Sky Mesa

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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Taking Stock: Performance vs. Stud Fee for the Small Owner-Breeder

By the time a stallion has established himself at stud, his fee is usually determined by performance, not the hype that surrounds new horses when they first enter stud. There are, of course, many ways to measure performance, including progeny earnings (which determines placement on the General Sires list), percent of black-type winners to named foals, quality of runners, number of Grade l winners, etc. There are seven thoroughly proven stallions that will stand for $150,000 or more in North America in 2021, and these elite horses--Into Mischief ($225,000), Tapit...

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GSW Lucullan Sold, Relocated to South America

A syndicate of breeders headed by Argentina's Haras La Layenda has purchased Godolphin's graded stakes winner Lucullan (Hard Spun--Golden Velvet, by Seeking the Gold) for the 2020 Southern Hemisphere breeding season. A six-time winner with earnings of $510,925, Lucullan captured the GII Knickerbocker S. last fall at Belmont. He is out of a MGSW/GISP dam who is a half-sister to GISW and sire Sky Mesa (Pulpit) as well as the dam of top GI Kentucky Derby contender Maxfield (Street Sense).

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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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Alibi Reaching for the Sky

For an instructive snapshot of what's wrong with this business, just take a look at the plunge in the going rate for yearlings by almost all sires represented by their second crop. Not even the most precocious, remember, have yet launched half their named foals onto the track; while most of those whose stock will only flourish with maturity, and two turns, have barely dipped a toe in the water. Yet only a handful, having achieved an early impact from a low base, have actually advanced their averages. For the...

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Picture 'Perfect' in Adirondack

Tracy Farmer's Perfect Alibi, a beaten favorite last out, made amends in a big way when prevailing in a roughly-run renewal of the GII Adirondack S. Sunday at Saratoga. An impressive first-out victress May 16 at Churchill when dusting a field of maidens by 9 1/2 lengths, the $220,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga pickup was shipped to Belmont for the June 6 Astoria S. and ran in spots before coming up three-quarters of a length short to debuting 'TDN Rising Star' Maryanorginger (Strong Mandate). Let go as the distant third choice here...

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