02/08/2018 12:56PM

Mid-Atlantic stallions: Jump Start keeps spot at top in Pennsylvania


Regional sire lists are full of instances where a stallion arrives from Kentucky and instantly becomes a state’s leader by earnings based on the strength of their Bluegrass-bred runners. How they fare as a fully vested member of their new home state’s stallion roster is more of a mixed bag.

An example of that plan gone right is Jump Start, who arrived in Pennsylvania from Overbrook Farm in Kentucky for the 2010 breeding season and was that year’s leading sire by earnings. Now, as he nears a decade in the Keystone State, Jump Start is established at the top of Pennsylvania’s sire list, leading the general standings for a third straight year in 2017.

The 19-year-old A.P. Indy horse led all Pennsylvania sires by starters (167), winners (100), and earnings ($5,421,162) in 2017, all by comfortable margins. Rockport Harbor, who died in 2013, was second in each of those categories, with 117 starters, 55 winners, and combined earnings of $2,343,070.

Jump Start’s top domestic runner of the season was Just Call Kenny, who won the Grade 3 Philip H. Iselin Stakes at Monmouth Park and placed in four stakes, including the Grade 3 Salvator Mile and Monmouth Cup stakes. Other North American stakes winners for the stallion included Disco Chick and Helloitsme.

Just Call Kenny was also Jump Start’s top Beyer performer of 2017. He was one of two horses by Jump Start to notch a Beyer Speed Figure of 90 or above, and that duo hit the mark a combined nine times.

The Virginia-bred Just Call Kenny earned a 101 for his victory in the 1 1/8-mile Philip H. Iselin Stakes, topping a campaign that also saw him earn a 94 when second in the Pennsylvania Derby Champion Stakes and a pair of 91 figures for finishing second in the Salvator Mile and third in the Monmouth Cup. Joining him among Jump Start’s 90-plus Beyer runners in 2017 was Hammerin Aamer, whose efforts were led by a 96 earned when second in a one-mile allowance at Aqueduct in December.

Jump Start shuttled to Argentina for four Southern Hemisphere seasons from 2009 to 2012, and his runners made a massive impact in 2017, including Argentine Group 1 winner Quirico, Uruguayan Group 1 winner Sexy Reasons, Argentine Group 2 winner El Pendex, and Peruvian Group 3 winner Look Strike.

Jump Start stands at Northview PA in Peach Bottom for an advertised fee of $10,000.

El Padrino appeared poised to one day challenge Jump Start for the state’s throne, earning Pennsylvania’s freshman and 2-year-old sire titles in 2017. However, the young son of Pulpit was euthanized in late November following colic surgery.

El Padrino finished his debut season with 17 starters, 11 winners, and earnings of $450,129, all the most in the state among freshman sires and sires of juveniles.

Leading the way among El Padrino’s runners were stakes winners Whereshetoldmetogo and Enchanted Star, along with stakes-placed Vente to Go. El Padrino was one of 15 freshman sires with a runner that earned a Beyer of 80 or higher last year, with Whereshetoldmetogo picking up an 80 for running second in the Smooth Air Stakes in December at Gulfstream Park.


A handoff occurred atop Maryland’s stallion ranks last year as young stallion Friesan Fire grabbed the baton from the late state stalwart Not For Love and kept on running.

Emerging power Friesan Fire, a son of A.P. Indy, keys a strong roster for the Pons family’s Country Life Farm, which has a history of developing top stallions. The multiple Grade 2 winner kicked off his second career as Maryland’s leading freshman sire of 2015, and finished third on the state’s general sire list in 2016. Last year, he climbed atop the list with a bankroll of $2,684,511, edging out Not For Love, who died in 2016, at $2,676,849. Not For Love is Maryland’s leading sire by lifetime progeny earnings.

Friesan Fire was led in 2017 by Fire Key, who concluded her season with a victory in the Autumn Days Stakes at Aqueduct. She scored by 2 1/2 lengths over Stormy Victoria, who returned to win the South Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Fire Key also finished second to Always Thinking in the Sensible Lady Turf Dash Stakes at Laurel.

While Friesan Fire led Maryland’s sires overall, when the ranks are broken down by category, he finished a distant second on the juvenile earnings list to a fellow resident of Country Life’s stallion barn. Grade 2 winner Freedom Child was not only the state’s leading freshman sire with his bankroll of $538,051, he led all of Maryland’s 2-year-old sires. Freedom Child’s first crop is led by Limited View, who doubled in the Maryland Million Lassie and Maryland Million Juvenile Filly Stakes.

