Sales Yearling: Stallion Choices

In my last post, I started to discuss a yearling that I am sending to the Keeneland September sale.  I introduced the colt (TrueNicks pedigree) and promised to give details on the breeding decisions that resulted in this foal. 

I chose to go with Honour and Glory (on SRO) for several reasons.  One, frankly, was because he stood at Ashford, and Coolmore sires tend to bring a premium at the sales.  (As it happens, Coolmore sold Honour and Glory to South America after the 2006 breeding season, and he now officially shuttles north to Wintergreen Stallion Station.  He's been a great success in Argentina, with two UAE Derby (UAE-II) winners to his credit.)

The reason I looked at Honour and Glory to begin with was the fact that his sire was Relaunch (pedigree), from the In Reality sire line.  Brush Back's dam, Cashierette, produced two stakes winners... the first was the multiple stakes-winning and graded-placed Launch a Dream (pedigree), by Relaunch... and the second was three-time Trinidad grade I winner Cash Wager (pedigree), also from the In Reality line.  If Relaunch/In Reality was a good cross for her dam, it seems reasonable that it would be a good choice for my mare, too.

I also liked Honour and Glory's female family, and hoped that, if I got a filly and decided to keep her, she might be a good cross with Fappiano (pedigree) bloodlines sometime in the future.  Those two stallions descend from Grand Splendor (pedigree), a daughter of the world-class mare Cequillo.  Look for these names in future inbreeding patterns!

Honour and Glory also complements Brush Back conformationally.  He is more refined, and she is more of the "bulldog" physique inherited from her sire, Broad Brush - but they both have straight lines, solid feet, and strong legs.  They're of similar size and proportion - and I hoped that Honour and Glory would add a bit of height to the mix (my mare is 15.2 or 15.3 hands), because size tends to sell at yearling auctions.  The mare's and stallion's top lines are similar.  Judging just on looks, these two made a good fit (and I think that's reflected in the good builds of both the '07 colt and his '08 full sister).

Based on their general aptitude (Honour and Glory gets sprinters that can stay to 9 or 10 furlongs, whereas Broad Brushes tend to like middle distances but are often able to contend in longer routes and even sprints), the match-up promised to produce a middle-distance runner with a good finishing kick.

So now, I'd like your input.  What factors do you consider in stallion selections?  Do you look back at the dam's dam, or do you focus on sire line / broodmare sire line nicks? Do you prefer first-year sires or proven studs? Do you rate conformational matches higher than aptitude and class?

And I'm happy to hear your thoughts on my mare... what stallions would you have chosen for Brush Back?  (Let's say in the $10,000 to $20,000 range... Honour and Glory stood for $12,500 in 2006.)  Some other stallions I've considered for her in the last year:  Seattle Fitz (ARG) (on SRO), Point Given (on SRO), Hat Trick (JPN) (on SRO), Candy Ride (ARG) (on SRO), and of course Purim (on SRO).

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