02/23/2017 10:36AM

Shanghai Bobby tests market with deep group of 2017 freshman sires

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Barbara D. Livingston
Shanghai Bobby's first crop of 2-year-olds runs this year, and has high expectations.

Shanghai Bobby put together a stellar juvenile campaign in 2012, going unbeaten at distances from 4 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/16 miles and winning three graded stakes – capped by the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile – to earn a divisional Eclipse Award.

Shanghai Bobby’s accomplishments on the track is one reason anticipation is high for his first crop of juveniles this season. Already commercially popular as weanlings and yearlings, they’ll have another test of the market when the juvenile sales season begins in earnest in March.

Shanghai Bobby, who stands at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Versailles, Ky., is among the most well-regarded stallions in a freshman class that also includes three American classic winners and several other Breeders’ Cup winners.

The group is not dominated by a single standout, Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning said.

“It’s a solid, representative group with some very interesting and intriguing stallion prospects,” Browning said.

Shanghai Bobby is a son of the late Harlan’s Holiday, who has quietly become a solid sire of sires, with sons including Into Mischief, last year’s leading juvenile sire. All six of Shanghai Bobby’s yearlings through the ring at last summer’s select Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale fetched six-figure prices, led by a $380,000 filly selected by prominent bloodstock agents Alex Solis and Jason Litt. Shanghai Bobby then recorded an average price of $113,105 from 38 yearlings sold at the bellwether Keeneland September yearling sale, including a $575,000 colt sold to Mayberry Farm and a $400,000 colt sold to Breeze Easy LLC.

“The sire we are huge fans of,” Hunter Valley Farm’s Fergus Galvin said after going to $280,000 for a Shanghai Bobby filly during the Keeneland November mixed sale. “We think he is going to be one of the top freshman sires for this year. She’s just the real deal. Quality is shining through. Anything that especially looks like her is going to be at the top end of the market, and you have to be prepared to pay for it.”

Shanghai Bobby has the numbers to be a factor in the juvenile sales market. He covered a book of 160 mares in his first season, according to The Jockey Club’s Report of Mares Bred. From that first crop, he has seven juveniles – a solid number – accepted into the select Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream 2-year-old sale, which kicks off the season on March 1. He has 10 cataloged at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s March sale of 2-year-olds, which shortly follows on March 14-15.

Three American classic winners also will have their first Northern Hemisphere 2-year-olds at sale in Florida in March – 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb, 2013 Preakness winner Oxbow, and 2011 Derby and 2013 Dubai World Cup winner Animal Kingdom.

Orb, a son of Malibu Moon, also won the 2013 Florida Derby before retiring to his birthplace, historic Claiborne Farm. Orb recorded the top price for a first-year sire at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga, as Juddmonte paid $450,000 for one of his fillies. He was then among the leading first-year sires by average at Keeneland September, with 43 yearlings sold for an average of $141,686. He will look to continue his commercial momentum, with four juveniles cataloged at Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream and a solid 15 at OBS March.

After finishing sixth to Orb in the Kentucky Derby, Oxbow bounced back with a front-running score in the Preakness, then was second in the Belmont. The Awesome Again horse, who stood his first season at Taylor Made before moving to owner Brad Kelley’s Calumet Farm, is from a stallion-making family. Awesome Again’s sons at stud include Ghostzapper. On the female side, Oxbow is out of a full sister to champion and prominent sire Tiznow. Two other stallions from this immediate family also have their first runners this year – WinStar Farm’s Paynter, a son of Awesome Again out of another full sister to Tiznow, and Spendthrift Farm’s Awesome Patriot, a full brother to Oxbow.

Champion Animal Kingdom, by the late Leroidesanimaux, was one of the most versatile runners of recent years. He won the Derby on dirt, the Dubai World Cup on synthetic, and was multiple Grade 1-placed on turf, including a runner-up effort to champion Wise Dan in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. With those accomplishments lending to his international appeal, he entered stud at Arrowfield Stud in Australia for the 2013 Southern Hemisphere season before reverse shuttling to Darley’s Jonabell Farm in Kentucky. His first Australian foals are 2-year-olds on Southern Hemisphere time, with several runners from his initial starters having placed as of press time.

Other sires with their first full crop of Northern Hemisphere juveniles this year include Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Fort Larned, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner New Year’s Day, Eclipse Award winner Trinniberg, multiple European classic winner Camelot, and Grade 1/Group 1 winners Champ Pegasus, Cityscape, Currency Swap, Data Link, Dawn Approach, Declaration of War, Emcee, Farhh, Flat Out, Graydar, I Want Revenge, Jimmy Creed, Liaison, Morning Line, Overanalyze, Point of Entry, Poseidon’s Warrior, Power Broker, Reckless Abandon, Smiling Tiger, Take Charge Indy, The Lumber Guy, Treasure Beach, Turbo Compressor, Ultimate Eagle, Violence, and Worthadd.