Opportunity more than genetics often shapes a stallion's future. Those with the largest books clearly get the best opportunity to show what they are capable of producing.
A winner of the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) and second in both the Dixiana Breeders' Futurity (G1) and Risen Star Stakes (G2), Santiva retired from racing in April of his 4-year-old season due to ankle issues. By the time the breeding season of 2013 rolled around he was an afterthought competing for breeders' attention against the likes of Bodemeister , Shackleford , Stay Thirsty , Union Rags , and many others.
Santiva would breed nine mares in 2013 and get seven named foals in his first crop, but this handful of foals is starting to show some ability. Through July 16, five have started in a race and four are already winners. Santiva picked up his two most recent winners this month when G. C. Crackerjack broke his maiden gate-to-wire by two lengths in his third start July 1 at Arlington International Racecourse, and D C Nine won a maiden special weight at Ellis Park July 2.
"I think they are giving a very good account of themselves," said Tom Walters, who bought Santiva as a weanling privately from Ashford Stud and raced him. "We're proud of what (Santiva's) been able to do so far."
D C Nine, a gelding out of Race the Breeze (Theatrical) and a Gerry Aschinger homebred, is Santiva's chief earner to date with $37,587 banked. He finished second in his only start at 2 and now has a 1-1-1 record in four starts this year.
G.C. Crackerjack, a gelding out of Jacquie Sue (Alluvial), was bred in Illinois by Arapaho Royal and is now raced by Joseph Cochonour, Don Cochonour, and Claud and Andrea Sherman.
The other winners are Cheers to You and Santiva's Ride. Cheers to You is a filly out of Glassy (Run Softly), who Dick Barton bred in California and raced initially. She has a 2-2-1 record out of 10 starts so far and is now raced by Glyn Kelly and Anne MacLennan. Santiva's Ride is a gelding out of Miss My Ride (Candy Ride ), who was bred by Three Feathers Farm in Kentucky and is raced by Terrell Jarrett Jr. and Lara Racing Stables.
Santiva is out of the unraced Smarten daughter Slide, whose nine winners include graded-placed winners Take Arms, third in the Bashford Manor Stakes (G2), and Her Majesty, third in the Darley Alcibiades Stakes (G2). Santiva's second dam is Safely Home, the dam of champion sprinter Safely Kept and grade 2 winner Partner's Hero.
"Santiva's pedigree takes a back seat to no one," said Walters, who stands the stallion for $2,500 at Midwest Equine and Veterinary Hospital near Trafalgar, Ind. "I really think he just needs a chance."