Regally-Bred, Grade I-Caliber Homebreds Join Darley Roster

New Darley sires Mystic Guide and Speaker's Corner hail from Grade I-winning Godolphin families Sara Gordon

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Speaker's Corner (Street Sense – Tyburn Brook, by Bernardini) and Mystic Guide (Ghostzapper – Music Note, by A.P. Indy), both Grade I-winning homebreds for Godolphin, have joined the Darley America stallion roster for 2023.

The newcomers hail from impressive Godolphin families. Speaker's Corner, who will command an initial stud fee of $20,000, is out of a daughter of GI Breeders' Cup Distaff victress Round Pond (Awesome Again), while Mystic Guide, a 'TDN Rising Star' who will stand for $15,000, is a son of five-time Grade I winner Music Note.

“We couldn't be more excited to have Mystic Guide and Speaker's Corner join our stallion ranks,” said Darley Sales Manager Darren Fox. “Speaker's Corner is a horse that has been held in the highest esteem right from the get-go. In the mold of a lot of the Street Senses and Street Sense himself, he has a great mind. He wanted to train and was very straightforward. Mystic Guide was another one that showed a lot of talent from the start. [Trainer] Mike Stidham was high on this horse from the early days of his 2-year-old season, so it was very satisfying to see him live up to the potential and the esteem in which he was held from the early stages of his career.”

Trained by Bill Mott, Speaker's Corner broke his maiden as a juvenile at Belmont against a field of five additional future stakes winners. He made two trips to the winner's circle as a lightly-raced 3-year-old, but then blossomed at four when he cut back to a mile. The bay dominated in this year's GIII Fred W. Hopper S. and GII Gulfstream Park Mile S. before getting his signature victory in the GI Carter H., where he earned a 114 Beyer Speed Figure. Also in 2022, Speaker's Corner ran third behind Flightline (Tapit) and Life Is Good (Into Mischief) in the GI Metropolitan H. and second to Life Is Good in the GII John A. Nerud S. In 13 career starts, he collected seven triple-digit Beyers.

Out of the unraced Bernardini mare Tyburn Brook, Speaker's Corner is bred on the same cross as fellow Darley sire and Grade I winner Maxfield. The Street Sense-Bernadini mating also produced Godolphin's MGSW Shared Sense.

Fox said that the Speaker's Corner reflects the best of both sides of his pedigree.

“He has a good shoulder and good depth like we've come to know and expect from the Street Sense and Street Cry (Ire) sire line. He's a correct horse with plenty of quality to him and he has been extremely popular with breeders these past couple of months.”

Street Sense has been one of Darley America's top stallions in recent years, but from his early crops, his first five Grade I winners were all fillies. Now, the Jonabell Farm resident has the opportunity to make his mark as a sire of sires. In the past three consecutive years, he has had a new Grade I-winning son take up stud duty. Street Sense's leading earner McKinzie stands at Gainesway Farm and will be represented by his first yearlings in 2023, while Maxfield will see his first foals next year as his studmate Speaker's Corner begins his own stallion career.

Jonabell Farm's other new resident Mystic Guide has been a popular addition to Darley's roster. Fox said that much of the G1 Dubai World Cup winner's appeal is in his elite racing pedigree.

Mystic Guide's dam Music Note raced to Grade I victories in the Mother Goose S., Coaching Club American Oaks and Gazelle S. as a 3-year-old and then added the GI Ballerina S. and GI Beldame S. at four. The daughter of A.P. Indy is a half-sister to multiple Grade I winner Musical Chimes (In Excess {Ire}). Their second dam It's In The Air (Mr. Prospector) was a champion 2-year-old filly and a five-time Grade I winner.

“It is rare to have a stallion that is a direct son of an elite race mare like that,” Fox explained. “A lot of times a stallion may profile as being out of a winning or an unraced daughter of such a mare, but it is not often that you get an elite-performing stallion who is a direct son of an elite mare. This female family is so deep and there really is nothing but blacktype all the way down his pedigree page.”

On the racetrack, Mystic Guide followed in the footsteps of the many talented performers on his pedigree page. He earned 'TDN Rising Star' status in his second start as a 3-year old and later that year, scored his first stakes victory in the GII Jim Dandy. Also at three, he finished less than a length behind Happy Saver (Super Saver) in the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup S. and placed in the GIII Peter Pan S. At four, he earned a 108 Beyer in the GIII Razorback H. before going on to win the G1 Dubai World Cup.

That win marked the ninth Dubai World Cup score for Godolphin, but the first one earned from their U.S.-based racing stable. It was also the first winner outside of the U.S. for trainer Michael Stidham.

“For Godolphin to win the Dubai World Cup with a homebred and with a horse shipping over from the United States was extra special,” Fox said. “It was Michael Stidham's first time with a horse for Godolphin shipping to Dubai, so that was extra special for him to come away with the big win on his first attempt. Mystic Guide has done us proud at every step of his career and the Dubai World Cup was certainly the pinnacle of that.”

Fox added that he believes that Mystic Guide has all the qualifications to reproduce his own success on the racetrack with his future progeny.

“It's fair to say that Mystic Guide was bred for the dirt, being by Ghostzapper out of an A.P. Indy mare, and it was certainly very pleasing to watch him on the track. He had a very efficient way of going, a real daisy cutter action. He's a big, flashy chestnut with a good length of body and a good hip to him. He certainly looks like he has all the attributes to be a top dirt sire.”

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