02/14/2013 4:19PM

Indiana: Spanish Steps draws notice thanks to Little Mike

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A multiple Grade 1 winner can do a lot of things for a sire.

For Spanish Steps, the success of leading turf horse Little Mike helped draw national attention to him and propelled him to the top of the list among Indiana’s leading stallions by progeny earnings.

A 12-year-old son of Unbridled, Spanish Steps finished the year with 37 winners for total earnings of $3,914,818. Little Mike, winner of the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf, Arlington Million, and Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, accounted for 68 percent of his sire’s progeny earnings, with $2,668,742.

Spanish Steps stands at Lake Shore Farms in Scottsburg, Ind., for an advertised fee of $5,000.

Understandably, Little Mike’s multiple Eclipse Award-nominated campaign has greatly boosted the sire’s visibility among breeders.

“[Little Mike] caused us to have a lot of interest in Spanish Steps, and rightfully so,” said Gale Bess, farm manager of Lake Shore. “One of the main things that I noticed is that we’ve had more action with people from surrounding states, not just Indiana. He is a real value for his price.”

Spanish Steps is out of the winning Caro mare Trolley Song and is the only full brother to multiple Grade 1 winner and leading sire Unbridled’s Song.

After beginning his stud career in Florida in 2005, Spanish Steps was relocated to Indiana in 2009, a year after the state authorized casino gaming at its racetracks. His first crop of Indiana-sired foals were 2-year-olds of last year.

One of them, Animal Style, has matured quickly in his 3-year-old year and is already 2 for 2, including a win in the Van Berg Stakes at Fair Grounds.

What also bodes well for Spanish Steps’s future in Indiana is the local success of his progeny. His other leading runners of 2012 include Slim Shady’s Lady, who won the Holiday Inaugural Stakes at Turfway Park and finished second in a stakes at Hoosier Park, as well as Ill Conceived, who was stakes-placed at Turfway and Laurel Park.

“The numbers have grown every year that he’s been here, and he’s a stakes producer in Indiana,” Bess said. “Every year, we think he’s just going to get better.

“He gets horses that are diverse,” he said. “It just kind of depends on the mare, and he’ll get you a good horse no matter what the mare looks like.

“It’s an exciting time for Spanish Steps.”

Finishing second to Spanish Steps on the Indiana sire list was Strong Hope, a 13-year-old son of Grand Slam whose leading offspring, Papaw Bodie, helped him amass total progeny earnings of $1,935,639. Domestic Dispute, a 13-year-old Unbridled’s Song horse, was third with progeny earnings of $1,726,791, led by Daydream Gracie.
 

Stallions moving to Indiana for 2013

STALLION (YOB, SIRE) FARM STUD FEE
Storm Account (2006, Storm Cat) Trifecta Trace at Hartmeyer Stables $1,500
Ventana (2006, Toccet) Indiana Stallion Station $2,500


First-time stallions in Indiana for 2013

STALLION (YOB, SIRE) FARM STUD FEE
Noble's Promise (2007, Cuvee) Breakway Farm $2,500
Quarter Given (2006, Elusive Quality) Indiana Stallion Station $1,000
Sangaree (2005, Awesome Again) RichWine $1,500