Northerns Are Fleet

We happened to be studying a Saint Ballado mare the other day for a client, and noticed that to date, the only two graded stakes winners out of mares by that stallion are Saint Afleet (TrueNicks A), who took the Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II) and this year's Futurity (gr. II) winner, Charitable Man (TrueNicks B).

The speedy Saint Afleet is a son of Northern Afleet (TrueNicks,SRO) and Charitable Man is by Lemon Drop Kid (TrueNicks,SRO) , and there is an interesting pedigree connection here. Northern Afleet is a by a son of Mr. Prospector out of a mare by Nureyev, and Lemon Drop Kid is by Kingmambo, a son of Mr. Prospector out of a mare by Nureyev. So both of the graded stakes winners out of Saint Ballado mares are by stallions that have a Mr. Prospector/Nureyev cross. To add to the "coincidence' we can note that Northern Afleet also has a 2008 stakes winner out of mare by Devil's Bag, the brother to Saint Ballado.

Speaking of such, Northern Afleet also earned considerable attention last weekend with a 2-year-old stakes double and an older stakes winner, giving him three stakes winners on the weekend. The current Northern Afleet 2-year-olds are from his first Kentucky crop (conceived after Afleet Alex's 2-year-old career, but prior to his championship-earning 3-year-old campaign) so he looks set for a big 2009 on the track. So far 11 from that crop have already won, and on September 27 two of them took stakes.

Afleet Aussie (TrueNicks B) won the First State Dash Stakes and La Danseur (TrueNicks B) took the Small Wonder Stakes. Both of these horses have interesting pedigrees. Afleet Aussie is out of a mare by King's Theatre, so giving King's Theatre's sire, Sadler's Wells, and his close genetic relative Nureyev 3 x 3. La Danseur's broodmare sire, Citidancer, is by a son of Northern Dancer out of a mare by Tentam, an identical formula to the one that produced Northern Afleet's dam, Nuryette.

Northern Afleet has almost silently crept up the General Sires list with nine stakes winners in 2008, a figure that places him equal to both Storm Cat and A.P. Indy (TrueNicks,SRO) and for a stallion that has produced an out-and-out champion in Afleet Alex (TrueNicks,SRO) as well as a slew of other stakes winners, breeders should certainly be looking at this stallion as a value play in 2009.

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