Reports of Mares Bred 2016 - Most Demanded Sires and Their Lines in This Year’s Stud Season in North America

Every stud season bears information on the latest trends at stud, what sires and what lines are most demanded by breeders and, perhaps, also some hints on what the racing season and classic races will be like in four years time. The stud season in North America could tell us something about trends in North American breeding and perhaps about the 2020 Kentucky Derby. It will not tell us the results, but it will hint what horses could compete about classic laurels at the beginning of the third decade of the new century.

Uncle Mo, again busiest stallion in US. Photo Coolmore

The surveys of stud seasons, published in these columns, are, I hope, of interest to you since they monitor activities of individual stallions and paternal lines, but what I find more interesting that the current season data is the comparison with the data from previous seasons (see columns from years 2013, 2014 and 2015). It is necessary to point out that the statistics quoted below come from the first data of the U.S. Jockey Club, published annually in October, and they are not final. They include, by assessment, over 90% of data from the current season and, therefore, there is some error factor. It is the same error though – the previous surveys were too published on the basis of the same data, published in the Reports of Mares bred in October.

Stallions who covered 125 + mares in North America this year

stallion sire sireline mares
Uncle Mo Indian Charlie Caro 253
Into Mischief Harlan's Holiday Storm Cat 218
American Pharoah Pioneerof the Nile Mr Prospector 208
Kitten's Joy El Prado Sadler's Wells 201
Goldencents Into Mischief Storm Cat 190
Verrazano More Than Ready Halo 190
Wicked Strong Hard Spun Danzig 190
Munnings Speightstown Mr Prospector 182
Archarcharch Arch Roberto 176
Tapiture Tapit Seattle Slew 176
Bodemeister Empire Maker Mr Prospector 174
Constitution Tapit Seattle Slew 172
Temple City Dynaformer Roberto 172
Gemologist Tiznow In Reality 165
Carpe Diem Giant's Causeway Storm Cat 162
Competitive Edge Super Saver Raise a Native 160
Twirling Candy Candy Ride Mr Prospector 159
Palace Malice Curlin Mr Prospector 158
Race Day Tapit Seattle Slew 155
Commissioner A.P. Indy Seattle Slew 154
Congrats A.P. Indy Seattle Slew 154
Declaration of War War Front Danzig 154
Super Saver Maria's Mon Raise a Native 154
Animal Kingdom Leroidesanimaux Blushing Groom 153
Oxbow Awesome Again Vice Regent 153
Paynter Awesome Again Vice Regent 153
Flat Out Flatter Seattle Slew 151
Hard Spun Danzig Danzig 151
Shanghai Bobby Harlan's Holiday Storm Cat 150
Cairo Prince Pioneerof the Nile Mr Prospector 148
Liam's Map Unbridled's Song Mr Prospector 148
Tapizar Tapit Seattle Slew 148
Violence Medaglia d'Oro Sadler's Wells 145
Honor Code A.P. Indy Seattle Slew 144
Will Take Charge Unbridled's Song Mr Prospector 144
Curlin Smart Strike Mr Prospector 141
Medaglia d'Oro El Prado Sadler's Wells 141
Candy Ride (ARG) Ride The Rails Mr Prospector 140
Bayern Offlee Wild Nearctic 139
Shackleford Forestry Storm Cat 138
Tonalist Tapit Seattle Slew 138
Stay Thirsty Bernardini Seattle Slew 137
Street Sense Street Cry Mr Prospector 137
Summer Front War Front Danzig 137
Bernardini A.P. Indy Seattle Slew 135
Palace City Zip Mr Prospector 134
Can the Man Into Mischief Storm Cat 133
Champ Pegasus Fusaichi Pegasus Mr Prospector 133
Mineshaft A.P. Indy Seattle Slew 132
More Than Ready Southern Halo Halo 132
Empire Maker Unbridled Mr Prospector 130
City Zip Carson City Mr Prospector 129
Danza Street Boss Mr Prospector 129
Midshipman Unbridled's Song Mr Prospector 129
Colonel John Tiznow In Reality 128
Fed Biz Giant's Causeway Storm Cat 128
Tiznow Cee's Tizzy In Reality 128
Kantharos Lion Heart Storm Cat 127
The Factor War Front Danzig 127
Ghostzapper Awesome Again Vice Regent 126
Lookin At Lucky Smart Strike Mr Prospector 126
Speightstown Gone West Mr Prospector 126
Creative Cause Giant's Causeway Storm Cat 125
Tapit Pulpit Seattle Slew 125

According to this year’s data, published on October 15, 1,423 stallions in North America covered a total of 33,746 thoroughbred mares. Both numbers dropped slightly against last year – the number of stallions by over 1.8% and the number of mares even by 2.5%. The number of stallions with 100+ mares dropped too. While last year there were 105 of them and they covered 41.8 of all mares, this year there were 100 of them and covered 40.6% of all broodmares.

