West Coast's First Yearlings Show Classic Potential

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Champion West Coast is represented by seven yearlings at the upcoming Fasig-Tipton July Sale. Asuncion Pineyrua

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While there are certainly some strong contenders vying for this year's Champion 3-Year-Old Colt title, it's still possible that the future recipient hasn't yet had his breakout win. Perhaps, he wasn't even seen in a Triple Crown race.

In the past 20 years, two colts have managed to earn the crown for Eclipse Champion 3-Year-Old Male despite having skipped the Triple Crown trail. The first was Arrogate, who did not make his graded stakes debut until his famed 13 1/2-length, record-setting GI Travers.

The second came the following year.

A $425,000 2015 Keeneland September Sale purchase, West Coast (Flatter-Caressing, by Honour and Glory) broke his maiden early in his sophomore year and then came within a head in the GIII Lexington S. before earning five straight wins. After victories in the Easy Goer S. at Belmont and the GIII Los Alamitos Derby, the Gary and Mary West colorbearer got his signature score in the GI Travers. Setting the pace early, the speedy bay was never passed, defeating a field that featured each 2017 Classic winner–Always Dreaming, Cloud Computing and Tapwrit.

West Coast's Travers was really a coming-out party for him,” Lane's End's Bill Farish said. “He ran all three Classic winners from that year into the ground and the way he did it, pulling away from them, is what was the most impressive thing to me.”

West Coast returned to the winner's circle in his next start with an effortless performance in the GI Pennsylvania Derby.

After a third-place finish in the 2017 GI Breeders' Cup Classic, the reigning 3-year-old champ returned at four to run second to Gun Runner in the GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S., earning a 117 Beyer Speed Figure, followed by game second-place efforts in the G1 Dubai World Cup and GI Awesome Again S.

The son of Flatter retired to Lane's End Farm in 2019 with earnings of over $5.8 million as the leading earner for his sire. Out of Caressing, a juvenile Eclipse and Breeders' Cup champion, West Coast is also a half -brother to graded stakes-placed horses Gold Hawk (Empire Maker) and Juan and Bina (Indian Charlie).

“He just showed so much ability,” Farish said. “We love to see a 3-year-old with multiple Grade I wins. They generally have a great chance to make it at stud.”

Off at an initial fee of $35,000, West Coast bred 168 mares in his first year at stud, followed by an additional 103 the following season at the same fee. With first yearlings now preparing to see the sales ring, he stands this year for $20,000.

Lane's End has five West Coast foals on the ground this year including this youngster, a son of four-time stakes horse producer Rehear (Coronado's Quest). | Alys Emson

West Coast has gotten off to a great start,” Farish said. “He had a full first book, so he has a good representative crop of yearlings this year. We're very optimistic about how they look and how they'll do at the sales.”

Farish explained how their goal from the start was to see West Coast thrive as a Classic-producing sire.

West Coast is a well-made, good-sized horse with plenty of scope. He looks wonderful. I think people come and see him, and it's what they're hoping to see. With his pedigree in being an A.P. Indy-line horse, the possibilities are that he's going to get you a good Classic-type, two-turn horse.”

Farish confirmed that this first crop of yearlings reflect what they had visualized for West Coast's progeny.

“They really remind you of him,” he said. “They've got size, scope and really look like they're going to be two-turn horses. That's what we've always tried to breed for and that's what he has delivered.”

One West Coast yearling at Lane's End that received high praise from Farish is a filly out of the St. Elias Stable-owned mare Playtime (Street Cry {Ire}). The youngster is a half-sister to this year's GII Appalachian S. winner Jouster (Noble Mission {GB}).

“She's a super filly,” Farish said of the yearling. “She's bred by St. Elias and they're not sure if they're going to sell her or keep her. I think they may be thinking about keeping her. But she's really been a standout from right after she was born.”

Another West Coast yearling foaled at Lane's End has been on Farish's watch list from day one. Out of Irish Jasper, a daughter of First Defence raced to Grade II victory by W.S. Farish and David Mackie, the colt was foaled in March last year.

“He's one of the best colts we have on the farm,” Farish said. “He's one we're going to keep and race. We're excited to see him on the track, but he really is a nice-looking individual.”

Irish Jasper was bred back to West Coast and has another colt on the ground this year.

At last year's sales, 24 West Coast weanlings sold from 34 offered. As a group, they averaged $53,625. The top lot, a colt out of Joannie (Smart Strike), brought $200,000 at Keeneland November.

Agent Renee Dailey found a weanling by the Lane's End sire at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale that she couldn't leave without. She purchased the filly for $65,000.

West Coast filly out of Fixate sells as Hip 156 with the Four Star Sales consignment at the Fasig-Tipton July Sale.

“The filly was the second foal out of the young mare Fixate (Bodemeister), who is a half-sister to MGSW and sire Air Support (Smart Strike) and is from the family of MGISW and sire Coronado's Quest,” Dailey explained. “She was a beautiful physical, I loved her walk, she was a good-sized, strong filly and was very straightforward.”

The owner and operator of Dailey Bloodstock purchased the filly for $65,000 and, according to Dailey, the youngster has blossomed this year.

“She has a lot of stretch and she's very racey, but with a powerful hip and shoulder and a lovely head and neck. We put her in the July sale because we thought she would be a good representation of the sire for the first showing of his yearlings.”

Dailey said she has been excited by the prospecting of selling West Coast's progeny since she first saw the horse in person.

“I was a huge fan of West Coast when he was on the track and won impressively in the Pennsylvania Derby and I was so excited to get to see his foals,” she said. “I was impressed with his physical every time I saw him in the paddock and that's how I picked this filly. I thought she looked so much like her daddy. I think he's stamping his foals. The filly, as well as many of the other ones I've seen, have his strong body, big hip and lovely topline.”

Dailey's pinhook prospect will sell as one of seven West Coast yearlings in the upcoming Fasig-Tipton July Sale on July 13. The filly will be offered as Hip 156 with the Four Star Sales consignment.

Other notable pedigrees from West Coast's Fasig-Tipton yearlings include Hip 12, a filly out of GII Adirondack S. winner Designer Legs (Graeme Hall), as well as Hip 77, a filly out of SW Sharp Sally (Posse), a full sister to dual GISW Annals of Time (Temple City). View West Coast's full Fasig-Tipton roster here.

“Buyers are going to appreciate that he's an A.P Indy-line stallion, that he had brilliance and that he's getting good-looking yearlings,” Farish said. “I'm very optimistic.”

Miss one the first four features from our 2021 First-Crop Yearling Sire series? Click here for the full archive.

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