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IRON MAIDENS THOROUGHBREDS
Exciting Two Year Olds and Freshman Sires
Saratoga and Del Mar are gearing up for another fantastic season of racing. Well-bred two year olds on both costs will be unveiled and a handful of those will go on to distinguish themselves as the best of the herd.
This year's crop of two year olds is very promising. Full and half siblings to Curlin, Stardom Bound, Emollient, Royal Delta, Super Saver, Shackleford, plus the highly anticipated sons of superstar Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra are all part of the class of 2014.
Not only are Rachael Alexandra's son Jess's Dream and Zenyatta's son Cozmic One currently in training, Zenyatta's nemesis BLAME is one of a group of well-accomplished Freshmen Sires whose babies will be featured in coming months. Other Freshmen Sires include Champions Lookin at Lucky, Midshipman, Summer Bird, Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver and the shuttling Australian stallion All American.
Track record setter QUALITY ROAD has already sired a stakes winner, Hootenanny. They bay colt, out of a Hennessy mare, won his debut at first asking at Keeneland in April. After finishing third over a sloppy track in the Rollicking Stakes on Preakness day, the Wesley Ward trainee targeted the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot. Hootenanny led for most of the five furlongs, then powered home a 3 ½ length winner.
Hootenanny at Ascot
Topping the leading First Crop Sire list by money earned is Medaglia d'Oro's son WARRIOR'S REWARD. Four of his babies have run and all four have found the winner's circle. Two have placed in stakes races. Warrior's Reward doesn't have a precocious pedigree and one would expect his offspring to improve with racing, distance and age. The stallion didn't race as a two year old. He was graded stakes placed at age three and at four, Warrior's Reward won the Grade 1 Carter Handicap. His offspring will do their best running over dirt and mud. Although Warrior's Reward's has turf influences through his second tail sire El Prado and in the third generation of his distaff line, his pedigree is primarily dirt oriented. Warrior's Reward may get the occasional winner over turf or Polytrack, if the individual's distaff line carries these attributes.
Warrior's Reward - Photo: Spendthrift Farm
Two Year Old Champ LOOKIN AT LUCKY is leading the pack by number of winners. He's been represented by 13 runners so far and seven of those had their photo taken in the winner's circle. Lookin At Lucky's babies should also improve as three year olds and should stretch out with no problem. They should handle all surfaces and could be profitable bets on Del Mar's Polytrack.
One sire whose offspring should love the Del Mar Poly is MIDSHIPMAN. He won his first two starts at Del Mar and his sire Unbridled's Song and damsire Avenue of Flags are above-average Polysires. Midshipman's offspring should be fast and precocious.
The hardy THORN SONG ran only three times in his first two years on the track, but he put it all together as a four year old when he beat a nice group of horses in the River City Handicap going 1 1/8 miles over the lawn. The gray son of Unbridled made his mark as a top turf miler when he won the Shadwell Turf Mile as a five year old and came back a year later to earn a victory in the Shoemaker Miler, both Grade 1 events. The offspring of Unbridled's Song aren't particularly precocious. His babies need time to grow into their large bodies. Thorn Song's offspring should be typical of this line, improving later in the year and as three year olds. Most of the progeny sired by Unbridled's Song's sons do well on the Polytrack. Thorn Song's babies should love Poly and Turf. The pretty gray horse placed in four of seven tries over dirt, but never won on the surface. Thorn Song obviously inherited the genes of his damsire, the Irish Champion Storm Bird, but overall, Thorn Song has a strong pedigree for dirt, through his sire and second damsire (Secretariat). His offspring should handle all surfaces.
Thorn Song - Photo: Harris Farms
Want to know more about whose offspring should handle dirt, mud, turf and Poly? The 2014 Guide to Freshmen Sires will be available the week of July 13 and will feature 30 first crop sires from around the nation.