During the dead months of winter, Major League Baseball has its hot stove league, drawing upon the image of fans gathered around a hot stove discussing their favorite teams, players, and summer days to come. Those in the Thoroughbred breeding world have their own “hot stove league” that revolves around staying warm before, or after, trips to the foaling barn in the middle of a frosty January evening.
News came in around our “hot stove” during the last week in the form of foal announcements from farms popping buttons over the initial reports on the first arrivals from last year’s first-year sires.
Here is a sampling from BloodHorse.com of what came over the transom during the last several days:
Shadwell Farm reported a filly by its stallion Tamarkuz that arrived at Central Kentucky’s Scarteen Stud.
“We are very pleased with the filly. She’s going to be a big girl. She’s very leggy and has great bone—there’s just a lot of substance to her,” said Scarteen Stud’s Richie Donworth.
At Chasing the Sun Stables near Wallingford, Ky., the first foal—a filly—arrived Jan. 17 for Spendthrift Farm stallion Hit It a Bomb.
“We are very happy with her. This baby is absolutely correct with nice size and good bone,” said co-breeder Michael Wood of the youngster out of Risky Art (by Dutch Art).
Chad Frederick and Phoenix Farm and Racing are the breeders of the first foal by Gainesway stallion Anchor Down. The colt arrived Jan. 16.
“The foal is an impressive colt with good size and a lot of bone and substance,” said Gainesway director of sales Michael Hernon of the foal whose dam is the Curlin mare Black Coronas. “Anchor Down was a top miler on the New York circuit, so I would expect his foals to be fast like he was.”
The first reported foal by Ashford Stud’s Air Force Blue, according to Richard Kent, owner of Kaizen Sales, is “well put together and looks like a runner.”
The bay filly, born Jan. 16, arrived at Jason and Ashley Schappert’s Leading Edge Farm near Ocala, Fla.
Cinco Charlie, another Spendthrift stallion, had his first foal Jan. 13 when a bay colt arrived at Millennium Farms near Lexington. Bred by Toby Keith’s Dream Walkin’ Farms, the colt is out of Peeker, by Cactus Ridge.
“The colt is very strong with plenty of leg. His angles are where you like to see them, and we are very happy with him,” said J. Ted Neel, Millennium’s general manager.
WinStar Farm’s Outwork had two foals arrive Jan. 14; a colt and a filly.
“We are very impressed with the size, bone, and substance of this colt,” reported co-breeder Britt Wadsworth. “He had quite the ‘wow’ presence at delivery. He has a great temperament and is a tremendous representation of his father. We’re very excited.”
The colt was bred by Classic Bloodstock’s Danzel Brendemuehl and Sean Mahoney and Wads-worth’s Mahoney Eden Manor.
First foal reports also flowed in from Taylor Made Stallions for California Chrome, Mshawish, and Not This Time.
Everyone’s first born is precocious. We get the picture, and if you haven’t seen the pictures, they are on our website, the individual farm’s Facebook pages, and all over the Twitter-verse. Every stallion operation is building some buzz to help their first-year guys get off on the right foot.
Just as every MLB team has a legitimate shot at the World Series in January, every first-year stallion will lead the sires list two years down the road.
And, based on these reports, and those that came earlier in the month and those still to come, this fall’s mixed sales will reach new heights; the yearling sales will roar; every maiden special weight race from Saratoga to Santa Anita will offer full fields in 2020; and the 2021 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) will overflow with entries.
There’s so much to look forward to. Time to add another piece of wood to the fire.