09/06/2016 5:38PM

Four freshman sires represented by their first stakes winners Labor Day Weekend


A number of freshman sires had notable milestones Labor Day weekends, as stakes opportunities become more readily available – and extremely importantly for their sire’s credentials.

During the past weekend, Union Rags, Maclean’s Music, Tapizar, and Dominus all were represented by their initial stakes winners, and victories in these rich races moved all four into the top five freshman sires in North America.

Union Rags had the best stakes winner of the bunch, with his daughter Union Strike winning the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante on September 3.

Out of the Smart Strike mare Classic Strike, Union Strike was winning her maiden in taking the $300,690 Del Mar Debutante, having run second in her debut at Del Mar on July 31. She is owned by Ruis Racing and trained by Shelbe Ruis, and was purchased for $375,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. April sale. She now joins the fillies to be considered among the division leaders and has the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies penciled into her schedule.

Union Rags, by Dixie Union out of Tempo, by Gone West, has 26 starters and five winners from his initial crop of 106 foals. The $180,000 earned by Union Strike in the Debutante helped make Union Rags the leading first-crop sire in North America, with progeny earnings of $498,257 as of September 6.

Winner of the 2012 Belmont Stakes and runner-up to Hansen in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Union Rags stands at Lane’s End in Versailles, Ky., for a fee of $35,000.

Maclean’s Music, who raced just one time but earned the remarkable Beyer Speed Figure of 114, got his first stakes winner when Made Me Shiver won the $105,000 Sorority Stakes at Monmouth Park on September 5. The juvenile filly out of the Tiznow mare Tiz News was winning for the second time in three starts in taking the Sorority. She lost her previous start, when fourth to Sweet Loretta in the Grade 3 Schuylerville at Saratoga.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, Made Me Shiver races for Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings. Maclean’s Music, who had been trained by Asmussen, stands at John Sikura’s Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm in Lexington, Ky., for a fee of $6,500.

Maclean’s Music, by Distorted Humor out of Forest Music, by Unbridled’s Song, has had 22 starters and 11 winners from his first crop of 79 foals, and his progeny earnings of $420,119 place him fifth on the freshman sire list.

Tapizar was represented by his first stakes winner when Tip Tap Tapizar won the $100,000 Sapling Stakes at Monmouth on September 4. Trained by Asmussen and owned by Whispering Oaks Farm, the colt Tip Tap Tapizar was winning for the second time in four starts, having run third twice in stakes, in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special and Grade 3 Bashford Manor. A $175,000 Keeneland September yearling, Tip Tap Tapizar has earned $133,060.

Tapizar, by Tapit out of Winning Call, by Deputy Minister, stands for $15,000 at Gainesway Farm in Lexington. He won the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, among his six wins, while racing for Winchell Thoroughbreds, which campaigned Tapit.

Tapizar has 27 starters and eight winners in his first crop of 100 foals, and his progeny earnings of $438,215 place him third on the freshman sire list, behind Union Rags and Dialed In.

Dominus, who stands at Spendthrift Farm for a fee of $3,500, got his first stakes winner when All Right won the $342,855 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Stakes on September 3 when winning as a maiden. Contested at seven furlongs on grass, the Kentucky Downs Juvenile had 12 starters and All Right went off at odds of 44-1, but the Dominus colt was prominent from the start, pressing the early pace, took the lead in the stretch, and held on to win by a neck, earning $206,490. That huge earnings boost helped make Dominus the fourth-leading first-crop sire in North America.

Out of the Touch Gold mare Smart Touch, All Right is owned by William Helwig and Brent Gasaway and trained by Kellyn Gorder. He was a $20,000 OBS April 2-year-old and had been second in his debut, at a mile on turf at Ellis Park on August 15.

Dominus, a son of Smart Strike out of Cuando, by Lord At War, four of 10 starts and earned $444,717 while racing from ages 2 to 4. At 3, he won the Grade 2 Dwyer, and at 4 took the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch at 1 1/16 miles on turf in his debut on that surface.

From 50 foals in his first crop, Dominus has 13 starters and five winners. On September 5, his son Straight Fire was second in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity.