a sweet ride for the fast horse from argentina: candy ride making a major mark at stud


, , ,

Unified confirmed himself as a colt of high merit with a game and quick victory in the G2 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont, and the handsome dark brown colt is now unbeaten in three starts, also including the G3 Bay Shore. He is one of the latest successes for the very good stallion Candy Ride, a horse who has exceeded expectations at every turn in his life.

From his beginnings at one of the premium studs in Argentina, through his racing career, and now well into his innings at stud, Candy Ride has passed every test that a top stallion must overcome.

The initial test, however, that a colt must pass to become a prospective stallion is to show high athletic ability. And if a colt shows enough ability, even if he has an unfamiliar or unfashionable pedigree, breeders will give him some opportunity to prove his worth at getting quick racers.

Few stallions have made more of their opportunities on the racetrack and then capitalized on them at stud to a greater degree than Candy Ride. The Argentine-bred bay came north after an impressive start to his racing career in his homeland.

Unbeaten in three recognized starts in Argentina, “Candy Ride was a superstar before he went to the races,” said Carlos “Ned” Moore, who buys and sells horses around the world and breeds some in Virginia with his wife Jill. “Candy Ride was a massive talent at the country racing that goes on in Argentina. These are usually two- to three-furlong sprints, and that was the type of racing that he was participating in before they decided they would try to stretch him out at the major tracks.”

Although Candy Ride was officially unraced at 2, he had plenty of action. The exact number of these races is unknown; nobody was keeping records of them. At these impromptu meets, horse owners in Argentina will grade a length of unpaved road out in the country between farms, and they will make a day or weekend of racing over this temporary racetrack. The purses are small, but the betting can be big. The sums that change hands can sometimes be quite large, and the pressure to find a horse that prospers in these conditions is intense.

And as a strong colt with high speed and a great mind, Candy Ride was reportedly able to pull off some handsome coups for his ownership when raced over these short distances.

By the Haras Abolengo stallion Ride the Rails (by Cryptoclearance), Candy Ride was bred by Abolengo and sold to a client of theirs, Moore recalled. He said: “The new owners took Candy Ride to the interior of Argentina and proved him a champion of country racing.”

No record was taken of these races because they are officially off the books, but there were more than a couple of them. Quite a few more. Moore said, “He made himself something of a legend among the fanciers of country racing,” and in doing that, the good-looking colt showed the speed and toughness to merit a run in the big leagues. The successes of Candy Ride’s performances at these meets brought him to the major metropolitan tracks in Buenos Aires.

There, Candy Ride was unbeaten, including a pair of G1 victories (Joaquin S. de Anchorena and San Isidro). Those two major events, both over 1600 meters, were timed in 1:31.01 and 1:32.16, respectively, and each race was won by 8 lengths.

By the evidence of the times and the winning margins, Candy Ride had more than made a transition to racing effectively in the major leagues. He was the best in the country, and he was named champion miler from this brief exposure of his native ability.

Then the super-fast colt was sold to Sid and Jenny Craig and went to race in California, where he likewise was unbeaten in three starts. There, Candy Ride stretched out to win the G2 American Handicap (9 furlongs in 1:46.20) and the G1 Pacific Classic (10 furlongs in 1:59.11).

Those were his final racecourse performances.

The stallion’s performers have succeeded from the beginning. His best include champion Shared Belief (G1 Pacific Classic, Santa Anita Handicap, and Hollywood Futurity), Misremembered (G1 Santa Anita Handicap), Sidney’s Candy (G1 Santa Anita Derby), and Twirling Candy (G1 Malibu), as well as G2 winner Gun Runner, who most recently was third in the Kentucky Derby.

Unified has a step up to join them at the top level, but he has the prerequisite speed. The questions of class and versatility will be answered in time.

nyquist living the life as unbeaten classic winner that was expected for his sire

Champion last year and classic winner this year, unbeaten Nyquist (by Uncle Mo) is living the life dreamt of for his sire. An unbeaten 2-year-old and juvenile champion himself, Uncle Mo was a hot prospect for the classics till his 3-year-old season came off the rails.

More often than not, that is the way things work out in racing. Rising to the top of a crop one season is difficult enough, but for a horse to maintain dominance over all his contemporaries from season to season is astonishing difficult.

So is Nyquist better than his sire?

Well, yes, on the bare record, he unquestionably is. Nyquist is still unbeaten after eight races, including the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby, and the best victory for Uncle Mo at 3 came in the G2 Kelso Handicap at a mile. That would be a stellar effort for an average good horse, but Uncle Mo was a champion and so much more was expected of him.

Yet because of the horse’s size and impressive presence, Uncle Mo went to stud at the top of the heap among his contemporaries. With a stud fee of $35,000 live foal, Uncle Mo covered more mares than any other stallion in the country, not just among his fellow new stallions.

One of those mares was Seeking Gabrielle, a daughter of Forestry and G2 winner Seeking Regina (Seeking the Gold). Horse breeder and trader James Keogh said, “I had been following the dam of Nyquist for a while [when she was on the racetrack], and as soon as she won her maiden, I decided I’d have a go at her, but when they dropped her in for $12,500 [claiming price], the trainer botched the claim, but then I was able to buy her privately for a bit less as things would happen.”

Keogh had the filly shipped to Kentucky, where he “cleaned her up, put a little weight on her, and sent her to the January sale,” where she sold for $45,000. “The quality of her half-sisters and the horses they were being bred to were the linchpin to selling her,” Keogh said, and “she is the 13th dam of a future G1 winner that I’ve been fortunate enough to sell.”

Seeking Gabrielle was purchased out of the Keeneland January in 2012 with the intention of reselling in foal to Uncle Mo later that year. Reselling the mare immediately didn’t work out, but her colt by Uncle Mo was so fetching that breeder Summerhill Farm entered both mare and foal in the 2013 Keeneland November sale.

According to data from Equineline, Uncle Mo had 165 foals of 2013, and from the beginning, the Kentucky Derby winner has been among the very best of them. At the November sale, the future champion brought $180,000, while his dam sold for $100,000.

Bred in Kentucky by Summerhill Farm, the name of the breeding entity of Tim Hyde Sr., Tim Hyde Jr., and Paul Shanahan, the Uncle Mo colt out of Seeking Gabrielle was very appealing from the beginning, and the March foal caught the eyes of interested pinhookers, including Pat Costello, who was marketing the mare and foal through Paramount Sales.

Costello said, Nyquist “was in my consignment in November that year. We’re always on the lookout for a nice horse to buy; so Ted Campion and I went in with Gerry Dilger and bought this horse, and we kept him at Dromoland. He grew up lovely, and we always thought that whatever bonuses he gave as a 2-year-old, he was a two-turn kind of horse.

“Dromoland sold him as a yearling [for the three partners]. The colt was always growing, was a big-framed colt, and made up into a big, leggy horse. Honestly, we thought he would make an even nicer horse if he’d filled out more. Always a big yearling – he must have nearly stopped growing as a yearling.”

Selling for $180,000 as a weanling and for $230,000 as a yearling, Nyquist ranked as the 6th priciest of 26 first-crop foals by Uncle Mo, then was the 10th of 95 yearlings when he sold to Niall Brennan and Mike Ryan’s entity listed as Sutton Place Stable at the 2014 September yearling sale.

Certainly, Nyquist was a good-sized 2-year-old when they brought him to Fasig-Tipton’s Florida sale at Gulfstream in 2015, but he was far from outsized. The bay colt showed good speed in working a furlong in :10 2/5, but the way he did it was more impressive. His stride length was more than a foot longer than average for that sale; the quality of his motion was very good, low and smooth; and he looked the part of a good horse back at the barn.

The combination of all these multiple positive qualities drove buyers to Nyquist, who sold for $400,000 to Dennis O’Neill, agent for Paul Reddam. The future Kentucky Derby winner brought the fourth-highest price of 41 juveniles in training by Uncle Mo in 2015.

Reddam has already sold the stallion rights in his champion to Darley, and Nyquist has proven himself the rare horse who spreads glory and wealth to everyone associated with him.

more gold for galileo in 2,000 guineas

By winning the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket on April 30, Galileo Gold has added another classic to the lengthy list of honors for the Danzig branch of Northern Dancer, and this grand-looking chestnut colt has gained further accolades for the already massive honors for the great sire Galileo (by Sadler’s Wells), as the broodmare sire of the classic winner.

Galileo didn’t especially need greater glory. Coolmore‘s extraordinary stallion did have the trifecta in the 1,000 Guineas, won by his daughter Minding over daughters Ballydoyle and Alice Springs.

The 1,000 Guineas was the 22nd classic-winning offspring by Galileo, winner of the 2001 Derby himself, but the victor in the companion classic for colts was the first for the young sire Paco Boy (Desert Style).

Standing at Highclere Stud in England for 6,500 pounds live foal, Paco Boy sired Galileo Gold in his second crop of foals from the unplaced Galileo mare Galicuix. The Guineas winner is the mare’s first foal, and she has a 2-year-old full sister to the Guineas winner named Choumicha who sold last year at Goffs for 280,000 pounds after Galileo Gold had shown ability.

paco boy

Paco Boy – sire of 2,000 Guineas winner Galileo Gold stands at Highclere Stud for 6,500 pounds live foal and got the classic winner in his second crop

The classic winner first went through the sales ring at Tattersalls in November as a foal, when he was not sold for 7,500 guineas. The next year, the colt brought 33,000 euros at Tattersalls Ireland in September 2014.

A big, robust colt whom trainer Hugo Palmer described as a “gorgeous beast and big. He stands 16.2,” Galileo Gold had left auction valuations far behind even before he won the mile classic on Saturday.

He won a six-furlong maiden at Salisbury in June of last year, then was purchased by owner Al Shaqab Racing in a private transaction after winning again, this time over seven furlongs at Haydock in July. For Al Shaqab, Galileo Gold won the G2 Vintage Stakes at Goodwood and was third in the G1 Grand Criterium at Longchamp.

Galileo Gold did not race again till the Guineas.

His sire is a striking bay stallion who was a very good racehorse. Paco Boy won 11 of 24 starts over four seasons of racing and was very near a model of class and toughness. Earning more than 1 million pounds, Paco Boy most importantly won a G1 race at 3, 4, and 5. His first success at the premier level came in the Prix de la Foret. He won the Queen Anne at Ascot as a 4-year-old and the Lockinge Stakes at 5. The horse also won three G2 stakes, was second in a trio of G1s, and was third in a fourth.

Paco Boy was one of six G1 winners for his sire, who also is credited for Prix Vermeille winner Mandesha, Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Bachir, and German Derby winner Next Desert.

In hindsight, Desert Style could be said to have outbred his own racing performance because he didn’t win a G1 event. He won three G3 races but showed enough form to be ranked as the second-best 2-year-old colt in Ireland in 1994 and the highweight 3-year-old sprinter in Europe the following year.

In addition, Desert Style was out of a half-sister to Brocade (Habitat), winner of the G1 Prix de la Foret and later dam of both Barathea (Irish 2,000 Guineas and Breeders’ Cup Mile) and Gossamer (Irish 1,000 Guineas).

As events have proven, Desert Style has been one of the better lines descending from his sire, the Danzig horse Green Desert. One of the first indicators that Danzig was going to have worldwide impact as a sire of stallions, Green Desert sired fast horses who sometimes stayed quite well but were usually suited by distances up to a mile.


Galileo – Coolmore’s super sire is broodmare sire of Galileo Gold and sired the first three home in 1,000 Guineas. Coolmore photo.

Winner of the July Cup and second in the 2,000 Guineas, Green Desert sired 41 group and 53 listed stakes winners. Among his dozen G1 winners, Green Desert sired three who have made a notable impact as stallions: Cape Cross, Invincible Spirit, and Oasis Dream.

This is one of the livelier branches of Danzig’s stem of Northern Dancer, and it goes well with Galileo. And linebreeding such as this to Northern Dancer appears to be the staple of European breeding practice, with so many lines coming down from the great son of Nearctic that breeders just have to pick those that appear most compatible and let the genetic dice roll.

