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Before we shift gears into the countdown to the Breeders’ Cup, I’d like to look at a couple of the sire lists since the year is a little more than half over.
This week, we’ll take a look at the first crop sires. Summer is officially here, and with that comes the unveiling of the best two-year-olds. This year provides a fine group of horses with their first two-year-olds hitting the track including: dual classic winner Big Brown (Boundary), two-time Horse of the Year Curlin (Smart Strike), and Champion Henrythenavigator (Kingmambo).
Three Chimneys’ Big Brown is a fine physical specimen who was an absolute freak on the track. He had the highest priced two-year old sold at public auction this year for $1.3 million. He was spectacular in his only start at two, so it would be no surprise if his progeny were to have some success at that age as well. He was represented by his first winner last week in Russia.
North America’s all-time leader in earnings on the racetrack Curlin was supreme on the racetrack. He had a stellar book of mares to support him, so it’s all up to the Lane’s End resident to make it happen. However Curlin did not himself run as a two-year old, so he’s quite the wildcard here, but don’t expect his best till later on down the road. Curlin got his first two winners in Russia on June 17.
If the old adage of milers make the best sires is true, then Ashford resident Henrythenavigator is your man. He was a fine two-year old, winning the Coventry Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot, but he was at his finest at three when he won the 2000 Guineas (G1). That year he won 4 Group 1 races and finished 2nd in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He had a fantastic first book of mares, and that has already translated into three winners.
Sire power, a fantastic family, Greek god type looks, a precocious racehorse all describe Ashford Stud’s Majestic Warrior (A.P. Indy). He’s by two-time leading sire A.P. Indy out of the Grade 1 winning mare Dream Supreme. He won his the Hopeful Stakes (G1) at Saratoga at two, but unfortunately injured himself next time out and was never the same racehorse after that. His two-year-olds have been selling like hotcakes this year, and if they run accordingly, he will be tough to beat on the freshman sire list this year. Majestic Warrior broke through with his first winner on June 24.
Only one horse has ever won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (Grade 1). That distinction goes to Midnight Lute (Real Quiet). He is represented by the most two-year olds this year with 121, and in this numbers game, it really helps get a stallion off on the right foot to have good numbers behind them. He didn’t hit his best stride until age 4, when he was Champion Sprinter, so probably the best will come for him later on down the road for the Hill ‘n’ Dale resident. He got his first winner last week in Canada.
Spendthrift Farm’s Tiz Wonderful (Tiznow) will definitely be a major contender for leading first crop sire. The flashy son of Tiznow was a superstar two-year old, winning the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) and Iroquois Stakes (G3) both at Churchill Downs. He is represented by the fourth most two-year olds behind Midnight Lute, Majestic Warrior, and
Henrythenavigator. With his precocity and his large number of two-year olds, it would be no stretch to image him at the top of the list by year’s end. Like many other freshman sires, he nailed down his first winner last week.
Top Five First Crop Freshman Sires
Here’s the list of who I think will lead the two-year old list at the end of the year. Next week I’ll take a look at the second crop sires.
1. Majestic Warrior
The magnificent looking son of A.P. Indy has everything that you want to lead the list.
2. Big Brown
The freak will be tough to beat if he passes on his athleticism like he had to his progeny.
3. Tiz Wonderful
The flashy Tiznow horse has all the makings to be a fine two-year old sire.
Henry’s progeny will probably be doing their best running across the pond, sadly for us.
5. Midnight Lute
The massive son of Real Quite is a big threat to lead the list, and those numbers don’t hurt.
Seth Kochera is a graduate of Georgetown College, working in the horse industry. He studies bloodlines and racing performance and shares his knowledge with KyForward readers. He’ll be following the road to the Triple Crown. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.