Leading broodmare sire Mr. Prospector.

Leading broodmare sire Mr. Prospector.

Mr. Prospector Tops Broodmare Sire List For Fifth Year in Row

Published in the Jan. 12 issue of The Blood-Horse
Mr. Prospector continued his stranglehold on the leading broodmare sire list, racking up his fifth title in a row. And despite the stallion's death in 1999 at the age of 29, he figures to keep a hammerlock on the competition for years to come. At his current pace, there is little reason to believe he can't top the list for another five years.

For the third year in a row, Mr. Prospector reached the eight-figure mark in annual earnings, eclipsing his 1999 record of $11,013,234 with $11,174,975 in 2001. In the last three years, he also has been light years ahead of the competition in sheer number of stakes winners. Last year's total of 30 added-money winners was just one shy of the record 31 he had in 2000.

Though not quite completing the alphabet from A to Z, Mr. Prospector's stakes winners in 2001 do run the gamut from Apple of Kent to War Zone. While Mr. Prospector proved to breeders long ago his bloodline crosses well with any other, it's with Northern Dancer-line stallions where the most success has come. It should then be no surprise that a large number of his top runners come when crossed with Storm Cat and Storm Cat-line stallions. Storm Cat was North America's leading sire in 1999 and 2000, the other two years in which Mr. Prospector's broodmare earnings soared past the $10-million mark.

Finder's Fee, a multiple grade I-winning mare who won the Gallant Bloom Handicap (gr. II); the ill-fated Gold Trader, winner of the Golden State Mile; and grade II winner Katz Me If You Can are all examples of the Storm Cat/Mr. Prospector cross in 2001. Storm Cat is the world's most expensive sire, standing the 2002 season at William T. Young's Overbrook Farm near Lexington for $500,000.

A son of Storm Cat, two-time classic winner Tabasco Cat, is the sire of Perfect Cat (out of Perfect Probe, by Mr. Prospector), who won or placed in four graded events in 2001 and earned $335,893.

"It seems logical when a mare owner has a Mr. Prospector mare that he would look for a bloodline of an up-and-coming sire line like Storm Cat's," said Ric Waldman, syndicate manager for Overbrook Farm. "It's logical if a share owner or season owner of Storm Cat or a highly-regarded son of Storm Cat is looking through his broodmare band that he'd look for a Mr. P-line mare.

"Seldom do you find the same offset conditions in the Storm Cat line and Mr. Prospector line."

Another solid cross for Mr. Prospector comes in the form of the sire Kris S., who stands at WinStar Farm near Versailles, Ky. The Kris S./Mr. P nick produced a pair of top fillies in 2001 in graded stakes winners Apple of Kent and Love n' Kiss S.

Oddly, Mr. Prospector has not been one of the more prolific broodmare sires when it comes to Breeders' Cup events, as he was represented in 2001 by his second Breeders' Cup winner: Tempera. The daughter of A.P. Indy won the 2001 Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), as well as the Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar. Her earnings for her first season on the track totaled $670,240.

Mr. Prospector's leading earner for the year was top female turf runner Lailani, bred in Great Britain by Gainsborough Stud. A winner of seven of eight starts in 2001, the daughter of Unfuwain (by Northern Dancer) won grade/group I events in England, Ireland, and the United States. Her lone flop was an eighth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT).

Demand for Mr. Prospector mares remains bullish. In 2001, 19 mares by Mr. P were offered at public auction. Sixteen of those mares were reported as sold for an average of $251,875, good enough to place him among the top 10 sires of broodmares with three or more sold.

From a career standpoint, Mr. P has sired mares that have produced 222 stakes winners, nearly 10%. That number figures to climb even higher in the future.

"You'll see greater numbers of these in the years to come," Waldman said. "It's only logical considering they are the two hottest sire lines. Fifteen years ago you would have said the same thing about the Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector (sire lines)."