03/04/2016 9:22AM

Leading Florida juvenile sire: High Cotton

Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography
High Cotton wins the Grade 3 Northern Dancer Breeders' Cup Stakes in 2006 at Churchill Downs.

High Cotton debuted as Florida’s leading freshman sire of 2011 and has continued to rank as a top-15 juvenile sire in the state every year since. With perhaps his best season yet in 2015, he climbed atop the juvenile sire list for the first time – and also earned placings in other major sire rankings.

High Cotton, a son of Dixie Union standing at Ocala Stud in Ocala, Fla., was the sire of 23 winners from 52 2-year-old starters last year for earnings of $1,015,923 – enough to edge out freshman sire First Dude, of Double Diamond Farm in Ocala, whose 16 winners from 42 starters gave him $997,148. High Cotton finished 18th on the North American juvenile sire list. He keyed Ocala Stud’s dominance of the Florida juvenile sire list as it also stands state stalwarts Awesome of Course and Hear No Evil, who finished third and seventh, and In Summation and Brooks ’n Down, who respectively checked in sixth and ninth.

Overall, High Cotton was represented by 62 winners from 124 starters in 2015 for earnings of $2,085,535, placing him fourth on Florida’s general sire list.

High Cotton’s juveniles last year were led by Dream of Me, who banked $168,440 while winning 2 of 4 starts, including the Florida Sire Series Dr. Fager Stakes. Tight Weave finished second in the Colleen Stakes at Monmouth Park. Karen’s Silk won two of her three starts in 2015 and returned to win the Marshua Stakes early this season.

High Cotton is the sire of six crops of racing age – including current 2-year-olds – for progeny earnings of $7,353,606. He is represented by 138 winners, including six stakes winners, from 197 starters, a strike rate of 70 percent. His first crop was led by Currency Swap, who won the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes, defeating future champions Trinniberg and I’ll Have Another. Currency Swap returned the following season to win the Grade 2 Amsterdam Stakes and now also stands in Florida, residing at Woodford Thoroughbreds in Reddick. His first foals are yearlings of 2016.

High Cotton won 4 of 17 starts for earnings of $462,574. Multiple graded stakes placed as a juvenile, he scored his biggest win in the following season’s Grade 3 Northern Dancer Breeders’ Cup Stakes. He won two listed stakes in 2006, one on dirt and one on synthetic. In all, he won or placed in six stakes.

Out of the A.P. Indy mare Happy Tune, High Cotton is a half-brother to Grade 3 winner Symphony Sid and to multiple stakes producer Cradlesong. Happy Tune is a half-sister to champion and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Storm Song.