Oasis Dream (GB) was considered a mildly-successful sire after his first two crops reached the track. An explosive year including the emergence of recent group II victor Monitor Closely (IRE) guarantees Oasis Dream more respect in Europe and internationally.
The German Thoroughbred is a stouter, more stamina-oriented version of the breed in England, France, or the U.S. The possibilities for outcross - and just plain high quality - make German bloodlines sought after in the West.
Thanks to Mine That Bird and Rachel Alexandra, respectively, both Birdstone and Medaglia d'Oro have achieved the distinction of becoming Classic sires with their first crops. But how much of a boost will it really give them?
The first Saturday in May is a red-letter day on the American racing calendar Derby Day. But it is also an important day in European racing as the European Classic season kicks off with the Two Thousand Guineas. This year's Guineas was won by Christopher Tsui's Sea The Stars (IRE) and was quite as memorable for the connections of the winner as for the winner himself.
For Sunday Racing Co., life could not be better. The partnership heads into the Derby with a colt that was not only sired by one Derby winner but is half-brother to another - talk about pedigree. And that colt won his final pre-Derby race impressively April 19 to establish himself as the probable favorite for the big race.
One of the great uncertainties in evaluating the prospects of this year's Kentucky Derby contenders is weighing all-weather form. And it has been brought into particularly sharp focus by the efforts of two horses that have run behind the West Coast's dominant 3-year-old, Pioneerof the Nile.
With his victory March 21 in the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II), WinStar Farm's homebred Hold Me Back answered one big question but raised three more. Whether he has the class to be competitive with this year's better 3-year-olds is no longer in doubt.
When White Beauty arrived into the world in the spring of 1963, what she portended to breeder Herman Goodpaster was trouble. At the time, The Jockey Club did not accept "white" as a color for registration, and there was serious doubt as to whether a pure Thoroughbred could be white.
Foals from the first Elusive Quality crop conceived after Smarty Jones's heroics have come to hand earlier. Even though they've only just turned 3, five of their number are stakes winners. Prominent among them is Fountain of Youth winner Quality Road.
One generally doesn't expect to find Kentucky Derby hopefuls hurtling down 4 1/2 furlongs at Churchill Downs in May of their juvenile season. Even less expected would be for that debut to be in a $20,000 maiden claiming event. That, however, was the launching point for the career of General Quarters.
In the case of Friesan Fire, understanding was a little slow in coming, but Larry Jones' patience seems to be paying off. On pedigree, Jones had every reason to be confident that Friesan Fire would eventually come around.
Speightstown's sophomores are off to a quick start with Haynesfield taking the Count Fleet Stakes and Gemswick Park scoring a game victory in the Old Hat Stakes (gr. III) in the first weekend of the new year.
Pioneerof the Nile, winner of the CashCall Futurity (gr. I), is one of three Empire Maker sons whose recent performances have helped grow their sire's reputation among breeders. The others are Daiwa Prevail (JPN) and Summer's Empire.
Laragh's victories, most recently in the grade I Hollywood Starlet Stakes Dec. 13, have helped seal her sire Tapit's position as the leading freshman sire and juvenile sire of 2008. Laragh has won on synthetic surfaces and turf and could be equally dangerous as a sophomore on dirt in 2009.
Peppers Pride extended the modern day American record for consecutive wins to 19 when she won at Zia Park on Dec. 14. It may have been the amazing New Mexico-bred filly's final performance and was certainly one of her best.
Brilliant speed isn't the trait you'd expect from the offspring of Briecat's sire and dam. Her sire Adcat won his best race at nine furlongs. Briecat's broodmare sire Marlin won a grade I race at 1 3/4 miles, the 1997 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap. And yet, here is Briecat, who won the Bayakoa H. (gr. II) in near track-record time.
Old Fashioned won the Remsen Stakes (gr. II) impressively and seems ready to add to his family's already sterling reputation. The son of Unbridled's Song is out of Collect Call, who decends from the family of notable producer Maggie B.B. This family has produced eight champions.
Deja vu? It may feel that way for Paul Pompa, Jr. Last year, he sold a 75% interest in Big Brown to IEAH Stables after the colt broke his maiden. Now the phones are ringing with offers again thanks to Well Positioned, who cruised to a 14 ¼-length maiden victory Nov. 22 at Aqueduct.
Candy Ride's success as a first-crop sire was emphasized recently when daughter Evita Argentina took the Moccasin Stakes at Hollywood Park, and his son El Brujo claimed runner-up spot in Canada's top juvenile contest, the Coronation Futurity.
Broodmares could wear the same warning as mutual funds: past performance is not an indicator of future results. Several top-selling broodmares that had produced multiple graded stakes winners before being sold never repeated their success for their new owners.
Crowded House raised his profile as a contender in next year's European classics when he won the Racing Post Trophy (Eng-I) on Oct. 25. The question is whether his sire Rainbow Quest can add distance to the colt's speed-oriented female side.
For whatever Vertigineux lacked as a racehorse, she has more than made up for as a broodmare. The first three foals produced by the daughter of Kris S. have all become stakes winners, including Zenyatta.
Kingmambo excelled at a mile on the track but his offspring have shown a mix of speed and stamina. Henrythenavigator, a three-time group I winner, is among Europe's leading milers this year. He is the sixth group winner and third classic winner produced from the cross of Kingmambo with Sadler's Wells daughters.
Street Boss is completely different horse than he was in 2007, when he couldn't seem to break through with a big win in allowance company. This year the son of Street Cry has won six of seven starts, with two wins in grade I races. He has become the third exceptional racehorse to blossom out of his sire's first crop.