With his success at Newmarket, Galileo Gold has advanced his male line another generation and provided himself with classic credentials for his second career when the day comes.

As a stallion prospect, Galileo Gold has a good deal of speed among his immediate ancestors. His dam is a half-sister to G1 winner Goldream (King’s Stand Stakes, Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp), and there is high-class stamina farther back. The fourth dam produced the top-class racer and sire Montjeu, winner of the Arc de Triomphe, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Irish Derby, and French Derby among his G1 triumphs.

Currently, the ownership of Galileo Gold is considering whether to send the colt to the Derby at Epsom or to map out a series of races at or near a mile for the next several months.

trio of tapit sons in the kentucky derby

*Written before the Kentucky Derby and first published in Saturday’s PaulickReport Special print edition.

With a trio of colts expected to start in the Kentucky Derby, leading sire Tapit is poised to take another step forward in his ever-upward trajectory.

An unbeaten 2-year-old who won the Grade 1 Wood Memorial before taking his own chance in the 2004 Kentucky Derby, Tapit possessed the genetics and physique to climb every rung along the tortuous path to become the leading sire in the country.

Tapit has grown from a leading freshman sire to a top-tier international influence, and now he regularly receives some of the most important and successful broodmares in the stud book.

He’s earned them, as the starting gate at the Kentucky Derby attests; Mohaymen, Creator, and Lani are all slated to start and have legitimate chances of classic success.

Previously undefeated Mohaymen had been so highly regarded before the Florida Derby that he was actually favored against 2015 2-year-old champion colt Nyquist (by Uncle Mo). The champion prevailed, but Mohaymen has been training well at Churchill Downs, a positive sign over that surface.

Creator, winner of the G1 Arkansas Derby, is out of the Peruvian champion mare Morena (Privately Held). The mare was top of her age and sex from 2 through 4 in her homeland, winning 10 of 15 starts there, then ventured to the States and was multiple graded-stakes-placed, including a third in the G1 Personal Ensign.

The now-12-year-old mare raced through age 6, and Creator is her second foal. Morena has a chestnut 2-year-old colt by Lemon Drop Kid named Pear Lemonade and a yearling colt by Street Cry. This is an old American family with 10th dam June Rose born exactly 100 years ago. Fourth dam Queens Up, a daughter of 1947 English 2,000 Guineas winner Tudor Minstrel, was exported to Europe, and her daughter Crownit was exported to Peru.

In addition to their jet-set pedigrees, all three colts have good speed, as they show in morning works, and it is the kind of speed that allows a horse to stalk effectively, then come with a run through the stretch. Of the three, Mohaymen is the most willing to show his natural pace, while both Creator and Lani have shown a tendency in races to drop out and come with rush.

In particular, Lani is a wildcard in this field. He has shown episodes of unquestioned ability, allied with a disposition that charitably could be called “highly independent.” Lani also has a striking pedigree to match his scopy, classic physique.

The gray colt is out of Heavenly Romance (Sunday Silence), whose most important victory came in the G1 Tenno Sho (Autumn), and Lani is the mare’s third stakes winner from six foals to race. This is another American family that has gone overseas and returned, with the sixth dam being champion Vagrancy (Sir Gallahad III) and Lani being foaled in Kentucky from his Japanese-bred dam.

One of trio of grays with speed and class and history could give their sire a boost into legendary status with a victory in the Run for the Roses.

Note: Mohaymen did the best of Tapit’s three sons, finishing strongly to get fourth, a head behind Gun Runner; Lani was 9th after racing widest through the stretch; and Creator was checked sharply and bumped soundly, according to the official chart, and finished 13th.

classic sire with a profound ‘impact’


, ,

You might expect that the greatest certainty in the classics for 2016 is that a son of Uncle Mo will win the Kentucky Derby or that a son of Galileo will win the English Derby. But no, the greatest certainty in classic racing is that Shadai’s great son of Sunday Silence, Deep Impact, will have more runners in the Japan Derby than any other sire and that one of them is likely to win the race.

