, ,

Holidays always seem too short, and the fine sire Harlan’s Holiday, likewise, was with us for too short a time.

The striking bay son of the Storm Cat stallion Harlan was a cracking racehorse, bulled his way up the rungs of success at stud, but lamentably died almost exactly two years ago at 14 during a shuttle season in Argentina.

The final Kentucky-sired crop by Harlan’s Holiday will race next season, but the stallion’s current stock on the racetrack are setting the bar high for the final crop.

On Saturday, Oct. 17, for instance, the stallion had three stakes winners, including a pair of graded winners. The juvenile colt Annual Report won the Grade 2 Futurity Stakes at Belmont Park, the 3-year-old colt Lucky Lindy won the G3 Hawthorne Derby, and the gelded Trouble Kid won the Valley Forge Stakes at Parx.

With these and numerous other good performers, Harlan’s Holiday is having yet another banner year with his racing stock and currently ranks 12th on the general sire list for North America with more than $7.6 million in progeny earnings to date.

To date, Harlan’s Holiday has 62 stakes winners from nine crops of racing age, with 10 stakes winners representing their sire this season alone.

One of the most respected of the stallion’s performers is the U.S.-bred Takeover Target, winner of the G3 Hill Prince at Belmont on Oct. 3 and the G2 National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Stakes on Aug. 7. This colt possesses a good deal of his sire’s athleticism and striking good looks.

Bred in Kentucky by Dorothy Matz, Takeover Target sold for $175,000 at the 2013 Keeneland September yearling sale. Mike Ryan, agent, bought the colt out of the Claiborne Farm consignment, and Takeover Target races for Klaravich Stable and William Lawrence.

The progressive colt has won four of his seven starts, earning $603,200.

As much as Takeover Target has prospects for the future, the 2-year-old colt Annual Report is yet another star on the horizon.

Bred in Kentucky by Gainesway Ltd., Annual Report sold for $600,000 out of the Eddie Woods consignment at the Fasig-Tipton March sale of 2-year-olds in training earlier this year in Florida. Out of the Seeking the Gold mare Pension, Annual Report is unbeaten in two starts and comes from one of the best families in the stud book.

The colt’s dam is a full sister to G3 winner Happy Hunting, and Gainesway purchased Pension, in foal to champion Johannesburg, at the 2008 Keeneland November sale for $160,000. Pension and Happy Hunting are out of G1 winner Furlough, one of the very best performers sired by champion Easy Goer (by Alydar). Furlough, like Happy Hunting, Pension, Easy Goer, and nearly everything in this family for generations, was bred and raced by the Phipps family.

Furlough’s dam was the Maskette and Test Stakes winner Blitey, one of the best performers by Meadow Stable’s Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner Riva Ridge. The bay son of First Landing was rather like Cassius, with a “lean and hungry look,” but he was champion of his crop at 2 and 4, and a multiple classic winner at 3. At his best, only Secretariat vanquished Riva Ridge in the inaugural Marlboro Cup in 1973, which was contested by one of the most distinguished fields in racing history.

Good as Blitey was on the racetrack, she was even better at stud. She produced four graded stakes winners, including three G1 winners. In addition to Furlough (G1 Ballerina), Blitey’s G1 winners were the Mr. Prospector filly Fantastic Find (G1 Hempstead Handicap) and the Nijinsky horse Dancing Spree (G1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint, Carter, and Suburban Handicap). Blitey’s daughters, both top racers and lesser performers, have been important producers. And Blitey was the great producer out of her dam, champion filly Lady Pitt, whom Ogden Phipps acquired in the mid-1960s.

Futurity winner Annual Report is the most exciting prospect from the Furlough branch of this family in years, and the blue-sky potential of this colt is enhanced by the growing reputation of Harlan’s Holiday as a sire of stallions.

The leading son of Harlan’s Holiday at stud is Into Mischief, winner of the Hollywood Futurity at 2. The sire of a dozen stakes winners to date, Into Mischief stands at Spendthrift and is best known for his son Goldencents, winner of two runnings of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile and more than $3 million. Harlan’s Holiday’s son Majesticperfection, who stands at Airdrie Stud, got the 2015 Kentucky Oaks winner Lovely Maria, and Harlan’s Holiday’s champion juvenile Shanghai Bobby stands at Ashford, with his first crop being foals of 2015.

If Annual Report makes the grade in the coming months, his future is assured.