The Mr. Prospector line had an enriching and enlightening month around the world. Some of the successes came through Mr. Prospector’s grandson Curlin (by Smart Strike) with Exaggerator (Grade 1 Haskell), Stellar Wind (G1 Clement Hirsch), and Curalina (G3 Shuvee); for grandson Street Cry (Machiavellian) who officially became the leading sire in Australia for the 2015-16 season in significant part due to six-time G1 winner Winx; for grandson Exchange Rate (Seeking the Gold) with Greta G (G1 Argentine 1,000 Guineas); and for great-great-grandson Midshipman with top sprint filly Lady Shipman (G3 Royal North Stakes).

Those highlights indicate some of the reasons why Mr. Prospector was such a successful, and subsequently, such an influential sire. The dark bay son of Raise a Native sired a vast number of racers who showed speed and versatility. They were able to show high speed and yet sometimes carry it a classic distance, and Mr. Prospector’s stock were notable for their ability to show their form over a variety of surfaces and in a variety of differing environments or racing jurisdictions.

mr prospector yrlg ad2

This is a less-than-perfect scan of a Tony Leonard (copyright) photo of the yearling later named Mr. Prospector. Leonard’s photo was made for Spendthrift Farm’s advertisement of the colt who went on to bring top price at the 1971 Keeneland July select yearling sale

 

Likewise as a sire of stallions, Mr. Prospector set up a very high bar. His son Woodman sired a pair of classic winners (Hansel and Hector Protector) in his first crop; son Fappiano became a leading sire and sired Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled, who established the most prolific and classic branch of Mr. Prospector; son Gone West sired English classic winner Zafonic, an important sire abroad, and champion sprinter Speightstown, a leading sire in the States; son Machiavellian sired two winners of the Dubai World Cup, including Street Cry, the sire of Horse of the Year Zenyatta and a stallion of international consequence; son Forty Niner sired Belmont Stakes winner Editor’s Note and leading American sire Distorted Humor; son Seeking the Gold sired three Breeders’ Cup winners and is responsible for the most internationally vibrant branch of the Mr. Prospector line.

Age 31, Seeking the Gold was euthanized at Claiborne Farm on July 28 due to the infirmities of old age. In the versatility of his offspring and his own longevity, Seeking the Gold was very similar to Mr. Prospector, who was tough as a pine knot and hung on to the bright strand of life longer than any of his great contemporaries, dying at age 29.

Out of the Buckpasser mare Con Game, Seeking the Gold was very similar to his broodmare sire in so many ways. Both sired champion fillies in their first two crops, both sired horses of great elegance and quality, and both showed high speed yet sired stock that stayed surprisingly well.

Both also suffered from an undeserved reputation as “filly sires.”

Having those top-class fillies show up in their initial crops drew breeders’ attention to the quality and athleticism of the fillies sired by Buckpasser and Seeking the Gold. But both also sired very good colts. Buckpasser’s sons at stud included Buckaroo, sire of Kentucky Derby winner and champion Spend a Buck.

The kink in Buckpasser’s sire success was that none of his sons were nearly as good as their sire, but Seeking the Gold sired a horse that was even better than himself. That was once-beaten Dubai Millennium.

Winner of nine races, including the Dubai World Cup, Prix Jacques le Marois, Prince of Wales’s Stakes, and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Dubai Millennium raced from 2 through 4 and was rated at 140 by Timeform.

Retired to stud at Dalham Hall for the 2001 breeding season, Dubai Millennium contracted grass sickness after covering only part of his first book of mares and was euthanized on April 29 of that year.

The wrenching loss of the best horse that the Godolphin/Darley complex had produced was slightly softened by the generally good results they got from the only crop of foals by the stallion. Nearly all those foals were bred or acquired by Darley, and the best of them proved to be Dubawi, a G1 winner at 2 and 3.

Significantly more precocious than average, Dubawi won the G1 National Stakes as part of an unbeaten juvenile campaign, then won the Irish 2,000 Guineas and Prix Jacques le Marois at 3.

Retired to Dalham Hall as a 4-year-old, Dubawi has proven a revelation at stud. His best offspring include Dubawi Heights (Gamely, Yellow Ribbon), Makfi (2,000 Guineas, Prix Jacques le Marois), Monterosso (Dubai World Cup), Al Kazeem (Prince of Wales’s, Eclipse), Night of Thunder (2,000 Guineas), New Bay (Prix du Jockey Club), and Arabian Queen (International Stakes). But the best of them all may be Postponed.

The winner of five races in a row, Postponed won the 2015 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes last year and the Coronation Cup this season. He is the strongest current representative of the Seeking the Gold stem of Mr. Prospector.

Whether winning classics or competing at the highest level in the U.S., as we see with the progeny of Curlin, or dominating the elite all-age competition in Europe, as we see with stock by Dubawi, the Mr. Prospector line is still delivering gold for breeders around the world.

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