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Oh, Baby, It's a Wild World

For all his merits as a sire – and he crossed successfully over as wide a range of broodmare sires as you could ask for – Wild Again was generally a disappointment as a sire of sires (although Wild Rush did start to shine once he had left these shores for Japan). Despite that, two of this weekend’s major contests fell to horses sired by different sons of Wild Again.

Sarava (TrueNicks), a Wild Again son, upset Medaglia d'Oro (TrueNicks,SRO) in the 2002 Belmont Stakes (gr. I). From the moment they crossed the line, however, their careers headed in diametrically opposite directs. Medaglia d’Oro went on to take the Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) and Travers Stakes (gr. I) and run second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) that year. He would add four more graded triumphs in seven starts at four and five, including the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) and Donn Handicap (gr. I), as well as running second in another Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) and the Dubai World Cup (gr. I). He sired Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra in his first crop, and is now one of the most sought after young sires on the planet. Sarava, meanwhile made eight further starts without ever making the first three, and retired to stand inexpensively in Florida. With his first crop now five, until this weekend, he had never been represented by a stakes winner.

In the San Antonio Stakes (gr. II), Sarava finally stepped into the limelight when his son Gladding led throughout to score by a length while making his stakes debut. Gladding (TrueNicks A++) is one of two stakes winners from just seven starters sired by sons of Wild Again out of mares by Island Whirl (by Australian Champion Two-Year-Old Pago Pago, from a male line that goes back to Blue Peter, last English Derby winner of the pre-World War II era). The dam is a half sister to Sir Dusty, a Florida stakes winner, by the Private Account horse Sir Leon. The fourth dam, the high-class racemare Beauful (by Beau Gar) is also third dam of Champion Canadian Turf Horse Hasten to Add and grade I winner See How She Runs.

The other Wild Again horse with a weekend graded winner is Wild Event, a half brother to Champion Turf Horse Paradise Creek (and out of a half brother to Champion Turf Horse Theatrical), who used to stand in Florida, but now plies his trade in Brazil. In contrast to what we said about Wild Again sons in the introduction, Wild Again has actually done rather well in Brazil, siring 17 graded stakes winners, eight of them grade one. One of those, Fluke, winner last year of the Citation Handicap (gr. I), ran down his German-bred stablemate, Proudinsky, in the last few strides to win the Thunder Road Handicap (gr. III) at Santa Anita. Fluke (TrueNicks A++) is out of a mare by De Quest, a European-bred son of Rainbow Quest (by Blushing Groom), and is the third stakes winner from only four starters on the cross. We’re not exactly surprised to see a son of Wild Again working with a Blushing Groom broodmare sire, as Blushing Groom has a very similar background to the dam of Wild Again.

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