Yesterday, I outlined what I feel are fair (and perhaps even rather strict) guidelines for a top breed-to-race stallion. Today, I'm posting my list of the very cream of the crop.
I'll start by giving "honorable mention" to a few stallions frequently cited as a good value for breed-to-race programs. Rahy (on SRO) works great for those with a larger budget for stud fees (he's easily worth the $60,000 fee). Bright Launch (on SRO) is a great source of the Relaunch line and I have high hopes for him as a broodmare sire, but his AEI needs to improve to make the list. Finally, Say Florida Sandy (on SRO) looks promising but his first crop are just now 3-year-olds and it'll be a couple of years before we see how his foals will do.
Half of my top selections are lightly-bred sires (under 50 starters) and half are well-established (400 starters or more). My criteria tend to benefit stallions with few offspring but whose percentages are high due to one or two stellar offspring -- and I tried to keep that in mind when figuring out my rankings. So here goes:
- Slew City Slew (on SRO) has fantastic numbers across the board - his foals earn well above average, they have long careers (averaging 22 starts), 86% of all foals get to the races and 77% of those foals go on to win a race. His biggest negative is that he "improves" his mares slightly less than the other stallions on the list - but he also sees the highest-quality broodmares (1.36 CI) of these six studs, so his task is more daunting.
- Raj Waki (pedigree) is a son of the Mr. Prospector stallion Miswaki. Hats off to those of you who've even heard of this Ontario-based stud. His 29 foals (ages 3+) and 18 starters are even less impressive when you realize he's a 1987 model. That said, he's got over 10% stakes winners, an amazing 83% winners-to-starters ratio, huge average earnings and AEI, and his foals start an average of 24 times. All that for only CAN$1,000.
- Intidab (on SRO) has made his way back to Lexington after being shuffled around for a few years. For breeders looking to bring in the Icecapade sire line, Intidab offers some convincing statistics: although he's another lightly-tried stallion (27 foals, 22 starters), a full two-thirds of his foals go on to win. He tops 11% black type winners, and he significantly improves his mares.
- My Friend Max (pedigree) is a Louisiana sire who you absolutely do not remember from his (completely undistinguished) racing career. It's hard to argue with over 17% stakes winners-to-foals, though. We're not talking high-end stakes -- his average earnings per starter is below the $50,000 goal -- but black type is black type. The mares sent to him have a paltry CI and he brings them way up in class.
- Cee's Tizzy (on SRO) in California has a nice AEI, due in no small part to wonderhorse son Tiznow (on SRO). Cee's Tizzy falls a little short of average starts per starter and percentage of winners to foals. His other numbers are mostly impressive, though, including AEI/CI, percentage of stakes winners, and percentage of winners to starters.
- Devil His Due (on SRO) comes from a not-quite-commercial son of Halo and is out of a mare by a not-quite-commercial son of Raise a Native. His sub-5% stakes winners are a bit of a knock against him, but he looks to be a longterm source of durability and sees over 83% of his foals start in a race, with almost 73% of those starters going on to win.
My original list was about 40 stallions -- on paper, these are the six that made the cut. But I imagine that there are some differing opinions....