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Sparkman: Sire finds 'Roman' glory
The most expensive stallion syndication in history remains that of 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus. Although no official figure ever was announced, his $60 million initial syndication value was widely known within the Thoroughbred industry.
Fusaichi Pegasus possessed almost every characteristic breeders look for in a stallion prospect. As an individual, he was so physically magnificent that he was the most expensive yearling of his year at $4 million. His sire, Mr. Prospector, led the sire list twice and already was the sire of outstanding sires Fappiano, Gone West, Afleet, Forty Niner, Seeking the Gold, Crafty Prospector, Kingmambo, and Machiavellian, to name just a few. Out of a full sister to Preakness winner Pine Bluff, Fusaichi Pegasus descended from one of the best female families in the “American Stud Book.”
Despite all those positive attributes and the benefit of a high-class book of mares, Fusaichi Pegasus cannot be described as a thoroughly successful stallion. Though he has sired 77 stakes winners from 1,829 foals ages 3 and up worldwide, including Australian champion Haradasun, far too many of his progeny inherited Fusaichi Pegasus’s hot temperament. Moreover, especially considering the quality of his early books, he never sired the succession of classic winners and champion juveniles required to justify his syndication price.
Fusaichi Pegasus’s best American son, Roman Ruler, came closest to earning the early juvenile championship that might have validated Fusaichi Pegasus’s syndication price. He also has been by far his sire’s best son at stud, highlighted by the victory of Artemis Agrotera in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom Handicap on Sept. 20.
Bred in Kentucky by Needham/Betz, Liberation Farm, and Ashford Stud, Roman Ruler was from the first Northern Hemisphere crop of Fusaichi Pegasus and was the fifth foal and third graded stakes winner out of his dam, Silvery Swan, by Silver Deputy. Though unraced herself, Silvery Swan was a half-sister to stakes winners Seducer, by Housebuster, and Swift and Classy, by Clever Trick, from a good family developed primarily by the late Millard Waldheim’s Bwamazon Farm.
As a half-brother to Grade 1 winner El Corredor, by Mr. Greeley, and Grade 3 winner Silver Tornado, by Maria’s Mon, Roman Ruler attracted a $500,000 bid from David Shimmon at the 2003 Keeneland September yearling sale. Trained by Bob Baffert, he worked well enough to make his first start as the 4-5 favorite for a five-furlong maiden race June 19, 2004, at Hollywood Park and easily justified the short odds with a four-length victory.
Roman Ruler was even more impressive in the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar, romping home by seven lengths, but it was a different story in the Grade 2 Del Mar Futurity. Favored at 1-10, Roman Ruler rallied to take the lead at the top of the stretch, but Declan’s Moon, receiving four pounds, ran him down to win by a neck. Stretched out around two turns in the Grade 2, 1 1/16-mile Norfolk, Roman Ruler dominated a frankly moderate field, drawing off by 4 1/2 lengths.
Roman Ruler started as the 2-1 favorite to earn a 2-year-old male championship in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Lone Star Park, but he was bumped at the start and produced only a mild rally when asked, finishing fifth, 3 3/4 lengths behind the longshot winner Wilko.
Eighth and last in the Grade 2 San Felipe in his first start at 3, Roman Ruler missed the classics with a quarter crack but returned to form with a bang in the Grade 2 Dwyer, beating the classy Flower Alley by a half-length. He finally earned the Grade 1 victory he deserved in the Haskell Invitational, beating Sun King by 1 1/4 lengths, but appeared to find the 1 1/4 miles too far in the Travers, failing to catch Flower Alley and Bellamy Road. Back at 1 1/8 miles, Roman Ruler engaged Rock Hard Ten in a virtual match race in the Grade 2 Goodwood Breeders’ Cup Handicap, but the older star wore him down to win by a length.
That proved to be Roman Ruler’s final start when another foot injury derailed a planned tilt at the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Retired to Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms at an initial fee of $30,000, he sired Grade 1 winner Homeboykris (out of One Last Salute, by Salutely) in his first crop and Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice (Champagne Glow, by Saratoga Six) in his second, but neither of those horses was a genuine star, and his ratio of stakes winners to foals ages 3 and up is only 4.9 percent. Artemis Agrotera is his third American Grade 1 winner, but he also has sired champion 2- and 3-year-old filly Caldine (Comodora, by Confidential Talk) and Group 1 winners Proud Ruler (Sarahllon, by Potrillon), Tarsilia (Trilogica, by Roy), Fragotero (Figara, by Kitwood), Lenovo (La Piradita, by Salt Lake) in Argentina, and Romana Ruler (Romana, by Roy) in Chile.
