- I ran across an ad in Bloodhorse for Friends Lake, whose first crop of foals are yearlings this year. Here's a sire who had a moderate race record (pdf) of 7-3-0-1. But his upset win in the Grade 1 2004 Florida Derby, plus a stellar pedigree, were enough to propel him to a potentially lucrative career at stud. He stands for $15,000 at Airdale. He bred 101 mares last year, generating a gross return of $1,515,000 (less any foals not born live). Not bad for a horse who won a single graded stakes, and who was beaten a total of 52 lengths in his last two career efforts.
And it doesn't even matter that he earned a mere 92 Beyer against a weak field in that Florida Derby win, a race not even notable enough to have a video on You Tube. G1 FLORIDA DERBY WINNER, the ad reads, and that's all that matters. Belmont Park SW at Two. It doesn't tell you that it was a NY-bred race (as a matter of fact, it doesn't say anywhere that he's a NY-bred). Highest Beyer of any 2YO SW son of A.P. Indy. EVER! That must mean that at least one 2 YO non-stakes winning son of AP Indy must have run a faster race.
But he certainly seems like an intriguing stallion pedigree-wise. For one thing, he's totally free of both Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector; not many sires can say that nowadays. As noted above, he's a son of AP Indy; and he's out of the multiple Grade 1 winning mare Antespend (Spend A Buck). The tail-female line beyond that is an Argentinian family. Friends Lake is inbred to Buckpasser, and to Secretariat and his half-brother Sir Gaylord. So it's an opportunity for a breeder to build on those strengths while adding a healthy dose of the two most popular stallion lines in the American game. Not surprising that he's proving to be popular thus far.
- Hunch bets for Wednesday, June 20:
Dare to Run - 5th at Evangeline Downs- Frank Stronach made a personal appearance before the CHRB to refute earlier assertions by Magna Entertainment's CEO Michael Neuman that Magna did not intend to renovate the Santa Anita backstretch.
Please Include Me - 9th at Churchill
Impaired Judgment - 4th at Delaware Park
Impetuous Leader - 6th at Evangeline Downs
Charisma Matters - 6th at Hollywood
“Why I’m here is my reputation,” said Stronach. “(Neuman) has been very much reprimanded. We’re committed. We can’t forget the people on the backstretch.Installation of Cushion Track will be begin there on July 5, at which time the renovations will begin. The board also agreed in principle to give Bay Meadows a one-year extension on the synthetic surface mandate.
“I always pride myself to keep my word,” he added. “I can always make more money, but it’s very hard to rebuild a reputation.” [Bloodhorse]