigree are West Australian (won in 1853), Gladiateur (1865), Lord Lyon (1866), Ormonde (1886), Isinglass (1893), Flying Fox (1899), Rock Sand (1903), Gay Crusader (1917), Gainsborough (1918), and Nijinsky (1970). The American Triple Crown winners in Cupid’s ancestry are Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Count Fleet (1943), Secretariat (1973), and Seattle Slew (1977).

In working up these snippets of information, I also discovered that there have been at least 18 previous Cupids, and almost certainly others that I didn’t find.

The earliest recorded Cupid was one by the Darley Arabian back in the early 18th century when the breeders of Thoroughbreds were largely gentlemen looking for sport, and the breed was not a canonized emblem of pedigree and certified lineage.

The Rebel Stakes winner is the youngest Cupid, although there was another one (bay filly by Fastnet Rock) foaled in 2012 in Australia.


Swynford, a superior racehorse in England and a world-class sire for Lord Derby, is the male-line ancestor of Cupid (1961), who was a very good handicapper from 6 to 10 furlongs in the early 1960s.


Prior to the current Cupid, one of the most accomplished was a colt by Generous out of the Foolish Pleasure mare Idyllic who won the Ballysax Stakes in 1999 as a 3-year-old and had been third in the G1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud the previous year. In addition to France and Ireland, Cupid (1996) also raced in Australia and Hong Kong and made 98 starts.

The other highly accomplished Cupid was a Vertex gelding out of Nymph (Sun Again), who was foaled in 1961. A chestnut gelding, Cupid (1961) improved greatly with age and won the Paumonok Handicap at 4, then the San Carlos Handicap at 5, when he also finished second in the Santa Anita Handicap.

As these and other Cupids will teach us, amid the slings and arrows of outrageous racing fortune, love of the horse is the one glorious certainty.

hands off my tapizar: freshman sire is proving quite popular with buyers and consignors at the in-training sales of 2yos


, , , ,

obs scene2.jpg (2)

OBS has turned itself into the national and international sales facility for sales of 2-year-olds in training


Anyone who thought he might “steal” a few Tapizars at the sales of 2-year-olds in training was surely disabused of that idea after one of the stallion’s first-crop daughters brought $800,000 at Fasig-Tipton’s auction of juveniles at Gulfstream Park on March .

Even allowing for the fact that the high-priced filly was a lovely individual who worked very well, the offspring of Tapizar appear to be following in the hoofprints of first-crop sires like Uncle Mo and Super Saver the past couple of years. The Tapizars are showing speed, good maturity, good balance, and good minds.

Those are the basics for getting young stock to the sales of 2-year-olds in training. Tapizar, like some of the better freshmen sires before, is getting the basics in a sizable proportion of his young athletes, and the professionals in the selling and buying of racing prospects have noticed.

To do that, Tapizar fills the bill for a variety of reasons. He is a bit bigger than an average Tapit, and one of the knocks on the early Tapits was that they weren’t “big enough” till the lads and lasses by the nation’s leading sire started filling up the winner’s circles around the country.

Nothing succeeds like success.

And Tapizar is one of many young sons of Tapit who are held in high esteem and who are promising good things for the future. In Tapizar, the size requirement that some buyers find irresistible is present, and that is probably due to the young stallion’s broodmare sire Deputy Minister, a champion 2-year-old of great size and class who passed on his scope and athleticism to a large number of his offspring, including champion Dehere and leading sire Silver Deputy.

The key to the Tapizars, however, is that they all seem to have ability. They are showing speed without having to be asked hard, according to consignors, and they appear to be taking their training well. We can surmise that the prospects are bright for these young horses and for their connections.

Racing cannot have too many good ones.

