By Patrick Patterson
Stallions that began stud duty in 2013 are first crops sires in 2016.
Among this group are some impressive resumes, beautiful pedigrees and tremendous physical specimens… but none of that promises prosperity.
Sometimes predicting success is easy. Nobody was surprised when the infinitely talented winner of the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Uncle Mo, landed the top spot among last year’s first crop sires.
Sometimes it’s not so easy. Very few could have predicted New York-based and Mike Repole-owned stallion Giant Surprise would have four stakes horses from twelve runners.
Twirling Candy, the second-leading first crop sire from 2015 based on winners and earnings had zero stakes horses.
It won’t be long before the first two-year-old races of 2016 are carded at places like Keeneland and Aqueduct and then throughout the summer at venues like Del Mar and Saratoga.
Bettors can prioritize first-crop stallions that appear likely to produce precocious offspring well suited for the sprint and middle distance races offered to juvenile racehorses.
Caleb’s Posse (Posse-Abbey’s Miss, by Slewacide) was a stakes-winning two-year-old and dominant force in races up to one mile throughout his career who stands at Three Chimneys Farm for $5,000. Signature wins include the 2011 Grade I King’s Bishop Stakes, where he bested Uncle Mo, and the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile over Grade I winners Shackleford, Tapizar, Jersey Town and The Factor.
The main knocks against him as a sire is the fact that his first two dams are obscure Oklahoma-breds and his sire, Posse, is a respectable regional producer, but not a heavy hitter like Lemon Drop Kid or Empire Maker.
I’m willing to look past that and bet on Caleb’s Posse’s progeny outperforming his modest stud fee.
A second first-crop sire that could fly under the radar is Maclean’s Music (Distorted Humor-Forest Music, by Unbridled’s Song) who stands for $6,500 at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms.
He raced only once, but made it count by walloping a future stakes winner en route to a 114 Beyer Speed Figure.
The great Malibu Moon started his stud career for $3,500 in Maryland after having only raced twice. Now he stands at Spendthrift Farm for $95,000.
Maclean’s Music was well supported by Hill ‘n’ Dale who put together a book of mares that could conceivably put him on the map.
One more first-crop sire that I think will do well with early runners is Creative Cause (Giant’s Causeway-Dream of Summer, by Siberian Summer).
His $15,000 stud fee means he is less of a prospect to fly under the radar, but as a well-bred and precocious individual himself he is likely to have progeny that are ready on day one.
Caleb’s Posse, Maclean’s Music and Creative Cause are just three of over 50 first crop sires that you will encounter whilst handicapping two-year-old races in 2016. And while pedigree is just one factor among many when deciding which horses to bet, it’s a factor that many handicappers overlook.
Stallionregister.com and pedigreequery.com are both great Web sites to research pedigree and familiarize oneself with the stallions of today and tomorrow.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan Patrick Patterson has won a few claiming races and cashed a few big bets… and lost many more. He’s brokered a handful of bloodstock deals, including the recent acquisitions Let Me Go First and Best Version. He loves the competitive nature of horse racing and looks forward to engaging with anyone that wants to discuss the Sport of Kings. He can be reached via Twitter @bettorknow.