After finishing a close second behind In Excess on the California general leading sire list for 2003, Roar soared past his rival to claim the top spot at the close of 2004 with progeny earnings of $4,394,808. He ranks 24th on the national list of leading general sires. In Excess finished second on the California general sire list, with progeny earnings of $4,013,762. Roar was relocated to Tom and Nancy Clark's Rancho San Miguel near San Miguel, Calif., following the 2002 breeding season after standing the previous six seasons at William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky. The son of Forty Niner shuttled to Haras La Biznaga in Argentina for the 1999 Southern Hemisphere breeding season. Roar was led in 2004 progeny earnings by Argentine-bred Little Jim, who captured the U.A.E. Two Thousand Guineas (UAE-III) in his first start of the season. Racing in the United States for Darley Stable, Little Jim earned $393,510 in 2004, with a record of 1-1-2 from five starts. Additional stakes winners on the year for Roar included: Roar Emotion (gr. III), Lotta Kim, Fudge Fatale, and Pie's Lil Brother. In Argentina, he was represented by group winners Forty Marchanta (Arg-I), Forty Mirage (Arg-I), Forty Greeta (Arg-I), Forty Doriana (Arg-I), Forty Fabuloso (Arg-I), Gran Muralla (Arg-II), Forty Dorico (Arg-II), Forty Rosarino (Arg-III), Forty Miau (Arg-III), Forty Missing, and Forty Banderin. Tom Clark said Roar's 2005 book would be limited to between 50-to-60 mares, although the book could increase. Last year, Roar covered more than 100 mares, with 51 getting in foal. "We tried to overextend him a little last year," Clark said. "He does not have a fertility problem. This year, we will emphasize quality over quantity." Clark called Roar an all-around stallion. "He has the pedigree, conformation, and he was a very good racehorse. He breeds speed and runners who can stay. Roar is just a very useful stallion." Roar stood the 2004 season for $6,000 and will stand the 2005 season for $15,000. "In the national rankings, he was by far the cheapest horse available and this just places him in the same category with the stallions surrounding him. He is still not the most expensive horse in the state," Clark said. Produced from the Northern Dancer mare Wild Applause, Roar was bred in Kentucky by Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider. He ended his career with a record of 4-1-4 from 12 starts, and earned $487,507. NEW YORK
Gold Fever moved from the show position a year earlier to the winner's circle on the list of leading general sires standing in New York at the close of the 2004 racing year. The son of Forty Niner ended the year with progeny earnings of $4,033,485 and ranks 31st on the national list of leading sires. In 2003, Gold Fever finished third on New York's leading general sire list behind Regal Classic and Dixie Brass with earnings of $2,999,961. Gold Fever stands at Debra and Michael Lischin's Metropolitan Stud near Pine Plains, N.Y. He stood the 2004 season for $5,000 and will hold court in 2005 for the same amount. In 2004, 84 winners from 141 starters represented Gold Fever. His lone stakes winner on the year, the 3-year-old A Bit O'Gold, won four stakes races, all in Canada. Sovereign Award winner A Bit O'Gold scored wins in the Plate Trial, Prince of Wales, Breeders' Stakes, and Ontario Derby. He earned $1,060,790. Cynthia Phipps bred Gold Fever in Kentucky from the Majestic Light mare Lead Kindly Light. Gold Fever earned $480,712 while winning seven of 18 career starts, including the 1996 NYRA Mile (gr. I). TEXAS
After Valid Expectations finished on top of the Texas leading general sire list at the end of 2003, Danny Shifflett, farm manager at Lane's End Texas, where the son of Valid Appeal stands, called the stallion the perfect horse for the Texas market. It seems that title fits once again, as Valid Expectations made it a threepeat as the top-ranked sire in the Lone Star State with 2004 progeny earnings of $3,704,481, placing him 40th on the national leading general sire list. His runners earned $3,728,127 in 2003. "He really is the perfect horse for this market," Shifflett said. "He is a sire of speed, soundness, and gets very precocious runners. He is the type of stallion that would work well anywhere. "The soundness of his babies and their intelligence, coupled with the fact that they are easy to work with, just make him an excellent sire. You can walk out into the field and pick out any one of his babies. He really stamps his foals and they all look a lot like him." Valid Expectations also ranked seventh on the list of leading sires of 2-year-olds. Leaving On My Mind, who earned $299,873 on the year, led him on both lists. Leaving On My Mind races as a Texas homebred for George Wolff and is trained by Danny Phish. Produced from the Rare Performer mare Sudden Attraction, Leaving On My Mind had four stakes wins on the year, including the Texas Stallion Two-Year-Old Colts and Geldings Stakes at Retama Park and the Jean Lafitte Stakes at Delta Downs. He finished his juvenile season with a record of 5-2-3 from 13 starts. The stud fee for Valid Expectations was increased from 2004's $12,500 to $17,500 for the 2005 breeding season. "The fee was increased a little because of what his runners have proven on the track," Shifflett said. "He is still a good value, and of the six stallions ahead of him on the 2-year-old list, he is still the best value for the money." In 2004, Valid Expectations bred 84 mares and Shifflett said it's likely he will breed the same amount in 2005. "We could breed more mares to him if we wanted," he said. "But we're trying to be more selective with the approved mares, looking more at pedigree, race record, and production." FLORIDA
