By Bill Oppenheim
It's now official: Coolmore's Galileo was the leading North American/European sire of 2016 by worldwide progeny earnings from Northern Hemisphere-sired crops (click here), with 2016 worldwide progeny earnings of $30,086,073. For at least the third consecutive year (TDN has archived these figures beginning in 2014) he was the leading NA/EU sire in all six black-type categories we designate, with 39 Black-Type Winners (BTW), of which 30 were 2016 Group/Graded SW (GSW), and 14 were Group 1/Grade I winners (G1W). He had a total of 71 Black-Type Horses (BTH), of which an amazing 54 were Group/Graded Stakes Horses (GSH), and an even more amazing 24 were Group 1/Grade I horses (G1H). He is the champion British/Irish sire for the eighth time. He was also leading European sire of 2-year-olds again last year (click here), with 12 2-year-old BTH (tied with War Front for the lead among all NA/EU sires), three 2-year-old Group 1 winners, and seven 2-year-old Group 1 Horses.
Chris McGrath reviewed Galileo's history in some detail in Sunday's paper (click here), and it has to be said, just as his predecessor at Ballydoyle, Vincent O'Brien, is forever identified with Northern Dancer, so Aidan O'Brien will be forever identified with Galileo, so when McGrath cites what Aidan O'Brien says about Galileo, it's worth paying attention.
Up until the end of last week some of the real greats were archived in the TDN Cumulative General Sire List, but somehow with the changing of the year the data generated by TJCIS (The Jockey Club Information Systems), which populates these tables, no longer includes Sadler's Wells, Danehill, Storm Cat, or Danzig. However, their statistics haven't changed in the last week, so let's look at Galileo's lifetime Northern Hemisphere-sired statistics in comparison to some of the other greats of the last 25 years:
Average foals per crop: Galileo 145, Danehill 102, Sadler's Wells 95, Storm Cat 67, A.P. Indy 65
Percentage of GSW/named foals: Galileo 7.78%, Sadler's Wells 7.66%, Storm Cat 7.58%, A.P. Indy 7.43%, Danehill 7.37%
Percentage of GSH/named foals: Sadler's Wells 14.72%, Galileo 14.07%, A.P. Indy 13.26%, Storm Cat 13.10%, Danehill 12.79%
Percentage of G1W/named foals: Sadler's Wells 3.35%, Galileo 3.26%, Danehill 2.92%, Storm Cat 2.48%, A.P. Indy 2.45%
Percentage of G1H/named foals: Sadler's Wells 7.38%, Galileo 6.06%, A.P. Indy 5.57%, Danehill 5.35%, Storm Cat 4.04%
The ultimate champion by percentages among sires listed in the cumulative table is Danzig, who averaged just 45 named foals per crop, and whose comparable figures were: 10.52% GSW; 18.06% GSH; 4.28% G1W; 7.26% G1H. Not that this is a scoop either, but it does illustrate that when foal crop sizes doubled the percentages fell. In any case, all this helps quantify how Galileo rates among the recent greats. In 12 crops of foals to date, Galileo has sired 207 BTW, 345 BTH (that's nearly 30 a crop!); 136 GSW (more than 11 a crop), 246 GSH (more than 20 a crop); 57 G1W (almost five a crop; McGrath credited him with 62, which will include Southern Hemisphere-sired etc.), 106 G1H (almost nine per crop).
In North America, Gainesway's Tapit recorded his third consecutive wide-margin sires' championship with his third consecutive record-breaking year by progeny earnings (click here). In 2014, the first year he was champion sire, Tapit had 150 winners and earners of $18.6-million, over $5-million clear of runner-up Giant's Causeway. In 2015 he sired 175 winners and the earners of $19.1-million, $5.5-million clear of runner-up Medaglia D'Oro; and, in 2016, Tapit again broke his own record, siring 149 winners and the earners of $19.9-million, over $7-million clear of runner-up Curlin. Message: at this moment, Tapit is in a class of his own among North American sires. He's been an average of nearly $6-million clear of three different runners-up in the last three years. We spell that d-o-m-i-n-a-n-t.
Claiborne's War Front nipped Tapit by number of 2016 BTW by a North American sire, 22 to 21, but Tapit was once again the leading North American sire in all the other black-type categories, with 15 GSW and five Grade I winners (tied with Curlin), and 53 BTH, including 36 Graded SH and 10 Grade I horses. Cumulatively, from 967 foals in nine crops of racing age (107/crop), Tapit has sired 599 winners and the earners of $107.4-million, of which over half has come in the last three years; and arguably, since 2017 is just Tapit's third year as a $300,000 stallion (meaning his first sired at that fee are just yearlings of 2017), Tapit may only really be just getting started as a dominant sire. As long as he sustains the percentages he has racked up in the last three years, Tapit could easily be champion sire for another five years. He's only really just getting started as a sire of sires and broodmare sire, as well.
Other Leading Sires of 2016…
Leading Sire of 2-Year-Olds in 2016:
NA: Spendthrift's Into Mischief, ultimately by well over $600,000 over War Front, and Into Mischief was also leading sire by 2-year-old winners, with 36; I call that a remarkable achievement with his first big crop of 2-year-olds.
EU: Galileo, with three 2-year-old Group 1 winners, including top European 2-year-old, Churchill.
Leading Freshman Sires of 2016:
NA: Darby Dan's Dialed In, a son of Mineshaft who won the 2011 GI Florida Derby, had a BTW at Laurel Dec. 31 and finished up with a margin of $95,000 over Lane's End's 2011 GI Champagne S. and 2012 GI Belmont S. winner Union Rags (Dixie Union) (click here). Union Rags has bigger crops out of better mares to follow, but Dialed In looks absolutely for real.
EU: Juddmonte's Frankel (Galileo), by a mile (click here), his six GSW including a Group 1 winner in Japan. They only have to train on, with no doubt some new additions from his first 3-year-olds, for him to be the most exciting new stallion, well, maybe ever.
Leading Second-Crop Sires of 2016:
NA: Coolmore's Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie) sired the earners of $12.5-million in 2016 (click here), including 18 BTW (10 GSW, two GI winners), 31 BTH (19 GSH, 5 GIH). He ranked 3rd on the North American 2016 General Sire List. That takes him to a total of 22 BTW, of which 12 are GSW and three are Grade I winners, with his first two crops, through the end of 2016. He could be the next dominant sire in North America.
EU: Haras D'Etreham's Wootton Bassett (Iffraaj), sire of Europe's top 3-year-old of 2016, Almanzor, leads Coolmore's Zoffany (Dansili) by 2016 earnings (click here). Zoffany is the cumulative leader by earnings, and by all black-type categories, with 10 BTW (6 GSW) and 15 BTH (9 GSH). They are the only two European second-crop sires of 2016 with a Group 1 winner so far.
Leading Third-Crop Sires of 2016:
NA: Lane's End's Quality Road (Elusive Quality) and Coolmore Ashford's Munnings (Speightstown) are the two standouts here. Quality Road led the 2016 North American third-crop list with the earners of $6.4-million (click here), including five GSW and three Grade I winners. Munnings led 2016 NA third-crop sires with 10 BTW and leads the cumulative NA 3rd-crop list with 19 BTW (click here), and is some $200,000 ahead of Quality Road by cumulative progeny earnings, both over $11-million.
EU: Ballylinch's Lope De Vega (Shamardal) was the clear leader among European third-crop sires in 2016 (click here), and is the overall third-crop European leader by earnings and by all black-type categories, including 20 BTW and 11 GSW.