Taking Stock: The Kingmans in America

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KingmanJuddmonte

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Juddmonte's European-based Kingman (GB) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) is one of the best young stallions in the world. Through four crops of racing age, Kingman is represented to date by 42 black-type winners, 22 of them group or graded winners, four at the highest level. Moreover, he sires black-type winners at a rate of 9% from foals. In these days of big books, that's an excellent ratio. For comparison, Juddmonte's outstanding sire Frankel (GB) (Galileo {Ire}) gets 10% black-type winners from foals, while Frankel's legendary sire got 11%.

Kingman is keeping heady company, and he caught the attention of some American owners early, most notably from Seth Klarman's Klaravich Stable and Peter Brant. Chad Brown trains for both owners and is behind a number of Kingmans that have won or placed in graded races over the last three weeks, reminding us once again that Kingman is that rare European stallion with a particularly sharp record over American turf tracks.

On Saturday, Klaravich's 3-year-old colt Public Sector (GB) (Kingman {GB}) won the Gll Hill Prince S. at nine furlongs over the inner turf course at Belmont–his third consecutive graded score, following wins in the Glll Saranac S. over a mile and a sixteenth on the inner turf at Saratoga and the Gll National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame S. over a mile on the same course. Altogether, Public Sector has won five of nine starts with three second-place finishes and has earned almost $600,000.

The weekend before, Klaravich's 3-year-old filly Technical Analysis (Ire) was second to runaway winner Shantisara (Ire) (Coulsty {Ire})–also trained by Brown–in the Gl Queen Elizabeth ll Challenge Cup S. Presented by Dixiana at Keeneland over nine furlongs on turf. Prior to the Queen Elizabeth, Technical Analysis had won the Gll Lake Placid S. over a mile and a sixteenth on the inner turf course at Saratoga and the Glll Lake George S. at a mile on the same course. Technical Analysis has a record of four wins from seven starts with two placings and has earned almost $400,000.

The weekend before that, Peter Brant's 5-year-old Serve the King (GB), a member of Kingman's first crop, was second to the Brown-trained Rockemperor (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}) in the Gl Joe Hirsch Turf Classic over 12 furlongs on turf at Belmont. A listed winner, Serve the King has won four of 10 starts with three placings and earned almost $300,000, and it looks as if he's on the verge of landing a graded race sometime soon.

Brown also trains Klaravich's 4-year-old Kingman gelding Domestic Spending (GB), the best of them all. Most recently he was second as the heavy favorite in the Gl Mr. D. over 10 furlongs on turf at Arlington in August, but before that had won three consecutive Grade l races on grass: the Hollywood Derby over nine furlongs at Del Mar; the nine-furlong Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic at Churchill; and the 10-furlong Resorts World Casino Manhattan S. over the inner course at Belmont. All told, Domestic Spending has won six of eight starts and earned $1.4 million.

Brown also trained the stakes winner and Grade lll-placed She's Got You (GB) (Kingman {GB}), a 5-year-old homebred mare for John and Tanya Gunther, plus several other stakes-placed, allowance, and maiden Kingman winners, mostly for Klaravich and Brant, who sourced these horses mostly from the Tattersalls October yearling sale's Book 1.

Brown obviously knows how to prepare the Kingmans for U.S. racing, as they fall into his wheelhouse as a master of turf horses, but that they succeed regularly here under American training conditions and on harder surfaces than in Europe is a testament to their adaptability–no small feat. One other thing about them: they consistently exhibit acceleration and “try,” always fighting to the finish, and those are the precious attributes that make a world-class sire.

The Kingmans tend to excel from a mile to a mile and a quarter both in Europe and the U.S., and this season the stallion is represented in Europe by the outstanding 4-year-old miler Palace Pier (GB), who'd won three consecutive Group 1 races before going down by a neck to Baaeed (GB) (Sea the Stars {Ire}) in the G1 Queen Elizabeth ll S. at Ascot Oct. 16. Palace Pier is a winner of nine races from 11 starts and has earned the equivalent of $2.4 million. He'll enter stud next year at Darley.

Kingman, a son of Invincible Spirit (Ire) and very much a Danzig-line horse by type and aptitude, was himself an outstanding miler for Khalid Abdullah, winning seven of eight starts. His lone loss, as the 6/4 favorite in the G1 2000 Guineas, was a shocker when he was nipped in the dying stages of the race by 40-1 Night of Thunder (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), but he went on to win four consecutive Group 1 races after that: the Irish 2000 Guineas, the St. James's Palace (from Night of Thunder); the Sussex; and the Prix Jacques le Marois.

He entered stud at Juddmonte's Banstead Manor in 2015 as the highest-rated horse of 2014 on Timeform and covered mares in his first year at a fee of £55,000. This year, it was  £150,000. There's nothing like success to bolster demand, and Kingman was a hit off the bat with a first-crop Classic-winning miler, Persian King (Ire), who served his first mares this year at Haras d'Etreham in France.

 

Klaravich

Kingman's first yearlings were offered at auction in 2017, and that year Klaravich purchased one colt by the stallion for the equivalent of $167,290 among the six yearlings the stable took home from Tattersalls October Book 1 for a total of $1.8 million.

The stars of that group were Grade l winners Newspaperofrecord (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}) and Digital Age (Ire) (Invincible Spirit) and listed winner Value Proposition (GB) (Dansili {GB}), but the Kingman colt Good Governance (GB), a $167,290 purchase, was talented if not sound. He'd won his first start by a nose at three in a maiden special at Saratoga and was then thrown into stakes company in his next start, the Glll Saranac at Saratoga. Good Governance made a fight of it, finishing second by a neck, but he wasn't seen again until the following year. At four, he won an allowance at Belmont on his season debut, then ran third in the Gll Bernard Baruch before going on the shelf again. He's made one start this year, a fourth-place finish in an Aqueduct AOC in April, and hasn't raced since, but his early class, plus the top-level race the stable won with Digital Age, a horse by Kingman's sire, no doubt made the stable return to the well the following year.

In 2018 at the same venue, Klaravich bought 10 yearlings for $2.9 million by such sires as Lope de Vega, Sea the Stars (Ire), Dansili, Gleneagles (Ire) and Australia (GB), but the best of the lot and the only Grade l winner among the group was Kingman's Domestic Spending, a $413,973 buy. The only other Kingman from this group, the colt Principled Stand (GB), a $288,701 purchase, is a winner of two of three starts and looks like he's got a future.

In 2019 at Tattersalls October Book 1, Klaravich bought 15 yearlings for $3.8 million, and included among this group that featured colts and fillies by such as Lope de Vega, Shamardal, Invincible Spirit, and Dubawi were four Kingmans. Two of them are the aforementioned Grade ll winners Technical Analysis, who cost $258,109, and Public Sector, a $217,822 buy, and they are the only black-type winners from this group so far.

With this type of record with Kingman, it's only a matter of time before other American owners start copying the Klaravich formula, and why not?

Sid Fernando is president and CEO of Werk Thoroughbred Consultants, Inc., originator of the Werk Nick Rating and eNicks.

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