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Green Desert's Production Over Time

Photo courtesy Shadwell Stud

Distinguished 28-year-old Danzig stallion Green Desert was pensioned earlier this week. Sire of nearly 100 stakes winners, among them 14 group or grade I, he has already made a strong impact as a sire of sires. His best stallion sons include Cape Cross, Oasis Dream, Invicible Spirit, Volksraad, Desert Style, Shinko Forest, Desert Prince, Desert Sun, and Kheleyf (TrueNicks).

With an impressive 22 crops of racing age, Green Desert's stud record provides a good model of crop quality progression over time. This isn’t a scientific analysis by any means, but using Racing Post ratings from racingpost.com I estimated the handicap rating for each starter by Green Desert and averaged them for each crop. The chart below indicates that his best crops were bred in seasons 1, 3, 7, and 13. Interestingly, three of Green Desert's best stallion sons were bred in these years: Volksraad (1st), Cape Cross (7th), and Oasis Dream (13th).

(click to enlarge)

Note that ratings for current 2- and 3-year-olds stand to increase with more racing, but there is a general decline in handicap rating during Green Desert's later years at stud. His career average is a strong 80.8. (click to enlarge)

Clearly Green Desert was a top sire, but I can't help but wonder about his later-year decline in production. Did breeders abandon him due to age and/or fertility? Did his profile of mare change due to his success at stud? Are there age-related genetic factors at play? I'd be curious to hear your opinions.

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