08/18/2016 2:28PM

Lady Aurelia's coming start in Prix Morny is a reminder of the great loss of Scat Daddy

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Scat Daddy died at age 12 in December

The early death of Scat Daddy from the sire ranks was a huge blow to his supporters and the breed, and this weekend will bring another reminder of how much he will be missed when Lady Aurelia runs at Deauville on August 21 in the Group 1 Prix Morny, which is an open for 2-year-olds.

The undefeated daughter of Scat Daddy is trained by Wesley Ward and clearly looks like the best 2-year-old in Europe of either sex. If she does have a challenger to the title of best in Europe at this point it comes from Irish-based colt Caravaggio, who also is by Scat Daddy.

At this point, no matter how you look at it, Scat Daddy has the best juvenile filly and best juvenile colt in Europe.

Scat Daddy, by Johannesburg out of Love Style, by Mr. Prospector, stood at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Versailles, Ky., before his untimely death at the age of 12 last December. He was scheduled to stand the 2016 season for a fee of $100,000, a huge jump from his $35,000 fee in 2015, but it climbed so fast because of all his successful progeny running at tracks around the world.

Lady Aurelia, bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Stable and campaigned by Stonestreet, George Bolton, and Peter Leidel, has won both her starts, beginning with a win in a maiden race at Keeneland in April and followed by a devastating win at Royal Ascot when she dominated a field of 17 juveniles in open company when taking the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes by seven lengths.

Lady Aurelia was supposed to meet Caravaggio in the Prix Morny, but the Aidan O’Brien-trained colt was declared from the race on August 16, with his target now the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket on September 24, which is billed as Future Champions Day.

Caravaggio, raced by the longtime Coolmore owners or associates Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith, is undefeated in four starts, most recently taking the Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at six furlong at The Curragh on August 7. He took the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 14, a day before Lady Aurelia’s Queen Mary win. It took Lady Aurelia 1:00.10 to complete her race of five furlongs, and it took 1:16.30 for Caravaggio to win his race by 2 1/4 lengths at six furlongs.

Though Magnier, Tabor, Smith, and O’Brien ducked the Morny with Caravaggio, the group will have the Power colt Peace Envoy in the race by which they can use as a measure for their stable.

Scat Daddy went to stud in 2008 with solid credentials, winning five of nine starts and earning $1,334,300 over two seasons. Trained by Todd Pletcher and campaigned by James Scatuorchio and Michael Tabor, at 2, Scat Daddy won the Grade 1 Champagne and Grade 2 Sanford. At 3, he won the Grade 1 Florida Derby and Grade 2 Fountain of Youth, but never started after finishing 18th in Street Sense’s Kentucky Derby.

He stood his first season for a fee of $30,000, which was right before the Great Recession and the downturn in stud fees and bloodstock prices that rolled through the breeding business. By 2011, when his first foals reached the track, his fee had fallen all the way to $10,000.

Then his foals started running. And we mean running. By year’s end, Scat Daddy was the leading freshman sire in North America. From 111 juveniles in his first crop, he had 64 starters, 29 winners, and fives stakes winners, with progeny earnings of $1,521,410. He had three graded stakes-winning juveniles in that first crop – English Group 2 Royal Lodge winner Daddy Long Legs, Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Futurity winner Shared Property, and Canadian Grade 3 Summer Stakes winner Finale.

That first crop eventually yielded nine stakes winners, including multiple Grade 1 winner Lady Shamrock and Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby winner and millionaire Handsome Mike.

As a result of the success of first crop runners, his stud fee rose to $17,500 for 2012 and then to $30,000 for 2013.

A long, steady list of stakes winners followed for Scat Daddy, who also served as a shuttle stallion to South America. He has been a very successful sire of runners on grass, as well.

His best runners includes the dual-hemisphere stakes winner and Chilean-bred Dacita, who was two-time champion in her native land and then came to North America to win the Grade 1 Diana Stakes and Grade 2 New York Stakes. Scat Daddy has sired eight South American champions, including Chilean Horse of the Years Il Campione and Solaria.

In the Northern Hemisphere, Scat Daddy has sired such graded or group winners as No Nay Never (winner of the Prix Morny and trained by Ward), Celestine, Nickname, Daddy Nose Best, El Kabeir, Frac Daddy, Azar, Harmonize, and Scatman.

He has sired 78 stakes winners, an excellent 9.6 percent from foals of racing age, and his 50 graded/group stakes winners is an even more impressive 6.3 percent from foals. His progeny earnings are $39.4 million.

On August 17, Scat Daddy got another juvenile stakes winner when Con Te Partiro won the Bolton Landing Stakes at Saratoga at 5 1/2 furlongs on turf, when making her turf debut for trainer Wesley Ward.

That Scat Daddy has so many high-quality juveniles in the current year is a result of his early success, as he was able to get better mares as soon as breeders realized he was a very good sire.

One can expect that his future foals will be just as good, adding further lament to his early passing.
 

Eleanor Sniegowski 9 months ago
Didnt all the great trainers talk about not squeezing the lemon dry?Maybe that dual shuttle could have had a reason for his early demise?This horse could have rivaled some of the best sires.