On July 28, Mr Prospector’s son Seeking The Gold was euthanized. For a long time he was one of the pillars not just of his home Claiborne Farm but of all breeding in North America. Last weekend he commanded attention again, this time as a damsire and outside U.S., to show how influential and successful stallion he was.
The whole world wrote about Seeking The Gold after his death and rightly so. The son of Mr Prospector and Buckpasser’s daughter Con Game won eight races and placed second six times of fifteen races, earning more than USD 2.3 million. His biggest achievements included victories in the Gr.1 Super Derby and Gr.1 Dwyer Stakes, in 1988 he was the runner-up to Alysheba in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and he placed second in more Gr.1 races such as Travers Stakes, Wood Memorial or Haskell Stakes.
He was at stud from 1990 to 2008 when he was pensioned. His career at stud was extraordinary. He produced a total of ninety-one black-type winners (9% of foals of racing age), including five champions (Dubai Millennium, Seeking the Pearl, Heavenly Prize, Flanders and Catch the Ring), three winners of the Breeders’ Cup (Flanders, Cash Run and Pleasant Home) and his progeny earned over USD 95 million.
Even this short list shows that Seeking The Gold was one of the most successful stallions of his generation. The list, however, does not show another aspect of his talent – to breed successful broodmares. In this role Seeking The Gold was perhaps even more successful than as sire of champions and, moreover, as a damsire he stands behind a long line of racing stars but also a numerous group of successful stallions. Both were proved last weekend. As a damsire he scored well in France when on Sunday the five-year-old Signs of Blessing, the son of the unraced Seeking The Gold’s daughter Sun Bittern, crowned his rich career by his first Gr.1 triumph in the Prix Maurice de Gheest. Just a few hours before it, on the Southern Hemisphere, in Argentina, the winner of the Kentucky Cup Classic Handicap (Gr.2), Pure Prize, enriched the collection of achievements of his progeny, as his daughters Kononkop and Blue Prize took the first two places in the Gr.2 Clasico General Luis Maria Campos. And it was not the first time that the progeny of the son of the champion Heavenly Prize dominated a peak of the Argentinian racing season. In late May, the Gran Premio de Potrancas, the local 1,000 Guineas, was won by the above mentioned Kononkop, with third place going to another daughter Hispanidad and the second place by Betula Trick, who is out of a dam by Pure Prize.
Pure Prize, himself the sire of sixty-four black-type winners, is one of 144 black-type winners out of 449 daughters of Seeking The Gold, who have foals of racing age. Of them seventy-six won in group or graded races and earned a total of USD 215 million. Perhaps the most famous among the progeny of Seeking The Gold’s daughters is the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic and the only horse to beat Zenyatta, Blame, or the five-time Gr.1 winner Point of Entry; in Europe his daughters have been best promoted by the winner of the St James’s Palace Stakes (Gr.1), Excellent Art.
Pure Prize, Blame and Excellent Art went to stud and with them a number of progeny of Seeking The Gold’s daughters. Looking at their results today, one cannot but say that in this role, too, Seeking The Gold performs very well. As of today I have counted twenty-five sons of his daughters who have produced a black-type winner at stud, eleven of them have even managed to produce a Gr.1 winner – without taking into this account Hockenheim, Warrior’s Reward and Dancing Forever, whose progeny won important races in Puerto Rico (including two local Derbys) and India, which are classified Gr.1 locally, but just as black-type internationally.
The most successful of eleven sires of Gr.1 winners are two stallions: Pure Prize and Exchange Rate with sixty-seven black-type winners. Both stallions divide, or divided (Exchange Rate died in January) their talents between the U.S. and Argentina, which is symbolic in a way. The figure below shows that sons of Seeking The Gold’s daughters fared best in South America, which is often caused by the opportunity that they get because of their pedigree, as was the case of the above-average runner Gstaad, the son of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Cash Run – an opportunity they would never get in the U.S. The figure shows another fact – the daughters of Seeking The Gold were covered by best American stallions which made the road to success easier.
Stallion out of dams by Seeking The Gold, sires of G1 winners
|sire||BT wnrs||Stud - country|
|PURE PRIZE (USA)||Storm Cat||67||USA/ARG|
|EXCHANGE RATE (USA)||Danzig||67||USA/ARG|
|STORM AND A HALF (USA)||Storm Cat||19||USA|
|EXCELLENT ART (GB)||Pivotal||16||IRE/IND|
|SEEKING THE DIA (USA)||Storm Cat||14||CHI|
|MAJESTIC WARRIOR (USA)||A.P. Indy||12||USA/ARG|
|FLANDERS FIELD (USA)||A.P. Indy||9||PER|
|GSTAAD (USA)||Storm Cat||4||CHI|
|HIDDEN TRUTH (USA)||Danzig||4||ARG|
|BATTLE HERO (USA)||Deputy Minister||2||PER|
|COSMIC (USA)||El Prado||1||ARG|
The departure of Seeking The Gold is a loss not just for breeding in North America. His influence is evident today on many places of the Earth, not just in South America. In the direct line, for instance, his influence is the strongest not in America but in Europe through his grandson Dubawi, who belongs among the elite of European sires and who has a number of promising sons at stud. His son, this year’s debutante, Night of Thunder, the winner of the 2,000 Guineas, covered 152 mares in his first season at Kildangan Stud, Ireland, and arrived, a few hours ago, to Darley Northwood Park, Australia, to test the demand of Australian breeders. The genes of Seeking The Gold disseminate all over the world.