By Alan Porter
Two of the most notable races of the weekend were Street Sense's workmanlike score in the Travers Stakes (gr. I), and La Traviata's dominating triumph in the Victory Ride Stakes (gr. III). Apart from their obvious talent, Street Sense and La Traviata have something else in common as they are both from the first crop of what appears to be a very promising group of second-season sires.
Street Sense has ensured that his sire, Street Cry (Machiavellian - Helen Street, by Troy), has enjoyed financial leadership of this group since Breeders' Cup last year. His tally of black type winners is now up to 10, and he has other graded scorers Summer Doldrums, Street Sounds, and Street Magician, and group winners Majestic Roi, Big Timer, and Per Incanto. Street Cry's sire, Machiavellian, had a half-sister to Northern Dancer as his granddam (Raise the Standard), and was out of a mare by Halo, who is a grandson of Almahmoud, as is Northern Dancer. Given those two facts, and given that Machiavellian was a Mr. Prospector son otherwise free of Northern Dancer, it's no surprise that he crossed extremely well with Northern Dancer line mares. Street Cry himself is free of Northern Dancer, and is therefore that highly-desirable commodity: a high-class performer free of his sire's best cross. Not surprisingly, Street Cry has already demonstrated a considerable affinity for Northern Dancer line mares and six of his stakes winners are out of mares by sons or grandsons of Northern Dancer (including Street Sense, who is out of a mare by Dixieland Band).
In second place by 2007 earnings is Johannesburg (Hennessy - Myth, by Ogygian). Given his unique achievements as a 2-year-old, it was expected that Johannesburg would get early runners, and that he did with 27 individual 2-year-old winners, seven of them stakes winners in his first Northern Hemisphere crop to race. What is extremely pleasing, however, is to note that that crop has continued to gain momentum at 3, and this year, six of that crop have captured stakes. Among them are Scat Daddy (a grade I winner at 2 and 3, who will stand alongside his sire at Ashford next year), La Traviata, the commendably tough Teuflesberg ( grade II-placed last year at 2, and a grade II winner this term), and other graded scorers Marcavelly and Baroness Thatcher. Overall, his black type tally stands at 10, with seven at group or graded level. A Northern Dancer line horse, with a double of that patriarch (albeit 4 x 6) and a strain of Mr. Prospector, Johannesburg has responded well to additions of both strains, and several of his best offspring have interesting pedigrees. Scat Daddy is out of a Mr. Prospector mare, with a second dam by Nijinsky II, and is inbred to both Mr. Prospector and Northern Dancer. Overall, Mr. Prospector is duplicated in six of Johannesburg's stakes winners. Particularly interesting are Teuflesberg and La Traviata. Teuflesberg’s dam is by Devil's Bag, but his granddam, Line, is a Mr. Prospector mare who is a three-parts sister to Johannesburg's granddam, Yarn. La Traviata also owns an intriguing pattern as her dam is inbred to Mr. Prospector 3 x 4 through Fappiano (sire of La Traviata’s broodmare sire, Unbridled) and Miswaki (sire of her third dam). Fappiano looks as if he could be particularly interesting with Johannesburg, whose dam is by Ogygian out of Mr. Prospector mare, and Fappiano is by Mr. Prospector out of a half-sister to the dam of Ogygian.
Interestingly enough, both Street Cry and Johannesburg could be well-positioned to capitalize on the emergence of all-weather tracks as a major factor in U.S. racing. Street Cry was never tried on turf, but both his sire and broodmare sire were top-class on that surface, while Johannesburg was a grade I winner on dirt and turf.
