With the 2-year-old sale season kicking off at Ocala Breeders' Sales March 13, BloodHorse MarketWatch editor Eric Mitchell contacted some of the leading pinhookers and breaking and training outfits to collect their insights on the progeny of this year's freshman sires.
Will Take Charge , the 2013 Eclipse champion 3-year-old, showed most of his ability at 3 and 4, yet many of his progeny are showing flashes of speed, according to pinhookers.
"I have one, and I like him a lot," said Cary Frommer, a top-10 juvenile consignor who sold two for more than $1 million last year. "He is very quick, and his body type looks like a sprinter. Regardless of what the stallion did, he is just a fast-looking horse."
Eaton Sales bred Will Take Charge in Kentucky out of multiple grade 1 winner and multiple grade 1 producer Take Charge Lady. Will Take Charge, by Unbridled's Song, is a half brother to grade 1 winner and current leading second-crop sire Take Charge Indy (A.P. Indy).
As a racehorse, Will Take Charge won five graded stakes, including the Travers Stakes (G1) and Clark Handicap (G1). He also finished second in the 2013 Breeders' Cup Classic (G1). He retired with more than $3.9 million in earnings and stands at Three Chimneys Farm. At the yearling sales, he was the leading first-crop sire by average with 63 averaging $169,190.
Nick de Meric, the third-leading consignor of 2-year-olds by gross sales in 2017, said he has two by Will Take Charge that are standouts.
"The one that is the head of the class in my mind is out of a Tapit mare, and she has a lot of Tapit in her, in her strength and body type, but she also has the size and scope from the Unbridled's Song sire line," de Meric said. "Both are really smooth, athletic, and big-moving horses."
Niall Brennan, a regular among the top-five 2-year-old consignors by gross sales, said he has three by Will Take Charge and none of them are alike physically.
"I don't know if it means anything, but it is hard to get a read on them because they are so different," Brennan said. "The colt I have in the OBS March sale is a sharp-looking colt. He's got a good mind, he's forward, and is training very well."
Jeanne Mayberry, whose farm near Ocala, Fla., broke and trained Horse of the Year Zenyatta, does not have any Will Take Charges heading to a sale, but said the filly she has going to the racetrack seems versatile and could be an early runner.
Ciaran Dunne of Wavertree Stables, which was the second-leading 2-year-olds in training consignor by gross sales in 2017, said he anticipated more later-developing horses from Will Take Charge. Now he thinks a few could surprise.
"The Will Take Charges, for a two-turn, classic-type horse with that pedigree, they have size and strength, but they also look like they'll be quick enough," Dunne said.
BloodHorse Daily has been profiling freshman sires whose juveniles are standing out ahead of the 2-year-olds in training sales. Tomorrow we'll look at a few regional stallions attracting attention, including Florida sires He's Had Enough and Uncaptured and New York sire Central Banker . More in-depth statistical information for all the freshman sires will be available in the BloodHorse MarketWatch section of the March 10 BloodHorse magazine.