Guess who's No.1 on the list of the most exciting new stallions for 2016
(The list is alphabetical order, but the first name would be top however it was arranged)
b Pioneerof The Nile - Littleprincessemma (Yankee Gentleman)
Stands: Ashford Stud, Kentucky. Fee: $200,000
An outstanding American runner of the modern era, American Pharoah earned iconic status when becoming the first horse in 37 years to sweep the American Triple Crown.
He retires with a record of nine wins, among them eight at G1 level. However, it was the visual impression he left that ensures he lives long in the mind: for instance, the Arkansas Derby was won by eight lengths, the Preakness Stakes by seven, the Breeders’ Cup Classic by six and a half and the Belmont Stakes by five and a half.
Added to that, he was a dual G1 winner at two in the FrontRunner Stakes and Del Mar Futurity.
American Pharoah is from the second crop of Pioneerof The Nile, whose own fee has jumped to $125,000 for 2016, and descends from a family once successfully associated with Fred Hooper.
ch Giant’s Causeway - Rebridled Dreams (Unbridled’s Song)
Stands: WinStar Farm, Kentucky. Fee: $25,000
Carpe Diem first hit the headlines in March 2014 when commanding a sale-topping $1.6 million from Stonestreet Stables at the OBS March Sale. Sent to Todd Pletcher, he wasted little time in justifying that price tag by winning his first two starts, including the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland.
He signed off his juvenile campaign by running second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and returned at three to win the Tampa Bay Derby and Blue Grass Stakes. His run in the Kentucky Derby, in which he finished 10th, was his only off-the-board effort, and when a knee chip subsequently came to light, he was retired.
Carpe Diem shares his sire, Giant’s Causeway, with leading European sire Shamardal, another top-class 2yo who was a G1 winner at three. He is a half-brother to G1 winner J B’s Thunder and out of a stakes-winning daughter of Unbridled’s Song.
b Tapit - Baffled (Distorted Humor)
Stands: WinStar Farm, Kentucky. Fee: $25,000
One of the leading lights of the 2014 classic season before injury intervened, Constitution racked up three consecutive victories during the early part of his 3-year-old campaign, culminating with a victory in the Florida Derby.
He returned to the track later that year to run third in the Clark Handicap before adding another G1 to his record when successful in the Donn Handicap.
Constitution will be one of three G1-winning sons of Tapit at stud in North America in 2016. His dam, Baffled, was a precocious 2yo who ran third in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot and has already thrown a good 2yo in G3 winner Jacaranda. Baffled is also a half-sister to G1 winner Emcee.
b High Chaparral - Polished Gem (Danehill)
Stands: Irish National Stud, Ireland. Fee: €20,000
So impressive was Free Eagle’s debut victory at Leopardstown in August 2013 that he immediately received quotes of 25-1 for the following year’s Epsom Derby. Unfortunately, injury restricted the colt to just two 3yo starts, but he confirmed on both occasions that he was a high-class colt, namely when taking the Kilternan Stakes by seven lengths and when third on unsuitably heavy ground in the Champion Stakes.
A victory in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot was the highlight of his 4yo season, although he was unlucky not to finish closer than third in the Irish Champion Stakes, in which he was stopped in his tracks during the closing stages by an errant Golden Horn.
By the much-missed High Chaparral, Free Eagle is the product of a powerful Moyglare Stud Farm family. He is the third stakes winner out of Polished Gem following the G2 scorers Sapphire and Custom Cut, and he descends from champion American 2yo filly Talking Picture via Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Trusted Partner.
b Galileo - You’resothrilling (Storm Cat)
Stands: Coolmore, Ireland. Fee: €60,000
A Classic-winning miler who boasts an international stallion’s pedigree, Gleneagles was champion 2yo colt in Ireland by virtue of wins in the National Stakes and Futurity Stakes. He also finished first past the post in the G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere but was demoted to third due to interference.
