To the sires of Belmont horses, victory in the classic on Saturday can make the difference between a lease on commercial viability for the immediate future and the likelihood of a “change” in the sire’s future.
For a lively young sire like Limehouse (by Grand Slam), a Belmont Stakes winner would add the classic stamp to a progressive resume. The chestnut horse has had good 2-year-olds, good 3-year-olds from this first crop, with his stock showing a variety of aptitudes — some with more speed, others with more scope and stamina.
For a nice young stallion like Limehouse, even the prospect of a classic competitor like Uptowncharlybrown is a big endorsement. The stallion has a player. He is doing well. He is doing better than many breeders could have hoped. If Uptowncharlybrown wins the Belmont, some of those breeders are going to be paid off nicely for their faith in the young Vinery stallion.
In contrast, the prospect of Stately Victor (Ghostzapper) winning the Belmont is a dream come true for Adena Springs after a difficult opening inning for their young sire last year. Until the Blue Grass Stakes in April at Keeneland, Ghostzapper was winging away on the lead as THE most disappointing sire from this crop, at least in relation to his opportunity.
But the Blue Grass put a first G1 victory into Ghostzapper’s sire column. A classic would be enough for all associated with the stallion to heave a great sigh of relief and buy the horse some time to have his stock to mature and progress and see if they get better with time and distance and hardening from training.
After all, Ghostzapper himself was rather late to mature, didn’t win a G1 until late in his 3-year-old form (Vosburgh), only came to his real form as a 4-year-old and 5-year-old. That is what made him a Horse of the Year, put a huge stud fee on his calling card, and sent massive books of high-class producers to him year after year.
So, the Belmont makes a huge difference.