02/14/2013 5:40PM

Giant's Causeway: Leading sire by earnings, stakes winners, stakes wins, synthetic earnings

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Giant’s Causeway was all over the place in 2012. His presence on a myriad of leading sire lists — general, turf, and synthetic — explains why he is one of the more popular stallions standing in North America: He gets good runners on all surfaces.

In 2012, Giant’s Causeway was the leading sire in North America based on earnings, with $10,104,620, but that was just for starters, though a major one, albeit. Last year, the Ashford Stud stallion was the leading sire in Kentucky by number of stakes winners, number of stakes wins, and by progeny earnings on synthetic surfaces.

He also tied in Kentucky for second by number of stakes winners on synthetic surfaces, was third by turf winners, fourth by turf earnings, fourth by overall winners on all surfaces, tied for sixth by number of stakes wins on synthetic surfaces, eighth by average earnings on synthetic surfaces, and tied for eighth by number of stakes winners on turf and by number of stakes wins on turf.

His son First Samurai, who stands at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Ky., was fifth-leading sire by juvenile earnings, second by juvenile average earnings, and tied for third by juvenile stakes wins, and another son, Heatseeker, was the leading freshman sire in California last year.

Giant’s Causeway, a son of Storm Cat out of Mariah’s Storm, by Rahy, has been a sire much in his own image — he was sound, consistent, and versatile. Dubbed “The Iron Horse,” Giant’s Causeway was a model of consistency and durability in his racing career in Europe. After an undefeated season at 2 in Ireland and France in three starts, the Aidan O’Brien-trained Giant’s Causeway won six of 10 starts at 3 in England, Ireland, and the United States, with four seconds, and gave Tiznow all he could handle in narrowly losing the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs in his only start on dirt. He was Horse of the Year in Europe at 3.

While his performance in the Breeders’ Cup and his pedigree indicated he would be a good candidate to stand in the U.S., he started his career in 2001 at Coolmore Stud in Ireland for a fee of about $115,000. The following season, he was sent to the U.S. to stand at Ashford for a fee of $135,000. He shuttled to Australia for the 2002, 2003, and 2004 breeding seasons, and then shuttled to Argentina for the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

When his first foals raced in 2004, he was fourth-leading freshman sire, and the following year led the juvenile sire list. He has become much more influential since – the leading general sire in 2009, 2010, and last year. He will stand the 2013 season for a fee of $85,000.

The diversity of Giant’s Causeway as a sire is seen in his top runners, and perhaps there is no more representative runner than Irish Mission. Last year at 3, the filly won the Woodbine Oaks at 1 1/8 miles on synthetic Polytrack at Woodbine and defeated males at 1 1/2 miles on turf in the Breeders’ Stakes, the last leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, after finishing second against males in the 1 1/4-mile Queen’s Plate. She is a finalist for Horse of the Year in Canada for 2012.

His daughter Book Review won the seven-furlong, Grade 1 La Brea Stakes on dirt; Creative Cause was one of the top 3-year-olds last year, winning the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes and finishing second in the Santa Anita Derby and third in the Preakness; his son Corporate Jungle won the one-mile, Grade 3 Appleton Stakes on turf; his daughter Naples Bay took the one-mile, Grade 3 Noble Damsel on turf; his son Rite of Passage captured the two-mile, Group 3 British Champions Long Distance Cup; and his sons Arcadius and Gustavian both were steeplechase stakes winners.

In South America, a result of his time at stud in Argentina, he is the sire of 2012 Peruvian champions Kung Fu Mambo and Bambina Mia and Chilean Derby winner Giant’s Steps.


Leading Kentucky general sires by progeny 2012 earnings

RANK NAME (BORN, SIRE, FARM) 2013 STUD FEE RNRS WNRS SWINS
1 Giant's Causeway (1997, Storm Cat) Ashford Stud $85,000 335 150 35
2 Speightstown (1998, Gone West) WinStar Farm $60,000 258 148 28
3 Broken Vow (1997, Unbridled) Pin Oak Stud $25,000 239 122 27
4 Smart Strike (1992, Mr. Prospector) Lane's End $85,000 248 129 26
5 Kitten's Joy (2001, El Prado IRE) Ramsey Farm $50,000 215 132 23
6 Elusive Quality (1993, Gone West) Darley $50,000 290 145 21
6 Dynaformer (1985, Roberto) Died 2012 179 70 21
6 Ghostzapper (2000, Awesome Again) Adena Springs $40,000 157 94 21
9 City Zip (1998, Carson City) Lane's End $25,000 219 129 20
9 Harlan's Holiday (1999, Harlan) WinStar Farm $35,000 227 123 20
9 Proud Citizen (1999, Gone West) Airdrie Stud $15,000 197 116 20