Led by multiple grade I winner Southern Image, Halo's Image earned leading Florida sire honors at the close of 2004 with progeny earnings of $3,485,869. Halo's Image, who finished 46th on the national leading general sire list, stands at Arthur I. Appleton's Bridlewood Farm near Ocala, Fla. Appleton owns Halo's Image in partnership with Happy Alter. The two men bred the 14-year-old stallion from the Valid Appeal mare Sugar's Image. "Besides Southern Image, he had his share of winners (59) this year at all levels," said George Isaacs, farm manager at Bridlewood. "He is 15.3 hands and very correct and I believe him to be the best-looking son of Halo out there." Halo's Image stood for $7,000 in 2004 and his fee increased to $10,000 for the 2005 season. "Due to his number of winners, his fee was increased a little this year," Isaacs said. "We still believe him to be very value oriented. We had to recognize success and give him a modest increase." Isaacs said as a sire, Halo's Image is known for passing along speed, of which he is the recipient from both his sire and dam's side of the pedigree. "There aren't many sons of Halo out there, so he is a good cross with a large number of mares," Isaacs said. "He's big enough to breed with small or medium-sized mares." Bred by Appleton, Southern Image earned $1,612,150 while winning three times from four starts this year for trainer Mike Machowsky. Southern Image is campaigned by Blahut Stables, Kagele Brothers, and Allen and Josh Tepper. Produced from the Dixieland Band mare Pleasant Dixie, Southern Image began 2004 with a bang, a three-length score in the Barretts/CTBA Classic Stakes on the Sunshine Millions card. He followed that with a 1 1/4-length score in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), giving the then-4-year-old runner back-to-back $1-million race wins. He next secured a 1 1/4-length win in the Pimlico Special Handicap (gr. I), and hasn't raced since finishing a nose back in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I). He missed the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) in July due to a foot injury and is being pointed toward a 2005 campaign. LOUISIANA
The new kid on the bayou claimed leading sire honors in Louisiana at the close of the year with progeny earnings of $2,212,375. Afternoon Deelites was relocated from Airdrie Stud near Midway, Ky., to Clear Creek Stud near Folsom, La., prior to the 2004 breeding season. His first Louisiana- conceived foals hit the ground in 2005. Afternoon Deelites stands under a lease arrangement on behalf of a syndicate for $4,000. "He's the nicest horse I think we have ever had on the property," said Val Murrell, farm manager at Clear Creek Stud. "And we have some very nice stallions now." In addition to being the top-ranked stallion standing in Louisiana, Afternoon Deelites is ranked 30th on the national leading sires of 2-year-olds list. He is led in progeny earnings by Arlington-Washington Breeders' Cup Futurity (gr. III) winner Three Hour Nap, who earned $158,400 from winning three of four starts on the year. Murrell said Afternoon Deelites has been well received by Louisiana breeders and by breeders in surrounding states looking to take advantage of the lucrative Louisiana-bred program. "We are booking mares to him at a more accelerated rate," he said. "People are enthusiastic about the money available in the breeders' program." Afternoon Deelites bred 80 mares in Louisiana last year and is expected to be bred to 100 or more mares in 2005. Afternoon Deelites (Private Terms--Intimate Girl, by Medaille d'Or) was a grade I winner at two and three and a grade II winner at four while racing for Burt Bacharach and trainer Richard Mandella. Afternoon Deelites earned $1,061,193 and ended his career with a record of 7-3-0 from 12 starts. CANADA
Bold Executive repeated as the leading Canadian-based sire at the close of 2004. His progeny earned $2,800,055, with 45 winners from 88 starters, including four stakes winners. He also led Canadian-based sires in 2003. Bold Executive stands at Gardiner Farms in Ontario. His 2004 fee was $7,500 and he will stand in 2005 for $10,000 (Canadian). Sovereign Award winner Blonde Executive led the way in 2004 for Bold Executive with earnings of $414,263. The then-3-year-old filly won the Lady Angela, Passing Mood, La Prevoyante, and Duchess Stakes (Can-III), all at Woodbine, on the year. Also representing Bold Executive as stakes winners in 2004 were Barath, Bold Artic Ice, and Simply Lovely. By Bold Ruckus out of the Victoria Park mare Arctic Vixen, Bold Executive was bred in Ontario by Gus Schickedanz. His biggest win came in the Shepperton Stakes at Woodbine while racing for Marcello Romeo and Pedigree Stud Farm. He earned $365,305 from a record of 6-9-1 in 19 career starts.