Freedom Child is a son of Malibu Moon, whose stallion career Country Life launched and cultivated in partnership with Spendthrift Farm before the stallion was “called up” to Spendthrift’s Kentucky base, where he continues as the flagship sire. Malibu Moon is a son of the breed-shaping sire A.P. Indy, whose influence will continue to play a role in Country Life’s stallion roster, via Friesan Fire, Freedom Child, and several newcomers. Country Life’s Super Ninety Nine, a freshman of 2018, is by A.P. Indy’s son Pulpit, a prominent sire of sires. The farm this season also adds classic-placed Divining Rod, by Pulpit’s son Tapit.

Another prominent commercial sireline is represented at Country Life with War Front’s son Mosler, whose first foals are arriving now.

West Virginia

Windsor Castle has been a steady presence in the upper echelon of West Virginia’s sire list during this decade, having never finished lower than fourth on the general earnings list since 2010, and he earned a spot at the top of the mountain for a second time in 2017.

The 20-year-old son of Lord Carson followed up on his 2012 sire title with a season last year that included 102 runners, 68 winners, and earnings of $2,133,754, all the most in West Virginia. He was also the state’s leading juvenile sire by earnings.

Windsor Castle’s runners were led by stakes winners Bound to Windsor, William and Mary, Help a Brother, and Greenway Court, with four stakes-placed runners. His highest Beyer Speed Figure came courtesy of Ellie’s Lil Man, who earned an 85 for winning a 1 1/8-mile Charles Town allowance in July.

Windsor Castle stands at Taylor Mountain Farm in Charles Town for $2,000.

New Jersey

Hey Chub got comfortable with his spot atop New Jersey’s sire list in 2017, taking the title for a second straight season.

An 18-year-old Carson City horse, Hey Chub was New Jersey’s top sire by runners (20), winners (16), and earnings ($846,283). His best runner was Chublicious, who won the Grade 3 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash Stakes at Laurel Park and earned a 99 Beyer. It was one of four 90-plus Beyer efforts for Chublicious.

Hey Chub resides at Joe-Dan Farm in Medford for $2,000.


Since relocating from Ontario to Hickory Tree Farm in Middleburg for the 2015 breeding season, Rebellion has become established at the top of Virginia’s sire list.

The 15-year-old son of Mozart has been Virginia’s leading sire by earnings each year since arriving in the state, and was once again at the top in 2017 by winners (eight) and earnings ($410,893). His progeny was led in 2017 by stakes winners Blurricane and Rebellious Diana, along with stakes-placed Ratface Macdougall. The latter earned the sire’s highest Beyer of the year when he won a 6 ½-furlong allowance in November at Woodbine and picked up an 87.

Rebellion is advertised for $3,500.


Since 2013, the winning exacta in Massachusetts’s leading general sire race has been filled by the duo of Indian Ocean and Wild Desert, both of Briar Hill Farm in Rehoboth.

Indian Ocean prevailed in 2013, then dropped the next three seasons to Wild Desert before taking the top spot once again in 2017 by just $3,944.

A 16-year-old son of Stormy Atlantic, Indian Ocean had 10 winners from 21 runners and posted earnings of $158,795, led by the stakes-placed filly Indian Legacy. Indian Ocean’s top Beyer of the year came from Concho, who earned a 79 for winning a five-furlong optional claimer on the turf at Louisiana Downs in September.

Indian Ocean stands for $1,000.

North Carolina

Chelsey Cat, a 20-year-old Storm Cat horse, topped North Carolina’s standings for the 13th time in the last 14 years, with 10 winners from 15 starters and earnings of $136,322 in 2017. His leading runner by earnings and Beyer performance was Phenix, who earned a 62 for running second in a Thistledown optional claimer in October. Chelsey Cat stands at Rock House Farm in Hickory for a private fee.

South Carolina

Straight Talking earned the Palmetto State’s sire title for the third consecutive season in 2017, with the 12-year-old son of Dixieland Band tallying four winners from seven starters and earnings of $103,760. The gelding Gin Makes Ya Sin was Straight Talking’s top earner and Beyer performer in 2017, highlighted by a 90 he earned when second in a Parx optional claimer in May. Straight Talking resides at Elloree Training Center in Elloree for $1,000.

– additional reporting by Nicole Russo