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IRON MAIDENS THOROUGHBREDS
Emerging First Crop Sires
With this year's Saratoga and Del Mar meets well underway, we'll start to see the less precocious youngsters make their debuts. Many of
the first crop sires' offspring are also starting to emerge. It's no surprise that stallions with the top priced stud fees ($15K) are at the top
of the first crop sire list in terms of winners.
Topping the bunch though, is Diabolical, a swift son of Champion Sprinter Artax. As a two year
old, Diabolical won or placed in all five starts, four of which were stakes, so it's no surprise that
his babies are just as precocious. As an older horse, Diabolical won the Alfred G. Vanderbilt
Handicap (G-2) and placed in the DeFrancis Memorial Dash (G-1), Carter (G-1) and Richter Scale
(G-2). A multifaceted horse over every surface, he also placed in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint and
Dubai Golden Shaheen. The stakes veteran retired with 32 starts and over $1 million dollars under
his girth. Diabolical overwhelms the First Crop sire list by sheer numbers. 21 of his 43 offspring
have started. Seven have one, including a stakes winner and four stakes placed runners. All have
started in the Southwest - Rudiso Downs and Sunland Park. Eventually, one of his more talented
youngsters may make their way to California or even Arkansas and Louisiana.
Diabolical - Photo: ESPN
Travers hero Colonel John is second on the list in terms of winners. From a crop of 86, only seven
have started, but four of those have won, including Sorrento (G-2) winner Concave. Colonel
John's progeny will mostly be two-turn types, so their mid-season talent is encouraging. Colonel
John is the latest son of Tiznow to send babies to the track. Well-supported by his owner
WinStar Farm, some of Colonel John's blue babies to watch for are Soldier's Fortune (Well
Dressed), a ¾ brother to Dubai World Cup Champ Well Armed; Taco Gem, a ¾ brother to
Gemologist; Colonel Gian ( Boldly Appealing) whose dam is a half to Breeders' Cup Sprint winner
Dancing in Silks; Holy Soldier (Dance Swiftly) whose dam is a half sister to Champion Juvenile
Filly Dance Smartly and also a half sister to prominent sire Smart Stirke; and an un-named colt out
of stakes winner Monaassabaat, from the family of Music Note and Musical Chimes.
Colonel John - Photo: Vanessa Ng
Pioneerof The Nile's offspring are also starting to emerge. From a crop of 94, nine have started
and four have won. Like Colonel John, Pioneerof The Nile's babies will be late developers who
should bloom as three year olds. The son of Empire Maker also stands at WinStar Farm. Keep a
lookout for the following well-bred babies: Nile Seeker, a colt whose dam Devine is a full sister to
multiple G-1 winner Lakeway (the grand-dam of G-1 winner Mushka, by Empire Maker); Cash
Control (Hidden Assets) a half sister to three stakes winners; Charm the Nile (Charm a Gendarme)
a half brother to multiple G-1 winner Tout Charmant and G-3 winner Forest Grove; Jojo Warrior, a
half sister to G-1 winner A Z Warrior, G-3 winner E Z Warrior and Stakes winner J Z Warrior; an
unnamed filly who is a half sister to G-2 winner More Chocolate; and an unnamed filly whose dam
Never Ever is a half to the G-1 winning sprinter Cost of Freedom.
Pioneerof the Nile - Photo: Zayat Stables
A regional sire making waves in California is Square Eddie. It's no surprise that the son of Smart
Strike is getting winners over the Del Mar Polytrack. Four of his 32 first crop foals have started,
two have won and recently, his daughters completed the exacta in the California Thoroughbred
Breeders' Association Stakes. Another son of Smart Strike whose offspring should love Polytrack is
Papa Clem. His son, the first time starter Mondai Mondai rewarded astute backers with a $27.40
win. Keep this in mind when the babies of these sires show up at Keeneland this fall.
Square Eddie - Photo: Equisport
A first crop sire list isn't complete without sons of Unbridled's Song. Zensational, Dunkirk, regional
sires Noonmark, Unbridled Express and the recently deceased Old Fashioned are this years
representatives. Typically, unless they were a rare extremely precocious type, Unbridled's Song
and his sons get 15% winners as two year olds. Probably due to their large size and fragile bones.
Overall, this year's first crop sires lack marquee names, but on the other hand, the list is filled with sound, hard-knocking veterans such
as Einstein (30 starts) Fort Prado (59 starts) Kodiak Kowboy (29 starts) and Cosmonaut (36 starts). True, their offspring may not set the
world on fire, but they may stick around for more than a year or two before trotting off to the breeding shed. Some will become
favorite stakes veterans in their own right. The way racing used to be. At least, once can always hope.
Want to learn more about the first crop sires and how their offspring should perform? Check
out this year's Freshman Sire Guide.
Photos in gallery by generous
courtesy of Pat Hammel