Mahubah's Corner: Yes It's True

Mahubah's Corner: Yes It's True
Photo: Lee Thomas
Yes It's True

When Yes It’s True retired to stud in 2001, it was with mixed prospects. A well-balanced athlete with enough in the way of good looks and precocity to fetch $800,000 as a 2-year-old in training at the 1998 Barretts March sale, he matured into one of the best sprinters of 1999. But offsetting his conformation and his race record was a pedigree that did not spell “sire potential” to most pundits. As a result, the colt began his stud career at Satish and Anne Sanan’s Padua Stables near Summerfield, Fla.

By September 2004, Yes It’s True was at Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky, thanks to a freshman sire season that eventually saw him finish a solid second to Successful Appeal   in the first-crop sire standings. Since then, he has quietly proceeded to add to his reputation as a stallion who offers consistent value for his stud fee.

Bred in Kentucky by George Waggoner, Yes It’s True was a pinhook purchase at the Keeneland September yearling sale before being purchased for Padua by D. Wayne Lukas, who trained the colt throughout his career. At 2, Yes It’s True won four stakes,  including the Sapling Stakes and the Hollywood Juvenile Championship (both gr. III) and placed in both the Futurity Stakes (gr. I) and the Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity (gr. II).

At 3, Yes It’s True was kept sprinting and proved one of the best in that division, winning six graded stakes in 1999. His biggest win was in the Frank J. DeFrancis Memorial Dash Stakes (gr. I), in which he defeated older males. Unfortunately, the colt’s 4-year-old season was anticlimactic, as he started only twice and finished off the board both times. He retired to stud having won half his 22 starts and $1,080,700.

Yes It’s True stood his initial season for $7,500 but was bumped up to $10,000 the next year after breeding 105 mares in 2001. After his first crop yielded four juvenile stakes winners, including Champagne Stakes (gr. I) winner Proud Accolade and Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes (gr. III) winner Chandtrue, Three Chimneys had no difficulty filling his first Kentucky book at $25,000. Nineteen additional stakes winners later , Yes It’s True now stands for $35,000 and shows no signs of diminished popularity (he served 112 mares in 2007 per The Jockey Club). His most recent stars are Off Duty, winner of the Oct. 6 Phoenix Stakes (gr. III) for owners John Pucek, Brett Setzer, Robert Edwards, and David Fogg, and Yes He’s the Man, winner of the Spend a Buck Handicap (gr. III) Oct. 13 for owner-breeders Joel Sainer and J. David Braddy.

By the standards of the modern commercial market, Yes It’s True has a rather offbeat pedigree. He descends from the great sire Bold Ruler, but not through the dominant Seattle Slew branch. Instead, he is a grandson of Raja Baba (Bold Ruler–Missy Baba, by *My Babu), the leading American sire of 1980. Yes It’s True’s sire, 1988 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner Is It True, saw stud service in Florida, Australia, and Kentucky before dying of apparent heart failure at Walmac Farm Feb. 22.

On the dam’s side, Yes It’s True is not exactly from a “sire family.” His dam, the Clever Trick mare Clever Monique, raced only once and without success, although she did produce a second stakes winner in Yes It’s True’s full sister, Honest Deceiver. A half-sister to Ark-La-Tex Handicap (gr. III) winner Prince of the Mt., Clever Monique is out of Monique Rene (Prince of Ascot–Party Date, by Speedy Frank), a local heroine on the Louisiana circuit with 15 stakes victories to her credit. Further back, the family has produced some good horses here and there, not least of them the California favorites El Drag and Terrang in the 1950s. But before Yes It’s True, the family had not had a sire of any great reputation to its credit in living memory.

Yes It’s True’s primary pedigree attraction to breeders is his status as an outcross to virtually every major American sire line. He is free of Northern Dancer, Mr. Prospector, Seattle Slew, In Reality, Hail to Reason, and *Ribot. This has led to his being tried with mares from a wide variety of genetic backgrounds, and he has been successful across the board. He seems to do particularly well with mares whose pedigrees feature Mr. Prospector and In Reality and also appears to have an affinity for mares returning Never Bend, who appears in his own pedigree as the sire of paternal broodmare sire Proudest Roman.

As of Oct. 15, Yes It’s True had sired 334 foals of racing age in the Northern Hemisphere, of which 243 (73%) have started, 175 (52%) have won, and 23 (7%) have won stakes. If only foals 3 and older are considered, he has 21 stakes winners (9%) and 164 winners (68%) from 241 foals, very solid statistics indeed. As a rule, his progeny are sprinters and milers with little taste for longer distances, but they do reasonably well as juveniles and tend to improve with age.

As a bonus, Yes It’s True has consistently improved on his mates’ previous produce records (he has an Average Earnings Index of 1.75 against a Comparable Index of 1.57) and has been consistent in the marketplace as well, with his yearlings and 2-year-olds averaging $77,134 and $114,619, respectively. His first Kentucky-bred foals sold as yearlings this year, and if he can deliver on his improved opportunities, he should remain one of the more sought-after stallions in Kentucky for years to come.

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