Stacked Deck, by First Samurai, winning the Kennedy Road Stakes.

Stacked Deck, by First Samurai, winning the Kennedy Road Stakes.

Michael Burns

A Big Weekend for Giant's Causeway Sons

Five sons of Giant's Causeway were represented by stakes winners Nov. 21-22.

The only other horse to be leading sire three times since Danzig, Giant's Causeway  is now extending a significant influence through his sons and daughters. That was apparent once again the weekend of Nov. 21-22 when no less than five sons of Giant’s Causeway were represented by stakes winners in North America.

The most prestigious of these races in terms of status was the Nov. 22 Kennedy Road Stakes (Can-II) won by Stacked Deck, a son of First Samurai . A member of the first U.S. crop sired by Giant’s Causeway—who stood his first year at stud in Ireland—First Samurai won the Champagne Stakes (gr. I), Hopeful Stakes (gr. I), and Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II). While he’s never hit the highest heights as a stallion, he’s certainly been more than useful with 22 stakes winners and 12 graded winners, among them grade I winners Justin Phillip  and Lea —one already at stud in Kentucky, the other retiring there for 2016—and Executiveprivilege.

The most lucrative event of the weekend to go to a runner sired by a son of Giant’s Causeway was the Delta Downs Princess Stakes (gr. III), which fell to Jet Black Magic, a member of the second crop of Hold Me Back, winner of the Lane’s End Stakes (gr. II) and Dominion Day Handicap (Can-III), and runner-up in the Shadwell Travers Stakes (gr. I) and Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I).

Two young sons of Giant’s Causeway making an impact in the New York program are Frost Giant  and Giant Surprise , and they both had stakes scorers over the weekend of Nov. 21-22. Frost Giant, like First Samurai, a member of Giant’s Causeway’s first Kentucky-sired crop, was a group winner in Ireland at 2 and 3, and then sprung a surprise when taking the Suburban Handicap (gr. I) on dirt in the U.S. at 5.

He had four stakes winners in a first crop of just 32 named foals, including West Hills Giant, who added a second-place finish in the Gotham Stakes (gr. III) to a trio of New York-bred black-type victories; has stakes winner Loki’s Vengeance from 24 named foals in his second crop; and from 34 foals in his fourth crop—currently 2-year-olds—Frosty Margarita, who defeated stakes winner Melodic by three lengths to land the Key Cents Stakes at Aqueduct Nov. 22.

Frost Giant’s Frosty Margarita winning the Key Cents
Coglianese Photos

Third in the Key Cents was Surprise Cameo, a member of the first crop sired by Giant Surprise. Out of the A.P. Indy mare Twisted Sis, Giant Surprise won a six-furlong maiden special weight at Saratoga by 4 1/4 lengths in his debut at 2 but suffered a career-ending injury and was immediately retired to stud. He is represented by 30 first-crop foals, 10 of which have started, and four are winners. The headliners are Sudden Surprise—who on Nov. 21 added a victory in the Notebook Stakes for New York-breds to a win in what looked to be an exceptionally strong renewal of the Bertram F. Bongard Stakes—and the Maid of the Mist Stakes scorer Super Surprise.

The other North American weekend stakes winner for a son of Giant’s Causeway also came by way of a first-crop sire. This was Giant Oak, whose credits as a racehorse included victories in the Clark Handicap (gr. I) and Donn Handicap (gr. I). He was represented by Giant Cruiser, who took her record to two wins in four starts when capturing Delta Downs’ Louisiana Jewel Stakes Nov. 21.

Frosty Margarita has Northern Dancer combined with Mr. Prospector through her sire, broodmare sire, and granddam. More intriguing, however, is that Frost Giant’s dam is by a son of Mr. Prospector (Gone West) out of a daughter of the mare Dance Number, where Frosty Margarita’s broodmare sire, Not For Love, is by Mr. Prospector out of Dance Number. Giant Oak is another Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector cross, and his dam is a reverse. His daughter Giant Cruiser is out of a mare by Lemon Drop Kid, a son of the Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer cross, Kingmambo. Sudden Surprise offers a respite from direct Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector or reverse crosses, but is inbred to Storm Cat 3x4, and does have three crosses of Mr. Prospector, as well as another of his close relative, Bold Native.