September: The Big Picture and the Second Week

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Ashford’s Verrazano has 75 first-crop yearlings consigned to the September sales | Christie DeBernardis

By Bill Oppenheim

When you look at the 4,309 yearlings catalogued over 13 days of selling, there’s just no other sensible overall organizing tool we can use besides chronological: the first week will consist of the new Fasig-Tipton Turf Showcase on Sunday, Sept. 10, and four days of selling at Keeneland–Book 1 on Monday, Sept. 11, and Book 2 Tuesday–Thursday, Sept. 12-14. The second week will begin after the one-day break on Friday, with Keeneland Book 3 starting Saturday, Sept. 16 and continuing for eight days, finishing Saturday, Sept. 23. Of the 4,309 catalogued, there are 1,373 catalogued in the first week (32%, 171 at Fasig and 1,202 in Keeneland Books 1-2), and 2,936 catalogued in the second week (68%), Keeneland Books 3-6.

If all sires combined have roughly one-third of their yearlings in the first week and two-thirds in the second week, it stands to reason that the best sires will have most of their yearlings catalogued in the first week, and especially in Keeneland Books 1-2: Tapit for example has 44 yearlings in the entire sales, of which 41 are in Books 1-2 and three in Books 3-6. War Front has 34 catalogued in the entire sales, one in the Fasig Turf Showcase, the other 33 in Keeneland Books 1-2. So it’s illuminating to look at, first, the number of yearlings a sire has catalogued from the total of 4,309; but also the distribution of those yearlings between the first and second weeks.

For the overall September sales series–one day at Fasig plus 12 days at Keeneland–Coolmore Ashford’s late, great Scat Daddy is the leading sire by number catalogued, with 88: five at Fasig, 66 in Keeneland Books 1-2, and 17 in Keeneland Books 3-6. Spendthrift’s Into Mischief is still the leading sire of 3-year-olds standing in North America by 2014 crop earnings (click here) with 97 winners, 21 black-type horses, and the earners of over $8.1-million, including, of course, Practical Joke, who scored his third Grade I win in last weekend’s GI H. Allen Jerkens S. (formerly the King’s Bishop), and was the subject of Andrew Caulfield’s column in Tuesday’s TDN. Into Mischief has 83 catalogued in September, all at Keeneland (39 in Books 1-2, 44 in Books 3-6). WinStar’s Bodemeister, leading North American second-crop sire (click here), sire of GI Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming and Grade II winner American Anthem in his first crop, has 80 catalogued, again all at Keeneland and with a similar distribution to Into Mischief’s, in his case 35 in Books 1-2, 45 in Books 3-6.

A total of 30 sires have 50 or more yearlings catalogued in the seven books of September (one Fasig, six Keeneland), and it’s striking that they have sired 1,926 of the 4,309 yearlings catalogued, which is 44%; in other words, four out of every nine yearlings catalogued will be by one of these 30 sires–but notably these 30 do not include Tapit (44) or War Front (34). Of the 30, eleven are sires which have their first yearlings (4), 2-year-olds (4), or 3-year-olds (3)–this is for all 13 days, remember.

Of the four stallions with their first yearlings, the top sire numerically is Ashford’s Verrazano (75), winner of the GI Wood Memorial S. and GI Haskell Invitational S. (by nearly 10L, Beyer 116) in 2013. Three Chimneys’ Will Take Charge (65) was unplaced in all three Triple Crown races, but Wayne Lukas brought him back with four wins and four seconds in his next eight starts in five Grade I and three Grade II races, including wins in the GI Travers S. and GI Clark H. (against olders), split by a nose defeat by Mucho Macho Man in the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic, all of which earned him the 2013 Eclipse Award for 3-year-old males. He’s deservedly been this crop’s commercial leader so far, and figures to remain in that spot. Lane’s End’s full brother to Frankel, Noble Mission, has 58 catalogued, and Airdrie’s ‘market darling’, Cairo Prince, has 54.

Among sires with their first 2-year-olds, Ashford’s Declaration of War, from his first Kentucky crop after standing his first season in Ireland, leads the pack with 78 yearlings catalogued (fourth overall), including 13 at the Fasig Turf sale, 34 in Keeneland Books 1-2, and 31 in Books 3-6. Claiborne’s Orb and WinStar’s Paynter have 54 each; Ashford’s Shanghai Bobby has 53. Among sires with their first 3-year-olds, so their third crop of yearlings, Lane’s End’s The Factor, like Declaration of War a son of War Front, has 72 catalogued, and the farm’s Union Rags, number two freshman sire last year, has 61. Gainesway’s Tapizar has 50 catalogued.

Having looked at the sires of ‘first week’ yearlings in last week’s column and tables, let’s now look at the sires of the 2,936 Book 3-6 yearlings. Of the 193 sires represented by Book 3-6 yearlings, 16 have 40 or more yearlings catalogued in Books 3-6. Naturally younger, unproven sires are more to the fore in the second week, and in fact, eight of the nine sires already mentioned among this top 16 (meaning they had 50+ catalogued total) are in the younger sire crops. F2014 The Factor (61), who has his first 3-year-olds, has the highest number of yearlings in Books 3-6, with Tapizar (49) and Bodemeister (45) also from the F2014 sire group. Verrazano (54), Will Take Charge (42), and Cairo Prince (40) represent F2016 sires, with their first crops selling, along with WinStar’s Fed Biz (43, also has two in Book 2 for 45 total), a ‘market darling’ in his own right whose stock has impressed a lot of judges, and Spendthrift’s Goldencents (also 43), a dual GI Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner from Into Mischief’s first crop. Sires with first 2-year-olds with 40+ catalogued in Book 3-6 include Paynter (54) and Shanghai Bobby (53). Into Mischief (44), by the way, is the one proven sire whom we had mentioned earlier with 40+ catalogued in the ‘back books’.

Five other sires have 40+ catalogued in Books 3-6. Ramsey Farm’s Kitten’s Joy has 49 in the back books, 77 overall as he also has seven in the Fasig Turf sale and 21 in Books 1-2. Three F2012 sires (first 5-year-olds) are on this list: WinStar’s Super Saver (52 in Books 3-6, 66 total); Ashford’s Munnings (42, plus one in Book 2); and Spendthrift’s Temple City, who is the top sire in the Fasig sale, with 18. He also has four in Books 1-2 and 40 in Books 3-6 (62 total). Lane’s End’s F2013 Twirling Candy, whose first foals are 4-year-olds, has 42 in the ‘back books’, plus four in Book 2. That crop’s leader, Ashford’s Uncle Mo, has 43 in Books 1-2 and another 30 in Books 3-6, for a total of 73 through the entire sales fortnight. Our thanks to TDN’s Heather Anderson, who compiled the tables we’ve used for last week’s and this week’s columns.

Contact Bill Oppenheim at [email protected] (cc [email protected]).

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