Breeders' Cup sires to watch

Profile Picture: Kellie Reilly

October 28th, 2015

Photo of Tapit courtesy of Gainesway's Michael Hernon via Twitter.

While bettors all want to score at the Breeders’ Cup, so do the stakeholders in the bloodstock industry. Sires are in a competition of their own, making for a fascinating angle to the racing action.

Leading sire Tapit is already responsible for five Breeders’ Cup winners – Stardom Bound in the 2008 Juvenile Fillies, Tapitsfly in the 2009 Juvenile Fillies Turf, Hansen in the 2011 Juvenile, Tapizar in the 2012 Dirt Mile and Untapable in the 2014 Distaff – putting him in a tie for second with Danzig, Kris S. and Storm Cat in the record book.

Should Tapit come up with a sixth winner at the 2015 Breeders’ Cup, he would equal the record of six held by the great patriarch Sadler’s Wells. Even after Untapable’s withdrawal from her title defense in the Distaff, Tapit has several other irons in the fire: Frosted and Tonalist in the Classic, Conquest Big E in the Juvenile, Tap To It in the Juvenile Fillies, Hollywood Don in the Juvenile Turf, Time and Motion in the Juvenile Fillies Turf (ironically an also-eligible who drew in upon the scratch of another Tapit, Tin Type Gal) and Tapiture in the Dirt Mile.

Hall of Famer A.P. Indy, hero of the 1992 Classic and paternal grandsire of Tapit, seeks the Classic/Distaff double with bluebloods Honor Code and Got Lucky. Either would enhance A.P. Indy’s Breeders’ Cup record as a sire, building on the 2001 Juvenile Fillies victory by Tempera and Eldaafer’s in the 2010 Marathon. His son Bernardini, runner-up in the 2006 Classic, has a clutch of hopefuls including Rachel’s Valentina (the daughter of Rachel Alexandra) in the Juvenile Fillies; Greenpointcrusader in the Juvenile; and a trio in the Filly & Mare Sprint (favored Cavorting, Dame Dorothy and Fioretti).

Curlin, who captured the 2007 Classic, is also eligible for the Classic/Distaff double. His Classic hope is Keen Ice (who’s out of a mare by 1998 Classic winner and successful BC sire Awesome Again). He’s got two Distaff chances in Curalina and Stellar Wind, as well as a Juvenile contender in Exaggerator (who’s out of a mare by 2002 Juvenile champion Vindication).

Coolmore supersire Galileo, who has two winners on the Breeders’ Cup scoreboard so far, can add to that haul at Keeneland with a squad including Gleneagles (Classic), Found (Turf), Mondialiste (Mile), Secret Gesture and Photo Call (Filly & Mare Turf) and Alice Springs (Juvenile Fillies Turf).

Dubawi, the standout for rival Darley, has Bawina in the Filly & Mare Turf and Time Test in the Mile. He also appears as the paternal grandsire of Mile favorite Make Believe. Danehill Dancer has top chances in both races, with Legatissimo the one to beat in the Filly & Mare Turf and Esoterique a top contender in the Mile. Rounding out his trio is Last Waltz in the Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Kitten’s Joy, the 2004 Turf runner-up, has two past winners in action – Stephanie’s Kitten, the 2011 Juvenile Turf heroine who’s in the Filly & Mare Turf, and defending Turf Sprint champ Bobby’s Kitten. The other “Kittens” are Big Blue Kitten (Turf), Cymric and Camelot Kitten (Juvenile Turf) and Sapphire Kitten (Juvenile Fillies Turf).

Classic runners-up Medaglia d’Oro (2002-03) and Hard Spun (2007) have several contenders across the cards. Medaglia d’Oro’s chances include favored Songbird (Juvenile Fillies), Sentiero Italia (Filly & Mare Turf), Mshawish (Mile), Valid (Dirt Mile) and Yahilwa (Distaff). Hard Spun’s runners are Classic outsiders Smooth Roller and Hard Aces; Hard Not to Like (Filly & Mare Turf), Big John B (Turf) and Wicked Strong (Dirt Mile).

