Holiday Season Hot for Young Sires

The holiday season was a very good one for several young stallions. Florida’s Wildcat Heir (TrueNicks,SRO) – who ran down the very promising Afleet Alex (TrueNicks,SRO) late to take the Leading Second Season Sire title by just over $20,000 – got the New Year off to a good start with his daughter Breathoffreshheir (TrueNicks A++) winning the January 2 Ruthless Stakes at Aqueduct. She is out of a daughter of Appealing Skier, a son of Baldski, and so is bred on a cross of a Storm Bird line stallion over a mare from the male line of Storm Bird’s genetic relative Nijinsky II. Wildcat Heir has had only three starters out of Nijinsky II line mares, and two are stakes winners, the other being Dances With Ashley (out of a mare by Sword Dance, a Northern Dancer/Secretariat cross like Storm Cat). Wildcat Heir has six stakes winners in his first crop, and another three in his second crop, and eight of his offspring won stakes last year, so overall a very solid beginning.

Badge of Silver (TrueNicks,SRO) had a career that was blighted by interruptions, and he only ran 16 times in five seasons. When he was right, however, he was brilliant. He broke his maiden over 4½ furlongs by nine lengths on his only start at two; won the Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) by ten lengths at three; added the Hal’s Hope Stakes (gr. III) in a new track record, and New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) at five, and the San Gabriel Handicap (gr. II) on turf at six. He also ran big Beyers everywhere from six to nine furlongs. On the final day of the year, Badge of Silver had been represented by 17 winners, but lacked a stakes winner. However, that changed when Silver Medallion (TrueNicks A) captured the Eddie Logan Stakes at Santa Anita. The very next day, Badge of Silver’s son King Congie (TrueNicks A++), won the Tropical Park Derby (gr. III).

A son of Silver Deputy, Badge of Silver is out of a mare by Silver Hawk (also sire of Afleet Alex's broodmare sire Hawkster). Silver Medallion is out of a mare by Stalwart, a son of Hoist the Flag, a line that’s done well under Deputy Minister (the grandsire of Silver Deputy). Stalwart’s granddam is by Prince John (also in Badge of Silver), another that has also been good with Deputy Minister, and is three-parts-sister to Hold Your Peace (broodmare sire of Deputy Minister’s good son French Deputy). King Congie is out of a mare by End Sweep. That horse is a reverse Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer cross to Silver Deputy, and is by Forty Niner, a strain that is very good under Silver Deputy (five stakes winners from 18 starters, including Champion Sprinter Kodiak Kowboy (TrueNicks,SRO)). Silver Deputy himself sired the good stakes winner Deputy Warlock out of a Forty Niner mare from the family of End Sweep. Meanwhile, Deputy Minister sired Go For Wand out of the dam of End Sweep’s broodmare sire, Dance Spell. The dams of both of Badge of Silver’s stakes winners also carry Tom Rolfe, who is broodmare sire of Silver Deputy’s Hall of Famer Silverbulletday, and in at least seven of his other stakes winners. Incidentally, Badge of Silver is advertised at $7,500 for the coming season, and with the stakes winning duo in mind, looks pretty good value at that.

A horse with ties to both Wildcat Heir and Badge of Silver is Mass Media (TrueNicks,SRO). He stands alongside Wildcat Heir at Journeyman Stud in Florida (and for just $2,000), and as a son of Touch Gold (TrueNicks,SRO), he is from the same Deputy Minister line as Badge of Silver (in fact, he's another product of the Deputy Minister/Forty Niner cross discussed above). Winner of the Forego Stakes (gr. I), Mass Media has 13 winners from 21 starters in his first crop (two-year-olds of 2010), including two stakes winners, and three stakes-placed horses. His son Manicero (TrueNicks A++) took the Jack Price Juvenile Stakes in November, and followed up in the Inaugural Stakes the day after Christmas. He is out of a Kris S. mare, and Touch Gold and his sons have sired two stakes winners and a stakes placed horse from only ten starters out of mares by that horse.

A horse who flourished as a “second season” three-year-old, taking the Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) and Travers Stakes (gr. I), and running second to Saint Liam in the Breeder’s Cup Classic (gr. I) – although he had won the Lanes’ End Stakes (gr. II) earlier in the season – Flower Alley (TrueNicks,SRO) is a sire who one wouldn't expect to get early runners. However, he’s already sired the Delta Downs Princess Stakes (gr. III) victress Bouque Booth (TrueNicks A++), and on New Year’s Day he followed up with Lilacs and Lace (TrueNicks A++), who took the California Oaks. Lilacs and Lace is out of a mare by Seattle Slew, and this is another cross with a tremendous strike rate, with Distorted Humor (TrueNicks,SRO) and his sons getting five stakes winners from 20 stakes winners. If his offspring progress like their sire, he’s going to be worth keeping an eye on. Another 2010 first year son of Flower Alley’s sire, Distorted Humor, is Sharp Humor (TrueNicks,SRO). He has three stakes winners (along with seven other stakes-placed horses), and one of those was a late December scorer, Princess Cecilia (TrueNicks A++), who took the Eleanor Casey Memorial Stakes for her second stakes win. She’s the first Distorted Humor line stakes winner out of a mare from the sire line of Danzig (the broodmare sire of Distorted Humor).

Another later developing freshman – although he was two-for-two as a juvenile – is Don't Get Mad (TrueNicks,SRO). Fourth in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), Don’t Get Mad won three stakes at three, including the Indiana Derby (gr. II) and Northern Dancer Breeders’ Cup Stakes (gr. III). He’s an extension of the A.P. Indy (TrueNicks,SRO) line as he’s by Stephen Got Even (TrueNicks,SRO), one of the best value-for-money racehorse sires around. He sneaked under the wire with a first crop two-year-old stakes winner when Populist Politics (bred in Louisiana by Don’t Get Mad’s owner B. Wayne Hughes, who is nothing if not enterprising with his stallion programs), took the Louisiana Futurity. Populist Politics (TrueNicks A++) is out of a mare by Souvenir Copy (by Mr. Prospector), and there are two stakes winners from only three starters by A.P. Indy line stallions out of Souvenir Copy mares.

Third in the Louisiana Futurity was Pale Blazer, a son of Lydgate. He didn’t have a stakes winner in his first crop, although he did have 11 winners from 21 starters, but in his second crop he has two stakes winners and a stakes-placed horse from 14 starters, including Sweet Ruston (A++) who won the filly edition of the Louisiana Futurity. Yet another stallion son of Pulpit (TrueNicks,SRO), Lydgate was a turf sprinter out of Danzig mare from the family of Elusive Quality (TrueNicks,SRO). Sweet Ruston is out of a mare by Bold Ruckus, and the Pulpit/Bold Ruckus cross now has two stakes winners from seven starters. There might be grounds for a Pulpit (and other A.P. Indy/Mr. Prospector crosses) affinity since both are Boldnesian/Raise a Native crosses.

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