From the sales of horses in training at Fasig-Tipton and at OBS in March, the results for Tapizar look like this:

30 10.0 C Tapizar x Introvert Wavertree Stables, Inc. (Ciaran Dunne), Agent XXVI 185,000 Not Sold
67 10.0 C Tapizar x Lady Malkin Eddie Woods, Agent XLVII Patricia’s Hope LLC 180,000
107 10.1 C Tapizar x Midwife Paul Sharp, Agent V 70,000 Not Sold
188 10.1 C Tapizar x Princess Turandot SAB Sales (Scott A. Bergsrud), Agent II Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners 175,000
290 9.4 C Tapizar x Starlight Lady Halcyon Hammock Farm, Agent I 145,000 Not Sold
401 Out C Tapizar x Ammalu Sequel Bloodstock, Agent Withdrawn Out
435 20.3 C Tapizar x Black Chocolate Thoroughbred Champions Training Center LLC, Agent K.R.A. 150,000
508 Out F Tapizar x Diamondsareforesta Top Line Sales LLC, Agent XI Withdrawn Out
547 Out C Tapizar x Ever Appealing McKathan Bros., Agent V Withdrawn Out
574 10.0 F Tapizar x Foxy Friend Cary Frommer, Agent IV Narvick International 295,000

With seven going through the ring at OBS March, four sold for an average of $200,000, with a median price of $177,500.

Of those who sold at OBS March, the last one through the ring, Hip 574, brought the high price of the Tapizar 2-year-olds. She is a half-sister to Tap for Luck (Tapit), who was second in the G3 Tempted Stakes and third in the G2 Demoiselle. They are out of a half-sister to G3 winner Freefourracing (French Deputy), who was produced by stakes winner Gerri n Jo Go (Top Command), a full sister to major winner Five Star Flight (Haskell, Jersey Derby) and a half-sister to Whatsyourpleasure (What a Pleasure) and Larla (Singh).

We will certainly be seeing more stock by Tapizar at the upcoming sales of 2-year-olds. Barretts has a trio by Tapizar. At the OBS April sale, there are nine juveniles by Tapizar listed in the catalog, as well as an undetermined number at Fasig-Tipton Midlantic and at Barretts May because their catalogs are not yet out.


into mischief proves his worth and the lasting influence of his sire harlan’s holiday


, , , ,

Like his sire Harlan’s Holiday, G1 winner Into Mischief is becoming a favorite sire at the sales of 2-year-olds in training, and as we have seen at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales March auction this week, Into Mischief is holding a hot hand with his current crop of juveniles.

The raw numbers tell a tale of strong demand. The stallion stands for $45,000 live foal at Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, Ky., in the strongest stallion market in the world. At Spendthrift, Into Mischief covered more than 200 mares in 2015, and several of his most progressive yearlings sold at auction for eight to 10 times the price of the seasons that they were bred on.

At this week’s OBS March sale, the demand for the horse was matched by the strength of his juveniles’ breeze performances and by the volume of opportunity for buyers to find one. There were 19 2-year-olds by the stallion consigned to OBS March, and demand for them was strong. On the first breeze day alone, three of them worked in :09 4/5, with two more breezing in :10 flat.

Even allowing that on Day 1, 14 breezed in :09 4/5 under ideal Florida training conditions, no other stallion had more than one performer come down the lane that quick. Speed and relatively early maturity are common traits among the offspring by Into Mischief. They are traits that are well-suited to the American racing program, and buyers love the combination.

On Day 2 and 3 of the March sale breezes, juveniles by Into Mischief accounted for a pair of works in :09 4/5, plus three more at :10 flat.

Further, Into Mischief has proven that his stock are naturally speedy and precocious, and that they translate early ability into racing performance on the track. From the stallion’s first crop, the multiple G1 winner Goldencents came out of the OBS June sale of 2-year-olds, earned more than $3 million, and is now a stallion at Spendthrift alongside Into Mischief.

With recommendations from the racing class of his offspring and from the quick breezes of his juveniles, the stock by Into Mischief sold very well. The summary results from OBS March 2016 are:

