12/21/2012 5:58PM

Acclamation tops new California sires in 2013

Shigeki Kikkawa
Acclamation, champion older male of 2011, starts his stud career at Old English Rancho.

Acclamation is starting his stud career in 2013 at the top.

The soon-to-be 7-year-old is the first Eclipse Award winner to retire to stand his first year at stud in California since Bertrando, the champion older male of 1993. When Acclamation, the champion older male of 2011, is bred to his first mares at Old English Rancho in Sanger, Calif., in mid-February, he will command a stud fee of $20,000, which equals the highest in the state.

Unusual Heat, the sire of Acclamation who has led the state’s stallions in progeny earnings annually since 2008, stands for $20,000 at Harris Farms in Coalinga, Calif.

Bud Johnston, who campaigned Acclamation and owns Old English Rancho, is hopeful that California breeders will embrace his champion, who has won 11 of 30 starts, $1,958,048, and six Grade 1 races.

“It’s a great opportunity for California breeders to breed to a champion,” Johnston said. “This horse won a couple of million dollars. There is no reason to think he won’t pick up where his father left off. I sure hope so. We don’t get to breed to Eclipse Award winners too often.”

Acclamation, who is out of the Silveyville mare Winning in Style, won the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar in July and was preparing for a defense of his title in the Pacific Classic Stakes in August when a strained ligament in a foreleg was detected. He did not start in the fall.

Acclamation was sent to Old English Rancho in early December. Johnston has not ruled out putting Acclamation back in training in the spring, depending on veterinary reports. For now, Johnston is focused on the upcoming breeding season, hoping to attract a 40-mare book for his stallion.

“We’re getting quite a few calls and inquiries,” Johnston said. “I’m not interested in breeding to too many mares. I’d like to breed 40 if I can.

“He’s at the farm. He looks wonderful. He seems to be settling in fine. The first couple of days he was excited, but he’s settled down.”

Acclamation is by far the most prominent stallion among first-year sires to stand in California in 2013. Here is a glance at other first-year and relocated stallions new to the state for the upcoming breeding season.

First-year stallions

A King’s Life: Owned by Brazeau Thoroughbred Farms, the 4-year-old by Silic won claiming races at Golden Gate Fields and Pleasanton in a 12-race career that featured two wins. He made his final start in late August. He is a half-brother to Overextended, a 7-year-old by Monarchos who was second in the 2007 Real Quiet Stakes and seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Monmouth Park that year. Silic, who also stands in California, was a six-time stakes winner in France and the United States and is best known for winning the 1999 Breeders’ Cup Mile.

Calimonco: The son of Storm Cat is arguably the best-bred horse going to stud in California in 2013. Sweet Catomine, his full sister, was champion 2-year-old filly of 2004, and a half-sister, Life Is Sweet, won the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic. His dam was the 2009 Broodmare of the Year in Kentucky. There were discussions about retiring this well-bred 6-year-old for the 2012 breeding season, but he was kept in training and won the Sidd Finch Stakes at Santa Anita in April and was second in the Wickerr Stakes at Del Mar, a race he won in 2011. In 2011, he was third in two Grade 2 races, the Del Mar Mile and the Citation Handicap.

Empire Way: The 3-year-old son of Empire Maker was second in the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at 1 1/16 miles to eventual Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner I’ll Have Another at Santa Anita in February. A winner of 1 of 12 starts and $119,170, his victory came in a maiden special weight race at 6 1/2 furlongs for 2-year-olds at Hollywood Park in November 2011 in his debut. The colt has strong bloodlines, being by a leading sire and out of a well-bred mare who was a multiple graded stakes winner. He is a full brother to Royal Delta, champion 3-year-old filly of 2011 and the leading contender for the title of champion older female of 2012.

Northern Indy: The winner of the marathon Hasta La Vista Handicap at Turf Paradise in May, the 4-year-old son of A.P. Indy enters stud after an 18-race career that included three wins and earnings of $133,407. He was a winner in each of his three seasons on the track, including a maiden race for 2-year-olds at a mile at Golden Gate Fields. At 3, he placed in two stakes, finishing second in the Canadian Derby at Northlands Park and third in the Seattle Slew Handicap at Emerald Downs. He is by two-time champion sire A.P. Indy, and the best runner produced by his dam, Polish Nana.

The Black: Stakes-placed at Santa Anita in March, the 3-year-old by Cherokee Run enters stud with 2 wins in 10 starts and earnings of $102,429. Trained by Doug O’Neill, he made his final start at Hollywood Park in May, finishing second in an allowance race. He was second in the Echo Eddie Stakes for California-breds at Santa Anita in March. His dam, Connie’s Spirit, is out of Tersa, champion 2-year-old filly in France and the dam of the notable American sire Rock Hard Ten, who was a multiple stakes winner in California.

Relocated stallions

Impeachment: Third in the 2000 Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Arkansas Derby, the 15-year-old son of Deputy Minister is coming from Rockin River Ranch in Iowa, where he stood for a fee of $2,500 in 2012. On the track, he earned $350,450 and won his lone start at 2, a maiden race at seven furlongs at Calder. Impeachment has sired three stakes winners, including Calder stakes winner Scooter Girl, and has progeny earnings of more than $2.6 million. He is the sire of Aziza Emira, a champion in the Dominican Republic. His dam, Misconduct, is a half-sister to Stick to Beauty, who produced the 1982 champion sprinter Gold Beauty, dam of English Horse of the Year Dayjur.

Unbridled Energy: Stakes placed in Canada and the United States, in the Grade 2 San Fernando Breeders’ Cup Stakes in 2006, Unbridled Energy relocates from Pin Oak Lane Farm in Pennsylvania, where he stood for $2,500. Through Dec. 20, the 10-year-old son of Unbridled’s Song had 2012 progeny earnings of $1,587,271, ranking him first among third-crop sires in California. His leading money earner this year is Cosmic Energy, a 3-year-old filly who won a maiden special weight race at Saratoga and an allowance race at Belmont. He is the sire of the New Mexico stakes winner It’s My Party, Iowa stakes winner Sterling Madame, and Arizona stakes winner Miss Buxley.