Although the Kentucky Derby was run at the time when most of the matings were planned and often realized, the results of this year’s Kentucky Derby aptly illustrates trends dominant in breeding in North America. The winner Nyquist is by Uncle Mo who was the most demanded stallion of this season with 253 mares. The stallion of Ashford Stud with the fee of USD 75,000 is the main reason why there was the increased demand for the stallions of the Caro line, represented namely by sons of Indian Charlie and by Mizzen Mast. The line which had great success in France, where today it is represented solely in NH breeding, sees a great comeback in North America. Three years ago the stallions of this line covered 731 mares, this year it was 960 and their number can be expected to grow, thanks to the great performance of Uncle Mo but also in regard to expectations that Nyquist is to leave for stud.

The most frequently sought paternal lines by the number of mares covered

Sireline Stallions Mares covered
Northern Dancer 462 11414
  of which: Storm Cat 213 5129
  Sadler's Wells 58 2166
  Danzig 57 1994
  Vice Regent 67 1333
  Dixieland Band 28 458
  Nureyev 17 217
  Nijinsky 10 37
Mr Prospector 444 10132
Bold Ruler 208 5916
  of which: A.P. Indy 156 5495
In Reality 53 1124
Caro 28 960
Roberto 22 849
Halo 27 780
Blushing Groom 36 584
Raise a Native (excluding Mr Prospector) 22 553
Rough'n Tumble 10 254
Nearctic (excluding Northern Dancer) 17 218
Buckpasser 19 216
Damascus 26 188
Ack Ack 6 145
Ribot 10 95

Exaggerator was the runner up and Gun Runner third in the Kentucky Derby. They are by Curlin and Candy Ride, both belonging to the Mr Prospector line. This line is the perennial star of North American breeding, together with that of Northern Dancer, who was born nine years earlier than Mr Prospector. The two lines dominate breeding in North America. It influence and reach is one of the reasons behind the popularity of Uncle Mo, who lacks Mr Prospector in his pedigree and can serve as a suitable partner for mares with high concentration of Mr Prospector’s blood.

The fourth and fifth place in the Kentucky Derby were taken by Mohaymen and Suddenbreakingnews – representatives of the Bold Ruler line, though we could call this line after A.P. Indy. It was A.P. Indy who can claim credit for the return of Bold Ruler’s line, dominant in the 1970s, to prominance. Stallions of this line belong among the most demanded stallions at stud in North America and A.P. Indy was in this season the most successful sire of sires by the number of mares covered. His grandson Tapit was the third best, beaten only by a few mares by Unbridled’s Song. It is also worth mentioning that one third of twenty-one sons of Tapit covered over a hundred mares.

The sixth Destin only narrowly missed the fifth position. He is by Giant’s Causeway of the Storm Cat line. Giant’s Causeway is today arguably the best stallion among Storm Cat’s sons, however, he covered just forty-eight mares this year. Three years ago all stallions of the Storm Cat line covered a total of 5,969 mares, this year it was just 5,129. The sons of Storm Cat, ninety-two in 2014, covered 2,033 mares then; this year fifty-six of his sons covered a total of 817 mares and none of them had over a hundred mares. Giant’s Causewas was the more successful sire of sires as his twenty-five sons covered 1,037 mares.

Stallions with the highest number of active sons – stallions in North American studs this year

Stallion Sire 1 2 3
Storm Cat Storm Bird 56 817 0
A.P. Indy Seattle Slew 48 1756 7
Unbridled's Song Unbridled 44 1453 5
Giant's Causeway Storm Cat 25 1037 4
Pulpit A.P. Indy 25 1160 5
Tapit Pulpit 21 1412 7
Distorted Humor Forty Niner 21 689 1
El Prado Sadler's Wells 16 674 3
Street Cry Machiavellian 17 481 2
Forestry Storm Cat 17 435 2
Gone West Mr Prospector 16 387 1
Smart Strike Mr Prospector 15 584 3
Bernardini A.P. Indy 15 578 2
Elusive Quality Gone West 15 366 1
Carson City Mr Prostector 15 328 1
Medaglia d'Oro El Prado 14 744 4
Speightstown Gone West 14 700 1
Awesome Again Deputy Minister 14 673 3
Dixie Union Dixieland Band 14 388 1
Grand Slam Gone West 14 140 0
Indian Charlie In Excess 13 705 2
Tiznow Cee's Tizzy 13 684 2

1 ... number of sons in stud
2 ... number of mares covered
3 ... number of sons who covered 100 and more mares

The Sadler’s Wells goes into the opposite direction. It has dominanted Europe and now dominates the North American races over turf and its influence in North America is on the increase. In 2013 all stallions of this line covered only 1,242 mares, this year it was 2,166. El Prado became a demanded sire of sires and seven Galileo's sons performed well too (they covered 397 mares), although none of them had a hundred of mares this year. The representatives of this line are not often seen in the Kentucky Derby – this year it was the single one Oscar Nominated, by the most demanded representative of this line, Kitten’s Joy. He finished sixteenth and spent the rest of the season on turf, where he was much more successful. Sadler’s Wells, however, was by the Kentucky Derby winner Northern Dancer and his damsire Bold Reason finished third in the Run for Roses, so perhaps another sire of this line, similar to Songbird's sire Medaglia d’Oro, can produce a top horse for dirt tracks and perhaps even for the Kentucky Derby.

Miloslav Vlček

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