War Front’s stud fee has followed the upward trajectory of Tapit’s, and in 2014 both young sires—two of the best in North America—will stand for $150,000 after beginning their respective careers modestly.
Tapit began for $15,000 at Gainesway in 2005, spent some time at $12,500 during the difficult early years, then started the upward march from $35,000 in 2009, $50,000 in 2010, $80,000 in 2011, $125,000 in 2012 and 2013, to $150,000.
War Front entered stud at Claiborne in 2007 for $12,500, had creeped up to $15,000 by 2011, jumped to $60,000 in 2012, then to $80,000 in 2013, and from there the big bang up to $150,000 in 2014.
Yearlings by both sires sold extraordinarily well in 2013.
War Front’s 43 yearlings averaged $378,186 while Tapit’s 49 yearlings averaged $395,870. But the former’s were conceived on a $15,000 stud fee versus the latter’s $80,000 fee.
Strictly by the numbers, then, War Front’s 2013 weanlings figured to go through the proverbial roof, as they were conceived on a $60,000 fee. And that is , indeed, what happened, for the few War Front weanlings that were actually offered for sale.
One colt at Fasig-Tipton November brought $450,000, while the two colts sold at Keeneland November made $800,000 and $750,000. The small sample average, $666,667, was ridiculously out of whack to his yearling sales average, but that’s what happens when demand for a hot commodity exceeds supply.
Mind you, the six Tapit weanlings that sold this fall made outstanding money, too, selling for an average of $389,167—almost as much as his yearling average—and a profitable return on a $125,000 fee.
But the War Front phenomenon is about projection at this point; in other words, if he’s had the success he’s had on fees at $12,500 to $15,000, what will higher fees bring?
Coolmore, with such as Declaration of War and others, has experienced firsthand the power of War Front—and of Danzig, through Danehill, in particular—and is a believer that much more is to come. The Irish farm has put its money down: Coolmore bought all three War Front weanlings this fall, along with five of his yearlings—most notably the $2.5 million colt out of Gold Ring at Keeneland September.