Saturday, January 23, 2016

Guest Blog Contest: Sixth Place | Pharoah's Phuture Phoals, by Madison Feldhahn

With a new year comes new stallions. This is no longer the year of the Pharoah –  at least for racing, that is. 2016 is the year American Pharoah walks into the breeding shed with some of the top mares from around the country and even the world (yes, I'm talking about you, Rags). If American Pharoah fails at stud, it won't be due to a shortage of quality mares. On that note, let's take a look at 'Pharoah's Phuture Phoals.'

American Pharoah/Untouched Talent

Untouched Talent, a Storm Cat mare, sold as a yearling for $310,000 in 2005 before making her way back to the auction ring as a two-year-old in the Barretts March Sale ($500,000) and the Fasig-Tipton November Sale ($850,000). She went on to win the Juan Gonzales Memorial Stakes (5 furlongs) and the Sorrento Stakes (6 1/2 furlongs). Untouched Talent also finished second in both the Del Mar Debutante (7 furlongs) and the Alcibiades Stakes (1 1/16 miles). I thought it was interesting to note the riders she had for each race: Roberto Gonzales, Victor Espinoza, David Flores and Patrick Valenzuela, respectively.

DAM: Parade Queen (A.P. Indy-Spanish Queen) won the grade three Miss Revere Stakes (1 1/16 miles T) and the grade three Joe Namath Handicap (1 1/16 miles T) before finishing her career with a fourth in the grade three Bewitch Stakes (1 1/2 miles T). Her first foal, Peace Officer (by Deputy Minister), was unraced. After being bred to Kingmambo, Parade Queen produced a 2001 colt named Obay (GB) who eventually became a group one winner. In 2006, King Gulch (Gulch), a gelding, became a  blacktype winner. Her most successful recent foal is Top Billing (by Curlin), a grade two-placed five-year old. Top Billing fractured his cannon bone in 2014 and finished fourth in the 2015 grade three Pimlico Special Stakes (1 3/16 miles). 

SIRE: Storm Cat (Storm Bird-Terlingua) won the grade one Young American Stakes (1 1/16 miles) and then finished second the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (1 mile). Some of his best mares include Life Is Sweet, winner of the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Distaff, and Untouched Talent, dam of Bodemeister.  Arguably, Giant’s Causeway is Storm Cat’s best son. In his only start on U.S. dirt, Giant’s Causeway finished second to Tiznow in the Breeders' Cup Classic. Giant’s Causeway has sired Take Charge Brandi and Carpe Diem, to name a few. From 381 mares, Storm Cat has 669 runners and 313 winners (46%). Of those 313 winners, 25 won a stakes race (8%).

In 2007, Untouched Talent was sold at the Keeneland November sale for $1,200,000 in foal to Unbridled's Song. The resulting colt never started. In 2009, the Storm Cat mare gave birth to an Empire Maker colt. The colt was sent to the Keeneland September Sale and sold for $260,000.  This colt, Bodemeister, went on to win the Arkansas Derby and finish second in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Untouched Talent was not bred in 2010.  In 2011, she produced Fascinating, a Smart Strike filly. The filly sold for $1,300,000 at the Keeneland September Sale and became a multiple graded stakes-placed racer. Untouched Talent foaled a Tiznow filly in 2012. That filly is currently a maiden winner, but is still on the track.

Untouched Talent made it to the sales ring once more. She was sold for $5,000,000 in foal to Unbridled's Song. The final foal from this cross is a chestnut colt who broke his maiden at Pimlico. In 2014 and 2015, Untouched Talent gave birth to Galileo fillies, both of whom are still unnamed.

As for the American Pharoah cross, the resulting foal with have inbreeding to Secretariat (4DX5D), Terlingua (5SX3D), Storm Bird (5SX3D) and Storm Cat (4SX2D).  Not to be a down and outer, but Pioneerof the Nile has not produced much other than American Pharoah. If you ignore all but the best son of the sire, he has only ever produced grade two winners. I don't believe his stud fee will stay above $100,000 for much longer. One thing to note in Pioneerof the Nile's pedigree is his sire, Empire Maker. Untouched Talent's best foal to date (Bodemeister) was based off the Empire Maker/Untouched Talent cross. Ending on that note, the American Pharoah/Untouched Talent foal could be just as good, or better than, Bodemeister. This is one to keep your eye on.

American Pharoah/Charming

Charming, by Seeking the Gold and out of Take Charge Lady, sold for $3,200,000 at Keeneland September. However, she never did much on the track. She won her maiden special weight (6 ½ furlongs) and then finished second in an allowance (one mile), both times under John Velazquez. For her final career start, Charming did not finish in the Serena’s Song Stakes. 

DAM: Take Charge Lady (Dehere-Felicita) won the Alcibiades Stakes (1 1/16 miles), Silverbulletday Stakes (1 1/16 miles), Fair Grounds Oaks (1 1/16 miles), Ashland Stakes (1 1/16 miles), Dogwood Stakes (1 1/16 miles), Arlington Matron Handicap (1 ⅛ miles) and the Spinster Stakes (1 ⅛ miles), twice. She also finished second in the Kentucky Oaks (1 ⅛ miles). In 2009, Take Charge Lady produced an A.P. Indy colt named Take Charge Indy. Take Charge Indy went on to win the Florida Derby – defeating Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags – and the Alysheba Stakes. He now stands at WinStar Farm for $17,500. His first crop are yearlings in 2016. After being bred to Unbridled’s Song, Will Take Charge was foaled in 2010. Will Take Charge won the Smarty Jones Stakes, Rebel Stakes, Travers Stakes, Pennsylvania Derby, Clark Handicap and the Oaklawn Handicap. He entered stud in 2015 and is standing for $30,000 in 2016 at Three Chimneys Farm. Take Charge Lady produced a 2012 filly named I’ll Take Charge (by Indian Charlie), a 2013 filly named Conquering (by War Front) and has a 2015 unnamed War Front Filly. 

