12/12/2016 2:16PM

Freshman sire title coming down to the wire

Barbara D. Livingston
Dialed In is slightly ahead of Union Rags in earnings for leading freshman sire.

With less than three weeks remaining in 2016, the freshman sire race is too close to call, with Dialed In and Union Rags separated by a narrow margin atop the earnings list.

Dialed In, who stands at Darby Dan Farm, is represented by 19 winners, including two stakes winners, for earnings of $1,459,957 through Sunday, according to Equineline statistics. Just behind is Lane’s End stallion Union Rags with a bankroll of $1,424,665, generated by 17 winners, including three stakes winners.

Dialed In, the winner of the 2011 Florida Derby, is powered by Gunnevera, who took the Grade 2 Saratoga Special and then the Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot to help keep his sire atop the chart. The Mineshaft stallion is also represented by Ruffenuff, a multiple stakes winner in Canada.

Union Rags, a son of Dixie Union, was a Grade 1-winning juvenile who went on to score in the 2012 Belmont Stakes. He has a pair of Grade 1 winners from his first crop in Del Mar Debutante winner Union Strike and Alcibiades heroine Dancing Rags, along with stakes winner Tequilita and Grade 2-placed No Dozing. Union Strike had a chance to score a decisive blow for her sire in the Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos, the final Grade 1 race of the year for her division in the U.S., but finished fifth.

Although there is no catching the top two with the juvenile division’s major stakes action for the year complete, the rest of the freshman top 10 by earnings could still shuffle position; the third- through 10th-place stallions are separated by just $165,986 in total.

Classic-placed Bodemeister forged his way into third over the weekend, as his daughter Bode’s Dream returned from a long layoff to get her second stakes victory in the House Party Stakes on Gulfstream Park’s Juvenile Showcase card. That pushed the WinStar Farm stallion’s bankroll to $917,198, leapfrogging him from fifth to third on the list. Tapizar, who stands at Gainesway Farm, is fourth with earnings of $903,186.