Have you taken a close look at the Thoroughbred Times 2010 Freshman Sire List? As of today, it’s topsy-turvy, but pleasantly so and you’ll see what I mean by this. I and others have been lamenting for a while now that the racing and breeding programs in this country have reached a point where speed has superseded stamina to such an extent that we’ve become isolated from the rest of the world in the type of horses we breed and the races we card for them–predominantly at distances of 9 furlong or less. Once, our sires and yearlings were the international standard and could win international Derbys at 12 furlongs on turf. Not lately, though, but perhaps change in these uncertain times is organically taking place? The top three sires on the list are legitimate 10-furlong runners, and not surprisingly each has a link to stamina influence A.P. Indy: Congrats is by A.P. Indy and leads; followed by Bluegrass Cat, who’s out of an A.P. Indy mare; and Bernardini, another son of A.P. Indy in third place.
Meanwhile, in fourth place on the list is the Canadian-based Old Forester (by Forestry), a turf horse who was best at a mile to under 9 furlongs. He has one stakes winner and 9 winners to date but he proves the point that even an inexpensive turf horse can make a mark, especially in areas such as Canada where the turf and all-weather programs are thriving..
Positions 5-9, however, are held by the dirt speed horses who would normally be expected to lead such a list with 2-year-olds, certainly through the first part of the year until the distances started to stretch out. And these types are usually the most prolific sires of winners, too, but note that Congrats leads with 18 winners and Bluegrass Cat has 16 winners.
Here are the speed horses:
WinStar’s Sharp Humor (by Distorted Humor) is fifth. He won his 5-furlong maiden special at 2 in 57.23 and the Grade 2 Swale at 7 furlongs at 3. He’s already represented by two stakes winners, too, and 16 winners.
Claiborne’s War Front (by Danzig) is in sixth. Once raced at 2, he won his 6-furlong maiden special at 3 in 1:09.68 by 11 1/2 lengths and the Grade 2 Alfred G. Vanderbilt over 6 furlongs at 4. He also was G1-placed twice, in the Vosburgh and Forego. He has 11 winners and two stakes winners.
Hartley/DeRenzo Thoroughbreds LLC’s With Distinction (by Storm Cat) is in seventh. This fast son of Storm Cat won only one stakes race, at 5, but it was the Grade 3 El Conejo Handicap over 5.5-furlongs on dirt at Santa Anita. He has 15 winners to date.
Vinery (Florida), which stands Congrats, also stands Pomeroy (by Boundary) in eighth. He won a maiden special over 5 furlongs at 2 in 58:53 and was Graded placed twice, too, notably in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special. At 3, Pomeroy won the Grade 1 King’s Bishop over 7 furlongs, and at 4 he was first in the Grade 2 Vanderbilt at 6 furlongs in 108:69. Pomeroy has 16 winners so far but no stakes winners.
Vinery (Kentucky) stands Silver Train (by Old Trieste) in ninth. He was a winner at 2 and at 3 he won the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint in 1:08.86. At 4, he took the Grade 1 Metropolitan over a mile. He has 15 winners to date but is still looking for his first stakes winner.
Darley’s Rockport Harbor (by Unbridled’s Song) is in tenth. He was, however, a staying 2-year-old and a classics prospect. He has 10 winners and one stakes winner.