Arrogate, Unbridled’s Song and Saudi Arabia

While I was thinking about a topic for this Weekly Column, I came across the result of the UAE 1,000 Guineas. The first two places were taken by fillies in whose pedigree, in the second generation, we can find the name of Unbridled’s Song, the stallion whose son Arrogate dominated the first edition of the Pegasus World Cup, the richest race in the world, just two weeks before.

Unbridled's Song

The winner, Nashmiah, is of more interest than the runner-up Nomorerichblondes, whose dam, Miss Luan, is the daughter of Unbridled’s Song. The filly, foaled in Saudi Arabia, is not just the first winner of the internationally-recognized black-type race foaled in Saudi Arabia, but what more, even her sire Alnajim Althakeb was foaled there and Nashiamh brought him his first black-type triumph.

Alnajim Althakeb was imported into Saudi Arabia in utero of his dam Hurry Home Hillary, bought at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale, in foal with Unbridled’s Song, for USD 800,000. The high price will come as no surprise once we realise that Hurry Home Hillary is the dam of the Wood Memorial Stakes (Gr.1) Bellamy Road and of the gelding Old Midleton, who excelled in Puerto Rico.

Alnajim Althakeb has become, thanks to Nashmiah’s victory, the 31st son of Unbridled’s Song who has produced a black-type winner at stud. This is not a poor record indeed, but so far his sons lack an ace at least partially comparable to Unbridled’s Song. As the table shows, from the perspective of black-type winners, the most successful son of Unbridled’s Song at stud is the Gr.1 Fountain of Youth Stakes winner Songandaprayer. Among his progeny, however, we won’t find any Gr.1 winner so while ten years ago his fee at Walmac International was USD 45,000, this year at The Stallion Station Copper Crowne his fee is just one tenth of his fee ten years before.

Even better was Rockport Harbor, the sire of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Ria Antonia and another Gr.1 winner Majestic Harbor, but this sire, the leading 2013 stallion in Pensylvania, had to be put down due to laminitis - related problems.

Half Ours, sold at Keeneland November 2006 for USD 6.1 million, has produced, since 2008, when he went to stud at Taylor Made Farm, seventeen black-type winners but none scored in a group race and his current fee is one third of the introductory season.

The winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Midshipman has a solid percentage of black-type winners but in his four crops so far he has had just two Gr.3 winners and his fee is on the decrease. This is the same with Even the Score, who has produced twelve black-type winners including two Gr.1 winners, including the excellent Dullahan, the winner of the Pacific Classic and two more Gr.1 races. Even The Score, however, has been at stud since 2005.

Unbridled's Song's sons, sires of black-type winners

Stallion, YOB To Stud BT wnrs G1 wnrs
SONGANDAPRAYER (USA), 1998 2002 37 0
ROCKPORT HARBOR (USA), 2002 2007 25 2
HALF OURS (USA), 2003 2008 17 0
MIDSHIPMAN (USA), 2006 2011 13 0
EVEN THE SCORE (USA), 1998 2005 12 2
ZENSATIONAL (USA), 2006 2010 11 1
FIRST DEFENCE (USA), 2004 2009 9 1
DUNKIRK (USA), 2006 2010 9 1
EUROSILVER (USA), 2001 2006 9 0
MY GOLDEN SONG (USA), 2003 2008 8 0
FIBER SONDE (USA), 2005 2008 7 0
POLITICAL FORCE (USA), 2003 2008 6 0
OLD FASHIONED (USA), 2006 2010 5 1
UNBRIDELS KING (USA), 2000 2007 5 1
UNBRIDLED ENERGY (USA), 2002 2007 5 0
BUDDHA (USA), 1999 2003 4 0
WERBLIN (USA), 1999 2005 4 0
VALUE PLUS (USA), 2001 2006 3 0
UNBRIDLED EXPRESS (USA), 2004 2010 3 0
RIGHT RIGGER (USA), 2006 2011 3 0
NOONMARK (USA), 2003 2010 2 0
SING BABY SING (USA), 2003 2011 2 0
DOMESTIC DISPUTE (USA), 2000 2005 2 0
GOING COMMANDO (USA), 2000 2006 2 0
SILVER CITY (USA), 2006 2011 1 0
MISSION IMPAZIBLE (USA), 2007 2013 1 0
THORN SONG (USA), 2003 2011 1 0
ALNAJIM ALTHAKEB (KSA), 2006 ? 1 0
TO TERAS (USA), 2000 2004 1 0
AFFIRMATIF (USA), 2006 2011 1 0
GRIFFINITE (USA), 1998 2004 1 0

So far the last son of Unbridled’s Song to have produced a double-digit number of black-type winners is the top sprinter Zensational, originally based at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms, Kentucky, but since 2015 permanently in Argentina at Haras La Pasion. He used to shuttle there even before and it was in Argentina that four of his five group winners were foaled, including Furia Azteca, so far the only Gr.1 winner in Zensational production.

Other stallions have produced fewer than ten black-type winners. Some of them are at the outset of their stud career, some fail to make impact. Overall, the sons of Unbridled’s Song are under-performers at stud. Next year, the first crop will appear on the racecourse of Will Take Charge, based at Three Chimneys Farm with a fee of USD 30,000 and with 144 mares last year. The biggest hope, however, is Arrogate, definitely the classiest product of Unbridled’s Song and a potential stallion who could get an excellent chance at Juddmonte Farm. Arrogate remains in training and, thus, we will have to wait for his first progeny for a few years.

Miloslav Vlček

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