Why Temple City Is a Freshman Sire Success
A 1 1/2-mile track record-setter by Dynaformer -- that's not the biographical snapshot you'd normally associate with a hot freshman sire. But it is if you're talking about Temple City. Currently sixth on the list of U.S.-based freshmen, the Spendthrift stallion has exceeded expectations for his first crop of two-year-olds, and his progeny should only get better with maturity.
Temple City already has 11 winners and a handful of black-type performers, led by the impressive trio of Startup Nation, who dominated the With Anticipation (G2) at Saratoga; Saratoga Heater, four-length hero of the Bertram F. Bongard in the Belmont mud; and Bolo, who simply crushed his foes in last Saturday's Eddie Logan on Santa Anita's turf.
With headliners like these, Temple City has seen his stud fee rise from $5,000 to $12,500 for 2015.
That's also in keeping with the upswing in his sales results. In 2013, 47 of his first-crop yearlings averaged $19,897 at auction. In 2014, he had 39 yearlings go through the ring for an average price of $31,515. And his 15 two-year-olds who sold this year fetched an average of $53,667.
A closer look at Temple City's career and pedigree provides a few clues to his early success at stud. Although unraced as a juvenile, the B. Wayne Hughes homebred did record a handful of works during the fall of 2007. He continued to gear up through early 2008, only to head to the sidelines.
When Temple City was ready to run at the end of his three-year-old season, trainer Carla Gaines entered him in a 6 1/2-furlong sprint at Santa Anita, and he rolled from off the pace to win at first asking. His final time of 1:15 1/5 (on the old Pro-Ride) was pretty good too. Temple City spent much of his 2009 campaign in the vicinity of a mile or so. Trying 1 3/8 miles in the Del Mar Handicap on turf, he looked like a daylight winner before being swamped late and relegated to third.
Temple City was out of action until the following summer, when he reached his peak at the age of five. He nearly wired the 1 1/8-mile American Handicap on the Hollywood turf, only to be outdueled by Global Hunter. Temple City then stole the 1 1/2-mile Cougar II in 2:30 2/5, which counted as a track record on Del Mar's Polytrack. Subsequently unplaced in the Pacific Classic and Hawthorne Gold Cup, Temple City concluded his career with a near-miss on the front end in the 1 1/2-mile Hollywood Turf Cup. While he could stay that far, he made the best use of his tactical speed.
His sire Dynaformer is a premier stamina influence, thanks to such leading runners as Barbaro, Americain, Point of Entry, Perfect Drift, Film Maker, Riskaverse, Blue Bunting, Wiener Walzer and Lucarno. His offspring tended to excel over time, but Dynaformer did sire a couple of top juveniles in European champion Rainbow View and unbeaten Group 1 star White Moonstone.
Temple City could be transmitting some of the precocity of his female line. He is out of the unraced Danzig mare Curriculum, who is in turn a daughter of Macoumba. Peaking at two, Macoumba scored her signature win in the 1994 Prix Marcel Boussac.
Macoumba became the dam of Malibu Moon, now famous as a top sire. But it's easy to forget just how precocious Malibu Moon was in his all-too-brief career. The son of A.P. Indy made his debut in the spring of his juvenile season. Second in a 4 1/2-furlong dash at Hollywood on April 30, 1999, Malibu Moon won next time over five furlongs on May 31, and never raced again.
Another of Macoumba's offspring, Positively, was an early juvenile who placed in both the Bashford Manor and Iroquois in 2012.
Temple City's third dam, Maximova, swept a trio of French two-year-old stakes, chief among them the 1982 Prix de la Salamandre. She went on to score a pair of Group 3s in 1983 and placed in both the French and Irish One Thousand Guineas. Maximova produced five stakes winners, two of them at the Group 1 level -- Macoumba and Septieme Ciel. A prominent juvenile himself, Septieme Ciel earned his top-level stripes at three in the 1990 Prix de la Foret.
It's obviously too early to make any grand prognostications, but it's tempting to wonder if Temple City can marry the precocity of his maternal side with the aging potential of his sire. If so, he'll be an exciting stallion to follow.