Since 2003 The Blood-Horse MarketWatch has published an annual analysis of the top 400 broodmare sires by their Average Earnings Indexes (AEI). This year's study, which is featured in the April issue, includes Smart Strike for the first time because his daughters' progeny met the minimum criteria of five North American runners in 2008 and lifetime earnings of at least $5 million. Smart Strike, the broodmare sire of newly minted Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird, not only qualified but ranks among the leading 12 "young" broodmare sires. He is one of the youngest stallions on the "sires to watch" leaders list along with French Deputy and Unbridled's Song, who all had their first crops as broodmare sires foal in 2001.
MarketWatch associate editor Scot Gillies wrote in an analysis: While stock in Smart Strike has shot skyward in the wake of Curlin's repeated Horse of the Year seasons, the son of Mr. Prospector is also making a name for himself through the progeny of his daughters. He makes this year's broodmare sire list despite having less than 10% producers from fillies, one of only two stallions [of 404 on the list] to do so.
The study includes both AEIs and the Comparable Indexes (CI) for the 400+ broodmare sires and a graphic that illustrates how the AEI and CI is calculated for broodmare sires. The issue also includes leaders lists by lifetime AEI, percentage of stakes winners from foals, and by highest percentage of producing daughters.