How rare is it for a non-stakes-winning horse to succeed as a stallion? Fewer than 1 percent make a notable success.
The great bloodstock researcher Joe Estes wrote reams about the importance of racing class in selecting bloodstock, and in stallions especially, there is nothing that succeeds like success.
Of the notable exceptions, the Hyperion horse Alibhai was unraced, the Northern Dancer horse Danzig was not a stakes winner but unbeaten in three starts, and the AP Indy horse Malibu Moon won and placed in his only two starts.
Northern Dancer is responsible for more than a smidge of the exceptions to the general rule that racing class is imperative in selecting a stallion. His sons Staff Writer and Fairy King were unraced and a nonwinner in a single start.
Staff Writer was a pretty good stallion. Fairy King was a very good one.
Any readers care to nominate a few other exceptions?