SIRE: Seeking the Gold (Mr. Prospector-Con Game) won the Swale Stakes, Peter Pan Stakes, Dwyer Stakes and Super Derby. He finished second in the Wood Memorial, Haskell Invitational, Travers Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He currently has 29 stallions at stud. He sired Dubai Millennium winner of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and the Dubai World Cup, Jazil – winner of the Belmont Stakes, and Flanders – winner of the Spinaway and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, where she defeated Serena’s Song. As a broodmare sire, Seeking the Gold has 228 winners from 490 runners (47%). Sixteen of his winners won a stakes race (7%).

Take Charge Lady was bred to Unbridled’s Song in 2009 and produced a colt, Siete C. He sold at Keeneland September for $210,000. He is still racing as a five-year-old but has yet to win anything other than an allowance optional claiming. Undoubtedly, Charming’s best foal is Take Charge Brandi. She was a product of a Giant’s Causeway cross. As a yearling, she sold for $435,000 at the Keeneland September Sale. Her biggest wins were the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (1 1/16 miles), Delta Downs Princess Stakes (1 mile), Starlet Stakes (1 1/16 miles) and the Martha Washington Stakes (1 mile). Take Charge Brand recently sold for $6,000,000 at the Keeneland November Sale. 

Charming produced a War Front filly in 2013. The filly has been named Take Charge Tressa and has yet to start. Charming also has colt by War Front that was foaled in 2014. 

Charming seems to be a short distance speed horse. American Pharoah has speed on his dam’s side and stamina on his sire’s. Combined together, the foal should do well around two turns but I’m doubtful the resulting foal will be able to reach 1 ½ miles. However, 1 ¼ and 1 ⅜ miles should be no problem.

American Pharoah/Rags to Riches

Rags to Riches, by A.P. Indy and out of Better Than Honour, is probably one of the most successful racing mares of the 21st century. As a yearling, she sold at the Keeneland September Sale for $1,900,000. She finished fourth in a maiden special weight (5 ½ furlongs) before winning her maiden going 7 furlongs. She then went on to win the Las Virgenes Stakes (1 mile), Santa Anita Oaks (1 1/16 miles), Kentucky Oaks (1 ⅛ miles) and the Belmont Stakes (1 ½ miles). She finished her career with a second in the Gazelle Stakes (1 ⅛ miles). 

DAM: Better Than Honour (Deputy Minister-Blush with Pride) finished second in the 1999 grade one Acorn Stakes (1 mile) and third in the Mother Goose Stakes (1 ⅛ miles). Her 2003 foal, Jazil (by Seeking the Gold), won the Belmont Stakes. In 2004, Rags to Riches (by A.P. Indy) was foaled.  Casino Drive (by Mineshaft) is a 2005 grade two winner. Better Than Honour has a 2013 Bernardini filly who is yet to be named. 

SIRE: A.P. Indy (Seattle Slew-Weekend Surprise) was sold at Keeneland July for $2,900,000 before he won the Hollywood Futurity (1 1/16 miles), San Rafael Stakes (1 mile), Santa Anita Derby (1 ⅛ miles) and Peter Pan Stakes (1 ⅛ miles). He also won the Belmont Stakes (1 ½ miles) and the Breeders Cup Classic (1 ¼ miles). As a sire, some of A.P. Indy’s foals include Bernardini (2006 Eclipse Champion Three-Year-Old Male), Dreaming of Julia (The Frizette), Friesan Fire (Louisiana Derby), Mineshaft (Jockey Club Gold Cup), Pulpit (sire of Tapit), Rags to Riches (Belmont Stakes), Malibu Moon (sire of Kentucky Derby winner Orb), Majestic Warrior (sire of Kentucky Oaks winner Princess of Sylmar) and Honor Code (2015 Eclipse Champion Older Dirt Male). Mares by A.P. Indy have produced 598 runners, 299 of whom are winners (50%). Of those winners, 29 are stakes winners (9%).

As a broodmare, Rags to Riches produced a 2009 Giant’s Causeway filly. The filly was later named Opulence. In 2010, Rags to Riches foaled a colt by Henrythenavigator. He was also unraced. A 2011 colt and a 2012 gelding both by Galileo  were named Rhett Butler and Rich and Righteous, respectively, and are unraced as well. Rags to Riches gave birth to a Galileo colt named Never So Few. He is the only foal by Rags to Riches to race; he finished eighth in a maiden special weight (1 1/16 miles) on the turf in his career debut earlier this month. The broodmare also has an unnamed 2014 filly by Galileo. 

Both dam and sire won the Belmont Stakes, proving they have the stamina needed for classic distances. Both dam and sire have won at a seven furlong distance. Out of all of the mares that American Pharoah will breed to, I am most excited for this cross. The foal should be able to succeed at all distances.

American Pharoah has been given every chance to succeed as a sire. If he doesn't, we can't blame the broodmares. The pedigrees these broodmares carry are some of the best in the world and while not all of them are proven producers, perhaps they just need the right sire to come along.  

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