05/02/2016 12:24PM

Sparkman: Strong results continue for Galileo

Courtesy of Coolmore Farm
Galileo has sired 229 stakes winners to date and has dominated the European classics.

Since he has led the combined English/Irish sire list for seven of the last eight years, it is never a surprise when the great Galileo dominates European classics, but he found a new way to do it at Newmarket's Guineas meeting last weekend. It was rather surprising that not a single son of Galileo lined up among the 13 starters for the 2000 Guineas on Saturday (there were two paternal grandsons who finished second and eighth), but Galileo still found a way to dominate.

The aptly named Galileo's Gold went right to the lead and never looked like losing as the hot favorite Air Force Blue never rallied from the back of the field before being eased in the last 100 yards. Galileo's Gold is from the second crop of Paco Boy, a tough and consistent miler who won the Group 1 Lockinge in 2009 and Queen Anne in 2010, but had very little pedigree to recommend him when he retired to shuttle between Highclere Stud and Waikato Stud in New Zealand in 2011.

The best son of the well-bred Green Desert stallion Desert Style, Paco Boy has made a decent start at stud, with eight stakes winners from his first two crops of 3-year-olds (from 220 foals total in both hemispheres), but Galileo Gold is by far his best offspring to date.

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More than the usual amount of credit for that excellence may be due to his dam Galicuix, who is, of course, a daughter of Galileo. Although Galicuix was unplaced in her only two starts, she is half-sister to Goldream, by Oasis Dream, who won both the Group 1 King's Stand and Prix du Moulin de Longchamp last year. Galicuix's third dam, Floripedes, by Top Ville, was dam of the great Montjeu, the best son of Galileo's sire Sadler's Wells, and a great sire in his own right.

Galileo Gold's victory moved Galileo to the top of the English broodmare sire list as well, and he is long odds-on to lead that list before too many more years pass. Galileo Gold is already the 52nd stakes winner produced by his many well-bred daughters, a number that includes 2014 2000 Guineas winner Night of Thunder, by Dubawi, American Grade 1 winner Lea, by First Samurai, and 2015 Epsom Oaks winner Qualify, by Fastnet Rock.

Galileo's dominance of Sunday's 1000 Guineas was much more straightforward and direct. His daughters Minding (out of Lillie Langtry, by Danehill Dancer) and Ballydoyle (You'resothrilling, by Storm Cat) had each won Group 1's at 2 last year over a mile, and his third entrant Alice Springs (Aleagueoftheirown, by Danehill Dancer) had run second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. They were the form horses among the 16-strong field and duly ran 1-2-3, although Ballydoyle would have finished much closer than 3 1/2 lengths behind her stablemate had she not missed the break and been forced to thread her way through the field from last in the final two furlongs.

Minding is the third foal and second stakes winner out of her dam, Lillie Langtry, following her year-older full sister Kissed by Angels, who won the Group 3 1000 Guineas Trial Stakes last year. Lillie Langtry won 5 of her 10 starts, including the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot and Group 1 Matron Stakes at Leopardstown, earning highweight honors among fillies at about a mile in England at 3. Lillie Langtry is a half-sister to stakes winner Count of Limonade, by Duke of Marmalade (by Danehill), and to Lady Hawkfield, by Hawk Wing, dam of stakes winner Master Apprentice, by Mastercraftsman (by Danehill Dancer). Minding's sixth dam, Noble Lassie, by Nearco, was dam of the great racehorse and sire Vaguely Noble.

If you think you see a pattern emerging in the intertwined fortunes of Galileo and Danehill Dancer in Minding's pedigree, you are on the right track. Danehill Dancer, who interrupted Galileo's streak as leading English sire in 2009, was by the great Danehill, whose daughters have produced no less than 11 of Galileo's incredible 52 Group 1/Grade 1 winners, led by the unbeaten Frankel

One of the few questions remaining for Galileo's stud career is whether he will live long enough to break Danehill's all-time record of 354 stakes winners. His count stands at 229 now, and at his current rate of about 21 stakes winners per crop, he will need seven more crops to pass that milestone. Since he is now 18 years old and already has three of those crops on the ground (2-year-olds, yearlings, and sucklings), his odds look pretty good from this corner.

Along the way, there are bound to be more fillies like Minding to produce more colts like Galileo's Gold.