Chapel Royal, a former Kentucky stallion getting ready to stand his first season at William Schettine’s Signature Stallions near Reddick, Fla., in 2009, has become the new leader among Northern Hemisphere first-crop sires by number of 2-year-old winners in a calendar year. The 7-year-old son of Montbrook is represented this year by 36 of them, one more than the former mark set by Irish stallion Invincible Spirit in 2006.
Chapel Royal began his stallion career at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky., after a racing career during which he was one of the top 2-year-olds of 2003. He captured his first three starts, including the Sanford (gr. II) and Flash (gr. III) Stakes, and then was grade I stakes-placed three times. He ran second in the Champagne (gr. I) and Hopeful (gr. I) Stakes and third in the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
One of the most popular stallions in the country since entering stud, Chapel Royal covered 221 mares in 2005, then 168 in 2006, followed by 165 in 2007, and then 194 in 2008. His 2-year-old crop consists of 174 offspring.
Chapel Royal is a sort of a chip off the old block. His sire, 18-year-old Montbrook, who stands at Michael O’Farrell’s Ocala Stud Farm near Ocala, Fla., once had 20 juveniles winners from a crop consisting of 60 foals for an exceptional 33% average that year. For his career, Montbrook is represented by 20% juvenile winners from foals.
Chapel Royal will be returning to his home state for stallion duty. He was bred by Michael O’Farrell’s Ocala Stud, and was the top-priced individual at $1.2 million at the 2003 Ocala Breeders’ Sale Co.’s February sale of 2-year-olds in training when sold to Coolmore associate Demi O’Byrne. Ashford is a satellite of Irish-based Coolmore.
Florida stallions for years have excelled when it comes to 2-year-olds. In 1986, Lawmaker was represented by 30 juvenile winners from his first crop, breaking Star Shoot’s record of 27 juvenile winners set in 1916.
The 30 was a record for any type stallion, freshman or otherwise. Lawmaker was owned by Celestino DiLibero and stood at DiLibero Farm near Citra.
In 1998, another Florida first-year stallion, End Sweep, broke that record with 34 juvenile winners. End Sweep stood at Harry Mangurian Jr.’s Mockingbird Farm near Ocala. He later was sold to Arrowfield Stud in Australia and then to Japan.
In 2003, Fasliyev, who stood at Coolmore, equaled End Sweep’s record. His total of 34 that year included a 2-year-old that was conceived when Fasliyev was at stud in Australia.
Chapel Royal, who is out of the Cutlass mare Cut Class Leanne, reached No. 36 when his son Field Chapel won Dec. 7 at Hanshin in Japan.
Chapel Royal’s winners include three stakes-placed runners. One of them, Advice, ran third in the Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. III).