Students of economics long have known the significant correlation between speed and availability of information and its volatility in the marketplace. The same principle is reflected in stallion fashionability and has led to more than the occasional rush to judgment regarding a young sire, even in cases where the stallion is the sort whose runners are the type to improve with age. Of course, such judgments often are proved premature, and we had a couple of “classic” examples in mid-July.
European champion older horse Duke of Marmalade retired to stud at a fee of 40,000 Euros. A less than spectacular start with his first 2-year-olds in 2012, however, saw his weanlings—conceived at a stud fee of 25,000 Euros—average just 8,856 guineas (roughly 11,500 Euros), and for the 2013 breeding season his stud fee dropped to 12,500 Euros. The odds were always in favor of Duke of Marmalade’s offspring improving with age, and a look at the European second-crop sire table for 2013 shows Duke of Marmalade as second to New Approach by earnings and a clear leader by individual stakes winners with six, including Venus de Milo, who was beaten just a half-length July 20 in the Darley Irish Oaks (Ire-I). For good measure, another Duke of Marmalade daughter, Saltanat, won the Oaks Spolecnosti Litvinovska Uhelna in the Czech Republic the same weekend, although that one doesn’t count as black type.
Similarly, in the U.S., as a Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) winner by A.P. Indy out of multiple grade I-winning sprinter Dream Supreme, Majestic Warrior—who retired to stud at $20,000—was expected to make a significant impact with his first juveniles last year. He succeeded in siring 33 individual winners, but not one of them captured a stakes event. Like Duke of Marmalade, however, Majestic Warrior has made impressive strides this season, and he is now second only to Midnight Lute among second-crop sires by earnings, and he leads by individual stakes winners, with six.
Three of his stakes winners have won at graded level: Declan's Warrior, who took the Bay Shore Stakes (gr. III); Best Warrior, who took the Unicorn Stakes (Jpn-III); and Princess of Sylmar, who went to the head of the 3-year-old filly division July 20 by adding a six-length romp in the TVG Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) to her earlier victory in the Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). The CCA Oaks was the sixth win in eight starts for Princess of Sylmar.
After finishing fourth in a maiden special weight at Penn National Race Course on her debut, Princess of Sylmar tallied by 19 lengths over a mile at the same venue as a November juvenile. She concluded her first season with another easy victory, scoring by 5 1/4 lengths in an allowance/optional claiming event at Aqueduct Racetrack in December. The wide-margin triumphs continued in the Busanda Stakes and Busher Stakes at Aqueduct at the start of the year, which Princess of Sylmar took by 7 1/2 lengths and seven lengths, respectively. In her only other outing, the Gazelle Stakes (gr. II), which preceded her classic triumphs, she was unable to catch front-running Close Hatches, subsequent heroine of the Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I).
Princess of Sylmar is the first foal of Storm Dixie who, like Princess of Sylmar, campaigned the for King of Prussia Stable of Ed Stanco. A daughter of the Storm Cat horse Catienus, Storm Dixie won just once in 10 starts, a New York-bred maiden special weight at Saratoga Race Course on her debut at 2, but she earned black type with a second in the Crockadore Stakes at Belmont Park on her first start at 3.
Storm Dixie is a half sister to Rhythm Band, a Cozzene son who earned black type with a win in the Dubai Duty Free (UAE-III),, and to the Florida Oaks (gr. III) third Musical. The deeds of Princess of Sylmar represent a considerable advance over the recent achievements of the family. Her third dam, Wind Talk, was a minor winner, but she never produced a black-type horse, and while she’s second dam of a pair of stakes winners, Ty Man and Tauke, they earned their black type in restricted events at Fonner Park and Horsemen’s Park. Similarly, the only black type under fourth dam Chic Chuck is Rebound, who was out of a sister to Wind Talk, and who won the Floyd Duncan Memorial Stakes at Rockingham Park. Chic Chuck was a sister to the Cincinnati Trophy Stakes winner Controversial, and her dam, Roann, captured the Pontalba Stakes. The family goes back to Princess of Sylmar’s eighth dam Jo Agnes, a tough performer during the 1940s, when she captured 21 of 84 starts, including the Raceland Handicap at Rockingham Park. Jo Agnes also produced the Artful Handicap scorer Jo Pilot, is ancestress of several minor stakes winners, and is fourth dam of Becky U., who took the Open Fire Stakes (gr. IIIT).
Princess of Sylmar (TrueNicks-rated A++) is bred on a variation of the cross of A.P. Indy and his sons over mares by Storm Cat and sons that has already produced 46 stakes winners, including, in addition to Princess of Sylmar, other grade I winners It's Tricky, Turbulent Descent, Love and Pride, Ice Box , Dialed In , Sky Mesa , Wickedly Perfect, Eden's Moon, Mi Sueno, and Overbrook. Princess of Sylmar is inbred 4x3 to Dixieland Band through Majestic Warrior’s grade I-winning second dam Spinning Round (by Dixieland Band out of a mare by Secretariat) and Princess of Sylmar’s second dam, Golden Wave Band (by Dixieland Band out of a mare by Drone, a son of Secretariat’s half brother Sir Gaylord). We can also note the Majestic Warrior’s dam, Dream Supreme, is by a son of Mr. Prospector out of a mare bred on a Northern Dancer/Secretariat cross, where Princess of Sylmar’s broodmare sire Catienus is by Storm Cat (a Northern Dancer/Secretariat cross) out of a mare by Mr. Prospector.