amelia bearhart, blushing groom, chief bearhart, giant’s causeway, gulfstream park handicap, harlington, heart of the storm, heatseeker, hill ‘n’ dale, rahy, santa anita handicap, serena’s song, sparks view farm, storm cat, unbridled
This is the seventh in a series of notes and impressions about the new stallions in Kentucky for 2009. The horses will be reviewed alphabetically.
Harlington (2002 dark bay by Unbridled out of Serena’s Song, by Rahy)
Stands at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm for $10,000 live foal
One of the last high-class sons of the important stallion Unbridled, Harlington is out of an extraordinary broodmare, champion Serena’s Song. Harlington, one of four stakes winners out of the mare, won the G2 Gulfstream Park Handicap at 4.
A $2.8 million yearling, Harlington stands nearly 17 hands, and he is a leggy, somewhat narrow horse who has the height of his famous sire. In other respects, however, Harlington shows the influence for elegance and refinement frequently found in the stock of Blushing Groom, the sire of Rahy.
An attractive animal with a small star on his forehead, Harlington does not carry unnecessary weight and is well-proportioned. Rather lightly made, he obviously had the scope to handle classic distances and perhaps much further, if such were available in the American racing program.
Heart of the Storm (2004 chestnut by Storm Cat out of Amelia Bearhart, by Bold Hour)
Stands at Sparks View Farm for $5,000 live foal
In addition to nerve, it takes two things to stand a stallion in Kentucky who didn’t win a race. First, it takes a monster pedigree to get him any notice, and second, it takes an owner who will back up his opinion of the horse with mares.
The pedigree for Heart of the Storm is well known. His famous sire is one of three stallions with a trio of sons going to stud in Kentucky this year, and his dam has produced three stakes winners and two stakes-placed horses. The best was champion Chief Bearhart, a winner three times in G1 races and twice second.
In addition, the owners of Heart of the Storm believe in him enough that they have purchased a dozen mares and are planning to support him with quality winning and producing mares.
Heatseeker (2003 chestnut by Giant’s Causeway out of Rusty Back, by Defensive Play)
Stands at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm for $20,000 live foal
An Irish-bred son of Giant’s Causeway, Heatseeker first raced to prominence with a third behind George Washington in the G1 National Stakes as a 2-year-old. Limited to a single start at 3, Heatseeker returned to win graded races in California at 4 and 5, including the G1 Santa Anita Handicap last season.
He retired with earnings of more than $1.1 million and is one of three sons of European standout Giant’s Causeway entering stud in 2009. Only Storm Cat and Cherokee Run are represented by three sons entering stud this year.
That said, Heatseeker is the best of the lot. A G1 winner and G1-placed, he had bags of talent. Nor is he an overly big or heavy horse. Instead, Heatseeker has a very good balance of qualities, carrying enough weight to keep himself in condition through a good racing campaign.
Standing a bit more than 16 hands, he has a girth of 76 inches, only a quarter-inch less than Harlington, who is larger in every other dimension. Heatseeker has an honest head and white on three of his legs.