03/24/2017 9:30AM

New Mexico: A & A Ranch dominant in 2016 sire standings

Attila's Storm led the New Mexico sire list with $1,473,307 in progeny earnings in 2016.

The road to the top of New Mexico’s sire list took a long sweep through A & A Ranch in 2016, with the farm’s stallions taking up four of the top five spots on the state’s general earnings list.

It was the latest milepost in an extended run of success for the Anthony, N.M., operation of Fred and Linda Alexander. A member of the farm’s stallion roster has occupied the top spot six times in the past decade, including each of the past five seasons.

Attila’s Storm was the latest A & A Ranch stallion to assume the mantle, leading New Mexico’s sire list by progeny earnings last year for the first time after finishing second in 2013 and 2015.

The 15-year-old son of Forest Wildcat had 70 runners and 39 winners in 2016, both the second-most in the state, and posted earnings of $1,473,307. The stallion’s four stakes winners were double the number of any other New Mexico sire.

Leading the way for Attila’s Storm in 2016 was the 2-year-old gelding Another Brother, who won the New Mexico Classic Cup Juvenile Championship Stakes at Zia Park and placed in a pair of stakes at Ruidoso Downs to finish as the stallion’s top earner for the year with $157,031.

Another Brother was one of 11 juvenile winners for Attila’s Storm, safely clearing closest rival Diabolical, with eight.

Other runners of note for Attila’s Storm include Tilla Cat, who won the New Mexico Classic Cup Oaks Championship Stakes, and Waltzing Attila, the winner of the New Mexico State Fair Thoroughbred Futurity at The Downs at Albuquerque.

Perhaps most impressively, Attila’s Storm sired the top three finishers in the $107,977 Casino at the Downs Thoroughbred Derby, a 6 1/2-furlong race at Albuquerque for New Mexico-bred sophomores. Stormin the Jewels took the lead early and won by a length over Forger, who bested third-place Hit a Lick.

Attila’s Storm stands the 2017 season for an advertised fee of $4,000.

Diabolical, New Mexico’s leading sire of 2015, finished second on the general sire list last year with progeny earnings of $1,174,374. He had 72 runners and 43 winners last year to lead the state in both categories.

The standout runner for the 14-year-old Artax horse was Diabolical Dame, the winner of the New Mexico Classic Cup Distaff Sprint Championship Stakes. He had four stakes-placed runners.

Diabolical is advertised at $6,000.

Finishing third was Southwestern Heat, a 13-year-old son of Gone West who died in February due to colic. With just three crops on the track in 2016, Southwestern Heat tallied 23 winners from 43 runners and progeny earnings of $668,388.

His best runner of 2016 was Bryn’s Fancy Pants, a 3-year-old filly whose four wins in five starts included the New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap at Sunland Park, the Petticoat Stakes at Albuquerque, and the Sierra Starlet Handicap at Ruidoso Downs.

Desert God, New Mexico’s top sire in 2010 and from 2012-14, ended the year fifth with 11 winners from 23 starters and earnings of $579,627.

The most famous runner by Desert God was the undefeated Peppers Pride, and his top runner of 2016 won two stakes races named after her, taking the Peppers Pride New Mexico Classic Championship Fillies and Mares Stakes at Zia Park and the Peppers Pride Handicap at Sunland Park.

A son of Fappiano, Desert God died in 2015, and his final foals are yearlings of 2017.

The only stallion not standing at A & A Ranch to infiltrate New Mexico’s top five last year was The Way Home, a 13-year-old Giant’s Causeway horse who had 23 winners from 39 starters and earnings of $642,167.

Ignored, a 2-year-old gelding last year, led the way for his sire, winning the Mountain Top New Mexico-Bred Thoroughbred Futurity at Ruidoso Downs and the Copper Top Futurity at Sunland Park. Rising Giant put another win in his sire’s column in the Albert Dominguez Memorial Handicap at Sunland Park.

The Way Home stands at Doubletree Farm in Hobbs for $2,500.

Delhomme’s first runner

Saturday’s trials for the Copper Top Futurity at Sunland Park were to include Geaux Dangerous, the first runner by Grade 2-placed Delhomme.

A 7-year-old son of Dixie Union, Delhomme is one of two freshman stallions standing in New Mexico, joining the Saratoga maiden winner Archwarrior.

Delhomme, who stands at Born Running Ranch in Deming for an advertised fee of $1,500, has five foals in his debut crop. He retired to New Mexico with one win in four starts, including a third-place effort in the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes.

Archwarrior also has five foals in his first crop. The 7-year-old Arch horse began his stallion career at Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds in Florida but moved to A & A Ranch, where he stands for $2,500.