It's always of note when a Horse of the Year's first crop comes to market. But it's even more significant this year when it's 2005 Horse of Year Saint Liam's only crop.
Saint Liam, 2005 Horse of the Year and champion older male, was euthanized in August 2006 after suffering a fracture to his left hind leg while being led to his paddock at William S. Farish’s Lane’s End Farm near Versailles, Ky., where he was standing his first season at stud. Owned by William Warren Jr. and his wife, Suzanne, Saint Liam’s lone crop yielded 96 foals.
“I am very positive about his offspring,” Warren said. “He was a great champion, and I am looking forward to watching his runners on the racetrack. Of the yearlings I have seen, they tend to look a lot like Saint Liam. I hope his offspring can and will carry on his legacy.”
Last fall, Warren privately purchased six weanlings by Saint Liam—four colts and two fillies privately. Included in his purchases was colt out of multiple graded-stakes winner Gold Mover (by Gold Fever), a colt out of Foolishly (by Broad Brush), a colt out of Miss Golden Circle (by Crafty Prospector), a colt out of Great Connection (by Dayjur), a filly out of Danzig’s Dreamer (by Rubiano), and the filly American Heritage out of Liberty Flag (by Kingmambo).
“I am still in the market to look at and possibly purchase more (Saint Liam yearlings),” said Warren, who will not attend the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale in person, but will have representatives looking at the two fillies and one colt that have been cataloged for the July 14-15 auction. Warren does plan to attend the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga August yearling sale, which will offer four offspring by Saint Liam.
The first yearlings by Saint Liam were offered at the 2008 Keeneland January mixed sale. Of the two fillies and two colts that went through the ring, three were sold for $770,000 to average $256,667. Included was the highest-priced yearling at the auction, a filly out of the Deputy Minister mare Ministrada that was purchased by Tommy Van Meter of Eaton Sales for $475,000 from the consignment of Robert Courtney, agent.
His first crop of weanlings sold at public auction in 2007 averaged $101,500, from the three colts and four fillies to sell publicly.
A son of the deceased stallion Saint Ballado, Saint Liam earned championship honors following a win in the 1 1/4-mile Breeders’ Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I). His other three wins that year also came in grade I stakes: the Donn and Stephen Foster Handicaps, and the Woodward Stakes. He ended his racing career with nine wins and six seconds from 20 starts and earnings of $4,456,995.
Bred in Kentucky by Edward P. Evans, Saint Liam was produced from the Quiet Americanmare Quiet Dance.
Saint Liam isn’t the first stallion to die early in his career. Sheikh Mohammed’s European champion Dubai Millennium died in 2001 of grass sickness while standing his first season at the sheikh’s Dalham Hall Stud near Newmarket, England. His sole crop of 54 foals included English and Irish champion Dubawi , who is standing stud at Darley in Ireland.
Sheikh Mohammed purchased the majority of Dubai Millennium’s foals privately. Three--two colts and one filly--were offered as yearlings at public auction. They averaged $1,692,616.
Shergar, an English and Irish champion for the Aga Khan, is another stallion who serviced only one book of mares. He stood in 1982 at Ballymany Stud in Ireland before being kidnapped. He is presumed dead. His first crop produced English champion Maysoon and Irish and Australian group I winner Authaal.