One of the most consistent stallions in Kentucky over the years has been Silver Deputy. Rob Whiteley, owner of Liberation Farm, noted once that “few stallions have been as good to as many breeders as Silver Deputy.”
Whiteley, in his role as director of operations for Foxfield Farm, planned the mating for Silver Deputy’s first superstar, champion Silverbulletday.
The fleet bay filly was one of the many reasons that Silver Deputy became one of the most successful sons of his sire, Deputy Minister.
Both stood at Brookdale Farm outside Versailles, Ky., and were immensely important stallions for class and quality.
One of the factors that marked the influence of Silver Deputy is the level of balance that he imparted to his offspring. Biomechanically, balance is the relation of qualities that allow a racehorse to move efficiently.
And Silver Deputy possessed the mechanical traits that allowed him to cross well with a wide variety of mares.
Based on a biomechanical profile done by DataTrack International, a consulting firm that evaluates the biomechanics of horses and their prospects as racers and breeding stock, Silver Deputy falls just shy of being a Type I stallion, which includes sires that are an outstanding match with virtually every type of mare. Type I stallions, such as Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector, possess the ideal balance of stride, power, and weight.
What puts Silver Deputy so near the center of the breed is his extraordinary balance of stride and power. Being ever so light in weight is the only factor that makes Silver Deputy fall in to the Type II category. While weight is not considered a factor that makes horses faster, effective biomechanics requires the weight of muscle and a moderate amount of fat to produce the energy that allows racehorses to move quickly and maintain speed over a distance.
The racehorse must also be able to use its energy efficiently through a good combination of stride and power, the mechanical components that make a horse athletically gifted. In Silver Deputy, stride and power are perfectly balanced.
A stallion that blends well with a mare is a sire who produces foals with a balance of power, stride, and weight, even though the mares he’s bred to may have shorter strides than his own or have greater or lesser power. Because Silver Deputy possesses this excellent balance of qualities, if mated to a robust mare with a choppy, pounding stride who couldn’t withstand much training because of her weight and poor action, the resulting foal might have a longer and smoother stride, be relatively lighter weight, and so be able to maintain power. These improvements give the foal a better chance of racing effectively.
Silver Deputy proved early in his stud career that he had the ability to bring out the best in his mates. During his first season at Windfields Farm in Ontario, where he stood for $2,500 Canadian, Silver Deputy was booked to a group of modestly successful mares with a collective comparable index of 1.53. The comparable index indicates how good a mare is as a producer, with 1.00 being the average. One of those mares was Lady d’Arbanville, who had won just over $8,000 as a racehorse and whose best runner out of eight foals at the time she was first bred to Silver Deputy had been the winner of nearly $22,000. The mating to Silver Deputy produced Deputy Jane West, Canada’s champion juvenile filly in 1992 and champion 3-year-old filly the following season.
Horses with this level of balance and quality are hard to find. They are wonderful for the breeder to use. Pensioned for the 2009 breeding season, Silver Deputy will be missed.