May 28, 2008

Studly Do-rights

Studly Do-Rights

Speightstown and Chapel Royal are my choices for leading freshman sire. That’s not a real original thought since each horse brought $2 million in the marketplace.

Speightstown was not sound but his bravery was something to behold. He laid his body down every time he set foot on the track. Chapel Royal is gigolo handsome with talent to match.

Finding first-crop stallions can provide good value when you get it right. A few years back we couldn’t help noticing Carson City’s foals had an awful lot of “try” to them during the early 2-year-old sales. At $7500 he looked a good bet and I so notified by customers. They were pretty uniform in type, heavily muscles, mid-sized to small and a tad short in the leg. There was a big one, out of a mare by Herbager, and the way he moved over the ground at Calder belied his size. That was Flying Chevron, later a Grade One winner.

Maria’s Mon was another who looked promising at $7500 and those who patronized that champion were usually glad they did. Mizzen Mast paid handsome dividends more recently.

We were commissioned to find suitable mates for the Canadian stallion Archers Bay a few years back. Rounded up were an inexpensive lot of mares carrying Bold Ruckus blood. Bold Ruckus and Deputy Minister clicked like ham and eggs and Archers Bay followed suit when his first runners appeared. He stood only two years before a colic attack claimed his life, an enormous loss for Windfields and Canadian breeding. There are no stallions of his like there today.

Getting back to Carson City, we noticed that Sam Lord’s Castle had his first winner up at Canterbury. We’ve clocked 2-year-old sales for three decades and saw something so extraordinary in Sam Lord’s Castle that we just had to buy him.

The Carson City colt worked his eighth mile at Keeneland in :l0.2 which was good enough but he galloped out in :l0.2, a truly astonishing example of what I like to call “natural gas”. I bought him for a client at $l00,000 and promised him that this horse would win his first start. That remark unsettled the trainer who I had recommended to train him. She was frightened by stories she’d heard about wind and unsoundness.

The colt was sent up to Woodbine and won his first four starts, including a couple of stakes. When the newsweeklies came out I noticed that she told the reporter that Sam was her top pick of the sale.

“Nothing dries faster than tears of gratitude”, acthe late, great Canadian insurance man John Carlton used to say. Needless to say we have other trainers to promote.

And you folks up in Minnesota, pay attention. You may be hearing a lot more from Sam Lord’s Castle.