Updated on 09/15/2011 12:19PM

Freshman sires off and running


LAS VEGAS - Two-year-old racing really starts in earnest in May and June. From coast to coast, 2-year-old racing is in bloom, and this year's freshman sires are already on a tear. It is still very early in the season, and juveniles from big-name, first-crop sires such as Alphabet Soup, Boston Harbor, Louis Quatorze, Top Account, Touch Gold, and Victory Speech are sure to appear at racetracks in the next several months. In the meantime, other freshman stallions are wasting no time establishing themselves as sires of precocious individuals. These include Open Forum, Devon Lane, Valid Expectations, Captain Bodgit, Pulpit, Smoke Glacken, and Siphon.

Open Forum (Deputy Minister) won three of 10 starts at 2 and 3, including the Risen Star Stakes at 3. His runners first appeared at Keeneland, and on Derby Day, his daughter Open Story dead-heated with City Street in the Three Chimneys Juvenile Stakes. From 71 foals, Open Forum currently has four juvenile winners from six starters. In addition to Open Story, there are Lott (at Keeneland), Jealous Forum (at Woodbine), and Barnacle Steve (at Hialeah).

Sons of Deputy Minister have always shown varying degrees of speed. Salt Lake, Forest Camp, and Silver Deputy were examples of high speed, while Dehere, French Deputy, Awesome Again, and Touch Gold were able to harness their speed. With four representatives so far, it is clear that Open Forum is transmitting Salt Lake-type speed to his offspring.

Devon Lane, yet another well-bred son of Storm Cat (out of a Relaunch mare from the family that produced the brilliant 2-year-old stakes-winning filly American Royale), has gotten off to a quick start at stud, with three winners from 27 foals, including stakes winner Devon's Prospect.

From 64 foals, Valid Expectations (Valid Appeal) has two winners from six starters, with one particularly impressive colt, stakes winner Expected Program. A half-brother to stakes winner Stormy Pick, Expected Program won Hollywood's Willard L. Proctor Memorial Stakes last Saturday by a neck in the fast time of 56.81 seconds. Valid Expectations is closely related to one of last year's successful freshman stallions, Valid Wager, and his female family produced Kentucky Derby winner and 2-year-old champion Foolish Pleasure.

Captain Bodgit (Saint Ballado) won the Florida Derby and Wood Memorial, but will always be remembered for his stirring battles with Silver Charm in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. But he was also a brilliant juvenile, winning 5 of 6 starts, including the Laurel Futurity and two other stakes races. He is by a stakes-winning full brother to Devil's Bag, and his runners were generally expected to perform well at 2. His very first starter, Lazer Hill, became a winner on April 4 in one of Santa Anita's two-furlong sprints. Captain Bodgit has 58 2-year-olds.

Pulpit's (A.P. Indy) first winner from 41 foals is Bema, out of the Icecapade mare Dhaka. From the first crop of A.P. Indy, Pulpit was a winter sensation when he debuted at Gulfstream and reeled off impressive victories culminating with the Fountain of Youth Stakes. His star was slightly tarnished when he was defeated by Captain Bodgit in the Florida Derby, but he rebounded to score an easy victory in the Blue Grass Stakes. Despite suffering a career-ending injury in the Kentucky Derby, he still finished fourth. Combining an impeccable pedigree with high-class racing performance, Pulpit has all the tools to be an important stallion.

Smoke Glacken (Two Punch) was a champion sprinter at 3 and was also won 4 of 6 races at 2, including the Hopeful, Sapling, and Tyro Stakes. Like his sire and grandsire (Mr. Prospector), he was expected to sire quick and early winners. He recently had two winners in two days at Belmont. Smok'n Frolic, a daughter out of the Green Dancer mare Cherokyfrolicflash, wired a field of six by four lengths on May 16. He's All Business, a colt out of the Lord at War mare No Time for Love, scored a front-running victory in a field of seven on May 18.

Siphon (Itajara), a winner of more than $3 million, including victories in the Santa Anita Handicap and Hollywood Gold Cup, had his first winner last Monday when Siphina, displaying the kind of speed her sire possessed, wired her field at Hollywood Park. Siphina has an outstanding pedigree. Her dam, the Herat mare Royal Herat, is out of the unraced Royal Strait Flush, a full sister to the brilliant Landaluce. This is the immediate family of stakes winners Jade Flush and Startac.

Siphon had the speed to win and place in such sprints as the Sport Page, Ancient Title, and Palos Verdes Handicaps, and also showed high class in placing in the Dubai World Cup (to Singspiel) and Pacific Classic Stakes. Bred in Brazil, Siphon is a complete outcross for most American broodmares and provides an intriguing alternative to the Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector sire lines.

Other freshman stallions who have had early winners include Meadow Monster (Meadowlake), Illinois Storm (Storm Cat), Siberian Summer (Siberian Express), Unfinished Symph (Aloha Prospector), Sir Cat (Storm Cat), Balcony (Danzig), Wild Gold (Wild Again), Halo's Image (Halo), and Magabird (Storm Bird).