Had Gleneagles not been demoted that day, he would be credited as winning five consecutive G1 races since he went on to pull off the Newmarket - Irish 2,000 Guineas double at three before recording a facile win in the St James’s Palace Stakes.
Thanks to the likes of Teofilo and New Approach, both of whom have sired classic winners, Galileo has forged a reputation as a sire of sires. However, making Gleneagles particularly interesting is the fact his dam, G2 winner You’resothrilling, is a sister to American champion sire Giant’s Causeway as well as Freud, a perennial top five sire in New York.
You’resothrilling is also well on her way to achieving blue hen status: Gleneagles is the second of three Group winners out of the mare following Marvellous, successful in the 2014 Irish 1,000 Guineas, and Coolmore, a G3 winner at two this season.
b Cape Cross - Fleche d’Or (Dubai Destination)
Stands: Dalham Hall Stud, Newmarket. Fee: £60,000
The dominant European 3-year-old of 2015. Winner of his sole start at two, Anthony Oppenheimer’s homebred staked an early Derby claim by taking the Feilden Stakes and was promoted to Derby favouritism after capturing a particularly hot renewal of the Dante Stakes.
He went on to justify that status as one of the most impressive Derby winners of recent years; held up by Frankie Dettori, he produced a withering outside run to cut down his rivals and win by three and a half lengths.
Pitched against older horses and cut back to 1m2f, Golden Horn went on to land the Eclipse and Irish Champion Stakes before proving he really was a colt out of the top drawer with an impressive winning display in the Arc.
He was sent to Keeneland for his career finale in the Breeders’ Cup Turf and wasn’t disgraced when falling half a length short of Found.
Golden Horn shares his sire, Cape Cross, with leading young stallion Sea The Stars. He is the second stakes winner from as many foals out of his unraced dam following listed scorer Eastern Belle and is a member of the noted Nuryana family that has been nurtured to great effect by Oppenheimer at his Hascombe and Valiant Studs.
b A P Indy - Serena’s Cat (Storm Cat)
Stands: Lane’s End Farm, Kentucky. Fee: $40,000
A P Indy left behind influential sire sons Pulpit and Bernardini during his long innings at stud and, in Honor Code, Lane’s End stands a son that offers the potent combination of strong 2yo and older horse form.
Shug McGaughey saddled Honor Code to win first time out at Saratoga, after which he ran second in the Champagne Stakes and won the Remsen Stakes. He won one of two starts during a truncated campaign at three but returned this year to take the Metropolitan Mile and Whitney Stakes, on both occasions at the expense of G1 winners that included Tonalist and Wicked Strong.
A flashy individual who possessed a powerful closing kick, Honor Code is a great-grandson of Hall of Famer Serena’s Song, dam of G1 winner Sophisticat alongside G2 winners Grand Reward and Harlington. Honor Code himself is a half-brother to G2 winner Noble Tune, now at stud in South Africa, and out of stakes winner Serena’s Cat.
gr Unbridled’s Song - Miss Macy Sue (Trippi)
Stands: Lane’s End Farm, Kentucky. Fee: $25,000
There were flashes of brilliance during Liam’s Map’s eight-race career, ranging from his nine-and-a-half-length maiden win at Belmont Park in September 2014 to his near five-length win in this year’s Woodward Stakes. He was never challenged to score in the Woodward, and his winning performance in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile - his final start - was also impressive, with the colt kicking clear to win by two and a half lengths.
In all, he won six races and ran second in his remaining other two starts, notably when succumbing only in the final strides to Honor Code in the Whitney Stakes.
The son of Unbridled’s Song possesses a particularly interesting pedigree as a direct descendant of Aspidistra, dam of the legendary runner Dr Fager. His dam, G3 winner Miss Macy Sue, is actually inbred to the mare via her G1-winning daughter Ta Wee (3x4) while Aspidistra also appears twice in the background of his grandsire, Unbridled.
b Makfi - Rosie’s Posy (Suave Dancer)
Stands: Ballylinch Stud, Ireland. Fee: €20,000
Make Believe seemed a colt of immense potential at two when unbeaten in two starts for Andre Fabre.
