01/20/2014 2:28PM

Hot Sire: Bodemeister

Barbara D. Livingston
Dual classic-placed Bodemeister has been well-represented at recent sales by mares carrying foals from his first crop.

The Keeneland January sale of horses of all ages concluded Jan. 9 with enough positive sentiment to maintain the generally uplifting outlook for 2014 prevalent in the bloodstock industry.

Moreover, it offered an early look at how first-year sires of 2013 are being received by owners and breeders. Among several standouts from that group, it was multiple classic-placed Grade 1 winner Bodemeister who finished the sale with the most distinction.

All five broodmares offered at the Keeneland sale in foal to Bodemeister were bought, totaling $685,000. That total ranked fourth among covering sires who had two or more in-foal mares sell at Keeneland and was $143,000 ahead of The Factor among first-crop covering sires.

Bodemeister’s average of $137,000 ranked second behind To Honor and Serve (who had two in-foal mares sell for an average of $150,000) and just ahead of The Factor’s $135,500 average for four mares.

Bodemeister began his stud career last year at Kenny Troutt’s WinStar Farm in Versailles, Ky., and, according to The Jockey Club, was bred to 173 mares in 2013, the seventh-most in North America.

The 5-year-old son of Empire Maker stood out among a solid group of first-year sires due to several factors. He has a good female family with several interesting offshoots that gravitate toward European influences. His dam, the Storm Cat mare Untouched Talent, captured the Grade 3 Sorrento Stakes and ran second in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante and the Grade 2 Alcibiades Stakes during an abbreviated racing career.

His second dam, Parade Queen, by A.P. Indy, was a multiple Grade 3 winner and earner of more than $400,000 who incidentally is also the dam of the highly regarded 3-year-old Top Billing, by Curlin. Parade Queen’s dam, and Bodemeister’s third dam, is the stakes winner Spanish Parade, by Roberto. His fifth dam is English champion filly Bitty Girl, by Habitat, who produced two European stakes winners and is the third dam of U.S. champion Action This Day.

Untouched Talent sold to John G. Sikura’s Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms for $850,000 after her racing career but was then bought for $1.2 million at the 2007 Keeneland November sale by Virginia’s Audley Farm, where Bodemeister was foaled. Bodemeister fetched $260,000 at the 2010 Keeneland September auction when sold to Ahmed Zayat, and following his emergence, Audley Farm reaped dividends when Untouched Talent’s filly Fascinating, by Smart Strike, sold for $1.3 million at the 2012 Keeneland September sale to Sikura and Bruce Lunsford.

Fascinating placed in both the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante and the Grade 1 Chandelier last season. Untouched Talent, meanwhile, was purchased for $5 million at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November sale by Coolmore Stud representative M.V. Magnier.

In terms of sire line, Bodemeister’s stature when he entered stud arguably was enhanced by Empire Maker’s relocation to Japan. The 2003 Belmont Stakes winner and Kentucky Derby runner-up had been establishing a reputation as a sire of stamina in the United States before his sale in 2010, as several of his daughters in particular showed real aptitude for two-turn races on dirt and synthetic, led by champion Royal Delta but also including Personal Ensign winner Icon Project and a quartet of Spinster Stakes winners, most recently Emollient.

Bodemeister and Grade 1 winner and 2009 Kentucky Derby runner-up Pioneerof the Nile are the best young stallion prospects to extend Empire Maker’s influence, and they join several sons of Unbridled’s Song at stud as bearers of Unbridled’s legacy.

In addition to the obvious pedigree attributes, Bodemeister possessed an intangible quality during his moment on the national stage in 2012: His professional racing action, coupled with a high cruising speed, suggested that he had the makings of an elite, classic-distance dirt horse.

Though Bodemeister fell short in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness after setting a fast pace in both classics, his 9 1/2-length romp in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby (108 Beyer Speed Figure for finishing 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.71) showed that he could dominate in two-turn dirt races. And the colt responded gamely in the Derby (99 Beyer) and the Preakness (109 Beyer) when challenged late by I’ll Have Another.

Bodemeister was retired after the Preakness due to a shoulder injury, but those flashes of raw talent still resonate and have helped him get off to a strong start at stud.

Among the broodmares sold in foal to Bodemeister at the Keeneland January sale were Auspiciously, a full sister to Grade 1 Princess Rooney winner Malibu Mint; Dream Dancer, a half-sister to Group 2 U.A.E. Derby winner Daddy Long Legs; Tiz T’was, whose dam is a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 winner Lion Heart; and Tejareb, whose dam is a half-sister to three Canadian champions.