The hot item at the yearling sales each year is the premium stock by each season’s first-crop or freshmen sires. Aside from the novel appeal of having one of the first racers by a former star of the racetrack, there is also the potential to catch lightning in a bottle by finding a star before anyone knows how good a sire is going to be.

For instance, Horse of the Year Zenyatta came from the first crop by the international Grade 1 winner Street Cry, and unlike the future leading sire’s first-crop homebred champion Street Sense, Zenyatta sold as a yearling, then progressed to become a champion and star of the sport.

Who wouldn’t want to buy a horse with that sort of potential?

Likewise, who wouldn’t want to breed to a stallion who could sire a champion older horse like Zenyatta or a juvenile champ and classic winner like Street Sense?

Their sire Street Cry, a big and robustly made son of English-based Machiavellian, was a top-class racehorse who became an international force as a sire, with the champions above, as well as current Australian star Winx.

Street Cry, like all the other stallions of note, was once a freshman, and that is the sort of story that owners and agents, advisers and sales companies hope to be part of.

As a result, a massive slice of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July Sale of selected yearlings is made up of stock sired by first-crop stallions of 2017. This list includes such notables as champion Will Take Charge (by Unbridled’s Song), Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Mucho Macho Man (Macho Uno), Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Goldencents (Into Mischief), Hopeful Stakes winner Strong Mandate (Tiznow), Wood Memorial winner Verrazano (More Than Ready), Flashback (Tapit), Shakin It Up (Midnight Lute), Fed Biz (Giant’s Causeway), Cross Traffic (Unbridled’s Song), and other racers who won a place a stud.

Nor will it have gone unnoticed among the buyers and resellers that two years ago among the freshmen sires of 2015 were the first yearlings by Bodemeister (Empire Maker) and Maclean’s Music (Distorted Humor). And this year, those sires’ first-crop 3-year-olds Always Dreaming and Cloud Computing won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

The classic results of this year, as well as the psychological incentives to be part of the great possibility of buying into a first-crop sire, make those horses the ones everyone is curious about. And they pay to play in this game.

The resale marketers will be vigorously employed in selecting stock from this segment of sires to take to the 2018 sales of juveniles in training, and their response to the individual stallions at the Fasig-Tipton auction, as well as the succeeding sales of yearlings, will have a great deal to do with which sires are hot for next year, and that is the freshman sires’ fourth season at stud and their most difficult from a marketing point of view.

Marketing a horse in his fourth season at stud is a challenge because no stallion farm wants to be stuck with a commercial horse that nobody wants to buy. The trick is finding the ones that everyone will want more in 12 to 18 months than they want today.

Any horseman will tell you that is a whole harder to do than it appears.

But after several days of looking at the yearlings by this season’s set of freshman sires and evaluating their growth, balance, muscularity, movement and mechanics, I’m getting an impression of those giving a positive snapshot at this sale in July.

A snapshot of a sire’s crop is all we see at this sale, but it’s an informative peek into the potential of some young stallions and their offspring. Tapit’s son Flashback has nice yearlings on display; likewise Strong Mandate, Mucho Macho Man, Goldencents, and Cross Traffic have some fancy offspring.

But just who expected Fed Biz or Shakin It Up to get such well-grown and quick-looking offspring? Well done. And one of the purely best specimens of the Thoroughbred on display is stalled in Barn 5 at the back corner of the Fasig-Tipton sales facility. This colt is by the first-crop stallion Itsmyluckyday (Lawyer Ron) and is Hip 73 in the Brandywine Farm consignment. One of two yearlings by the sire in this sale, Hip 73 is a peach.

Overall, however, the stallion who stands out in this sale for the consistency and quality of his stock, for their scope and fetching motion at a walk, for size and bone and positive presence is the Airdrie Farm stallion Cairo Prince (Pioneerof the Nile).

From the freshman crop of his now-famous sire, Cairo Prince was a good-sized horse with all those attributes I’ve just praised in his offspring. Seeing how many of them have so many of his good qualities and seeing how they stack up for balance and overall athleticism makes me feel that this gray freshman stallion is going to set a trend for the future when these and other young horses from this crop get to the races.

The best of luck to them all.

The preceding was written before the Fasig-Tipton July sale on Tuesday, July 11. The results for Cairo Prince’s yearlings are below. Complete results are available at: http://www.fasigtipton.com/ci/results/view/2017/The-July-Sale

 

6 C CAIRO PRINCE LA BELLE CAT CLIFTON FARM LLC KENNETH MCPEEK, AGT FOR WALKING L THOROUGHBREDS $130,000
20 C CAIRO PRINCE LOVERS SPAT BRERETON C. JONES/AIRDRIE STUD INC. AGENT OUT OUT
71 C CAIRO PRINCE PERFECT PEGASUS ALLIED BLOODSTOCK AGENT II GRAND OAKS $160,000
129 C CAIRO PRINCE SUMMER SHADE TAYLOR MADE SALES AGENCY AGENT XI CRUPI’S NEW CASTLE FARM INC $100,000 PS
137 C CAIRO PRINCE TESORO DE AMOR BRERETON C. JONES/AIRDRIE STUD INC. AGENT JAY EM ESS STABLE $260,000
141 C CAIRO PRINCE TOASTY CANDYLAND AGENT I JOHN WENTWORTH III $50,000
152 C CAIRO PRINCE TURTLE BEACH STUART MORRIS AGENT FOR HIGHCLERE WCI INVESTMENTS $265,000
177 F CAIRO PRINCE AFFLUENZA WARRENDALE SALES AGENT VII GONCE IMPORTS $40,000 PS
279 C CAIRO PRINCE HELLUVA HANGOVER BACCARI BLOODSTOCK LLC AGENT I JAMES R LAYDEN, AGENT $130,000
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