Value Sires

Sires for 2021: The Regional Scene

After completing our marathon tour of covering options in the Bluegrass, today we take a tour of the main regional hubs. Clearly, it would be impractical to go into anything like the same depth and, besides, local breeders know their own markets best. But while we will only visit some of the principal centers, and pick out only one or two names in each, bloodstock investors anywhere can acknowledge the professionalism that unites horsemen, coast to coast, and think about the possibilities of diversification or experiment--above all in those programs...

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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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Value Sires Part 6: Proven Sires

As breeding sheds prepare to swing open their doors in the coming weeks, we bring you the final installment of our 2021 Value Sires series. Gone are the days of dissecting sales averages and speculating on the comments of the judges; these elder statesmen have proven their mettle on the racecourse, and a few of them are even available at their lowest ever fees. While value exists in all price brackets and for all budgets, we have chosen to limit the scope of this analysis to stallions standing in Europe...

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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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