By Alan Porter
With around five months of juvenile racing in the books for 2010, several freshman sires have been represented by stakes winners. The “young guns” have recently made an impact in graded stakes company, so it’s worth having a quick review. Following are freshman sires ranked in the top 10 nationally that are represented by at least one stakes winner.
Currently leading all freshmen is A.P. Indy’s Florida-based son Congrats . A brother to the over-achieving Flatter, he’s out of a Mr. Prospector mare, so bred on the same cross as Pulpit, Malibu Moon , and Mineshaft . Congrats did take a Saratoga maiden special weight at 2, but he was at his best at 5, when he captured the San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II), and was second in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) and third in the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I).
Congrats has nine winners to date, headed by the Sorrento Stakes (gr. III) victress Wickedly Perfect (TrueNicks-rated B). She is out of a mare by Tactical Cat, so bred on the A.P. Indy/Storm Cat cross that has been so good for Congrats’ close relative Pulpit. Wickedly Perfect also has Northern Dancer and Secretariat in the sire and broodmare sire, and her second dam is by Cold Reception, a son of Secretariat out of Cold Comfort (bred on the same Nearctic/Native Dancer cross as Northern Dancer). Congrats is also sire of Check My Cheeks, a graded stakes winner in Puerto Rico. She is out of a mare by Notebook (a grandson of Raja Baba, who in turn is from A.P. Indy’s family). The second dam is a Nashua/Native Dancer cross, so bred on a reverse nick to Congrats’ broodmare sire, Mr. Prospector.
Second leading freshman is Old Forester, a Canadian-based son of Forestry. His quartet of winners is headed by Tree Pose, a filly who took the Nandi Stakes August 8 at Woodbine. She is TrueNicks-rated A++, and her dam is by Alphabet Soup (by Cozzene), so bred on an extension of the Storm Cat/Caro cross. The second dam is by Seeking the Gold, sire of Forestry’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winning half sister Cash Run.
The runaway Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) winner, Bellamy Road , was clearly a colossal natural talent, but his pedigree didn’t exactly tag him as a natural commercial sire, nor an obvious sire of precocious 2-year-olds, despite a victory in the Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes (gr. III) at 2. Bellamy Road is by Concerto, a son of Chief’s Crown and a useful sire in Florida, but not exactly at the head of anyone’s “sire of sires” list, out of a mare by Deputed Testamony). Still, he’s off to a cracking start with four first-crop 2-year-old winners, headed by Position Limit, five-lengths winner of the Adirondack Stakes (gr. II), and Embellished, who took the Princess Margaret Stakes at Northlands Park by 3½ lengths. TrueNicks-rated A++, Position Limit is out of the Out of Place (by Cox’s Ridge) mare Payable On Demand, who in turn is out of a half sister to the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Summing, so Position Limited has the pedigree to continue to perform as the distances stretch out.
One odd “coincidence” struck us looking at the pedigrees of Position Limit and Embellished. Position Limit’s broodmare sire, Out of Place, is actually a half brother to Rub al Khali, the third dam of Bellamy Road (in fact Rub al Khali is a reverse relative to Position Limit’s dam, as she’s by Mr. Prospector out of Arabian Dancer, and Position Limit’s dam is by a son of Arabian Dancer out of mare by a son of Mr. Prospector). Arabian Dancer is a granddaughter of notable broodmare Exclusive Dancer (by Native Dancer out of Exclusive). Bellamy Road’s other stakes winner, Embellished, is out of a mare by Belong to Me. What is key here is that he is by Danzig (also great-grandsire of Bellamy Road), out of a mare by Exclusive Native , a similarly-bred half brother to Exclusive Dancer, the sixth dam of Bellamy Road, so again doubling the Exclusive family. Now we admit that the Exclusive family connection is a long way back in the pedigree, but with the sire getting his first two stakes winners with a duplication that’s not that often seen, we’d say any Bellamy Roads that you come across with Exclusive in the dam are at least worth a second look.
In contrast to Bellamy Road, one who would appear to have been “nailed on” to make an impression with his first crop was First Samurai . By Giant's Causeway , who is off to a very good start as a sire of sires with his second-crop sons Shamardal (group/grade I sire in Europe and Australia) and Footstepsinthesand, First Samurai won the Champagne and Hopeful Stakes (both gr. I) and was third in the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at 2. He has four winners from 13 starters to date, the most notable of which is the Schuylerville Stakes (gr. III) captress Le Mi Geaux (TrueNicks A++). She is out of a mare by Cryptoclearance, therefore inbred 4x3 to Fappiano (sire of Cryptoclearance and of the second dam of First Samurai). First Samurai is ranked 10th on the freshman sires list.