More than any other son of Kentucky Derby winner Sunday Silence (by Halo), classic winner Deep Impact has captured the imagination of the racing public in Japan, both during his excellent racing career and during his near-legendary time at stud.

dee majesty 2016 satsuki sho jra photo

Dee Majesty led the trifecta of sons by Deep Impact (by Sunday Silence) in the Satsuki Sho


Deep Impact was a star on the racetrack, winning 12 of his 14 starts. The winner of his only start at 2, Deep Impact was the best horse in Japan as a 3-year-old and 4-year-old. He won the Japanese Triple Crown, consisting of the Satsuki Sho (2,000 Guineas), Tokyo Yushun (Derby), and Kikuka Sho (St. Leger) in 2005, winning at distances from 2,000 meters to 3,000 meters (approximately 10 to 15 furlongs). Then this outstanding racehorse won four more G1 races as a 4-year-old and retired to stud at Shadai’s prestigious breeding complex on the Northern Island of Hokkaido.

A grand-looking horse by Japan’s favorite stallion, Deep Impact had exceptional opportunities, and he has made the most of them. The stallion ran true to his pedigree, being by classic winner and Horse of the Year Sunday Silence out of a high-class G1 filly in Europe, and Deep Impact stayed as well as that pedigree suggested or a little better. At stud, he has been a force for high class and for stamina, although some of his best offspring have shown top form at distances as short as a mile.

In previous seasons, the now 14-year-old Deep Impact has sired winners of the Japan Cup, the classic events for 3-year-olds, and the primary G1 races for all-ages. With 79 stakes winners so far, the classic winners by Deep Impact include Gentildonna (Japanese Oaks), Kizuna (Japanese Derby), Mikki Queen (Japanese Oaks), and Harp Star (Japanese 1,000 Guineas).

The most recent classic winner by Deep Impact came on April 17, when Dee Majesty won the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2,000 Guineas) by 1 ¼ lengths from a pair of previously unbeaten Deep Impact colts: Makahiki and Satono Diamond. Dee Majesty has won three of five starts and is now unbeaten in two starts in 2016.

Bred in Japan by Masaru Shimada, who also races the colt, Dee Majesty is the first stakes winner out of the unraced Hermes Tiara, a daughter of Florida Derby winner and Preakness Stakes second Brian’s Time (Roberto).

Hermes Tiara is a half-sister to two stakes winners, and their dam Shinko Hermes (Sadler’s Wells) is a full sister to English Oaks winner Imagine and a half-sister to Generous (Caerleon), winner of the English Derby, Irish Derby, and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

This family has been producing top performers around the world, and its classic qualities match well with those of Deep Impact.

Deep Impact is out of the major European winner Wind in Her Hair (Alzao), winner of the G1 Aral-Pokal in Germany and second in the Oaks at Epsom. The mare has produced four stakes winners, including Deep Impact’s full brother Black Tide, who was a G2 stakes winner and is now a sire.

The second dam is the fairish racer Burghclere (Busted), although she is better known as half-sister to Height of Fashion (Bustino), who was highweight 2-year-old filly in England in 1981 and won the 1982 Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket. At stud for Sheikh Hamdan, Height of Fashion produced five stakes winners, most notably Nashwan (Blushing Groom), winner of the 2,000 Guineas, Derby, Eclipse, and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

This is a high-quality classic family, and Deep Impact’s third dam is Highclere, one of two classic winners by Queens Hussar (the other being Brigadier Gerard). Highclere won the 1974 1,000 Guineas and Prix de Diane for Queen Elizabeth II. The stallion’s fifth dam is Hypericum, who won the 1945 Dewhurst and 1946 1,000 Guineas for owner-breeder King George VI.

Hypericum was a daughter of English Derby winner Hyperion, bred and raced by Lord Derby, and the breeding lines of his stud, especially Hyperion, Swynford, his half-brother Chaucer, Phalaris, and the latter’s sons Fairway and Pharos cast an influence that is both broad and deep across the pedigree of Deep Impact.

curlin imparts classic qualities

The physical presence that Curlin (by Smart Strike) showed as a yearling, as a racehorse, and now as a stallion is one of the striking factors in the glowing chestnut’s makeup. A big, rugged horse who clearly bears the imprint of broodmare sire Deputy Minister, Curlin has tremendous bone, notable depth and a beautiful angle through his shoulder, and great length and strength through his body.