A classic campaign was on the cards after that productive first season and he went on to justify those hopes by running out an unchallenged three-length winner of the Poule d’Essai des Poulains. Subsequent G1 winners such as New Bay, Highland Reel and Muhaarar couldn’t get near the front-running Make Believe that day, while the likes of Limato and Toormore were among his victims when he returned to Longchamp to take the Prix de la Foret in October.
A classic-winning miler like his sire, Makfi, and grandsire Dubawi before him, Make Believe is a three-parts brother to G1 winner Dubawi Heights. He is also the product of a fast family since his winning dam is a half-sister to G1-winning sprinter Tante Rose and out of the G1-placed 2yo My Branch.
b Oasis Dream - Tahrir (Linamix)
Stands: Nunnery Stud, Norfolk. Fee: £30,000
Such was Muhaarar’s dominance over Europe’s 2015 sprint division that he drew comparisons with another brilliant Sheikh Hamdan sprinter in Dayjur.
Successful in the Gimcrack Stakes as a 2yo, Muhaarar opened his 3yo season with a game victory over Estidhkaar in a loaded renewal of the Greenham Stakes. A brief flirtation with miling in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains resulted in Muhaarar’s only unplaced effort in 11 starts and a return to sprinting beckoned.
After that, Muhaarar never looked back. He took the inaugural Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot by nearly four lengths before following up over older horses in the July Cup. Thereafter, he travelled to Deauville to take the Prix Maurice de Gheest and signed off with a two-length victory in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes. In all, he defeated 57 stakes winners.
A son of the ever commercial Oasis Dream, also responsible for popular young sire Showcasing, Muhaarar is out of the listed-placed Tahrir, also the dam of listed-winning 2yo Sajwah. In turn, she is from the further family of champion Timarida.
NIGHT OF THUNDER
ch Dubawi - Forest Storm (Galileo)
Stands: Kildangan Stud, Ireland. Fee: €30,000
The 2014 2,000 Guineas was one of the most hotly contested renewals in recent years, containing G1 winners such as Kingman, Australia and Charm Spirit. None, however, could withstand the powerful finish of Night Of Thunder, who won going away by half a length despite hanging left.
A tough and consistent 3yo, he later ran second in the St James’s Palace Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes - in which he was denied a clear run at a vital stage - and third in the Prix du Moulin. He returned this year to add a second G1 to his record in a 16-runner Lockinge Stakes.
Also an unbeaten listed-winning 2yo, Night Of Thunder will be one of three sons of Dubawi at stud in Ireland next year. Dubawi can already be regarded as a successful sire of sires, primarily thanks to Makfi, whose first crop contained classic winner Make Believe.
b Tapit - Settling Mist (Pleasant Colony)
Stands: Lane’s End Farm, Kentucky. Fee: $40,000
Tonalist was almost a throwback to another era, mixing it with the best from a mile to a mile and a half and packing in 15 starts over two seasons. He retires as the winner of seven races, while only twice did he finish out of the first four.
He broke his maiden in January 2014 and by May was a G2 winner, thanks to a win in the Peter Pan Stakes. By late June, he was a classic hero, having ended California Chrome’s Triple Crown hopes in the Belmont Stakes.
Tonalist later cut back to a mile and a quarter to take the Jockey Club Gold Cup, a victory he repeated in 2015. It was one of two G1 races annexed by the colt during his 4yo campaign, alongside his career finale, the Cigar Mile Handicap.
By one of America’s most coveted stallions, Tonalist is out of a winning daughter of the G2-placed Toll Booth. It is the further family of Horse of the Year Havre de Grace.
Next Thursday, Nancy Sexton looks at what’s available among the new intake in a lower price bracket.