This week, the Jockey Club released its Report of Mares Bred.
Illinois is still a fairly small segment of the breeding market. After all, according to the report, there were more mares bred to Uncle Mo (253) than there were to all Illinois stallions combined (220). But, this report does give a look at who is gaining attention among Illinois stallions, whose foals we will see come 2019 or 2020.
Ghaaleb (Unbridled’s Song – Queen’s Lady, by Storm Cat) led the list with 30. He has no progeny on the track yet. Ghaaleb himself only raced four times, winning both a maiden special weight sprint and a one-other-than mile at Aqueduct.
Ghaaleb is a half-brother to Iqbaal (Medaglia d’Oro), a stallion Wesley Ward stands privately, and who has sired precocious sorts like Big City Dreamin, Happy As a Queen, and Riv.
Ghaaleb, along with Well Positioned (Awesome Again – Taxible, by Holy Bull) stands at William Stiritz’s Wildwood Farms. According to the Jockey Club report, Well Positioned bred six mares this year. Wildwood stallion Cherokee Rap, who died in 2012, was a constant presence at or near the top of the Illinois sire list for many years. He still sits second on this year’s list of sires who stand (or last stood) in the Land of Lincoln, mainly on the strength of the Grade II placed Domain’s Rap.
Second on the list is Forest Attack (Forestry – Joy Valley, by Ghadeer), with 26 mares bred. Blinkers Off discussed Forest Attack in detail earlier this year, after he led the list of Illinois-bred foals born in 2015. Since that article was published he has gained his first few winners, including juvenile maiden winner Ice Attack (Ice Pellet, by Bold Executive) and sophomore Ripe Attack (Ripe Tomato, by Lord Carson).
The top of the Illinois mares bred list is heavy with Unbridled’s Song-line stallions. In addition to Ghaaleb, Road Ruler (Unbridled’s Song – Stephanie’s Road, by Strawberry Road) appears high on the list. Road Ruler bred 21 mares this year. A resident of J. B. Stables, Road Ruler is a familiar presence at or near the top of the state’s sire list. Road Ruler currently leads all Illinois sires in 2016 progeny earnings. He led the pack in 2015 as well, and was second on the sire list the previous two years.
J. B. Stables also stands Greytap (Tapit – Trickily, by Trempolino) and Elhayq (Nashwan – Mahasin, by Danzig). Greytap, the first son of Tapit to stand in Illinois, bred seven mares this year. Elhayq bred one.
An interesting new face on the sire list is the unraced King’s Empire (Empire Maker – Golden Sphinx, by Storm Cat), fifth on the list with 14 mares bred. King’s Empire is the only son of Empire Maker standing in Illinois. That sire line has gotten fashionable lately, with Empire Maker’s son Pioneerof The Nile siring Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, and Empire Maker returning from Japan to stand stud in the United States again.
Below is the complete list, based on the recent Jockey Club report, of reported mare bred by stallions standing in Illinois.
Number of mares bred by Illinois sires, 2016
|Quite a Handful||17|
|Three Hour Nap||14|
|Country Be Gold||12|
|Brave ‘n Away||7|
|The Bold Bruiser||6|
|Soul of Ekati||5|
|Big Bad Mike||2|
|Live From Appollo||1|
Source: 2016 Jockey Club Fact Book, “Number of Mares Reported Bred to Thoroughbred Stallions in 2016”.