By Katie Ritz
Two ‘TDN Rising Stars’ have found their way onto the growing stallion roster at Spendthrift Farm. Coal Front (Stay Thirsty) and Maximus Mischief (Into Mischief) earned the ‘Rising Star’ title in their first and second starts, respectively, and both went on to become graded stakes winners. Both of these new sires will be a part of Spendthrift’s Share the Upside program, allowing breeders to have a continued breeding right throughout a stallion’s career. Spendthrift’s Stallion Sales Manager Mark Toothaker spoke to us about how the two were settling in and the first reactions from breeders.
Toothaker said he believes Coal Front is one of the most striking freshman sires coming in this year. “He’s such a well-balanced horse. He’s got a big hip and is very correct, but just has eye-dropping beauty.” He said that breeders have already been drawn to him as well. “When you let him out onto the show ring and stand him up to people, they just step back and say, ‘Man, that is just about as pretty a horse as they make them.'”
The son of Bernardini’s Stay Thirsty was a $575,000 2-year-old purchase, bought by Robert LaPenta at the 2016 OBS April sale. Coal Front is out of the Mineshaft mare Miner’s Secret, and is a half to Conquest Titan (Birdstone), a stakes winner at two that went on to place second to Cairo Prince (Pioneerof the Nile) in the GII Holy Bull S. at three. Miner’s Secret is a half to the multiple graded stakes winner Woodlander (Forestry), as well as to stakes winner and sire Admiral Alex (Afleet Alex).
Coal Front is crossed 3×3 to A.P. Indy, which Toothaker said breeders have taken note of as well. “He’s really the best performer on that cross at three-by-three. A lot of people who are really into pedigrees are excited about Coal Front, and I think breeders are going to find a whole gold mine of genetics that they can tap into to get a great chance at a quality horse.”
Coal Front earned ‘Rising Star’ status on debut, breaking his maiden at Keeneland as a 3-year-old and beating the field by 6 1/2 lengths. He went on to take the GII Amsterdam S. at Saratoga and Parx’s GIII Gallant Bob S. later that year.
At four, he won the GIII Mr. Prospector S., and then claimed three more stakes wins the next year including the G2 Godolphin Mile at Meydan and the GIII Razorback H. at Oaklawn. Toothaker said he recalls the Razorback as one of his most impressive wins. “He drew the 14 hole that day, but was able to overcome that disadvantage and win in a very impressive fashion.”
The Razorback was also Coal Front’s first time stretching out to a mile and a sixteenth, and he won by a neck, getting past graded stakes winners Copper Bullet (More Than Ready) and Rated R Superstar (Kodiak Kowboy).
Coal Front retired after his 5-year-old season, finishing with over $1.8 million in earnings. Each of his five graded stakes was won at different tracks and at different distances, from six furlongs to 1 1/16 miles. Toothaker said of Coal Front’s versatility, “Coal Front didn’t need to have his own racetrack, he could take his track with him. He won at different distances all over the world. Breeders are going to love his versatility, and be very impressed with how talented he was.”
Followed by leading second-crop sire Goldencents, Maximus Mischief will become the second son of Into Mischief to join his sire at Spendthrift. But Toothaker said he believes Maximus Mischief will offer a new type of Into Mischief to breeders. “Maximus Mischief is a different kind of Into Mischief. He has a lot of size and scope, standing at 16.3. He has a beautiful length of neck and shoulder. He stands over so much ground, more than what we see in a typical Into Mischief.”
Maximus Mischief was purchased by Charles Zacney for Cash is King LLC and LC Racing for $340,000 at the 2018 Fasig Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale. He is the second foal out of the Songandaprayer mare Reina Maria, a half to Grade I-winning juvenile Secret Compass (Discreet Cat). Toothaker said, “He gets his stretch from the female line. It’s a really solid family, and breeders are going to be happy with an Into Mischief with some size.”
Toothaker said the colt’s early career was defined by precocity and speed. “When you think of this horse, you think about raw talent–a horse just oozing with ability. In each of his races, he showed remarkable ability and a tremendous amount of talent.”
As a 2-year-old, Maximus Mischief broke his maiden on debut at Parx, defeating the field by almost nine lengths. He went on to claim an allowance at the same track by six lengths, earning ‘TDN Rising Star’ status. The victory earned a 98 Beyer Speed Figure, the fastest recorded by a 2-year-old in 2018.
From there, he traveled to Aqueduct for the GII Remsen S. at nine furlongs. Breaking strongly, he went to the front and led the field through the race, fending off eventual GII winner Tax (Arch) and crossing the wire over two lengths ahead of Network Effect (Mark Valeski). Toothaker said of the Remsen, “He just crushed the field that day. It was one of those jaw-dropping performances that you’re like, ‘Wow, this horse is so talented.'”
After an undefeated 2-year-old season, Maximus Mischief entered the GII Holy Bull S. Although he finished third, a soft-tissue injury led to the decision to retire the colt. Toothaker said, “You start getting Derby dreams at that point, but unfortunately the injury ended his career.”
It was announced in September that Maximus Mischief would stand at Spendthrift. Toothaker said, “With the start that Goldencents has given us, our breeders have been clamoring for another son of Into Mischief. We were anxious to get back to the well and provide them one.”
Toothaker said he is excited to offer both of these new sires as a part of Spendthrift’s Share the Upside program that allows breeders a lifetime breeding right after paying the first stud fee and then sending a mare back to the stallion in the second year. “The thing we have found with this program is that nobody knows which one of these stallions is going to hit. The last of Into Mischief’s original breeding rights was sold last year for $550,000.
“By taking a chance with the program, you know we are going to market these stallions and work hard to get them mares that will give them a tremendous chance so that you really have something one day in their breeding right.”