11/19/2015 4:33PM

Custom for Carlos in demand

Chelsea Durand/Coglianese Photos
Graded stakes winner Big World has helped to elevate the profile of her sire, Custom for Carlos.

Custom for Carlos has gotten off to such a fast start at stud that the leading freshman sire in Louisiana could be bred to more than 100 mares during the 2016 season. His reputation has been bolstered by Big World, the winner of the Grade 3 Tempted earlier this month at Aqueduct, and Customizer, a 10-length maiden special weight winner at Evangeline Downs.

Custom for Carlos also has had winners at Del Mar, Louisiana Downs, and Mountaineer. But even before he had runners on the track, there was a buzz about the stallion’s offspring at auction venues like the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. The horses are commercially appealing individuals, said Al Stall Jr., a trainer and native of Louisiana.

“They look like they’re ready to put tack on,” Stall said. “That absolutely moves mountains.”

Custom for Carlos is a 9-year-old son of More Than Ready who won a trio of Grade 3 sprints for Homewrecker Racing and Avalon Farm, among them the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at Oaklawn Park and the Mr. Prospector Stakes at Gulfstream Park. He also captured the Bet On Sunshine Handicap at Churchill Downs en route to lifetime earnings of $483,865. Custom for Carlos stands for a syndicate at Clear Creek Stud in Folsom, La.

“He began early on being very well received, and not just here but basically everywhere,” said Val Murrell, general manager of Clear Creek. “I’ve visited with people who have seen his foals as youngsters and later on as yearlings and 2-year-olds, and they’re real pleased with what they’re seeing. We’ve been breeding 65 to 85 mares to him each year since he started, and next year, 100 and change easy. He’s very popular with good reason. We’re very excited.”

Murrell said Custom for Carlos will stand in 2016 for the same fee schedule as last season, which was $3,000 live foal by Sept. 1 of the year bred or $3,500 when the foal stands and nurses. In addition to Louisiana, the stallion has been drawing a good number of mares from Florida and Texas and gets some business from Kentucky, Murrell said. From a crop of 50 juveniles, he has had 14 runners, five winners, and progeny earnings of $320,949 through Wednesday.

Big World has been the star attraction for Custom for Carlos as a maiden special weight winner at Saratoga who became a graded stakes winner in the Tempted on Nov. 4. She was bred in Louisiana by Curt Leake and Elm Tree Farm and captured the attention of her home state in taking the Tempted.

“It meant an awful lot,” Murrell said. “I think the whole state of Louisiana had to be pleased. Producing a graded stakes winner is not an easy thing. Before she broke her maiden, she had run with some that went on to become graded stakes winners. It was obvious she had talent from the beginning.”

Maggi Moss owns Big World and said her advisers have long been a fan of the daughter of Custom for Carlos. Big World was a $98,000 purchase last year at the OBS August yearling sale. Moss said Patrice Miller of EQB recommended the purchase of Big World.

“Patti fell in love with her,” Moss said. “She loved everything about her, and she was just so high on her. When I sent her to McKathan Brothers [to be broken], they loved her from Day 1.”

Moss said trainer Tony Dutrow also has long thought well of Big World. The filly was nominated to the $150,000 Louisiana Jewel on Saturday’s Jackpot card at Delta Downs, but Moss said the decision was made to put Big World away until her 3-year-old season.

“Tony felt because she’s growing and getting bigger, four races was enough,” Moss said of the filly’s campaign at 2. “She’ll come back in January. I don’t know if it will be Louisiana, New York, or Hot Springs. But he felt four races was enough with her size. She’s a big girl.”

Moss, who said she expects Big World to handle more distance, has a unique perspective on Custom for Carlos. Not only does she own the stallion’s leading earner, but she also raced against Custom for Carlos with her multiple stakes-winning sprinter Native Ruler.

“I remember Custom for Carlos really well, and I loved him,” Moss said. “The irony is that as good a sprinter as he was, this filly is looking like she’ll go long. I love her, and I’m happy for the people that have Custom for Carlos.”