08/29/2013 11:55AM

Hot Sire: Street Boss


Courtesy of DarleyStreet Boss

On a weekend when several of this year’s most successful sires continued to reap Grade 1 wins from top progeny – most prominently, Awesome Again with Game On Dude in the Pacific Classic, and the late Unbridled’s Song with Will Take Charge in the Travers Stakes – an intriguing young stallion joined the club. Darley’s Street Boss was represented by a fast-closing colt who finally delivered on his potential in Capo Bastone, who took the Grade 1 King’s Bishop Stakes at Saratoga Race Course at odds of 28.25-to-1.

Capo Bastone, a $145,000 OBS March select juvenile purchase last year by owner Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, began his career on the West Coast with trainer John Sadler and won his debut at Del Mar before finishing third in both the Grade 1 Frontrunner Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita Park. Sent east to Todd Pletcher for his 3-year-old campaign, he won his first start of 2013 at Gulfstream Park but then went winless in his next three starts before annexing the King’s Bishop. Despite the losing streak, the colt offered a clue as to his ability in the sprint division when he finished a very strong second in the Grade 3 Derby Trial at Churchill Downs in late April, beaten a neck by stablemate Forty Tales going a one-turn mile. Capo Bastone validated that performance in the seven-furlong King’s Bishop, earning a career-best 102 Beyer Speed Figure for his final time of 1:22.22.

Sporting a career record of three wins from nine starts and over $650,000 in earnings, Capo Bastone appears to be a worthy candidate for some of the fall’s prestigious seven-furlong and one mile events, such as the Grade 2 Kelso Handicap and the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. Bred in Kentucky by Hargus Sexton, Sandra Sexton, Tom Bozarth, and Silver Fern Farm, the colt is out of the stakes-placed winning Fit to Fight mare Fight to Love, who has produced four other winners. Fight to Love won eight times from 45 career starts during the late 1990s and placed 15 times, winning at distances ranging from seven furlongs to 1 1/16 miles. Her sire Fit to Fight was one of the better handicap horses of his era with a strong dose of stamina. The son of Chieftain earned over $1 million for Paul Mellon’s Rokeby Stables and captured five graded stakes during the early 1980s, highlighted by three memorable Belmont Grade 1s in summer 1984 – the one-mile Metropolitan, the 1 1/4-mile Suburban, and the 1 1/2-mile Brooklyn.

Street Boss, a 9-year-old son of Darley sire Street Cry out of the stakes-placed winning Ogygian mare Blushing Ogygian, never raced beyond seven furlongs but excelled within his distance limitations, winning seven times from 13 starts at ages 3 and 4. His 4-year-old season in particular was exceptional, when he ruled the roost of the Southern California sprint division on what was at that time an exclusively synthetic main track racing circuit. Trained and co-owned by Bruce Headley, Street Cry set three track records in 2008 – at 5 1/2 furlongs in a Santa Anita allowance, six furlongs in the Grade 3 Los Angeles at Hollywood Park, and six furlongs in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby at Del Mar. In between the latter two wins, he also took down the seven-furlong Grade 1 Triple Bend at Hollywood. Following the Bing Crosby, Street Boss put forth two solid performances with a second in the Grade 1 Ancient Title and a third in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint before retiring to Darley’s Jonabell Farm in Lexington, Ky.

Capo Bastone was the top earner from his sire’s first crop last year, with the colt’s two Grade 1 placings helping him earn $288,000 as a juvenile. Street Boss finished fifth on the North American freshman sire list in 2012 and ranked sixth on this year's second-crop list as of Aug. 27. The stallion, who stood at Darley for an advertised fee of $10,000 in 2013, has two other stakes winners this year to date: the 3-year-old filly Street Gem, who has won two stakes on the turf at Monmouth, and juvenile gelding Silvertonguedtommy, winner of the Chenery Stakes at Colonial Downs. Street Boss’ winning juvenile son Danza also ran a fast-closing third in the Grade 3 Saratoga Special earlier this month.

All four horses have decent but far from superlative female-line pedigrees, which makes Street Boss’ good start as a sire even more impressive. Street Gem is arguably the best-bred of the group, as her second dam Desert Stormette, by Storm Cat, is a full sister to 1995 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Desert Stormer. This year’s Grade 3 Spiral Stakes winner Black Onyx and English Group 1 winner White Moonstone are other close family members.

Capo Bastone appeared to finally maximize his talent in the King’s Bishop and, barring injury, should be a factor in the sprint division in the months ahead, with enough stamina on the female side to possibly make him a factor in mile races as well. Street Boss did not fully develop into a top-class sprinter until age 4, which bodes well for Capo Bastone’s connections and other owners of the stallion’s racing progeny.