9.4 F Into Mischief J Lo On the Go Price Bloodstock, Agent Solis / Litt 110,000
9.4 F Into Mischief Lanai City SBM Training and Sales, Agent IV 235,000 Not Sold
9.4 F Into Mischief Miss Veronica Wavertree Stables, Inc. (Ciaran Dunne), Agent XXII 145,000 Not Sold
10.0 F Into Mischief Narrate Niall Brennan Stables, Agent IV Spendthrift Farm LLC 500,000
10.1 F Into Mischief Onlyoneanna Price Bloodstock, Agent Matthew Peebles, Agent for Dennis Deeb LLC 10,000
10.1 C Into Mischief Poco Mas Niall Brennan Stables, Agent XI James Rupp 120,000
Out C Into Mischief Race With Grace Thoroughbred Champions Training Center LLC, Agent Withdrawn Out
21.1 C Into Mischief Raffie’s Chance Thoroughbred Champions Training Center LLC, Agent 95,000 Not Sold
10.0 C Into Mischief Rate Shock Price Bloodstock, Agent 20,000 Not Sold
9.4 C Into Mischief Ribbon Taffy Crupi’s New Castle Farm, Agent WinStar and China Horse Club 180,000
21.1 F Into Mischief Stellar Strength Eddie Woods, Agent XXXII 10,000 Not Sold
10.2 F Into Mischief Traditionalist Dormellito Stud Sales John Fort 100,000
10.0 C Into Mischief Arden Way Best A Luck Farm LLC, Agent I 95,000 Not Sold
10.0 C Into Mischief Brighton Way de Meric Sales, Agent for Golden Legacy Stables Brenda Tabraue 40,000
Out F Into Mischief Carl’s Frosty Girl King’s Equine, Agent I Withdrawn Out
Out C Into Mischief Crafty Atlantic Eddie Woods, Agent XVII Withdrawn Out
21.3 C Into Mischief Eastside Ballad Tom McCrocklin, Agent II Ronnie Frankel 130,000
10.0 C Into Mischief Freedom Ridge Parrish Farms, Agent A. C. Elliott, Agent for Slam Dunk Racing 250,000
9.4 F Into Mischief Golden Marlin Woodford Thoroughbreds, Agent Live Oak Plantation 375,000

The achievements of Into Mischief emphasize the loss of his sire Harlan’s Holiday, one of the breed’s consistent sources of speed and quality. With 10 crops and 1,085 foals, Harlan’s Holiday made a mark on the breed, not just with Into Mischief and other major performers, but with their successes at stud and the potential for more benefits to come.

The final North American crop by Harlan’s Holiday are 2-year-olds and under training now. Among them are 14 consigned to the OBS March sale.
Stats of Harlan’s Holiday 2yos at OBS March:

10.1 F Harlan’s Holiday Home Run Woodford Thoroughbreds, Agent 95,000 Not Sold
10.2 F Harlan’s Holiday Hot Spa Niall Brennan Stables, Agent VI Mike Ryan, Agent 250,000
Out F Harlan’s Holiday Kivi de Meric Sales, Agent II Withdrawn Out
10.3 C Harlan’s Holiday Movie Show Thoroughbred Champions Training Center LLC, Agent Jerry Roth 25,000
Out F Harlan’s Holiday Pick and Pray Q Bar J Thoroughbreds LLC Withdrawn Out
Out C Harlan’s Holiday Soloing Sequel Bloodstock, Agent Withdrawn Out
Out C Harlan’s Holiday Stunning Image (IRE) Thoroughbred Champions Training Center LLC, Agent Withdrawn Out
10.1 C Harlan’s Holiday Anna Sun McKathan Bros., Agent III 120,000 Not Sold
9.4 C Harlan’s Holiday Cool Spell Niall Brennan Stables, Agent III Solis / Litt 400,000
Out C Harlan’s Holiday Count to Eleven Woodford Thoroughbreds, Agent Withdrawn Out
10.1 C Harlan’s Holiday Desert Queen Thoroughbred Champions Training Center LLC, Agent 48,000 Not Sold
Out F Harlan’s Holiday Fancy Fusaichi Top Line Sales LLC, Agent for Kinsman Farm Withdrawn Out
Out F Harlan’s Holiday Gemini R N de Meric Sales, Agent II Withdrawn Out
10.2 F Harlan’s Holiday Glory and Grace de Meric Sales, Agent XXII 45,000 Not Sold

melatonin puts sleeper hold on opposition in santa anita handicap to score first g1 for himself and sire kodiak kowboy

Big Cap Day at Santa Anita proved to be a huge day for 5-year-old geldings, as two of them won Grade 1 races. Not only is their gelding-ness an indication that their expected contribution to the breed appeared to be small, but Saturday’s G1 victory was the first for each. It was, in fact, the first graded stakes that either had won.

