02/14/2013 4:03PM

Illinois: Shore Breeze's reign continues for third straight year

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Shore Breeze, the leading general sire in Illinois in 2010 and 2011, remained in that position in 2012 based on an active group of runners spread across the East and Midwest. A 15-year-old son of the great, late Danzig, Shore Breeze sired 36 winners in 2012, and his progeny earned $904,067, nearly $70,000 ahead of Cherokee Rap, who died in 2012, on the Illinois general sire list.

John Haran acquired Shore Breeze after the horse was retired from racing. After stints in Illinois and Kentucky, Shore Breeze was moved to Eagle Valley Farm North in Peotone, Ill., in 2009. Haran, who trains many of Shore Breeze’s top runners, renamed his operation Ben Bulben Farm this year after another of his stallions. Shore Breeze has averaged 20 mares per season at his current location, with a couple of years in the 35 to 40 range, and will stand for a fee of $1,000 in 2013.

Haran said Shore Breeze has been a consistent sire of sound racehorses without producing a breakthrough stakes performer. His only stakes winner to date, an Eddie Kenneally-trained filly named Grand Obsession, won the Lady Charles Town Stakes in 2008 but died later that year. Shore Breeze’s leading earner for 2012, Italian Breeze, won three races and earned $71,973 as a homebred for Haran but was unplaced in two stakes attempts at Arlington.

“What I like about Shore Breeze is that [his progeny] can run from six furlongs to a mile and a quarter,” Haran said. “They’re very sound, they stay sound, and there’s very little problems with any of them. . . . He produces a racehorse, but he hasn’t produced a big-time stakes horse. That’s his only downfall. If he were ever to do that, he could be anything.”

Shore Breeze himself was sound on the racetrack, winning four of 22 starts with four seconds and two thirds in four seasons for owner Jayeff B Stables, which purchased the colt for $500,000 at the 1999 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga selected yearling sale. He won the Gallant Serenade Stakes at Delaware in 2001 and placed in two other stakes and earned $152,948.

Shore Breeze is out of the Gulch mare Sea Breezer, who placed in two stakes, including the Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes. His second dam, Lakeville Miss, by Rainy Lake, received the Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old filly in 1977 and won four Grade 1 stakes in her career. Lakeville Miss is also the dam of Grade 1 winner Mogambo.

Six horses shared top honors in Illinois with one stakes winner in 2012, but only one had a multiple stakes winner. Unreal Zeal, who died in 2006, maintained a presence on the Illinois sire list thanks to his indefatigable son River Bear, an 8-year-old gelding and winner of nearly $800,000 in his career. River Bear added three stakes wins to his career total of eight in 2012, taking the Robert S. Molaro Handicap at Hawthorne, the Prairie Express Stakes at Prairie Meadows, and the Tex’s Zing Stakes at Fairmount Park.

Indy Snow, an English-bred 12-year-old by A.P. Indy standing for a private fee at Frank and Sharon Kirby’s Hondo Ranch in Maple Park, led the Illinois juvenile sire list in 2012. He sired three winning juveniles last year and overall was paced by 3-year-old gelding Sandia Crest, who won the Springfield Stakes at Arlington and also was stakes-placed at Hawthorne.
 

First-time stallions in Illinois for 2013

STALLION (YOB, SIRE) FARM STUD FEE
Rapa Moon Owen's Top of the Hill Horses Private
Soul of Ekati Christopher Fromm $1,000