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The Departed

Last week brought the news that ace sprinter/miler Caleb's Posse (TrueNicks,SRO) would be retiring to stand at Three Chimneys for the 2013 breeding season. Over the weekend, however, it was two Three Chimneys stallions that have departed for greener pastures, Rahy and Dynaformer, that took the headlines with a quartet of graded winners.

Like the protagonists in Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning film The Departed, Rahy and Dynaformer were polar opposites, at least as far as physique and aptitude were concerned. Rahy, who passed in September, 2011, initially came to prominence as a precocious and speedy 2-year-old in England. The son of Blushing Groom–Glorious Song, by Halo, a $2 million Keeneland July purchase by Gainsborough Stud Management, ran four times as a juvenile, winning a maiden and the listed Sirenia Stakes, finishing third in the Mill Reef Stakes (gr. II), and second in the Middle Park Stakes (gr. I). Rahy sustained a split pastern in the Middle Park and wasn't seen out until August of his 3-year-old season. He won over a mile on his reappearance, and after demonstrating that he didn't stay 10 turlongs, ended the year with a second in a conditions race a Newbury. Sent to the U.S. at 4, Rahy won three of his six starts, including an astonishing 10-length victory over Hot Operator and Ruhlmann in the Bel Air Handicap (gr. II), and took second in the Harold C. Ramser Handicap and Goodwood Handicap (both gr. III).

Despite his excellent pedigree and very creditable race record, Rahy had one thing to overcome when he retired to stud: his size. Although he was listed at 15.1, seeing him in a stallion stall you couldn't escape the impression that you were gazing at a pony. His size did not deter Three Chimneys, who purchased 50% of Rahy when he retired and stood him in partnership with the Maktoum family throughout his career. As it turned out, Rahy's stature had very little impact on his ability to sire runners. He was represented by 10 stakes winners from a first crop of 49 foals, including the graded stakes-winning fillies Mariah's Storm and Miss Ra He Ra. Champion Serena's Song and grade I winner Exotic Wood appeared in his second crop, sealing his popularity.

Rahy subsequently went on to be represented by more than 90 stakes winners, with the most recent of his offspring to tally in a black-type event being 8-year-old Rahystrada, who took the Arlington Handicap (gr. II) over the weekend. In addition to those previously mentioned, his other stars included Fantastic Light, Early Pioneer, Noverre, Tates Creek, Rio De La Plata, Dancing Forever, Dreaming of Anna, and her full brother Lewis Michael (TrueNicks,SRO) who stands at Three Chimneys. Although the success of his early daughters led to him being labeled a "filly sire," in reality six of his group/grade I winners were males (against seven females), and his male group/graded winners outscore the females 28 to 17. He has also been an extremely successful broodmare sire, with his daughters producing such as Giant's Causeway (TrueNicks,SRO), Megahertz, Sophisticat, After Market (TrueNicks,SRO), Rutherienne, Life At Ten, and Courageous Cat (TrueNicks,SRO). In addition to Giant's Causeway and After Market, stallions out of Rahy mares also include Posse (TrueNicks,SRO) (the sire of Caleb's Posse), Even the Score (TrueNicks,SRO), and Giant's Causeway's brother Freud (TrueNicks,SRO).

[Click here to read a TrueNicks recap of Rahy's stud career.]

Raced by his breeder, Joseph Allen, and trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Dynaformer was by Roberto out of the grade I-winning His Majesty mare Andover Way. He won once in five starts at 2, taking a seven-furlong maiden at Saratoga. The following year he emerged as a smart performer, if one some way below the top of his division, taking the Lucky Draw Stakes (in a new track record), the Jersey Derby (gr. II), and the Discovery Handicap (gr. II). Kept in training at 4, Dynaformer didn't add to his stakes laurels, but from 11 starts did win a pair of turf allowance races at Keeneland, setting a new course record for 1 1/2 miles in one.

A tall (17.0 hands), somewhat coarse, and not particularly attractive individual—in some ways typical of his grandsire, Hail to Reason—Dynaformer also possessed a tough personality. He retired to stud in the same season as Rahy, but at Nathan Fox's Wafare Farm, initially advertised at a fee of $5,000. From his first crop of 49 foals, Dynaformer came up with five stakes winners, including Blumin Affair, a graded stakes winner who also took second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and third in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). As Dynaformer's career progressed, the decision was taken to move him to Three Chimneys, where he was likely to have access to a wider range of quality mares. The move proved to be a highly successful one, and when he died this April at the age of 27, Dynaformer was regarded as one of the world's leading sires.

Proving effective on both dirt and turf, the offspring of Dynaformer have won major races on three continents, and include the ill-starred Kentucky Derby (gr. I) victor Barbaro; Americain, who took the Melbourne Cup (gr. I) and earned honors as champion in Europe and Australia; European champion 2-year-old filly Rainbow View; English/Irish classic winners Lucarno and Blue Bunting; German Derby (gr. I) captor Wiener Walzer; champion English 3-year-old filly Ocean Silk; as well as Perfect Drift, Film Maker, Riskaverse, Sand Springs, Dynaforce, Critical Eye, Brilliant Speed, and Starrer. The most recent of his 15 U.S. grade I winners is Point of Entry, who tallied by 3 1/2 lengths in the Man o' War Stakes (gr. I) over the weekend. The day also saw Dynaformer's daughter Starformer win the Robert G. Dick Memorial Stakes (gr. II) and his son, Ioya Bigtime, take the Stars and Stripes Stakes (gr. III). Dynaformer has also emerged as a very good broodmare sire, and his daughters have produced nearly 80 stakes winners, including the U.S. grade I scorers Hollywood Story, Sharp Lisa, Spring At Last (TrueNicks,SRO), Stately Victor, and Prince Will I Am.

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Dynaformer-as a sire of sires- had the bad luck to lose what were likely his two best sire prospects, Barbaro and Dynever. Dynever was sold to Saudi Arabia during the latter part of his racing career (and went on to finish 2nd in the Dubai World Cup). He later stood in Saudi Arabia where he proved to be a phenominal success at stud until his very premature death. So the story of Dynaformer here is not too unlike the story of Never Bend, but Never Bend did have Mill Reef and Riverman, despite losing Never Bow, and the extremely well-bred, loaded with ability, Puntilla (a member of Secretariat's crop)...Dynaformer does have a few to come. His two best prospects, for me, are the regally bred (and "regally" may be faint praise here) Point Of Entry, and also Casino Host. I prefer both over last year's Blue Grass winner.

sceptre 19 Jul 2012 5:55 PM

I do wish that when Dynaformer is discussed and his Graded winners listed that his steeplechasers would merit a mention.  He is the sire of the multiple Eclipse winner, McDynamo, and his get are much sought after in the steeplechasing world.

vineyridge 19 Jul 2012 11:48 PM

It is very noticeable that Dynaformer and Danehill, are the ones who are keeping Ribot's name visible in today's short thoroughbred pedigrees..

Hal Dane. 20 Jul 2012 7:33 AM

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