That does not diminish what Melatonin (by Kodiak Kowboy) in the Santa Anita Handicap and What a View (Vronsky) in the Frank Kilroe Mile accomplished on their day of days. Each defeated a good field in solid time and looked the part of a proper athlete.

st simon19

St Simon – unbeaten racehorse and superb sire. In Melatonin’s pedigree, 14 of 16 sire lines in the fifth generation trace to overpowering Bend Or. The only holdouts are St Simon, through his beautiful son Persimmon (below) and the ‘American’ male line of Domino.



Another six to 12 months will offer greater perspective to those of us who ponder these things such as the form of major races, but it will not change the bare facts for the winners’ sires.

Melatonin and What a View are the first G1 winners for each of their sires.

That’s a significant accomplishment because most stallions never sire even one. From a commercial perspective, however, it is too little and too late.

Kodiak Kowboy (Posse) was a champion sprinter, multiple G1 winner on the racetrack, and retired with earnings of more than $1.6 million. He stood initially at Vinery, then at WinStar when Vinery was sold and its stallion moved to new quarters.

A handsome bay with greater finesse than his sire, Kodiak Kowboy was so beautifully proportioned that few realized he was 16 hands till they were standing beside him. He was not a towering specimen, and in a world that glories in “huger,” the horse’s balance and quality were not enhancements to his commercial appeal.

Nonetheless, Kodiak Kowboy was among the top five freshmen sires from his crop, but he failed to sire a star performer at the top of the game. By the midpoint of his first runners’ second season, an agreement had been reached for Kodiak Kowboy to become a shuttle stallion to Haras Bage do Sul in Brazil to stand the 2014 breeding season in the Southern Hemisphere.

Presently, Kodiak Kowboy doesn’t shuttle back to Kentucky any longer, and the simple reason is that there isn’t the demand from breeders to breed to him. In 2014, the son of Posse and the Coronado’s Quest mare Kokadrie, had stood for a $5,000 fee, and that is a plain indicator that the demand from breeders was not intense then.

Perhaps in a different environment, his offspring will meet different bloodlines, different racing conditions, and find greater success.

At Santa Anita, Melatonin shot to the top of the class among Kodiak Kowboy’s offspring with $768,552 in earnings and a G1 bracket. The stallion has 5-year-olds of racing age; so the Santa Anita Handicap winner is among that group. Likewise, G3 Burj Nahaar winner Cool Cowboy is from that first crop and had been his sire’s leading representative, along with second-crop Shotgun Cowboy, winner of the G3 Oklahoma Derby.

Those three graded winners are matched by What a View’s sire Vronsky, who also has out G2 San Gabriel Stakes winner Norvsky ($616,444) and G3 Berkeley Handicap winner Poshsky ($340,665).

Whereas Kodiak Kowboy wasn’t well served by having a sire (Posse to New York) and broodmare sire (Coronado’s Quest to Japan) who had been sent to stand at stud elsewhere, Vronsky pretty much owed his spot at stud to his excellent forebears. A winner of $135,247, Vronsky is by the great sire and sire of stallions Danzig, and Vronsky is out of a major producing daughter of the important sire Lord at War.

Vronsky is a half-brother to No Matter What, a major racer and producer, and from nine crops of racing age, Vronsky has sired nine stakes winners and progeny with total earnings of $7.2 million. The 17-year-old Vronsky stands at Old English Rancho in California for $6,500 live foal.

depth of family figures in the continuing success of blofeld, a spectre of spring hill farm’s legacy


, , , ,

A tremendously talented horse who became a Grade 1 winner early at 3 with his victory in the Florida Derby, Quality Road (by Elusive Quality) made such improvement from 3 to 4, it should be no surprise that his stock are showing further improvement as well.

It is all the more interesting then that the stallion’s big winner on Mar. 5 was Blofeld, a colt whose ability was immediately obvious from his début as a 2-year-old, winning all three of his starts that season, including the G2 Futurity and Nashua Stakes.

omaha - in england

Triple Crown winner Omaha – shown in training – comes from the same female family as 2016 G2 stakes winner Blofeld.