Overall, Curlin could be a racehorse of an older generation, with the strength and clearly classic qualities that the big chestnut shows from every angle. The combination of such physical traits, athleticism, and mental toughness are what horsemen look for in racehorses that handle their racing well, that excel in a variety of situations, and that are the epitome of the Thoroughbred.

Curlin has passed on much of these racehorse qualities to his offspring, and they are showing many of the qualities that made their sire a classic winner, champion, and Horse of the Year.

Third in the 2007 Kentucky Derby behind Street Sense (Street Cry) and Hard Spun (Danzig), Curlin sprang a major surprise to win the Preakness in a thrilling finish from the Derby winner. Then Curlin gamely raced Rags to Riches (A.P. Indy) down the stretch in the Belmont Stakes, narrowly second with honor in another thrilling classic.

The big chestnut then progressed well through his 3-year-old season, with a very good fall campaign that showed him the victor in the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup over Lawyer Ron (Langfuhr) and the Breeders’ Cup Classic against the best horses in training.  

Horse of the Year in 2007, Curlin repeated as the best horse in the country in 2008 after victories in the Dubai World Cup, Stephen Foster, Woodward, and a second Jockey Club Gold Cup.

As a top-class racehorse by leading sire Smart Strike, Curlin was a stallion prospect of great interest, and majority owner Jess Jackson (Stonestreet Stable) clearly indicated Stonestreet’s commitment to using the stallion by sending champion racemare Rachel Alexandra to him.

Sent to stud in 2009 as the yawning chasm of the second great bloodstock depression opened up all around breeders, Curlin has fought his way to the top tier of contemporary stallions by potently filling a niche in the racing and breeding environment; he is one of the country’s eminent classic sires.

Over the weekend, Curlin’s son Exaggerator won the G1 Santa Anita Derby and his daughter Terra Promessa won the G2 Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn.

Exaggerator showed his potential by winning the G2 Saratoga Special and G3 Delta Jackpot, as well as by finishing runner-up in the G1 Breeders’ Futurity to Brody’s Cause (Giant’s Causeway). This season, Exaggerator had honed his speed and closing kick against divisional champion Nyquist (Uncle Mo), and the Santa Anita Derby is the first victory of the year for Curlin’s bay son.

A colt with more finishing pace than early speed, Exaggerator is out of the stakes-placed racemare Dawn Raid (Vindication). This is a family known for its toughness, and there are obvious efforts to add speed, such as with champion juvenile Vindication and with Unbridled’s Song, who is the sire of Canadian champion Embur’s Song, a half-sister to Dawn Raid.

Dawn Raid, a deep-bodied and substantial dark bay mare, went through the Fasig-Tipton November sale last fall and was listed as RNA for $625,000. She has since produced a full sister to the Santa Anita Derby winner.

Like Exaggerator, Terra Promessa is a bay, and the filly has won four of five starts. On April 9, Terra Promessa won the G2 Fantasy Stakes, her best effort to date. A homebred for Stonestreet, Terra Promessa won by a neck from the progressive Tapit filly Taxable, and the third finisher was 5 ¾ lengths behind. Both of the first two are expected to try Songbird in the Kentucky Oaks next month.

Bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet, Terra Promessa is out of the multiple stakes winner Missile Bay (Yes It’s True). Stonestreet acquired Missile Bay for $700,000 at the 2006 Keeneland November sale, in foal to Forestry. Before Terra Promessa, the mare’s best racer is the stakes-placed Eskendereya filly Mio Me.

With both Exaggerator and Terra Promessa, Curlin is one of the handful of stallions with prospects for both Kentucky classics in less than a month.

Standing at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm outside Lexington, Curlin has earned a stud fee of $100,000 live foal not because he gets fleets of sprint winners but because his offspring seem to get better as they find the opportunity to challenge the classic distances.

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.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,937 other followers