By Alan Porter
One school of thought holds that the type of horse to look for as a potential broodmare sire is a good-sized, scopey kind of horse whose conformation suggests he will get mares with plenty of room to carry their foals.
The most recent exception to this line of reasoning is a relatively small individual rapidly rising through the broodmare sire ranks, the diminutive Rahy, whose height is advertised at just 15.1 hands. The 22-year-old Rahy occupies the 10th position on the leading broodmare sire list as of July 31 and is the youngest horse among the top 15 to have stood in the U.S. His deeds in this department were brought into particularly sharp focus on the weekend of July 21-22 when Rahy daughters were represented by Lattice, who took the American Derby (gr. IIT), and After Market, winner of the Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT).
While Rahy’s physique may not have put him in everyone’s front rank of prospective broodmare sires, his pedigree was a different story. It’s not unusual for sons of outstanding racemares or producers to go on to be good broodmare sires, and Rahy’s dam, Glorious Song, more than fit both of those descriptions. The daughter of Halo – himself an outstanding broodmare sire – was champion older mare in the U.S. and Horse of the Year and two-time champion older mare in Canada. Besides producing Rahy, a stakes winner and group I-placed performer in England at 2, and a wide margin winner of the Bel Air Handicap (gr. II) at 4, Glorious Song’s offspring also include the globe-trotting Singspiel and Rakeen. Singspiel won group and grade I events in four different countries, as well as the Dubai World Cup at a time when that event had yet to acquire graded status. Rakeen is a Northern Dancer colt who won a grade II and a grade III stakes in South Africa, and subsequently became a leading sire there. In addition to Glorious Song’s own achievements, she was also a full sister to champion 2-year-old colt Devil’s Bag and multiple-graded scorer and outstanding sire Saint Ballado.
Rahy has been widely considered as a ‘filly sire’. This perception, however, is not entirely supported by the facts. Mariah’s Storm was the star of his first crop, and he did get the exceptional fillies Serena’s Song and Exotic Wood in his second crop. It is also true that among his group/grade I winners the females outnumber males seven to four, but of his first 33 group or graded winners, 18 are males and 15 females, and two of his best runners, Fantastic Light and Noverre, are colts. Still, with the trio of star distaffers from his first two crops being joined by Tranquility Lake, Tates Creek, Dreaming of Anna, and Shining Energy, there is little doubt about Rahy’s ability to sire quality females, and, not surprisingly, that is often the trait of a broodmare sire.
At time of writing, Rahy is broodmare sire of at least 47 Northern Hemisphere stakes winners, 19 of them group or graded, and six group or grade Is. He’s struck up a particularly rich relationship with Storm Cat, with the cross of Storm Cat over Rahy mares producing champion Giant’s Causeway (out of Mariah’s Storm), group/grade I winners Sophisticat (out of Serena’s Song) and After Market (out of Tranquility Lake), group and graded winners Grand Reward (brother to Sophisticat) and You’resothrilling (sister to Giant’s Causeway), and stakes winner True Cause. Storm Cat sons Tabasco Cat, Forest Wildcat, Storm Boot and Stormy Atlantic have all also sired stakes winners out of Rahy mares.
The other development relevant to Rahy’s potential legacy as a broodmare sire is his growing reputation as a broodmare sire of sires. The first sire out of a Rahy mare to have runners is Giant’s Causeway, who ended his freshman season as Europe’s leading first season sire, and is now one of North America’s leading stallions (in fact he currently sits third on the general sires list). The most recent successful stallion out of a Rahy mare is Posse, who already has four stakes winners in his first crop in 2007, and at time of writing sits atop the freshman sire list. This promising start by Rahy as a broodmare sire of sires augurs well for young stallions at stud out of Rahy mares, such as Even the Score and Grand Reward, and potential sires such as After Market, Harlington and Lattice.
Storm Cat is a grandson of Northern Dancer (whose second dam, Almahmoud, is also second dam of Rahy’s broodmare sire, Halo) and Rahy mares have already worked well with a wide variety of other branches of the Northern Dancer line. The best filly out of a Rahy mare, Megahertz, is by Pivotal, an English-based grandson of Nureyev. There are also group and graded stakes winners out of Rahy mares by Shinko Forest and Flying Spur (both from the Danzig branch), by Silver Deputy, by Summer Squall (a three-quarters relative to Storm Cat), and by Nijinsky II’s son Green Dancer.
As far as the Mr. Prospector line is concerned, it’s extremely interesting to note that the two best performers bred on a Mr. Prospector/Rahy cross are grade II winners Even the Score and Harlington, one by Unbridled’s Song, and the other by his sire, Unbridled, both horses noted for being at the opposite end of the height scale to Rahy.
Another interesting aspect of Rahy’s career, both as a sire and a broodmare sire, is his success when combined with the Seattle Slew strain. Historically, the Blushing Groom/Seattle Slew cross has been a disappointing one, but Rahy has five stakes winners, four graded on this cross, including grade I winner Early Pioneer, and graded victors Miss Ra He Ra and Raw Gold, all bred on the Three Chimneys Farm “in house” cross of Rahy over out mares by Slew o’ Gold. The reverse cross has produced Brazilian grade I winners Osceola and Quick Gipsy (both by American Gipsy, a son of Septieme Ciel), and graded winners Rutherienne (by Pulpit) and Mauk Four (by Boston Harbor).