The progressive colt made two unsuccessful starts at 3, then was sidelined by issues that now appear behind the good-looking gray. In Saturday’s Gulfstream Park Handicap, Blofeld roared up the rail to nip Stanford (Malibu Moon) and confirm a third G2 victory for his résumé.

Bred in Kentucky by Keats Grove Farm, Blofeld has been good to a succession of owners. Bred and raised at Indian Creek Farm for the breeder, Blofeld sold out of the Indian Creek consignment at the 2012 Keeneland November sale as a $135,000 weanling to Woods Edge Farm. The latter pinhooked the colt through the 2013 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale for $275,000. Sold to Redwings & Phase II, Blofeld was again resold at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton Florida sale of 2-year-olds in training for $225,000, selling to JSM Equine and Greathouse Properties, which race the colt.

The multiple graded stakes winner is the fifth foal of his dam, the gray Storm Cat mare Storm Minstrel. The first foal of Colonial Minstrel (Pleasant Colony), Storm Minstrel was a useful stakes winner, winning five races and earning $299,339.

At the 2011 Keeneland November sale, Storm Minstrel, who was pregnant with Blofeld at the time, sold for $150,000 out of the Ned Evans dispersal. Storm Minstrel’s yearling colt by Arch brought $575,000 at the 2015 Keeneland September sale, and the mare was bred back to Quality Road in 2015.

With homebreds as his sire and dam, Blofeld represents a thorough Spring Hill Farm family.

His second dam is the high-class graded stakes winner Colonial Minstrel, who was bred by Evans. A winner of the G2 Shuvee Handicap and nine other races, earning $556,586, to date the mare has produced two stakes winners and two stakes-placed horses.

Barren from a cover to Quality Road at the 2011 Evans dispersal at Keeneland, Colonial Minstrel sold for $200,000 to Bluegrass Hall.

A half-sister to G3 winner Minidar (Alydar) and listed stakes winner Unrestrained (Unbridled), Colonial Minstrel was the most accomplished racer from Minstrella (The Minstrel), and yet another mare in this family line bred by Evans. Once-beaten at 2, Minstrella was the highweight filly in England and Ireland in 1986 when her four victories included three G1s — the Phoenix Stakes, Moyglare Stud, and Cheveley Park.

Roi Herode, shown in training as a 4yo, is the conduit of much of the gray found in modern Thoroughbreds, including Blofeld.

Roi Herode, shown in training as a 4yo, is the conduit of much of the gray found in modern Thoroughbreds, including Blofeld.

Evans bred Minstrella from the gray Misty Flight mare Flight Dancer, also the dam of major winner Misty Gallore (Halo). Flight Dancer was third in the Queen Mary Stakes at 2 and was a half-sister to major winner Dancing Moss (Ballymoss), winner of the Jockey Club Cup and second in the Irish St. Leger in 1967. Their dam is Courbette, a daughter of Horse of the Year Native Dancer and champion Gallorette (Challenger).

Courbette and Mlle Lorette (Lovely Night) were the two stakes winners out of Gallorette from only seven foals. One of two tip-top horses by the imported Swynford stallion Challenger, Gallorette raced from 2 through 6, winning 21 races and finishing second or third in 33 more races from 72 starts.

A ruggedly made chestnut with tremendous individuality, Gallorette thrashed contemporary colts as well as fillies. She won numerous filly stakes, including the Acorn, Delaware Oaks, and Beldame, but the factor that elevated her into the pantheon of great mares was winning repeatedly at the top level against colts.

Her major victories against horses and colts included the Metropolitan Handicap, Brooklyn Handicap, Whitney, and Carter.

Gallorette’s dam was the Sir Gallahad III mare Gallette, who didn’t win a race. But Gallette was a half-sister to the high-class mare Flambino (Wrack), who became the dam of Triple Crown winner Omaha, and Gallette was a full sister to La France, the dam of Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner Johnstown (Jamestown).

From Blofeld to Gallette and beyond, this is the kind of family that serious owner-breeders cherish for its depth and quality.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,923 other followers