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Sire Watch


New categories added weekly!

Best Values, $25,000 – $40,000

1. Omaha Beach ($35,000, Spendthrift Farm, KY)

Can’t recall ever putting a 2nd year sire at the top of a category, but if you’re serious about making money, Omaha Beach is your best shot in 2021. He’s undoubtedly going to be a huge commercial success (mares in foal to him averaged $165,800 last fall), and he has a big shot at long term success as well. One of the best values we’ve seen in years.

2. Twirling Candy ($40,000, Lane’s End, KY)

Gives investors a real shot at success at the track and in the sales ring. Gets a particularly nice physical specimen that can create positive outcomes for investors at any sales venue. No shortcomings to speak of.

3. Blame ($30,000, Claiborne Farm, KY)

You can’t send just any mare to him, and the commercial market is starting to turn on him, but for the astute breeder, Blame is a tremendous source of Saturday afternoon class. Progeny earn nearly
$7,000 per start and over half of his stakes winners earned their stripes in graded stakes.

4. Kantharos ($30,000, Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms, KY)

No one can accuse Kantharos of riding the coattails of his mares. He’s done it all on his own. One of the biggest overachievers in the industry over the last decade. May not get you a two turn type, but if speed/precocity is what you’re looking for, Kantharos should always be on your radar.

5. Flatter ($35,000, Claiborne Farm, KY)

Has been getting it done for years… and shows no signs of slowing down. Can create fireworks for your program whether you’re breeding to race or sell. A particularly attractive option for a mare that needs size, substance, and stamina.

Worst Values, $25,000 – $40,000

1. Frosted ($25,000, Darley, KY)

With just five stakes horses from 76 starters despite being supported with stellar mares early on, $25,000 presents a high risk proposition for mare owners. There’s still plenty of time for him to rebound, but at this price point, astute investors should look elsewhere this year.

2. Daredevil ($25,000, Lane’s End, KY)

Daredevil’s top two earners make up 61% of his total progeny earnings.
Beyond those top two, his numbers are rather ordinary and far from being on par for this price point. Those who support him this year run a high risk of holding the bag in 2023 when Swiss Skydiver and Shedaresthedevil are out of the headlines.

3. Caravaggio ($25,000 Ashford Stud, KY)

The chances of a stallion prospect making it in this country without U.S. racing credentials is slim to none. Making matters worse, Caravaggio is essentially a 4th year sire after spending 2018-2020 in Europe. If those first three crops struggle (85% of all stallions will fail), U.S. breeders who supported him this year will be left with money pits.

4. Union Rags ($30,000, Lane’s End, KY)

His numbers have never warranted a stud fee even close to the price range. Progeny visit the winner’s circle at just a 12% clip and he drags mares down like few other sires. To be candid, he’s a $10,000 stallion at best.

Best Values, $15,000 – $20,000

1. Lookin At Lucky ($20,000, Ashford Stud, KY)

Like so many from the Smart Strike sire line, you can’t just send any physical type to him… but if you get the physical right, anything is possible with Lookin At Lucky.  Has shown time and time again that he can get elite types at all levels on all surfaces. Commercial market seems to have cast him aside, creating huge opportunities for astute buyers.

2. Midnight Lute ($15,000, Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms, KY)

Numbers are bullet proof in all statistical categories. Those breeding to race should always have him on their short list.  Brings a lot of size to the table for maiden and/or small mares.  A tremendous asset to the industry.

3. Vekoma ($20,000, Spendthrift Farm, KY)

We usually don’t recognize unproven commodities, but Spendthrift is offering commercial breeders tremendous value with this horse. The farm likely left a lot of money on the table as he probably would have booked full at $30,000.  Will undoubtedly light up the sales board with his first crop.

4. Bolt d’Oro ($15,000, Spendthrift Farm, KY)

Even less common than mentioning unproven commodities, is recognizing 3rd year unproven commodities. But we’re big believers in Bolt d’Oro, and even in his 3rd year, we’ve recommended him to those breeding to race and sell.  His pedigree is stellar, it took the likes of Justify to beat him during his racing days… and his first foals could not have been more impressive.

Worst Values, $15,000 – $20,000

1. Honor Code ($20,000, Lane’s End, KY)

20k is awfully bold for a sire that has just two stakes winners from 139 starters, an AEI just over the breed average, and a 2020 net median yearling average of less than 20k. Makes no sense whatsoever. Will stand for less than half his current stud fee in 2022, or be exiled altogether.

2. Palace Malice ($20,000, Three Chimneys Farm, KY)

Not worth anywhere close to $20,000 in the current market. Has gotten a few headliners, but when looking at his entire body of work, he’s too sporadic for this price point. Drags his mares down by 32% as of this writing with a measly AEI of just 1.07.

3. Dialed In ($15,000, Darby Dan Farm, KY)

Undoubtedly a useful enough sire, but 15k is a steep ask given that his numbers are skewed significantly by one horse and his median yearling price struggles to get much beyond 20k. Better suited for the $7,500 and under category.

4. Cairo Prince ($15,000, Airdrie Stud, KY)

Another sire who clearly belongs in central Kentucky, but the asking price makes it tough for mare owners to create a financially successful scenario. Median net yearling price is below $20,000 and he’s dragging his mares down just enough that we can’t recommend him at this level. Doesn’t need a drastic adjustment, but the current fee isn’t commensurate with the risk.

Best Values, $10,000 – $12,500

1. Sky Mesa ($12,500, Three Chimneys Farm, KY)

At this price point, perhaps the most undervalued sire we’ve ever seen. His numbers emulate many top shelf sires, and he’s more than capable of getting G1 types in this country. Commercial market has forgotten about him, leaving enormous opportunities for astute buyers.

