The Albaugh Family Stable was preparing to support its dual G1 winner Brody’s Cause at stud in ’17 at Spendthrift when the bad news hit that its promising classics contender for ’17, Not This Time, had hurt a tendon, was done, and would go to stud, too, at Taylor Made. Both colts are sons of Giant’s Causeway, both are attractive stallion prospects, and some of the mares AFS purchased in November for Brody’s Cause may now be rerouted to Not This Time, too. It wasn’t the plan, but it’s the reality in racing that best laid plans often go awry.
Not This Time is a homebred for AFS and was considered one of the best 2-year-olds of the year, and one of the best ever trained by Dale Romans, who conditioned both colts. Not This Time will stand for $15,000 off that reputation and a brief career in which he won two of four starts, including the G3 Iroquois at Churchill by 8 3/4 lengths. But his best showing was a losing effort as the favorite to pro-tem divisional leader Classic Empire in the G1 BC Juvenile. Not This Time lost the Juvenile by a neck after terrific stretch run that promised more to come next year, and his class was underscored by the 7 1/2 lengths he had on third-place finisher Practical Joke, the G1 Champagne winner.
A strikingly handsome dark bay, Not This Time is a half-brother to the AFS-bred Liam’s Map, the Unbridled’s Song colt who won the 2015 G1 Woodward and G1 BC Dirt Mile and altogether six of eight starts and $1,358,940. Liam’s Map stood his first season at stud at Lane’s End in 2016 for $25,000 and was extremely popular. Both colts are also half-siblings to the Medaglia d’Oro filly Taylor S., a Grade 2 stakes-placed stakes winner.
Their prolific dam is the Trippi mare Miss Macy Sue, who was reportedly the first horse purchased by Dennis Albaugh, a billionaire from Iowa, in 2005. A $42,000 OBS 2-year-old by Trippi, Miss Macy Sue won 11 of 25 starts and earned $880,915, including the G3 Winning Colors Stakes at Churchill.
Miss Macy Sue is the cornerstone of the AFS breeding program and she’s currently in foal to Tapit. She’s turned into that exceptional and rare commodity because of her outstanding produce record and ability to get physically standout foals. Liam’s Map, which AFS sold, made $800,000 at the 2012 Keeneland September sale as the mare’s second foal, and the price was the highest for an Unbridled’s Song yearling that year when his average was $192,750 and median was $142,500.
Miss Macy Sue’s fourth dam is the celebrated champion sprinter Ta Wee — Dr. Fager’s half-sister — which means her fifth dam is the Tartan Farms blue hen Aspidistra. Both Ta Wee and Dr. Fager were bred and raced by Tartan Farms under the auspices of John Nerud. Miss Macy Sue’s dam, Yada Yada, is actually inbred very closely to Ta Wee, 2×3, because her sire, Great Above, is also a son of Ta Wee. The female family of Miss Macy Sue is saturated with the bloodstock of Nerud/Tartan and includes such Tartan sires as Great Above, Minnesota Mac, In Reality, and Intentionally — a champion sprinter, too, and the sire of Ta Wee and In Reality.
Miss Macy Sue and her dam, Yada Yada, were bred by Bryan Howlett (Yada Yada was co-bred by Howlett and H & R Stable), who came up at Tartan under John Nerud and worked there for thirty years, eventually as the farm’s general manager.
Miss Macy Sue’s sire, Trippi, was bred by Harry T. Mangurian, another top Florida breeder whose Mockingbird Farm included land that was once Tartan property. Trippi’s broodmare sire, Valid Appeal, was a Mangurian homebred by In Reality and Mockingbird’s top stallion.
Going to stud at 3
Not many young horses in N. America go to stud at 3 off 2-year-old racing, but Kantharos, who started off in Florida but has since relocated to Hill ‘n’ Dale in Kentucky for 2017, is one recent example. He, like Not This Time, was injured and forced into an early career in the breeding shed.
In Europe, the practice of going straight to stud after racing at 2 is somewhat more common, whether it be on purpose or as a result of injury. Some of these horses include the following:
*Dark Angel, winner of four of nine at 2, including the G1 Middle Park Stakes. He’s the leading sire of European 2-year-old winners to date in 2016, with 41, and has sired 20 Group winners and 14 Listed winners, including G1 winners Lethal Force and Mecca’s Angel. He’s considered a top young stallion in Europe.
*Holy Roman Emperor, winner of four of seven starts at 2, was the champion 2-year-old colt in France in ’06 and a multipe G1 winner. He’s the sire of 31 Group winners and 29 Listed Stakes winners to date.
*Sir Prancealot, winner of three of six at 2, including the G2 Flying Childers Stakes, is the leading first-crop sire of winners in Europe in 2016 with 32 to date.
*The Wow Signal, a winner of three of four, including the G1 Prix Morny, was the champion 2-year-old colt in France in ’14. He entered stud in Australia in ’15 and shuttled to Europe in ’16.
*Zebedee, winner of six of seven, including the G2 Flying Childers, was the leading first-crop sire of winners in Europe in ’14, with 39.