Bred in New York by her owners, Mary and Chester Broman, Artemis Agrotera is the sixth foal out of Indy Glory, by A.P. Indy, a stakes-winning full sister to Grade 1 winner and sire Stephen Got Even and to stakes winner Grand Merger. Their dam, Immerse, by Cox’s Ridge, was sufficiently talented to run third in the Grade 1 Gazelle Stakes, and her dam, Baroness Direct, by Blushing Groom, was a Grade 3-winning half-sister to Grade 2 winner Minneapple, by Riverman, and to stakes winner Lyphard’s Princess, by Lyphard, dam of Grade 2 winner Private Man, by Private Account. The next dam, stakes winner Avum, by Umbrella Fella, was a half-sister to champion and good sire Lord Avie, by Lord Gaylord.
Indy Glory was the fourth foal of Immerse, whom the Bromans purchased for $350,000, carrying Indy Glory, at the 1997 Keeneland November breeding stock sale in the name of their Chestertown Farm. Trained by John Kimmel, Indy Glory made her debut in the one-mile Maid of the Mist Stakes for New York-breds on Oct. 21, 2000, at Belmont. She very nearly made it a winning debut, rallying from well off the pace to make the lead in the stretch but succumbing to the more experienced favorite, My Lady Avie, in the final strides by a half-length. Statebred maidens were an easy task at Aqueduct a month later, and Indy Glory won by 5 3/4 lengths at 1-4 odds. In the East View Stakes, however, the odds-on favorite, Astrapi, faced no opposition on the lead and comfortably held off Indy Glory’s late run by 2 1/2 lengths.
Indy Glory proved she was plenty good enough to compete in open company in her first start at 3, winning a 1 1/16-mile allowance race at Gulfstream by a half-length, but she failed to land a blow against Tap Dance in the Grade 2 Bonnie Miss, finishing fourth, beaten eight lengths. After capturing another allowance at Aqueduct, Indy Glory ran better against the talented Two Item Limit in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan, finishing second by two lengths, but 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Tap Dance this time. After finishing sixth, 10 1/2 lengths behind Fleet Renee in the Grade 1 Mother Goose, Indy Glory earned more graded black type in the Grade 2 Monmouth Breeders’ Cup Oaks, finishing third, 6 3/4 lengths behind Unbridled Elaine, in her final start at 3.
Indy Glory began her third season in training by running second in a Gulfstream optional claimer, then winning an allowance at Aqueduct by six lengths. The obvious goal for the Bromans was to win a stakes race with Indy Glory, but she spent the rest of her 4-year-old season running poorly in six stakes and allowance races. The Bromans persevered, though, into Indy Glory’s 5-year-old season, and she revived hope by running second in a one-mile allowance at Aqueduct in January 2003. At the end of that month, she closed her career on a high note, finally gaining those coveted stakes brackets in the Videogenic Stakes by wearing down the pacesetting Pocus Hocus to win by a neck.
Indy Glory retired to the breeding shed with a record of five wins in 19 starts for earnings of $283,422. Her first foal, a colt by Fusaichi Pegasus, sold for $1.05 million to trainer Patrick Biancone at the 2006 Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training. Named Time Squared, he won 2 of 9 starts and placed in the Round Table Stakes but died at 4.
The Bromans retained Indy Glory’s second foal, Submerge, and she emulated her dam by running second in the East View but won only once in eight starts. Indy Glory’s third foal, Rumors of Glory, by Storm Cat, won once in five starts, but her next two foals, Roots Run Deep, by Forestry, and Bent On Glory, by Distorted Humor, both failed to win.
Artemis Agrotera, Indy Glory’s sixth foal, is closely related to the stakes-placed Time Squared and Submerge but is far more talented. The winner of the Grade 1 Frizette at 2, she added the Grade 1 Ballerina at Saratoga last month before her flared-nostril victory in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom last weekend. Artemis Agrotera is likely to be aimed at the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.
Indy Glory has not produced a live foal since Artemis Agrotera and was bred to Pioneerof the Nile this year.
Artemis Agrotera’s pedigree is mostly an outcross, with four crosses of Nasrullah and two of Princequillo and Hail to Reason in the sixth generation the closest duplications. Roman Ruler, however, is inbred 2x4 to Mr. Prospector, and the filly’s broodmare sire, A.P. Indy, is inbred 4x3 to Bold Ruler.