2. Jimmy Creed ($10,000, Spendthrift Farm, KY)

Just a headliner or two away from a Munnings-like trajectory. From several angles, he actually outperforms Munnings. Few sires have outperformed their opportunities (1.02 Comparable Index) like Jimmy Creed.

3. Paynter ($10,000, WinStar Farm, KY)

Puts Knicks Go aside… and Paynter is still a very good sire. Anything but a one hit wonder. Don’t expect them to come out running as 2yo’s, but for those willing to give his progeny time, Paynter typically pays off very handsomely.

4. Karakontie ($10,000, Gainesway, KY)

In a market where two-turn Saturday afternoon horses are pursued so heavily, this horse should be getting more attention in the sale ring. Progeny have clearly demonstrated they can compete at the upper levels in this country on all surfaces.

Worst Values, $10,000 – $12,500

1. I’ll Have Another ($10,000, Ocean Breeze Ranch, CA)

Hard to imagine worse progeny numbers than I’ll Have Another.  From over 360 starters, has just three stakes winners to his credit as of this writing. Numbers are abysmal from all angles. Even if his fee was complimentary, mare owners would be foolish to support him.

2. Flintshire ($10,000, Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms, KY)

It’s early, and while a rebound isn’t impossible… it’s very unlikely. Was always ill-suited for this market, and his early numbers are supporting that theory.  Zero stakes horses from his first 39 starters with an average earnings per start of $2,766 (.39 AEI).

3. Air Force Blue ($10,000, Ashford Stud, KY)

Given his prowess as a juvenile, we should be seeing more from his first crop, and it just isn’t happening. Another in a long line of sire prospects that were devoid of U.S. racing credentials that struggled to have an impact here.

4. Upstart ($10,000, Airdrie Stud, KY)

Gets a really nice physical… and has had a couple of promising debut winners, but when looking at his entire body of work, there are a lot of shortcomings including an AEI of just .93 and only one stakes winner from 62 starters.  Current fee just isn’t commensurate with the risk.

5. Summer Front ($10,000, Airdrie Stud, KY)

Will undoubtedly settle in as a useful sire, but there are other options out there for under 10k that give breeders better percentages. Progeny visit the winner’s circle just 12% of the time with a paltry 1.12 AEI. Even more treacherous for commercial breeders.

Best Values, $7,500 and Under

1. Mucho Macho Man ($7,500, Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms, KY)

A tremendous physical specimen who usually gets the same in his progeny, Mucho Macho Man is getting elite types from mares carrying a Comparable Index of just 1.13 as of this writing.  A particularly attractive choice for smaller mares.

2. Silent Name ($7,500, Adena Springs North, Canada)

While you really have to be careful in what type of mare you send his way, no one can question Silent Name’s prowess as a sire… both in restricted and graded stakes company.  Dominates the Canadian racing scene and gets a fair number of graded stakes winners.

3. Midshipman ($7,500, Darley, KY)

A longtime stalwart with excellent numbers that defies his sire by getting very durable types.  A bit short in terms of graded stakes production, but gets stakes horses all over the country on all surfaces.  Showing an early prowess as a broodmare sire as well.

4. Mr. Big ($4,500, Rancho Temescal, CA)

A former teaser, few sires have risen from more humbling beginnings than Mr. Big.  Perhaps the biggest AEI/CI gap in the industry (1.50 vs. .90), and almost one out of every three starters earns in excess of $100,000. In a state lacking sire power, Mr. Big should be getting full books every year.

Worst Values, $7,500 and Under

1. Carpe Diem ($7,500, WinStar Farm, KY)

Anything is possible, but it would be quite a turnaround for Carpe Diem to recover at this point.  Just 4 stakes winners from his first 150 starters, and his progeny aren’t even at par for the breed in terms of earning power (as evidenced by a 1.00 AEI).

2. Chitu ($3,500, Bridlewood Farm, FL)

Has yet to sire a stakes winner from 47 starters and cumulatively, they’re posting an AEI that is 30% below the average for the breed. Makes no sense if you’re breeding to race… and the proposition gets even worse if you want to sell his progeny.

3. Mshawish ($7,500, Taylor Made Stallions, KY)

It’s early, but there’s no indication that his progeny are going to create meaningful fireworks. Racetrack numbers across the board indicate mediocrity, and his sales numbers have gone south badly.

4. Demarchelier ($5,000, Claiborne Farm, KY)

Creating a success story in the stallion market is difficult enough (research indicates at least 85% of all prospects will flop), but it becomes even more difficult with a foreign pedigree.  Nice enough physical specimen for sure, but the asking price isn’t commensurate with the risk.  The first 19 mares in foal to him sold for a median of just $7,500.

5. Divisidero ($5,000, Airdrie Stud, KY)

Early returns for sons of Kitten’s Joy are fair at best.  And though he was a tremendous athlete, just can’t envision Divisidero creating a positive return for investors, whether it’s a short or long term play. Wrong resume for this country.

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Thoroughbred Review
  • About Jason Hall

    A lifelong student of bloodstock topics as well as being an active owner and breeder, Mr. Hall advocates the importance of empirical research to identify truth in breeding practices. His articles have appeared in such magazines as The Blood-Horse, Thoroughbred Times, The Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred, The Texas Thoroughbred, The Homestretch, Illinois Racing News, Hoofbeats, The Louisiana Thoroughbred and El Caballista. Mr. Hall holds a degree in journalism from Boise State University.

  • Mariana Lopez

    An enthusiastic and dependable member of our team, Mariana specializes in data collection and interpretation for our statistical research projects.

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