Ratings Generated in 2014
Featured Stallion

Freshmen Unbridled

Perhaps because he was viewed as something of a "spoiler" when foiling Smarty Jones' Triple Crown bid with his 2004 Belmont (gr. I) win, Birdstone probably never got the credit he deserved a a racehorse, given that he also captured the Champagne and Travers Stakes (both gr. I).

We've noticed that his rather useful start as a sire is also not gaining much recognition. Despite having a first crop sired at a relatively modest fee -- only $10,000 --  Birdstone (TrueNicks,SRO) already has 12 individual 2-year-old winners, of which no less than four are stakes winners. Leader of the group is the Grey Stakes (gr. III) winner Mine That Bird, who was voted a Sovereign Award as Canada's champion 2-year-old. TrueNicks rated A++, Mine That Bird is out of Mining My Own, a daughter of Smart Strike (TrueNicks,SRO) , so he is the product of a broad Mr. Prospector/Mr. Prospector cross (although Mr. Prospector is back in the fifth generation on the sire's side). Birdstone is out of a mare by Storm Bird, and Mining My Own out of mare by Vice Regent, so sire and dam are both Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer crosses.

Birdstone's second graded stakes winner is Livin Lovin, who captured the Tempted Stakes (gr. III) in November. Another rated A++, she is out of a mare by Captain Bodgit (by Saint Ballado, from the Halo line). We can note in the dam crosses Greek Answer (by Northern Answer) and Nijinsky II, these both being Northern Dancer-line horses with background similarities to Storm Bird (Nijinsky II, particularly so).

When we come to Mot Mot, a Birdstone filly who won Clasico Antonio "Tony" Stanziola Emiliani (a Panamian grade III event, but an ungraded black type event for U.S. catalogs), we find that she is out of a mare by Forty Niner (making her another Mr. Prospector/Mr. Prospector cross, which rates A++), but her third dam is by The Minstrel, another very close relative to Storm Bird.

The only one of Birdstone's four black type winners to date not to have reinforcement of the Storm Bird background is Texas Birdstone, an Arkansas-bred son of Birdstone, who took the Razorback Futurity at Louisiana Downs in October. He is out of a mare by Ray's Pegasus (a grandson of Crimson Satan) and his-pedigree is a complete outcross through five generations.

Another Unbridled-line horse making a good start is Even the Score (Unbridled's Song--Ashtabula, by Rahy (TrueNicks,SRO) ), who stands at Millennium Farms in Lexington, Ky., for $7,500.  He has two stakes winners in his first crop:  Four Gifts (TrueNicks rated A), winner of the Boyd Gaming's Delta Princess Powered by Youbet.com Stakes (gr. III) and Enjoy the Score (TrueNicks rated A), who took the Donnie Wilhite Memorial Handicap at Louisiana Downs.

Four Gifts, who is inbred 4 x 4 to Blushing Groom, is out of a mare by the Deputy Minister stallion Service Stripe, and so is a product of a cross that has also produced graded winners Songster and Last Song, one by Songandaprayer, and the other by his sire, Unbridled's Song.

Enjoy the Score is out of a mare by Distorted Humor, and is the second stakes winner bred on an Unbridled's Song (TrueNicks,SRO) /Forty Niner cross.

We'll also give a quick call to Maryland sire Domestic Dispute (TrueNicks,SRO) (Unbridled's Song - Majestical Moment, by Magesterial), a Strub Stakes (gr. II) winner who stands at Northview Stallion Station for $3,500. He was represented by an eye-catching youngster in the shape of the filly Life by R R, who broke her maiden at Hollywood Park going wire to wire for a 3 3/4 lengths score, in a very shart 1:08.47. Out of the West by West mare Pindar, and  TrueNicks rated A+, she is bred on a similar cross to grade II winner Forest Music (by Unbridled's Song out of a Gone West mare) and grade III hero Praying For Cash (by Songandaprayer out of a West by West mare). We can also note that her dam is inbred to Gone West‘s granddam, Tamerett, the second strain coming through Known Fact (by In Reality, another strain that is good with the Fappiano/Unbridled tribe).

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Birdstone I agree has done really well, much better than I expected and you would imagine they will go on and be nice horses.  One other horse that stands out is Soto, I know he would have covered a modest book of mares but his numbers look good and I watched a race from Japan last week where a 2yo by him destroyed a solid field on the dirt in the Jpn G1 race for 2yo's.  There is big talk on this horse.  What do you think on Soto, he was a damn good runner in his day and it was a pity he did get injured.

John Wells 22 Dec 2008 10:52 PM

What were the market reasons for Birdstone to stand for only $10,000?

Tony Kelzenberg 23 Dec 2008 12:10 AM

To answer the questions above: Soto is worth watching. He might actually have had about the best numbers of any 3-year-old in his crop. I think he has four first-crop stakes winners.

He's bred on the same cross as very useful young Florida sire Graeme Hall... in fact, I think there is enough here for a quick post..thanks for the idea!

Commercially, for Birdstone, a couple of factors were probably key. He's not the biggest horse, and in KY "size matters." And, he's a son of Grindstone, who would generally be considered a disappointing stallion, even though he had his moments. By the way, it's worth looking at the pedigree of his third dam, compared to the dam of Mr. Prospector. Might be why doubling that strain has worked.

Alan Porter 23 Dec 2008 11:31 AM

Although Mine That Bird's pedigree is not especially fashionable, it's actually full of classic influences.

TrueNicks 04 May 2009 4:36 PM

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