Value Sires

Value Sires Part 4: First 2-Year-Olds

The wait is very nearly over for the young pretenders we will examine in this fourth installation of our multi-part Value Sires series: stallions with their first runners in 2021. While the full verdicts must be delayed until these are given a fair shake with their first full seasons with 2- and 3-year-olds, the reality is that the first juvenile races in the coming months will be akin to a perpetual Christmas morning in the bloodstock world, with each of us eager to unwrap the packages we have been examining...

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Value Sires: First Yearlings of 2021

In the third installation of our Value Sires series, we will dig into the sire crop with its first foals born in 2020, and therefore with its first yearlings this year. After some two years in waiting since most of these retired to stud, the judges got the chance at the recently concluded foal sales to lay eyes on the first progeny of most of them, and though it is still incredibly early days, their opinions, corroborated through their actions in the ring, will have an impact on the perception...

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Value Sires Part I: The Newcomers

The calendar has turned at last, with likely many more than usual looking for a fresh start in a new year. Even outside the midst of a global pandemic, the excitement of a new sire crop typically provides plenty of reason for excitement and optimism, despite the fact the very few of the 30-something young pretenders preparing to stand their first seasons in the UK, Ireland and France will truly 'make it.' But isn't that the point? Those made of thick enough stuff to be involved in the breeding and...

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Kentucky Value Sires for 2021–First Juveniles, Part II

This is the second part of the latest instalment in our ongoing series assessing stallion options for the new covering season, now tackling sires who have just sold their first yearlings. The first part, which appeared in Tuesday's edition, can be read here. Dixie Union has achieved quite a legacy as a broodmare sire and, following on from Mohaymen (Tapit), two other stallions in this group are out of his daughters. KLIMT (Quality Road-Inventive by Dixie Union) has maintained an industrial output through his first three books at Darby Dan,...

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Kentucky Sires for 2021, First Yearlings: Part II

Thursday, Chris McGrath covered the first half of the Kentucky stallions with first yearlings. Click here to read about Justify, City of Light, West Coast, Mendelssohn, Good Magic, Bolt d'Oro, and Always Dreaming. The second part appears below. ACCELERATE (Lookin At Lucky--Issues, by Awesome Again) has also been trimmed to $17,500, at Lane's End, having already been our "gold" value pick of the intake at an opening $20,000. Whatever made him attractive then has scarcely diminished in the meantime, given that he was never going to appeal to those fast-buck...

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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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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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The Nomination Struggle: Mark Toothaker

Chris McGrath's Value Sires series in the TDN has frequently touched on the difficulty in selling nominations to stallions in their third-year at stud, as well as to solid, established stallions standing for a moderate fee. We asked stallion managers and nominations teams as well as bloodstock agents what changes could be made, if any, to help the situation. If I knew the answer to this, it would sure make my job a whole lot easier. I wish I had an easy answer or the ability to know how to...

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20/20 Vision: Ross Doyle

In this TDN series we ask a group of experts for their predictions for the 2020 flat season in Europe. Today we hear from Ross Doyle. TDN: Who do you think will be the leading first-season sire this year? RD: We really liked the yearlings by Territories (Ire) and The Last Lion (Ire), but we will have to go with our old friend Mehmas (Ire). TDN: Have you bought any yearlings by Mehmas? Does he typically stamp his stock? RD: We bought four by him. They are great physicals, strong,...

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Kentucky Value Sires 2020, Part III: First Yearlings

We've taken a breather in this series during the January Sale, where I shared many conversations on themes raised in its first two parts--notably the market's addiction to unproven stallions. Time after time, it was the same story. A shrug of the shoulders, a helpless spreading of the hands: "Yes, we know it's nuts. But we have to make the game pay." Fair enough. It's a bit like the individual who asks why he or she should make a massively inconvenient personal sacrifice, with regard to the climate crisis, when...

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