Sacahuista, The Dam of Stallions

It was indeed a sad news that Cornerstone Stud, Australia, issued on Monday, March 21, when they reported that the leading stallion Hussonet had died of stroke, aged 25. The multiple champion sire in Chile, prominent even after his transfer to Australia, was one of the most successful sons of the sire of sires Mr Prospector, but also one of a number of great stallions – sons of the American champion Sacahuista.

Sacahuista, photo

Sacahuista, bred by G. Watts Humphrey, Jr & William S. Farish, was the daughter of the champion of American sires Raja Baba and the unraced Nalees Flying Flag, the daughter of the excellent broodmare Nalee. Half-sister to the listed winner and third in the G1 Mother Goose Stakes Far Flying and the runner-up in the Belmont Stakes (G1) Johns Treasure, she was sold as a yearling for a hefty sum of USD 670,000 but she earned twice as much on the racecourse. A front-running performer, she won six of her twenty-one races, including the Oak Leaf Stakes (G1) at two and Breeders’s Cup Distaff (G1) and Spinster Stakes (G1) at three, when she was voted the Best Three-Year-Old Filly in the U.S. She ended her career with earnings of USD 1,298,842.

A number of champion fillies brought disappointment at stud but this was not Sacahuista’s case. Her progeny, namely her sons, however, excelled at stud rather than on the racecourse. Although her name is today associated mainly with the fantastic results scored by Hussonet, Sacahuista produced six sons who were able to produce a black-type winner.

The very first son of Sacahuista, the unraced Alyhuista, was given a chance at stud in Mexico but the opportunity was not huge and his progeny is scarce. One of them, the New Mexico born Youareaggravatin’, won the black-type George Maloof Futurity and placed in three more.

The second product was none other than Hussonet, placed in two listed races and later an excellent sire. He started his stud career in Chile where he became a sensation, winning the sire championship for three times, and three of his progeny won the Horse of the Year Title and his best local progeny could compete against their rivals in Gr.1 races in the U.S., such as Wild Spirit, the winner of the Ruffian Handicap (G1) at Belmont Parku, or Host, the winner of the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) at Keeneland. Hussonet fared very well with daughters of Worldwatch by Nijinsky, with whom he produced a total of eighteen black-type winners. In 2003 Hussonet was bought by Arrowfield Stud and the stallion move to Australia. He had an excellent start in his new home – in the first crop of 89 progeny he had the seven-time G1 winner Weekend Hussler, but also the winner of the Railway Handicap (G1) Gold Trail. He spent the last five seasons at Cornerstone Stud, where he covered 42 mares last season. So far he has produced 97 black-type winners including 30 winners of G1 races on four continents, another 79 of his products placed in black-type races. He is excellent as a damsire too – 52 black-type winners out of his daughters include the winner of the last month’s Diamond Stakes (G1) Extreme Choice.

The third son of Sacahuista was Easy Goer’s son Buck Strider, bought as a yearling by Frank Stronach for USD 470,000. The winner of seven races (maiden, allowance and claiming) did not achieve black-type but was fourth in the v Gr.3 Baltimore Breeders’ Cup Handicap. In Arizona, where he was at stud for many years, he belonged among the leading local sires, produced three black-type winners, two horses successful in restricted races for horses foaled in Arizona.

Among Sacahuista’s sons the best one on the racecourse was the fourth one – Ekraar by Red Ransom. Bought as a weanling by Shadwell Estate Co. at the Keeneland November Sale for USD 200,000, the globe-trotting Ekraar won eight races including the G1 Gran Premio del Jockey Club in Italy or Lanson Vintage Stakes (G3) in England. In 2004 he launched his stud career in Allevamento di Besnate, Italy, but also shuffled to New Zealand. While his stay in Italy yielded just occasional achievement, in New Zealand he produced four Gr.1 winners including the winner of the local Derby Habibi and the winner of the Auckland Cup Shez Sinsational, who achieved seven group wins, four in the highest category.

In 1997 Sacahuista partnered A.P. Indy and the connection of two Breeders’ Cup winners produced the bay colt Dynamix. Trained by D. Wayne Lukas he raced just three times. He made a winning debut as a three-year-old in a maiden race at Keeneland, then had two unplaced raced in allowances and this was the end of his racing career. Same as his more famous half-brother Hussonet, Dynamix was sold to South America as a stallion. First he was based in Haras Palmira, Chile, and after nine seasons moved to Haras Vacacion, Argentina. That Chile does well for Sacahuista’s sons was confirmed by the producion of four Gr.1 winners, including the winner of the local St Leger Cuan Linda.

The sixth son of Sacahuista, who found the way to stud, was Spinning Wild. The son of Spinning World raced as a three-year-old in France where his major achievement was the second place in a 18,000 EUR race, then he raced in Switzerland where scored a single win. As a stallion he was in the Czech Republic but was given a negligible opportunity and only three of his progeny raced. Then he was gelded and ended up in equestrian sport.

A much more dignified fate awaited the seventh Sacahuista’s son Jaguar On the Run. The son of Storm Cat raced in Michael Tabor’s silks in Ireland but achieved no win of eight races. With the rating of 61 pounds he would have hardly found a place at stud in Ireland, but his dam’s name attracted breeders in South America and Jaguar on The Run found a new home in Peru. The local breeding market consists of about 900 broodmares and nearly 60 stallions but even the maiden Jaguar on The Run was not lost. His most successful progeny, Jaguar On the Run, won the Clasico Gustavo Prado Heudebert (G2) and his full sister Nishme, the winner Clasico Velocidad (G3), was, too, successful on the group level.

Sacahuista gave birth to two more colts but Hishi Saturday was gelded and the fate of her last son, Realize Pegasus, the two-time winner in Japan, I was unable to trace after his last race in 2012.

In sum – seven sons of Sacahuista went to stud, one became a champion, three (including the above mentioned champion) produced a Gr.1 winner and more three produced a black-type winner. Only a single one did not produce a black-type winner but he was based in a country with no black-type races and had just three progeny, so he in fact could not. Even so, the record of Sacahuista is impressive indeed.

Miloslav Vlček

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