Based on the results of the Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training, Speightstown is winning the popularity contest among first-crop sires. He was the top-ranked first-crop stallion and the second-ranked sire for the auction overall because of the average price of $751,250 for his four offspring that were sold.
Speightstown's progeny are fast and precocious. And, according to buyers and consignors, they look like they will carry their speed over a distance of ground.
The only knock I've heard is that Speightstown didn't do his best running until he was 6 years old, during a season for which he earned the Eclipse Award for championship sprinter.
Here's what his trainer, Todd Pletcher, had to say about that:
"I knew him from when he was a yearling and felt like he was really designed to be very precocious and a very good 2-year-old," Pletcher said. "Unfortunately, he bucked his shins the first time out at Saratoga and little things set him back, so he didn't really get to prove how good he was until later on."
Some people have said good things about Smarty Jones' first crop, but they're not drawing the rave reviews that the Speightstowns are - at least among the people I have talked to.
This, however, doesn't mean Smarty Jones won't do well as a stallion. I remember when Giant's Causeway's first crop came along and people were reluctant to talk about them, indicating off the record that they didn't have much positive to say compared to how they felt about other young stallions's progeny. But pretty is as pretty does, and the Giant's Causeways went on to do well at the racetrack, so hang in there Smarty fans.
In the end, the racetrack is the most important judge, and that's where we'll find out who the best first-crop sire of 2008 is.