The late Unbridled’s Song, victorious in the 1996 Juvenile and sire of three BC winners, has Dirt Mile favorite Liam’s Map (whose dam, Miss Macy Sue, finished third in the 2007 Filly & Mare Sprint), and Juvenile hopeful Unbridled Outlaw. His 2008 Juvenile-winning son, Midshipman, is himself the sire of Turf Sprint contender Lady Shipman. If she prevails, she’d become the fourth successive generation of BC winners. For it all started with Unbridled’s Song’s sire, 1990 Kentucky Derby and Classic hero Unbridled.

Ghostzapper, the 2004 Classic conqueror, factors as the middle leg of three generations of Breeders’ Cup winners: by Awesome Again, Ghostzapper is himself the sire of defending Filly & Mare Sprint champion Judy the Beauty. Ghostzapper’s half-brother by Carson City, City Zip, didn’t win a BC race himself, but he turned an unusual double in 2014 with Work All Week in the Sprint and Dayatthespa in the Filly & Mare Turf. City Zip has two more runners this time – Catch a Glimpse in the Juvenile Fillies Turf and Ready for Rye in the Turf Sprint.

Tiznow, the only two-time Classic winner, already has a BC laurel as a sire thanks to his daughter Folklore in the 2005 Juvenile Fillies. His 2015 representatives are Tourist in the Mile (out of an Unbridled’s Song mare) and My Sweet Addiction in the Distaff (whose dam, Healthy Addiction, flopped in her two Distaff attempts but is by 1996 Juvenile scorer Boston Harbor).

Macho Uno, who landed the 2000 Juvenile and sired 2013 Classic winner Mucho Macho Man, has Sprint favorite Private Zone.

Freshman sire Uncle Mo, the star of the 2010 Juvenile, has two BC chances in his first crop: Nyquist aims to emulate his sire in the Juvenile, while Thrilled is in the Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Street Sense, the only horse to garner the Juvenile and the Kentucky Derby, has a pair of Friday chances in Distaff favorite Wedding Toast and Dirt Mile longshot Street Strategy.

Speightstown, winner of the 2004 Sprint, seeks his first BC success as a sire with Barbados (Sprint) and Recepta (Mile). So does his son Munnings, whose first-crop daughter I’m a Chatterbox lines up in the Distaff.

English Channel, who left Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe hero Dylan Thomas spinning his wheels behind in the 2007 Turf, hopes that his son The Pizza Man can do the same to Golden Horn.

Artie Schiller, the 2005 Mile victor, has Gliding in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, while two-time Sprint kingpin Midnight Lute has Holy Lute as the second also-eligible in the Turf Sprint.

Mizzen Mast, a son of 1985 Mile winner Cozzene, has stealthily accumulated three BC winners in Flotilla (2012 Juvenile Fillies Turf) and Mizdirection (2012-13 Turf Sprint). The Juddmonte sire has two more in the mix, Green Mask in the Turf Sprint and Stonetastic in the Filly & Mare Sprint. Also in line for a gaudy fourth BC winner is More Than Ready, who relies on Juvenile Fillies Turf hope Nemoralia.

The in-demand War Front could open his BC account with Hit It A Bomb (Juvenile Turf), War Envoy (Dirt Mile), Peace and War (Distaff) and The Great War (Turf Sprint).

So could Scat Daddy, who's well represented by two-year-olds -- Conquest Daddyo and Azar in the Juvenile Turf, favored Harmonize in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, and Nickname in the Juvenile Fillies -- as well as Dacita in the Filly & Mare Turf.

And 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver is in the interesting position of a potential double with his first-crop speedsters Runhappy (Sprint) and Super Majesty (Filly & Mare Sprint).