Thursday, July 5, 2012

Stallion Feature: Yes It's True

His golden frame stepped into my view, gracing my vision as he stood in the middle of the main stallion barn at Three Chimneys Farm just moments before a breeding session. I was just eleven years old at the time, as was Yes It’s True, but the beauty of Yes It’s True impressed me greatly and ever since, I have been a keen fan of the stunning stallion.

Yes It’s True is now sixteen and in the past five years, the son of Is It True has produced progeny that have earned a total of $5,000,000 annually. He is among a group of undistinguished sires in the breeding industry, but is one that is quite underrated.
Yes It's True
Photo by Terri Cage

Foaled on the final day of March 1996 in Kentucky, Yes It’s True was the initial foal out of Clever Monique to be sired by 1988 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) victor Is It True. As a yearling, the bay colt was entered in the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, in which he was bought by a pinhooker prior to eventually landing in the hands of Padua Stables and trainer D. Wayne Lukas for the price of $800,000.

Yes It’s True commenced his racing career in style, effortlessly winning his debut by five lengths at Keeneland as a juvenile. Following two stakes victories at Churchill Downs, Yes It’s True went to post in the Bashford Manor Stakes (GIII) beneath the Twin Spires, in which stablemate Time Bandit outdueled him to hand Yes It’s True his first defeat.

The bay colt left the confines of the Bluegrass State, arriving in Southern California for the Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes (GIII), in which Yes It’s True led every step of the way, galloping to a six-length triumph before returning to the East Coast to wrap up his juvenile campaign. He only won once more as a two-year-old, taking the Sapling Stakes (GIII) at Monmouth Park with ease before finishing in the money in the Futurity Stakes (GI) and the Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity (GII). Yes It’s True’s attempt at victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile was incredibly disappointing, as the colt finished eleventh of thirteen at Churchill Downs.

Yes It’s True returned to his brilliance early on in his three-year-old career, capturing two grade threes after losing his first start as a sophomore. Following a loss in the Derby Trial Stakes (GIII), Yes It’s True formed a string of four consecutive graded stakes victories, capping off the winning streak with a win in the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (GI), in which he ran the clock to a final time that was just 0.72 seconds off the track record.

Yes It’s True never won again and retired to stud duty at the age of five with earnings of $1,080,700, beginning his stud career at Padua’s new stallion operation in Florida, standing for just $7,500 initially. He covered 105 mares in his first stud season and his stud fee was thus increased to $10,000. When his first crop reached the races, Yes It’s True immediately proved that he was a force to be reckoned with in the breeding shed. His initial winner, Chantrue, became a talented stakes winner, capturing all of his races as a juvenile, including the Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes (GIII).

In September of 2004, Three Chimneys Farm purchased a minor interest in Yes It’s True, moving the stallion to the Midway, Kentucky farm to stand stud alongside many top stallions. In early October of 2004, Yes It’s True’s son, Proud Accolade, won the Champagne Stakes (GI) – defeating Afleet Alex – before Yes It’s True’s weanlings impressed at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company Fall Mixed Sale. It was shortly after these incidences that the owner of Three Chimneys, Robert Clay, increased Yes It’s True’s stud fee to $25,000.

Yes It’s True has remained a top commercial sire throughout his stud career, in addition to yielding talented runners. His leading North American earner is Aikenite, a horse who captured two graded stakes races and placed in three grade one events. Yes It’s True is also the sire of such graded stakes winners as Actin Good, Off Duty, Nordic Truce, Yesbyjimminy, and Yes He’s the Man.

The pedigree of Yes It’s True is rather understated, but also lined with indicators that he would become a successful sire. His sire, Is It True, only produced a pair of grade one winners – including Yes It’s True himself – but is by Raja Baba, the leading North American sire of 1980. Raja Baba was a fairly productive sire of sires, producing not only Is It True, but Royal Ski and Well Decorated.

The dam of Yes It’s True, Clever Monique, was a profitable producer, also yielding the multiple stakes-winning Honest Deceiver. Intriguingly, Yes It’s True’s seventh dam is Dancing Date, the dam of Terrang, who captured a record ten stakes events at Santa Anita. Yes It’s True is a descendant of American family one, the same female family that has yielded the grade one victors Gato Del Sol, Germany, and Tizway.

Yes It’s True’s broodmare sire is Clever Trick, who was also the damsire of such grade one winners as Came Home, Elegant Fashion, Nothingtolose, and Victors Cry. Clever Trick’s sire is Icecapade, a half-brother to the great Ruffian. Interestingly, Yes It’s True only has one trace of Native Dancer in his pedigree, which comes through Shenanigans – the dam of Icecapade and Ruffian.

Though he has an inconspicuous pedigree, Yes It’s True possesses a build that is symbolic of a Thoroughbred bred for racing. A very well-balanced individual, Yes It’s True has a long, sloping shoulder that produces, a short, sturdy topline. He is very structurally correct, being straight about his legs, and is also attractive about the head and neck, the latter of which is lengthy, tying into his impressive shoulder rather appropriately.

Photo by Mary Cage

Despite his understated pedigree, Yes It’s True has been a consistent sire and has maintained his success as a commercial stallion, as well as producing hardy, productive runners. Since 2005, Yes It’s True has been among the top one hundred North America sires each year, peaking as the twentieth leading sire on the continent. Yes It’s True is by no means just good looks. Standing for just $15,000, Yes It’s True poses as a practical opportunity for breeders.

*Yes It's True is the sire of True Swither, who will be Hip #1 in the inaugural Del Mar Paddock Sale. All proceeds from this retired racehorse's sale will go to the charities CARMA and Remember Me Rescue. Yes It's True is sure to produce talented horses off the track as well, as his brother is an A Circuit jumper in California. The possibilities for Yes It's True's offspring are endless!
True Swither after winning at Lone Star Park
Photo by Mary Cage
True Swither
Photo by Mary Cage

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