10/31/2007 11:00PM

Corinthian will be a hot sire

EmailNEW YORK - After two disappointing efforts which puzzled everyone, including his trainer, Jimmy Jerkens, Corinthian emphatically stamped himself as the country's best dirt miler with a dazzling 6 1/2-length victory in last Friday's inaugural running of the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.

While there is a new Eclipse award to correspond with the new BC Filly and Mare Sprint, there is no such award for the champion dirt miler. While that accolade would be welcome, it really doesn't matter for Corinthian, who will go to stud next year with impeccable credentials. Winning the prestigious Met Mile alone made Corinthian an attractive stallion prospect, and adding the Dirt Mile only enhanced that assessment. His 4-year-old debut at Gulfstream Park, where he dusted heavy favorite Jazil at 1 1/8 miles in an allowance race, was thrilling and he followed that with a victory in the 1 3/16-mile Gulfstream Park Handicap. His performance on the track only underscores his outstanding pedigree, and the handsome chestnut should be appealing to breeders because of the versatility he will bring to a pedigree.

Corinthian's sire, Pulpit, might have been A.P. Indy's best son, but sustained a career-ending injury finishing fourth in the Kentucky Derby. He burst onto the racing scene making his debut at Gulfstream at 3, and after a scintillating victory in his first start, he won the Fountain of Youth, was second in the Florida Derby, and won the Blue Grass Stakes prior to the Derby.

Among all the successful sons of A.P. Indy at stud, Pulpit is a standout. His offspring win at the highest level on all surfaces - dirt, turf, and especially wet tracks. Blessed with tactical speed, the majority are even better as they mature.

Notable runners by Pulpit include Purge (as well as Purge's current 2-year-old full sister, Namaste's Wish, who has been most effective on turf), Stroll, Sky Mesa, Tapit, Essence of Dubai, Wend, Oratory, Melhor Ainda, Ecclesiastic, Lydgate, Laity, Sightseeing, and Pyro, who was second to War Pass in the Champagne Stakes and BC Juvenile.

As top-class milers have long been known to make the best stallions, Corinthian is also a product of two stellar female families that are notable as "stallion makers."

Pulpit's female family is as vaunted as his A.P. Indy-Seattle Slew-Bold Ruler sire line. Pulpit's dam, Preach, was a Grade 1 winner and half-sister to stakes-placed runners Lecture, Leford, and Seize. Preach's full sister, Yarn, is the dam of top-class European miler Minardi, as well as stakes winner and top sire Tale of the Cat. Preach's half-sister, Myth, is the dam of multiple champion Johannesburg, another formidable young stallion. Pulpit's second dam, Narrate, was a Grade 3 winner, and a half-sister to stakes winners Region, Double Feint, Announce, and Dibs. And to top it all off, Pulpit's fourth dam, Monarchy, was a full sister to Hall of Fame member and great sire Round Table.

Corinthian's female family is just as exceptional. His dam, Multiply (Easy Goer), also produced stakes winner Desert Hero (Sea Hero) and Vitruvius (E Dubai). Be Fruitful, a 2-year-old full sister to Corinthian, scored a flashy victory in her career debut winning a seven-furlong maiden race by seven lengths on Oct. 19 at Belmont over a sealed, sloppy track.

Corinthian's third dam, Number, was a stakes winner and a full sister to stakes winner Bound. More importantly, she was also a half-sister to champion racehorse and sire Nureyev, and to stakes winner Fairy Bridge, the dam of champion racehorse and the world's greatest turf sire, Sadler's Wells.

Corinthian's fifth dam, Thong, was only stakes-placed, but she surpassed her more illustrious siblings as a broodmare. Her full sister, Moccasin, was far superior on the track, winning all eight of her races at age 2 and was so special she was named co-Horse of the Year as well as champion 2-year-old filly. Moccasin was a terrific broodmare, producing seven stakes winners, including champion Apalachee.

Thong was also a full sister to the top-class stakes winners Ridan and Lt. Stevens, and she was a half-sister to Gambetta, who produced champion filly Gamely.

There is no doubt Corinthian's first book should be oversubscribed.

Heir apparent to Mr. Prospector

There have been dozens of highly successful sons of Mr. Prospector at stud, including Seeking the Gold, Forty Niner, Gulch, and Gone West, just to name a few, and now Smart Strike, the sire of BC Classic winner Curlin and BC Turf winner English Channel, has firmly assumed the mantle.

Smart Strike has always been a good sire since his first crop of 2-year-olds raced in 2000, but he is now among the upper strata of all stallions. Smart Strike is from Canada's greatest female family since Natalma (dam of Northern Dancer). Out of Canadian champion 3-year-old filly and Canadian Broodmare of the Year Classy 'n Smart, Smart Strike is a half-brother to Dance Smartly, who was undefeated at 3 and a champion U.S. 3-year-old filly and Canadian Horse of the Year. Dance Smartly also became a Broodmare of the Year, producing two Queen's Plate winners, Scatter the Gold and champion Dancethruthedawn, as well as stakes winner Dance with Ravens.

Smart Strike's second dam, No Class, was a powerhouse of a producer. A Canadian Broodmare of the Year, her foals, in addition to champion Classy 'n Smart, include champions Sky Classic, Regal Classic, Grey Classic, and stakes winner Always a Classic. No Class was a modern-day blue hen, a female who had a profound influence over many generations.