For those pedigree pundits who marvel at the domination of a few top sire lines, here's some more good news. Half of the select field of 24 stallions entering stud in 2002 descend from the Mr. Prospector male line.
And here's some more bad news, or good news, depending on how one looks at it. The No. 2 male line belongs to Northern Dancer, who is represented by six male-line descendants. Add them up, and 18 of the 24 top stallion prospects (75%), denoted by racetrack accomplishments and/or stud fees, belong to the two top modern-day sire lines.
Leading the way by price and prestige is Mr. Prospector's great-grandson Point Given, whose five grade I wins as a 3-year-old in 2001 were the most for a champion 3-year-old male since Holy Bull in 1994. A son of Thunder Gulch, Point Given will stand for $125,000 at Robert N. Clay's Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky. The price is $25,000 less than what top incoming stallion Fusaichi Pegasus commanded his first year in 2001, but is $95,000 more than this year's runner-up Tiznow. Fusaichi Pegasus, by Mr. Prospector, covered 151 mares at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky., before being sent to Coolmore Australia for the Southern Hemisphere season.
The number of select stallions entering stud is down considerably from 2001, when 37 stallions were welcomed to the North American stallion ranks, but is up from 2000, when only 19 were featured.
There is talk about how many top stallion prospects head overseas, but for all practical purposes, only one, $6.8 million earner Captain Steve, is gone. Captain Steve, whose big win came in this year's Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), will stand in Japan for ¥1.8 million (approximately $15,000), and is expected to cover 70 mares.
The top 24 incoming stallions include those who will stand for $7,500 or more, or who achieved the status of grade I winner, group I winner, or millionaire.
Following are brief profiles, starting with the ones who have the highest-priced fees. Point Given
(1998, Thunder Gulch--Turko's Turn, by Turkoman, $125,000, Three Chimneys Farm, Midway, Ky.). A lock for champion 3-year-old male and one of two candidates for Horse of the Year, Point Given scored grade I wins in the 2001 Preakness, Belmont, and Travers Stakes, plus the Santa Anita Derby and Haskell Invitational Handicap. His 117 Beyer Speed Figure in the 1 1/4-mile Travers was the highest for a 3-year-old around two turns this year. Point Given, who won the 2000 Hollywood Futurity (gr. I), is the only colt from his crop to win at the grade I level at ages two and three in the U.S. He enters stud with $3.9 million in earnings. Tiznow
(1997, Cee's Tizzy--Cee's Song, by Seattle Song, $30,000, WinStar Farm, Versailles, Ky.). Tiznow, the first horse to win consecutive runnings of the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), stands a good chance of becoming the first two-time Horse of the Year since Cigar in the mid-1990s and the first to win the title at ages three and four since Affirmed in the late 1970s. Tiznow also scored a grade I win in this year's Santa Anita Handicap, and his victory in the 2000 Super Derby XXI (gr. I) came in track-record time of 1:59.84 for 1 1/4 miles at Louisiana Downs. Unplaced only once in 15 starts (in his first start), Tiznow ranks as the year's leading money-earner entering stud, with $6.4 million. Aptitude
(1997, A.P. Indy--Dokki, by Northern Dancer, $25,000, Juddmonte Farms, Lexington). Aptitude posted the year's highest Beyer Speed Figure--a 123--in his 10-length triumph in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I). He also won this year's Hollywood Gold Cup Stakes (gr. I, by disqualification) and Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) and enters stud with $1.9 million in earnings. A Seattle Slew grandson, Aptitude ran second in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Belmont Stakes (gr. I), and his dam, Dokki, is a half-sister to champion Slew o' Gold (by Seattle Slew) and classic winner Coastal. El Corredor
(1997, Mr. Greeley--Silvery Swan, by Silver Deputy, $20,000, Hill 'n' Dale Farms, Lexington). Only three horses posted faster Beyer Speed Figures than the 119 El Corredor recorded in winning the seven-furlong Pat O'Brien Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar in 2001. Even better, that performance came in his first start since he captured the Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I) the previous November. El Corredor twice won the Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) and ran a strong second against Fusaichi Pegasus in the Jerome Handicap (gr. II). He won seven of 10 starts and earned $727,920. A P Valentine
(1998, A.P. Indy--Twenty Eight Carat, by Alydar, $15,000, Ashford Stud, Versailles, Ky.). Prominent trainer Nick Zito called A P Valentine the "best horse I've ever trained, period," after the colt duplicated the feat of his grandsire, Seattle Slew, by winning the Champagne Stakes (gr. I). A P Valentine, who beat Point Given in the Champagne, returned as a 3-year-old to run second in the Preakness (gr. I) and Belmont (gr. I) Stakes and set a Hialeah track record of 1:40.39 for 1 1/16 miles. His dam, Twenty Eight Carat (in foal to Fusaichi Pegasus), topped the recent Keeneland November sale at $4 million. A P Valentine earned $864,170. Black Minnaloushe
(1998, Storm Cat--Coral Dance, by Green Dancer, $15,000, Ashford Stud, Versailles, Ky.). Black Minnaloushe won a pair of group I events in consecutive starts, taking the classic Entenmanns Irish Two Thousand Guineas at the Curragh and the St. James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. He is a half-brother to French champion and English classic winner Pennekamp and U.S. millionaire Nasr El Arab. Ecton Park
(1996, Forty Niner--Daring Danzig, by Danzig, $15,000, Wintergreen Stallion Station, Midway, Ky.). A $1.5-million earner, Ecton Park defeated Kentucky Derby (gr. I) runner Menifee in the 1999 Super Derby XX (gr. I) and beat Lemon Drop Kid in taking the Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga. He won two additional stakes and his seven stakes-placings included a runner-up effort in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. II) over Cat Thief and Chester House and a third-place finish in the Pacific Classic (gr. I) behind Skimming and Tiznow. Brahms
(1997, Danzig--Queena, by Mr. Prospector, $12,500, Vinery, Lexington). The most successful offspring of champion Queena, Brahms won the Early Times Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) as well as the River City Handicap (gr. IIIT) and Seattle Slew Stakes as a 3-year-old. He was twice group I stakes-placed as a 2-year-old in England, and placed in four graded stakes in 2001 in the U.S., including the Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) and Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) Stakes. He earned $843,050.Continued...