04/27/2015 5:57AM

Kentucky Derby: Three first-crop sires represented for Spendthrift

Coady Photography
Firing Line, a son of Spendthrift stallion Line of David, wins the Sunland Derby at Sunland Park.

Spendthrift Farm is loaded for bear with representatives by its stallions in this Kentucky Derby – and that appears unlikely to change in future years, as some of those stallions are just getting started.

Of the 20 horses in the main body of the Derby field as of Monday morning, sires standing at Spendthrift’s Lexington, Ky., base accounted for six. Those include three first-crop sires – Line of David, Temple City, and Warrior’s Reward.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Mark Toothaker, Spendthrift’s stallion sales manager. “We could never have imagined that. It’s so much fun, because all these horses certainly are longshots, but it’s just unbelievable to have all three of our young horses have a horse in the Derby their first go-round. They all have shown some real brilliance.”

Firing Line, winner of the Sunland Derby in his final Kentucky Derby prep, is the first graded stakes winner for Arkansas Derby winner Line of David. The Lion Heart horse is also the sire of California Derby winner Cross the Line and five other stakes-placed runners.

Bolo is one of four stakes winners to date by Temple City, a Grade 3-winning son of Dynaformer. Meanwhile, Wood Memorial runner-up Tencendur is by Grade 1 winner Warrior’s Reward, a Medaglia d’Oro horse who will shuttle to shore up the roster at Spendthrift’s new Australian farm later this year.

“I know there’s been talk that Bolo may be better on the grass, but he’s a horse that I’m really intrigued with, because so many turf horses have done well here at Churchill,” Toothaker said. “Firing Line, I think, probably has an unbelievable chance. And then Tencendur has really trained well. He looks good; I think he looks fantastic here. Who knows, maybe one of these young guns will get a Derby winner in their first crop. That’s like legendary stuff.”

Spendthrift stands stalwarts such as Malibu Moon, sire of 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb and represented by three potential starters this year in Danzig Moon, Mr. Z, and Stanford. Further shoring up its ranks, Spendthrift has worked to develop the careers of young stallions through incentive programs such as “Share the Upside,” in which breeders earn a lifetime right to a stallion by showing loyalty early; or “Breed Secure,” in which the stud fee is not owed until after the breeder makes a profit at public auction.

“I think it’s huge because people buy in on the programs,” Toothaker said. “If a guy does Share the Upside and is earning a lifetime breeding right, they take ownership in that stallion. And so you come to the sales, and you’ll see them buying mares in foal to those stallions, you’ll see people buying weanlings and yearlings [by those stallions]. It’s like they have an ownership, and so it’s really helped people to buy in, and it’s helped us to be able to get the numbers to these horses, and that’s so vital.”

Four Kentucky Oaks contenders are by first-crop sires, led by Fair Grounds Oaks winner and potential race favorite I’m a Chatterbox, who was sired by multiple graded stakes winner Munnings, based at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Versailles, Ky. Another Ashford stallion is represented among the Oaks contenders, as Maybellene is from the first crop of multiple Eclipse Award winner Lookin At Lucky.

Gulfstream Park Oaks winner Birdatthewire is from one of just three crops sired by late champion Summer Bird, who began his career at Pauls Mill Farm in Versailles, Ky., where the filly was conceived. Lovely Maria is by Majesticperfection, standing at Airdrie Stud in Midway, Ky.