Street Cry and Johannesburg are, respectively, from the dominant sire lines of Mr. Prospector and Northern Dancer, but the next four horses on the 2007 Second-Crop Sire List represent a degree of diversification from the current established order. Include (Broad Brush - Illeria, by Stop the Music) is from the Domino branch of Himyar, a sire line which has been virtually exclusively to North America since the 1860s. The line has more often than not hung by a thread (as has the Plaudit branch, now represent by Holy Bull), but Include looks to have a serious shot at continuing the good work of his sire. He is the first of this group to get two grade I winners, with the American Oaks Invitational winner Panty Raid following on from Cash Included, who took last year's Oak Leaf Breeders’ Cup Stakes. Include has also got three other stakes winners, including Runway Rosie, who is also grade I-placed, as well as Prom Shoes, who was beaten in a photo for the Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II). He seems to be working with a remarkably wide range of bloodlines, his stakes winners being out of mares by Private Account, Chimes Band (by Dixieland Band), the Brazilian-bred Siphon, American Standard (by In Reality) and Groovy (a grandson of Buckpasser).
Next in line are the Blushing Groom line horses, Orientate (Mt. Livermore - Dream Team, by Cox's Ridge) and Yonaguska (Cherokee Run - Marital Spook, by Silver Ghost). We covered champion sprinter Orientate in detail last week following the victory of his daughter, Lady Joanne, in the Alabama Stakes (gr. I). To recap in brief, she is one of five first-crop stakes winners for her sire, the others including the Tempted Stakes (gr. III) heroine, Successful Outlook. With an eye to the all-weather, we can note that Orientate was another to win stakes on dirt and turf. Yonaguska did win three graded sprint stakes at 3, but rated higher among his peers as a juvenile, when he won the Flash Stakes and dead-heated for the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I). As expected, his offspring came running early – he had 26 individual first-crop stakes winners – but less predictably, they have proved progressive, with three of them winning stakes this year at 3, and another, Americanus, taking second in the Amsterdam Stakes (gr. II). His fourth stakes winner is current 2-year-old, Yonagucci.
Also on the list of leading second-crop sires is Officer (Bertrando - St. Helens Shadow, by Septieme Ciel), who at his best was a brilliant 2-year-old, and who comes from the Relaunch branch of the In Reality line. He's pinged out with seven first-crop stakes winners, including graded scorer Officer Rocket , and he already has two juvenile stakes winners this year with his second crop. Officer has already struck up a remarkable relationship with Danzig line mares, this cross supplying four of his stakes winners, and he also has three stakes winners out of Mr. Prospector line mares, including Officer Rocket out of a mare by Gone West.
The top 10 are rounded out by E Dubai (Mr. Prospector - Words of War, by Lord at War, Jump Start (A.P. Indy- Steady Cat, by Storm Cat), Mizzen Mast (Cozzene - Kinema, by Graustark), and Came Home (Gone West - Nice Assay, by Clever Trick). E Dubai only has 47 named first-crop Northern Hemisphere foals, but four of them are stakes winners, including graded scorers High Heels and Desert Code, and he already has second-crop juvenile stakes winner Treadmill. Jump Start, whose stud fee started out at $5,000, but was up to $20,000 this year, has four stakes winners – three first-crop, one second – including Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II) winner Jump On In and the highly-rated Cable Boy. Mizzen Mast – another dirt and turf winner – has been flying under the radar, but has an interesting profile. On performance and pedigree, one would expect his offspring to need some time, but his first crop, which has so far provided two stakes winners, is headed by Japanese juvenile grade III stakes winner Tropical Light, and from his second crop, he's already had three 2-year-old stakes winners, one in the U.S., one in France, and one in Italy. All five of his stakes winners to date are out of Northern Dancer line mares. Came Home was among the best credentialed of this group of second-crop sires in terms of race record and pedigree. His results haven't quite reflected that yet, but his first crop is right around the 50% winner to runner mark so far, and has produced two stakes winners, as well as the consistent and highly-tried C P West, and he already has two stakes-placed second-crop juveniles in New York open company, including the graded stakes-placed Passion.
A top 2007 second-crop sire outside of Kentucky is Florida's Graeme Hall (Dehere - Win Crafty Lady, by Crafty Prospector), who has 34 winners from 47 first-crop starters, two stakes winners and five other stakes-placed horses, including the Prioress Stakes (gr. I) runner-up Graeme Six, and grade II-placed Whatdreamsrmadeof.