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Seven Spectacular Freshman Sires to Watch
Fall is rapidly approaching, and with it, longer distances for the two year olds. The less precocious babies will start to make their appearance in the maiden ranks. These are the youngsters that may find themselves on next year's Triple Crown trail.
Longer race distances also mean a shift in the Freshmen Sire standings. The sprint-oriented stallions will slip down the ranks as the miler-middle distance types start to make their presence felt.
This year's sire crop is a little different. The two stallions heading the first crop sire list are Classic heroes, Super Saver and Lookin at Lucky. Both were win-early types, and Lookin at Lucky was named Champion Two Year Old. Ironically, Lookin at Lucky, favored in the 2007 Kentucky Derby, finished a roughed-up sixth behind Super Saver. He turned the tables on that rival by winning the Preakness Stakes while Super Saver faded to eighth place. It is fitting that both stallions renew this rivalry in the breeding shed.
Super Saver - Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
Lookin at Lucky - Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
Besides Super Saver and Lookin at Lucky, there are five stallions on the National First Crop Sire List that should gain momentum as second and third crop stallions.
The progeny of Hold Me Back, a son of Giant's Causeway, have shown surprising brilliance. Six of his fifteen starters have won from an astounding 3 ½ furlongs to 5 ½ furlongs. Hold Me Back won stakes races from 1 1/8 to 1 ¼ miles over the dirt and polytrack. Hold Me Back is a huge, flashy stallion and many of his babies are the same.
Hold Me Back
Another son of Giant's Causeway, Eskendereya, has a classic two-turn pedigree. He has two winners over Polytrack and one over the turf, from 5 ½ to 6 furlongs. Expect his offspring to come into their own as three year olds.
Eskendereya - Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
Horse of the Year Blame, a son of Arch, is off to a slow start at stud. His offspring should excel at longer distances and we should expect to see him near the top of the leaderboard as second and third crop sire as his initial crop matures.
Blame - Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
Deceased Belmont Stakes winner Summer Bird has only one U.S. Crop. A son of a Belmont Stakes winner out of a mare whose sire won the Preakness, Summer Bird's 93 two year olds will carry on their sire's legacy as long-winded runners.
Summer Bird - Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
One stallion who just might become a surprise second crop sire is Line of David. His juveniles are huge, two-turn types with the physical presence of a much older horse. Some have been mistaken for three year olds. These types will need patience and could evolve into superb older horses, especially over the turf.
Line of David - Agnes Rose 2012 Colt
The First Crop sires of 2014 is a stellar group. I expect several will become a solid presence and a few may develop into sires of sires. I expect stud fees will rise over the next few years, so book while you can.
Want to learn more about the 2014 Freshmen Sires and how their offspring should perform on the track? This year's Guide to Freshmen Sires is now available.