The superstars of the sport get a glorious send-off when they go to stud: notoriety, high stud fees, and coverage of their every move. Sometimes their every foal. Then there are other horses, sometimes remarkably solid horses, who get no fanfare, get no special attention from the public or press.
And yet, some of those become major sires and have a lasting effect on the breed.
Who remembers the stud announcements for El Prado, for Mr. Prospector, for Elusive Quality, or most especially, for Malibu Moon, who wasn’t even a fully proven racehorse like the others.
It is, therefore, worth remembering that good sires come from differing backgrounds. This crop of interesting young stallions has the usual stars of the Eclipse Awards like champion Will Take Charge (by Unbridled’s Song), but there are other horses, much less heralded, who are attracting attention with the consistency and quality of their stock.
Those characteristics, consistency and quality, are important because a good sire contributes a steady supply of positive genetic traits. They won’t be the same ones from foal to foal, but the characteristics that support athletic endeavor are the result of generations of athletes who came before.
The successive generations of good athletes create what I would call a solid pedigree, with one ancestor after another being a good racer and contributing something of that to the next generation.
In this respect, one of the brightest young stallions with his first crop of juveniles is multiple Grade 2 stakes winner Fed Biz, a good-looking son of Giant’s Causeway (by Storm Cat) out of Spunoutacontrol (Wild Again).
In addition to the legendary stallion exploits of Storm Cat and his famous son, only one of Fed Biz’s ancestors in the first three generations of his pedigree wasn’t a stakes winner. That slacker was the Mr. Prospector mare Yarn, a full sister to Pulpit’s dam Preach, who was a G1 winner herself. As evidence of Yarn’s quality, she produced European highweight Minardi (Boundary) and the Storm Cat stallion Tale of the Cat, who is still at stud at Ashford.
Furthermore, their half-sister Myth is the dam of international champion and highweight Johannesburg (Hennessy); clearly, this family crosses well with Storm Cat and his sons in producing quality racers and sires.
Fed Biz is a further example of this profitable cross, and he won the G2 San Fernando, Pat O’Brien, and San Diego Handicap, earning $770,496. He was one of the most consistent first-crop sires I saw at the sales last year, and his first-crop yearlings averaged $77,701 on a $12,500 stud fee, a very powerful multiple for breeders fortunate enough to have used the right horse. Demand for his stock continues, with first-crop juveniles averaging $164,471 from 17 sold.
As an indication of the high-end demand, at the OBS April sale last week, Hip 567 out of Lake Como brought $280,000 from Marc deTampel, and at last month’s Fasig-Tipton Florida sale of juveniles, Hip 62 out of Virtuously brought $725,000 from Linda Rice, agent.