“I have followed American Lion’s career, and have always been keen to stand him at stud,” said Robert Hammond, Darby Dan’s general manager, in a release. “He's the best looking son of Tiznow I've ever seen. He's a big, handsome, strapping physical who was very precocious on the track and showed tremendous speed. I am looking at Tiznow to be the next great sire of sires.”
American Lion began his career impressively as a 2-year-old, breaking his maiden by an eye-catching 6 3/4 lengths at Keeneland. In his next start, he traveled to California to win the seven-furlong Hollywood Prevue Stakes (gr. III) at Hollywood Park.
As a 3-year-old, American Lion stretched out his speed to win the Illinois Derby (gr. III) at 1 1/8 miles in his first start on dirt.
“I've had a lot of luck with sons of Tiznow, including Well Armed and Colonel John, and I'm excited to come to Darby Dan Farm with American Lion, who I think was as talented as they come,” said owner Bill Casner in a statement. “If you come and look at American Lion, you will want to breed to him. He demonstrates the best of Tiznow's strengths, and I look forward to supporting him with my own mares.”
An earner of $417,800, American Lion is out of the Storm Cat mare Storm Tide. Bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm and Dr. William Lockridge, his second dam is grade I winner City Band.
American Lion will stand for a 2012 fee of $5,000 stands and nurses. Lifetime breeding rights are also available for purchase.