Leading Kentucky general sires by 2012 number of stakes winners 

RANK NAME (BORN, SIRE, FARM) 2013 STUD FEE RNRS WNRS SW
1 Giant's Causeway (1997, Storm Cat) Ashford Stud $85,000 335 150 27
2 Speightstown (1998, Gone West) WinStar Farm $60,000 258 148 20
3 Broken Vow (1997, Unbridled) Pin Oak Stud $25,000 239 122 19
4 Ghostzapper (2000, Awesome Again) Adena Springs $40,000 157 94 16
5 Smart Strike (1992, Mr. Prospector) Lane's End $85,000 248 129 14
5 Stormy Atlantic (1994, Storm Cat) Hill 'n' Dale Farms $30,000 270 140 14
5 Kitten's Joy (2001, El Prado IRE) Ramsey Farm $50,000 215 132 14
8 Harlan's Holiday (1999, Harlan) WinStar Farm $35,000 227 123 13
8 Elusive Quality (1993, Gone West) Darley $50,000 290 145 13
8 Dynaformer (1985, Roberto) Died 2012 179 70 13
8 Bernardini (2003, A.P. Indy) Darley $150,000 180 77 13
8 More Than Ready (1997, Southern Halo) WinStar Farm $60,000 285 140 13
8 Proud Citizen (1999, Gone West) Airdrie Stud $15,000 197 116 13
8 Hard Spun (2004, Danzig) Darley $60,000 166 88 13

 
Leading Kentucky general sires by 2012 number of stakes wins

RANK NAME (BORN, SIRE, FARM) 2013 STUD FEE RNRS WNRS SWINS
1 Giant's Causeway (1997, Storm Cat) Ashford Stud $85,000 335 150 35
2 Speightstown (1998, Gone West) WinStar Farm $60,000 258 148 28
3 Broken Vow (1997, Unbridled) Pin Oak Stud $25,000 239 122 27
4 Smart Strike (1992, Mr. Prospector) Lane's End $85,000 248 129 26
5 Kitten's Joy (2001, El Prado IRE) Ramsey Farm $50,000 215 132 23
6 Elusive Quality (1993, Gone West) Darley $50,000 290 145 21
6 Dynaformer (1985, Roberto) Died 2012 179 70 21
6 Ghostzapper (2000, Awesome Again) Adena Springs $40,000 157 94 21
9 City Zip (1998, Carson City) Lane's End $25,000 219 129 20
9 Harlan's Holiday (1999, Harlan) WinStar Farm $35,000 227 123 20
9 Proud Citizen (1999, Gone West) Airdrie Stud $15,000 197 116 20

 

Leading Kentucky sires by 2012 synthetic progeny earnings

 

RANK NAME (BORN, SIRE, FARM) 2013 STUD FEE RNRS WNRS 2012 EARNINGS
1 Giant's Causeway (1997, Storm Cat) Ashford Stud $85,000 61 18 $1,586,291
2 Speightstown (1998, Gone West) WinStar Farm  $60,000 59 21 $1,555,054
3 Stormy Atlantic (1994, Storm Cat) Hill 'n' Dale Farms $30,000 81 27 $1,376,093
4 Even the Score (1998, Unbridled's Song) Millennium Farms $12,500 35 15 $1,341,687
5 City Zip (1998, Carson City) Lane's End $25,000 70 21 $1,315,958
6 Awesome Again (1994, Deputy Minister) Adena Springs $75,000 48 14 $1,306,637
7 Tiznow (1997, Cee's Tizzy) WinStar Farm  $75,000 85 23 $1,210,429
8 Tapit (2001, Pulpit) Gainesway $125,000 79 16 $1,209,908
9 Kitten's Joy (2001, El Prado IRE) Ramsey Farm $50,000 92 31 $1,187,199
10 Medaglia d'Oro (1999, El Prado IRE) Darley $100,000 55 16 $1,185,033