Kentucky Value Sires

Kentucky Sires for 2021: Fifth-Crop Stallions

Today we come to a final group of stallions whose development we're treating separately, before wrapping up our series with a look at those survivors who made it across the highwire and can be grouped together as "Established Sires." (After which we'll also be taking a tour of regional stallions.) In the last couple of instalments, we've observed the Kentucky talent pool in each intake rapidly drying up, so that our review of third- and fourth-crop options respectively encompassed 18 and just six stallions. And we are left with a...

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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: Third-Crop Sires, Part II

This is the second half of the latest instalment in our ongoing series examining stallion options for the new breeding season, featuring sires about to launch their third crop of juveniles. The first part, dealing with the likes of American Pharoah and Constitution, can be read here.  We wrapped up yesterday with the first two of three horses retired to Lane's End after filling the frame in an epic race for the GI Whitney S. in 2015. The third, Tonalist (Tapit--Settling Mist, by Pleasant Colony), has somehow always seemed to...

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Kentucky Sires for 2021: Third-Crop Sires, Part I

It's now or never, guys! The deeper we go into our survey of Kentucky covering options for 2021, the fewer stallions remain standing. And those we reach today, about to launch a third crop of juveniles, have entered a decisive stage of their climb. Two or three are ascending confidently toward the next ridge; a handful are clinging tenaciously to a ledge; but many are now slithering unhappily down through the scree. Several have already disappeared into regional or overseas programs. For now, the leading Bluegrass farms are persevering with...

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Kentucky Sires for 2021: First Sophomores–Part II

This is the second half of the latest instalment in our ongoing survey of covering options for the new breeding season. The first part can be read here. UPSTART (Flatter--Party Silks, by Touch Gold) was cleverly named and I think him a very plausible type, likely to rise pretty quickly through the ranks. Certainly there were more than enough "nouveaux riches" among his first juveniles--only Not This Time exceeded his 19 winners (from 54 starters)--for him to be pegged at $10,000 by Airdrie. His principal earner was Reinvestment Risk, who...

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Kentucky Sires for 2021, First Yearlings: Part I

As we all know, the more a stallion has to prove, the more the market indulges him. As each intake shows more of its hand, however, breeders become progressively more nervous of young sires disproving judgements that are themselves typically more concerned with the anticipation of demand at the sales, than of any potency they may (or may not) be able to recycle on the track. In this third instalment of our survey, then, we begin our descent of the slippery slope with the first group to offer a hint...

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KY Value Sires for 2021: First Foals: Part II

Thursday, Chris McGrath covered the first half of the Kentucky stallions with first weanlings. Click here to read about Omaha Beach, Vino Rosso, Mitole, Audible, Catholic Boy and Yoshida. Part II appears below. Unusually enough, this intake includes a third Grade I winner on both dirt and grass in WORLD OF TROUBLE (Kantharos--Meets Expectations by Valid Expectations), held at $15,000 by Hill 'n' Dale. This was an unusually efficient machine for the chaotic environment of the sprint division. His only defeat in his final eight starts measured by the neck...

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Kentucky Value Sires, Part VI: Third-Crop Sires

So now we come to a group who will typically, at this stage of their careers, find themselves clinging by their fingertips to the commercial precipice--even as the agents and pinhookers press down ruthlessly with their boots. Yes, any breeder using these stallions this spring will at least have some valid evidence with which to evaluate what tends, in many cases, to be a dwindling fee: a first group of sophomores in 2019, backed up by the most precocious juveniles of their second crop. These, nonetheless, should by any sensible...

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Kentucky Value Sires 2020, Part V: First 3-Year-Olds

After surveying the four intakes since, each still safely immune from judgement on the track itself, today we finally reach the first group of stallions who have actually tested their ability to replicate the talent that first earned them--however marginally, in some cases--a place at stud. Their first juveniles, last year, at least permitted some initial response to any erosion of their reputations, through the notoriously jittery and impressionable consensus of the yearling market. Yet there are few more instructive indices of the odds against them than the contrast between...

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Kentucky Sires for 2020 IV: First 2-Year-Olds

Through the first three installments of this series, we've repeatedly complained about ever-more manic investment in unproven stallions and the resulting potential for chronic deterioration in the gene pool. So we won't reprise the theme today, other than to remark that this situation creates a rather more immediate and specific challenge for the next group under review. Because while second- and third-season stallions can still offer breeders the possibility of riding an early vogue, this lot have just been exposed to the judgment of the yearling market--which history reveals to...

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