03/12/2016 7:16PM

Leading New York sires: Big Brown

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The 2015 New York general sire rankings could signal a changing of the guard in the Empire State – or, at the very least, serious competition at the top in the stallion ranks moving forward. Newcomer Big Brown, who stood his first New York season in 2015, is the state’s leading returning or incoming sire by total progeny earnings, edging out state stalwarts Freud and Posse, both prior leading general sires, by a fairly narrow margin.

Big Brown, who stands at Dutchess Views Farm in Pine Plains, N.Y., was represented by 73 winners in 2015, including Eclipse Award finalist Dortmund and Grade 2 winner Coach Inge, for earnings of $5,353,853. That bankroll just edged the $5,137,763 earned by the progeny of Freud, whose 87 winners were the most by a stallion with state-conceived foals of racing age. Freud, who stands at Sequel Stallions in Hudson, N.Y, has finished first or second by earnings among New York stallions with state-sired runners in each of the past eight years. Third was Posse, who led the New York stallion list from 2009 to 2012 at Rockridge Stud in Hudson; he had 80 winners and progeny earnings of $4,296,483.

Things fell into place last year for Andrew Cohen’s Sunrise Stallions and Gary Tolchin’s Golden Goose Enterprises, which acquired a majority interest in Big Brown in fall 2014 and moved him to Dutchess Views. The 11-year-old son of Boundary previously stood at Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Ky., where he entered stud in 2009. When Big Brown moved to New York, he was on the cusp of a breakthrough season with Dortmund, a Grade 1-winning juvenile of 2014. That helped the stallion become a popular choice with breeders in his new regional market. According to Jockey Club statistics, Big Brown covered 138 mares in 2015, second only to Rockridge Stud’s Honorable Dillon, with 170. Freud covered 70 mares in 2015, while Posse covered 63.

Dortmund trained on to win five stakes last year, including the Santa Anita Derby. He also finished third to Triple Crown-winning stablemate American Pharoah in the Kentucky Derby and was an Eclipse Award finalist behind that champion for 3-year-old male honors.

Meanwhile, older runner Coach Inge turned in his best season, winning the Grade 2 Brooklyn Invitational, finishing second in the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes, and third in the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap.

Big Brown won 7 of 8 career starts, earning $3,614,500. Campaigned in majority by IEAH Stables – which included Cohen and Tolchin – he stamped himself among the best of his generation by posting open-lengths scores in the Florida Derby, Kentucky Derby, and Preakness before suffering his only loss when eased in the Belmont Stakes, ending his Triple Crown bid. He rebounded to add a fourth Grade 1 victory in the Haskell Invitational, then won the Monmouth Stakes on turf before foot problems that had plagued him throughout his career forced him into retirement. He was honored with the Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old male of 2008.

Freud’s runners in 2015 were once again led by veteran Lubash, who, in his sixth season on the racetrack at age 8, won three stakes for New York-breds, the Kingston Stakes, Mohawk Stakes, and West Point Stakes. Lubash helped Freud once again finish as New York’s leading turf sire, by more than $1.5 million over second-place Disco Rico.