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Monday, January 31, 2005

Fun with Studs and Dams


- Two of the leading first crop sires of 2004, More Than Ready and Dixie Union, who ranked 6th and 7th on the list (by earnings) respectively, checked in with stakes winners over the weekend. More Than Ready (Southern Halo) was very precocious at 2, winning 4 stakes races. He recovered from a Derby campaign (he finished 4th) to win the Grade 1 King’s Bishop at 7 furlongs with a breathtaking stretch run, watch it here (Quicktime, via Stallion Register Online). He’s off to a quick start in 2005 with two stakes winners and another placed, and four winners overall for a first-crop total of 21. For his daughter More Moonlight, her 6f win in Saturday’s Dixie Belle Stakes at Oaklawn was the 3 yo filly’s second stakes win of the year, having also won one on New Year’s Day. More Moonlight is out of Miss Moonlight, an unraced Broad Brush mare; you have to go back to the fourth dam, Graffiti, to find a stakes winner. Graffiti (Graustark) had 12 wins and 9 seconds in 30 starts, and ran second in eight stakes races, including the Kentucky Oaks (to Silent Beauty) and the CCA Oaks (to Our Cheri Amour). She did win four stakes, including the Grade 1 Ladies Handicap.

- For Dixie Union (Dixieland Band), it was his first stakes winner of the year, for a total of 3, with two others placed; he has two winners this year and 14 overall. Dixie Union won 5 stakes at 2 and 3, including the Haskell (defeating More Than Ready). For his son Straw Hat, the Black Gold Handicap at Fair Grounds Saturday was his second win of the year, both on the turf, this one at 7 1/2 furlongs. He is out of Grass Skirt, a Mr. Prospector mare, and he is seriously inbred, 2x4 to Mr. Prospector and 3x4 to Northern Dancer. While Dixie Union may trail More Than Ready in wins and earnings, it’s in the sales ring that Dixie Union has established a clear superiority to him and to most of their classmates. In 2004, 48 of his yearlings sold for an average of $107,058; 15 weanlings for $104,733; and 16 2 year olds for $206,875; all well in excess of his $30,000 stud fee.

- Dixie Union also won the Grade 1 7 furlong Santa Monica Stakes at Santa Anita, and on Sunday the 2005 renewal was taken by Salt Champ (Salt Lake), a 5 year old graded stakes winner in Argentina making his first start here for Richard Mandella, with no U.S. running lines in the Form and don’t you just hate when that happens?

- Big Top Cat (Storm Cat), who broke his maiden in his third try at Santa Anita Saturday, is out of Golden Attraction (Mr. Prospector), who was the champion 2 year old filly of 1995. She won 8 out of 11 starts, and three Grade 1s: the Spinaway, Matron, and Frizette. She ran third in the BC Juvenile Filly to My Flag (Easy Goer-Personal Ensign). Golden Attraction is a half-sister to Cape Town (Seeking the Gold) and his 3/4 brother Cape Canaveral (Mr. Prospector). The latter, who managed only four starts at 2, 3, and 4, is ranked 5th on the first-crop sire list, just ahead of the two that opened this post.