08/01/2014 2:39PM

Stallion provides Added Edge for Iowa breeders

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Jeff Coady/Coady Photography
Added Edge, shown winning the Grade 3 Razorback in 2005, is currently Iowa's leading sire.

Canadian champion Added Edge has parlayed a successful ontrack career into a spot atop Iowa’s sire list that will soon have to be considered perennial.

The 14-year-old son of Smart Strike is the state’s leading sire by progeny earnings, with 25 winners and combined earnings in excess of $554,000 through last Monday – more than $108,000 ahead of his closest competitor. If Added Edge can maintain that position, he will complete his third straight year as Iowa’s leading general sire. 

Added Edge has stood his entire career at Special K Stable in Runnells, entering stud in 2007. He stood the recently completed breeding season for an advertised fee of $2,000.

“He’s a great horse to have around,” said Ray Muck of Special K Stable. “We were very fortunate to get him. He had the pedigree to be a nice sire, and he turned out to be one for us. He’s been a good sire for the state of Iowa.”

Bred in Kentucky by Gulf Coast Farms, Added Edge proved himself a precocious runner in 2002, going undefeated in a juvenile campaign that included wins in the Grade 3 Nashua Stakes and the listed Swynford and Silver Deputy stakes. His résumé was good enough to earn him the Sovereign Award as Canada’s champion 2-year-old male and make him a finalist for Canada’s Horse of Year award.

Added Edge was campaigned in his first start by Robert J. Wilson, who purchased the colt as a 2-year-old. Team Valor International bought into Added Edge after his 3 3/4-length debut win, and the partnership campaigned the horse for four seasons.

While Added Edge is perhaps best known for his accomplishments as a juvenile, he was a productive runner through his 5-year-old season, winning the Grade 3 Razorback Breeders’ Cup Handicap at age 5 and a pair of listed stakes at 4. His 3-year-old season included an on-the-board finish in the Grade 3 Ontario Derby.

Added Edge left the racetrack with eight wins in 19 career starts, with six of those wins coming in stakes company, for earnings of $552,326.

“After he ran his last race, Team Valor owned him, and they just had a little trouble relocating the horse as a stallion after he got through running,” Muck said. “He won the Razorback, and that was his last race at 5. [Team Valor founder and chief executive Barry Irwin] gave me the opportunity to stand him and try him.”

The Canadian champion’s first foals hit the track in 2010. After a fairly quiet debut season, first-crop filly Ginger Added put her sire on the map in 2011 with a trio of Iowa-bred stakes wins en route to capturing Iowa’s Horse of the Year honors. Ginger Added, who remains a mainstay on the Iowa-bred stakes circuit at age 6, is her sire’s all-time leading earner with $371,903 through July 29.

“She won her first five races, and she won two stakes races,” said Muck, who bred and sold Ginger Added at Special K Stable. “She won her maiden first out as a 2-year-old, and she came back at 3 and won four in a row and won the Iowa Stallion Stakes.”

Ginger Added’s 2011 campaign helped Added Edge finish second among the state’s sires by earnings and win his first Stallion of the Year award from the Iowa Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association. It was the first of three consecutive years in which Added Edge earned the award, and it was the last year in which he did not finish as Iowa’s top sire.

“When she took off running that year, it was just good success for all of us,” Muck said. “People saw that Added Edge’s horses were good enough to run in stakes races, and that’s what people breed for. It showed that he could throw the caliber of foal to run in an Iowa stakes race, being a regional stallion, so that brought him more mares.”

Runners by Added Edge have garnered recognition from the ITBOA each year since Ginger Added’s breakout campaign. Cagey Rascal was named the state’s top 2-year-old colt in 2012, and Rudy’s Edge earned 3-year-old filly honors in 2012 before being named Iowa’s champion older mare in 2013.

Added Edge has sired six stakes winners and seven stakes-placed horses over five crops of racing age. In addition to his statebred award recipients, he is the sire of stakes winners A Little Edgy, Ragged Edge, and Lil’ Apollo.

“We’ve had a lot of good support from the local people breeding to him,” Muck said. “He covers 40 to 50 mares per year, which for Iowa is a pretty good number. There’s been a good response to the horse and good support. We never did breed him to try to make him a sales horse. We just did our research and bred to mares that would produce racehorses.”

Muck said Added Edge has been a fairly versatile horse when it comes to finding the right cross to produce a winner, but one cross in particular has shown itself to be particularly useful.

“He breeds a lot of good consistency like his daddy,” Muck said. “Smart Strike works really well with Northern Dancer-line mares.”

Ginger Added and Ragged Edge are among the successful runners to be produced when Added Edge was crossed with a Northern Dancer-line mare. However, Muck said he was not shy about trying different crosses to find the winning formula.

“He’s just a good horse,” Muck said. “If [the mares] cross, I want to breed to them. We’re not real choosy. If it’s a good cross and a good mating and a good nick, we sure would like to get the mares.”