Updated on 09/15/2011 2:41PM

Freshmen sires: J - R


LAS VEGAS - This is the fourth article in a series on the freshman stallions of 2002 (sires whose first crop will be 2-year-olds in 2002), with particular emphasis on how to bet their offspring.

Joyeux Danseur (Nureyev). Bred strictly for turf on top and bottom (Le Fabuleux), Joyeux Danseur blossomed at age 5, winning 4 of 6 starts, including the Early Times Turf Classic and Col. E. R. Bradley Stakes, and Explosive Bid and Fair Grounds Breeders' Cup handicaps. His dam is a half-sister to Danseur Fabuleux, the dam of Arazi and Noverre. A very classy runner, his offspring will be at a disadvantage if they compete in sprint races on dirt, but will have the upper hand on turf.

King of Kings (Sadler's Wells). King of Kings was a Group 1-winning miler in Ireland, and his yearlings sold for high average. They are bred strictly for grass. Sadler's Wells is the world's top sire of grass runners, and King of Kings's offspring should only be played on the turf. There is an abundance of speed on the female side of his family. His damsire, Habitat, was a champion miler in Europe, and other brilliant influences found in this family are Raise a Native and Abernant.

Lasting Approval (With Approval). Lasting Approval comes from a renowned grass sire line (With Approval-Caro), and was a sensation on the grass. He won four stakes, including the Oak Tree Derby, and the main attraction of his pedigree comes from his female family, which traces directly to legendary broodmare La Troienne. Lasting Approval's runners may win on dirt, but unquestionably his influence as a sire will come with his turf runners. His damsire, Lord at War, adds more turf ability and his offspring should be at their best as they mature.

Lil's Lad (Pine Bluff). Injury compromised his career, but Lil's Lad was a colt of unmistakable quality and possessed high speed. He was second in the Champagne Stakes behind Grand Slam, and won the Fountain of Youth Stakes. He finished first in the Florida Derby but was disqualified and placed second behind Cape Town, and also finished second in the Blue Grass Stakes. Expect Lil's Lad's runners to have good speed and be precocious at 2. They may be able to negotiate middle distances if the damsire is a stamina influence.

Northern Afleet (Afleet). Stakes-placed at 2 and 3, Northern Afleet won the San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes and San Carlos and San Diego handicaps at 4. Basically a sprinter-miler, he was able to stretch out to 1 1/8 miles on occasion, but his offspring should be most effective sprinting up to 1 1/16 miles. Because he stands in Florida, the majority of his runners will appear in baby races at Calder and should have speed.

Ops Smile (Caveat). Ops Smile raced well on dirt, but his forte was turf, and he won six stakes, all on grass. By the extraordinary turf and stamina influence Caveat, Ops Smile is out of a mare by another strong turf influence, Northern Jove. His runners should be slow to develop at 2 and will assert themselves stretching out in distance as they mature and, of course, on grass.

Ordway (Salt Lake). From the first crop of sprinter Salt Lake, Ordway won the Champagne Stakes, finished second in the Hopeful Stakes, and third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. His career was plagued with injuries but he managed to finish second in the Gotham Stakes and Suburban Handicap. While Ordway and Lasting Approval descend from the same exceptional female family, they are by different sires and thus their offspring should have different running styles. Ordway's runners should develop early, have speed, and be effective at middle distances. They should be equally adept on dirt and turf. With the Northern Dancer line on top and the stout European champion Vaguely Noble as his damsire, Ordway has the profile to be a hidden turf sire. Because he is not associated as a grass runner, his offspring will offer great value on grass.

Proud and True (Mr. Prospector). A stakes-placed brother to Miner's Mark, Traditionally and Our Emblem (and half-brother to My Flag), Proud and True is out of the unbeaten champion Personal Ensign. He is one of many new stallions standing in Florida. Because Proud and True was not as accomplished as his siblings, his runners should offer value. They should have speed and be able to get a distance.

Rodeo (Gone West). He was a dazzling debut winner by 15 1/2 lengths at Belmont Park at 2, but injuries prevented Rodeo from achieving his potential. Bred for speed, Rodeo is a boon to the New York breeding program. His runners should be especially potent at 2, as they should develop early and have speed on all surfaces. Rodeo is yet another example of a hidden turf sire. Although he never raced on grass, as a son of Gone West he was certainly bred for it and his runners should be quite effective on turf.