Kentucky sires

Kentucky Sires for 2021: Established Stallions

So here we are at last, rounding the home turn. This series has unfolded in familiar fashion, with an initial stampede of unproven young stallions progressively thinned out by the impatience of a commercial sector operating in ever decreasing cycles. Today we finish with a selection from those admirable stallions who have survived the ruthless attrition, and created a viable niche at various levels of the market. The odds they have overcome, to get here, are such that the long-term health of the breed is clearly being treated as something...

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Kentucky Sires for 2021: Fourth-Crop Stallions

What a tough game this is. You only get to show the first card in your hand before virtually the whole pile of chips is distributed. One or two players gather up their winnings, whooping triumphantly, and suddenly your own hopes of staying in the game--your hopes of a viable stud career in Kentucky--depend exorbitantly on the next card. Generally speaking, it doesn't matter if you turn out to have had a whole sheaf of aces farther into your hand. By the time you can turn those over, there will...

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Kentucky Sires for 2021: First Sophomores–Part I

The stallions we reach today are the first actually to have given some initial clue as to their ability to replicate those assets that earned them a place at stud. True, only their most precocious stock have so far tested the water and it should be obvious that limited conclusions can be drawn from so small a sample of their work. But we know the apathy of commercial breeders about producing racehorses. So long as they maximize their value as yearlings, the rest is gravy. That's why they get behind...

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Life Only Gets Better for Mischief

Call it the year of authentication. After sealing his giddy rise with a first sires' championship last year, Into Mischief has retained his title in 2020 with spectacular ease. Indeed, while several of his predecessors have required a single outstanding earner to elevate them above their rivals, this most remarkable of stallions would have secured the laurels even without the $7.17 million banked by a son on the point of formal anointment as Horse of the Year. As it is, we can instead treat his latest champion, Authentic, as immediate...

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KY Value Sires For 2021: First Foals Due: Part I

What an interesting crossroads we reach with the next group of young stallions in our survey. On the one hand, you have this new dynamic in the marketplace, with Spendthrift increasingly welcoming blue-chip prospects to build on its blue-collar successes. Yes, these may be looking to build more conventional, fee-based careers, as opposed to relying on the type of innovative promotions that helped Into Mischief evolve from a source of cheap commercial speed into the champion sire of a Kentucky Derby winner (who has himself now joined the roster, of...

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Kentucky Sires 2020 VII: Established Sires

Right, that's enough ranting for now. In the course of this series, I've repeatedly professed bewilderment and alarm over the damage to the Thoroughbred gene pool threatened by a witless stampede towards unproven newcomers, and the no less puerile impatience with which they are promptly abandoned. But we won't revisit those complaints today. Embarking on this final instalment, dealing with those stallions talented or lucky enough to have come out the other side with a viable stud career in Kentucky, we'll just offer one simple consolation. Because if you're one...

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